Top 5 Credit Cards For Travel Rewards ✦ March 2015

The following is a list of the Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards for March 2015.

If none of these cards are what you’re looking for, check out the credit card offer directory above.

Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards - Billboard




THE TOP 5 Credit Cards

1) US Airways Credit Card

Links to Apply

*The offer is meant for US Airways Preferred Elite members.  Applicants who are not Preferred are getting auto-rejected

Annual Fee: $89 (not waived)

Why you should get it:

  • Sign Up Bonus: The 50,000 offer is the best offer available for the US Airways card
  • Anniversary Bonus: Preferred members can get 10,000 miles extra on your card opening anniversary (you will pay the annual fee again!)
  • Easy Miles, No Spend Required!  Read my more detailed review I wrote here.
  • $89 Annual fee worth it?  Yes, of course!  There is no other way to buy points for $0.00178 each.  And these will be merged with AA miles eventually.


2) Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card  

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • Referral Link: this takes a few seconds extra to click through my link then click “Click Here to Apply for a Business Credit Card” — thank you in advance if you use this!!

Bonus: After spending $5,000 in 3 months you receive 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $95/yr

Why you should get it:

  • The #1 reason: Ultimate Reward Points transfer to United 1:1 – so 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points =  50,000 United Miles.  After you spend the required $5k, you will have a total of 55,000 points which is worth 2 domestic round trip tickets (worth approx $700+).  You can also transfer to Virgin which has some interesting redemptions to Australia.
  • Read my more detailed post here
  • 5 points per dollar spent at office supply stores, cell phone, landline, internet and cable services
  • Free Lounge Club Membership – including 2 visits to airport lounges free.  Click here to sign up for free (for some reason, Chase does not provide this info to you unless you know to ask).  The invitation code is “CHASEINK”.


3) Citibank AAdvantage MasterCard

Links to Apply:

  • Direct Link:  Personal or Business
  • Personal 50k Offer (my referral link) (expired): this takes a few seconds extra to click through my link “Airline and Frequent Flyer Credit Card Offers”, thank you in advance if you use this!!

Bonus: After spending $3,000 in 3 months you receive 50,000 AA miles

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $95

Why you should get it:

  • 50k miles is enough to get you 2 domestic round-trip coach flights.
  • 2 Admirals Club Lounge Day Passes
  • 1st checked bag free for you and up to 4 companions (bag fees for up to 5 people can add up!)
  • Get 10% back on redeemed American miles



4) United MileagePlus Explorer Visa

Bonus: After spending $2,000 in 3 months you receive 55,000 Miles (50,000 for the business card)

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $95

Links to apply: 

  1. PUBLIC OFFER for the Business Card: 50k bonus miles
  2. For the personal card, log into your United account, then click this link – if you see the 50k offer you can apply!  If you see a 30k offer you are not eligible.
  3. For the business card, log into your United account, then click this link – if you see the 50k offer…you can apply!  If you see an offer for 30k, you are not eligible.

Why you should get it:

  • Now everyone can sign up for the Business Card 50k Offer!  If you login, just make sure you don’t get the 30k offer!
  • They will give you 5,000 bonus miles (for the personal card, not the business card) after you add an authorized user to your account and make a purchase with your card during the first 3 months
  • Some additional nice features are: 1st checked bag free, priority boarding, no foreign transaction fees, 2 United Club passes (I never seem to find a time to use them) and a few more things you can read about on United’s website.



5) British Airways Visa Signature

Links to apply:

  • Direct Link
  • Affiliate link: this takes a few seconds extra to click through my link “Airline and Frequent Flyer Credit Card Offers”. Thank you in advance if you use this!!

Bonus: After spending $2,000 in 3 months you receive 50,000 Avios

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $95 (they usually don’t waive the first year)

Why you should get it:

  • Avios let you fly short distances for a tiny amount of points – starting at 4,500 points one way.  I have used this for flights around Peru (see my post here) which would have otherwise cost me lots of cash.  This makes 50,000 Avios points more valuable than you would expect (one way flights start at 4,500 Avios vs 12,500 on United).
  • You can redeem for American Airline flights.  Great short distance redemptions are NYC to Montreal or NYC to Florida.
  • Its useful to have some Avios on hand for those small connecting flights to use in South America and Asia.
  • Check out this helpful tool – type in your city and it shows you all the Avios Destinations by Price (HT to Wandering Aramean)


6) IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card

Link to apply

  • Direct link (This link shows the 80,000 offer but clicking apply results in an error.  People have reported getting the 80,000 offer by just logging into their IHG account or making a booking  which can be cancelled.)
  • Affiliate link: (70,000 point bonus offer) this takes a few seconds extra to click through my link “Airline and Frequent Flyer Credit Card Offers”. Thank you in advance if you use this!!

Bonus: 80,000 or 70,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

Annual Fee: $49, waived the first year

Why you should get it:

  • A typical hotel night will cost you 15,000 to 25,000 points per night at a Holiday Inn then this will get you up to 5 nights
  • Every year they give you a free night certificate valid any hotel any time + Platinum status


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!


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  1. My fiancee and I live in Los Angeles. For our honeymoon, we were thinking of going to Greece. Mediterranean Sea, American dollar at a high… sounds good to us! Ideally we’d fly 1st class (we’ve never flown first before and we figure it would be fun for our honeymoon!)

    What’s the best way to get there with points? So far we’ve been working on our chase UR miles.

    My fiancee doesn’t have a card yet. I have a Chase Sapphire and Freedom (123,500 points) and a United MileagePlus Explorer (72,631).

    Thoughts on strategy and which airline I should be looking at?


    • David – sorry for the delay. Been swamped lately (and traveling). I haven’t been to Greece yet but its on my list so I wanted to look into this. Tripadvisor says May/June is the best time to go so I ran a couple searches for you around that time.

      Prices (one way)
      United: 30k coach / 57.5k Business Biz/first was not available
      AA: 20k coach / 50k biz

      I didn’t see any first class available, so if these are the months you want to go, business class is probably your best bet. The downside is that it has 2 stops (LAX – BOS – LHR – ATH) and is 25 hours long! I didn’t check them all but I would avoid this.

      There are coach seats available for only 20k each way! This is super cheap (its cheaper than usual because its off peak pricing). The upside is the connection is much better – only 1 stop (LAX – PHL – ATH). The downside, of course, it’s coach. For a honeymoon, I probably wouldnt do this especially after the flights i got for my honeymoon.

      As far as strategy goees, given the miles you have, it seems like United would be a great choice.
      In the mean time, i suggest you both get the US Air card and collect the 50k points (no spend required). After that you’ll have 100k miles in the bank with no effort (just pay the annual fee). The card will be gone soon after the AA and US Air mileage programs merge. You should probably get the Chase Ink +. Once you get those bonus points you should have enough points to book all the flights yourself (business class). Its important to get the miles asap so that if seats open up you will have enough to book them right away.

      • I’m new to all of this– do you recommend putting my eggs in the American basket instead of the United?

        I’m not committed to any particular airline, I’m just wanting to give my fiancee an amazing honeymoon trip 😉

        We’re also very flexible on month. So the good news is we’re super flexible on time and airline. In fact we’re even pretty flexible on where we fly out of (we have a Southwest companion pass so we can get to ATL where she’s from or BOS where I’m from pretty easily)

        We’re mostly interested in good product for minimum cash spend (like you did on your honeymoon!)

        Any additional thoughts?


        • I would call it diversifying. Since you don’t know which point you need and the AA miles are so easy to get I would grab them. The first step is finding availability. You may not have many options but then I would check to see if they have 180 degrees lay flat seats (important to me) and then I check for reviews of that product.

          When you find some availability let me know and we can chat further. Sometimes there is only one option and you just have to grab it.

      • We’re looking at May 2016, so we have plenty of time! What do you think is the best business/first product that would get us from LA to Greece for minimum or zero dollars (only points)?

        • I dont think you can look at it this way – first you have to find availability then see if its something you would be happy with. For some of my flights on my honeymoon, I took them even if they weren’t ideal because I needed them to fit my schedule. Once you have them, you may be able to switch them to something else later.

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