Top 5 Credit Cards For Travel Rewards ✦ July 2015

Several new 75k+ offers have popped up and Citi offers dominate this month’s Top 5. A few of these have larger annual fees and if you can use the perks they provide, it is well worth it (though not for everyone!). Start thinking about how many points you can earn in the next few months to pay for this/next year’s trips (I hear Australia calling your name).

Don’t see what you are looking for?  Check out the credit card offer directory.

Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards

TOP 5 CREDIT CARDS FOR TRAVEL REWARDS

  1. Amex Business Gold 75k
  2. Citi Exec 75k
  3. Citi Prestige 50k
  4. Citi Premier 50k
  5. Marriott 80k

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1)  American Express Platinum 100k Bonus/$3k spend or Business Gold 75,000 Point Bonus after $5k spend in 3 months [Targeted]. 

See my detailed post about the Platinum 100k bonus / $3k spend targeted offer – amazing deal if you can get it! Or here is a direct link to find out if you are targeted for the Gold 75k bonus / $5k spend (if not, you will have a $10k spend instead – NOT a good offer!). The Annual fee is $450 (Platinum, not waived) or $175 (Gold card, waived the first year). The Gold card offer expires 9/29/15; not sure about the Platinum. These are two big bonuses 100k or 75k points with a lower than usual spend required. My favorite use of Amex points is to transfer to Avios when there is a big 40%+ transfer bonus then use those points for short flights. Try this tool to see where you can go and how many Avios it costs. Example one way flights: NYC to Montreal is only 4,500 while NYC to Florida is only 7,500 Avios. HT to DoctorOfCredit

Update: 7/17: a new Amex Gold Offer: 50,000 Points after only $1,000 spend!

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2)  Citi Executive AAdvantage – 75,000 Mile Bonus after $7,500 spend in 3 months.

Links: AA Exec 75,000 (affiliate link, click link then click “View Airline credit cards”, scroll down and click “show more results” to find the card  – thank you if you use this!) or AA Exec 75,000 (direct link). Annual fee is a big $450 (not waived) but does come with several valuable perks including: Admirals Club membership (access for you + immediate family or 2 guests), credit up to $100 to pay for Global Entry, priority check-in + screening + boarding, and free 1st checked bag. The miles alone are worth 3 domestic round trip tickets.  This is not for everyone due to the larger fee and spend requirement.

Note: Personal AA cards: As of February 1, 2015, all new links require you to wait 18 months from the date of opening or closing an account of the same type (AmEx, Visa, MC) and category (Gold, Platinum, Executive). Opening or closing a Gold MC will not affect getting the bonus on a new Platinum MC but will prevent you from getting the bonus on a new Gold MC. (from Flyertalk)

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3) Citi Prestige – 50,000 Bonus Points after $3k spend in 3 months

Links: Citi Prestige 50,000 (affiliate link, click link then click “View Points credit cards”, scroll down and click “show more results” to find the card  – thank you if you use this!) or Citi Prestige 50,000 (direct link). The annual fee is a big $450 – my detailed post explains how you can get $1350 American Airlines Credit and all the juicy details…if you can use many of the benefits, this is an fantastic card to get! If not, the Premier (below) is probably the card for you.

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4)  Citi Premier – 50,000 Bonus Points after $3k spend in 3 months

Links: Citi Premier 50,000 (affiliate link, click link then click “View Points credit cards”, scroll down and click “show more results” to find the card  – thank you if you use this!) or Citi Premier 50,000 (direct link). The annual fee of $95 is waived the first year. Double dip by getting both the Prestige & Premier and you’ll get $848 AA / US Air Credits (instead of $662) – see my post for the details.

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5) Marriott Visa – 80,000 Points after $3k spend in 3 months

Links: Marriott 80,000 Bonus Visa Offer (affiliate link, click link then click “View Hotel credit cards”, scroll down and click “show more results” to find the card  – thank you if you use this!) or the Marriott 80,000 Bonus Offer  (direct link). Expires August 31, 2015. The annual fee is $85 (not waived). This is as high as it gets for Marriott offers! Get another 80,000 with the business card ($99 annual fee). There is another offer for 70,000 points after only $2k spend. It gives less miles but the $85 annual fee is waived and you get 1 free night (category 1-4) after you are approved.  80,000 is enough for 8+ free nights at category 1-2 hotels or 2 nights at the better hotels. HT to ViewFromTheWing.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

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6) Chase Ink Plus – 50,000 Bonus Points after $5k spend in 3 months

Links: Chase Ink Plus 50,000 Bonus Offer (affiliate link, click link then click “View Business Hotel credit cards”, scroll down and click “show more results” to find the card  – thank you if you use this!) or the direct link. The annual fee of $95 is waived the first year. Chase’s Ultimate Reward Points transfer to United 1:1, so you can have 50,000 United Miles.  You will have enough for 2 domestic round trip tickets. Earn 5,000 points by referring a friend.

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7) Hilton Visa – 75,000 Bonus Points after $2k spend in 3 months

Links: Hilton Visa 75,000 Bonus Offer (affiliate link, click link then click “View Hotel credit cards”, scroll down and click “show more results” to find the card  – thank you if you use this!) or the direct link.  75k points is not enough for even 1 night at their top tier hotels but is enough for 3 nights in your average Hilton Garden Inn. This is an improved offer vs what they usually have, though still not amazing.

*Note: Bonus not available if you had this card (opened or closed) in the past 18 months.

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HOW I KEEP TRACK OF ALL MY MILES & POINTS

I use AwardWallet.com, a FREE tool to keep track of all my miles and reward points.  I’d be lost without it.

 

Did I miss anything?  Please leave your comments below.

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