A Review of 12 credit card offers for 2017 ( A view from the wing)

These are the 12 Most Lucrative Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers in the New Year
by Gary Leff on February 15, 2017

I receive compensation for many links on this blog. You don’t have to use these links, but I am grateful to you if you do. American Express, Citibank, Chase, and other banks are advertising partners of this site. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available — instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same).
There are a bunch of new – and very big – credit card signup bonus offers out there, and some limited-time bonuses. In fact this list is nearly two-thirds new over the past 4 months.

Over the last year we’ve gotten best-ever (or tied for best-ever) offers from several hotel programs. And we’ve got the single best card offer we’ve come across in a long time.
Here are the 12 personal cards I consider to have the very best signup bonus offers right now:

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has an 80,000 point signup bonus after $5000 spend within 3 months. That can even be enough for a roundtrip business class award ticket between the US and Europe. (Chase points are super valuable because they transfer directly to a variety of airlines and hotels.)
It earns 3 points per dollar on travel — that’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, tolls, even Uber — and 3 points per dollar on shipping and advertising on social media and search engines, so great for anyone who advertises on Facebook or Twitter, or who spends money advertising with Google. It also comes with $600 protection against theft or damage when you use it to buy your cell phone.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
With a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95, I suggest that as the number on card to get started with in miles and points. Get Sapphire Reserve later, perhaps, the card’s annual fee makes this the one to get first.

Like Sapphire Reserve, points transfer to United, Hyatt, Southwest, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Air France KLM, Marriott Rewards, IHG Rewards Club, and Ritz-Carlton. Probably the best all-around credit card, and with a great signup bonus.

In the first quarter of 2012 Chase dropped the card from 50,000 points to 40,000 points. Now it’s back at 50 — but really 55,000 with the no fee addition of an authorized user. That’s huge for one of the best all-around cards, earning one of the best all-around points currencies, and that earns those points quickly.

You can earn another 5,000 bonus points when you add your first authorized user to the account and make a purchase in the same 3 months from account opening.

The card earns 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. The card has an introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95. Here are 10 things I love about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. I carry this card in my wallet.

best credit card bonus offers
Transfer Points and Redeem for Singapore Airlines A380 Suites

Since in general they don’t appear to be approving folks who have signed up for several cards recently, it’s the first card you should apply for. Here are the 8 best uses of the points you’ll earn.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card 50,000 point signup bonus after $4000 spend within 3 months; triple points on travel and dining; Priority Pass Select membership with free guests; $300 travel credit make this new Visa Infinite card from Chase with a $450 annual fee the most exciting new entrant of the year. It’s not my link, I don’t have a direct link to the card, the content doesn’t come from Chase and they don’t review it. Reportedly it’s still available inside Chase branches with a 100,000 point bonus offer.
Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN offers 50,000 Membership Rewards points after $5,000 spend on purchases with the card within your first 3 months of cardmembership.
United MileagePlus Explorer Card has a special limited-time offer of 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. This is often available targeted, logged into your account, but not for everyone — right now it’s publicly available.
The card comes with first checked bag free when you use your card to purchase your ticket; priority boarding (which is super important if you book a Basic Economy fare, because it avoids the prohibition on full-sized carry on bags), and 2 one-time United Club passes each year for your card anniversary.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ MasterCard® has an offer for a limited time to earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
There’s a $0 annual fee the first year, then $95. Cardmembers receive one free checked bag and group 1 boarding.

They’ve also got the limited-time offer running for the business version, CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®.
American AAdvantage Miles Can Be Redeemed on Etihad

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN has a limited-time offer of up to 75,000 Membership Rewards points: 50,000 points after $10,000 spend within 3 months and an additional 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 within those first 3 months.
The $450 card comes with a $200 airline fee credit. It gets you lounge access — Priority Pass, Delta lounges when flying Delta same-day, and their own Centurion lounges. And it gets you elite status — Hilton Gold and Starwood Gold which matches to Marriott Gold.
American Express Centurion Lounge Houston

Citi Prestige Card offers 40,000 points after $4,000 spend within 3 months of account opening. There are fantastic points transfer options, from Singapore Airlines to Air France to Etihad Guest. The card comes with a Priority Pass Select that allows unlimited visits and 2 free guests each time.
I’ve been building up points with this card to diversify my balances since I have plenty of Chase and American Express points already.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has a signup bonus right now of 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. You also receive 3,000 points after your cardmember anniversary every year. Usually it’s the more expensive ‘Premier’ card that offers this bonus.
Points count towards the Southwest Companion Pass. And if you prefer not to use them for travel you can redeem them at a penny apiece for gift cards as well.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® offers 50,000 miles after $5000 spend within the first 3 months of cardmembership. This card comes with American Airlines Club membership and no annual fee authorized users get access to the club as well. The card’s annual fee is $450.

New American Airlines B/E Aerospace Super Diamond Business Class

Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card is offering its biggest signup offer ever at 80,000 points after spending $3000 within the first 3 months of cardmembership and an additional 7500 bonus points when you add your first authorized user to the account and make a purchase in that same timeframe. Now that Marriott points transfer to Starwood, it’s the biggest current public signup offer for Starwood points as well.
It’s worth two nights in a category 8 hotel or 4 nights in a category 4 or 8 nights in a category 2 hotel.
Starwood’s Al Maha Desert Resort – Base Room is a Standalone Villa With Private Pool

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard has a $0 annual fee the first year and crucially there’s a limited-time offer of 50,000 points after $3,000 spend on purchases in the first 90 days. That’s worth $500 as a travel credit then you get 5% back, or $25, to redeem again.
It’s a great way to pay for travel expenses that don’t get covered by award tickets and free hotel nights.

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Want the Southwest Companion Pass? Here is the way…

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The information related to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card has been collected by AwardWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

This is an Article from Awardwallet.com
The Southwest Companion Pass has been front & center in rewards travel press lately. One of the best perks in the points & miles world, earn a companion pass and you and a travel buddy can fly two for the price of one on any Southwest flight paying cash or points.
And, even better, if you get the companion pass early in the year. You can use it for the rest of that year, plus the entire next year. Giving you 2-for-1 flights for the better part of two years!
The great news is, you can now get the Southwest Companion Pass for as little as $5,000 in credit card spend! Applying for just two limited-time credit card offers on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card.
Southwest Airlines 737
photo credit: airlines470 N401WN LAX via photopin (license)
The End of the Companion Pass via Partner Transfers
One of the major sweet spots to emerge from the Marriott/Starwood merger was a shortcut for SPG members to attain the companion pass for 90K Starpoints.
Transferring 90K Starpoints to Marriott at a 1:3 ratio gives members 270K Marriott Rewards points. Enough for Marriott’s Hotel + Air Package #3. The holiday package provides 7 nights accommodation in a Category 1-5 Marriott property + 120,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points.
Hello Southwest Companion Pass!
Whether the merger was the catalyst for Southwest closing this loophole, we don’t know. But it didn’t take long for a statement to emerge announcing changes to companion pass terms and conditions. The new policy no longer allows for transfers from hotel and car rental rewards programs, plus a host of bank and online rewards. Effectively shutting down one of the easiest routes to gaining the companion pass.
While Southwest has offered a reprieve, extending the cut-off date for transfers to March 31, 2017. It’s left a lot of Rapid Rewards members questioning what’s the new fastest route to the companion pass for 2017.
The Fastest Way to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass in 2017
There’s good news for anyone wanting to earn the Southwest Companion Pass for 2017/18. Southwest may have closed the transfer loophole, but they’ve also opened up a shortcut via two of their co-branded credit cards!
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card – Limited time signup bonus of 50,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. (Read our in-depth review)
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card – Limited time signup bonus of 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
$5,000 minimum spend = 110,000 Rapid Rewards points = Southwest Companion Pass!
And, just in case you’re unsure the signup bonuses are a valid path to the companion pass, the T&C’s have it in black and white:
Companion Pass Qualifying Points are earned from revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlines, points earned on Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards, and base points earned from Rapid Rewards Partners.
What this means is signing up for just two credit cards, and meeting the minimum spend requirements of only $5,000, can automatically earn you one of the most coveted perks in rewards travel. The low minimum spending requirements on these two cards make this the fastest and most affordable path to earning a companion pass in 2017.
Are the Southwest Cards Subject to the 5/24 Rule?
Yes, the Southwest Plus Card and the Southwest Premier Business Card both fall under Chase’s requirements for new credit card applications. For those not yet up to date with the 5/24 rule. It is highly likely you will not be approved for new credit card applications with Chase if you have added 5 or more credit cards to your credit report within the last 24 months.
While this can feel restrictive for frequent flyers that like to accumulate points and miles across multiple programs, for the majority of travelers who focus on just one or two rewards programs, it doesn’t present a major inconvenience.
An excellent strategy to employ if you plan on accumulating more than 5 cards over the next 24 months? Focus on acquiring Chase cards like the Southwest Plus Card, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card before extending your search out to other credit card providers.
Why the Southwest Cards over More Flexible Points Earning Cards?
Why would you get the two Southwest cards instead of a card that earns flexible rewards points such as Ultimate Rewards (which transfer to Rapid Rewards at 1:1)?
Cards like the Sapphire Preferred are arguably better travel rewards cards for travelers that fly a variety of airlines. But as a means of attaining the Southwest Companion Pass, the Southwest cards win hands down. Ultimate Rewards points do transfer to Rapid Rewards at 1:1, however, they don’t count towards a companion pass under Southwest’s transfer policy.
Final Thoughts
The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most valuable perks in rewards travel. And for a limited-time, you can get it for the better part of two years by acquiring the Southwest Plus Card, and the Southwest Premier Business Card, and meeting a minimum spend of $5K.
The window for getting a companion pass via points transfers from partners is closing on March 31, 2017. And there is no saying how long these limited-time credit card offers will stick around. If you’ve been looking for a method of attaining a companion pass and qualify for these cards, now is a fantastic time to pull the trigger.

Let’s get her that ticket…

We’ve identified the problem, now what…?  You’ll notice there were no Airline Credit cards on the list.  One word, sustainability.  We’ll cover that later.

First, lets go to Google Flights (www.google.com/flights) and enter the dates and locations.  The best value shows in green.   United $575.00 round trip with one stop in Chicago.  Hmmm,  that’s a lot of money.  Let’s explore other options with our 4 cards.

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve:  We received 50k points when we signed up.  $300 Airline credit, which can be used for any travel expense.   Go to Chase.com, find Travel and put in your flight information.  Ok. same price but they will book the flight for 38,333 points.  Is this a good value? 38,333 x .021=$805.00 worth of points. Not liking that…even if I remove the $300 credit, I’m still at $505.00
  2. American Express Business Platinum: We received 75k for signing up.  $200 Airline credit but we have to choose one airline and stay locked in for a year. 50% Point refund when you book at Amex Travel.  Go to American Express and log into your account, select travel, enter the info and…same price $575.00 or 57,500 MR points.  We have the points but wait, we get half back!  That means we ultimately use 28,750 MR points.  28,750 x .019=$546.25.  $200 travel credit is no help because it only applies to luggage fees, lounge access fee’s etc..  Ho-Hum
  3. Starwood SPG card:  We received 25k in points for signing up.  Remember that little card quirk?  we’ll come back to that…
  4. Amex Everyday Preferred: Put it away, other than getting points for the purchase, it’s no help here.
  5. Now at this point I go to United.com and enter my flight info and ask it to show the price  in miles.  50k United miles for this trip. United miles are valued at ~.015 each so 50,000x.015=$750.00 in United miles…still no good. BTW, we don’t have an Airline card so where do we get the miles anyway?  Chase Sapphire will transfer 1-1 to United.  50k Ultimate Rewards=50k United Miles, very easy to do.  Math time:  50k Chase points are valued at .021 each.  $1050.00.  Definitely not a good option.
  6. Last stop is Delta.com, enter info, choose show flights with points…What’s this? 20k Delta points round trip non-stop?! Wow Really?  Same Problem though, I have no Delta Points.  Amex Membership Rewards ALSO transfer 1-1 to Delta easily.  20,000 MR points x.019=$380.00 +about $20 in taxes, so we are near $400.00 round trip and non stop.  Use the $200.00 travel credit (choosing Delta or use the $300 Chase credit at the check-in counter to pay luggage fees.
  7. The SPG use 20k points get 25k airline miles option?  No good here. 20k x.027=$540.00
  8. So I used 20k MR points from Amex, transferred to Delta immediately, booked a $575.00 flight for around $380 in points+~20 in taxes.  Told her to be thankful and take a carry-on bag (free) and went about my day.

This Matters:  In points and miles, your goal is to obtain more value that the point value is listed for, that is a win.  Amex values their points at ~.019 so, we received $575.00 in value for $380 in points.  575/20,000=.028 in return!  We used points valued at .019 and made them worth .028.  Big Win.  This math applies to Hotels and Airlines.  If I can’t at least equal the value of the point, it’s time to just pay for it and earn more points.

Wasn’t that a fun exercise?  I love that part and while it appeared to take a lot of time, it took me about 10 minutes start to finish.  As you become more familiar with PMs, you will become more efficient.

Let’s put on a pot of Bourbon and settle in next to the fire…

This will be a long discussion, so let’s clear our minds and go down the Rabbit Hole together.

They’re many ways to solve problems.  In this business, I like to identify the problem and work backwards to the solution.

My daughter has a travel problem.  My kinda Problem.  She needs to fly from A to B on a Thursday and return the following Sunday. Sounds simple enough right?  We need to get a ticket.  How hard can it be.  If you’re loaded and don’t care call a travel agent and pay cash. If you want a money-saving challenge (and you are cheap like me) read on.

In today’s world, buying a plane ticket can be overwhelming.  There are so many ways to buy them (Orbitz, Priceline, Delta etc…) and they all have “The Best Deal”.  I don’t count on deals, I count on smart (or at least my version of it).  Random Scenario Time….

You have to choose 4 credit cards.  That’s  It.  Which 4 do you choose?   They must give you the best of everything with Hotels and Airlines and they must be sustainable. Sustainable means that once you use up the points they give you, the card must provide extraordinary  value for you to keep using it to earn points, perks or SOMETHING.  This is where it gets subjective and everybody has an opinion.

Here is my 4:  Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Business Platinum, Starwood (SPG) and American Express Everyday Preferred.

What does this even have to do with the Airline Ticket Problem?  Lots…Below is a brief description of some of the benefits of my 4.

  1. Chase Sapphire Reserve:  3 pts per $ on Travel/Dining, $300 annual Anything Travel Credit,  Airport Lounge access, 50K sign-up pts and when used for travel, it’s worth ~$750.00.  Value per point ~.021
  2. Amex Business Platinum:  1 pt per $, 2 pts if you book through the Amex Travel portal, $200 Airline credit (cannot be used to buy ticket, good for luggage etc…), lounge access, Automatic Gold with SPG (also Marriott and Ritz) and Hilton, 50% of Arline Points back (Wow) and GOGO and Boingo. Wifi-Airplane and Wifi-Airports and elsewhere,  respectively. 75k sign-up points.  Value per point ~.019
  3. SPG is easier, it’s the best way to earn points in non-Dining/Travel.  You also get great value when you use it at Starwood, Marriott and Ritz Hotels.  It has a quirky perk, 20k SPG points becomes 25k points at over 150 Airlines. 25k sign-up points   Value per point ~.027
  4. Amex Everyday Preferred:  This is my Gas and Grocery card, 3 amex (MR) points per $ at Grocery stores and 2 points per $ for fuel.  15k sign-up points Value per point .019.

Quick Note, Chase Points are called Ultimate Reward Points (UR) and Amex Points are called Membership Rewards Points (MR).  Check out each card for details (I just covered a few of the details that apply to our long forgotten problem).  Keep in mind this list does not include all benefit etc…and is subjective;  Translation, no whining if you disagree.

Tomorrow let’s get back to the “problem” and it’s solution.  This is a two-parter…

 

 

 

 

Increased American Express Credit Card Bonuses (Incognito Mode) Are Back Again + List Of Offers – Doctor Of Credit

It’s possible to get increased sign up bonuses on many American Express cards again, these are often referred to incognito mode offers (as it’s possible to get them to show up by using incognito mode. If that doesn’t work, try one of these methods instead). AmEx EveryDay Preferred 30,000 Membership Rewards Offer. Great deal, especially [&hellip

Source: Increased American Express Credit Card Bonuses (Incognito Mode) Are Back Again + List Of Offers – Doctor Of Credit