I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. 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). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.
There are a bunch of new – and very big – credit card signup bonus offers out there, and some limited-time bonuses that are ending soon.
So far in 2016 we’ve gotten best-ever (or tied for best-ever) offers from several hotel programs. We’re also now seeing a bit of aggressiveness from the co-brand cards for all four of the largest US airlines. So despite banks’ apparent attempts to no longer wanting to hand out bonuses willy nilly, we’ve seeing a window of real generosity.
Here are the 9 personal cards I consider to have the very best signup bonus offers right now:
- 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. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® — but don’t do that because points transfers are better.
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 2002 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.
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.
- Citi Prestige offers 50,000 points after $3000 spend within 3 months. This is a $450 card, but gives you a $250 airline credit (which can be used on airfare, and earned twice during your first cardmember year if you apply now) and a $100 global entry credit. (Offer expired)
Points can be used to buy paid tickets on American at 1.6 cents apiece or transferred to miles with several airline programs. Here are 15 things I love about Citi Prestige Card. I carry this card in my wallet.
Etihad First Class. This card’s points transfer directly to programs like Etihad Guest which has some amazing values
The benefits are worth thousands of dollars. It’s worth jumping on.
The card comes with American Airlines lounge access (when flying American) and a Priority Pass Select card (with unlimited visits and 2 free guests). And 3 free rounds of golf per year, too, and 4th night free on hotels.
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is back offering 50,000 points after $2000 in spending on purchases within 3 months of account opening. 50,000 points are worth $500 in gift cards, or can be worth over $700 in Southwest travel.
The program has no change or redeposit fees on awards and offers a ‘companion pass’ — someone can travel with you for free whenever you travel whether you are traveling on paid tickets or on awards — after earning 110,000 points in a year and credit card spend and signup bonuses count towards this.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® has an offer of 60,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening — just increased from 50,000. The card gets you an Admirals Club membership, and no additional fee authorized cardmembers get club access. I have this card. (offer expired)
American Airlines Business Class Boeing 777-200 Zodiac Seat
- Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® from Bank of America will give you up to 90,000 bonus miles based on spend and adding authorized users, although the full bonus requires $25,000 in spend and waiting a year. Since the card earns 1.5 miles per dollar spent, you’d net 127,500 miles if you max out the offer.
However Virgin Atlantic miles are among the most challenging. Their partner awards require roundtrip travel, cannot be booked online, and incur fuel surcharges — and in my experience most agents are virtually unfamiliar with actually booking them. Their award chart is reasonable but fuel surcharges mitigate that benefit. And partners cannot be combined on a single ticket. This is a $90 annual fee card. Here’s my full analysis of the offer.
- Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee and a limited-time offer of 75,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first three months. (offer expired)
The card comes with Silver status and a ‘fast track’ to Gold status (“four stays within your first 90 days of account opening or when you make $20,000 or more in purchases each calendar year”) and 10,000 bonus points at the end of each calendar year in which you spend $1,000 or more on stays within the Hilton Portfolio.
The Base Level Room at the Conrad Koh Samui is a Standalone Ocean Villa With Private Pool
- IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card lets you earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. The bonus is enough for 2 nights at most IHG hotel properties (e.g. Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn) and as many as 12 nights for PointBreaks hotels.
It also gives you a free night each year of card membership at over 4,900 hotels worldwide. The card comes with automatic platinum elite status and a 10% rebate on your redemptions and has a $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49.
Intercontinental Kuala Lumpur