Greg’s Top Picks: Blockbuster Offers Continue

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Despite many good challengers, the Amex Platinum card continues to hold the top spot on my list of favorite signup offers.  If you go through the right link, you can get 125K points plus an unheard of 15x (yes, 15 points per dollar!) at small businesses and restaurants for 6 months.  Craziness! Below you’ll find my favorite current welcome bonuses divided into three sections: blockbuster offers, excellent offers, and very good offers.

Top Credit Card Offers

Background

Marriott once offered an amazing welcome bonus for the Bonvoy Boundless card: 5 free nights, worth up to 50K points each.  This was arguably the best hotel credit card offer we’ve ever seen. But we didn’t recommend it to most people.  It was a great offer for those who knew they would be traveling to Marriott hotels within the next year, but terrible for everyone else.

Our Best Credit Card Offers page always shows the best offers sorted by estimated first year value.  This is a great non-biased way to compare credit card offers, but it misses nuances as discussed above.  With this monthly series, I list my favorite current credit card offers, but with a dash of analysis.  With each offer, I point out who should care about it and who shouldn’t.  I also include a “Wait for better” section with the cards that I think may soon have better offers.

Blockbuster Offers

Amex Platinum: 125K + 15X!

Card Offer
The Platinum Card® from American Express
125K points + 10x restaurants worldwide
125K after $6K spend in first 6 months plus 10x at restaurants worldwide on up to $25K in purchases in the first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$695 Annual Fee

Info 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: 125K after $6K in the first 6 months + 15x when you Shop Small in the US and at restaurants worldwide on up to $25K in eligible purchases in the first 6 months [Expired 1/20/22]

This offer is crazy good!  125K points alone is a great offer, but this offer also includes 15X points at small businesses in the U.S. and restaurants worldwide for six months on up to $25K spend.  If you were to max out that spend, you would end up with 500,000 points between the 125K bonus and the 15X earnings!   We’ve never ever seen a 15X opportunity like this before and I doubt we will again.  It’s madness!

Who should get it: Pretty much anyone who hasn’t been the primary cardholder of the  Amex Platinum card in the past 5-7 years should at least consider this offer in my opinion.  This is especially good for those who will spend a lot at small businesses in the U.S. and restaurants worldwide.  Note that many businesses tend to code as small businesses even if they don’t seem all that small.  Local grocery stores, gyms, veterinarians are just a few examples that might code as a small business.

Who shouldn’t get it: The Amex Platinum card will add to your 5/24 count (but this one is worth it anyway).  The value of the welcome bonus far exceeds the card’s $695 annual fee, but if you can’t afford to spend that much in return for this huge bonus, then you should skip it.

Timing your application: I don’t have any idea how long this offer will last.

See also:

Amex Platinum for Schwab or Morgan Stanley: 100K + 10x

Card Offer
The Platinum Card® from American Express Exclusively for Morgan Stanley
100K points
100K after $6K spend in first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$695 Annual Fee

Info 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: 100K points + 10x when you Shop Small in the US & at restaurants worldwide [Expired 1/20/22]

The offers for these co-branded Platinum cards aren’t as good as for the vanilla Platinum card, but they’re still excellent offers.  Plus, if you’ve had the vanilla Platinum card before, you can still get the bonus for either or both of these variations.  The Morgan Stanley variation has a huge advantage too: it offers a free Platinum authorized user and it’s possible to get the full annual fee back every year by jumping through a few hoops.  See: Morgan Stanley Platinum Card Fee Free (how to earn the $695 Annual Engagement Bonus).

Who should get it: Anyone who hasn’t had this particular Platinum variation before and who has an account (or is willing to open one) with Schwab or Morgan Stanley.

Who shouldn’t get it: These cards will add to your 5/24 count (but they’re worth it anyway).  The value of the welcome bonus far exceeds the card’s $695 annual fee, but if you can’t afford to spend that much in return for this huge bonus, then you should skip it.

Timing your application: I don’t have any idea how long these offers will last.  If you’re interested in the Schwab card because of its ability to cash out rewards at a favorable rate, then sign up ASAP.  Starting 9/1/21, the value of cashing out rewards will drop from 1.25 cents per point to 1.1 cents per point.

See also:

Amex Business Platinum: 150K, get it again.

Card Name w Details No Review (no offer)
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Annual Fee: $695

Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel
Other

Earning rate: 5X flights and prepaid hotels at AmexTravel.com ⚬ 1.5X points per dollar on eligible purchases of $5000 or more (on up to $2 million of those purchases per year) ⚬ 1.5x on US construction/hardware stores, US electronic goods, and US shipping ⚬ 1X elsewhere ⚬ Terms apply.

Noteworthy perks: Up to $200 a year in statement credits for airline incidental fees ⚬ Up to $400 a year in statement credits for Dell purchases ($200 Jan-June; $200 July-Dec) ⚬ Up to $120 in wireless services credits per year ($10 per month) ⚬ Up to $360 per year in credit with Indeed (up to $90 per quarter ⚬ Up to $150 per year in purchases with Adobe for annual prepaid plans for eligible Creative Cloud for teams and Acrobat Pro DC with e-sign ⚬ $100 Global Entry fee reimbursement.⚬ Airport lounge benefits ⚬ Rental car elite status ⚬ Marriott Gold status ⚬ Hilton Gold status. ⚬ $179 CLEAR fee reimbursement annually ⚬ 35% Airline Bonus: Get 35% points back after you Pay With Points for flights with your selected airline (or premium cabin with any airline). Enrollment required for select benefits

See also: Amex Platinum Guide

Forget the standard 100K bonus for this card.  If you are a current Amex business-card holder, it’s worth checking the link found in this post to see if you are eligible for the 150K offer: Bypass Amex’s lifetime rule when you “expand your membership”.  The amazing thing about this offer, is that many find that they are qualified even if they’ve had the Business Platinum card before, and even if they currently have one.  Yep, you can add a second Business Platinum card to your wallet and still earn the huge welcome bonus.

Who should get it: This is an excellent offer for the Business Platinum card but it still requires $15K spend. Sign up for this offer only if you’re sure you will meet that spend requirement.

Who shouldn’t get it: If $15K spend is too steep for you, skip this offer.

Timing your application: If you are eligible for the 150K offer and can meet the spend requirement, it’s worth jumping on this one while you can.

See also:

Capital One Venture X: 100K + $200

Card Offer and Details
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
100K miles + Up to $200 statement credit
Earn a one-time bonus of 100K Capital One miles after $10K spend in the first 6 months + a limited-time bonus of up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rentals charged to your card in the first year

$395 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: This card offers annual rebates that easily mitigate the fee for those who travel often and could be worth it for the lounge access and travel protections given the cost/benefit ratio. Authorized users are free and also get access to perks like Priority Pass, Capital One Lounges, and Hertz President's Circle status. The card earns 2 "miles" per dollar on most purchases just like the Capital One Venture Rewards card, which are worth exactly 1 cent each toward travel. This makes the return on most spend similar to a 2% cash back card (though in this case you must redeem your miles to offset travel in order to get 1 cent per mile). One big advantage over cash back: Capital One allows transfering their "miles" to airline miles & hotel points.


Card Type: Visa Infinite

Base
Other

Earning rate: 10X on hotels and rental cars booked via Capital One Travel ⚬ 5x on flights booked via Capital One travel. ⚬ 2X everywhere else.

Noteworthy perks: Up to $300 in statement credits annually for bookings made through Capital One Travel ⚬ 10,000 bonus miles each year starting at first anniversary ⚬ Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® ⚬ Cell phone insurance ⚬ Trip delay / cancellation insurance ⚬ Primary CDW coverage Redeem miles for travel at value of 1 cent per mile ⚬ Convert "miles" to airline miles & hotel points ⚬ No foreign transaction fees

This is an excellent welcome bonus for an excellent card.  You can use the 100K bonus directly to offset travel purchases at a penny per “mile” or you can get even better value by transferring to airline and hotel partners when you find outsized value awards.  In my opinion, this is one of the best cards on the market to get and to keep.  It’s $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, cell phone insurance, access to Capital One lounges, etc.

Who shouldn’t get it: This card will add to your 5/24 count, so if you’re trying to get or stay under 5/24 you won’t want to get this one just yet.

Timing your application: Sign up soon as we don’t know how long this will last.

See also:

Brex Cash: 110K Transferable Points

Card Offer
Brex Cash
Up to 110K Points
30K points after $3.5K spend, or 80K points after $9K spend within 30 days. Plus 10K after $3K spend in 3 months and 20K when you connect payroll to Brex.

No Annual Fee

This offer is very different from the usual credit card signup offer.  In this case, instead of signing up for a credit card, you sign up for a Brex business cash management account.  That account happens to come with a credit card that acts like a debit card: your credit limit is tied to the amount of cash in your cash account (usually 80% of available cash). You can cash out Brex points for a penny each (110K points = $1,100 cash!) or transfer points 1 to 1 to airline transfer partners.

To qualify for this offer, you must own a business that is registered in the United States as a C-corp, S-corp, LLC, or LLP.

Applying for Brex Cash won’t trigger a credit pull and it won’t add to your 5/24 count.  The only reason I can think of for those with qualifying businesses not to apply is that there’s a very large and short-term minimum spend requirement in order to earn the full bonus.

Who should get it: Anyone who owns a business that is registered in the United States as a C-corp, S-corp, LLC, or LLP should jump on this deal.  This account does not affect your Chase 5/24 status and there is no hard pull on your credit account.

Who shouldn’t get it: Don’t apply if you don’t own a qualifying business or if you’re unable to meet the spend requirement.

Timing your application: It’s unclear how long this offer will last. If you qualify, you might as well sign up right away.

See also: Brex Bonus: 110K transferable points without a credit inquiry

Excellent Offers

Citi Premier: 80K

Card Offer and Details
Citi Premier Card
N/A
This card is temporarily unavailable via Frequent Miler

$95 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Very strong earnings for spend. Excellent bonus categories. Points transferable to select airlines. Recommend pairing this card with Citi Double Cash and Citi Rewards+. Sadly, this travel card doesn't provide any travel protections.


Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Travel
Dine
Gas
Grocery

Earning rate: 3X grocery ⚬ 3X dining ⚬ 3X gas stations ⚬ 3X flights, hotels, travel agencies

Noteworthy perks: Transfer points to airline partners ⚬ $100 Annual Hotel Savings Benefit

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

The Citi Premier card offers excellent earnings on spend (3X grocery; 3X dining; 3X gas stations; 3X flights, hotels, travel agencies) and unlocks the ability to transfer ThankYou points to airline programs.

Who should get it: The Premier card is a good choice for those who value points transferrable to airline programs.  If you also have the Citi Double Cash and Rewards Plus combination, then the Premier card is a fantastic add-on.  See: Citi’s awesome trio –Double Cash, Premier, Rewards+.

Who shouldn’t get it: If you prefer easier to use rewards and/or hotel rewards, then you may want to skip this one.

Timing your application: We don’t know how long the 80K offer will last.

See also:

Ink Business Cash: 75K + great 5X categories

Card Offer and Details
Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
75K points
75K after $7.5K spend in 3 months

No Annual Fee

See: How to sign up for Chase Ink cards

Recent better offer: None. This is the best we've seen.

FM Mini Review: This one should be in everyone's wallet. Incredible signup bonus for a no-fee card. Great card for 5X categories. Excellent companion card to Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred.


Card Type: Visa Signature Business

Base
Dine
Gas
Phone
Office
Other

Earning rate: 5X office supplies ⚬ 5X cellular/landline/cable (on up to $25,000 in total purchases in 5x categories annually) ⚬ 2X gas and restaurants ⚬ 5X Lyft through March 2022

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

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.

The 75K offer does require $7,500 spend, but imagine if you spent all of that within 5X categories… you would earn 37,500 points to add to the 75K for a total of 112,500!

Who should get it: Anyone with a premium Ultimate Rewards card (Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred) in the household should consider getting the Chase Ink Business Cash.  The Ink Cash makes it easy to earn points quickly and the premium cards (especially the Sapphire Reserve) make your points more valuable.

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 sign up 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.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.  This is true for Chase business cards too: you won't be approved if you are over 5/24. That said, if you are under 5/24 and get approved for a Chase business card, that card won't add to your 5/24 count.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Who shouldn’t get it: Don’t apply if you don’t have a business or if you’re over 5/24.

Timing your application: Sign up before going over 5/24.

See also:

Ink Business Unlimited: 75K + 1.5X everywhere

Card Offer and Details
Chase Ink Business Unlimited
75K points
75K after $7.5K spend in 3 months

No Annual Fee

See: How to sign up for Chase Ink cards

Recent better offer: None. This is the best we've seen.

FM Mini Review: Great signup bonus for a fee-free card. Good option for earning 1.5X everywhere. Good companion card to Ink Business Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred.


Card Type: Visa Signature Business

Base
Other

Earning rate: 1.5X on all purchases ⚬ 5X Lyft through through March 2022

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

This isn’t as much of a “must have” card as the Ink Cash, but the welcome bonus is similarly awesome.  It is possible to get both cards even if you have only one business.

Who should get it: Anyone with a business who can qualify for this offer should consider it.

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 sign up 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.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.  This is true for Chase business cards too: you won't be approved if you are over 5/24. That said, if you are under 5/24 and get approved for a Chase business card, that card won't add to your 5/24 count.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Who shouldn’t get it: Don’t apply if you don’t have a business or if you’re over 5/24.

Timing your application: Sign up before going over 5/24.

See also:

British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus: 100K

Card Offer and Details
Chase British Airways Visa Signature® Card
100K Avios
Get 100K Avios after $5K spend in first 3 months. Also get 5x on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL for first 12 months (then 3x) and 3x on hotels booked directly with the hotel for first 12 months (then 2x)

$95 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Good choice for a nice signup bonus. Award rebate makes the card a keeper if you frequently book awards from the US to Europe.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Brand

Earning rate: 5X British Airways. Iberia, and LEVEL purchases for 12 months (then 3x) ⚬ 3X hotel accommodations booked directly with the hotel (then 2X) ⚬ 1X elsewhere

Big spend bonus: Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your British Airways Visa card, you’ll earn a Travel Together companion Ticket good for two years.

Noteworthy perks: Up to $600 per year in award fee rebates ⚬ 10% off BA flights originating in the US.

Chase Iberia Visa Signature® Card
100K Avios
Get 100K Avios after $5K spend in first 3 months. Also get 5x on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL for first 12 months (then 3x) and 3x on hotels booked directly with the hotel for first 12 months (then 2x)

$95 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Good choice for a nice signup bonus. Unless you fly Iberia often or intend to go for the big spend bonus, though, I don't see it as a compelling card to keep past the first year.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Brand

Earning rate: 3X Iberia, British Airways, Aer Lingus, LEVEL and OpenSkie ⚬ 1X elsewhere

Big spend bonus: Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your Iberia Visa card, you’ll earn a discount voucher good for $1,000 to use toward two tickets on the same flight

Noteworthy perks: 10% off on Iberia flights when you use your Iberia Visa to purchase at iberia.com/Chase10

Chase Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card
100K Avios
Get 100K Avios after $5K spend in first 3 months. Also get 5x on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, and LEVEL for first 12 months (then 3x) and 3x on hotels booked directly with the hotel for first 12 months (then 2x)

$95 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Good choice for a nice signup bonus. Unless you intend to go for the big spend bonus, though, I don't see it as a compelling card to keep past the first year.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Brand

Earning rate: ⚬ 3X Aer Lingus, Iberia, British Airways, LEVEL and OpenSkies ⚬ 1X elsewhere

Big spend bonus: Every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your Aer Lingus Visa card, you’ll earn an economy class companion ticket good for 1 year.

In a normal world, 100,000 airline miles for $5,000 spend would be huge news.  Today, these excellent offers get lost in the crowd.  And truthfully, the points earned from these offers (Avios) can be very valuable, but only for specific types of awards.  These are great offers if you know how to use Avios towards great value (and you plan to do so).

Who should get it: Those under 5/24 who know how to get great value from Avios.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Who shouldn’t get it: If you’re not already an Avios fan, I’d recommend looking elsewhere.

Timing your application: We do not know how long these offers will last.

See also:

Very Good Offers

Freedom Unlimited or Flex: Up to 80K

Card Offer
Chase Freedom Flex
20K points + 5X grocery + 15 months 0% APR
Earn 20,000 points (worth $200 cash back) after spending $500 in the first 3 months + 5x Ultimate Rewards points (worth 5% cash back) on grocery purchases for 1st year (on up to $12K in purchases, excludes Target & Walmart). 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.

No Annual Fee

This card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule (click here for details). Even though this card is marketed as a cash back card, it actually earns Ultimate Rewards points which are redeemable for 1 cent each, or can be combined with other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards to get even more value. This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.

Info about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Chase Freedom Unlimited
Extra 1.5x everywhere + 15 months 0% APR
Earn an extra 1.5x everywhere on up to $20K in purchases for the first 12 months. 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.

No Annual Fee

This card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule (click here for details). Even though this card is marketed as a cash back card, it actually earns Ultimate Rewards points which are redeemable for 1 cent each, or can be combined with other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards to get even more value. This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.

Now that Chase has added valuable bonus categories to these cards, it’s definitely worth adding at least one of the two to your arsenal.  Both cards offer 5X Ultimate Rewards for travel booked through Chase; 3X for dining; and 3X drugstores.  The Freedom Unlimited rounds this out with 1.5X everywhere else whereas the Freedom Flex offers 5X in categories that change each quarter.  If you don’t already have a great “everywhere else” card, then the Freedom Unlimited is the better choice, otherwise go for the Freedom Flex.

This is a good time to pick up a Freedom card thanks to the improved welcome bonus.  The old bonus was for 20K points after $500 spend.  Now, you get the same 20K points but also earn 5X at grocery stores for 12 months on up to $12K in purchases.  If you spend $1K per month at grocery stores and nothing else on these cards, you’ll end up with 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points (20K from the initial bonus + 60K from 5X spend at grocery stores).

Who should get it: Anyone with a premium Ultimate Rewards card (Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred) in the household should consider getting one of these cards.  The Freedom cards make it easy to earn points quickly and the premium cards (especially the Sapphire Reserve) make your points more valuable.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Who shouldn’t get it: Anyone trying to stay under 5/24.

Timing your application: We don’t yet know when these offers expire.

See also:

Ink Business Preferred: 100K

Card Offer and Details
Chase Ink Business Preferred Card
100K points
100K after $15K spend in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

See: How to sign up for Chase Ink cards

Recent better offer: 80K after $5K spend. Many preferred the 80K offer due to the much lower spend requirement

FM Mini Review: Great card for signup bonus and 3X categories. Also consider the fee-free Ink Business Cash for its 5X categories, and the fee-free Ink Business Unlimited to earn 1.5X everywhere.


Card Type: Visa Signature Business

Base
Travel
Phone
Biz
Other

Earning rate: 3X travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising with social media sites (up to $150K spend per year) ⚬ 5X Lyft through March 2022

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Points worth 25% more when redeemed for travel ⚬ Transfer points to airline & hotel partners ⚬ Cell phone protection against theft or damage

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

This continues to be an excellent offer, but it is overshadowed by the Ink Business Cash and Ink Business Unlimited offers, each of which offer 3/4th as many points for half of the minimum spend.

Who should get it: Anyone with a business who can qualify for this offer and can meet the hefty minimum spend requirements should consider it.

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 sign up 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.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.  This is true for Chase business cards too: you won't be approved if you are over 5/24. That said, if you are under 5/24 and get approved for a Chase business card, that card won't add to your 5/24 count.
To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

Who shouldn’t get it: Don’t apply if you don’t have a business or if you’re over 5/24.

Timing your application: Sign up before going over 5/24.

See also:

Amex Gold Card: 75K + $250

Card Offer and Details
American Express® Gold Card
75K Points + up to $250 back
75K after $4K spend in first 6 months plus 20% back as a statement credit on restaurant purchases worldwide for the first 12 months up to $250 back. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$250 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: This card offers an awesome return on US supermarket and worldwide dining spend, putting it at or near the top-of-class in both categories. Dining credits and Uber / Uber Eats credits go a long way towards reducing the sting of this card's annual fee.


Card Type: Amex Pay Over Time Card

Base
Travel
Dine
Grocery

Earning rate: 3X points for flights booked with airlines or on amextravel.com ⚬ 4x points at US Supermarkets (up to $25K in purchases, then 1x) ⚬ 4x at restaurants worldwide ⚬ 1X points on other purchases. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

Noteworthy perks: Up to $10 in statement credits monthly with participating dining partners (Boxed.com, Shake Shack, Seamless/Grubhub, Cheesecake Factory and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse) ⚬ $10 monthly Uber or Uber Eats credit (use it or lose it each month) ⚬ Complimentary Uber Eats Pass Membership for up to 12 months (must enroll by 12/31/21) ⚬ $100 hotel credit on qualifying charges on stays of 2 nights or longer, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc ⚬ Enrollment required for select benefits.

The Amex Gold Card has been a favorite of ours since it debuted with its 4X dining and grocery categories (see above for details), but for quite a while the best offer for this card topped out at 45K points.  Obviously 75K points + $250 towards dining is much better!  Consider that you’ll likely use this card at restaurants and food delivery services anyway (for 4X rewards), so you should be able to earn the full $250 rebate through regular dining spend over the next 12 months.

Who should get it: Anyone who values the card’s bonus categories.  As long as you haven’t had this card or the old Premier Rewards Gold card in the past 7 years, you should qualify for this one.

Who shouldn’t get it: The Amex Gold card will add to your 5/24 count, so if you’re trying to stay under 5/24 you won’t want this one.

Timing your application:  I don’t think there’s a hurry to get in on the current deal.

See also:

JetBlue Plus & Business: Up to 70K

Card Offer
Barclays JetBlue Plus Mastercard
50K Miles
50K miles after $1K spend and payment of the annual fee in 90 days

$99 Annual Fee

Info about this card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

Alternate offer: You could get a bonus 5K miles for using an employee code. Details here.

Recent better offer: Expired 2/4/21: 100K after $6K spend

JetBlue Business Card
Up to 70K Miles
Up to 70K miles: 50K after $1K spend in 90 days plus 20K after $6K spend in the first 12 months

$99 Annual Fee

While these offers aren’t as good as the 100K offers that expired in February, they’re still excellent.  Normally I’d recommend the business card over the Plus card since the business card won’t add to your 5/24 count.  In this case, though, the Plus card only requires $1K of spend to get the full bonus whereas the business card requires a total of $6K spend (but you do have 12 months to complete that spend).

Either card is a great choice to get and to keep if you’re a regular JetBlue flyer.  Both offer a free checked bag, 5,000 bonus points every anniversary, and a 10% point rebate on awards.  These perks alone can easily offset the $99 annual fee.

Who should get it: Anyone looking to add to their JetBlue points balance.

Who shouldn’t get it: Avoid the Plus card if you’re trying to get under (or stay under) 5/24.

Timing your application:  I don’t know how long these offers will last, but my guess is that we’ll have plenty of opportunities for similar bonuses in the future.

Hilton Aspire: 150K plus free night

Card Offer

This is the card’s usual great offer, but it’s worth applying soon because the free nights earned from this card prior to the end of 2021 will be valid at least until the end of 2022 and for any day of the week, not just weekends (see this post for details).

Who should get it: Anyone who is good at using the card’s annual rebates should get this card since those rebates more than make up for the card’s annual fee, and then the annual free night and Diamond status are fantastic bonuses.

Who shouldn’t get it: If you don’t think you’ll fully use the card’s $250 resort credit and $250 airline fee rebate, then get this card only if you very highly value Diamond elite status and the card’s annual free night.

Timing your application: Get the card this year so that your first free night will be good any day of the week.

See also: A new ultra-premium card, in-depth review: Amex Hilton Aspire

Wait for better

Sapphire Reserve

Card Offer
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
60K Points
60K after $4K spend in 3 months

$550 Annual Fee

Personally, I think the Sapphire Reserve is a great travel card.  If you’re a frequent traveler, you should at least consider obtaining this card.  That said, the welcome bonus for the Sapphire Preferred card is better.  If you don’t need the Sapphire Reserve’s perks right away, a better play may be to sign up for the cheaper Sapphire Preferred and then upgrade to the Sapphire Reserve a year later

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Oliver

Chase Aeroplan card?

D.W.

The title for the Amex Gold offer needs to be updated to 75k, you still have the title listed at 60k, but I think the actual offer is correct.

hank

Hey Greg,
I was thinking should I “trade” my Hilton AmEx in for an AmEx that provides airline travel points and then transfer the acquired points for use at hotels? I don’t travel much of late except for personal fairly regional travel that I use at Hilton, but I may start working again and thus “travel again”

erika Hamilton

Listened to your podcast recently about the 15x small business resy offer. How are you tracking what codes as small business? I dont see any way to track what is offering bonus points (under the K07M coding) to the particular purchase, which makes it hard to max out the rewards points. From the podcast, it sounded like you and NIck were somehow able to track what was coding.

RD DD

I already have two Business Platinums. Now they targeted me with the 150k points offer again. Is 3 Bus Plat’s too much? Will it attract attention from the RAT?

slaven

Works for me, but RAT worried since I wasn’t targeted directly for this offer.

Susan4

No travel benefits on the Citi Premier card. How did I miss that?! Thanks for the heads up Greg.

YY Fung

My husband is 4/24. We hope to get him the Chase Marriott Boundless so he can renew his Platinum thru 2/2023 and we need large amount of Marriott points.. However the SUB is terrible now. What card should I get him next? There are plenty of amazing cards with amazing SUB. Should I save a spot for any Chase card? Like CIC? Is it still tight now? Or should I give up the last 5/24 spot for AMEX or Citi??

Oliver

I would consider the Alaska Business card for an honorable mention. Only for those who intend to use the miles for an international redemption.

60k miles
3k spend

rick b

I’d say it should be in the top 5. Those Amex offers are nice, but the Plat fees eat up a lot of the benefit, especially on Biz versions which have very few coupon perks that average consumers can take advantage of. I’m skipping the 150k offer, for example, until I’m more desperate for MR points.

Oliver

I am going to pick up the Wyndham Business Card. I plan on using the points on Go Fast redemptions during a road trip. Hyatt globalist is not sufficient.

I would like to pick up another Amex Platinum (Schwab) given the current bonus. I finally got my first platinum last November. I would prefer to wait until Chase releases the Aeroplan cards, since I am 4/24. Waiting 2 months, will reduce the overlap between the vanilla Platinum, the Platinum Business and the Schwab Platinum.

Robert

I downgraded my CSR, had that since it was new, and am nearly ready to apply for CSP. My question is can I use a referral to the card with the in-branch promotion? My wife’s referral code seems to be more worth it for 20k referral points for her vs the waived $95 fee. What are your thoughts?

Ethan

Have you written any articles on how to decide which Platinum card to apply to first, e.g. ‘vanilla’ vs. Schwab?

Captain Greg

I thought the new terms on the Morgan Stanley and Schwab cards didn’t let you get the bonus if you got any other personal platinum bonus. Is that not true?

Stephanie

Do you have any thoughts on the current Marriott offer for 100k points?

Vince

Why no Chase Ink Bus Preferred? Points/spend/first year value are similar to your other picks. Just curious. https://frequentmiler.com/cibp/

Miguel

I ended up getting the 125k bonus for the Apex Platinum offer above. However, I can’t remember if it included the $200 Home Depot Lowes Credit, and I didn’t screenshot it. Does anyone know if if the 125k offer includes the $200 credit? I inquired via chat with AMEX customer service and the rep indicated that they don’t see such an offer on my account.

Harry

My wife took out the Chase Ink Business cash for the 5X category mostly. In a way a Chase business card does hit your personal FICO. Maybe not counting on the 5/24 as such, but it counts as a hard pull which she did not need from her past personal cards the past several months. I was surprised, so now, even though she is technically still below 5/24, no more cards until the number of hard pulls go down.

Aleks

Great offers, but mostly with a higher minimal spend ($4k+). Right now Amex Green offers 50,000 MR + $200 credits with $2k spend – that’s the highest for that card.
I think that can make the top of the list for people who don’t spend a lot. Those 50,000 MR can be converted to 140,000 Hilton points, which is better than most offers on Amex Hilton cards (not even counting the $200 credits).

Kim

Just a reminder to update the bookmark link at the top for the CSP to say 80k instead of 60k.

Jeff

DP- Wyndham buisness may be subject to 6/24. Was my first Barclay Biz application so not 100%

Brands

Greg and Nick, do you guys know if he monthly $10 food credits on the Amex gold reset every calendar month, or whenever your statement closing date is?

Marshall

Greg:

FYI I just used my Amex airline credits to purchase tickets on SW. Kept the amounts charged to the CC (my gold and wife’s plat cards) to below 100 per charge on each card per your suggestion. Also had the charges as “odd” amounts, as opposed to even amounts on theory that looked less “suspicious”. Not sure the odd amounts made a difference, but they all got credits back.

Also, just got approved instantly for a personal plat card with 100 k
points. Had a business plat before. Thanks for the heads ups.

Don’t want 2 plat cards. Will downgrade wife’s to a green card so can keep her points. Do you see any problems with this strategy?

Thanks

Marshall

Thanks. Thoughts on keeping her Platinum card? Comparing benefits, seems like with Uber and air credits, Platinum card might be cheaper.
Always use air credits, but Uber, spotty. Might use 75-100 of those credits.

Andrew Clark

I have amex gold and keep getting upgrade offers for plat but they’re not as good as the 100k offer. Can I apply for the plat independent of my gold card?

[…] 12 Amazing Card Offers […]

Gordon

Hi FM, I applied for the IHG Premier card at the end of November without realizing that there may have been a slightly better offer than the one described above. Am I mistaken or is there one that also includes a $50 statement credit after first purchase per DoC’s link below?

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-ihg-premier-140000-points-signup-bonus-with-3000-spend/

JW Newbie

Hi Greg and Nick,
Thanks for your VERY HELPFUL recent posts re: AMEX Platinum’s incredible offer. I got approved for Platinum w/ 100K Bonus & 10X Gas/Groceries!

Quick question (I’m new to Points & Miles strategies) and need some guidance:

If I spent $2500 on Gas/Groceries the first 2 months, does that mean I would get 10X Amex Membership Reward points AND ALSO would have met the $5000 spend requirement for the 100K Bonus??

Or is the the $5K spend requirement within first 6 months for purchases IN ADDITION to Gas/Groceries that I get 10X? Hoping I can meet the $5K spend just by Gas/Groceries during first 6 months, so that I can keep my non-bonused spend on Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Hoping you can clarify for me – thanks so much!!

Z. McFarland

Tried WoH yesterday for the elite run and went pending.
3/24
780 credit score
Already have CSR, United Explorer (for award space), FU, and Vanilla Freedom.
Refi’d the mortgage over the summer
Hoping it’s just a credit line issue and will contact recon if denied.

Captain Greg

When’s the earliest you can sign up for the Amex platinum and safely triple dip on the airline credit? I assume it needs a few days to post, so maybe like Dec. 6th?

Captain Greg

Ah, your answer brings up a good point. I’m not charged the annual fee until the first statement closing date, right? And then, next year, I have 30 days after the second annual fee to close the card, right? If that’s the case, I should be good and clear to sign up now and triple dip, right?

For a rough timeline:
-sign up today, get the card in a day or two, and use the airline credit
-Dec 26th (just to match your date): statement closes and first AF posts
-2021: Use the airline credit again
-Dec. 26, 2021: Second AF posts
-Jan. 2022: Use airline credit for a third time
-Jan. 25, 2022: Close the card by this date (30 days after AF posts)

Does that all seem to make sense? Signing up today would be more than safe enough to get the triple dip?

Captain Greg

Great, thanks for the input Greg!

[…] Greg’s Top Picks: Showstopping credit card offers! (Nov 2020) […]

hanchicago

I can’t tell if the new Chase Ink Cash and Unlimited sign-up bonus offers are meant to encourage or deter sole props from applying. What’s your take? I haven’t had much luck finding data points for sole props getting approved. I’ve seen maybe or two on various forums. But I wondered if those were unicorns.

[…] how blinded many of us in the hobby have become by this rule. As we’ve considered some of the huge new offers to come out this month, it comes to mind that it just isn’t worth waiting around forever hoping to find a dance […]

JN2

Lots of good information here, but it looks like you have the same information about the United Business Card under the heading for the personal “United Explorer: 70K” and the business card headings.

Yuan

Amex Pre-qualified tool shows nothing for me! Should I still go ahead and try my luck? Current I have no Amex card at all. I may have closed a couple of Amex hotel cards many many years ago. My credit score is above 800 last time I checked. I am a bit concerned about the hard inquiry it will post on my credit file. Any suggestions? Thanks in advance.

Yuan

Thank you Greg!

Raghu Narayanan

For the new platinum offer will 10X on supermarkets/gas stations work for the authorized Gold card user(no fee) of the platinum card

Raghu Narayanan

Thanks. I have the personal Plat. I can getone for my wife and be an auth user
Thanks!

Raghu Narayanan

But I guess given Amex’s reputation for clamping down on MS, giftcards might be taboo

YoniPDX

Not sure if they differentiate between AU plat and AU Gold

T&C
10x Membership Rewards Points
Earn 9 additional points per dollar on the first $15,000 of combined eligible purchases at supermarkets located in the U.S. (superstores and warehouse clubs are not considered supermarkets) and gas stations located in the U.S…… on top of the 1 point you earn per dollar spent on eligible purchases (for a total of 10 points), made on the Card during the first 6 months of Card Membership starting from the date of account approval. You will not earn additional rewards for marina or any type of commercial fuel (e.g., jet fuel).Purchases charged by both the Basic and Additional Card Members on the eligible Card Account are eligible for the additional points.”

Last edited 1 year ago by YoniPDX
Jacinto

I have been delaying applying for the CSP, until a possible public offer for CSR came out. I haven’t been targeted for CSR, unfortunately. Would you wait past 11/8 or jump at CSP?

Dan

Hi Greg, is the IHG Premier subject to 5/24? You don’t specifically mention it in your review of the card. I assume so, but just checking. I’m over 5/24 until Dec. 5. Also, I have the AMEX Bonvoy (the old SPG card). Can I get the SUB for the Brilliant if I sign up for it? Thanks!

Dan

Essentially all Chase credit cards are now subject to 5/24.

AlexL

IHG offer or Marriott offer if you can only get one?

AlexL

Thanks Greg for the suggestion. However, after checking, I am not qualified for another Hyatt bonus yet due to 24 months rule. >_<

Traveler Mike

I’m also interested in this, but from a slightly different perspective: I already have the Hyatt card, am under 5/24 in a couple of months, and have neither the Marriott or IHG. Which is a recommended long term keeper: Marriott or IHG?

Theresa

Greg,
Why not just cancel IHG Premier CC before AF, wait a bit and get the no-AF IHG CC instead of downgrading to it? That way potentially another bonus is earned or do you advise downgrading instead because of the increased risk to Chase’s shutdown on all cards?
I think TPG suggested going for the double bonus and not downgrade.
TY

Christopher C

I currently have the Chase Sapphire Preferred card which I got in January. Any thoughts on what card I should get next?

Stefan Krasowski (@rapidtravelchai)

I been waiting for a better offer since the Brilliant launched. From the get-go Amex and Marriott have barely marketed the card. I’ve been hoping for a big 2020 offer and got hopes slightly up with the Boundless offer. Only slightly.

paul

How about the IHG Premier 140k with no af first year?

Points Adventure

My fav personally.

Jeff

I was about to mention this, you bet me to it

Captain Greg

Hi Greg, thanks for the post. Question about the expiration of the Marriott certs: When does the clock start and do you need to book or stay within a year? To give an example, let’s say I was approved for this card today, completed the spend on Christmas Day, and then had the certificates show up in my account on January 15th (the terms say to allow up to 8 weeks for certs to be deposited). I assume my one year expiration clock starts on January 15th, correct? And do I have to stay by January 15th, or just book by then? Thank you!

Captain Greg

Thank you!

Alex

I can’t tell from your Best CC Offers page, is the current Delta Gold Business offer of 60k, their best usual offer? Thanks.

Jared

Capital One Venture 100,000 point sign-up bonus doesn’t make the list?

I know many people don’t favor it but considering the value for one hard credit inquiry and the flexibility to use the points for any travel expense, the first year value is conservatively $1200+ (assuming you are able to spend $20k+ to get the 100k sign-up bonus). What am I missing?

Captain Greg

I guess if you’re spending a lot of money, this offer is good. But I have no interest because of the high spend. I’d way rather spend $9k for 155k points between the United business and CSP, for example. I often think about signup bonuses in terms of points/$. The CSP and United Business are, at a minimum, 21 ppd and 16 ppd (respectively), while the venture is only 7 ppd since you have to spend so much.

Jared

Certainly, I don’t believe it is the best offer. The amount of spend could split amongst multiple cards for higher/better (eye of the beholder) bonuses.

However, a large majority of the readers of this blog look for bang-per-hard-inquiry since banks are increasingly cracking down on churning. Therefore, some (if not most) people could benefit more by getting one large bonus with big spend (in a one year period) with only one credit inquiry.

The offer certainly has downsides as noted by Greg and others. I was just making the point that the value for one credit inquiry is pretty good if you have the large spend coming up. Also, the flexibility on use for any travel expense (especially during the unknown months and years ahead) adds to the value (instead of being pigeon-holed into one airline or hotel loyalty program).

Captain Greg

That’s a good point. And if spend isn’t an issue (i.e., people who easily, regularly MS), this is probably a great offer as well.

Robert

Well firstly, there’s the opportunity cost of spending $20k with them. You could hit 4-5 other MSRs for that much and space those out as your spend changes. Secondly, this card’s earning, ecosystem and benefits suck when compared to the offerings from Chase, Amex & Citi. It’s not the worth holding onto past the sub which is why when points bloggers talk about what’s in their wallet, it’s never Capital One.

psh

Not forget that Capital One pulls all three bureaus, so it’s not strictly “one inquiry”

James

With the unlimited getting an uncapped 3x on drugstores. It makes it an easy card to MS on. Where do we think the line is at to not get shut down?

Joseph N.

Whoa. What am I missing? What gift cards can still be purchased with a credit card at a drugstore? All drugstores in my area are cash only for gift cards, or cash & debit.

Matt

I think that is very YMMV. There is a grocery store up the street from me that will not let me buy GC with CC, but another store 2 miles away, same company, that doesn’t bat an eye at $1k in VGCs

Kathy

How are you liquidating the VGCs?

Matt

Ironically the very same store what won’t let me buy VGCs with a CC has never once asked to check my “debit” card when getting an MO. Luckily neither does the one that lets me buy the GCs, though I haven’t tried to buy and liquidate others in the same shopping trip, i really don’t know if the kids working there would give AF but don’t want to burn any easy stops.