End Of Year Limited Time Credit Card Offers and Updates

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Here at the end of the year we have seen a small flurry of limited time credit card offers pop up. We have also seen some changes to cards, and new cards added to the miles and points space. Some of them I have already mentioned, and some I haven’t yet gotten around to. So, here is a quick summary of some of the changes we have seen in the world of rewards credit card offers in recent weeks. While some of these sign-up bonuses are clearly limited time offers, others have more ambiguous expiration dates and may or may not stick around for the foreseeable future.

  • Ink Bold Business Card or Ink Plus Business Card decreased spending requirement: In November we saw the minimum spending requirement go from $10,000 in the first three months to $5,000 in the first three months. This makes the bonus much more attainable for some folks. I don’t know how long this decreased spending requirement will stick around, but it would not shock me if it went back up at some point. This is especially true since the 50,000 point sign-up bonus from its competitor, the Amex Business Gold Rewards card, has now gone back to 0 sign-up bonus points (unless you are targeted or another one-day offer turns up).
  • Southwest 50,000 point sign-up bonus: November also brought us the return of the 50,000 point sign-up bonuses for the four different Southwest cards (two business and two personal). These sign-up bonuses seem to come and go. The minimum spending requirement is now $2,000 in the first three months as opposed to the old $1,000, but it is still a tremendous deal. You can leverage getting two of the cards into almost enough points for a Companion Pass. Even if you just get one card, over $800 in Southwest “Wanna Get Away” travel is tremendous. I do expect these sign-up bonuses to drop back to the 25,000 point level at some point, as that has been their pattern in the past. The annual fees are not waived the first year for these cards.
  • British Airways Visa 100,000 point sign-up bonus just returned a few days ago: 100,000 points is always enough to catch my attention, but this offer does require some fairly hefty spending to get the full bonus. You are awarded 50,000 points after $1,000 in spending in the first three months, 25,000 additional points after $10,000 additional spending in the first 12 months, and the final 25,000 bonus points after another $10,000 in spending in the first 12 months. Counting the points you earn from meeting the spending requirement, that comes to over 126,000 Avios in the first year. Not everyone can put that much spending on one card, but even without the second 50,000, the first 50,000 with $1,000 in spending isn’t half bad. This is a limited time offer and the $95 annual fee is not waived the first year. This post provides a summary of how I like to spend my BA Avios points.
  • Citi AAdvantage Visa – up to 50,000 miles: I believe this one popped up in November as well. This card offers 40,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months, and then an additional 10,000 miles after spending $10,000 in the first 12 months. It also comes with some other perks for AA flyers including 10% of redeemed miles back each calendar year (up to 10,000 miles), so you can still take advantage of that for the 2012 calendar year and get it again in 2013. If you feel comfortable applying for the unofficial Citi offers, then ignore this offer. However, if you prefer to view an offer page before you apply, then this is a pretty good limited time offer that expires 12/13.
  • Citi Thank You Preferred – to 40,000 bonus points (expired): This is another limited time offer that came about last month. With this one you get 20,000 bonus Thank You points after you make $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months after account opening, and an additional 20,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the next 6 months. This card has no annual fee and you can maximize the value of this card’s points by also having the Thank You Premier card and using the points at a value of 1.33 cents each toward airfare.
  • Chase Freedom 2013 bonus categories announced: Sadly this isn’t a limited time increased sign-up offer, but it is a good time to decide if this card is right for your family in 2013 since the bonus categories are spelled out for all of next year. You can read more details in the linked post, but here are the highlights of the 5x quarterly bonuses. Q1: gas stations, drugstores, Starbucks. Q2: restaurants, movie theaters. Q3: gas stations, theme parks, Kohls. Q4: select department stores, Amazon. There is a $1,500 quarterly cap on the 5x, but it is an easy way to pick up 30,000 Ultimate Reward points each year – assuming the bonus categories work for your family.
  • New Club Carlson 85,000 point card: This is not a limited time offer (as far as I know), but since I was covering recent changes in the credit card space, I wanted to include it. I think this card is being under-hyped given it is essentially a BOGO on two night award stays. For those who have a stash of Club Carlson points (or want to acquire them), this card is fantastic.

Did I leave out any recent changes or other limited time offers you know of? If so, let me know and I will get them added!

Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a card using one of my affiliate links, but I love you just the same if you don’t. 😉

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I got an offer for a waived annual fee United Club card. What do you think of the card, especially in comparison to the Sapphire Preferred?
    If I get the United card and let my Sapphire lapse at the end of the year, any idea how long I’d need to wait to reapply?

  2. Josh, thanks so much and congrats on the instant approval! Enjoy the free points and/or companion pass (if you decide to go for it!).
    Liz, I think the United Club card is great. I just got it myself. However, I also have the CSP. I personally would not want to be without a card that earns Ultimate Rewards since the UR mall is so lucrative and you have the flexibility to transfer points to different partners. You could apply for the MC version of the CSP (assuming you had the Visa) after a few months and possibly even get the sign-up bonus. You could also get an Ink Bold or Ink Plus instead and definitely get that sign-up bonus and still have a great UR earning card that is fee-free for the first year. The UC card is of course really good if you want to access the United Club. It is also good for earning 1.5 United miles on everything.

  3. Awesome post. You might just get enough affiliate referral clicks from this post to get yourself a 2nd matching Pottery Barn chair (that one can be for “The Man”). One more post like this next week “reminding” us about these credit cards again and you can get a Pottery Barn Kids chair for “Little C” as well. 3 matching Pottery Barn chairs for the Hulls. Ahhh, life is good. 😉

  4. Great post for planning an application in December! Thanks! My day is not complete without reading your blog. I’m specifically interested in “Two Free Lounge Passes With Ink Plus/Ink Bold.” Are these available with the new Chase Plus/Bold offers? I don’t see them in the terms, but I believe the lounge passes used to be included as part of the signup bounus. Help.

  5. I got the BA offer in my email, looks like we have a while to apply

    “Apply for the offer by February 27, 2013 to start earning this additional 100,000 bonus.”

    since I just got my second chase mc with a 50k miles bonus last month, would it be a good idea to wait a while to try for the BA card?

    I’ve marked my calendar just in case.

  6. is there still a 50% bonus for transfer of avios?

    there are no taxes or fees using Avios within Japan on JAL! this is great for me if i go for these cards.

    how much is fuel surcharge booking the partner award to Ireland? i have not found any cheap taxes and fees. their fuel charge is really high for international flights right? do you have some better info please?

    what are the best options for avios for international flights?

  7. @gregorygrandy, Why do you waste time reading and posting negative comments on mile blogs? Most of us really enjoy this info, and don’t have the time with a busy work and family life to do this type of research. It’s nice that the bloggers lay it out nicely for most of us that want it. Perhaps you could find something in life that you enjoy, maybe even take up mile blogging and get your own affiliate links!
    @mommypoints, thanks for everything you post, I love reading your blog of excitement for the wonderful FREE things in life! I have been particularly interested in your posts of traveling with a little one, since our daughter is scheduled to be delivered tomorrow morning! Can’t wait to get her in the air with my wife and I. Keep it up, and I wish you could delete those negative comments…

  8. I just noticed the Delta gold Amex changed today with the link from the Delta web site. It’s now a 35,000 mile bonus with $750 in spending during the first three months instead of 30,000 with $500.

    Sadly, the referral bonus seems to be gone for these cards.

  9. We’ll be picking up a companion pass sometime around Feb 5 next year if my calculations are correct. Pretty excited about it.

  10. Michael, I didn’t take advantage of the passes myself, but here is a post that MMS did that might help – http://millionmilesecrets.com/2012/08/21/chase-ink-lounge-club-passes/
    Nick, that card had an increased bonus over the summer. No word on when it will return (I would suspect it will at least return next summer, but I don’t know for sure)
    Mikey, I hadn’t seen the deadline, but if that is the case I would wait until closer to the deadline.
    Evan, there is a 30% transfer bonus right now. Aer Lingus to Ireland is good with Avios. I use most of mine domestically to avoid the fees.
    Mike, thanks for your support. That is of the main goal of the blog – to help families who are too busy to spend hours a day digging around. I don’t really want to be in the business of censoring comments, but I do hear where you are coming from. If things get too negative without being constructive I will re-evaluate. Thanks.
    bluedevil, that is better. I have such reservations about that card since I don’t value SkyMiles very highly, but I know it can be a good card for DL flyers!
    Josh, yay!

  11. The Hyatt card still has free rooms offered for sign up. With the chip n pin this is a useful card for international travelers.

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