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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
I know I’ve been talking a lot about the Starwood 30k offer (expired), but a couple new and updated credit card offers came up recently with the possibility of earning readers tens of thousands of bonus points, so I thought I’d share them all here for easy reference (though they’ve also been added to the Top Deals page).
40,000 miles for the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature: The offer on this card is usually a paltry 25,000 miles for sign-up, but while you still get that, you can also score an additional 15,000 miles when you spend $7,500 within 6 months plus the usual host of perks like an annual $99 Coach Companion Ticket (though this benefit used to be good in any class and was recently demoted to coach-only tickets and the 1,000-point-per-booking bonus is gone as well), and earning 3 miles for every dollar on qualifying Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases. The annual fee is $75. Alaska miles are valuable because you can use them on a host of partners including both American Airlines and Delta. Though the $7,500 minimum spending requirement is a bit onerous, especially for just 15,000 extra bonus miles, if you’ve been thinking about this card, might as well get in on the current offer since it’s as high as it’s gone for a while. If you’ve gotten this card in the past, you can apply again, and again for it so it’s a nice add-on to your next round of applications, especially since it is issued by Bank of America.
65,000 miles for the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic American Express: The 65,000 bonus offer for the Virgin Atlantic Amex is back. New cardholders earn 20,000 miles with their first purchase, and additional 25,000 miles when they make $2,500 in purchases within 90 days, a further 7,500 miles on your account anniversary when you spend a minimum of $15,000 in net purchases within a year, plus 7,500 more if you spend over $25,000 within that year, and then 2,500 miles each for adding 2 additional users. Every year you spend at least $25,000 in net purchases you qualify for an economy companion reward ticket for half the standard miles of a reward economy seat. Maximum one reward companion ticket per year. You will earn one tier point for every $2,500 spent with the card for a maximum two tier points per month and 24 per year. Cardholders earn 3 miles per dollar spent on Virgin Atlantic, and 1.5 miles per dollar spent on other purchases – giving the British Airways card a run for its money since it only awards 1.25 Avios per dollar on everyday purchases. This card does have a 1% foreign transaction fee. Sure, it’s a complicated formula to get all those 65,000 bonus points, but if you have your finances in order and spend strategically, it’s within reach.
33,150 points for the US Bank Flexperks Visa Signature: The sign-up bonus for the US Bank Flexperks Visa Signature is usually just 15,000 points, but thanks to an Olympic Medals promo and the impressive performance of American athletes at the London games, new cardholders can earn over double that. The bank decided to up its normal bonus by awarding 500 bonus points for every gold medal, 250 for every silver, and 100 for every bronze. With the final medal count, that brought the total bonus to 33,150 points, or just over $600 worth of airfare. Go Team USA! You have to apply by August 31, 2012, and you get the bonus when you spend $2,500 within the first 5 months (as opposed to the normal spending requirement of $750 within 90 days). Cardholders earn 1 Flexpoint per dollar on everyday purchases, 2 points per dollar on gas, groceries or airline purchases, and 3 points per dollar on charitable spending plus 5,000 bonus points when you refer a friend who acquires and uses the card and an an airline allowance of up to $25 with every award travel ticket to use toward baggage fees, in-flight food or drinks and more. Remember, if you are a Platinum banking customer of US Bank ($18 a month or $25,000 in account balances) you earn a 50% bonus on all base points and an additional 0.5 points on all bonus categories (so charitable spending earns 3.5 points per dollar).
Chase has also relaunched its two Marriott cards with slightly different offers.
Chase Marriott Premier Rewards Visa: The new offer for this card includes the same 50,000-point bonus after $2,000 spent within the first 3 months, plus one free-night e-certificate upon account approval to be used at Category 1-4 properties (Category 4 hotels are 20,000 a night). This card’s $85 annual fee is waived for the first year, and it carries no foreign transaction fees. Cardmembers earn 5 points for every dollar spent at Marriott, 2 points per dollar spent on airline tickets purchased directly from an airline, at car rental agencies and restaurants and one point per dollar on everything else. Cardholders are also awarded 15 nights credit toward their next elite membership level every year upon the account anniversary and one night elite for every $3,000 spent; and they are given one free night in a Category 1-5 property on every anniversary of opening their account. I’m not a Marriott devotee, but the elite headstart plus the spending bonuses at Marriott and on airlines and restaurants are big pluses for this card in my opinion.
There’s also an unofficial 70,000 point offer with 1 night at a category 1-4 per this Flyertalk thread. Reading the most recent comments, people have still been eligible for the 70,000, but there is no mention of it on the application.
Chase Marriott Rewards Visa: 30,000 bonus points with your first purchase, plus 2 free-night e-certificates upon account approval that are good for stays at Category 1-4 properties. The annual fee of $45 is waived for the first year. Cardmembers earn 3 points per dollar spent at Marriott, and 1 point per dollar on other purchases. What’s really interesting, though, is that you earn 10 nights credit toward your next elite membership level every year upon account anniversary (Silver status is just 10 nights, though Gold is 50) that will confer perks like point bonuses on stays, elite-only award redemptions, late check-out, and more like free internet, room upgrades and lounge access at higher levels. You also earn one night’s elite credit per $3,000 you spend on the card.