Top 5 Credit Card Deals For Travel Rewards – June 2014

Every month when I update my Top 5 Credit Card Deals for Travel Rewards, I scour the web for the best offers.  I want my readers to come here and find the best offers without all the clutter — these are the offers my I’m signing up for myself or suggesting to friends and family.  

Earlier this year I booked my trip to the Maldives, Vietnam, Singapore (with Kuala Lumpur still to book) for 120k miles per person in Business Class.  Without miles, there is no way I could have bought these (they cost about $10,000 per person).  Anyone can do the same.

If you are looking for a Small Business Credit Card that rewards you well, read my post here.

 

THESE OFFERS HAVE EXPIRED, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE LATEST OFFERS

 

 

THE TOP 5

Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards

1) Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard®

Link to Apply  [EXPIRED]

Bonus: After spending $5,000 in 90 days you receive 50,000 miles (worth up to $4,200 if used for 3 free 1st class 1-way domestic flights)

Annual Fee: $79 (not waived unless you are a Senator or HON member)

ITS BACK!  This was last offered in Oct 2013 and was so popular they shut it down after a couple days.  They just brought it back! (see my recent post on it).  Expires 6/30/14. 

My favorite part – I can book 3 one way First Class or BusinessFirst Class domestic tickets!

  • The real bonus here is that US domestic First Class or BusinessFirst Class tickets are only 35,000 miles round trip or 17,000 miles one way.  Yes, you can save 1,000 miles if you book 2 one way tickets instead of a round trip, strangely.
  • Get a round trip flight from US to Hawaii, Europe or the Caribbean (Europe is often 60k miles on United during peak season, but only 50k here)
  • US domestic round trip tickets are 25,000 miles, just as it is on United and many other airlines.
  • Lufthansa gives you access to reward seats much sooner than if you try using United miles (with United you have to wait until about 2 weeks before departure for Lufthansa reward seats)
  • Check out United’s 180 degree lie flat seats here
  • After keeping the card for 1 year, you get a free companion ticket (of course, after you pay the annual fee) (link for details)

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2) Citibank AAdvantage Mastercard

Links to Apply:

  • Citi AAdvantage 100k Offer + $200 credit + after $10k spend in 3 months (leave the referral code and airport code blank if you don’t have one) The main link (landing page) has expired as of 6/24/14 @ 11:59pm, but this application page link still works, but it doesnt say the offer. I have several friends who applied after the expiration (6/25/14) and still got the 100k offer so YMMV.
  • Citi AAdvantage 50k Offer (Personal Cards) after $3k spend in 3 months (less points and less spend)

Bonus: After spending $10,000 in 90 days you receive 100,000 miles (which are worth at least $2k for coach flights and up to ~$7k to $10k for business/first class flights)

Annual Fee: $450 (but after the $200 credit on your first statement the fee is really $250)

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3) Starwood American Express (Personal and Business Cards)

Links to Apply:

  • Starwood American Express Personal (direct link)  (bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.)
  • Starwood American Express Business (direct link)  (bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product within the last 12 months.)
  • I can refer you: send me private message (click here)

Bonus: After spending $5,000 in first 6 months you receive 30,000 Starwood Points

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $65

Read more about this card in my recent post here.

  • Starwood American Express is now offering a 30,000 sign up bonus (business and personal) and another 5,000 referral bonus if someone refers you (but a referral is no longer required).
  • available for 1 month ONLY – expires 6/30/2014.  The last time this was offered was August 2013 (see my old post) and this is much better than the usual deal for 25,000 points.  This has typically been offered once per year and when it does people jump on it.
  • Referral? It would be a shame to waste the referral bonus so please consider having me or any of your friends refer you.  I thank you in advance if you allow me to refer you as this helps support my project (this website).
  • Link to refer someone to the personal card or  to the business card

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4) US Airways World Mastercard

Link to Apply

Bonus: After first purchase and payment of $89 annual fee you receive 40,000 miles

Annual Fee: $89 (not waived)

  • This is an improved offer from Barclays which I recently wrote about here.
  • Barclays (the issuer of this card) has been stepping up its game.  I think its an improvement from what they have been offering. Why? There is no spend requirement.
  • I don’t like annual fees but this makes it easy for anyone to participate without worrying about any minimum spend requirements.  Is $89 worth 40,000 miles?  Of course they are!  You can’t buy points for $0.002225.
  • Eventually these points will get merged with the rest of your American Airline miles.
  • Additional perks:
    • First Checked Bag FREE (for you and up to 4 companions on domestic US Airways flights)
    • One Companion Certificate for up to 2 guests ($99+taxes and fees each)
    • Priority Boarding Zone 2.  
  • US Airways does have a second offer30,000 bonus miles in your first billing period + on your anniversary date after you pay your annual fee, you will get another 10,000 bonus miles.
    • If you prefer more points go for the 40k offer. <– I prefer this one
    • If you prefer no annual fee and less points go for 30k offer.

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5) Hyatt Visa

Link to Apply

Bonus: After spending $1,000 you receive 2 FREE NIGHTS (worth up to ~$2,122)

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $75

Why is the Hyatt Visa offer worth it?

  • After the first year and the $75 fee fee you will get 1 FREE NIGHT at any category 1-4 Hyatt hotel which can be worth up to $200, so you are getting a lot of value for your annual fee.
  • get upgraded to Hyatt Platinum (its not the highest status but you’ll get great perks such as room upgrades, free internet, late check out and other perks you can read about here)
  • What can you do with 2 free nights?  SPLURGE at a Luxury Park Hyatt Hotel (that’s Hyatt’s most expensive hotel brand)!  Check out the beautiful Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, which costs a mere 785 Euro = about $1,061 USD per night.  The Park Hyatt Hotels are some of the nicest and most expensive hotels in the world.  So 2 nights is worth up to around 2 x $1,061 = $2,122.  Add to that double points on restaurants, flights, and car rentals.
  • Need more inspiration?  Read this Top 5 Most Expensive Hyatt Hotels throughout the World.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

6) Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Card

Link to apply

Bonus: After spending $2,500 in 4 months you receive 2 FREE WEEKEND NIGHTS (worth up to ~$2,400) + $100 Credit + Free GOLD Status

Annual Fee: $95 (but you get $100 Statement Credit with first hotel stay in 3 months)

The part of this offer that is most valuable is the 2 FREE Weekend nights.  As I mentioned here, I booked the Hilton Conrad Maldives for my honeymoon.  It now goes for a whopping 90,000 points per night or around $1200 per night.  Try saving enough Hilton points for that (it cost me only around 45,000 points per night when I booked it last year).  These Hilton hotels are excluded.

  • EARN A $100 STATEMENT CREDIT after $100 or more on your first hotel stay in the Hilton HHonors Portfolio within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • EARN TWO WEEKEND NIGHT certificates, each good for one weekend night (standard room, double occupancy) at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio, after $2,500 in eligible purchases within the first four months of cardmembership.
  • NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEES ON PURCHASES.
  • TRAVEL WITH EASE and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card.
  • EARN AN ANNIVERSARY BONUS OF ONE WEEKEND NIGHTcertificate good for one weekend night (standard room, double occupancy), at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio when you spend $10,000 or more on eligible purchases each cardmembership year.
  • ENJOY COMPLIMENTARY HHONORS GOLD STATUS as long as you are a cardmember. Earn an upgrade to HHonors Diamond status when you make $40,000 or more in eligible purchases each calendar year.

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7)  Barclay Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

Link to Apply

Bonus: After spending $3,000 you receive 40,000 miles (with the 10% miles back its worth $440 to use for any hotel, any airline, anytime)

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $89

This card has been on my top 5 list before but some recent great offers pushed it off.  Its been recently updated – see my review here.  Its still a great card because:

  • Its easy to get the bonus due to the relatively small spend requirement (some other cards are $5k or $10k)
  • With no blackout periods, especially during holidays, you can easily use these miles for a $400 credit anytime without trying to figure out which airline to search and problems finding availability.  No, its not the biggest or best bonus, but for many people this may be the only one that makes sense.
  • You will get 2x miles on all purchases and there are no foreign transaction fees which will save you money when you travel internationally.
  • To top if off, you get 10% miles back – so redeem 40,000 miles and you get 4,000 back (worth another $40), so you get a total value of $440.  It really doesn’t get easier than this.  If you are short on time or don’t feel like trying to figure all this out, this is the card for you.

 

 

Which cards are your favorite and how do you plan to use these bonuses?  Not sure what to get?  Let me know where you want to go and I’ll be happy to help you get there!

 

 

 

[In full disclosure, the Reward Boss gets paid a referral if you use some of the card links above for but for the others this is not the case. I research and post my opinions on the best deals I can find, regardless of whether there is a commission available. You don’t have to use my links but I really appreciate if you do.  As always, if you have any questions please feel free to post comments below.  These statements have not been reviewed or approved by any of the above companies.]

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Comments

  1. Do yo know when US airways Mastercard offer expires? I just got an Ink plus 3 days ago. I should have applied for US airways on the same day, but didn’t. I would like to wait couple of months before I apply for 40k offer. CS is 770+ though.

    • I haven’t found the expiration date yet but I doubt a few months. If you are worried about your credit score, usually it will fall a few points if you get another card. At 770 you have a high score. Its also two different banks. It may disappear if you wait and you may only be able to get the 30k offer.

  2. Sam, there are 3 credit bureaus and depending on your billing address, different banks use different credit bureaus when they do the hard pull. So you need to find out what credit bureau is used by Chase and by Barclays for YOUR location. If they are the same credit bureau, you are better off holding off. If they pull different credit bureaus, you are good to go. The 3 bureaus do not see hard pulls from each other – they only see when a new credit card account has been established, and that usually takes at least 1 month when your first billing statement has generated (for your Chase Ink card in your case).

      • Al –

        Thanks for sending the info. I see that my FAKO creditkarma dinged couple of points when I applied to Ink plus. So I think it was pulled by Transunion. From the link above, it is not clear about Barclays as I see there is are no results for it.

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