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. 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).
I’ve been writing this blog since 2002, and it’s been a tremendous labor of love. I started it under the name More Room Throughout Coach — the idea that was could all find additional space in our travels and our lives, freedom and prosperity, by paying attention and working at it.
Of course, American got rid of their extra legroom throughout the entire coach cabin concept. But I kept blogging. Throughout the years there have been tremendous ups and downs to it. I wrote to catalogue what I was learning, and then I was in a position that I think what I had to say could be helpful to others trying to make the most of the travel and their miles and points.
While it’s been tremendously gratifying to help people achieve dream travels or just make their daily business commutes better, it has been very much a labor of love and not profit. There weren’t even ads up on the blog for a very long time. In the beginning there were ads, but that was when I was on Blogspot and they were getting the revenue. Awhile after my site was hosted by Randy Petersen‘s team they put up something called BlogAds which I think paid $40 a week or so, and I told Randy to keep it since presumably there were hosting costs and whatnot.
The current GoogleAds are certainly better, and it’s nice to have a little something extra from banner ads.
I’m frequently asked if there’s anything that readers can do to say thank you. And I usually tell them that their improved travels, or being able to get the frequent flyer award they want, is thanks enough. I really have been fortunate to have touched the travel lives of so many people like you.
But if I’ve been helpful in your travels or you’ve just enjoyed this blog for awhile, there is something you can do if you are inclined.
American Express, Chase, Citibank, and Barclays are advertising partners of this blog.
One of the easiest and most lucrative ways to accumulate miles and points quickly is through credit card signup bonuses. If you’re going to get a new credit card, and most readers probably should (a few times a year!) then please consider using my links for those cards.
The banks will provide me with referral credit, it doesn’t really cost you anything (you get the points, and many offers waive annual fees the first year!), but it does make a difference for me. I do greatly appreciate your consideration!
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card lets you earn 80,000 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.
- United ClubSM Infinite Card has an offer to earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
That’s the biggest offer they’ve ever made. And while the previous offer made the card available with a $0 annual fee the first year, there was actually no initial miles bonus. This is a huge improvement for the $525 annual fee product.
The card comes with United Club membership, which normally costs $650 per year for a general member. Additional benefits with this Visa Infinite product include up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PrecheckTM fee credit and 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages and Wi-Fi onboard United-operated flight when you pay with your Club Card. You receive free first and second checked bags (a savings of up to $320 per roundtrip).
Getting the card is worth it for the miles offer alone. Keeping the card is worth it if you value United Club access.
- 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.
- UnitedSM Explorer Card has an offer to earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
What’s great about this $0 the first year then $95 annual fee 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. Cardmembers get access to extra award availability at lower mileage prices that general members don’t have. Elites with the card can receive complimentary domestic upgrades on award tickets.
The card is worth getting for the miles offer at $0 the first year annual fee then $95, and worth keeping if you fly United occasionally but not enough to earn status or if you value upgrades on domestic award tickets and a little help earning status. Improved award availability for cardmembers is my favorite benefit.
- 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.
- 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. Plus if you’re approved for the card this month you get extra credit towards elite status.
Park Hyatt Sydney Opera Deluxe Room is akin to a Junior Suite
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has an offer for you to earn 125,000 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.
If you do use one of my links to sign up for a credit card, please drop me an e-mail, I’d love to say thanks!
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.