Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – March 2019

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

Updated March 2019. That space in your wallet or purse is more valuable than you think. Credit card companies are fighting it out, offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single card during the first year to encourage you to apply and try it out. These are the top 10 credit card offers that I would apply for right now, if I didn’t already most of them. Recent changes:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred – improved 60k offer.
  • Hawaiian Airlines – improved 75k offer.
  • Gold Delta SkyMiles – limited-time 60k + $50 statement credit offer.
  • IHG Rewards Club Premier – improved 120k offer.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless – limited-time 100k offer.
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus – bonus offer up to 70k.

If you pay off your balances every month, then you can join me and many others in funding a huge chunk of your annual travel budget with cash credits, points, and miles. You don’t need to be a “I only fly business class” world traveler. I mostly use my rewards points on domestic economy flights, mid-class hotels, and cheap car rentals. If you have credit card debt, you should focus on paying that off first as the interest charges could offset most of the perks.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Business Card Offers. Small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

Note: Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $750 towards travel) after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 2X points on Travel and Dining at restaurants worldwide.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.
  • Alternative: Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. 3X on Travel and Dining, Priority Pass airport lounge access, $450 annual fee, $300 annual travel credit.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card

  • 70,000 points (worth $700 towards travel) after $5,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • Unlimited 2X miles on every purchase.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $89.

  • Up to 75,000 bonus miles. 50,000 miles after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months, an additional 25,000 miles after $6,000 total in purchases within the first 12 months. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for primary cardmember when using your card to purchase eligible tickets directly from Hawaiian Airlines.
  • Receive a one-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and The Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Card

  • Up to 120,000 IHG Rewards club points: 80,000 points after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months, an additional 40,000 points after $5,000 in total purchases within 6 months of account opening. See link for details.
  • Free Night after each account anniversary year (valued up to 40,000 IHG points).
  • $89 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Gold Delta Skymiles Card from American Express

  • 60,000 Delta Skymiles after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months + $50 statement credit after a Delta purchase within your first 3 months. Limited-time offer expires 4/3/19. See link for details.
  • 60,000 Skymiles are worth at least $600 in Delta airfare with “Pay with Miles” option.
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

  • 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • Free Night after each account anniversary year (valued up to 35,000 Marriott points).
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles. 60,000 miles after first purchase (any amount) in first 90 days. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $95 annual fee.

Citi Premier Card

  • 50,000 ThankYou points (worth $625 towards travel) after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points on Travel, including Gas Stations
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

American Express Gold Card

  • 40,000 Membership Rewards points (flexible, worth 50,000 miles at various airlines) after $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • $120 in Grubhub and Seamless credit. $10 in statement credits each month when you pay with this card at participating partners – Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House and participating Shake Shack locations.
  • $100 airline fee credit. Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $100 per calendar year in statement credits towards checked baggage fees and inflight meals.
  • $250 annual fee.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

  • 50,000 points (worth $500 towards travel) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $100 annual Airline Incidental Statement Credit.
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $95 annual fee.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card

  • $500 cash bonus after $3000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Chase World of Hyatt Card

  • Up to 50,000 Hyatt points. 25,000 Bonus Points after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after a total of $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months. See link for details and rough valuation of points.
  • $95 annual fee, free night award upon card anniversary.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Improved Bonus: 60,000 Points = $750 In Travel, 2X Points on Travel and Dining

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

Update with improved 60k offer. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a premium travel rewards credit card, now with an improved offer that is the best publicly-available bonus in years. The card earns points that can be redeemed for cash, travel credits, or transferred to airline miles. Here are the highlights:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel. No blackout dates. As long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide. 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named “Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption” – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, June 2018.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • $95 annual fee.

(Quick background: The previous offer was 50,000 bonus points with the annual fee waived during the first year. This one is 60,000 bonus points and a $95 annual fee. Since an extra 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points are worth at least 1.25 cents per point towards travel, that’s still a net $30 minimum improvement with a conservative estimate. Now, I just did an instant transfer to Hyatt last week that got me 2 cents per point value, which shows that the real value of Ultimate Rewards points is in its flexibility in transferring to places like United miles and Hyatt points as needed to reach a free night or flight.)

Note the following text:

The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

Ultimate Rewards points. This card offers a special 25% bonus on travel redemptions made through the Ultimate Rewards travel website. For example, 60,000 Ultimate Rewards = $750 in travel. Similar to Expedia or Travelocity, you can book flights on most major airlines and hotel chains. This makes it much more flexible to spend your points. You can even buy something more expensive and pay the difference.

If you have other Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points like the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited, you can transfer points into this card account and take advantage of the this higher premium. In other words, your existing Ultimate Rewards points balance could be increased in value by getting this card.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is the “ultra-premium” rewards card that offers a bigger 50% bonus on travel redemptions, along with more perks and a higher annual fee.

Prefer airline and/or hotel points? This card also allows you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points into hotel and/or airline miles. Transfer to United Airlines, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Southwest, Hyatt Hotels, IHG Hotels, and Marriott Hotels at a ratio of 1 Ultimate Rewards point = 1 mile/hotel point. Miles redemption continue to offer great value for savvy travelers, especially for last-minute travel and business class seats. I personally use the transfers to “top off” my account to reach a free coach ticket or free hotel night when I don’t have enough points otherwise. My favorite options are United miles, Southwest miles, and Hyatt hotel points. In this manner, I can often get close to 2 cents per point value.

Cash redemptions are a simple and easy option, but the conversion is a straight 100 points = $1.

Sharing points. Ultimate Rewards points are instantly transferable to other accounts like family members, as long as they have their own Chase card with Ultimate Rewards as an authorized user (free with Chase Freedom). This way, you can pool points together for transfers and redemptions if you like.

Additional card benefits:

  • Premium, dedicated customer service line with a live person, 24/7. A real person picks up after a couple rings, no phone trees or typing those darn 16 digits over and over. You can use this feature to redeem cash rewards over the phone for free, although booking rewards tickets over the phone costs $20 (doing so online is free).
  • Primary car rental collision damage waiver insurance. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad. Most other cards only offer secondary coverage that kicks in only after the deductible of your individual insurance policy is used.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement. If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket

Bottom line. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus, 2X points on Dining/Travel, and a $95 annual fee. This card has become quite popular because it is easy on both the earning and redeeming of rewards. Earning double miles on travel and restaurants is a useful category where a lot of people spend a lot of money (that’s not housing or student loans). If you can find a good use for airline miles, you can transfer them over. If you can’t, the 1.25 cent per point value on travel redemptions is easy to use. This is one of the few cards where I think paying the annual fee is worth it.

You can only get one Sapphire bonus every 48 months, so compare with the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, which offers a bigger 50% bonus on travel redemptions, along with more perks and a higher annual fee.

I will be updating this improved offer on my list of Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard Review – Up to 75,000 Bonus Miles

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The is the official co-branded card with perks like Hawaiian miles for purchases, a free checked bag, and companion ticket discounts. Sometimes it has the Bank of Hawaii logo on it, but in all cases it is issued by Barclaycard. If you like to fly to/from Hawaii, right now there is a limited-time offer of up to 75,000 bonus miles if you meet the spending requirements. Here are the highlights:

  • 50,000 bonus miles after $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months, an additional 25,000 bonus miles after spending $6,000 total on purchases in the first 12 months.
  • One-Time 50% Off Companion Discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $100 annual companion ticket discount each year for roundtrip travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • Free first checked bag on Hawaiian Airlines flights book with card (primary cardholder only)
  • 3X miles for every $1 spent on purchases made directly from Hawaiian Airlines
  • 2X miles per $1 spent on gas, dining, and grocery store purchases, and 1X mile per $1 spent on every other purchase.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $99 annual fee

Note: If you can only make the $2,000 within 3 months spending requirement and not the $6,000 within 12 months, consider this of 60,000 bonus miles after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months.

ShareMiles. A unique feature of Hawaiian Airlines is that with this card, they allow you to receive Hawaiian miles from other members without a fee. This is handy if your family members have a few miles here and there, as you can now pool them all together to reach an award level.

Domestic award travel discount. These are from their standard award chart to help you value these miles if you don’t have this card:

  • Interisland flights: 7,500 miles one-way (SuperSaver), 10,000 (Saver), and 15,000 (Flex)
  • Hawaii to Mainland US roundtrip in Coach: 40,000 miles roundtrip (SuperSaver), 60,000 (Saver), and 80,000+ (Flex)
  • Hawaii to Mainland US roundtrip in First Class: 80,000 (Saver), and 160,000+ (Flex)

However, if you do have a Hawaiian Airlines card, then you can receive certain discounts:

  • Interisland flights: 8,500 miles one-way (Saver), and 12,500 (Flex)
  • Hawaii to Mainland US roundtrip in Coach: 35,000 miles roundtrip (SuperSaver), 50,000 (Saver), and 60,000+ (Flex)

Value. As you might expect, grabbing a SuperSaver award seat means that you’ll have to book early as there are only a limited amount of such seats available per flight. They often also involve a layover on another island, which adds a few couple hours to your total travel time. Still, a quick search found some flights for 40,000 miles + $11.20 in fees that would have cost $541 with cash, for a value of 1.3 cents per mile. You just can’t be too picky with your flight times.

Bottom line. The offers a unique set of perks for regular customers of Hawaiian Airlines, including miles for purchases, free checked bags, and companion ticket discounts. Right now, there are limited-time offers on their sign-up bonuses. 75,000 Hawaiian miles is enough for two roundtrip SuperSaver coach tickets between the Hawaii and the mainland, or one first-class award ticket.

I will be adding this offer to my ongoing list of Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers. I don’t think the timing of this limited-offer to coincide with the first flights to Hawaii by Southwest Airlines is a coincidence. If you like flying to Hawaii, consider that if you can get enough points to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass with a little help from their credit cards, that means those Rapid Rewards award tickets + free companion tickets work on Hawaii flights as well!

United Explorer Business Card Review – 50,000 Bonus Miles

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The United Explorer Business Card is the co-branded business credit card between Chase and United Airlines. This card offers unique perks for regular United customers including free checked bags and expanded award seat availability for redeeming miles. Here are the highlights:

  • 50,000 bonus United miles after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket.
  • Two one-time United Club passes each year ($100+ value)
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to redeem for that saver award economy ticket.
  • Priority boarding for you and companions on the same reservation on United-operated flights.
  • 2X miles at restaurants, gas stations and office supply stores.
  • 2X miles on United purchases and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Your miles don’t expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn.
  • Employee cards at no additional cost.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Keep in mind the following terms and conditions:

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.

However, you CAN get this card if you had the consumer version of the United Explorer in the past 24 months (or have one now).

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, Uber/Lyft drivers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will most likely deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

The good news is that small business cards from Chase hardly ever show up on personal credit reports, so getting this card in itself won’t affect your future 5/24 eligibility. This it makes a “free” application if you are already eligible.

This card is very focused on rewarding you for being a United customer. Before you board, you might use one of your free United Club lounge passes. You have the first checked bag for free on United flights, both for your and a companion traveling on the same reservation. The fee is usually $30 per person, each way, so that this how they get the value of $120 each roundtrip. You also get Priority Boarding, which helps you find space for your carry-on.

Expanded award availability. You earn United miles for all your purchases (double miles on restaurants and hotel stays), but then they also make it easier for you to redeem those miles on Saver level tickets with no blackout dates. Expanded award seat availability is another of the top perks from this card, and it is actually a significant difference. Saver Award ticket redemptions start at 12,500 miles one-way within the continental U.S. and Canada.

Another unique feature of this card is that it offers primary coverage on the Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. On many other cards, this coverage is offered as secondary coverage, meaning it only kicks in after your personal auto insurance has been exhausted.

Bottom line. The United Explorer Business card offers valuable perks for folks that fly United even just once or twice a year. The card provides lounge passes, a free checked bag, priority boarding, and inflight discounts. There are bonus categories to earn more miles, and special expanded award seat inventory for credit card holders to make it easier to actually redeem those miles for flights.

I have added this card to the Top 10 Best Small Business Card Bonus Offers.

Top 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers – March 2019

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

Do you have small business income or work as an independent contractor? Uber/Lyft, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb? You are eligible to open a small business credit card, which keeps your personal and business expenses separate. If you are not a corporation or LLC, you can apply as a sole proprietorship, with your name as the business name and your Social Security number as the Tax ID number. I did this for years successfully before incorporating my business.

Small business credit cards are offering strong perks and $500+ value for a single card during the first year to try out a new card. Below are the top 10 credit card offers that I would apply for (or have applied for already) as of March 2019. Recent changes:

  • Improved Alaska Air Business 40k + BOGO offer.
  • New 100k Marriott Bonvoy Business limited-time offer.
  • Updated CitiBusiness AA card offer.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers for personal cards. Notice that small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

Note: Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards on your credit report within the past 2 years. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

  • 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,000 towards travel!) after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card

  • $500 bonus cash back after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card

  • 100,000 bonus points after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. Limited-time offer expires 3/18/19. See link for details.
  • Points can be used towards Marriott (and former Starwood) hotel stays, or converted to select airlines miles.
  • Annual fee is $125 (if applied for the card before 3/27/2019, the annual fee for the first year is waived, then $95). Free night award upon card anniversary (worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points).

Capital One Spark Cash for Business Card

  • $500 cash bonus after $4,500 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 2% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Capital One Spark Miles for Business Card

  • 50,000 bonus miles after $4,500 in purchases in the first 3 months. 50,000 miles is redeemable for $500 towards travel. See link for details.
  • Flat 2X miles per dollar on all purchases with no limit.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Card

  • 60,000 Rapid Rewards points (redeemable for $900+ in Wanna Getaway airfare) after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • $99 annual fee.
  • Combine with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Consumer Card to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

  • $600 cash back. Earn a $200 statement credit after each $10,000 you spend in purchases, up to $30,000, within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 1.5% early pay discount on all purchases which stacks on top of the bonus above.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $250.

  • Up to 65,000 total American Airlines miles: 50,000 miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months 15,000 bonus miles after a total of $10,000 in purchases within the first 12 months. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic flights perk ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99.

United Explorer Business Card

  • 50,000 United miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $120 per roundtrip).
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to redeem for that saver award economy ticket.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

(Barclaycard)

  • 50,000 Hawaiian miles after $1,000 in purchases with the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • One-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and the Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

(Bank of America)

  • 40,000 Alaska miles + BOGO Companion Fare Voucher after $2,000 in purchase within 90 days. See link for details.
  • Companion fare voucher is “Buy one ticket, get one for just taxes and fees” ($0 fare taxes and fees from just $22).
  • Free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation.
  • $50 annual fee for company, $25 per card.

Delta SkyMiles American Express Cards: 60,000 Mile + $50 Statement Credit Limited-Time Offer

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

American Express and Delta Airlines have various credit cards that offer special perks like free checked bags, priority boarding, and the ability to earn Delta Skymiles with card purchases. However, as you can only get the welcome bonuses once on each of these cards per person per lifetime (each card is considered different), I recommend waiting until a limited-time offer to maximize your benefit. Here are the latest such offers:

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 Bonus Miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 4/3/19.
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $240 per round trip for a family of four ($30 each way, per person).
  • Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

This limited-time 60,000 mile offer + $50 statement credit is one of the highest welcome offers for this Gold card that I can remember. The standard offer has been about 35,000 miles in the past. Delta now offers a minimum value out of your Skymiles via the “Pay with Miles” option. 60,000 Skymiles can reduce the price of your Delta ticket by $600 at the very least. (5,000 mile = $50 minimum redemption.) You can still book the traditional award tickets and possibly get better value.

Add in the waived annual fee for the first year, and I will be adding this limited-time offer to the Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you make $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $240 per round trip for a family of four ($30 each way, per person).
  • Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.
  • Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • $195 Annual Fee.

In my opinion, a good reason to pick the Platinum over the others is if you can use that companion certificate. I used to have the Platinum version when I flew on Delta a lot, and it was easy to get $300+ value out of it every year when my wife and I flew together. The MQM boosts also help if you are trying to reach a certain status level.

Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 75,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Complimentary Delta Sky Club® access. Enter Delta Sky Club® at no cost and bring up to two guests for an exclusive rate of $29 per person per visit.
  • First checked bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $240 per round trip for a family of four ($30 each way, per person).
  • Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.
  • Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding.
  • $450 Annual Fee.

In my opinion, the main reason to pick the Reserve over the others is if you fly Delta a lot and get enough value out of lounge access via the Delta Sky Club membership. I am disappointed that the perk doesn’t include family members or companions on the same itinerary, however. The First Class companion certificate is also pretty cool, but I am personally unwilling to pay cash for a First Class seat, even if the second one is free ( taxes and fees). You may feel differently.

Every card above also offers 2X miles on direct Delta purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases. You get 2 miles for every dollar spent directly with Delta. This includes flights booked on Delta.com, seat upgrades, Sky Club membership or day passes, Delta Vacations packages, or in-flight food/entertainment purchases like food, beverages, and entertainment.

Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Card Review: Up to 120,000 Bonus Points

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card is the IHG hotel co-branded card with a new, improved bonus offer of up to 120,000 IHG points. Here are the highlights:

  • Up to 120,000 total bonus points: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening an additional 40,000 bonus points after spending a total of $5,000 on purchases within 6 months of account opening.
  • Free Night award after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Valid at IHG® Hotels with a current point redemption level of 40,000 points or less. Plus, enjoy a free reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights.
  • Earn 10 points per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel.
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $89 annual fee.

This is a relatively new card, but please note the following:

This product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.

This offer is for the new “IHG Club Premier” card, so this language should mean that if you have the older and different “IHG Club Select” card, you can still apply for this card and get the sign-up bonus.

What can you get with IHG points? The best redemption value for IHG points is for free hotel nights. The other options offer significantly less value. While the points don’t translate directly to a dollar value, but overall you should expect around 0.60 cents of value per point. This would place 80,000 IHG points at a $480 value and IHG points at a $720 value. You can perform the calculations for hotels that fit your needs. I tried a bunch of other various combinations and got between 0.5 cents and 0.8 cents per point equivalent value.

IHG stands for Intercontinental Hotel Group which has over 5,000 hotels including the following brands:

  • Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts
  • Crowne Plaza
  • Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Candlewood Suites
  • Hotel Indigo
  • EVEN Hotels

IHG Rewards Club puts out a new list of PointBreaks hotels every few months where you can redeem a hotel night for only 5,000 to 15,00 points. There are some nice hotels on the list, but the locations are very specific and few people are sufficiently flexible with their travel to constantly take advantage of these deals. However, you could get value of over 1 cent per IHG point with a hotel on this list.

IHG points expire after 24 months of inactivity, so if you keep up your activity then you can save up these free nights for later. Chase Ultimate Rewards points also convert to IHG points.

Ongoing rewards structure. I might book my IHG nights on this card, but not my everyday purchases on an ongoing basis. Remember that IHG points are worth less than other points like Hyatt or Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

  • 10 IHG points total per $1 spent at IHG properties.
  • 2 IHG points per $1 spent at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  • 1 IHG point per $1 spent on all other card purchases

I would consider keeping this card if you can use the anniversary night certificate with the 40,000 point maximum value. You should be able to get $89 value out of it as long as you need a hotel night. Stay must be completed within 12 months from date of issue.

Bottom line. The Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier credit card has a current sign-up bonus of up to 120,000 total IHG points. As with most of these co-branded cards, the best value is obtained by regular IHG hotel customers. Even after the annual fee, the total first-year value of this card is still over $630 if you value IHG points at 0.6 cents per point. (Even more if you can use the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck $100 credit.)

I will be adding this new, improved offer to the Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card Review: 100,000 Point Limited Time Offer

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is the rebranded Chase/Marriott card after the merger of Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott (formerly the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card). This card offers unique perks for regular Marriott customers, and right now there is a limited-time offer bump to 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points (a 25k increase to their previous 75k offer). Here are the highlights:

  • Limited Time Offer! Earn 100,000 Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • An additional Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn 6X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 6,700 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.

Keep in mind the following:

The bonus is not available to you if you:

(1) are a current cardmember, or were a previous cardmember within the last 30 days, of Marriott BonvoyTM American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express);

(2) are a current or previous cardmember of either Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card), and received a new cardmember bonus or upgrade bonus in the last 24 months; or

(3) applied and were approved for Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM American Express® Card (also known as The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express) or Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express® Card (also known as the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express Luxury Card) within the last 90 days.

That’s a lot of long card names, but note the different 30-day, 90-day, and 24-month waiting periods that may now include Marriott business cards. (See my Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Review.) This is why you should be looking to get the best possible bonus (like a limited-time offer) if you do apply.

The Marriott and Starwood merger is now complete, and you can use these points at either Marriott properties (Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance Hotels, Courtyard, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites) or former Starwood Properties (Westin, Sheraton, The Luxury Collection, Four Points by Sheraton, W Hotels, St. Regis, Le Méridien, Aloft).

Here’s the new :

You could use 70,000 points on two free nights at a Category 5 hotel like the Courtyard Waikiki Beach in Hawaii on a standard date, or you could get 4 free nights at a Category 3 hotel like the Residence Inn Austin Arboretum.

You can still turn your points into airline miles with a bonus. 60,000 Marriott points = 25,000 airline miles. Similar to the old Starwood bonus structure, they will add 15,000 points for every 60,000 points you transfer to airline miles.

Finally, Marriott points are also convertible to gift cards, but it takes 60,000 points to redeem for a $200 gift card for Marriott or retailers like Best Buy, Home Depot, or Nordstrom. That ratio isn’t all that great so you’ll definitely get the most value via hotel night redemptions or airline miles transfer.

Free Night Award. At your card anniversary (when you pay the annual fee), you will receive a Free Night Award that is good for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. This excludes the very top properties, but for regular travelers it will be very easy to get your $95 value. Many W Hotels, Westin, and even some Ritz-Carltons worldwide are included. Here are some sample hotels that qualify under the 35,000 point limit:

  • Sheraton Kona Resort (Big Island, Hawaii)
  • Westin Hapuna Beach Resort (Big Island, Hawaii)
  • Courtyard Waikiki Beach (Honolulu, Oahu)
  • Sheraton Kauai Resort (Kauai, Hawaii)
  • W Atlanta
  • New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
  • W Chicago
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing, China
  • The S. Regis Bangkok, Thailand

Bottom line. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card (formerly the Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card) has been refreshed with a new limited-time offer of 100,000 bonus Marriott points. Previously, the standard offer was 75,000 points, so you may consider this a good time to apply. As with all hotel cards, the value is dependent on your unique travel preferences. If you stay at Marriott/Starwood properties regularly, the free annual night award should easily cover the annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card Review – 100,000 Bonus Miles Limited-Time Offer

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is the re-branded business credit card of the Marriott Bonvoy program (formed after the merger of Marriott Rewards and Starwood Preferred Guest). This card offers unique perks for Marriott customers, but now through 4/24/19, there is a limited-time offer bump to 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. In addition, if you apply by 3/28/19, the annual fee is waived during the first year. Here are the highlights:

  • Limited time offer: 100,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months.
  • 6x points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 4x points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, U.S. purchases on shipping, and wireless telephone services purchased from U.S. service providers
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • 1 Free Night Award each year after your Card account anniversary you can use at a participating hotel. (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points). Certain hotels may have resort fees.
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status. Additionally, earn Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 on eligible purchases on your card in a calendar year.
  • Elite Night Credit. Each calendar year you can receive credit for 15 nights towards the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status.
  • Annual fee is $125 (if applied for the card before 3/27/2019, the annual fee for the first year is waived, then $95)

Keep in mind the following terms and conditions:

Welcome offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product or The Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express. We may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors in making a decision on your welcome offer eligibility.

Welcome offer not available to applicants who (i) have or have had the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Business from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Business Credit Card from Chase, or the Marriott Bonvoy BusinessTM from Chase, or the Marriott Rewards Business Credit Card from Chase in the last 30 days, (ii) have acquired the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase in the last 90 days, or (iii) received a new cardmember bonus in the last 24 months on the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM from Chase, the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card from Chase, the Marriott BonvoyTM Premier Plus from Chase or the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card from Chase.

This is more specific than before, note the different 30-day, 90-day, and 24-month waiting periods that may now include consumer cards. American Express usually gives you a pop-up warning during the application process if you are ineligible based on their records. This is why you should be looking to get the best possible bonus (like a limited-time offer and waived annual fee) when you do apply.

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, Uber/Lyft drivers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Free Night Award. At your card anniversary (when you pay the annual fee), you will receive a Free Night Award that is good for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. This excludes the very top properties, but for regular travelers it will be very easy to get your $95 or even $125 value. Many W Hotels, Westin, and even some Ritz-Carltons worldwide are included. Here are some sample hotels that qualify under the 35,000 point limit:

  • Sheraton Kona Resort (Big Island, Hawaii)
  • Westin Hapuna Beach Resort (Big Island, Hawaii)
  • Courtyard Waikiki Beach (Honolulu, Oahu)
  • Sheraton Kauai Resort (Kauai, Hawaii)
  • W Atlanta
  • New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge
  • Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile
  • W Chicago
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Beijing, China
  • The S. Regis Bangkok, Thailand

Bottom line. The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is the new co-branded business card between Marriott/SPG and American Express. However, the best time to apply is before 3/27/19 as you will be eligible for both the limited-time 100,000 bonus miles offer and the annual fee waiver during the first year (also your annual fee will be only $95 in future years instead of $125.) You also get a Free Night Award at card anniversary, which can be worth much more than the annual fee.

I have added this card to the Top 10 Best Small Business Card Bonus Offers.

How to Track Credit Score Changes + Free Credit Monitoring (No Credit Card Required)

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

Updated 2019. As noted, the government requires the credit bureaus to provide you a free credit report once every 12 months. However, the services listed below provide you a free credit score updated throughout the year either daily, weekly, or monthly. The best ones also offer free daily credit monitoring and/or free identity protection services. As of 2019, all three major credit bureaus are covered: TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

None of the services below require credit card number to sign up, so you don’t have to worry about any surprise charges. These are either ad-supported (they will pitch you stuff) and/or they are “freemium” services with a paid upgrade option (but you can stay free forever).

Credit Sesame

CreditSesame.com offers a free credit score every month, based on your TransUnion credit report (VantageScore). Score range is 300-850. They only require the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. No trial or credit card required. The best part about Credit Sesame in my experience is that they have the most reliable credit alerts (and the free insurance which I haven’t used).

  • Free daily credit monitoring. Credit Sesame also offers free daily credit monitoring of your TransUnion data, with alerts coming via e-mail, text, or smartphone app. This service tracks more than 40 different credit activities such as a balance change, address change or when a new account is opened.
  • Free identity protection and restoration services. Credit Sesame also includes $50,000 in identity theft insurance and access to identity restoration support in their free membership level.

Credit Karma

CreditKarma.com offers you two free credit scores, based on your TransUnion and Equifax credit reports and updated weekly (VantageScore). Score range is 300-850. They only require the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. No trial or credit card required. The best part about Credit Karma in my experience is that you get two credit bureaus covered in one service.

  • Free credit monitoring. Credit Karma also offers free e-mail credit monitoring alerts of your TransUnion data.

FreeCreditScore.com

offers a free credit score every month, based on your Experian credit report (FICO 08). Score range is 300-850. They require your full Social Security Number. No trial or credit card required. The best part about FreeCreditScore.com in my experience is that they are a rare free option to track changes to your Experian report.

  • Free credit monitoring. They also offer free e-mail credit monitoring alerts of your Experian data.

WalletHub

offers a free credit score based on your TransUnion credit report (VantageScore), updated daily. Score range is 300-850. They only require the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number. No trial or credit card required. The best part about WalletHub in my experience is that they offer daily access to your full TransUnion credit report, if for some reason you want to check your full report that often.

Note that some of the scores above are not FICO scores because Fair Isaac charges more money in licensing fees and these companies may not be able to cover those costs with their advertising. However, these services are still be very useful for tracking changes in your credit history. I enjoy getting alerts if a credit card balance is paid in full, if there is a new credit inquiry, or if my credit utilization ratio gets too high on a specific credit line. This is also a great way to get early warning of any fraudulent activity.

Bottom line. I use the services above to keep track of any daily changes to my credit reports across all three credit bureaus for free. None of them require my credit card number, and they alert me to things like new accounts, new credit check inquiries, and high credit line usage.

Southwest Companion Pass: Chase Southwest Credit Card Bonuses

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

Southwest now flies to Hawaii! Southwest Airlines offers a unique feature called the , which lets you pick one person to fly with free when you book either paid or award flights. If you either fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, and you’ll earn the Companion Pass for the remainder of that year the following full calendar year. For example, if you earned it in February 2019, you would have the benefit for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020. You can change your designated companion up to three times each calendar year.

Points earned from credit cards count toward that 110,000 point requirement, including sign-up bonuses. You can often get very close to that magic number when you add up the potential miles from these Southwest credit cards:

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card

  • 40,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 3,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $69 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card

  • 40,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $99 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority card

  • 40,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 7,500 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit.
  • Four Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • 20% back on inflight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies.
  • Earn tier qualifying points towards A-list status.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $149 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card

  • 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $99 annual fee.

Value of Rapid Rewards points. After you earn the required 110,000 Rapid Rewards, redeeming them for flight values varies in a narrow range, but a reasonable approximation from my experience is $1,700 in Wanna Get Away airfare (you are still liable for taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way). Importantly, Southwest does NOT have blackout dates or seat restrictions when you redeem with points. This means that Southwest points are much easier to use than a “saver award” on traditional airlines. Now, if you manage to qualify for the the Companion Pass on every trip that you book with those points, that doubles the potential value of each award redemption.

Another option to consider is gift card redemptions. You can still redeem 5,000 points for a $50 a Amazon.com or Wal-Mart gift certificate. That makes 50,000 points still worth $500 in Amazon or Walmart gift cards.

Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person. The fees on the other airlines have crept up to $30 per bag, each-way. That adds up.

Our family policy is to not try out a new credit card unless it offers us $500 in total value. Just the free award flights from the points are enough to satisfy that rule, and then you can add on the potential value of the companion tickets.

Card restrictions. All of these Southwest credit cards are subject to “5/24” restrictions, which means that your application will be automatically denied if you have opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months (check your credit reports). Our household strategy is to have one person only apply for Chase 5/24 cards, and the other person applies for everything else. There is also this language on the consumer card:

The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.

Basically, you can get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest consumer card once every 24 months. You can also get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest business card once every 24 months.

Extending your Companion Pass with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest points on a 1:1 basis. The idea is is to book an award flight with those Southwest points while you have the Companion Pass, thus doubling the value of your Ultimate Rewards points as well.

Bottom line. Right now, you can earn 100,000 Southwest points from qualifying for just two credit card sign-up bonuses (one personal and one business), which is only 10,000 points short of qualifying for the Southwest Companion pass (and a lot of free Southwest flights!). A Companion Pass earned now would get you a free companion ticket on every flight bought with cash or points for the rest of 2019 and all of 2020. Plus, Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person.

ABOC Platinum Rewards Credit Card Review – 5X Rewards on Rotating Categories

“The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone.”

The ABOC Platinum Rewards Credit Card just got revamped to include 5X rewards on rotating categories each quarter. This card is a Mastercard issued by the Amalgamated Bank of Chicago (ABoC), a 100+ year-old commercial bank. Right now, it is offering a $150 sign-up bonus to new cardholders (see requirements below). There are a few quirks, so read on for the details.

  • $150 statement credit after making $1,200 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. Your account must be open and in good standing to get the bonus.
  • Earn 5x rewards on up to $1500 in combined purchases each quarter in popular categories such as dining, groceries, travel, and automotive.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. After that, your APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. You must transfer your balance within 90 days of your account open date for the promotional APR to apply.
  • Late payments will not result in a higher interest rate.
  • No annual fee.

2019 ABoC Platinum Rewards Calendar

You will earn 5 points per $1 spent up to $1500 in combined purchases each quarter. Here is the entire calendar for 2019:

From January 1st through March 31st, 2019 you can earn 5X rewards on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Grocery
  • Pharmacy
  • Restaurants

You must first register each quarter at ABOCRewards.com or in your online account before you can start earning the 5X rewards.

Points redemption. You’ll note that it says 5X rewards, not 5% cash back. That is because you technically earn points, and the points can be transferred to travel, cash (in the form of a statement credit), gift cards, and merchandise at different ratios.

The best redemption rate is redeeming towards their travel portal at 1 point = $0.01 in value. There are limited details about this on their website. The key question is whether an airfare ticket or hotel night costs the same on the ABOC travel portal as on Expedia, Travelocity, etc. The cash back option is 1 point = $0.0075, which would turn the 5X rewards into 3.75% straight cash back in the form of a statement credit. The gift card redemption value is in between cash and travel credit, and may be worthwhile if its a merchant you shop at anyway.

Similar cards. I will be adding this card to my list of 5% back cards with rotating categories, including:

I would personally get the Chase Freedom and Discover it ahead of this card, if only because they offer a straight 5% cash back on their rotating categories without having to go through a travel portal. However, if you already have those cards, this card would make a nice addition as the category calendars are not exactly the same, and you will get increased spending limits even if they do happen to match up.

Bottom line. The ABOC Platinum Rewards Credit Card offers a sign-up bonus and 5X rewards on rotating categories each quarter. The 5X points can be redeemed for an effective 3.75% cash back, or 5% back through their travel portal. If you already have similar rewards in your purse or wallet, this card can be a great addition as you can achieve higher spending limits and also possibly different categories in any given quarter.

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