Top 5 Current Travel Credit Card Offers

by on February 18, 2014 · 40 comments

in American Express, Barclays, Chase, Citi

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In light of the news that the Barclaycard Arrival will be raising its sign-up bonus minimum spending requirement from $1,000 in 90 days to $3,000 in 90 days any time now, as well as the current 100,000-mile bonus on the Citi Executive AAdvantage card, I know a lot of you are considering a round of applications to get in on some of the great deals out there at the moment while you still can.

The Barclay Arrival Card is my favorite fixed value point card.

Get the Arrival while its minimum spending requirement is still low.

When great credit card offers come along, you’ve got to hop on them fast since sign-up bonuses can change in an instant, and minimum spending requirements can as well, not to mention many of the other terms and conditions. The benefit of applying for more than one card in a single day is that the issuers generally won’t see the applications to other issuers on that same day, increasing your chances of approvals and making it easier in the long run to track how long credit card inquiries remain on your credit report. This is by no means an exact science, and when there are great offers and you have great credit, you should apply for the cards that suit your needs.

With that in mind, here are the top 5 current credit card offers that I would suggest getting in on while they last. Before you get started, be sure to check out my posts on How To Check Your Credit – Preparing For The Credit Card Application Process, and When To Cancel A Card – My Personal Card Inventory and Decision Process.

1. Citi Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard
Current Bonus: 100,000 miles with $10,000 spend in 3 months
Benefits: Earn 2 AAdvantage miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases, 1 mile per $1 on everything else. Admirals Club membership privileges; 10,000 elite miles when you spend $40,000 on eligible within a calendar year; your first eligible checked bag is free, priority boarding and 25% savings on eligible in-flight purchases; SmartChip technology; no foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $450

Citi has upped the offer to 100,000 miles.

Citi has upped the offer on this card to 100,000 miles.

2. Barclaycard Arrival
Current Bonus: 40,000 miles with $1,000 spend in the first 90 days
Benefits: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and receive 10% of your miles back when you redeem on travel. 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening – after that, a variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Receive a complimentary membership to TripIt Pro. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $89 waived the first year

For more information on this card, read my review here, and then check out this post for details on its Travel Bonus Category and Redemption Options, and this one for ideas on the Top 10 Ways To Maximize Barclaycard Arrival Miles.

3. Ink Plus Business Card
Current Bonus: 50,000 points with $5,000 spend in the first 3 months
Benefits: Earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, cellphone, landline, internet, and cable TV services and 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations and on hotel accommodations, up to $50,000 annually. Receive a complimentary LOUNGE CLUB membership and 2 free visits each year with access to over 350 VIP airport lounges.
Annual Fee: $95 waived the first year

For more information, see these posts:
Ranking the Chase Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners
Top 10 Ways To Maximize Each Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partner
Why I Love Chase Ultimate Rewards
Ranking the Top Chase Travel Credit Card Offers

Enter my contest by telling me your favorite Carlson credit card benefit.

The Club Carlson cards offer some great benefits.

4. Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: 85,000 Gold Points, 50,000 of which will be earned after your first purchase, plus 35,000 more points once you spend $2,500 within the first 90 days.
Other Benefits: You will earn 10 points per dollar spent at participating Carlson Rezidor hotels and 5 points per dollar spent everywhere else. Club Carlson cards come with Gold status and a bonus award night.
Annual Fee: $75

For more background on the Club Carlson program, check out my Maximizing Club Carlson series, whose posts include Base Level Earning and Redemptions,  Business Program, Elite Status and  Cash + Points RedemptionsHalf-Price Award Redemptions on two-night award stays if you have one of the Club Carlson credit cards.

5. Mercedes-Benz American Express Platinum
Current Bonus: 50,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
Other Benefits:  You will earn 5 points per dollar spent on select Mercedes-Benz purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. You will receive a $1,000 certificate every year when you spend $5,000 or more on your card, which can be used on a future purchase or lease of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. This card also comes with the same benefits as the Platinum Card from American Express such as a $200 annual airline fee rebate, lounge access and Global Entry application reimbursement.
Annual Fee: $475

And if you are applying for an Amex card, be sure to check the Card Match Tool since the site has a special partnership with American Express and often offers special targeted sign-up bonuses to consumers.

This is not a list of every offer on the market. For that I recommend going to the Top Deals page, and feel free to add your suggestions in the comments below.

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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  • Diotallevi

    How long after I unload an Amex Platinum or PRG cards will I be eligible to sign up for another and earn the bonus? Thanks!

  • JamesT

    Amex has a 1 year waiting period from either the application date or activation date of a new card before you can get a new bonus per my recent discussion with one of their phone reps.

  • Henry

    So… everything’s great. But my problem with TPG is that he doesn’t openly say that he receives referral credit if we click on the links. Literally every other site/blog related to travel and credit cards does that. Except for TPG. Can you please explain why?

    It just makes me feel like you’re sleazier than the other ones.

  • Nazih

    Brian, when do you think the AMEX Platinum offer of 100k MR will come back?

  • NguyenVanFalk

    What about “This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program” do you not understand?

  • thepointsguy

    It’ll say on the Amex application what the terms are for receiving that specific promotion. Usually it’s 1 year

  • thepointsguy

    I hear people are getting targeted and also offered via Cardmatch. I don’t think it’ll be a public offer, but we can all hope/wish!

  • thepointsguy

    There are disclosures throughout the site, but I recommend cards whether they’re affiliate or not. For example the #1 card on this list is not one of my links nor #5 but I still feel they are great deals for my readers

  • Henry

    The problem here is that–once again–every single other site makes it explicitly clear that they benefit from your clicking on their referral links. This one is stuck at the bottom, in grey font, and it’s not even a part of the article.

  • Jim Stanley-Erickson

    Henry, relax. Breathe in….and out…and repeat.

  • Kevin

    Why does it matter? Just because everyone else does it, he has to do it? It’s not like it’s hurting anyone by clicking his affiliate link.

  • mary

    do the benefits of using the world master card and visa signature (i.e. car rental insurance or travel accident insurance) still apply if the flights, rental, etc. are paid for using points from the card?

  • doctorofcredit

    No love for the flexperks card?

  • YouCantFixStupid

    Poor Henry:

    As others have said, TPG has a disclosure statement on every page. It fully is in the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission.

    When did America’s First Amendment (which includes a free press, paid by advertising and sponsorships) become “sleazy”?

    TPG is free to write what he wants, and abide by the FTC.

    You are free to read it or not.

    That’s how it works, Henry.

    This is America. It’s not a nanny state governed by emotional fools like you (at least yet).

  • haha


    The irony of your complaint is so tasty at many levels.

    Firstly, you admit you are participating in the free market of capitalism by stating you read travel blogs like this, wanting to take advantage of the perks and advice therein..

    Then, you complain that such benefits you seek to gain from the system are “sleazy” — and attempt to rate “sleaziness” you are willing to participate in — by your own admission..

    You are filled with self-conflict. Please get a grip. I did get a good laugh at your comment, though. Have you considered a side gig as a comedian?

  • LAKnight

    Nazih, do you consider AMEX OPEN Platinum as well? My relative received mail-offer for 100K MR as well. Surely, it is a targeted offer for my relative.

  • boohoo

    boo hoo, Henry.

    Life is unfair. We also sometimes think we are going to fart, but it turns out to be a poo.

    What to do about it all???

  • boohoo

    yet you admit you found the disclosure… so what are you complaining about?

    NEWS FLASH: people do not provide stuff you want and need for free.

  • pissant

    Well..I do declare, Miss Scarlet, that the fine Mr. Henry has exposed the most despicable Rascal in our midst… that TPG dared to use an unsightly Grey font in his evil attempt to surely corrupt the most fair minded of our great society. I am beside myself of this revelation. Miss Sissy, hand me a fan.

  • Henry

    Jesus. Does everyone here just have a vagina? I call out one thing and all of you come in galloping to TPG’s rescue? Calm down. I voiced one little thing that I have a problem with. It’s not the end of the world. Wow.

  • Henry

    Wow everyone in the comments section needs to calm down. You serious?

  • uhho

    Maybe think before you accuse?

  • dumb

    You lit the firr. Deal with it, or shut up.

  • dumb

    Wow… first we are sleazy.. now a sexist comment. Can you get lower, Henry? You seem to type before you think.

  • omg

    Nope. You were slinging sh×t around, and it came back in your face. That’s what happens, dude.

  • Brent

    The Citi Hilton Reserve card gives a $100 statement credit on your first stay and 2 free weekend nights (Friday/Sat/Sunday nights) at almost any hotel. The offer is listed on Flyertalk.

  • Brad

    To add to this lively debate… When viewing the mobile version of this page (at least on Android) there are NO disclosures about affiliate links at all. Somehow the change in formatting for mobile devices disables the disclosure. I’ll give TPG the benefit of the doubt and hope it’s a technical issue but it’s one that should be fixed ASAP.

  • Ed

    Henry, even if he gets Credit, so what? Is he charging for this blog? Honestly, people like you don’t deserve points or information from this site. People like you frankly really is a waste of air we breate. Harsh but true.

  • Ed

    Henry, LEAVE, you don’t need to be on this site and waste our time. LEAVE if you don’t like it. LEAVE please.

  • ed

    No Henry, you need to get that Rod out of your Butt hole, that is what you need. What did you do for TPG that he needs to give you stuff for free?

  • A.J.

    Question about the Baclay card and would love some feedback from anyone currently holding it. How fast do the points post to your account and become eligible for redemption? Is it similar to ultimate rewards where they are posted / available the same day the statement generates or is it like membership rewards where they are “pending” with a month lag time until they are available (or until you pay the bill and get a rep to do a points acceleration)? Thank you for any insights. -A.J.

  • Keith

    I’ve had the card since October and although I’ve not followed the point posting closely I have noticed they are posted promptly. I’ve never had to wonder when points were going to be added to my account. I do remember that the sign on bonus was posted as soon as I met the spend threshold.

  • Diotallevi

    Henry needs a hug.

  • A.J.

    Thank you!

  • Mike

    Am I eligible for the 100k bonus on the Citi AA card you mentioned if I already have a Platinum Select Citi AA card?

  • hehe

    he does need a hug, but a bitch slap was what he got, and it was more appropriate.

  • dontfixwhatsnotbroken

    You make a great point, Brad. I work in website development, and unfortunately not all features from websites translate to mobile uses. It’s a very complicated issue, and cannot always be controlled by the owner of a website.

    The FTC provides guidance on things like this — and with TPG, he is fully compliant.

    The great problem in America (IMHO) is that many folks want information for free, and don’t want to take any personal responsibility for their actions. They want government regulations to supersede common sense. They want everything for free, and government protection from every evil that surrounds them.

    That attitude, as expressed by Henry in this thread, and in the population — is nonsense – it assumes everything and everyone around us is corrupt and evil, and threatens our freedoms.

    We need to be careful in what we ask to be “fixed.”

    In reality, there are many Americans that would find a site like this full of rich, evil people… taking advantage of others — and would like the government to shut it down. Such things are known as the “Fairness Doctrine” in Congress. It’s alive and well, and resembles Prvada in Russia. It comes up eery couple of years, and has fortunately been shut down. If it ever passed, there would be limits of the information we all enjoy as free Americans.

  • Stefanie

    I just got this offer yesterday in the mail!

  • Stuart Blavatnik

    Getting the 100k Aadvantage card has been troublesome. First I called and was offered and approved for 60k. I declined it when I saw the 100k one. I applied with the link here and was denied for having too much outstanding debt. I paid it in full, waited 2 weeks and clicked the link again. This time I was denied for an unspecified reason that the rep refused to disclose over the phone. She only would hint that it was not for financial reasons but still played the 5 year old game of I’ve got a secret.

  • theWTD

    These aren’t the best offers out there, but they’re probably the best affiliate rewarded offers. $475 annual fee? Please. This is a good deal for some but hardly The Best! Chase Sapphire and the new 20k Freedom are top.

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