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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American ExpressCiti ThankYou Premier, Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, Wyndham Rewards Visa Card, Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard

Loyalty programs are constantly changing, and so are the credit cards associated with them. In the world of frequent flyer miles and hotel points, sign-up bonuses rise and fall, benefits are added and subtracted — all with little or no notice. An offer that’s here today could be gone tomorrow, and the cards you carry are key to the success of your award travel strategy.

To maximize your points and miles, you have to stay up to date on the credit card marketplace, and keep track of developments so that you can take advantage of great new deals as they become available. To help you do that, each month I compile a list of what I think are the top travel rewards credit card offers of the moment.

Many of the cards on this list remain consistent from month to month thanks to great benefits and fairly constant bonus opportunities, like those on Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum World Elite Select MasterCard. However, the list does change, and the rankings shift along with the offers. For instance, the Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from Amex made the list this month thanks to its current limited-time bonus offer, and I included the Amex Premier Rewards Gold thanks to new benefits that went into effect this month, such as a $100 airline fee rebate and waived foreign transaction fees.

This is not a list of every offer on the market. For that I recommend checking out the TPG Hot Deals page, where you’ll find a comprehensive roundup of the best deals currently available, as well as specific hotel and airline credit cards that might interest you. However, if you’re looking to apply for a credit card now, this list features the top options. Check back each month for updates and the latest, best offers out there.

Before you apply for new cards, check your credit score and read up on the posts below.
Before you apply for new cards, check your credit score and read up on the posts below.

Before you get started, take a look at these posts for tips on checking your credit, applying for new cards and getting approved:

Here’s the short list of cards, but continue reading below for more details on each of them.

1. Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express
2. Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card and Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card
3. Citi ThankYou Premier
4. Chase Sapphire Preferred
5. Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
6. Citi Prestige
7. Ink Plus Business Card from Chase
8. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard
9. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
10. Wyndham Rewards Visa

THE DETAILS

Here’s a detailed look at each of the cards listed above, their benefits and reasons to apply now.

1. Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express
Current Bonus:
Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months. Earn a $100 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months.
Benefits: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar elsewhere. Earn 10,000 MQMs after spending $25,000 on the card in a calendar year, and another 10,000 MQMs after spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year. Get a domestic Main Cabin companion certificate each year upon card renewal. Get Zone 1 priority boarding and a free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation. Save 20% on eligible in-flight purchases (like food and entertainment). No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $195
Reasons to get it: Delta has made several negative changes to the SkyMiles program, but there are still plenty of sweet spots that can yield good value. I peg SkyMiles at about 1.2 cents apiece in my June Valuations, so 60,000 miles are worth about $720. 60,000 miles could get you as many as six round-trip flights between certain destinations using Delta’s new discounted awards for 5,000 miles each way, and is almost double the normal sign-up bonus. This card is also one of the only airline credit cards on the market that lets you earn elite-qualifying miles through spending. If it’s elite status you’re after, making at least $25,000 in eligible purchases in a calendar year scores you a Medallion Qualification Dollar waiver. Plus, if you maximize the annual companion certificate, you can easily make back the $195 annual fee. This offer is only around until June 30, so if you do want to apply, do it before then!

For more information, see these posts:

2. Gold Delta SkyMiles Card and Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card from American Express
Current Bonus:
 Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and earn a $50 statement credit after making a Delta purchase in the first three months.
Benefits: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar elsewhere. Get Zone 1 priority boarding and a free checked bag on Delta flights for you and up to 8 companions traveling on the same reservation. Save 20% on eligible in-flight purchases (like food and entertainment). No foreign transaction fees. The business version also comes with Amex OPEN Savings benefits.
Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Reasons to get it: The public sign-up bonuses on these cards usually hover around 30,000 miles, so you’re getting a premium of nearly 70% with these offers, plus a $50 statement credit on your first Delta purchase and no annual fee the first year, so it’s like getting a $50 gift certificate on Delta. This card also earns you a Medallion Qualifying Dollar waiver when you spend $25,000 in purchases in a calendar year, but I actually think it’s a better card for non-elites who can maximize benefits like the free checked bags, which alone can make up for the annual fee with just two round-trips per year. Like the Platinum Delta card, these offers are only available until June 30.

 

3. Citi ThankYou Premier
Current Bonus: 50,000 ThankYou points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Benefits: Earn 3 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on travel (including gas), and 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment. Citi ThankYou Rewards also now has 12 transfer partners, including Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer and Hilton HHonors. This card also features EMV chip technology, no foreign transaction fees and Citi Price Rewind.
Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Reasons to get it: There are plenty of reasons to consider the Citi ThankYou Premier, including the current sign-up bonus, which was simplified from the old convoluted formula that took a full year to earn. The greatest motivation might be those bonus spending categories, which Citi recently changed so that you earn 3x points on travel and 2x on dining and entertainment. Citi also adjusted the travel category to include a broader range of expenses: in addition to airlines, hotels and travel agencies, you’ll now earn 3x ThankYou Points for spending on car rentals, gas, commuter transportation, taxi/limousines, passenger railways, cruise lines, bridge and road tolls, parking lots/garages, campgrounds and trailer parks, time shares, bus lines, motor home/RV Rental and boat rentals. So if you spend a lot of money on travel and gas, that 3x points per $1 will come in handy, and the card will still offer 2x points on dining out and entertainment.

In general, Citi has dramatically improved its ThankYou Rewards program with all those new airline partners (with occasional transfer bonuses), and the annual fee on this card (which is waived for the first year) dropped from $125 to $95, making it a great pick all around. In fact, I recently applied for this card myself.

For more information, check out these posts:

4. Chase Sapphire Preferred
Current Bonus: 50,000 points
when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. You’ll earn another 5,000 bonus points when you add a second cardholder and make a purchase within the first three months.
Benefits: This card regularly makes my list of the top travel credit cards thanks to compelling benefits like earning 2x points on travel and dining, no foreign transaction fees, primary auto rental insurance and the ability to transfer points to 11 transfer partners including British Airways, Southwest, United, Hyatt and Marriott.
Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Reasons to get it: This is still a top travel credit card, though Chase made some changes to it in the last year. The sign-up bonus spending requirement increased from $3,000 to $4,000, and Chase eliminated the 7% annual points dividend. On the positive side, you can score an extra 5,000 points by adding a second cardholder. The card’s trip cancellation coverage was also bumped up to $10,000, and the Sapphire Preferred now offers primary rental car insurance instead of the usual secondary coverage. This card is always on my list of top travel credit cards thanks to great category bonuses on travel and dining, waived foreign transaction fees and the value of the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners.

For more information on the card and the Ultimate Rewards program, see these posts:

5. American Express Premier Rewards Gold
Current Bonus: Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months. Some people have received targeted offers for as much as 50,000 points through the CardMatch tool.
Benefits: Earn 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines, 2x points on gas and groceries and dining and 1x on everything else. Receive a $100 Airline Fee Credit each calendar year, and no foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $195 (waived the first year)
Reasons to get it: Though the annual fee just increased on this card, it’s still waived for the first year. In the meantime, it offers a lot of other potentially valuable benefits, many of which are new, so if you haven’t taken a look at this card in a while, now might be the time to do so.

The bonus categories were just widened to include dining, as well as gas, groceries and airfare. Amex is finally catching up with other issuers by waiving foreign transaction fees, and that $100 airline fee credit should offset the increase in the annual fee. Membership Rewards is still a very strong points program with great transfer partners including Singapore, Air France/KLM, Delta and British Airways (though at a decreased transfer ratio starting October 1). Unlike some of the other transferable points programs, Amex regularly offers transfer bonuses to various partners, which can make the points you earn even more valuable. All in all, this is a solid product to carry, and a no-brainer if you can get in on one of the targeted 50,000-point offers out there.

For more information, check out these posts:

6. Citi Prestige Card
Current Bonus: 40,000 ThankYou points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Benefits: $250 air travel credit each year for things like airfare, baggage fees, lounge access and some in-flight purchases. Admirals Club access and Priority Pass Select lounge membership. No foreign transaction fees. $100 Global Entry application fee waiver. Earn 3x ThankYou points on air travel and hotel purchases, 2x on dining and entertainment and 1x on everything else. Get your fourth night free at hotels with no black-out dates when you book four consecutive nights at any hotel via a personal travel adviser designated by MasterCard. Redeem your points for air travel at a rate of 1.33 cents apiece, or 1.6 cents apiece on American Airlines or US Airways. Citi ThankYou Rewards also now has 12 transfer partners, including Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Virgin Atlantic and Hilton HHonors.
Annual Fee: $450
Reasons to get it: This card has a much higher annual fee than the Citi ThankYou Premier, but the Citi Prestige comes with a ton of additional, valuable benefits that can make it more than worthwhile. The annual $250 air travel credit equates to more than half of the annual fee, and Citi made several major improvements to the ThankYou program in general over the last year, including the addition of new transfer partners (and there may be more to come). This card also offers other great benefits such as lounge access, a Global Entry fee waiver, the fourth-night-free hotel benefit and free rounds of golf. For more information on the card and its benefits, check out these posts:

7. Ink Plus Business Card
Current Bonus: 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
Benefits: Earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, and on cell phone, land line, internet, and cable TV services (on up to $50,000 in spending annually), and 2 points per dollar spent at gas stations and on hotel accommodations (again, on up to $50,000 in spending annually). No foreign transaction fees. Ability to transfer points to 11 travel partners, including United, British Airways, Southwest and Hyatt.
Annual Fee: $95
Reasons to get it: This business card comes loaded with benefits, including 5x and 2x category spending bonuses and the ability to earn points that you can transfer to any of Chase’s 11 travel partners. I list Ultimate Rewards points at 2.1 cents apiece in my most recent monthly valuations, so I value the sign-up bonus at $1,050. Unfortunately, Chase recently removed the Lounge Club benefit, but the fundamental value of the card hasn’t changed.

For more information, see these posts:

The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles.
The Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles.

8. Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard
Current Bonus:
Earn 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
Benefits: Free first checked bag and Group 1 priority boarding for you and up to four travel companions on American Airlines. 10% mileage refund on awards (up to 10,000 miles each year). For more information, check out my post on Reduced Price Awards and the 10% Mileage Refund for Citi AA Cardholders.
Annual Fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Reasons to get it: 50,000 miles is as high as the public bonus on this card usually gets (more commonly it offers 30,000 miles), and AAdvantage miles are among the most valuable mileage currencies out there right now. I value them at 1.7 cents apiece, so the sign-up bonus alone is worth $850. If you maximize the 10% mileage refund on the personal card and get 10,000 miles, that’s equivalent to another $170 in value annually. The card also includes benefits like 25% off in-flight purchases on American Airlines and US Airways, as well as 2x miles for airfare purchases from both airlines.

American is also offering a potentially lucrative double miles promotion for 2015, so now is a good time to take a closer look at the AAdvantage program. As the merger with US Airways moves ahead, this is also the time to maximize your AAdvantage miles before any potential program changes.

9. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
Current Bonus: 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 or more in the first 90 days.
Benefits: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, and receive 5% of your miles back when you redeem for travel. The card comes with Chip and Pin technology, and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Another interesting benefit of Arrival Plus is that you can get your FICO score free each month, making it easier to track your credit.
Annual Fee: $89 (waived the first year)
Reasons to get it: The sign-up bonus alone is worth approximately $400 in travel statement credits, and if you’re stocked with cards from other major issuers like Amex or Chase, this is a good option. I personally like this card because the Chip + Pin technology and no foreign transaction fees make it ideal for using abroad, and for the versatility of its miles, since you earn 2 miles per $1 on all purchases, and can redeem them for non-traditional travel rewards like train tickets and tourist attractions.

For more information on this card, check out these posts:

Both Wyndham Rewards credit cards are offering higher limited-time sign-up bonuses.
Both Wyndham Rewards credit cards are offering higher limited-time sign-up bonuses.

10. Wyndham Rewards Visa
Current Bonus:
Earn up to 45,000 bonus points. Earn 30,000 bonus points with your first purchase, and earn an additional 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.
Benefits: Earn up to 5 additional points per $1 spent on qualified hotel stays, and earn 2 points per $1 spent everywhere else. Earn 15,000 Bonus Points on your account anniversary every year.
Annual Fee: $69
Reasons to get it: Thanks to Wyndham’s recent revaluation, the sign-up bonus alone is worth 3 free nights (with no blackout dates) at any of the chain’s 7,600+ properties. Wyndham hotels can cost up to $300-$400 per night in some cases, so you can get tremendous value out of the sign-up bonus. Furthermore, you get 15,000 anniversary bonus points every year that you renew the card (enough for a one-night redemption), which pretty much negates that annual fee. Beyond hotel redemptions, Wyndham also lets you transfer your points to 17 airline partners (and Amtrak), including Alaska, American, Hawaiian, Southwest and United. The transfer ratios aren’t great, but it’s nice to have another option.

For more information, check out these posts:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.