A Round-up Of 50,000+ Point Credit Card Deals

by on August 26, 2011 · 65 comments

in American Express, Chase, Citi, Credit Cards

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This year we’ve seen some unprecedented credit card sign-up and “bump” bonuses. So much so, that we’ve been accustomed to 50,000+ for every offer and when I blogged about the new 50,000 point Business Rewards Gold card, a bunch of readers commented that it was a really bad deal. I understand that this year has been crazy with miles and points raining down from all directions, but 50,000 points is worth over $1,000 to me and considering the card has a waived first year annual fee – I think it’s a phenomenal deal. I understand a major bone of contention is the $10,000 spend requirement over 5 months (which I 100% understand that not everyone can meet now that the Mint has stopped allowing free credit card spend), but it still doesn’t make this a horrible deal. I do think we’ve become a little jaded, but that’s okay since it’s all in the name of maximizing miles and points, which is the point of this site.

For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about sign-up bonuses are initial offers that are clearly laid out – like the current Chase Sapphire Preferred offer of 50,000 bonus points (expired) when you spend $3,000 within 3 months.

Bump bonuses are generally offers that can be applied to your credit card after you apply and are approved. American Express has been the leader with these offers, though Chase also had one this year when they were giving everyone an extra 50,000 points for Sapphire Preferred (which has now been stopped). Bump bonuses are a risk, because they aren’t guaranteed, but they can be highly rewarding for those who successfully get them added.

Why do bump bonuses occur? Generally the credit card companies give targeted offers to specific customers, yet they haven’t historically tracked who actually got the offer. So as long as you were a cardholder and knew the bonus ID (which are generally reported on Flyertalk and in the blogosphere) you could get the enhanced bonus. We saw Chase clamp down on this and actually renege on some of the bonuses they promised to give and American Express is also starting to track these codes via unique RSVP codes. However, there are still many active bump bonuses, which I’ll highlight in the top credit card deal round-up.

Since 50,000 is now the standard for deals, here are the top cards that can net you 50,000 or more points for signing up. This also goes without saying, that you should understand how credit scores are calculated and how opening and closing credit cards can affect your score (generally 2-5 points off your score per new card).

Transferable point cards:
100,000 points
for the American Express Platinum card. The sign-up bonus is 25,000 points, but many people are reporting a 100,000 payday per the comments on this post. The card has an annual fee of $450, but comes with a ton of benefits like lounge access, $200 in airline rebates, free global entry, no foreign transaction fees, Starwood Gold, Hertz and National elite status and more. Full card review.

75,000 points for the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card. 15,000 is the current sign-up bonus, but there’s a bump bonus that brings it to 75,000 and potentially more if you can add the additional user bonuses. $175 annual fee waived for the first year. Full card review.

50,000 points (expired – current offer is 40,000 points) for the Chase Sapphire Preferredwhen you spend $3,000 within 3 months. $95 annual fee waived for the first year. 7% annual bonus on points earned, so after your $3,000 in spend you will end up with a minimum of 56,710 points, which can be transferred to Continental, British Airways, Hyatt, Priority Club, Marriott and Amtrak. Double points on travel and dining. No foreign transaction fees. This is a limited time offer which can be pulled at any time, but I haven’t heard of a planned expiration date, so I hope it runs throughout 2011. Full card review.

50,000 points  for the American Express Business Rewards Gold card when you spend $10,000 within the first 5 months. $175 annual fee, waived for the first year. This could potentially be bumped to 100,000 with Bonus ID 6608, but there haven’t been any reports since the card just came out this week and I haven’t heard of anyone meeting the spend requirements and seeing the points post.

50,000 points for the American Express Mercedez-Benz Platinum card when you $1,000 within the first three months. Many Mercedes benefits and lounge access. $475 annual fee.

Airline cards:
75,000 points for the Citi AA Visa/Amex and business cards. You can get all three for 225,000 miles (you need to wait at least 65 days in between the first app of 2 cards and the third card app). Many of us have gotten 225,000 AA miles from these cards and those miles count towards lifetime million miler status (at least until December 1, 2011 when the rules change). Read this post and the comments section for more information. Read this post for the business card link.

60,000 points for the United Explorer cards for United elites. Sign-in here to see if you are targeted for the bonus. Otherwise it’s 40,000 for the standard sign-up bonus. $95 annual fee, waived for the first year.

50,000 points for  the British Airways Visa card. While it’s not the 100,000 bonanza they ran in April/May, it’s still significant since 50,000 miles will get you to Asia roundtrip on Cathay Pacific or 40,000 for a South American trip on AA/Lan. No foreign transaction fees. UPDATE: 100,000 Avios BA Visa card promotion has returned.

Hotel Cards: (Hotel points have a higher spectrum of value, so for example the Hyatt card 2 free nights is worth more than 50,000 Marriott points, even though its technically a max of 44,000 Hyatt points).
60,000-80,000 points for the Priority Club Visa. Most Priority Club members have been solicited with the 80,000 point offer via email, so do a search. Otherwise, 60,000 is standard. 80,000 is enough for 2 free nights at an Intercontinental hotel, plus the card comes with a bunch of other benefits like elite status. $49 annual fee, waived for the first year.

2 Free nights (in a suite for Diamonds) at any Hyatt in the world for the Chase Hyatt Visa. $75 annual fee. No foreign transaction fees. Free night upon renewal.

62,500 points for Hilton HHonors American Express 20,000 points first purchase, 30,000 points with $500 spend within three months and 2,500 additional HHonors Bonus Points on your first four Hilton WorldWide portfolio of hotels stays charged to the Card during your first 18 months and 2,500 for adding an additional cardholder. No annual fee.

50,000 points for the Ritz-Carlton Visa Signature. $395 annual fee. Lots of benefits like Gold elite status and $200 in airline credits a year.

50,000 points for Chase Marriott Rewards Premier. $65 annual fee. Free night every year upon renewal. 15 nights credit towards elite status.

Other targeted offers to look out for:
50,000-60,000 for Chase Continental Onepass Plus (regularly its 40,000).
50,000 for Chase Southwest Visa. (update: current sign-up bonus is 25,000 points)

Am I missing any? Have you gotten any monster sign-up/ bump bonuses this year?

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Charles Clarke

    Marriott 50K after first purchase, annual free night, $65 annual fee, 15 elite nights (10 required for silver) –

  • Federico

    Brian, the Citi AA promotion is for Visa/Amex not Visa/Mastercard.

  • KamanCali

    Boa Hawaiian signature for 35k- but transferred to Hilton 2:1 for 70k Hilton miles- (complements of MMS blog)

  • DGuy

    I think the chase sapphire preferred 7% annual bonus is only on points “earned”, so there wont be the additional 3500 points on the 50k initial spend bonus, but only on the 3k actually spent. So the total points earned would be 53,210.
    I asked 2 diff CSR’s – one of them wasn’t sure and the other one confirmed what i said above. Is there a way you could confirm this for sure ?

  • PC

    Does the Chase Sapphire Preferred run bonus promotions for transfers to airlines, similar to the AMEX Gold rewards transfers to Delta? Thanks

  • Anonymous

    OK, I’ve gotten in on some of these bonus deals, and all seems sweet. If you dilute your points/miles then you really don’t have much strength. Would AMEX offer the same triple rewards on other cards? it seems weird to have to carry 3-4 AMEX cards then have to decide which one to use. Do you get the miles now and run at the end of the year to avoid paying the annual fee? what to do, what to do….

  • Anonymous

    I think its completely fine to use a couple cards and see which ones work for you and then keep only the ones that make the most sense. I’d recommend keeping all cards open for at least 6 months and then either downgrading to fee-free cards because closing credit lines can hurt your FICO score.

  • Anonymous

    They have not (to my knowledge) run any transfer bonuses, but I hope that changes!

  • Anonymous

    Others who got the card last year reported a bonus on the sign-up offer. In my eyes, a sign-up bonus is still points earned.

  • Anonymous

    Good call! I’ll add that

  • Anonymous

    Thx- I updated it

  • Anonymous

    Nice- I’ll add this

  • JA

    TPG, I have an invitation for the Business Gold Rewards card from AMEX Open for 75k after $2k spend by 12/6. Can I apply for AMEX Premier Rewards Card with the “2 browser” method at the same time for another 75k ? Is the bump on that card still alive? Thanks.

  • Heather ✈

    I applied for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, but received a letter saying I had too many Chase cards (I had one, and had just got a Marriott Chase card). :-( Does that mean I can re-apply later and try again?

  • Anonymous

    It means you should call the reconsideration line and ask to shuffle around your existing Chase lines of credit to get the card approved. More on that here

  • Anonymous

    People are still reporting the bump- I got it 2 weeks ago and it was still live. You can have a business and personal charge card with Amex, but your second app will probably automatically be denied because they’ll think its an error. Just call up and explain why you need a personal and business and you should be able to get both. Good luck and please report back!

  • Drewbie

    The Hilton offer doesn’t seem to work. When you fill out the form you get the following error: “Problem with the input data for one of the fields”. The system never returns you to the form to show you what field has an error. I have tried filling it out multiple times with multiple browsers…my only guess is the offer has expired and they have not updated the site.

  • Chris

    There have been some rumblings about BA charging fuel charges on AA and LAN flights in recent weeks. Is this true?

  • Anonymous

    I booked a multi-city BA award on LAN the other day MIA-LIM-SCL-IPC-SCL-MIA and taxes/fees for business class were $165

  • Anonymous

    Hmm it’s not my link, so I can’t vouch for it. Several readers sent me it.. let me see if theres a better link

  • Jjmacman

    Don’t forget the Hyatt Chase card with 2 free night as a signup bonus!

  • Jjmacman

    Don’t forget the Hyatt Chase card with 2 free night as a signup bonus!

  • Anonymous

    How about these:
    Chase CO 50k (now targeted)
    Barclays US Air 40k (50k with promo balance transfer)

  • Anonymous

    How about these:
    Chase CO 50k (now targeted)
    Barclays US Air 40k (50k with promo balance transfer)

  • Redriver16

    Southwest/Chase targeted me for a 50,000 point offer yesterday. Everyone might want to check their email if they recieve emails from Southwest.

  • Anonymous

    You have a good point- 2 free top Hyatt nights is worth more than 50,000 Marriott points…

  • Anonymous

    Added CO to the “watch” list for targeted offers. I won’t add US because its still a 40k signup bonus

  • Anonymous

    Good call- I added that to the targeted offer”watch list”

  • Heather ✈

    You are awesome! I just called and they moved some credit around between the other Chase cards I have and I was approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card!!! Love these points! :-) Thank you!

  • Ed

    I heard something about no longer being able to pool household income in order to qualify for a card, coming soon. If that’s true, when would it kick in? That would spur a lot of us (those with a spouse who makes far more or less than we) to immediate action, I would guess.

  • Rick

    For a UA Premier Exec who already has the Chase UA Mileage Plus Visa, is there any advantage in applying for the UA Explorer?

  • Disorient

    Marriott points seem to suck. Can u do a piece on what tot do with them

    K thx

  • Fred

    Fooking to use the Delta bonus offer on 100k Amex transfers. Wife already has 45k MR points on her Amex Platinum card. If she gets Amex Premier Rewards Gold and gets 75k points, can these be combined with the 45k in existing MR Points so as to make a single 100k transfer to get the Delta bonus?

  • gh

    hi points guy

    i applied and received the American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card and got the 15k miles. then i called and tried to use the 6661 code for the bump up and the 6664 code for the 15x use per month. the rep was nice, but wouldnt do it. she said you had to have received an invitation to use the codes. i called again a couple days later, again the new rep was nice, but the same story. any ideas? i hate to be stuck with only 15k.

  • Carl

    I would not encourage anyone to apply for a card, hoping for a bump. The Amex PRG bump is not working as of this week and you make it sound easy, which it never was. They are tracking the targeted bonus IDs. YMMV.

  • niznad

    I believe the Hyatt one is 2 nights in a Suite at any hotel, so that is not a max of 22k each night. Suites are more “expensive”- more points. Correct me if I am wrong…

  • Anonymous

    The suite option is only for hyatt diamonds

  • Joel

    I am an AA Citi Visa card member and didn’t know about the AA Citi Amex deal. Would my application be rejected and lose some credit score if I applied now?

  • Jameso

    OOPS- previous comment was meant as a reply to @Ed

  • Didier

    $165 + 80k BA miles, right?

  • SomeOne

    AMEX now has a NO bump policy. YOU MUST be a recipient of an offer and can no longer call in and get the bonus ID added to your account. This went into effect the weekend of August 20th. Agents will now refuse any bonus ID that was not targeted to YOU. Gravy train has ended.

  • bitachu

    As far as I know..yes

  • bitachu

    did you try sending secure message. What time of the day did you call…just try and get a different rep and you might get lucky. Even try at off hours.

  • David

    I had 2 friends do the 6661 bump yesterday for cards they just activated yesterday… I would keep trying. The one call took 30 seconds, the other about 6 minutes.

  • David

    False. Had 2 friends get the 6661 bump yesterday pretty effortlessly.
    Still seems pretty YMMV.

  • David

    You could get the Citi Business AA card, but not the AMEX. They only allow 1 AA bonus, and to get both personals you have to apply the same day to loophole the system.

  • David

    It always has, and still is – YMMV.
    I had 2 friends apply for the cards just a few days ago, received them yesterday, called 1800-AXP-EARN yesterday, and both received the 75k personal bump w/6661.
    Good luck!

  • Benthelefty

    I asked about that while on the phone w/ a rep. He confirmed that the 50k is considered “earned,” so an automatic 3500 (+whatever you earn for the $3k spend) is added after the first of the year.

  • Benthelefty

    TPG: Quick question – I have young credit history (avg. is 1 yr 6 months) but also have 6 cards (Sapphire Preferred, SW Chase, Cap One Venture, AA Citi Visa, Citi Forward, and a no-fee Regions card (oldest)). I keep getting approved for card (Sapphire was this month, SW in July, Cap One in April) and would like to do some more but not sure (min spend being one of the issues).

    For the business cards (AA Citi ones) it seems to make sense; 150k points (there are 2 or just 1? I can’t remember) would be great. Since I haven’t applied to any business cards before (and I do have an LLC) so I should be in the clear, right?

  • Alohastephen

    This Marriott card is way better. 50K points + 1st year fee waived!

  • MYRflyer

    Have any TPG’rs had success signing up for the new United Explorer Card by Chase and receiving the bonus, even though they previously had the United Mileage Plus card? Talking about regular users, not elites.

  • Sam

    odd, this is different than what the rep told me upon sign up. Specifically noted that first 50K does NOT count.

  • Anonymous

    lots of phone reps are clueless

  • Charles Clarke

    Yes, it is. Thank you!

  • KP-HOU

    I just got an AMEX Business Delta Skymiles 55,000K offer. 25K Skymiles on first use; another 25K for spending $2500 by Jan. 9; and 5K for adding 2 more cardholders. Requires an invite code.

  • Mike Chung

    TPG: With regards to the following two comments.

    - 75,000 points for the Citi AA Visa/Amex and business cards.
    - I’d recommend keeping all cards open for at least 6 months and then either downgrading to fee-free cards because closing credit lines can hurt your FICO score.
    Whats your recommendation for the AA cards? Is there a fee free version of these cards? I’d prefer not to keep several AA cards with pretty decent fees for several years to come. Or should I just cancel them and take the FICO hit?


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  • Schriftlieder

    Confirming David’s experience. Got the bump from 15k at completing spend to 75k with a call quoting 6661…finished the 15k about a month ago, called this week and received the bump.

  • kris

    Does anyone have the code for 10,000 points for each additional cardholder added to an account on AX cc. I called Membership Rewards and gave them bonus code 5721 but they say its only for Argentina card holders..Can someone pls sent me the code for U.S card holders..Thanks..

  • danny b

    TPG – your link for the Chase Ink takes me to an app that offers 50k points with $5k/3months – is that new? I don’t see the Ink in your 50K roundup. The 50K points from Ink will combine with 50K from sapphire preferred correct? I’m not seeing many reasons not to get the Ink now too…

  • Anonymous

    Correct the 50k Ink is new! I just got confirmation- will add it to this post once I’m done with my US Grand slam hits for the day :-)

  • Redline325

    I used 120,000 Marriott points to stay at the JW on Copacabana beach in Rio over new year’s. Regular rates were about $500 USD a night and the rate for 12/30 and 12/31 bumped to $800 USD a night. No blackout dates so no issues using the points. I estimate this hotel stay at $3200 ish and 120k points is easy with the credit card and mega bonus.

  • Redline325

    BTW this was for 5 nghts. Pay 30k miles at cat 6 hotel and 5th night is free.

  • Elai1231

    AAdvantage card is now on 30,000 points

  • Anonymous

    You are referencing the Mastercard. There are secret Amex/Visa deals if you apply through the links in my post

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