There are some phenomenal credit card signup bonuses right now. If you’re waiting to get in on the credit card game, now just might be the time. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, keep reading and ask some questions. I’d love to help you experience the joy of frugal travel just like us.
Top Current Bonuses
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP) bonus offer is at 50,000 (normally 40,000) Chase Ultimate Rewards for signing up and spending $4,000 in the first 3 months and an additional 5,000 CUR when you add an authorized user and they make a purchase. That’s at least 59,000 CUR points after you meet the minimum spend. CSP offers 2x points on travel and dining, zero foreign transaction fees, and transfers to a number of airlines such as United, Southwest, and British Airways and hotels such as Hyatt and Marriott.
We transferred CUR to United MileagePlus and spent 47,500 points per round trip ticket that included a free stopover in the Dominican and free layovers in Panama City and San Salvador on our way to Costa Rica over winter break.
There’s also a great refer-a-friend bonus right now so I can receive 10,000 bonus CUR if you allow me to refer you. You win! I win! Contact me about this deal now!
Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
The Marriott Rewards bonus offer is at 80,000 points (normally 50,000) for signing up and spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and an additional 7,500 bonus points after you add an authorized user and make a purchase. That’s 90,500 points after you meet the minimum spend. They also offer one free night stay every year on your account anniversary.
This is the bonus we are working on right now. We will be using 10,000 (only 1/9 of our bonus) on a stay at the Marriott Marquis City Center Doha Hotel in Qatar on our way to India this summer. That’s a $220 room for free and only using a fraction of the points we’ll earn from this.
The refer-a-friend bonus is teeny tiny at this point, but every little bit counts. If you’re interested, let’s talk.
British Airways Visa Signature Card
The British Airways (BA) bonus is at 50,000, 75,000, or 100,000 Avios. The standard bonus is 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. That’s the current 50,000 bonus right now. However, there are two additional bonuses at this time. If you spend another $8,000 in the first year ($10,000 total), you’ll earn 25,000 more bonus Avios. If you are able to put $20,000 total on the card in the first year, you’ll earn another 25,000 bonus Avios. That’s a total of 52,000 Avios for $2,000 in spend, 85,000 Avios for $10,000 in spend, and 120,000 Avios for $20,000 in spend. Even if you only reach the $2,000 in spend, it’s completely worth it right now.
My sister is planning on opening this card for our trip this summer. We’ll be using 9,500 British Avios (BA)/per person to get from India to the Maldives and another 4,500 BA to get from the Maldives to Sri Lanka. We’ll be paying her back with some nice hotel stays using our Marriott Rewards from above.
BA is well known for incredible short-haul flights in the United States for only 7,500 Avios. You can also get across the pond, from Boston to London for example, for as little as 13,000 Avios.
I can’t find any refer-a-friend for the BA Visa Signature Card, but would still love to chat about the benefits if you’re interested.
CITI / AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard
The current offer is 50,000 AAdvantage points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. AAdvantage points are good for flights on American Airlines and their OneWorld partners such as British Airways, Japan Airlines, Qatar Airways, and Cathay Pacific as well as other partners such as Etihad Airways, Alaska Airlines, and Jet Airways.
I opened this card last year and Skye recently opened it as well. We will be traveling to India with free 23 hour layovers in Doha and Abu Dhabi with AAdvantage points on Etihad and Qatar Airways.
Cards To Keep An Eye On
IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
The current signup bonus is 60,000 points. That’s enough for 12 free nights with their amazing PointBreaks promotion. However, it’ll probably be more like 3-6 free nights at one of their standard rates depending on location and property. There’s a $0 intro annual fee and $49 a year after that. The annual fee is offset with an annual free night every year. For the $49 annual fee, you could stay at some amazing InterContinental or Crowne Plaza locations such as Washington DC, Times Square NYC, Paris, and Hong Kong.
The 60,000 bonus points is well worth it, but the offer can get up to 80,000 points. As soon as the offer climbs to 80,000 points, we’ll be opening up at least one of these.
The Chase Freedom has a ton of value. It’s the little brother to the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The current bonus is 15,000 CUR + 2,500 CUR for adding an authorized user for only $500 in spend in the first three months. The top bonus I’ve seen, and the one we took advantage of last year, is 20,000 CUR + 5,000 CUR. When this offer shows up again, hop on it right away.
The Chase Freedom has no annual fee (ever), which makes it a great card to keep for years to build up your “Average Age of Credit” to improve your credit score. It’s important to pair this with the CSP because you can’t transfer CUR to their partners with only the Freedom. You will need a CSP to do that.
Please feel free to ask any questions. Which card interests you the most? Chase Freedom or Sapphire Preferred? British Airways? AAdvantage? IHG? Marriott?