Greg’s Top Picks: October’s Blockbuster Offers

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Despite many good challengers, the Amex Platinum card continues to hold the top spot on my list.  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.  New to the Blockbuster section this month are the Marriott Bonvoy offers from American Express.

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 + 15x when you Shop Small in the US & at restaurants worldwide
125K after $6K spend in first 6 months plus 15x on eligible purchases when you Shop Small in the US and at restaurants worldwide on up to $25K in purchases in the first 6 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)

$695 Annual Fee

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 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: $595

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 (up to 1 million additional Membership Rewards points per year) ⚬ 1.5x on construction/hardware stores, electronic goods, and 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:

Sapphire Preferred: 100K

Card Offer and Details
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
60K Points
60K after $4K spend in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

Alternate offer: An offer for 100K after $4K in purchases in the first 3 months may be available in-branch.

Recent better offer: 100K after $4K in purchases in the first 3 months

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


Card Type: Visa Signature

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 5X Travel booked through Chase (2X all other travel) ⚬ 3X Dining ⚬ 3X Select streaming services ⚬ 3X Online grocery ⚬ 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) ⚬ Transfer points to airline & hotel partners ⚬ 10% annual point bonus ⚬ $50 annual credit for hotel stays booked through Chase (Those who opened card before 8/15/21 will have to wait until next account anniversary for this perk)

See also: Sapphire Preferred 100K Q&A: Everything you need to know

This is the best ever offer for the Sapphire Preferred card and, with the exception of the Amex Platinum cards (above), one of the best offers we’ve seen for any card.  The 100K bonus is worth $1,250 towards travel or to Pay Yourself Back for certain categories of spend (details here).  Points can be worth even more (sometimes a lot more) when strategically transferred to hotel or airline partners.  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 week 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 don’t think you can complete the offer’s $4,000 minimum spend requirement, then you shouldn’t sign up.

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

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

Marriott Bonvoy: Points + Free Nights

Card Offer
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
150K points + free night up to 85K points
150K points + free night certificate good for one night up to 85K points after $5K in the first 3 months. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
(Offer Expires 11/3/2021)

$450 Annual Fee

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

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card
125K Points + 2 free night certificates
125K points + two free night certificates each valid for one night up to 50K points after $5K of eligible purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. Terms apply. (Rates & Fees)
(Offer Expires 11/3/2021)

$125 Annual Fee

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

There are currently two best-ever offers for Marriott credit cards available from American Express.  The bonuses offer a combination of points plus free night certificates.  The Bonvoy Brilliant card offers one 85K free night certificate whereas the business card offers two 50K free night certs.  One unique aspect to these offers is that it’s possible to get in on both of them.  Most Marriott card offers have strict rules preventing consumers from getting more than one welcome bonus in a short amount of time, but the rules allow for both of these cards as long as you haven’t received a bonus on a Chase Marriott card in the past 24 months.  See this post for details: Are you eligible for a new Marriott card?

Another cool aspect to signing up for both cards is the fact that you’ll then get 30 nights towards elite status every year automatically.  This means that you’ll be able to earn Platinum status with only 20 additional nights in Marriott hotels (Platinum status requires 50 nights total).  Marriott Platinum status offers perks like free breakfast, lounge access, 4Pm late check out, and more.

Amex card limits: If you apply for a new Amex credit card, you may get turned down if you already have 5 or more Amex credit cards; or 10 or more "Pay over Time" (AKA charge) cards. Both personal and business cards are counted together towards these limits. Authorized user cards are not counted.  The Amex Green Card is weird.  It is technically a Pay over Time card, and it is treated that way when applying for the Green Card, but if you already have the Green Card, it is treated as a credit card towards your credit card limit. See also: Which Amex Cards are Charge Cards vs. Credit Cards?

Who should get it: These are great offers for anyone interested in staying at Marriott properties.

Who shouldn’t get it: If you’re not interested in staying at Marriott hotels then you should skip these offers.  If you’re trying to get or stay under 5/24 so that you can apply for Chase cards, then skip the Bonvoy Brilliant offer and look only at the business card offer.

Timing your application: These offers are scheduled expire November 3rd 2021.

See also: Marriott Bonvoy Complete Guide

Excellent Offers

Southwest: 100K offers

Card Offer
Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Card
Up to 100K Points
100K: 50K after $2K spend in 3 months plus 50K after a total of $12K spend in 12 months
(Offer Expires 12/7/2021)

$69 Annual Fee

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

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

Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
Up to 100K Points
100K: 50K after $2K spend in 3 months plus 50K after a total of $12K spend in 12 months
(Offer Expires 12/7/2021)

$99 Annual Fee

This card is known to be subject to Chase's 5/24 rule.

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

Chase Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
Up to 100K Points
100K: 50K after $2K spend in 3 months plus 50K after a total of $12K spend in 12 months
(Offer Expires 12/7/2021)

$149 Annual Fee

This card is known to be subject to Chase's 5/24 rule.

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

All three Chase Southwest consumer cards are now offering best-ever 100,000 point welcome bonuses.  And if you want to earn a Southwest Companion pass, this can be a good time to go for it.  Once you earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, Southwest offers a Companion Pass which is good for an unlimited number of flights (award flights or paid flights) for the rest of that calendar year and all of the next. And it just so happens that points earned from Southwest credit cards, including the welcome bonus, count towards the Companion Pass.  Signing up for one of these cards can get you well on your way towards earning that pass.

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 should get it: If you’re under 5/24 and you fly Southwest a lot (or want to), then this is a great opportunity.

Who shouldn’t get it: If you aren’t interested in flying Southwest, then don’t do this.

Timing your application: I recommend waiting until closer to the end date of this promotion (12/7/21) to sign up so as to maximize the value of the bonus towards a Southwest Companion Pass.  In general, the best time to sign up for offers like these is December or January so that all bonus points post early in the calendar year.  This way, it’s possible to earn a Companion Pass that is good for almost two full years: the rest of the year in which it is earned plus all of the following year.

See also: Southwest Airlines Companion Pass Complete Guide

Citi Premier: 80K

Card Offer and Details
Citi Premier Card
80K points
80K after $4K spend in 3 months

$95 Annual Fee

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

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

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

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:

Wyndham Cards: Up to 90K points + Diamond

Card Offer

Wyndham has recently doubled the welcome bonuses for the Wyndham Earner cards.  All three currently have outstanding offers with relatively low spend requirements.  That said, I’m particularly a fan of the Wyndham Earner Business card for the following reasons:

  • 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 the business card makes sense for pretty much anyone who is eligible to apply for business cards.  The personal cards are good choices too if you’re not worried about adding to your 5/24 count.

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 enhanced offers are scheduled to end 10/14/21.

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

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:

IHG Premier: 150K

Card Offer and Details
Chase IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
150K Points
150K after $3K in the first 3 months

No Annual Fee First Year, Then $89

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 the best ever 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.  Getting 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 IHG Traveler 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.

Very Good Offers

Amtrak: 50K + $100

Card Offer

With Amtrak points worth up to 2.9 cents each towards Amtrak travel, a 50K bonus can go a very long way.  Unfortunately, Amtrak no longer offers options to transfer points to Choice Privileges and Hilton Honors as they did in the past so sign up for this card only if you plan to use the rewards to travel on Amtrak.

Who should get it: Anyone hoping to travel on Amtrak for free.

Who shouldn’t get it: Don’t get this card if you’re not interested in riding Amtrak trains.  Don’t get this card if you are trying to get or stay under 5/24.

Timing your application: I don’t know how long this offer will last.  If interested, sign up soon.

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.

Chase Freedom Unlimited
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.

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

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: 60K + $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 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:

JetBlue Plus & Business: Up to 70K

Card Offer
Barclays JetBlue Plus Mastercard
70K Miles
70K miles after $1K spend and payment of the annual fee in 90 days

$99 Annual Fee

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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