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Top Current Credit Card Bonuses Of 40,000+ Points and Miles

by on April 25, 2014 · 16 comments

in American Express, Barclays, Chase, Citi, Credit Cards

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Summer is coming, and along with it the travel high season in much of the world. A lot of readers have been writing to me about getting their travel plans in order and using miles to get to popular destinations where airfares and hotel rates are too high to be an option. Not only that, but Amex’s new only-one-bonus-per-card-per-lifetime rule goes into effect May 1, so this might be your last chance to apply for some of their cards. That means it might just be time to apply for a new credit card to top up your account, and luckily there are tons of great high-bonus offers out there at the moment, so I wanted to put together this handy list of the credit cards currently offering sign-up bonuses of 40,000 points/miles or more.

Here they are by the type of points and miles they offer.

TRANSFERABLE AND FIXED-VALUE POINTS

Ink Plus feat

Ink Plus Business Card
Current Sign-up 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

Ink Bold Business Card
Current Sign-up 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.
Annual Fee: $95 waived the first year

Chase Sapphire Preferred
Current Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in 3 months plus another 5,000 bonus points when you add an additional cardholder and make a purchase within the first 3 months.
Benefits: 2 points per $1 on travel (which includes flights, hotels, car rentals, subway, parking, taxis, etc.) and restaurants (basically any food establishment and catering) with no maximum cap. Points are worth 1.25 cents when redeeming with pay-with-points for airfare, hotel, car rentals and cruises (that means the 40,000 sign-up bonus = $500 towards travel at the very minimum); 7% annual points dividend even on points already redeemed; no foreign transaction fees; extra earning potential through the Ultimate Rewards earning mall; Ultimate Rewards Exclusives experience redemptions, Visa Signature perks and protections, no foreign transaction fees and chip & signature technology
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

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 9.22.37 AMPlatinum Card from American Express
Current Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 for the Mercedes-Benz Platinum after $3,000 spent within 3 months ($475 annual fee) or 40,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months for the personal Platinum ($450 annual fee).
Benefits: In addition 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 of the Platinum Card from American Express such as the $200 yearly airline rebate, lounge access and Global Entry rebate.

Business Platinum Card from American Express
Current Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 points when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.
Benefits: This card also comes with the same benefits of the Platinum Card from American Express
Annual Fee: $450

For more information, see these posts:
The Amex Platinum Card Review
Is the Amex Platinum Worth the $450 Annual Fee?
Maximizing the Amex Platinum $200 Annual Airline Rebate
Understanding the Amex Platinum Lounge Access Benefit
The Amex Platinum Fine Hotels & Resorts Program
My Experience Getting Refunded for the Global Entry Application Fee With My Amex Platinum Card

The Arrival card gives 2x points on all purchases and you can redeem the miles for any travel expense- including bed and breakfast hotels and for any flight- and you earn miles on flights unlike most airline award redemptions

The Arrival card comes with 40,000 bonus miles.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World MasterCard
Current Bonus: 40,000 miles with $3,000 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. 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.
Annual Fee: $89 waived the first year

AIRLINE CREDIT CARDS

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

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Visa - This offer is no longer available. View the current offer here
Current Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
Benefits: With this card you will earn 2 points per dollar spent on Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways purchases as well as Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
This offer comes and goes, but the best time to apply is between October and December so that you hit the $2,000 spend requirement as early in the new year as possible if you’re gunning for the holy grail of travel rewards- the Companion Pass.
Annual Fee: $99

For more information on the card and Southwest, check out these posts:
Maximize Monday: Southwest Companion Pass FAQ And Strategies
Top 11 Ways To Top Up Your Account For The Southwest Companion Pass
Southwest Points vs. Southwest Credits: When Transferring Makes Sense and How to Check Availability

British Airways Visa Signature Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 Avios with $2,000 spend in the first 3 months
Benefits: Spend $30,000 in a calendar year and receive a Travel Together Ticket good for two years. Earn 2.5 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases and 1.25 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $95

For ideas on how to maximize British Airways Avios, check out my series. Posts include: Distance-Based Awards; Household Accounts; Using Avios to Upgrade Paid Tickets; The Avios and Cash Option; Save Money on Fuel Surcharges by Transferring British Airways Avios to Iberia; Using Avios For Non-Flight Redemptions; Using Avios to Book Domestic First Class FlightsDirect Flights, London Stopovers and UK Destinations; How to Redeem British Airways Avios Without Huge Fees; Using British Airways Avios on Aer Lingus to Avoid Huge Fees.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 1.26.57 PM

Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage World MasterCard
Current Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 AAdvantage miles with $3,000 spend in the first 3 months
Benefits: Receive a $100 American Airlines flight discount every year with $30,000 or more in purchases. First checked bag is free for you and up to 4 travel companions and get Group 1 priority boarding when flying on American. For more information on this card, check out my post on Reduced Price Awards and 10% Mileage Refund for Citi AA Cardholders.
Annual Fee: $95 waived the first year.

Citi Business AAdvantage World Mastercard
Current Sign-up Bonus:
50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of cardmembership with the provided link.
Benefits: You will also earn 2 miles per dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and on purchases at certain office supply, telecommunications and car rental merchants.
Annual Fee: With this card the $95 annual fee is waived for the first year.

United MileagePlus Explorer Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 miles with $2,000 spend in the first 3 months (ONLY IN CHASE BRANCH) or 30,000 miles with $1,000 spend in the first the months
Benefits: Get first checked bag free and priority boarding on United-operated flights. Receive two United Club passes per year. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $95 waived the first year

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: Earn 50,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in 3 months.
Benefits: Earn 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $25,000 in a calendar year. Earn 2 miles for each $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores and on tickets purchased from United. First checked bag free. No foreign exchange fees.
Annual Fee: $95 annual fee waived the first year.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 1.34.57 PM

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard
Current Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 miles on qualifying transactions, 40,000 miles will be earned after spending $500 in the first 90 days and up to 10,000 miles will be earned with initial balance transfers in the first 90 days.
Benefits: You will earn2 miles per dollar on Frontier purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases, companion tickets can be redeemed for 5,000 fewer miles than normal.
Annual Fee: $69

US Airways Premier World MasterCard
Current Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 miles after first purchase or balance transfer in the first 90 days.
Other Benefits: Receive an annual companion certificate good for up to 2 companion tickets upon approval and every year, 5,000-mile discounts on awards, 2X miles per $1 on US Airways purchases. Also receive 1 complimentary US Airways Club day pass and get first class check in and Zone 2 boarding.
Annual Fee: $89

Virgin Atlantic Mastercard feat

Virgin Atlantic Mastercard
Current Sign-Up Bonus: 20,000 bonus miles after your first purchase, 25,000 additional Flying Club bonus miles after you spend at least $2,500 in qualifying purchases and up to 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card. Earn up to 15,000 additional bonus miles upon anniversary.
Benefits: Annual Status Miles Earning Potential: One Tier point per $2,500 in purchases (maximum of 2 per month)
Spend Requirements: Up to 24 Tier points per year on up to $60,000 in spend.
Annual Fee: $90

Airline cards mean more perks and more travel. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Airline cards mean more perks and more travel. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

HOTEL CREDIT CARDS

Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve
Current Sign-up Bonus: Two weekend night certificates, each good for one weekend night (standard room, double occupancy) at most hotels and resorts within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, after $2,500 in eligible purchases within the first 4 months. This could be equivalent to up to 190,000 points depending on where you redeem. I redeemed mine at the Conrad Maldives, which had rates over $1,000 per night!
Benefits: Automatic Hilton HHonors Gold status; Diamond status with $40,000 annual spend; no foreign transaction fees, SmartChip technology; Visa Signature benefits; cardholders who spend $10,000 annually get an anniversary free weekend-night certificate as well that can be used at any property. 10 points for every $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio; 5 points for every $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases; 3 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
Annual Fee: $95

Carlson feat

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

Club Carlson Rewards Business Visa
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: $60

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.

IHG Rewards Club Select Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: 60,000 points after a spend of $1,000 in the first three months, plus one free night each year. (See this thread for information on how to get an 80,000 point offer for this card.)
Benefits: Annual Status Earning Potential: Automatic Platinum status. Earn 5X points per dollar spent at participating hotels, earn 2X points per dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, earn 1X point per dollar spent spent on all other purchases. Automatic 10% point rebate. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $49

Hilton HHonors Surpass Amex
Current Sign-up Bonus: 75,000 HHonors Points after a spend of $3,000 in the first three months.
Benefits: Automatic Gold status, and potential for Diamond with a calendar-year spend of $40,000. Earn 12 points per $1 at Hilton Worldwide properties. 6 points per $1 at U. S. restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets, 3 points for all other eligible purchases.
Annual Fee: $75

Ritz 70k

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: 70,000 Ritz-Carlton Rewards points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months.
Benefits: Gold status every year you spend $10,000 or more on the card. Cardholders will earn one point per dollar spent on most charges, with 2 points per dollar on must airfare, car rental, and dining purchases. 5 points per dollar are earned for all charges at Ritz-Carlton properties. Enjoy Gold status at Ritz-Carlton hotels the first year, and retain this status by charging at least $10,000 annually. This mid-tier status offers perks like complimentary Internet service, suite upgrades, and late checkout. Cardholders also get three club level upgrades annually subject to availability.With each stay of two nights or more (not at deeply discounted or corporate rates, but at regular non-package rates), cardholders receive a $100 credit to use on-property for dining and spa.Ritz-Carlton Rewards card members will receive an annual $200 credit toward ancillary fees from any airline. Card members receive a Priority Pass Select lounge membership that offers free unlimited entry to over 600 business lounges, excluding the United Club.
Annual Fee: $395

Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Signature
Current Sign-up Bonus 50,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months, plus one free night at Category 1-4 properties, then 1 free night at Category 1-5 properties after your first account anniversary – some readers have reported sign-up bonuses up to 70,000 points.
Benefits: 15 credits towards elite status annually – that’s automatic Silver status if you don’t have any status already. Earn 1 elite credit per $3,000 spent in a calendar year. Earn 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott locations 2 points per dollar spent on airfare, car rentals and dining and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Receive 1 credit toward elite status for every $3,000 spent. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $85

Hilton Visa
Current Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 points after making $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 4 months of opening your account.
Benefits: Automatic Silver status, but fast track to Gold status if you complete 4 stays within 90 days of account opening. Earn points every time you travel with 6 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent at a participating hotel within the Hilton HHonors portfolio. Even when you’re running everyday errands you will also earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points for each $1 spent on purchases at the grocery store, drugstores and gas stations. 2 points per $1 on all other purchases.
Annual Fee: $0

Hilton Amex
Current Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 HHonors Points after a spend of $750 in the first three months
Benefits: Automatic Silver status and potential for Gold with a calendar-year spend of $20,000. Earn 7 points per $1 at Hilton Worldwide properties, 5 points per $1 at U.S. restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets; 3 points per $1 for all other eligible purchases
Annual Fee: $0
40K points could be enough for roundtrip airfare depending on where you book it. Where will you travel to? Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

40K points could be enough for roundtrip airfare depending on where you book it. Where will you travel to? Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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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  • cotoneloc

    Does anyone know if the Chase Sapphire Preferred or United Millage Plus Explorer Business recognize Seamless/GrubHub as a “Restaurant” for 2x point earning? If not, are there any cards that do earn bonus points at Seamless?

  • JM

    Any way to include information about the bank that issues these cards? That can help with planning. Thanks!

  • MF

    Can someone confirm recent success with the 50,000 United card bonus by signing up in a Chase branch?

  • Rob

    Seriously? Have you heard of this nifty tool called Google?

  • Bob

    What about the chase hyatt card, giving 2 night stay certificates? I just used it to book 2 nights at the upcoming Park Hyatt NYC that would’ve cost about $1300 per night including taxes.

  • bobbiep

    Chase Sapphire Preferred DOES recognize “Seamless” as Restaurant charge, thus getting 2x dining points. I am not sure about “Grub Hub” or if United Millage Plus recognizes them. Also, Delivery.com is NOT recognized as “restaurant”. Hope this helps.

  • John

    You missed the Avianca LifeMiles Visa from US Bank, 20K upon issue, 20K after 3K spend, first year AF waived. Only good until April 30. (Was prematurely “expired” for a week or so, but then came back)

  • Ryan McVickers

    I was in a Chase branch yesterday and saw the offer listed on a flyer on my banker’s desk. I didn’t apply for it, but if they’re advertising it, I would assume it’s still active.

  • Ryan McVickers

    I’ve paid for GrubHub twice on my CSP, and I only received 1x points each time. So it doesn’t look like GrubHub falls under the “restaurants” or “dining” categories.

  • Regina Felipe

    I applied for it last month in a Chase branch (NYC) and they were offering 50K miles for $2k spent in 3 months. And if you add an authorized user, you will receive additional 5k miles after 1st purchase.

  • http://www.Fishing4Deals.com/ Fishing4Deals

    I don’t believe the 80K IHG card is available any more.

  • Jim

    Wife received 100K signup offer from Amex Personal Platinum earlier this week. I have not seen anything from TPG on this, assuming this must be narrowly targeted? Any “catches” I should know about this offer? She enjoys many of the benefits already (lounge access, FHR, etc) since I have the Business Platinum but I think it’s still worthwhile unless there’s something I’m missing.

  • JM

    Perhaps do the work and post for us. That would make up for you being a turd. :)

  • antignos

    http://www.milenerd.com had a good list a week or so ago also.

  • Grandma

    Not receiving much attention is the fact that there is also an Amex Platinum version for Morgan Stanley. If you have an account at Morgan Stanley, the signup bonus is 40,000 points on just $1000 spend.

  • travelsaurus

    I did just cash in on a targeted Amex plat offer for 100,000 miles for only $3000 spend in 3 months…excited about that!

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