Top 5 Credit Cards For Travel Rewards ✦ February 2015

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

Last month I signed up for the American Express 100k bonus offer and the US Airways 50k bonus offer.  Unfortunately, the American Express 100k offer was not publicly available (snail mail invitation).  So far, 2015 is not as exciting as 2014 was in terms of credit card sign up bonuses.  There are still several good offers to help you collect more miles for more free travel.

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


THE TOP 5 Credit Cards

1) US Airways Credit Card

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link (50,000 Bonus + 10,000 Anniversary Miles Offer for “Preferred” Elite Members only*) <— Best Offer
  • Direct Link (50,000 Bonus Offer, No Anniversary Miles)

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

Annual Fee: $89 (not waived)

Expiration Date:  I expected this to disappear on Jan 18, 2015, but it is still live.

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.
  • 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:
    • Get 10% of your redeemed miles back,  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.  A free Club day pass.  Coming in 2015:   $100 flight discount each year you spend $30,000 on purchases (that’s pretty steep just to get a $100 discount though).  25% in-flight savings


2) American Express Business Gold

Links to Apply

Bonus:  There are 3 offers that you can get.  Open the link in different computers, browsers, private browsing, many times until you get the offer you want.  The 75k offer is the most difficult to get to appear (you may have to load the link even 100+ times to get it to work).  I know…it is annoying.

  1. 75,000 Membership Reward Points after spending $10,000 in 3 months (the most points for a big spend)
  2. 50,000 Membership Reward Points after spending $5,000 in 3 months (best bang for the buck, half the spend as #1 and still 50k points
  3. 25,000 Membership Reward Points after spending $5,000 in 3 months (terrible!  dont take this offer!)

Annual Fee: $0 first year, then $175

Why you should get it:

  • American Express has not offered a 75k bonus in some time — its nice to see it back (even though it may take some effort to get the offer to appear)
  • Which offer is best?  The 25k offer is clearly the worst!  If you can manage the spend of $10,000, go for the 75k offer.  For half the spend ($5k), the 50k offer is easier.
  • Amex Membership Reward Points are very useful.  They can be transferred to these partners: Delta, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air France, KLM, Alitalia, ANA, Asia Miles, British Airways, El Al, Emirates, Frontier, Hawaiian, Iberia, JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic

Hat Tip to PointsCentric for finding this fantastic offer.


3) Chase Ink Plus Business Credit Card

Links to Apply

  • Direct Link
  • My affiliate link:  Takes you to my business card post which contains a referral 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 60,000 Ultimate Reward Points (which are worth at least $700 if you redeem them for United Miles).  60k offer expires 3/1/15!

Annual Fee: $95 first year (not waived!)

Why you should get it:

  • This offer was recently 70k (first yr annual fee not waived) and 60k (first yr annual fee waived).  It fell to 50k and now its bumped up to 60k again!
  • 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”.


4) 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!!
  • Business 50k Offer (my referral link) (expired): this takes a few seconds extra to click through the link in my  Small Business – Rewarding Credit Cards post, 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 (bag fees for up to 5 people can add up!)
  • Get 10% back on redeemed American miles



5) 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. NEW PUBLIC OFFER for the Business Card: 50k bonus miles  (previously, only some people were eligible – see below)
  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 + 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.




6) British Airways Visa Signature

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.
  • Check out this helpful tool – type in your city and it shows you all the Avios Destinations by Price (HT to Wandering Aramean)


7) Ritz Carlton Rewards Card

Link to apply

Bonus: Limited Time Offer: After spending $3,000 in the first 3 months you receive 140,000 points

Annual Fee: $395 (not waived)

This card has a hefty annual fee but there is some potential here.  If a couple were to both get this card, they could transfer the points to SouthWest airlines and have enough to get the companion pass (transferred points count towards the requirements).  Once you have the companion pass, your companion flies free during the same + next year.  That’s potentially 2 years of free companion flights and it doesn’t matter if you book the flights using miles or cash – the companion flies free each time!  MillionMileSecrets does a good job explaining the different ways you can use this card and points.

Why you should get it:

  • Chance to get a SouthWest Companion Pass just by getting the bonus on 2 of these cards
  • $100 hotel credit for paid stays 2 nights+
  • $300 annual travel credit (this almost pays for the annual fee)
  • Airport lounge access
  • Gold 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! 

Note: If you click some links on this site, TheRewardBoss may receive a 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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  1. This is great – thank you so much for this! I have a few questions for you – please forgive me, I’ve never used airline miles whether with a credit card or rewards program or anything.

    1.) Do these points expire? Whether after a certain time or if you cancel the card you got them from?
    2.) Do you have to plan to get all the miles on one airline (in order for big purchases, like your business class Asia flights) or do most credit cards let you redeem on any (or least multiple) airline(s)?
    3.) How do you compare what is the best value / bang for your buck? For example, 100,000 miles means nothing to me – it’s so confusing because it’s not the actual miles the plane is traveling and it’s not $1,000 (or any nice multiple thereof). How can I determine what value/price/airfare I will get for given “miles” in order to compare across airlines and cards?
    4.) What strategies/cards/airlines do you recommend if I live in MN and eventually want to get to Australia or Fiji in business class and stay in luxury hotels?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

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