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The best time to apply for these popular American Express credit cards based on offer history

Sept. 07, 2022
34 min read
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One of the best reasons to apply for a travel rewards credit card is the welcome offer. Often, you can earn tens of thousands of points or miles within the first few months of opening a new credit card by hitting certain minimum spending requirements.

However, welcome offers change all the time, and part of any successful travel rewards strategy is knowing when it is the right time to apply for a specific card. After all, you wouldn’t want to miss out on a haul of bonus points by applying too early — or too late.

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Without tracking the welcome offers on specific cards over time, however, you might not have the context you need to know whether a particular offer is worth applying for at any given moment.

Luckily, we’ve done that work for you and monitored some of the most popular travel rewards and cash-back cards to give you bonus ranges and some clear benchmarks for when you should consider applying for each.

You can also check our frequently updated list of the best increased card offers to sign up for.

In this post, we’ll focus on American Express, which fields some of the best co-branded and proprietary rewards cards available from any issuer.

Best American Express welcome offers

Here are some of the most popular Amex cards, a snapshot of each one’s welcome offer ranges and some guidance on when you should apply for each. Just note that we’re only discussing publicly available welcome offers, though some folks might receive targeted offers with more bonus points or cash back.

CardBest welcome offer we've seenWhen to apply
The Platinum Card® from American Express100,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Plus, earn 10 points per dollar on “Shop Small” purchases in the U.S. and at restaurants worldwide, on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, also in the first six months of card membership.Over 75,000 points.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express150,000 bonus points: 100,000 after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the card in the first three months of card membership and another 50,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 total in the first three months.Over 100,000 points.
American Express® Gold Card

100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership.

Over 60,000 points.
American Express® Business Gold Card130,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership.Over 70,000 points.
Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card15,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership.Over 10,000 miles.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card70,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of card membership.Over 70,000 miles.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.Depends on the mix of bonus miles and MQMs.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card100,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership.Depends on the mix of bonus miles and MQMs.
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.Over 75,000 miles.
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership, plus a $100 statement credit.Depends on the mix of bonus miles and MQMs.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card110,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in the first three months of card membership.Depends on the mix of bonus miles and MQMs.
Hilton Honors American Express Card130,000 points in total: 80,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months, then earn another 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 total on purchases in the first six months.Over 100,000 points.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card180,000 bonus points: 130,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months, then an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $10,000 or more on purchases in the first six months.Over 130,000 points.
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card180,000 bonus points: 130,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months, then an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $10,000 or more on purchases in the first six months.Over 130,000 points.
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card150,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.Over 150,000 points.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.Over 100,000 points.
Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after making $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months.Over 100,000 points.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express$350 cash back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $3,000 in the first six months of card membership and a $0 first year's annual fee (then $95, see rates and fees).Over $300 cash back.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express$200 cash back in the form of statement credits after spending $2,000 in the first six months of card membership.Over $200 cash back.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

CardMatch Tool

It’s also always a good idea to check the CardMatch tool to see if you might be eligible for higher offers on specific cards such as the Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card.

Read on for more details on each of these cards and when to apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

ISABELLE RAPHAEL/THE POINTS GUY

The Amex Platinum Card has long been one of most popular premium cards on the market thanks to a slew of luxury-skewing, value-added benefits that can save cardmembers money on everything from airline fees to hotel stays.

For details, read our full review of the Amex Platinum card.

Highest welcome offer

The highest welcome offer the Amex Platinum Card has fielded in recent years was from July 2021-January 2022.

At that time, applicants could earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership. Plus, they could earn 10 points per dollar on “Shop Small” purchases in the U.S. and at restaurants worldwide, on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, also in the first six months of card membership.

Range of typical welcome offers

Though that offer could net savvy spenders up to 350,000 bonus points, the typical offer for this card tends to range between 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership, to 100,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 in the first six months of card membership.

Current welcome offer

Earn 100,000 points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

When you should apply

In general, aim to apply for this card only if its welcome offer tops 75,000 bonus points, and it should be a no-brainer at the 100,000-point mark, depending on the spending requirements.


You can apply for the current Platinum Card from American Express welcome offer here. Terms apply.


The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

The Amex Business Platinum often extends even more lucrative welcome offers than its personal counterpart and offers many of the same luxury perks, though some of its statement credits are focused on typical business expenditures.

To find out more about the card and its perks, read our full review of the Amex Business Platinum card.

Highest welcome offer

In the past few years, the highest welcome offer we’ve seen for the Amex Business Platinum has been up to 150,000 bonus points: 100,000 after spending $5,000 on eligible purchases with the card in the first three months of card membership and another 50,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 total in the first three months.

Range of typical welcome offers

Usually, the Amex Business Platinum card tends to offer between 75,000-100,000 bonus points after meeting various spending requirements in the $15,000-$20,000 range.

Current welcome offer

Earn 120,000 points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your new card in the first three months of card membership. Terms apply. See terms for additional information.

When you should apply

Any time this card’s welcome offer tops 100,000 points, it’s worth considering. But if you get an offer — targeted or public — for 120,000 points or above, it’s time to apply.


You can apply for the Business Platinum Card from American Express welcome offer here. Terms apply.


American Express® Gold Card

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

This card is an excellent everyday choice for foodies since it earns 4 points per dollar at restaurants worldwide as well as on up to $25,000 in purchases per calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1 per dollar). However, it has also fielded some outstanding welcome offers.

Learn more about why this is one of our favorite all-around travel rewards cards in our full review of the Amex Gold card.

Highest welcome offer

The best public welcome offer we’ve seen on this card has also been one of the most short-lived. In June 2022, the Amex Gold upped its welcome offer for new applicants to 100,000 bonus points after they spent $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership. It lasted just a couple of days.

Range of typical welcome offers

More often, this card tends to come with 25,000-60,000 bonus points after spending between $2,000 in the first three months to $4,000 in the first six months. So as you can see, when you apply can make a huge difference.

Current welcome offer

Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

When you should apply

In general, you should consider applying when the welcome offer is above 60,000 points, and seriously think about hitting that "apply" button any time it tops 75,000 points.


You can apply for the current American Express Gold Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


American Express® Business Gold Card

ISABELLE RAPHAEL/THE POINTS GUY

The Amex Business Gold card is great for small businesses thanks to its strong earning structure, which racks up 4 points per dollar on your top two eligible spending categories each month. That can include airfare purchased directly from airlines and U.S. purchases at gas stations or restaurants among others, on up to $150,000 in purchases per calendar year. But it has also included some tremendous welcome offers in the past.

For more information on its other perks, read our full review of the Amex Business Gold card.

Highest welcome offer

This card has seen welcome offers of up to 130,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership, but not all applicants were eligible.

Range of typical welcome offers

Oftentimes, the welcome offer for this card hovers around the 70,000-90,000-point mark after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Current welcome offer

Earn 70,000 points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months of card membership.

When you should apply

If you see an offer for this card that’s over 70,000 points with a spending requirement that you and your small business can easily hit, it’s probably worth applying. And if you get an offer for 90,000 points or more, that should be a done deal.


You can apply for the current American Express Business Gold Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Delta SkyMiles® Blue American Express Card

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Delta’s most basic cobranded Amex card still packs a punch since it earns 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and at restaurants worldwide.

For more information on this card’s other features, read our full review of the Delta Blue Amex.

Highest welcome offer

This card has occasionally upped its welcome offer to 15,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Range of typical welcome offers

More typically, we see this card offering just 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months.

Current welcome offer

Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.

When you should apply

Anytime this card raises its welcome offer above the usual 10,000 miles it will be worth considering.


You apply for the current Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card welcome offer here.


Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

The benefits-rich Delta Gold Amex is a strong earner, racking up 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, at U.S. supermarkets and at restaurants including takeout and delivery in the U.S.

For more information on why this might be the top choice for Delta flyers, read our full review of the Delta Gold Amex.

Highest welcome offer

The highest public offers this card usually extends amount to 70,000 bonus miles after $2,000 in spending in the first three months of card membership.

Range of typical welcome offers

Usually, this card will only offer between 35,000-40,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. Sometimes these offers include a $0 intro annual the first year, then $99 (see rates and fees).

Current welcome offer

Earn 65,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first six months of account opening. Offer ends 11/9/22.

When you should apply

This card tends to raise its welcome offer to 70,000 bonus miles a few times a year, but only for a limited time. When it hits that number, be ready to apply.


You can apply for the current Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

DELTA

Though it has a higher annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees), the Delta Platinum Amex also offers elevated earning rates, accruing 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and on purchases made directly with hotels, 2 miles per dollar at U.S. supermarkets and on dining at restaurants including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and 1 mile per dollar on other purchases.

For more information on why this card deserves a place in your wallet, read our full review of the Delta Platinum Amex.

Highest welcome offer

The Delta Platinum Amex periodically offers 90,000 bonus miles after $3,000 in spending in the first three months of card membership.

Range of typical welcome offers

Mostly, though, this card offers just 40,000-50,000 bonus miles plus $5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) toward elite status after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.

Current welcome offer

Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first six months of account opening. Offer ends 11/9/22.

When you should apply

If you can time it right and shoulder the extra spending, it might be worth raking in nearly double the number of usual bonus miles, even if it does mean forgoing the MQMs.


You can apply for the current Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

The main benefit of Delta’s highest-end cobranded card is that card members receive complimentary access to Delta Sky Clubs and Amex Centurion Lounges when traveling on a same-day Delta-marketed or -operated flight. But it has plenty of benefits beyond that.

Find out more in our full review of the Delta Reserve.

Highest welcome offer

This card is an interesting one since the value of its welcome offer will depend on whether you prefer earning some MQMs toward elite status, or if you just want bonus miles. Not long ago, it raised its welcome offer to 100,000 bonus miles after $5,000 in spending in the first three months of card membership.

However, it has also extended an offer of 80,000 bonus miles plus 20,000 MQMs after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership, which might be worth it to folks gunning for the higher Medallion levels.

Current welcome offer

Earn 95,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first six months of account opening. Offer ends 11/9/22.

Range of typical welcome offers

Usually, new applicants can only earn 40,000 bonus miles and 5,000-10,000 MQMs, or 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000-10,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

When you should apply

Anytime the bonus miles that come with this card’s welcome offer top 80,000 it is probably a good time to apply.


You can apply for the current Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Delta SkyMiles® Gold Business American Express Card

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

Don’t forget about some of the lucrative business counterparts to Delta’s cobranded Amex cards, including this strong earner.

Find out about all its benefits in our full review of the Delta Gold Business Amex.

Highest welcome offer

The highest offer that comes around with the most frequency is 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases with the card in the first three months.

Range of typical welcome offers

Usually, this card only offers 30,000-50,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000-$2,000 in purchases in the first three months. It also sometimes peppers in various statement credits or rebates, or has a $0 annual fee the first year, then $99 thereafter (see rates and fees).

Current welcome offer

Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months.

When you should apply

Wait until this card offers 70,000 bonus points or more to apply.


You can apply for the current Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card

THE POINTS GUY

Like its personal counterpart, the Delta Platinum Business Amex earns bonus miles on a variety of purchases, including 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1.5 miles per dollar on purchases of $5,000 more (up to 50,000 bonus miles per calendar year).

Read our full review of the Delta Platinum Business Amex for more details.

Highest welcome offer

This card’s welcome offer has gone as high as 90,000 bonus miles after $3,000 in spending in the first three months of card membership, and has even offered a $100 statement credit in some instances.

Range of typical welcome offers

For the most part, this card offers new applicants figures like 45,000-60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership.

Current welcome offer

Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months.

When you should apply

If this card’s offer hits 90,000 bonus miles, you should hit that "apply" button.


You can apply for the current Delta SkyMiles Platinum Business American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card

THE POINTS GUY

This Delta Business Reserve offers many of the same benefits as its personal counterpart.

Read our full review of this small-business powerhouse to find out more.

Highest welcome offer

Just recently, this card was offering 110,000 bonus miles after $6,000 in spending in the first three months of card membership.

One of its other recent best offers included 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 MQMs, plus a $200 statement credit after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Both were phenomenal deals; it just depended on if you were after more bonus miles or MQMs.

Range of typical welcome offers

More often, you’ll find this card offers terms such as 45,000-60,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. Sometimes it throws in a statement credit as well.

Current welcome offer

Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months.

When you should apply

Whenever this card offers more than 80,000 bonus miles, you’ll want to take a closer look. If that figure tops 100,000 bonus miles, get your affairs in order to apply.


You can find the current Delta SkyMiles Reserve Business American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Hilton Honors American Express Card

CLINT HENDERSON/THE POINTS GUY

The most basic of Hilton’s cobranded Amex cards is a great choice for folks just starting out with travel rewards, and hotel points specifically.

Find out more about why this might be the right card for you by reading our full review of the Hilton Amex.

Highest welcome offer

This card has offered a few different types of “highest” welcome offers, the value of which would depend on how you planned to use your earnings. Among the ones that could be deemed the most valuable were the following two.

In one instance, you could earn 80,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months, then earn another 50,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 total on purchases in the first six months. That was a total potential haul of 130,000 points.

There was also an opportunity to earn 70,000 bonus points plus a free night reward after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Range of typical welcome offers

This card normally proffers 80,000 bonus points after you make $1,000 in purchases on the card within the first three months.

Current welcome offer

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in statement credits on eligible purchases made on the card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of card membership. Offer ends Oct. 26, 2022.

When you should apply

If you see this card boost its welcome offer to 100,000 points or more, think about opening one.


You can find the current Hilton Honors American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

JOHN GRIBBEN/THE POINTS GUY

A great choice for Hilton loyalists thanks to benefits like automatic Gold elite status, the Hilton Surpass has also extended some pretty compelling welcome offers.

For more details on the card and whom it might be right for, check out our full review of the Hilton Honors Surpass.

Highest welcome offer

Although this card’s welcome offer terms can vary dramatically, one of the best offers it has extended was for up to 180,000 bonus points. Applicants could earn 130,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases with the card in the first three months, then an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $10,000 or more on purchases in the first six months.

Range of typical welcome offers

The Hilton Honors Surpass normally offers 130,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Current welcome offer

Earn 130,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership. $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. Offer ends Oct. 26, 2022.

When you should apply

If you see the Hilton Honor Surpass offering anything more than the typical 130,000 bonus points, or throwing in sweeteners like a waived first-year annual fee, statement credits or free night certificates into its welcome offer, you’ll want to think long and hard about applying.


You can find the current Hilton Honors Surpass American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

WYATT SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

The business counterpart to the Hilton Honors Surpass, the Hilton Honors Business Amex has a lot of attractive benefits for cardmembers as well.

Find out more about it in our Hilton Honors Business Amex review.

Highest welcome offer

Like the Hilton Honors Surpass, the best welcome offer this card has extended was for up to 180,000 bonus points. Applicants could earn 130,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 on purchases with the card in the first three months, then an additional 50,000 points after spending a total of $10,000 or more on purchases in the first six months.

Range of typical welcome offers

The Hilton Honors Business Amex normally only offers 130,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Current welcome offer

Earn 130,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first three months of card membership.

When you should apply

Whenever this card’s welcome offer goes up to a potential 180,000 points, it’s worth applying.


You can find the current Hilton Honors American Express Business Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

THE POINTS GUY

The highest-end card in Hilton’s Amex portfolio, the Hilton Honors Aspire comes with plenty of money-saving perks including several different annual statement credits.

To find out more about this premium travel card, read our full Hilton Honors Aspire review.

The information for the Hilton Aspire Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Highest welcome offer

This card usually offers 150,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership, but in some instances, it has also offered a $0 intro annual fee the first year, then $450 (see rates and fees).

Range of typical welcome offers

The good news is this card usually offers 150,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership, so it’s pretty much always a great deal.

Current welcome offer

Earn 150,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership

When you should apply

This card’s welcome offer has remained steady for a long time now, so there’s no rush to apply. That said, it could always change, so if you see it dip below 150,000 points, you might want to wait and see if it rebounds.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

ISABELLE RAPHAEL/THE POINTS GUY

Marriott’s luxury-focused Amex card offers benefits like automatic Marriott Bonvoy Gold elite status and a free night award worth up to 50,000 points each year after renewal.

For more information on this benefits-rich card, read our full Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant review.

Highest welcome offer

The best offer Amex has ever extended for the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant has been 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use the card to make $5,000 in purchases during the first three months of card membership.

Range of typical welcome offers

This card’s welcome offer usually hovers at 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Current welcome offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership.

When you should apply

Whenever this card’s offer increases to 125,000 points, it’s well worth considering.


You can find the current Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

THE POINTS GUY

Small-business owners who frequent Marriott's properties will find plenty to like about the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex.

Take a look at our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex for more details on what makes this card such a standout.

Highest welcome offer

The highest we’ve seen this business card’s welcome offer go has been 125,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.

Range of typical welcome offers

This card’s welcome offer has held steady at 125,000 points for a while, but in the past, it tended to be lower, at either 75,000 after making $3,000 in purchases in the first three months; or 100,000 bonus points after making $5,000 in purchases in the first three months.

Current welcome offer

Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership.

When you should apply

Given this card’s welcome offer has only fluctuated within the range of points between 75,000-125,000 so far, try to apply when it’s at the higher end of that spectrum.


You can find the current Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

THE POINTS GUY

This is one of the best cash-back cards currently available since it earns 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and on up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%); 3% back on transit and at U.S. gas stations; and 1% back on other purchases.

For more information on this card’s other features, read our full review of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred.

Highest welcome offer

This card’s welcome offer doesn’t vary too much, but it has offered up to $350 cash back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership.

Range of typical welcome offers

This card usually offers $300 cash back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership. However, sometimes this offer includes a $0 intro annual fee the first year (then $95, see rates and fees).

It has also offered 20% cash back on Amazon.com purchases made on the card within the first six months of card membership, up to $200 back; plus up to $150 cash back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership.

Current welcome offer

Earn $350 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months of card membership. You will receive the $350 back in the form of a statement credit.

When you should apply

If you’re thinking about applying for this card, make sure it is offering at least $300 cash back in the form of a statement credit. And if its first year’s intro annual fee is $0, so much the better.


You can find the current Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

THE POINTS GUY

Though not quite as solid an earner as the Blue Cash Preferred, the Blue Cash Everyday still racks up cash back at a steady clip.

Find out more about this card and its benefits by reading our full review of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday.

Highest welcome offer

Frequently available, this card’s best welcome offer has been for $200 cash back in the form of statement credits after you use the card to make $2,000 in purchases during the first six months of card membership.

Range of typical welcome offers

This card usually offers either $150 cash back in the form of statement credits after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership, or $200 cash back in the form of statement credits after you spend $2,000 on purchases with it during the first six months of card membership.

It has also offered 20% cash back on Amazon.com purchases made on the card within the first six months of card membership, with up to $150 back; plus up to $100 cash back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first six months of card membership.

Current welcome offer

Earn $200 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months of card membership. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.

When you should apply

Go for the easiest offer available – a sizable amount of cash back (at least $200) with manageable spending ($2,000 or under).


You can find the current Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express welcome offer here. Terms apply.


Bottom line

Pay attention to the welcome offers of any travel rewards cards you may be interested in, as their terms and conditions can change frequently. Applying at the wrong time could mean missing out on thousands of bonus points or hundreds of dollars in cash back. On the other hand, applying at the right time could put even more rewards within reach.

Before applying for any new card, do a little homework and find out the range of its previous welcome offers. Then, when an offer toward the higher end of that range is available, you can apply secure in the knowledge you’re getting a great deal and are making the right choice for your rewards strategy.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Blue card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Business Gold card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Business Platinum card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Reserve card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Business Reserve card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Business card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Amex card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Aspire card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Business card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday, click here.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
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 starter travel 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

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

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

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel 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

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • 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

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases