15 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers [January 2021]

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The biggest credit card offers are the quickest, easiest way to earn a large amount of miles and jump start your travel. These are the most lucrative. There are several new best-ever and limited-time offers that have come out over the last several weeks. Half of the offers on this list are new. Even if you aren’t planning travel now, it’s the perfect time to start earning a stash of miles.

Every month I post what I find are the biggest credit card offers out there. Some of last month’s biggest credit card offers are gone or changed. What excites me is that card rewards really seem to be on the upswing again.

Here’s the current up to date list of biggest credit card offers right now – the most lucrative bonuses available. And here are easy ways to meet the minimum spend required by some of the offers.

    my wallet of biggest credit card offers

Here are the cards I consider to be the biggest credit card offers with rich bonuses right now:

  1. Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has a 100,000 point signup bonus after $15,000 spend within 3 months. That can even be enough for a roundtrip business class award ticket between the US and Europe.

    It earns 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent each year on travel — that’s airlines, hotels, rental cars, tolls, even Uber — and 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.

    singapore airlines a380 suites

  2. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card has an offer to earn 80,000 Rapid Rewards points as an initial bonus: 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months and an additional 30,000 points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 9 months.

    This is the perfect time to get a Southwest credit card, because you can meet the requirements and have the bonus hit at the start of 2021, counting towards a Companion Pass that will last for the entire rest of the year in which it is earned and the full next year. Earn it in, say, February and you have nearly two full years of Companion Pass which a single credit card initial bonus has gotten you most of the way towards.

    With the Companion Pass you can bring a second person along with you on your travels. You need to earn 125,000 eligible points in 2021 for a pass that will be valid through the end of 2022.

    And 90,000 points should cover over $1170 in airfare and taxes. With a companion pass you effectively double the value of points, making the Rapid Rewards you accumulate earning this bonus worth ~$2340. Not bad for a $69 annual fee card.

    The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has the same initial offer and is the best card if you’re a regular Southwest flyer – its $149 annual fee comes with a $75 travel credit with Southwest and 4 A1-15 upgraded boarding reimbursements per year.

  3. 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, Emirates, 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. (The same applies to the rest of the Chase cards on this list, too.)

    singapore airlines champagne dom perignon 2006

  4. Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card gives you Marriott Bonvoy Platinum status for one year (February 1, 2021 – January 30, 2022) and in addition you can earn 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases within your first 3 months of cardmembership and also earn up to $150 in statement credits within your first 6 months of cardmembership for all eligible purchases on your card on U.S. Advertising in select media. This offer ends January 13, 2021. [Offer expired.]

    The card’s $125 annual fee (see rates and fees) strikes me as a no-brainer, I have this card since cardmembers receive a Free Night Award every year after account anniversary as well as an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year. Each of those can be used for one night whose redemption cost is 35,000 points or less. It also comes with 15 elite nights per year, so going forward they help you earn status and also lifetime elite status and the elite nights from a personal and a small business card now stack.


    Westin Maui

  5. American Express® Gold Card is my go-to for 4 membership Rewards points per dollar on restaurants worldwide and on the first $25,000 spent each calendar year at U.S. supermarkets. This is one of the best points-earning cards. It’s my primary American Express card for earning points, and Membership Rewards is my favorite points program. It also earns 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

    In other words it’s a great card even aside from the initial bonus however right now there’s a best-ever bonus for the card. There’s been a standard 35,000 point offer, and there have been targeted and referral offers that would come and go for more. But right now American Express has launched a big 60,000 point offer which is amazing: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after $4,000 spend on eligible purchases within the first 6 months.

    This is a $250 annual fee card (see rates and fees). I value Membership Rewards points at 1.8 cents apiece, largely because of their wide array of transfer partners many of which offer exceptional value:

    • Star Alliance: Aeroplan, ANA, Singapore, Avianca
    • oneworld: AsiaMiles, British Airways, Iberia, Qantas
    • SkyTeam: Aeromexico, Alitalia, Air France KLM, Delta
    • Non-alliance: Etihad, Emirates, Hawaiian, JetBlue, Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic
    • Hotels: Choice, Hilton, Marriott

  6. The Platinum Card® from American Express has a public offer that may net you as much as 210,000 Membership Rewards points more than you’d normally earn for your spend on the card. It has two components: 75,000 bonus points after $5000 spend within 6 months, and 10 points per dollar on the first $15,000 spent at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets within 6 months of account opening.

    You can also check to see if you’re targeted for an even bigger offer using the CardMatch tool.

    The first part of the offer is – itself – much larger than the public offer we’ve seen over the past couple of years. But the real boost comes from the ability to earn 10 points per dollar on $15,000 of spend in the U.S. gas station and U.S. supermarket categories, for a total of 150,000 more points.

    Another way of looking at it is the rebate value on your gas station and supermarket spend (in the U.S.). I value Membership Rewards points at 1.8 cents apiece, so 10 points per dollar is effectively an 18% rebate for your first $15,000 in gas and supermarket spend over six months.

    If you take advantage of the offer at its full level, it’s 150,000 points from 10x spend and 75,000 points after $5000 spend within six months, or 225,000 points. Since you’d normally earn 1 point per dollar with the card on that $15,000 in gas and supermarket spend, you should net out 15,000 points from the total ‘initial bonus’ offer and call it ‘up to 210,000 points’.

    The card is clearly worth getting on the basis of this new offer alone. However I keep my card and consider it worth the $550 annual fee (See rates and fees) based on the $200 annual Uber credit (usable with Uber Eats plus it now comes with Eats Pass); $200 annual airline fee credit (Southwest has been my airline of choice for this); $100 annual Saks credit; and lounge access (Centurion, Delta, Priority Pass, Plaza Premium) and Hilton and Marriott Gold statuses.

  7. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card and Ink Business Cash® Credit Card have increased their initial bonus offers by 50% and are now offering biggest-ever bonuses.

    • The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card has an initial bonus offer to earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

      Your ongoing spend will earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business.

    • The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has an offer to earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

      Ongoing earn is rich especially 5x categories: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.

    Think of both of these offers as 75,000 points, which – if you have an Ultimate Rewards card whose points transfer to airline miles and hotel points – can be combined into one of Chase’s annual fee Ultimate Rewards products, and then transferred to a variety of loyalty program partners.

  8. UnitedSM Explorer Card has an offer to earn up to 70,000 bonus miles: 60,000 after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months and an additional 10,000 after you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months. That’s still just an average of $1000 a month, so easily doable for most readers. This offer ends January 13, 2021. (Offer expired)

    This is a nice improvement over the last limited-time offer Chase had for this card. In that case they offered the first piece, 60,000 miles, only. This is 10,000 miles more than the last offer, and it’s still a $0 the first year then $95 annual fee card (so you aren’t even paying that first year fee in exchange for the additional miles).

    What’s great about this card is the travel benefits when flying United. You get first bag for free when you use your card to purchase your ticket. You get priority boarding (avoid having to gate check your carry on, and indeed on a Basic Economy fare you can still bring on a full-sized carry on bag). You’ll get 2 one-time United Club passes each year for your account anniversary as well. And cardmembers get access to extra award availability at lower mileage prices that general members don’t have.

  9. CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® is offering 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. This card has a $0 annual fee the first year (then $99).

    The card offers first checked bag on domestic American Airlines itineraries. There’s preferred boarding on American Airlines flights as well.

  10. JetBlue Plus Card for the first time has a 100,000 point initial bonus: 50,000 points after $1,000 spend and paying the annual fee within 90 days and 50,000 additional points after $6000 total spend within 12 months.

    This $99 annual fee card lets you earn Mosaic elite status after $50,000 in spend each calendar year and gives you a 10% rebate when spending points (and if you use family pooling, you can leverage this benefit spending points from all those accounts).

  11. Citi Premier® Card is offering 60,000 ThankYou® points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening on this $95 annual fee card.

    Earning is 3x points on purchases at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, airlines and hotels, and points can be transferred to a variety of airline frequent flyer programs. The restaurant and supermarket categories are new this year. And once per calendar year you can receive $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) booked through thankyou.com (also new).

  12. Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers an initial bonus to earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

    Ongoing spend will earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

    The card’s $550 annual fee can make sense with the card’s $300 annual travel credit providing reimbursement for travel purchases charged to the card each account anniversary year. You also receive up to a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® and one year complimentary Lyft Pink membership ($199 value) plus a complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.

    You can take your points and transfer them to a variety of airlines and hotel programs (same partners as Sapphire Preferred and Ink Business Unlimited), or use your points at 1.5 cents apiece towards travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

  13. British Airways Visa Signature® Credit Card lets you earn 100,000 Avios: 50,000 Avios after $3,000 spent within the first three months and another 50,000 Avios after $20,000 spent in total purchases in the first year. It also gives you a promo code or 10% off British Airways tickets when you pay with the card.

    And spending $30,000 on the card in a calendar year gets you a companion award ticket for just the taxes and fees.

    Crucially the card has improved earning for spend and offers a statement credit for taxes and fees when redeeming British Airways Avios for BA transatlantic flights originating in the U.S. You can get up to $600 a year rebated (3 credits a year up to $200 each).

    Now, active Avios accounts with different airlines are combinable, so it’s worth highlighting that Chase also issues cards for Iberia and Aer Lingus, which are owned by the same company as British Airways – and these cards also have current 100,000 Avios offers.

    • Iberia Visa Signature® Card Earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios. Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.

    • Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card Earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios. Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.

    british airways first class seat

  14. IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has an offer for you to earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

    You’ll receive a reward night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. One of the best features is that cardholders receive a reward night each time they redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights. So that’s better than the ‘5th night free’ from Hilton, and amounts to a 25% discount on four night award stays.

    Cardmembers receive platinum status for as long as they remain a cardmember. There’s a Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit (up to $100 every 4 years) as well.

  15. The World Of Hyatt Credit Card is fantastic for anyone who likes Hyatt. It makes earning elite status easier, and spending is rewarding — for Hyatt stays, for bonus categories, and because of the additional free night after $15,000 in spend each cardmember year.

    The initial offer is to earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points – 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening plus an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend a total of $6,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.

    You’ll receive 1 free night every year after your cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort and earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.

    The card lets you get automatic World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open and 5 qualifying night credits toward your next tier status every year and also earn 2 qualifying night credits towards your next tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card.

    park hyatt sydney opera deluxe room
    Park Hyatt Sydney Opera Deluxe Room is akin to a Junior Suite

Think there’s a card that belongs on this list but isn’t here, leave a comment!

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card click here
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of advertisers Citibank, Chase, American Express, Barclays, Capital One or any other advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. So, if I apply for and get the three AA cards you recommend, is there a guarantee that AA wont close my account? I think aa’s recent actions show that they will close accounts if people do this sort of thing. Don’t think its a good idea for you to recommend three aa cards.
    AA has proven that they can and will do whatever the eff they want.

  2. Gary, this is a very comprehensive list of credit cards with great bonus! I am currently shopping for one as I will be travelling a lot in the near future. This list has made my search a lot easier. Thanks.
    -Joel

  3. Can you get the aadvantage personal and get the bonus of you have the business version for less then a year

  4. Alaska cards have EQM earning for the next few months added along with double miles for restaurants. 40k bonus. Statement credit and companion ticket.

  5. I feel like I can get the most straight forward, reliable, and comprehensive information from your blog so it is my “go-to”. Thank you and please continue to your updates.

  6. Repeating Boraxo’s point. Chase business approvals have gotten VERY difficult. Will need significant revenue (probably $20K+) and business history to get approved, and sole proprietorships are almost sure to get denied.

  7. Is united even worth it anymore in terms of their point redemptions? Seems like a lot of money to shell out for a united card especially in a time like this and for the foreseeable future where lounge access is unlikely to be anything special. The point redemption game seems like a poor investment right now given the times we are living. Like realistically how good is a first class experience going to be in the current environment assuming other countries would even let us in.

  8. “…a bigger initial bonus offer than Sapphire Reserve (and you can’t get bonuses for both)”

    @Gary, are you saying a cardholder who has had a Sapphire Reserve or Preferred for 3-4 years can’t cancel it and then apply for the other [Sapphire] card and get the 50K or 60K point bonus for that (other) card?

  9. Can I sign up for the Chase Preferred and get the bonus if I got a bonus for an Ink card within the past two years?

  10. Might consider a look at the Sonesta card (BoA) since Sonesta is taking over a bunch of Marriot and IHG properties in December-January.

    EARN UP TO 95,000 BONUS POINTS
    Enough for up to 6 free nights:
    60,000 bonus points after spending at least $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
    5,000 additional points after adding an authorized user within the first 90 days of account opening
    30,000 bonus points on your Account Anniversary, if you spend at least $7,500 in purchases every year

    Best I figure, 90,000 Sonesta points is worth about $700.

  11. @ AlohaDaveKennedy – I did this last yr for 2 nights at Sonesta’s top property, AI Ocean Point Resort in St Maarten. Had to cancel due to Covid but was otherwise a solid $1,500 point redemption, more with a probable upgrade with top status the cc also provides.

  12. Exclusion of the JetBlue business card is points guy esque points advising malpractice. You’ve failed your fiduciary duty lol

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