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Have all of the popular credit cards? Here are some options for your next application

July 27, 2022
16 min read
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One of the most common questions we hear at TPG goes something like, "What credit card should I get next?" When people are first starting out in this hobby, the possible answers seem endless. As you add more and more credit cards to your wallet, this question becomes more nuanced.

What perks are you looking for? What gaps in bonus category earning do you have? Is there a certain type of points or miles you don't have that could help you get to your next vacation destination?

All of these questions matter in helping to decide what credit card to get next.

If you have (or have had) all of the most popular credit cards in this hobby, you may be wondering what your next card should be. Here are some options to consider, all with annual fees under $100.

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Popular credit cards you should get early on in this hobby

(Photo by Africa Studio/Shutterstock)

Before we discuss the credit cards you should get next, let's first cover the aspect of what you likely — or should — have in your wallet by now.

First things first, if you're looking to maximize the amount of points and miles you can earn over the long term, then you should focus on Chase cards first. Due to the Chase 5/24 rule, coming back to get more cards from Chase later on can be really difficult. Thus, you should focus on Chase credit cards while under 5/24. By this point, you should have either the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card in your wallet. If you're still under 5/24, focus on credit cards from Chase before you become ineligible for them later on.

Related: From credit newbie to credit wizard: Here’s a 5-year strategy for rewards cards

Once you pass 5/24, other issuers should be your target. Many people will go after a pair of popular Amex cards: The Platinum Card® from American Express for its many travel benefits and the American Express® Gold Card to use for restaurant and U.S. grocery purchases. However, others may dip their toes into the realm of cobranded cards with an airline or hotel credit card — potentially in pursuit of elite status.

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And with a number of application restrictions from the major issuers, it can be challenging to plan your next move.

It's at this point that many readers reach out to us for guidance. What credit cards should you consider now that you have the so-called "popular" credit cards in your wallet?

Let's take a look.

Credit cards to consider next

Every card that follows has an annual fee of less than $100, and each one could be a great option for you. We'll highlight the main features and sign-up bonuses for each of them.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

For a long time, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was a mainstay in the world of fixed-value credit cards, but the potential value has climbed significantly in the last few years. Capital One miles now transfer to multiple airline and hotel loyalty programs, and our monthly valuations now peg them at 1.85 cents apiece. You can read more about using them in our guide to maximizing Capital One miles.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $95.

Earning structure: Earn 5 miles per dollar spent on hotels and car rentals booked with Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar spent on cars booked through Turo (through May 16, 2023). You'll earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Cardmember perks: Enjoy reimbursement of your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee (up to $100 every four years) and two complimentary passes to visit Capital One lounges each year. Cardmembers approved for a Visa Signature card will also enjoy perks like travel accident insurance, secondary auto rental coverage and extended warranty protection.

Issuing bank: Capital One.

For more information, read our full review of the Capital One Venture card.


Apply here: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card


Citi Premier® Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Another great transferable points program is Citi ThankYou Rewards — though it sometimes flies under the radar. And arguably the most lucrative card from this program (the Citi Premier® Card) currently has an elevated welcome bonus paired with terrific earning rates. Even though the card lost some of its travel protections in recent years, it still allows for some fantastic rewards. You can read more in our guide to redeeming Citi ThankYou points for maximum value.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $95.

Earning structure: Earn three points per dollar on spending for air travel, hotels, gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants (including takeout) and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Cardmember perks: The Citi Premier offers a $100 annual hotel credit for single-stay hotel bookings of $500 or more (excluding taxes and fees) made through thankyou.com, extended warranty protection, damage and theft protection on items damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase (up to $10,000 per item and $50,000 per year), World Elite Mastercard benefits such as cellphone protection and Global Emergency Services, access to Citi® Entertainment and no foreign transaction fees.

Issuing bank: Citi.

For more information, read our full review of the Citi Premier card.


Apply here: Citi Premier® Card


Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

While it doesn't earn transferable rewards, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card can be especially useful for those who participate in Bank of America's Preferred Rewards. The card is also valuable for filling in gaps in your earning strategy and offers a number of solid perks — including a statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and $100 in airline fee credits each year. Read more in our guide to redeeming your Bank of America rewards points.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending at least $3,000 in purchases on the card within the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $95.

Earning structure: Cardholders earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining and 1.5 points per dollar on everything else. However, these numbers can go as high as 3.5 points per dollar (travel and dining) and 2.625 points per dollar (everything else) for Preferred Rewards members.

Cardmember perks: Cardmembers have an annual $100 airline incidental credit, reimbursement for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, travel protections and purchase protection.

Issuing bank: Bank of America.

For more information, read our full review of the Premium Rewards card.


Apply here: Bank of America Premium Rewards card


Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card

The Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card earns miles with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, and these are some of the most valuable airline miles in existence. The carrier's entrance into the Oneworld alliance in 2021 opened up even more possibilities with member airlines, though the carrier continues to add non-alliance partners (most recently Air Tahiti Nui). You can read more about how to best use Alaska miles in our guide to maximizing redemptions with Alaska Mileage Plan.

Sign-up bonus: 70,000 bonus miles plus Alaska's Famous Companion; from $122 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $23) with this offer. To qualify, make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

Annual fee: $95.

Earning structure: Cardmembers earn 3 miles per dollar on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases, 2 miles per dollar on gas, local transit, ride-sharing, cable and some streaming services, and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases.

Cardmember perks: Receive a companion fare each year on your account anniversary, a free checked bag for the cardholder and up to six companions on the same reservation when traveling with Alaska Airlines and no foreign transaction fees.

Issuing bank: Bank of America.

For more information, read our full review of the Alaska Airlines Visa card.


Apply here: Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card


Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Another option for a U.S. airline credit card is the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card. This is a great option for casual or even semi-frequent Delta flyers, and it provides enough miles for several different redemption options. Even better? The card's already-affordable annual fee is waived for the first year. You can learn more about using your rewards in our guide to redeeming Delta SkyMiles for maximum value.

Welcome offer: Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

Annual fee: $0 introductory fee in the first year, then $99 (see rates and fees).

Earning structure: Earn 2 miles per dollar on purchases made with Delta, 2 miles per dollar at restaurants worldwide (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 2 miles per dollar at U.S. supermarkets and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.

Cardmember perks: Cardholders get a free first checked bag on Delta-marketed and Delta-operated flights and get Main Cabin 1 boarding. Both perks apply to you and up to eight companions traveling on the same reservation. You'll also receive 20% back (as a statement credit) for in-flight purchases with Delta, a $100 Delta flight credit after spending $10,000 or more on your card in a calendar year and several travel protections and purchase protections provided by the card.

Issuing bank: American Express.

For more information, read our full review of the Delta Gold Amex card.


Apply here: Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card


Aeroplan Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

One possible avenue to explore is a card issued by a non-U.S. airline, and Air Canada's Aeroplan Credit Card could be a great option. Air Canada is a member of Star Alliance, so you can use your Aeroplan points across more than two-dozen airlines. You can read about best uses of those in our guide to maximizing Air Canada's Aeroplan program.

In addition, those with the Aeroplan Credit Card can actually enjoy a 10% bonus when transferring at least 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your Aeroplan account, so this is a fantastic companion to either one of the Sapphire cards.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, plus 40,000 points after you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months your account is open.

Annual fee: $95.

Earning structure: Earn 3 Aeroplan points per dollar spent at grocery stores, dining and purchases made directly with Air Canada and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. For every $2,000 you spend on the card each month, you also can receive up to a 500-point bonus — up to 1,500 points per month and up to 18,000 bonus points annually.

Cardmember perks: Cardmembers enjoy priority check-in privileges, two one-time passes to Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounges, 20 eUpgrade credits to upgrade from economy to premium cabins on Air Canada-operated flights, automatic Star Alliance Silver elite status and the ability to retain this by spending $15,000 on the card in a calendar year to maintain 25K status (which is then valid through the end of the following year). By spending $50,000 in a calendar year, cardholders can earn a one-level status boost to 35K elite status (or beyond). Cardmembers also get a free first checked bag on Air Canada flights, along with up to eight companions, up to $100 in statement credits for Global Entry, TSA Precheck or NEXUS application fees (once every four years) and multiple travel protections.

Issuing bank: Chase (card is subject to 5/24 rule).

For more information, read our full review of the Aeroplan Credit Card.


Apply here: Aeroplan Credit Card


British Airways Visa Signature Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

Another popular non-U.S. airline card is the British Airways Visa Signature Card. This one earns Avios, British Airways' loyalty currency, and you can read about the best uses of those in our guide to maximizing 100,000 British Airways Avios.

Sign-up bonus: Earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios in the first year: 75,000 bonus Avios after spending $5,000 on your card within the first three months of account opening. Earn an additional 25,000 Avios after spending $20,000 total within the first 12 months of account opening.

Annual fee: $95.

Earning structure: Earn 3 Avios per dollar spent on purchases with British Airways, Aer Lingus, Iberia and LEVEL. Earn 2 Avios per dollar spent on hotel accommodations when purchased directly with the hotel and earn 1 Avios per dollar on all other purchases.

Cardmember perks: Receive a statement credit three times a year of $100 for Economy (World Traveller) and Premium Economy (World Traveller Plus) seats — or $200 for Business (Club World) and first-class seats — when you book a reward flight to London traveling on British Airways and pay taxes, fees and charges with your British Airways Visa card. As a Visa Signature card, enjoy perks like lost/delayed baggage protection, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, secondary car rental insurance and access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. Cardmembers also enjoy 10% off eligible British Airways flights on cash fares when booked in a specific way.

Issuing bank: Chase (card is subject to 5/24 rule).

For more information, read our full review of the British Airways Visa Signature card.


Apply here: British Airways Visa Signature Card


IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

The IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card recently gained new perks and a better earning structure after increasing the annual fee by $10.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 175,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $99.

Earning structure: Earn 10 points per dollar spent with IHG hotels and resorts (on top of the points you earn from your IHG One Rewards status, which can lead to 26 points per dollar), 5 points per dollar on travel, dining and gas purchases and earn 3 points per dollar on all other purchases.

Cardmember perks: Receive an anniversary free night (worth up to 40,000 points but you can add points to it to redeem for more expensive properties), complimentary IHG Platinum Elite status, get a fourth night free on points stays with IHG, 20% off when buying IHG points and receive 10,000 bonus points plus a $100 statement credit after spending $20,000 and making one additional purchase each account year.

Issuing bank: Chase (card is subject to 5/24 rule).

For more information read our full review of the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card review.


Apply here: IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card


Bottom line

No two people are in the exact same situation. The best card for you to get next might be different than the best card for your friend or family member. Evaluate what can help you unlock your travel goals by filling a gap in your earning and redeeming abilities.

If you have the most popular cards and looking for a new card to add to your wallet, consider these cards with sub-$100 annual fees that could help you with your long-term points and miles strategy.

For more information, be sure to check out the following guides:

For rates and fees of the Delta Gold Amex, please click here.

Updated on 1/18/23

Featured image by ANNA BLAZHUK/GETTY IMAGES
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

5X points
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 Points
Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best luxury travel rewards card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
5XEarn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 80,000 Points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

Sometimes it's worth a large investment to reap the benefits of a great credit card. That's exactly the case with the Amex Platinum card. In exchange for the annual fee, you'll unlock access to the Amex Membership Rewards program that let you access airline and hotel transfer partners, along with new lifestyle and travel credits. This card is also incredibly rewarding for travel purchases, helping you rack up a ton of Membership Rewards points for your next award trip.

Pros

  • The current welcome offer on this card is quite lucrative. TPG values it at $1,600.
  • This card comes with a long list of benefits, including access to Centurion Lounges, complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott, at least $500 in assorted annual statement credits and so much more. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
  • The Amex Platinum comes with access to a premium concierge service that can help you with everything from booking hard-to-get reservations to finding destination guides to help you plan out your next getaway.

Cons

  • The high annual fee is only worth it if you’re taking full advantage of the card’s benefits. Seldom travelers may not get enough value to warrant the cost.
  • Outside of the current welcome bonus, you’re only earning higher rewards on specific airfare and hotel purchases, so it’s not a great card for other spending categories.
  • The annual airline fee statement credit can be complicated to take advantage of compared to the broader travel credits offered by competing premium cards.
  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • Get up to $300 back per calendar year on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card. Enrollment required. Learn more.
  • Breeze through security with CLEAR® lanes available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your membership when you use your Card. Learn more.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees