The 7 best elevated credit card offers to sign up for in October

Sep 30, 2020

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. For the latest limited-time benefits related to the pandemic, read our guide to temporary card perks and bonuses.

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 our roundup of our favorite current offers in our best credit cards guide. But what if you put a priority on not missing any limited-time or elevated offers?

New to The Points Guy? Want to learn more about credit card points and miles? Sign up for our daily newsletter.

To help you in that situation, we’ve rounded up the best 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 cobranded hotel credit cards.

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.

The best new elevated card offers in October

In This Post

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 is currently offering a public welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months but some new customers can earn a 100,000-point or 125,000-point welcome offer after meeting the same minimum spend requirements via the CardMatch tool.

While the American Express Gold® Card offers a public welcome bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months, some new customers can earn a 60,000- or 75,000-point welcome offer after meeting the same minimum spend requirements via the tool. Please note: These elevated offers are targeted and subject to change at any time.

Annual fee: Amex Platinum, $550 (see rates and fees); Amex Gold, $250, (see rates and fees)

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Current welcome offer: 130,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Bonus offer value*: $780

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)

Benefits: The Hilton Surpass is one of the best mid-tier hotel cards available. Its welcome offer is very generous, given its manageably low spending requirement. The ongoing earning rates outrank its competition. The card earns an impressive 12x points per dollar spent at participating Hilton properties (a 7.2% return based on TPG valuations); 6x points per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations; and 3x points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. You’ll also get 10 Priority Pass lounge access passes each year, complimentary Hilton Gold elite status and a pathway to earning Diamond status. Additionally, you can earn a weekend night reward redeemable at any Hilton Honors property after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your card in a calendar year.

Read our review of the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card.

Hilton Honors Card from American Express

Current welcome offer: 80,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Bonus offer value*: $480

Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees)

Benefits: The Hilton Honors Amex features a few notable benefits for a no-fee card. For starters, you’ll earn a respectable 7x points per dollar spent at participating Hilton properties; 5x points per dollar spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations; and 3x points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. You’ll also get automatic Hilton Honors Silver status (with an upgrade to Gold when you spend $20,000 in a calendar year), basic travel and shopping protections and no foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees).

Read our review of the Hilton Honors American Express Card.

APPLY HERE: Hilton Honors American Express Card

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Current sign-up offer: 140,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Bonus offer value*: $700

Annual fee: $89 (waived for the first year)

Benefits: The IHG Premier’s annual fee can easily be offset by its perks. As a cardholder, you’ll get an annual award-night certificate worth up to 40,000 points, automatic IHG Rewards Platinum Elite status, a fourth-night reward on award stays of four or more nights, a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit of up to $100 and no foreign transaction fees. On the earnings side, you’ll 10 points per dollar spent at IHG properties; 2 points per dollar at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; and 1 point per dollar everywhere else.

Read our review of the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card.

APPLY HERE: IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Current offer: 100,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

Bonus offer value*: $500

Annual fee: $0

Benefits: The IHG Traveler earns a solid 5x points at IHG hotels and resorts; 2x points at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants; and 1x on everything else. Like the IHG Premier, this card offers a fourth reward night on award stays of four or more nights. It also provides a 20% bonus whenever you buy IHG points and a pathway to Gold elite status.

Read our review of the IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card.

APPLY HERE: IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Current offer: Earn 75,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Bonus offer value*: $600

Annual fee: $95

Benefits: You’ll earn an anniversary free night certificate worth up to 35,000 points. TPG values Marriott points at 0.8 cents each, meaning 35,000 points are worth $280. However, you only need to redeem your free night for one-third of that value to completely break even on your annual fee! Like most other Marriott cards, the Bonvoy Boundless earns 6x points per dollar on Marriott purchases and 2x everywhere else.

Read our review of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.

APPLY HERE: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

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

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Hilton Honors card, please click here.

Additional reporting by Chris Dong.

Featured photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images


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*: $1,600

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 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 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.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
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.