The 9 best elevated credit card offers to sign up for in May

May 3, 2021

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


Credit card sign-up bonuses and welcome offers are the quickest and easiest way to rake in lots of points and miles, so we regularly update the roundup of our favorite current offers in our best credit cards guide.

But to help you keep up with an ever-changing list of bonuses, we’ve rounded up the best card offers currently available — especially the ones that are worth an extra look right now before they disappear. This month, we’re seeing some especially enticing offers for some of the best travel credit cards, including some cobranded hotel and airline credit cards. In fact, a few offers are at their all-time highs right now.

Since many issuers have restrictions on how often you can earn a bonus on a card, it’s important to apply when there’s a good offer. Also, higher bonuses don’t always stick around for long, so if you’re considering one of these offers, you’ll want to hop on it sooner rather than later.

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In This Post

The best elevated card offers in May

Card Sign-up bonus/welcome offer Sign-up bonus/welcome offer value* Annual fee 
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 100,000 miles after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months of account opening, or 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. $1,700/$850 $95
Chase Sapphire Reserve  60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. $1,200 $550
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months and $50 grocery statement credit in the first 12 months. $1,650 $95
New United Quest Card Up to 100,000 bonus miles after a total of $10,000 in purchases in the first 6 months from account opening — earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening, plus an additional 20,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months from account opening. $1,300 $250
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card 100,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $800 $95
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card 50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $400 $0
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express A special welcome offer for TPG readers: 125,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the card within the first 3 months of card membership. $2,500 $595 (see rates & fees)
The Platinum Card® from American Express 75,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months, though you may be able to get a higher bonus through the CardMatch tool (terms apply). $1,500 $550 (see rates & fees)
American Express® Gold Card 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months, though you may be able to get a higher bonus through the CardMatch tool (terms apply). $1,200 $250 (see rates & fees)

*Sign-up bonus/welcome offer value is determined using TPG valuations and is not provided by or reviewed by the issuer.

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

(Photo by The Points Guy)
Sign-up bonus Sign-up bonus value* Earning rates Annual fee
100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months of account opening, or 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of the account opening. $1,700/$850 2x on all purchases.

 

$95

The Venture Rewards packs a pretty good punch for a mid-tier credit card. It earns a flat 2x miles on all purchases worldwide. The miles you earn with this card can be transferred to Capital One’s 16 airline and three hotel partners or redeemed through the Capital One Travel portal.

The card stands out for offering an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck every four years; many other cards that offer this benefit have annual fees of $400 or more. This TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit alone is worth up to $100. There’s also a suite of travel benefits including travel accident insurance and secondary auto rental coverage. When making everyday purchases, you’ll also get extended warranty protection. The Venture Rewards doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, so you can use the card overseas without accumulating extra charges.

Read our review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Card.

APPLY HERE: Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Chase Sapphire Reserve

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)
Sign-up bonus Sign-up bonus value* Earning rates Annual fee
60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. $1,200 10x on Lyft purchases through March 2022.

3x on travel and dining.

1x on everything else.

 

$550

This is one of the best premium credit cards available. It earns a whopping 10x points on Lyft through March 2022, 3x on travel (after using the $300 travel credit) and dining and 1x on everything else.

Chase defines travel and dining quite broadly, including everything from parking fees to Airbnb stays and food delivery orders. Perks of the card include a $300 annual travel creditLyft Pink membershipPriority Pass membership, up to $60 per year in DoorDash credits (at least for 2021), a complimentary DashPass membership and an impressive array of travel protections.

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Preferred

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Sign-up bonus Sign-up bonus value* Earning rates Annual fee
80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn a $50 statement credit on grocery purchases in the first year of account opening. $1,650 5x on Lyft rides through March 2022.

2x on dining and travel.

1x on everything else.

 

$95

If you can’t quite justify the Sapphire Reserve’s annual fee, you may find that the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a better fit. It earns 5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2x on travel and dining at restaurants and 1x spent on all other purchases worldwide.

The points you earn with this card can be transferred to Chase’s airline and hotel partners or redeemed for 1.25 cents each through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Benefits include 12 months of DashPass membership, primary rental car coverage, up to $500 in trip delay reimbursement if you’re delayed more than 12 hours or overnight, up to $10,000 in trip cancellation and interruption insurance and up to $100 per day for up to five days in baggage delay reimbursement if your bag is delayed more than six hours.

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Preferred

United Quest Card

United Quest
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Sign-up bonus Sign-up bonus value* Earning rates Annual fee
Up to 100,000 bonus miles after a total of $10,000 in purchases in the first 6 months from account opening — earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening, plus an additional 20,000 bonus miles after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months from account opening. $1,300 3x on United purchases.

2x on all other travel, select streaming and dining purchases.

1x on everything else.

 

$250

Key benefits include a $125 annual United purchase credit, as well as up to 10,000 miles back each year — you’ll automatically get 5,000 miles back into your account after the first two United award flights you take per anniversary year. The card also offers a free first and second checked bag, an up-to-$100 TSA PreCheck/Global Entry application fee credit every four years, priority boarding, trip protectionexpanded award availability and lower average award prices.

APPLY HERE: United Quest Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
Sign-up bonus Sign-up bonus value* Earning rates Annual fee
100,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $800 6x on eligible Marriott Bonvoy purchases.

2x on all other eligible purchases.

$95

One of the card’s biggest perks is a free annual award night worth up to 35,000 points. TPG values Marriott points at 0.8 cents each, meaning 35,000 points are worth $280. So, you only need to redeem your free night for one-third of that value to completely break even on your annual fee. Cardholders also get Silver status, with the ability to upgrade to Gold after $35,000 in annual spending on the card.

Read our review of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.

APPLY HERE: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
Sign-up bonus Welcome offer value* Earning rates Annual fee
50,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $400 3x on eligible Marriott Bonvoy purchases.

2x on other travel purchases.

1x on all other eligible purchases.

$0

The Bonvoy Bold is a tougher sell because it takes up a valuable 5/24 slot with Chase without offering many of the lucrative perks people expect from a hotel credit card, such as a free night certificate. However, if you’re looking to add a Marriott card to your wallet and are committed to not paying an annual fee, the elevated bonus on the Bonvoy Bold might be worth considering. The card comes with automatic Marriott Silver elite status, although its earning rates are significantly lower than what you’ll find on other Bonvoy cards.

Read our review of the Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card.

APPLY HERE: Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

(Photo by The Points Guy)
Welcome offer Welcome offer value* Earning rates Annual fee
A special welcome offer for TPG readers: 125,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the card within the first 3 months of card membership. $2,500 5x on flights and prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com.

1.5x on purchases over $5,000 (up to 1 million additional points per year).

1x everywhere else.

$595 (see rates & fees)

This business card stands out for its travel perks. Cardholders enjoy automatic Gold status in both the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy loyalty programs, along with numerous other benefits. Cardholders get access to more lounges at the airport than any other card offers, including Amex Centurion, Priority Pass and Delta Sky Club (on same-day Delta flights). On top of that, the card comes with up to $200 in annual airline fee credits and a 35% points rebate for flights booked through Amex Travel in first or business class on any airline (up to 500,000 points back per calendar year), or in any class on the airline of your choice each year. Non-travel benefits include up to $200 in annual statement credits toward U.S. Dell purchases. Enrollment required for select benefits.

Read our review of the American Express Business Platinum Card.

APPLY HERE: The Business Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express and American Express® Gold Card

(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Eric Helgas/The Points Guy)

While these aren’t technically limited-time offers, you can often find elevated welcome offers through the CardMatch tool. For example, The Platinum Card from American Express, with a $550 annual fee (see rates and fees), is currently offering a public welcome offer of 75,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening, but some new customers can earn a 100,000-point welcome offer after meeting the same minimum spending requirements via the CardMatch tool.

While the American Express Gold Card, with a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees), offers a public welcome offer of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first six months, some new customers can earn a 75,000-point welcome offer after meeting the same minimum spending requirements via the tool.

Please note: These elevated offers are targeted and subject to change at any time.

APPLY HERE: The Platinum Card from American Express and American Express Gold Card

*Bonus offer value based on TPG valuations and not provided by issuers. 

For rates and fees of the Business Platinum Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, please click here.

Featured photo by GingerInANutShell/Twenty20.


This is The Points Guy’s permanent page with limited-time welcome offers to consider each month, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for updates. 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the 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.