Top 5 Credit Cards For Travel Rewards ✦ May 2015

The warm weather is finally here and so are many great new credit card offers!  It’s time.  Those of you who have been waiting (or keep telling yourselves “I really have to get into the miles and points game”), now is the time. I will definitely be adding to my stockpile of points and miles.

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

Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards - Billboard

 

THESE OFFERS HAVE EXPIRED.  CLICK HERE for the latest offers

The Top 5 Credit Cards For Travel Rewards

  1. Citi Prestige
  2. Chase Ink Plus
  3. United Mileage Explorer
  4. Citi Premier
  5. Chase Sapphire Preferred
  6. Amex Delta (Honorable Mention)

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1) Citi Prestige – $1350 AA Credit (50,000 Thank You Points) after $3k spend in 3 months

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • Affiliate Link – EXPIRED – I receive a commission if you use this link.  Click “View points cards”, click “show more results” at the bottom until you see Citi Prestige – it’s an extra step, many thanks if you use this link!

Annual Fee: $450 (see below and my detailed post see why its worth it)

Why get it:

Citi bumped up the bonus to 50,000 points (from 30,000).  See my detailed post.

  • The annual fee is $450 but you get $250 in Air Travel credit each calendar year.  That means you can get $250 credit available in 2015 (as soon as you get your card) and 2016 (as soon Jan 1), a total of $500 (so you make $50).  That’s before you need to decide if you want to keep it another year.
  • Redeem points for a $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways,  OR a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards (but, please, gift cards are such a bad value here, so don’t do it!)
  • Transfer 50,000 miles to 11 airline transfer partners (but I would rather redeem it for an $800 flight)
  • Lounge access to Admirals Club and Priority Pass Select (more lounges)
  • $100 Global Entry Application fee credit (for you or someone else)
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 4th night free on any hotel stay (I rarely pay for hotels so this does not give me much value)
  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels, 2x on Dining/Entertainment, 1x per $1 spend on other purchases

 

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2) Chase Ink Plus – 60,000 Sign up Bonus Points after $5k spend in 3 months [Expires 5/25/15]

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • Affiliate Link – I receive a commission if you use this link.  Use the link then click “show more results” at the bottom, then click Chase Ink Plus – it’s an extra step, many thanks if you use this link!

Annual Fee: $95 (not waived)

Why get it:

  • The #1 reason: Ultimate Reward Points transfer to United 1:1 – so 60,000 Ultimate Reward Points =  60,000 United Miles.  After you spend the required $5k, you will have a total of 65,000 points which is worth 2 domestic round trip tickets with about 15k points left over.
  • Earn 5,000 points with the Chase Ink Plus Referral program
  • You can also transfer to Virgin which has some interesting redemptions to Australia.
  • 5 points per dollar spent at office supply stores, cell phone, landline, internet and cable services

 

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3) United MileagePlus Explorer Visa – 55k bonus miles + $50 Credit after $3,000 spend in 3 months (50k for the business card) [Expires 6/2/15]

Links to apply: 

  1. 55k Bonus + $50 Credit Offer: Go to united.com and search for any flight (as if you were going to book a flight). Click on the offer that should appear (see my detailed post here)
  2. Business Card Direct Link: 50k bonus miles
  3. 55k Bonus Offer (not as good as #1!) – I receive a commission if you use this link.  Click “Airline & Frequent Flyer Credit Cards”, click “show more results” at the bottom, click United MileagePlus – it’s an extra step, many thanks if you use this link!

Annual Fee: $95 (waived first year)

Why get it:

  • Who doesn’t need United miles?  If you get both the business and personal cards you can earn 105,000 miles.
  • They will give you 5,000 bonus miles (it’s 50k + 5k for the personal card only, not the business card) just for adding an authorized user to your account and making 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.

 

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

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • Affiliate Link – I receive a commission if you use this link.  Click “View Points Credit Cards”, click “show more results” at the bottom until you see Citi Premier – it’s an extra step, many thanks if you use this link!

Annual Fee: $95 (waived first year)

Why get it:

  • Get $848 AA / US Air Credits (instead of $662) – see my post for details
  • If you won’t use all the benefits of the Citi Prestige (with the big fee), then this is probably a better choice for you.

 

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5) Chase Sapphire Preferred  – 40,000 Ultimate Rewards Points after $4k spend in 3 months

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • Affiliate Link – I receive a commission if you use this link.  Click “View Points Credit Cards”, click “show more results” at the bottom until you see Chase Sapphire Preferred – it’s an extra step, many thanks if you use this link!

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

Why get it:

  • The reasons are similar to the Chase Ink Plus card but this is a personal card. Ultimate Reward Points transfer to United 1:1.  You will have almost enough for 2 domestic round trip tickets.  You can also transfer to Virgin which has some interesting redemptions to Australia.
  • This is a good card for every day spending: get 2x points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1x point on all other spending

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

6) American Express Delta 50k Bonus + $50 Credit after $1,000 spend in 3 months – Business & Personal (earn up to 100,000 Delta Miles)

Getting both the personal and business cards will net you a total of 100,000 Delta points. Many people, including myself, are quick to criticize Delta Skymiles Skypesos because the awards are usually way more expensive and difficult to redeem, but they can be extremely valuable if you want to go to Australia (which I am trying to book). Lucky explains in his post that you can now book Virgin Australia flights with Delta miles:“Virgin Australia Awards Using Delta SkyMiles Are Back”.  For example, Delta charges 80,000 miles one way in business class to Australia with very low fees.

Links to Apply:

Why get it:

 

 

Did I miss anything?  Please leave your comments below.

 

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