Top Current and Limited-Time Credit Card Offers – Fairmont, Southwest, Lufthansa and More

by on June 14, 2013 · 18 comments

in Credit Cards

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There are a couple of great credit card offers that (re)appeared lately that I wanted to share with readers including a version of the Fairmont Visa with the $95 annual fee waived the first year, and 50,000-point sign-up bonuses on all four Southwest cards – so I thought I’d put together a post with all the information on them as well as some other great sign-up bonuses that are around at the moment.

Screen Shot 2013-06-13 at 6.34.38 PMUpdate: This offer is no longer available. View the current offer for the Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards credit card here.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Card – 50,000 Points –

This offer is available on both the Personal and Business version of the card.

  • 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 spent within the first 3 months
  • Get 6,000 points every year after your Cardmember Anniversary – that’s enough for a $100 Wanna Get Away? Fare
  •  2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines and AirTran purchases made directly with the airlines and on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental purchases
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points for every $10,000 in purchases. Get up to 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points annually.
  • Redeem points for Gift Cards, Car Rentals, Cruises, Hotel Stays, and International flights to over 800 Destinations on 50+ global carriers.
  • $99 annual fee, not waived

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card – 50,000 Points

Also available on the Personal and Business versions of this card.

  • 50,000 bonus points after $2,000 spent within the first 3 months
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest Airlines and AirTran®Airways purchases made directly with the airlines
  • 2 points per $1 spent on Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases, 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 3,000 points each year after your Cardmember Anniversary
  • Your Bags Fly FREE! Unlimited Reward Seats, No Blackout Dates, and Points Don’t Expire
  • $69 annual fee

The Southwest cards’ bonus periodically goes up to 50,000 points, but hovers around 25,000 most of the time, so if you’ve been waiting to get in on any of this suite of cards, now is the time to do it. They are all pretty popular travel credit cards thanks to their bonuses but also perks like bonus spending categories on and Southwest’s highly valuable Companion Pass (which these sign-up bonuses count towards). To learn more about Southwest and its co-branded credit cards, check out these posts:

Chase Southwest Visa Bonuses and the Companion Pass
Maximizing the Southwest Companion Pass

Maximizing Ultimate Rewards Points with Southwest and AirTran Flights and the Companion Pass
How Does Southwest Airlines Deal With Flight Changes?

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Fairmont – No Annual Fee First Year

This FlyerTalk thread has a link to an offer that per the terms & conditions the $95 annual fee of $95 is waived the first year.

Some of the key benefits of the new card are:

-Earn 2 free nights with free breakfast at any Fairmont in the world when you make $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. (Note blackout dates here)
-1 free night at any Fairmont every anniversary of cardmembership when you spend $12,000 on the card within the year.
-Existing Premier and Platinum members receive an Annual Fairmont Gold Room Upgrade.
-$95 annual fee waived the first year when you apply by July 31, 2012.
-Automatic Fairmont Premier elite status.
-Basic membership with Lounge Club (which I wrote about here) and 2 free lounge visit passes each year to over 350 airport lounges in 200 cities. Pay $27 per person per visit thereafter.
-Earn 5 Fairmont points per $1 spent at Fairmont.
-Earn 2 Fairmont points per $1 spent on airfare directly from airlines, at car rental agencies and on transit and commuting expenses.
-1 Fairmont point per $1 on all other purchases.
-No foreign transaction fees.
-Car rental collision damage waiver insurance, trip cancellation, travel accident coverage, travel and emergency assistance, purchase protection coverage and extended warranty protection.

Those two free nights at any Fairmont (there are some strict capacity controls at the highest-end properties) can easily be worth north of $500 each, especially at flagships like the Plaza in New York, Le Royal Monceau in Paris and the Fairmont Peace Hotel in Shanghai. That said, even mid-tier properties like the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui or the Mara Safari Club in Kenya can be great value propositions on this card especially considering the low minimum spending requirement and the fact that there’s no annual fee on this card for the first year. Plus 1 free night at a hotel on your cardmember anniversary is easily worth more than the $95 annual fee.

Check out this post for suggestions on Where to Spend Your Fairmont Free Nights. Hat tip: Rom’s Deals.

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Mercedes-Benz Platinum Amex – 50,000 Points

  • 50,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • Airport club access including; Delta Skyclub and US Airways Club
  • $200 annual airline fee rebate
  • Global Entry application fee refund
  • $1,000 reward certificate towards the future purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz and $100 towards Mercedes-Benz accessories
  • 5 points per dollar on eligible Mercedes-Benz purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual fee of $475

Though the $475 annual fee might seem steep, there are plenty of ways to get your money’s worth including:

Maximizing the $200 annual airline rebate
Getting reimbursed for the $100 Global Entry Application Fee (and getting around pesky appointment wait times)
Adding Additional Cardholders – up to 3 for $175 total, and they all get lounge access and Global Entry reimbursement
Perks from the Fine Hotels & Resorts program

Ink Bold and Ink Plus – 50,000 Points

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening for both the Ink Bold and Ink Plus.
  • No interest charges because it’s a pay in full charge card.
  • Earn 5X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on the first $50,000 spent annually at gas stations and for hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Direct access to a live service advisor anytime.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the first year, then $95.

These are two of my top travel credit cards for a lot of reasons and I write a lot about them. Check out these posts for all the details on what makes them so special.

Top 10 Benefits of the Ink Bold and Ink Plus Cards
A Detailed Look at Ink Bold Benefits You Might Not Know About
Maximizing Chase Ink Bonus Spending Categories
Maximizing the Ink Office Category Bonus Spending
Maximizing the Ink Bold’s 5X Spending Bonuses With Gift Cards
Maximizing Ultimate Rewards With the Chase Ink Cards
Chase Ink: Which Card Is Best For You
Can You Get Both The Ink Bold and Ink Plus?
Ranking the Top Business Credit Cards
Sapphire Preferred – 40,000 Points

  • 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months- that’s $500 toward travel rewards!
  • 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Get 20% off airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises when you redeem through Ultimate RewardsSM
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Receive a 7% Annual Points Dividend on all new points earned on purchases – even on points already redeemed
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs – that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Direct access to expert service advisors anytime
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

If you read TPG regularly, you know that this is one of my favorite all-round travel credit cards. To learn more about it, check out the following posts:

Why I Love Chase Ultimate Rewards
Details on the Sapphire Preferred 2X Points On Travel and Dining

Maximizing Ultimate Rewards Points With A Sapphire Preferred/Freedom/Checking Account Combo
The Sapphire Preferred 7% Annual Points Dividend
Chase Sapphire 3X Points on Dining For First Fridays
Card Comparison – Chase Sapphire Versus Sapphire Preferred

Arrival World Mastercard – 40,000 Miles

  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles if you make $3,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next trip!
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99% depending upon your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • No mileage caps and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 10% of your miles back when you redeem for travel
  • Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no restrictions and no blackout dates
  • Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more
  • Complimentary Triplt Pro subscription – the mobile travel organizer that helps make traveling easier (an annual $49 value)
  • $89 Annual Fee waived the first year

For more details on the card and its benefits, check out this post, and then find out more about the 2X travel categories here, and to see how this card stacks up compared to other fixed-value points cards, check out this Maximize Monday Fixed-Value Cards post. Finally, check out this post for the Top 10 Ways to Maximize Barclaycard Arrival miles
Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage Visa Signature and World Mastercard – 40,000 Miles

Visa Signature: Unverified offer as seen on FlyerTalk

  • For a limited timeEarn 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership*
  • Your first eligible checked bag is free*
  • Priority Boarding with Group 1 privileges* and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every cardmembership year with qualifying purchases and cardmembership renewal*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*

World Mastercard: Unverified offer as seen on FlyerTalk

  • For a limited time, Earn 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of cardmembership*
  • Your first eligible checked bag is free*
  • Priority Boarding with Group 1 privileges* and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount every cardmembership year with qualifying purchases and cardmembership renewal*
  • Double AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn 10% of your redeemed AAdvantage® miles back – up to 10,000 AAdvantage® miles each calendar year*

Although not as high as the recent 50,000-mile offers, these are still decent thanks to other great benefits like Reduced-Mileage Awards and the 10% Award Miles Refund cardholders are eligible for.

Update: The current offer for the Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World Mastercard is 35,000 miles – 20,000 with first purchase and 15,000 miles with a balance transfer within the first 30 days.

The Premier Miles and More World Mastercard – 50,000 Miles

  • 50,000 Miles Total: Earn 20,000 award miles after your first purchase or balance transfer. Earn an additional 30,000 award miles when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Cardholders receive a companion ticket annually.
  • Enjoy 2 award miles per $1 on Miles & More integrated airline ticket purchases
  • Earn 1 award mile per $1 spent everywhere else
  • No mileage expiration with monthly qualifying purchases
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months after account opening, after that a variable APR currently 15.99% to 24.99% depending upon your creditworthiness
  • $79 annual fee

This is a historically high bonus on this card, which usually just comes with a sign-up of 20,000 miles with first purchase and up to 15,000 miles for a balance transfer. Here are some posts on it with details and other valuable information.

Learn more about the offer and how to Maximize the Sign-Up Bonus as well as this post comparing the top current Barclaycard offers including the Arrival and US Airways Mastercard.

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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  • Joe

    Do the SW Rapid Rewards cards ever come up with the annual fee waived for the first year? Also, if I already have a platinum Amex, is there a way to switch (or cancel and reapply) to the Mercedes Amex to receive the bonus?


  • Jeffrey

    I have never seen them come with the fee waived, but for the bonus, paying the fee isnt a big deal, especially if you get both a business and personal. Secondly, the regular platinum and the Mercedes are separate products, so you should have no problem getting the bonus on both.

  • Talitha

    Nice options! And here’s a great tool via MommyPoints post to help manage multiple cards

  • Little Tea Blog

    How valuable are the 50,000 Lufthansa miles? Planning a trip to Germany. I see they have low point awards, but I hear the fuel surcharges are high. I already have over 100,000 UR points with Chase. It’s also been ~60 days since my last CC app.

  • Jeffrey

    I think million mile secrets did an extensive write up on those points. You should check that out if you can’t find the answers here.

  • thepointsguy

    We wrote about it here – including the best uses for those miles:

  • Nick

    FYI, the Royal Monceau is a Raffles property, not a Fairmont.

  • thepointsguy

    Fairmont owns Raffles, so its hotels are included in the Ovation Rewards points you earn with this card and you can use your 2 free nights at their properties:

  • Jessica

    So for the Lufthansa companion ticket, you can’t redeem miles for the first ticket and receive a companion ticket, you must pay for the ticket?

  • Kevin

    I already have the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus…can I apply for the Premier?

  • Jeffrey

    Its easier to get 1 personal and 1 business (plus or premier), but you can have both and get both bonuses since they are different products. Might not get instant approval though depending how long you’ve had the plus.

  • James

    I keep up coming up with a message from Citi Bank that says “Your application was not processed due to a systems error. Please try again later.” Has anyone else received this message? I have got it 6 straight times.

  • heredity4me

    I was told specifically that you can’t use free nights from fairmont at Royal Monceau. Please get your info correct. I got this card a while ago because you said I could do this and wasted a credit card app.


    Can you apply for the SW Business and personal card on the same day? If not, what’s the standard waiting time between apps?

  • Nick

    You can also upgrade your plus to a premier and be eligible for an additional 50,000 points. Last year I was able to obtain the companion pass by applying for plus in Jan and upgrading in May.

  • thepointsguy

    Who told you that? It’s listed as a participating hotel, though suites are not available:

  • shonuffharlem

    If I’m not dying for an AA card this month, should I wait for the 50,000 mile offer sometime in the next few months or grab the 40k?

  • Pingback: Can I Get Two Southwest Cards In One Day To Qualify For A Companion Pass? | The Points Guy()

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