Top 5 Credit Cards For Travel Rewards ✦ June 2015

The Citi Prestige continues to be the top offer this summer. If you can use the perks they provide, it is well worth the large annual fee. While you’re at the beach, start thinking about how many points you can earn in the next few months to pay for this winter/next year’s trips.

Don’t see what you are looking for?  Check out the credit card offer directory (in the menu above).

Top 5 Credit Cards for Travel Rewards

THESE OFFERS HAVE EXPIRED.  Click here for the latest offers.

TOP 5 CREDIT CARDS FOR TRAVEL REWARDS

  1. Citi Prestige 50k
  2. Citi Premier 50k
  3. Chase Ink+ 50k
  4. United 55k
  5. Hyatt 2 nites + 5k
  6. Delta Amex 50k/60k

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

LINKS TO APPLY:

  • Direct Link
  • Affiliate Link – EXPIRED – Click “View points credit 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:

My detailed post explains how you 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! Here are the highlights:

  • The annual fee is $450 but you get $250 in Air Travel credit each calendar year.  That means you can get $250 credit as soon as you get your card and again 2016 (as soon Jan 1), a total of $500!
  • 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 (I prefer to redeem for an $800 flight)
  • 4th night free on any hotel stay (this can save a LOT of money if your 4th night is $$ like New Years Eve)
  • $100 Global Entry Application fee credit (for you or someone else), Lounge access to Admirals Club & Priority Pass Select, Free golfing, No foreign transaction fees, Earn 3x points on Air Travel/Hotels, 2x on Dining/Entertainment, 1x per $1 on other purchases
  • DOUBLE DIP by getting both the Prestige AND Premier to get a total of 100,000 Thank You Points.  See my detailed post for more info on the

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

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • Affiliate Link – EXPIRED – Click the link, then “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:

  • Double dip by getting both the Prestige & Premier and you’ll 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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3) Chase Ink Plus – 50,000 Sign up Bonus Points after $5k spend in 3 months

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • Affiliate Link – After you click the link click “View Business credit cards”, “show more results” at the bottom, find Chase Ink Plus – it’s an extra step, many thanks if you use this link!

Annual Fee: $0 first year then $95/yr

Why get it:

  • The #1 reason: 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 with some points left over. There are some interesting transfer options with Virgin if you want to go to Australia.
  • Earn 5,000 points by referring a friend, and earn 5 points per dollar spent at office supply stores, cell phone, landline, internet and cable services

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4) United MileagePlus Explorer Visa – 55k bonus miles + $50 Credit after $3,000 spend in 3 months (50k for the biz card)

Links to apply: 

  1. Targeted: 55k Bonus: Go to united.com, login, there should be an offer near the top middle of the page.  If you see a 30,000 bonus, DO NOT SIGN UP. You are not eligible for the 55k offer.
  2. Business Card Direct Link: 50k bonus miles

Annual Fee: $95 (waived first year)

Why get it:

  • Who doesn’t need United miles?  Get both the business and personal cards and earn 105,000 miles!
  • Earn 5k bonus miles (it’s 50k + 5k for the personal card only, not the business card) just by adding an authorized user to your account
  • 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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5) Hyatt Visa – 2 free nights + 5,000 points + $50 credit after $1,000 spend in 3 months

Links to Apply

Annual Fee: $0 first year then $75/yr

Why get it:

  • What can you do with 2 free nights?  SPLURGE on the most expensive hotels, obviously! Stay at the Park Hyatt Hotel (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.
  • After the first year and the annual fee you will get 1 FREE NIGHT at any category 1-4 Hyatt hotel which can be worth up to $200
  • Free Platinum Status: 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)
  • Need more inspiration?  Read this Top 5 Most Expensive Hyatt Hotels throughout the World.

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HONORABLE MENTIONS

6) American Express Delta 50k/60k Bonus + $50/$100 Credit after $2,000 spend in 3 months – Business & Personal [EXPIRES 6/30/15]

Amex has increased the bonus from a measly 30k miles, so if you like to fly Delta, this is a great time to get it! Getting both the Gold personal + business cards will net you a total of 100,000 Delta miles (or 120,000 miles if you get both Platinum cards). The Platinum also includes 10k MQMs. 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. 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… AA charges 67,500 in first class, but its much harder to find seats.

Links to Apply:

  • Direct Link
  • Affiliate Link – Click “View Points Credit Cards”, click “show more results” at the bottom until you see Gold Delta / Platinum Delta SkyMiles – it’s an extra step, many thanks if you use this link!

Annual Fee:

  • Gold Card – (Personal & Business) $0 first year, then $95/yr
  • Platinum Card – (Personal & Business) $195

Why get it:

  • For some destinations, Delta offers the only direct route. With a small $2k spend, this is very easy to get.
  • This is not for everyone – read my post for all the details

 

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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