Travel credit cards that offer anniversary bonuses each year
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with the most current credit card information. It was originally published on Oct. 5, 2017.
If you’re in a relationship, you might expect, or at least hope, for a little something on your anniversary. The same can be said about your relationships with credit card issuers. Many cards give you some kind of bonus each year that you renew your membership. But instead of flowers or chocolates, you can expect lounge passes, bonus miles, companion certificates or even a free night at a hotel.
Lots of cards offer you a perk for renewing, but we are going to only focus on the ones that do it without requiring you put a bunch of spending on the card each year in return for your bonus.
Delta Amex cards
Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express.
Both the personal and small-business versions of this card offer an annual companion certificate, but only when you renew your card. This certificate is good for a companion airfare when you purchase a qualifying round-trip, economy-class ticket in the contiguous 48 states. However, residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) can purchase a qualifying ticket that originates from their home state or territory to the mainland. Most fares qualify, as long as they’re in the L, U, T, X or V fare classes. This excludes bulk and group tickets, as well as basic economy fares.
You’ll have to pay any government taxes and fees, but this certificate can still be quite valuable. There’s a $195 annual fee for the Platinum Delta SkyMiles (see rates and fees) and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business cards (see rates and fees); both increase to $250 (see rates and fees) (see rates and fees) if your application is received on or after Jan. 30, 2020.
Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express and Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card.
Both the personal and small-business versions of this card also offer a companion certificate each year that’s nearly identical to the one offered to Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardholders. However, the certificate you receive with these cards is valid not just for economy tickets but for also Comfort+ and first-class tickets, too. In many cases, you could use this to fly two people in first class for about as much as you’d pay for two economy-class tickets. There’s a $450 annual fee for each of these cards (Reserve, see rates and fees) (Reserve Business see rates and fees), that rises to $550 if your application is received on or after Jan. 30, 2020.
Marriott Bonvoy Amex cards
This card offers you a Free Night Award every year after your card’s account anniversary. This award can be used for one night at a hotel with a redemption level at or below 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points. Here are some great ways to spend your Marriott 50k certificate.
This card also gives you a Free Night Award every year after your card’s account anniversary, but it’s not quite as valuable as the personal card’s award. This one can only be used for one night at a hotel with a redemption level at or below 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night. Thankfully, you still have lots of good spots to pick from at that award level. This includes some cool picks that might hit the spot for a family vacation.
Hilton Amex cards
This card gives you one weekend award night (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) every year when your account is renewed. What’s great about this award night is that it isn’t capped at a certain award level, so you can use it for top-notch Hilton properties if you wish. However, note there is a small list of excluded properties listed here.
Some other Hilton cards allow you to earn weekend award nights with a certain amount of spending put on the card each year, but only the Aspire grants it as part of simply renewing the card.
Bank of America
This card offers you an annual companion fare at sign-up and each year on your account anniversary. You’ll receive the first companion fare after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening — it’ll show up within two billing cycles. You’ll receive another companion fare each year after your account anniversary (also within two billing cycles), so long as your account is open and in good standing.
The companion fare is awarded as a code that’s credited to the primary cardholder’s Alaska Mileage Plan account, and it must be redeemed within one year of the date of issue. Also, you have to pay a $99 base fare for the companion plus up to $22 in taxes and fees. It’s not valid for award travel or any other discounts. There’s a $75 annual fee for this card.
Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®
With this card, you’ll receive a complimentary Companion Coupon and Upgrade Coupon upon account opening and each year on your card anniversary, which is worth up to $450 in Amtrak travel.
Related: Best credit cards for train travel
Asiana Visa Signature Credit Card
This card offers several anniversary bonuses. You get two Asiana Airline lounge passes and 10,000 bonus miles. You also receive an automatic $100 annual rebate on Asiana Airlines tickets purchased. There’s a $99 annual fee for this card.
The information for the Amtrak Guest Rewards and Asiana Visa Signature has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard
This card offers you a $100 companion discount annually for roundtrip travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines after each account anniversary.
Miles & More World Elite Mastercard
This is one of the best American credit cards issued by a foreign airline for various reasons, including its anniversary bonuses, which you’ll receive as long as your account is open and in good standing. First, you get an annual companion ticket — just be aware that it’s only valid on some of the more expensive fare classes and you still have to pay some taxes and fees. Also, you receive two complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge vouchers annually, which you can use at one of its several lounges in U.S. airports. There’s an $89 annual fee for this card.
JetBlue Plus Card and JetBlue Business Card
With these cards, you get 5,000 bonus points each year after your account anniversary.
Wyndham Rewards® Visa® Card
This card offers you 6,000 bonus points after each account anniversary year.
The information for the Hawaiian Airlines, Miles & More, JetBlue Plus, JetBlue Business, and Wyndham Rewards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
United credit cards
United Explorer Card and the United Business Card.
These cards both offer two, one-time United Club passes, which you receive on your account anniversary. These passes normally cost $59 each. And if you have both the United Business Card and any of the personal United credit cards (including the United Explorer Card), you’ll receive 5,000 bonus miles on your account anniversary each year.
The information for the United Business has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Southwest credit cards
This card offers 3,000 bonus points each year after your cardmember anniversary, which also count toward the 125,000 points needed to earn the Southwest Companion Pass.
Both the personal and small-business versions of this card offer 6,000 bonus points each year after your cardmember anniversary.
This card offers 7,500 bonus points each year after your cardmember anniversary. There’s also a $75 annual Southwest travel credit.
This card offers 9,000 bonus points each year after your cardmember anniversary.
Here’s a look at which Southwest credit card might be best for you.
The information for the Southwest Premier Business, Southwest Performance Business 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.
This card offers a free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel each year after your cardmember anniversary. You can earn a second award night when you have used your card to spend at least $15,000 in the previous year. Here are suggestions on where to use that Hyatt Category 1 – 4 award.
This card offers you an anniversary reward-night stay each year valid at up to a 40,000 point per night hotel. Here are some top options on where you might want to redeem that IHG award night.
Much like some of the Amex-issued Marriott cards, this one offers a free night award each anniversary year good for redemption levels up to 35,000 points.
Earn 40,000 Radisson Rewards points at each renewal. With spending on the card, you can also earn up to three award nights, one for each $10,000 charged to the card
LATAM Visa and Visa Signature Cards
These cards offers 4,000 bonus miles each year when you renew your card and pay the $75 annual fee (waived the first year). The standard LATAM Visa card offers just 2,000 bonus miles each year when you renew your card and pay the $45 annual fee (also waived the first year).
The information for the Radisson Rewards, LATAM Visa and LATAM Visa Signature has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
If the terms of your credit card offer an anniversary bonus, you should expect to generally receive it on your next statement following the anniversary of when your account was opened. For example, if you opened an account on Feb. 20, 2020, and you receive your statement on the fifth of every month, you should receive your first account anniversary bonus year on March 5, 2021, assuming your account is open and in good standing.
However, the terms of some account anniversary bonuses require that you renew your card and pay your annual fee in order to receive your bonus. With these cards, you’ll get your bonus only after your annual fee is received, usually once the following statement is issued.
Anniversary bonuses are a nice way for card issuers to reward cardholders for their loyalty and account renewal. While the anniversary bonus offered shouldn’t be the only factor you look at when choosing the best travel credit card, it can be a deciding factor when comparing similar card offers side-by-side and choosing what stays and what goes.
What’s your favorite travel rewards card that offers an anniversary bonus?
For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card, please click here
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Business Card, please click here
For rates and fees of the Delta Reserve Card, please click here
Additional reporting by Summer Hull.
Featured image by Summer Hull / The Points Guy