3 credit cards that offer $500 or more in value
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – The Platinum Card® from American Express
Before I started working at The Points Guy, I had one credit card — the “Plain Jane” card your bank issues to get you started. Little did I know there was an entire world of offers out there that would earn me valuable points and miles on all my purchases. These purchases, in turn, have put me closer to a first-class round-trip ticket to my next destination.
I’ve come a long way in the past year. I now have five credit cards in my wallet, offering awesome benefits and sign-up bonuses. The annual fees vary, but I’m undeterred. The benefits easily make up for the fees.
Here are my top three cards that offer at least $500 in value.
|Credit Card||Bonus Offer||Bonus Redeemable Value*||TPG Bonus Valuation**||Annual Fee||Essential Perks|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.||$1,250 (when redeemed through Chase Rewards)||$2,000||$95||Trip delay, trip cancellation, and baggage delay insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; purchase protection; extended warranty.|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening||up to $1,000 (when redeemed as a statement credit)||up to $1,020||$95||Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement credit (up to $100); travel accident insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; extended warranty.|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||75,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening||$600 (when used for eligible gift card redemptions, or eligible travel through amextravel.com)||$1,500||$550 (see rates and fees)||Trip cancellation/interruption insurance; Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement credit; Centurion Lounge access; Delta SkyClub access on same-day flights; $200 airline-fee credit; $200 in annual Uber credits; $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit ($50 biannually); Priority Pass lounge access; elite Gold status with Hilton and Marriott; auto rental collision damage waiver; return protection. Enrollment required for select benefits.
*Redemption value through issuer’s platform
**Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.
Should I get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?
Why Chase Sapphire Preferred: You may recognize this card as our top mid-tier card of 2018. It earns 2x points on dining and travel — Amtrak, Uber, Airbnb, even Lime scooters. It also offers trip delay insurance (up to $500 per ticket), $10,000 in trip cancellation insurance, and even $100 per day in baggage delay insurance.
What are the perks?: 2x points on travel and 3x points on dining and some sweet travel protections that include primary rental car coverage, trip delay insurance, trip cancellation insurance, baggage delay insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement.
Sign-up bonus: 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. (worth $1,250 when redeemed for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal)
Annual fee: $95
Why Venture: This card is the universal point-earner with double miles on everything you buy. Those points will add up fast. This was my first real travel credit card, and it still holds a place in my wallet for all of those miscellaneous items I won’t earn 2x miles on from other cards.
What are the perks?: 2x miles on purchases and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application-fee credit (up to $100)
Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. (worth $1,020 according to TPG valuations).
Annual fee: $95
Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here
Why American Express Platinum: This card is the cream of the crop when it comes to travel perks. My favorite advantage is access to American Express’ coveted Centurion Lounges. Complimentary drinks and food — not to mention refuge from the chaos of the rest of the airport — is always a win in my book. This card earns 5x points on flights and hotels booked through Amex travel or through any airline, and 1x points on every other purchase.
What are the perks?: Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges, including American Express Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges and Delta Sky Clubs, along with Airspace and Escape lounges. You can earn a credit of up to $200 annually to cover airline incidentals like checked bag fees, change fees and inflight purchases, plus up to $200 in Uber credits each year. The card also waives foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) and provides Gold elite status with both Marriott and Hilton. You’ll also have access to secondary car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranty protection, return protection and purchase protection. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Earning rates: 5 points per dollar spent for flights and hotels booked through Amex Travel as well as flights booked directly through the airline; 1 point per dollar everywhere else.
Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of opening your account. (valued at $1,200 by The Points Guy)
Annual fee: $550 (see rates & fees)
For trip insurance and points easily redeemed toward travel, get the CSP. If you want to skip the TSA line with PreCheck, get the Capital One Venture. If you want to have an airport experience fit for royalty, the Amex Platinum is your best bet. Whichever card you choose, don’t let the annual fee deter you. Just always remember to pay your bills on time and in full every single month. You’ll be on your way to your dream trip sooner than you think.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees