Greg’s top 10 picks (best of the best card offers)

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While transferable points cards usually dominate my best of the best offers list (because those are the best types of points!), this month you’ll find my list full of great offers AA & United miles and Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham hotel points.

Below you’ll find my picks and a dash of analysis for the top 5 6 consumer card offers and the top 5 6 business card offers.

Top Credit Card Offers

Background

Our Best Credit Card Offers page always shows the best offers sorted overall and within each card issuer by estimated first year value. This is a great non-biased way to compare credit card offers, but it misses nuances such as whether or not the rewards are easy to use, whether or not the card is worth keeping long term, etc. With this monthly series, I list my top consumer offers and top business offers, but with a small dash of analysis for each.

Top 6 Consumer Card Offers

OK, yeah, I’m cheating with 6 offers instead of just 5…

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant: 185K

Card Offer
95K Points ⓘ Affiliate
95k points after $6K spend within the first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
$650 Annual Fee
Recent better offer: 185K after $6K in first 6 momths [Expired 5/1/24]

185K is a terrific offer for a Marriott card. Yes, this card has an outrageous $650 annual fee, but it also comes with Platinum Elite status and $300 in dining rebates ($25 monthly).  I don’t recommend this for everyone, but if you’re planning a vacation where Marriott would fit your needs and this bonus would get you enough points to cover your stay, then this could be a great way to pay for your lodging and have elite status during your stay.  Note though that not all Marriott properties give Platinum elites good benefits.  Free breakfast is especially questionable. See this post for details: Marriott Platinum Elite Free Breakfast Simplified.

If you have other Marriott Bonvoy cards (or have had them in the past), you might not qualify for this offer.  See this post for details: Are you eligible for a new Marriott card?

Hilton Aspire: 175K plus free night

Card Offer
160K Points + free night certificate ⓘ Non-Affiliate
160K after $6K spend in first 6 months. Free night certificate every year - first certificate is awarded 8-12 weeks after approval. Terms apply.
$550 Annual Fee
After clicking through, be sure to select the card you want on the next page.
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

In my opinion, this is one of the best cards on the market to get for the welcome bonus and to keep long term. The card offers up to $400 back per year in Hilton resort rebates plus up to $200 per year towards flights. Those rebates alone more than make up for the card’s annual fee and yet you still get an uncapped free night each year plus top-tier Hilton Diamond status.

See also: Big changes to Hilton Aspire and Surpass cards

Amex Gold: 90K

Card Offer
75K Points + 20% back at restaurants ⓘ Non-Affiliate
75K points after $6K in purchases in the first 6 months + 20% back at restaurants for the first 12 months up to $250 back. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
$250 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: 90K after $6K in the first 6 months + 20% back at restaurants for the first 12 months up to $250 back [Expired 6/8/22]

The Amex Gold Card has been a favorite of ours since it debuted with its 4X dining and grocery categories (see above for details). Note that the alternate 75K Resy offer is potentially even better for those who spend a lot on dining.

See also: Amex Membership Rewards Points Complete Guide

Capital One Venture X: 75K

Card Offer
75K Miles ⓘ Affiliate
75k miles after $4k spend within first 3 months. (Rates & Fees)
$395 Annual Fee
Recent better offer: Expired 3/14/22: 100K after $10K spend in 6 months + $200 credit for vacation rental spend in first year

This is a very good welcome bonus for an excellent card. This is an excellent card to get and to keep. The $395 annual fee is justified by its annual $300 travel credits and 10K bonus “miles” each anniversary. Then, the rest of the card’s features are gravy: earn 2x transferable points everywhere, free authorized users, Priority Pass membership with free guests for you and your authorized users (but unfortunately without Priority Pass restaurants or experiences), cell phone insurance, access to Capital One lounges, etc.

See also: Everything you want to know about Capital One and the Venture X

American Airlines: 70K after adding user + first purchase

Card Offer
Up to 70K Miles ⓘ Friend-Referral
Up to 70K miles: 60k miles after 1st purchase and paying the annual fee within 90 days + 10K miles when you add an authorized user & they make a purchase within first 90 days.
$99 Annual Fee
Recent better offer: Up to 75K: 60K miles after first purchase and 15K after adding an authorized user and making one purchase on that card [Expired 2/24/24]

It’s rare these days to see a compelling welcome bonus that doesn’t require much spend. You can meet the requirements of this offer simply by adding an authorized user and using each card to buy a cup of coffee. Plus, if you’re interested in eventually getting the best AA card on the market (see this post for details) you need to start with the Aviator Red and look for an upgrade offer.

Wyndham: 100K

Card Offer

While the business version of this card is a better choice overall, the chance here to earn 100,000 points after only $2,000 spend is hard to ignore.

More Great Consumer Card Offers

Here is an unfiltered list of all of the consumer rewards cards we track sorted by best estimated first year value (e.g. sorted with the best welcome bonuses on top):

Card Offer Mini
UBS Visa Infinite
Up to 100K points (call to apply)
ⓘ $825 1st Yr Value Estimate
Free Spirit Travel More Mastercard
45K Points + $100 Voucher + $100 Statement Credit
ⓘ $672 1st Yr Value Estimate
UBS Visa Signature
Up to 50K points (call to apply)
ⓘ $300 1st Yr Value Estimate
Discover it®
$100 Back + First Year Double
ⓘ $100 1st Yr Value Estimate

Top 6 Business Card Offers

I’m cheating with 6 offers instead of 5…

Applying for Business Credit Cards: You must have a business to apply, but even a simple sole proprietorship will work. It's likely that you have a business even if you don't realize it.
More:You must have a business (but you probably do): In order to apply for a business credit card, you must have a business. That said, it's common for people to have businesses without realizing it. If you sell items at a yard sale or on eBay, for example, then you have a business. Similar examples include: consulting, writing (e.g. blog authorship, planning your first novel, etc.), handyman services, owning rental property, renting on airbnb, driving for Uber or Lyft, etc. In any of these cases, your business is considered a Sole Proprietorship unless you form a corporation of some sort.
When you apply for a business credit card as a sole proprietor, you can use your own name as your business name, use your own address and phone as the business' address and phone, and your social security number as the business' Tax ID / EIN. Alternatively, you can get a proper Tax ID / EIN from the IRS for free, in about a minute, through this website.
Is it OK to use business cards for personal expenses? Anecdotally, almost everyone I know uses business cards for personal expenses. That said, the terms in most business card applications state that you should use the card only for business use. Also, some consumer credit card protections do not apply to business cards. My advice: don't use the card for personal expenses if you're not comfortable doing so.

Amex Business Platinum: 250K

This offer is absolutely spectacular, but it requires quite a bit of work and luck to find it. Some steps that seem to work include:

  • Using a fresh browser
  • Using a VPN in either Dallas or Denver
  • Searching for “American Express Business Platinum” in a search engine. It seems most common to come across a 190K offer, but some have been able to trigger 250K by waiting for that 190K landing page to expire and then hitting “refresh”.

See the comments in this post for examples where people have been able to generate this offer.

Note: Once you find the offer, apply without logging in to your American Express account.

Ink Business Unlimited: 120K

Card Offer
75K points ⓘ Affiliate
75K after $6K spend in 3 months
No Annual Fee
Alternate Offer: You may be able to get an offer of 120,000 points after $6,000 in purchases via a Business Relationship Manager.
Recent better offer: 90K after $6K spend in 6 monthd (expired 1/17/24)

This isn’t as much of a “must have” card as the Ink Business Cash, but the 120K welcome bonus (details here) is incredible.

See also: How to sign up for Chase Ink cards

Amex Business Gold 130K

Card Offer
130K points after $10K spend in 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
$375 Annual Fee
Information about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.
Recent better offer: (Expired 2/1/24) 130K referral offer after $10K in spend

This is a great offer for anyone can meet the big spend requirement. Additionally, the card’s $20 per month rebate on eligible purchases at FedEx, Grubhub, and office supply stores help to cushion the annual fee.

Note: You may be able to find an even better offer. See this post: Amex Business Gold: 150k offer available online and by phone (targeted).

See also: American Express Business Gold Credit Card Review

Capital One Venture X Business Card: 150K

Card Offer
150K Miles ⓘ Affiliate
Earn a one-time bonus of 150K miles after $30K spend in the first 3 months
$395 Annual Fee
Recent better offer: Expired 3/31/23: 250K Miles after $50K in spend.

The Venture X Business card is almost identical to the consumer Venture X, but it is a business charge card. Both cards offer excellent perks and basically pay for themselves with their annual point bonuses and travel credits. One big difference between this card and its consumer card twin is that the business version doesn’t offer Priority Pass for employee cards (the consumer version offers free Priority Pass for each free authorized user card), but the business version does let you use Priority Pass at restaurants and for experiences while the consumer card’s Priority Pass can only be used for airport lounges.

See also: Capital One “Miles” Complete Guide.

United Business: 100K

Card Offer
75K Miles ⓘ Affiliate
75K miles after $5K spend in first 3 months.
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
After clicking through, be sure to click the link at the top that says, "Are you a small business owner?" to see the business card offers that include this card. You are not eligible for the bonus if you have received the bonus on this card within the past 24 months. Please note that the United EXPLORER Business card (no longer available) is a different product and does not affect your ability to get the bonus on this card.

While this isn’t the biggest offer we’ve seen for this card, I like that this one requires only $5K spend. And the card has decent perks for only $99 per year:

  • Improved saver award availability
  • Free first checked bag
  • Priority boarding
  • No foreign exchange fees
  • 2 United Club passes per year at anniversary
  • Primary auto rental collision damage waiver
  • 5,000 bonus miles at anniversary when you have this card and also a personal Chase United credit card
  • 25% back on United in-flight purchases

Those who also have a fee-free United card like the United Gateway card will recoup most of the business card’s annual fee each year from the 5,000 bonus miles perk. And the United Club passes could come in handy as well. Free checked bags can also be valuable, but note that United is one of the few airlines that require that you pay for the flight with your airline card in order to use the feature (see: Free Checked Bags via Credit Card Complete Guide).

Ink Business Cash: 75K + great 5X categories

Card Offer
Up to 75K points ⓘ Affiliate
35K after $3K spend in 3 months and an additional 40K points after $6K spend in 6 months. In addition, 10% Business Relationship bonus if you have the Ink Business Cash and a Chase Business Checking account on your first anniversary.
No Annual Fee
Alternate Offer: If you have a household member with an Ink card, you may prefer the referral offer whereby the referrer can earn 40,000 points and the new account holder can earn 75,000 points after $6,000 in purchases in the first 3 months since it will yield more total points.
Recent better offer: 90K after $6K spend in 6 monthd (expired 1/17/24

This fee-free card belongs in every point collector’s wallet. It offers 5X for office supplies and 5X for phone service, cable TV, and internet (on up to $25,000 in total purchases in 5X categories annually). Many families would do well to setup their phone, TV, and internet bills to autopay from the Ink Business Cash card in order to earn 5X rewards without any effort whatsoever. Those willing to do a little bit of work will find that stores like Staples and Office Depot sell lots of gift cards in-store; and Staples.com sells them online. In both cases, you’ll earn 5X buying gift cards so that you can ultimately buy what you really want.

See also: How to sign up for Chase Ink cards

More Great Business Card Offers

Here is an unfiltered list of all of the business rewards cards we track sorted by best estimated first year value (e.g. sorted with the best welcome bonuses on top):

Card Offer Mini
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
Earn 3 Free Night Awards - Valued at up to 50K points each, up to 150K points total.
ⓘ $751 1st Yr Value Estimate
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173 Comments
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Suzanne

I would love to open one business account and one personal account. Suggestions as to the best?

jeff

I obtained a Marriott Brilliant card in August. I recently applied for the Marriott AMEX Business Bonvoy with the 125k offer and was refused. I wonder why that would be the case, as the Brilliant card was the only one I have opened in the past few years? When would it make sense to reapply?

usernamechuck

Just a note to say that I tend to come back to this page throughout the month as I think of next steps. It’s not perfect, but it’s a great resource to have all this at one’s fingertips. I don’t say I follow FM’s trail everywhere it leads, but when my inclinations line up with your recs, that’s a pretty good indicator.

Lee

Amex Marriott Brilliant now up to 250k. In a 150k plus 75k format. Not certain if it’s targeted.

Repeat Offender Captain Greg

Curious why you didn’t include the delta cards. In most cases, the first year value of the delta cards is higher than any of these other airline offers.

Frank

Greg, small point: On the Ink Business Preferred: 100K, you say: “Who shouldn’t get it: Don’t apply if you don’t have a business or if you’re over 5/24″.
But that should be “Don’t apply if you don’t have a business or if you’re not UNDER 5/24”.

Arthur Leyenberger

Not sure about the requirements for the 200k AMEX BIZ Plat offer. In the separate post, I understood it to say that I must do the checking account AND the $15k spend to get the 200K MRs. I already have the AMEX checking (from the original offer) so if I just do the spend will I get the MRs?

Frank

You would get the 150K only.

Mark H

I was thinking about replacing my vanilla Platinum with the Schwab as I’d prefer a reasonable cash out option, but the linked page shows only 80K, not, 100K. Has the offer gone down?

William

Would you recommend applying for the current Platinum offer (150K + $200) or wait until early December to apply given the ability to triple dip the calendar year credits? I’d very likely only hold for 1 year and cancel after second AF posts.

jeph36

When I click the 160K link for the Amex Biz Plat, it shows a 155K bonus – 150K for the card, 5K for the AU. And then when I click thru and login, it says it is no longer available (not sure if that means it is unavailable just for me, or for everyone).

However I did just receive an email for the 200K Biz Plat + Biz checking with an Apr 30 expiration. I already have the checking (60K bonus should be posting soon), does anyone know if I can do it again to get a net 50K bonus assuming I get another Biz Plat?

Nate

That streets are saying csp may go 90k soon.

Michael

Greg: you mention that the $50K spend requirement for the Capital One Venture X Business Card could possibly be better spent elsewhere. “Also, if you prefer to sign up for lots of cards, you can do much better with $50K of spend.” Could you give me an example(s) of what you are referring to?

jeph36

Greg is referring to doing several sign-up bonuses rather than just the one with Cap1. For example, from the list above, you could get an Amex Business Platinum with $15K required spend and a Chase Ink with $6K required spend. If you wanted to only be applying for business cards (e.g. to stay under 5/24), and if you wanted to spread your applications across banks, you could add the BofA Alaska Biz card for $4K and the Barclays AA or JetBlue Biz card for $2K, taking your total to $27K and still with $23K for spend on different new cards. You need to give 90 days and then you can apply for another Biz Plat or Chase Ink (though by then the 90K bonus will probably be gone), or maybe get a Amex Biz Gold or … there are a lot of options. I am not factoring in all the annual fees, you would need to look at the annual fee costs as well as the value to you of all the points/cash-back earned in bonuses and the perks provided by the cards (e.g. how much are the Dell credits on the Biz Plat worth to you).

Michael

Thank you!

usernamechuck

A couple small things – for Ink Biz Preferred, current CIC is 90% of points with 40% of minimum spend – not 75% and 50%.

Also, I thought you could no longer get IHG premier if you had the old IHG card. I gather it may not always be enforced?

CharlesinNYC

I have both the Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited cards for some years now. In my chase account, I see offers “Just for You” for both of the 90k offers plus the Ink Preferred cards. Is it possible to receive the SUB again for the Inks, and have two of the same cards?

Champz

Yes.

Lee

Greg, I’ve heard that there needs to be at least 90 days between Amex NLL offers on the same card type. Any thoughts? Thanks.