Greg’s Top Picks for May: Great Offers Continue!

80

A number of great offers ended May 5th, but other great offers appeared.  With a single credit card, you can pick up 200K Hilton points, 125K Delta miles, 100K Amex Membership Rewards, 80K Chase Ultimate Rewards, etc.  This continues to be a fantastic time to amass points so that you can travel for free and in luxury once travel opens more widely!

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.  By some measures, this was one of the best credit card offers 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.

Greg’s Top Picks: Great Offers

Amex Platinum: 100K + 10X

Card Offer
The Platinum Card® from American Express
100K points + 10x US Gas Stations and US Supermarkets
100K after $5K spend in first 6 months plus 10x on eligible purchases at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15K in purchases in the first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$550 Annual Fee

This offer is astoundingly good!  100K points alone is a great offer, but this offer also includes 10X points at U.S. grocery stores & gas stations for six months.  You can also try to get the 125K + 10X version of the offer by filling out the CardMatch Tool.  Unfortunately, that version of the offer is very rare.

Who should get it: Pretty much anyone who hasn’t been the primary cardholder of the  Amex Platinum card in the past 7 years should at least consider this offer in my opinion.  This is especially good for those who will spend a lot at US gas stations and supermarkets in the first 6 months.  Read my full analysis here.

Who shouldn’t get it: The Amex Platinum card will add to your 5/24 count (but this one is worth it anyway).

Timing your application: I recommend applying before July.  There are rumors that the Platinum card’s annual fee will increase in July.  By applying before then, you’ll lock in one year of the current annual fee.  See: The Revised Amex Platinum Card – Details and Review.

See also:

Sapphire Preferred: 80K + $50

Card Offer and Details
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
80K Points + up to $50 in statement credits
80K after $4K spend in 3 months + up to $50 in statement credits for grocery purchases within the first year

$95 Annual Fee

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

FM Mini Review: Great signup bonus. Solid option to pair with fee-free Ultimate Rewards cards such as the Freedom cards, Ink Business Cash, and Ink Business Unlimited in order to unlock ability to transfer points to airline and hotel partners.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 2X Travel and Dining ⚬ 5X Lyft (through March 2022)

Noteworthy perks: Primary auto rental collision damage waiver ⚬ Free DashPass for at least 1 year (activate by 12/31/21)

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

This is probably the best ever offer for the Sapphire Preferred card.  If you’re eligible, I highly recommend jumping on this deal.

Who should get it: If you’ve never had a Sapphire card or if it’s been more than 48 months since you last received a welcome bonus for the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card and if you’re under 5/24, then this is a great choice.  If you currently have the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll have to first product change it to a Freedom card then wait a day or two before signing up for this one.

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 love the higher-end Sapphire Reserve card’s features and don’t want to go without that card for a year (you have to wait a year before upgrading the Sapphire Preferred), then skip the Sapphire Preferred.

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

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Capital One Venture Rewards: 100K

Card Offer and Details
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
100K "Miles"
Up to 100K "Miles": Earn 100K with $20K spend in 12 months, or still earn 50K with $3K spend in 3 months.

$95 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: This matches the best we've seen in recent years

FM Mini Review: This card earns 2 "miles" per dollar, which are worth exactly 1 cent each toward travel. This makes the return on 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 at varying rates depending on partner, with some partners available at 1:1 and others at a 2 to 1.5 ratio or 2:1 ratio.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Other

Earning rate: 2X everywhere.

Noteworthy perks: Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® ⚬ Redeem miles for travel at value of 1 cent per mile ⚬ Convert "miles" to airline miles at a (mostly) 2 to 1.5 ratio ⚬ No foreign transaction fees

Now that Capital One has added new transfer partners and has introduced a 1 to 1 transfer tier, this 100K offer is fantastic.  The downside is the requirement to spend $20K in 12 months to get the full bonus, but since the card offers 2X rewards for all spend, you’ll end up with at least 140,000 points!  The other good news is that Capital One has been easier on approvals lately.  They definitely don’t approve everyone, but some who have repeatedly been denied in the past have finally been approved for this offer (including me).

Who shouldn’t get it: This card will add to your 5/24 count, so if you’re trying to stay under 5/24 you won’t want this one. Normally I’d add that you should avoid this if you don’t think you’ll spend $20K in 12 months, but if you at least spend $3K in 3 months you’ll get 50K, so that’s pretty good too.

Timing your application: Sign up soon as we don’t know how long this will last. The usual offer is 50K after $3K spend.

See also: Capital One “Miles” Complete Guide.

Hilton Cards: Up to 200K!

Card Offer
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Up to 180K Points
Up to 180K: 130K after $2K in the first 3 months + 50K after $10K total purchases in first 6 months. Terms apply.

$95 Annual Fee

Hilton Honors American Express Card
Up to 130K points
Up to 130K points: 80K after $1K spend in 3 months + 50K after $5K total spend in first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

No 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: Some people find that they are targeted for an offer of up to 150K points. See this post for details.

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

The offers shown above are already terrific, but you can do even better with the clean browser technique described here: Awesome new Hilton offers out: get up to 200K Hilton points with one card!

Who should get it: If you’re interested in amassing Hilton points, this is the time to go for it!

Who shouldn’t get it: The consumer cards will add to your 5/24 count, so consider going for the Hilton business card if you are trying to stay under 5/24.

Timing your application: My guess is that these offers will stick around at least through early June.

See also: Hilton Honors Complete Guide

Delta Consumer Cards: Up to 125K miles + 10K MQMs

We thought the great Delta offers had died after May 5th, but they live on with the clean browser approach!  For details, see: 75K-125K Delta miles + up to 10K MQMs with targeted offers.

Who should get it: If you’re interested in amassing Delta miles, this is the time to go for it!

Who shouldn’t get it: The cards will add to your 5/24 count, so don’t apply if that will mess up your plans to get Chase cards.

Timing your application: I don’t expect these offers to last long. Apply soon.

See also: Delta SkyMiles Complete Guide

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

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 soon as we don’t know how long this will last. The usual offer is 50K.

See also: Chase Ink Business Cash Complete Guide

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

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 soon as we don’t know how long this will last. The usual offer is 50K.

See also: Chase Ink Business Unlimited Complete Guide

Amex Business Platinum: Up to 150K

Card Offer
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
100K points
100K points after $15K spend in the first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$595 Annual Fee

Some report being targeted for offers up to 150K! Click here for details.

Recent better offer: 150K after $20K Spend (Targeted)

The current 100K offer is pretty good, but it’s worth trying to find the 130K or 150K offer instead.  See this post for details.

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 can find the 150K offer and can meet the spend requirement, it’s worth jumping on this one while you can.

See also:

United Quest Card: 100K

Card Offer and Details
Chase United Quest Card
Up to 100K Miles
Up to 100K miles: 80K after $5K spend in first 3 months + 20K after $10K total spend in first 6 months

$250 Annual Fee

This card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule (click here for details).

Recent better offer: None. This is a new card.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Brand
Other

Earning rate: 3X United ⚬ 2X restaurants ⚬ 2X on all other travel ⚬ 2X select streaming

Noteworthy perks: Up to $125 in statement credits for United purchases each cardmember year ⚬ First and second checked bag free for cardholder and one companion when you purchase your tickets with the card and include your Mileage Plus number ⚬ Two 5K award flight rebates per cardmember year (5K miles back when you book first 2 award tickets each anniversary year) ⚬ $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck reimbursement ⚬ 25% back on United inflight purchases

This new United MileagePlus card comes with an awesome 100K welcome bonus. It also happens to be a very strong card to have and hold for frequent United flyers.

Who should get it: If you’re under 5/24, this is a great choice for a welcome bonus; and if you’re a frequent United flyer, this is a great choice overall.

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 considering signing up only for the welcome bonus, consider going for the United business card instead since it won’t add to your 5/24 count.

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

See also: United MileagePlus Complete Guide

Citi Premier: Up to 70K

Card Offer and Details
Citi Premier Card
60K points
60K after $4K spend in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

Recent better offer: None

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.  60K is the standard welcome bonus for this card, but there is an in-branch offer for 65K points (or 70K for CitiGold members) after $4K in purchases in 3 months. Unfortunately, some have reported that Citi is no longer matching these bonuses for those who sign up online.

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: The 60K offer should stick around indefinitely, but if you’re interested in the 65K or 70K in-branch offer, I’d go for it soon since that’s probably temporary.

See also: Citi ThankYou Rewards Complete Guide

Greg’s Top Picks: Very Good Offers

Amex Gold Card: 60K + $250

Card Offer and Details
American Express® Gold Card
60K Points + up to $250 back
60K 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 60K 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: Amex Membership Rewards Points Complete Guide.

United Business Card: 75K + 1st Year Free

Card Offer and Details
United℠ Business Card

FM Mini Review: Decent perks such as enhanced access to United saver level economy awards makes this a keeper for some.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Dine
Gas
Office
Other

Earning rate: 2X at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores ⚬ 2X United ⚬ 2X on local transit and commuting, including taxicabs, mass transit, tolls, and ride share services

Big spend bonus: $100 annual United travel credit after 7 United flight purchases greater than $100

Noteworthy perks: ⚬ Improved saver award availability ⚬ Last seat standard 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

This is a good bonus, but what I really like is that this card is potentially worth keeping for those who fly United a few times per year.  Consider these perks:

  • Improved saver award availability
  • Last seat standard 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 once travel returns to some semblance of normal, 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).

Who should get it: Anyone with a business who flies United semi-regularly should consider this card not just for the signup bonus but also for keeping long term.  If you already have the United MileagePlus consumer card, consider downgrading that to a no-fee card and adding this card to your portfolio.

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: Good bonuses for this card are common, so there’s probably no need to hurry.

See also: United MileagePlus Complete Guide

Wyndham Business Card: 45K points + Diamond

Card Offer and Details
Wyndham Rewards Earner Business Card

FM Mini Review: Excellent earning rate at gas stations and Wyndham hotels. Diamond status plus 15K annual bonus makes this card a keeper.


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Gas
Phone
Biz
Brand
Other

Earning rate: 8X Wyndham & gas ⚬ 5X marketing, advertising, and utilities (telecommunications, cable, satellite, electric, gas, heating oil and water) ⚬ 1X everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: 15,000 points each anniversary year ⚬ Diamond status ⚬ 10% discount on free night awards ⚬ Cardmember discount on paid stays ⚬ No foreign transaction fees

See also: Wyndham Earner credit cards review: Surprisingly strong

It’s not just the 45K welcome bonus that excites me about this new Wyndham card, but rather a combination of cool things:

  • 15K annual point bonus: The annual point bonus alone is worth the card’s $95 annual fee.
  • Wyndham Diamond status: With this status you can get suite upgrades (including on free nights), welcome amenity, and ability to gift Gold status to others.  Even better, Wyndham Diamond status freely matches to Caesar’s Diamond which offers perks like waived resort fees, free $100 Celebration dinner (read Nick’s Celebration Dinner trip report here), and much more.
  • Strong earnings for gas station purchases (8X), Wyndham hotels (8X), and utilities (5X)
  • Won’t add to your 5/24 Count: Business cards from most issuers (including Barclays) do not show as accounts on your personal credit reports and therefore do not add to your Chase 5/24 count.

Who should get it: I think this one makes sense for pretty much anyone who is eligible to apply for business cards.

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.

Who shouldn’t get it: Anyone who doesn’t foresee any good use for Wyndham points should stay away.  Wyndham points expire 4 years after they’re earned.

Timing your application: The 45K offer is probably temporary. My bet is that the offer will drop down to 30K at some point in the future, but I don’t know when.  If it’s important to you to get the 45K bonus then sign up soon.

See also: New Wyndham Earner credit cards review: Surprisingly strong

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

Choice Privileges: 75K + 4X Everywhere

Card Offer and Details
Choice Privileges® Visa Signature® Card issued by Barclays
Up to 75K points + 4x everywhere
Up to 75K points + 4x everywhere: 50K after $1K spend in 90 days + 25K after $2K total spend in 180 days. 2 additional points per dollar for all spend until December 31, 2021 (for a total of 4 points per dollar on everyday purchases)

No Annual Fee


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Brand

Earning rate: 5X at Choice Hotels and on purchases of Choice Hotels points or gift cards ⚬ 2X everywhere else

Big spend bonus: Earn 8,000 annual bonus points after $10,000 in annual spend

Noteworthy perks: Automatic Gold status

This is the best offer we’ve ever seen for the Choice card.  75K points can be used for around 3 nights at a very nice property (yes they have some!) or twice as many nights at a lower-end property.  Plus, through the end of this year, the card is offering an extra 2 points per dollar for all spend.  This means that the card earns at least 4 points per dollar for all spend in 2021!  And you can do even better by spending a total of $10K in 2021 in order to earn the card’s annual 8K points bonus.

Who should get it: If you’re happy to hold onto your points until you have the opportunity to use your Choice points towards excellent value, I think this is a good choice (pun intended).  Think of it as a back-up hotel program rather than a primary program for amassing points.

Who shouldn’t get it: This 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’d guess that the 75K offer won’t last long.  Go for it soon.

See also: 75K Choice Privileges points with just $2K spend

IHG Premier: 125K + Reward Night

Card Offer and Details
Chase IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
125K Points + free reward night
125K + Free Night Certificate (good for one night up to 40K points) after $3K in the first 3 months

$89 Annual Fee

FM Mini Review: Good signup bonus. Keep only if you value the 40K annual free night and/or 4th night free awards.


Card Type: Mastercard World Elite

Base
Dine
Gas
Grocery
Brand
10X
(6%)

Earning rate: 10X IHG ⚬ 2X gas, grocery, and restaurants.

Big spend bonus: 10K bonus points after you spend $20K in a cardmember year + make one additional purchase

Noteworthy perks: Annual free night e-certificate good at IHG properties up to 40K points per night ⚬ Fourth night free on award stays ⚬ 20% discount on points purchases ⚬ Platinum elite status.

This is a great bonus for a card with decent perks but poor earnings on spend.  Those who don’t have the (no longer available) IHG Club card may like the IHG Premier for its annual free night certificate and automatic Platinum Elite status.  The Fourth Night Free on award stays is a great feature too, but that’s also available on the fee-free IHG Traveler card.  For those who don’t want to pay this card’s annual fee, a great option is to sign up for this bonus and then downgrade to the fee free card a year later.

Who should get it: Anyone under 5/24 who does not yet have this card may find it worth getting.

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 who has no use for IHG points or is trying to get or stay under 5/24.

Timing your application: If you are in “two player mode”, it’s a good idea for you and your partner to sign up around the same time so that the annual free night certificates have the same expiration dates and can therefore be used for two night stays each year.

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

Email:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

80 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments