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There’s no easier way to earn a large amount of miles quickly than with a new credit card. Here are the best cards with initial bonuses well worth getting a card for, each one with a bonus of at least 60,000 points. And that’ll boost your account balances quickly.
Since not all points are created equal I’m focusing on the high value offers — not just over 60,000 points, but offers of 60,000 or more points in especially valuable currencies. That leaves out the big offers for Hilton and Radisson cards, for instance, which have fairly inflated currencies.
Here are 6 of the cards I consider to have the very best initial 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 pay your cell phone.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card is offering 80,000 Rapid Rewards points with $5000 spend within 3 months. These points, and spending on the card, count towards earning a companion pass (110,000 points in a year gets travel for a companion for just security taxes any time you fly Southwest – even when you’re using points – through the end of the following year).
Cardmembers receive 4 upgraded boardings per year, A1-15 boarding, which you purchase at the gate and get statement credit back for, a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years and inflight wifi credits up to 365 times per year (and this is triggered by no annual fee additional employee cards, too).
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
This is the card to get started with. Get Sapphire Reserve later, perhaps product change to it after a year, this is the easier card to get approved for and it has a better annual fee.
Points transfer to United, Hyatt, Southwest, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, JetBlue, Air France KLM, JetBlue, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Marriott Rewards, and IHG Rewards Club. Probably the best all-around credit card, certainly for getting started in the hobby, and with a great signup bonus.
In fact since it has a bigger initial bonus offer than Sapphire Reserve (and you can’t get bonuses for both), and is easier to get approved for, a great strategy if you want Sapphire Reserve is to get the Sapphire Preferred card and ask Chase to product change in a year. In general Chase doesn’t approve this card for folks who have signed up for 5 or more new card accounts in the past 24 months, it’s the first card you should apply for.
- Citi Premier℠ Card is now offering a 60,000 point signup bonus after $4000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of account opening. This is only the second time I believe I’ve ever seen a 60,000 point initial offer for this card before. Those points transfer one-to-one to a variety of frequent flyer programs. It has a $95 annual fee and earns points quickly: [Offer expired.]
- 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations
- 2X Points on Dining Out & Entertainment
- 1X points on All Other Purchases
- 3X Points on Travel, Including Gas Stations
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard® best-ever offer with an initial bonus up to 75,000 miles: 65,000 miles after $1000 in purchases within 90 days and 10,000 more miles for making a purchase with an employee card. The card has a $95 annual fee which does apply first year.
- Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® has a limited time offer to earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. And the card’s $99 annual fee is $0 the first year – something I don’t see often for this card.
You receive a one-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines, and an annual $100 companion discount for roundtrip travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines after each account anniversary.
Think there’s a card that belongs on this list but isn’t here, leave a comment!