Top 5 Credit Cards For Travel Rewards ✦ November 2014

Here are the Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards!

Every month when I publish my Top 5 Credit Card Deals for Travel Rewards, I scour the web for the best offers. These are the offers my I’m signing up for myself or suggesting to friends and family.  

2014 year started out with some incredible credit card offers up to 100k miles.  The excitement lasted more than half a year, but those offers are gone.  If you have big spend coming up soon, I would still suggest the credit cards below.  If you don’t have any big expenses coming up, check out #1 below, or I would advise you to wait for better offers.

Soon I will be heading to the Maldives, Vietnam, Singapore which cost me 120k miles per person in Business Class. The cash cost would be about $10,000 per person (who spends that kind of money on flights??).  Anyone can do the same.

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

Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards - Billboard

 

THESE OFFERS HAVE EXPIRED.  

Click Here for the latest offers.

 

THE TOP 5

1) Premier Miles & More® World MasterCard®

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link <EXPIRED>
  • My affiliate 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 $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 June 2014 and Oct 2013.  It was so popular the first time that they shut it down after a couple days.  Now its back again (see my original post here).  Expires November 30, 2014!

Why you should get it:

  • My favorite part – I can book 3 one way First Class/BusinessFirst Class domestic tickets!
  • US domestic First Class/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, same as on United and many other airlines (if you don’t use them for the 1st class tickets, you won’t get stuck with them)
  • Lufthansa gives you access to their 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) Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card

Links to Apply:  Apply online now (you no longer have to go into a branch)

  • Direct Link
  • My affiliate link:  Takes you to my business card post which contains an affiliate link.  It’s an extra step- thank you if you use the link there to sign up!

Bonus: After spending $5,000 in 3 months you receive 50,000 Ultimate Reward Points (which are worth at least $700 if you redeem them for United Miles).

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $95

Why you should get it:

  • This offer was recently 70k (first yr annual fee not waived) and 60k (first yr annual fee waived).  50k miles is still good but not as good.
  • 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+)
  • 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 know to ask).  The invitation code is “CHASEINK”.

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3) Citibank AAdvantage MasterCard

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • My 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 $3,000 in 3 months you receive 50,000 AA miles

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $95

Why you should get it:

  • After the 100k, 75k, and 60k offers all ended, this is now the best AA offer available.  This offer also has less spend required than those higher offers which makes it easier to get your bonus miles.
  • 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 (this can add up – bag fees for up to 5 people)
  • Get 10% back on redeemed American miles

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4) British Airways Visa Signature Card

Links to apply:

  • Direct Link
  • My 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:

  • You can fly short distances for a tiny amount of Avios 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 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 also Asia.

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5) US Airways World Mastercard

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link (40,000 mile public offer)
  • My 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!!
  • Direct Link  (50,000 mile targeted offer sent by mail- was supposed to expire 10/31/14 but the link still works)

Annual Fee: $89 (not waived)

Why you should get it:

  • The 50,000 targeted offer is the best offer available for the US Airways card, but you would need to receive an invitation in the mail.  When you click the link, it will ask for the special code.  If you were not targeted, the best you can get is the 40k offer.
  • Read my more detailed review I wrote here.  The main reason to get it: There is no spend requirement!
  • I don’t like annual fees but this offer makes it easy for anyone to get miles without worrying about any minimum spend requirements.  Is $89 worth 40,000 miles?  Of course!  You can’t buy points for $0.002225 each.  And these will be merged with AA miles eventually.
  • Fly to North Asia once you have 60k miles (Japan, S.Korea, Taiwan, Macau, HK, China, the ‘stans, and Mongolia.  Most airlines charge 70k miles to most of these destinations.   Add the bonus to your existing miles and you may have enough.
  • 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) and Priority Boarding Zone 2.  

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

 

6) 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: 

  • 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.
  • 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:

  • This is a targeted offer (not everyone is eligible) so I’m not including this in the main part of my top 5.  To see if you are eligible, go to United.com and log in. On the top right you should see a banner offering for the credit card. There is another offer out there for 30,000 — DON’T TAKE THAT 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 + 10,000 bonus miles every calendar year you spend at least $25,000.  I don’t plan to ever go for this extra 10k miles because its not worth it.
  • 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.
  • The Chase Ink Plus offer is a business card offer but is better than this United offer because the points are transferable to more United miles (plus several other airlines if you prefer).  In addition, they are more flexible because you can transfer them to someone else’s account.

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7) 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.

Why you should get it:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 NIGHT certificate 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 card membership year.

 

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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!

 

Note:  If you click some links on this site, TheRewardBoss may receive a small commission at no added cost to you.  By doing so, you help support my project and allow me to continue providing you with more rewarding information.  I research, travel, and write my opinions regardless of whether there is a commission available.  You don’t have to use my links, but I appreciate when you do.  Thank you for your support!

 

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About TheRewardBoss

Want to see how I earn enough points and miles to travel for free? Read this first. Be one of the 10s of 10s of people who subscribe to receive email updates whenever I post a new article. Enter your email address in the top left corner of the site and that’s it. Cancel anytime. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or RSS feed. Take a Free Lyft.

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