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Whether you’re new to the world of travel rewards or simply looking to top up one of your balances, credit card welcome bonuses are the fastest way to get you there. There’s nothing quite like the thrill of seeing a massive bonus post to your account and realizing how much of the world you’ll get to explore with it.
If you’ve been thinking about adding a new card to your wallet, now is the perfect time. We’re currently seeing 100,000-point bonuses — and in some cases even more — on some of the best cards on the market. But don’t be fooled — not every 100,000-point offer is worth the same amount. Here’s a rundown of the currently available 100,000-point and higher offers, and which ones should top your list and why.
|Card||Annual Fee||Bonus Value*||Notable Perks|
|The Business Platinum® Card from American Express||$595 (see rates & fees)||up to 100,000 points
|$200 annual airline fee credit, up to $200 annual Dell technology statement credit, access to Amex Centurion lounges, 5x points on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through Amex travel|
|Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card||$125||100,000 points
|Anniversary free night worth up to 35,000 points (earn a second free night by spending $60,000 a year). Automatic Marriott Silver elite status, earn Gold by spending $35,000 a year|
|Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express||$450 (see rates & fees)||150,000 points
|up to $250 airline credit, up to $250 Hilton resort credit, up to $100 property credit on eligible stays of 2 or more nights at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad hotels. Terms apply.|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||$95 (see rates & fees)||125,000 points
|One free weekend night after spending $15,000 in a year, Diamond status after spending $40,000 in a year. Terms apply.|
|Hilton Honors American Express Business Card||$95 (see rates & fees)||125,000 points
|One free weekend night after spending $15,000 in a year, second free weekend night after spending $60,000 in a year, Diamond status after spending $40,000 in a year. Terms apply.|
|United Explorer Business Card||$95||Up to 100,000 miles
|Two one-time United Club passes and first checked bag free on United flights|
|British Airways Visa Signature Card||$95||Up to 100,000 points
|10% off all British Airways flights and a Travel Together Ticket every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your card.|
|IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card||$89||125,000 points
|Anniversary free night worth up to 40,000 points and automatic IHG Platinum elite status|
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.
The Business Platinum card is one of the most rewarding cards in the market. If you’ve been on the fence about applying for this card for a while, the limited-time 100,000-point welcome offer might be enough to push you over the edge. New applicants can earn 50,000 points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months and another 50,000 points after spending $25,000 total all in the first 3 months. While that’s a high spending requirement, it should be manageable for larger and more established businesses.
The card’s $595 fee is mostly offset by a $200 annual airline incidental fee credit and a $200 Dell technology statement credit ($100 biannually). Cardholders will also enjoy a Priority Pass Select membership, access to Amex Centurion lounges and access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying Delta. On the hotel side of things, Business Platinum cardholders can enjoy automatic Gold elite status with both Marriott Bonvoy and Hilton Honors.
The Business Platinum earns 5x points per dollar on airfare and prepaid hotels booked through Amex travel and 1x everywhere else, though you will get a 50% bonus on purchases over $5,000 (up to one million bonus points per year). In addition to transferring points to Amex’s airline and hotel partners, you’ll also get a 35% rebate if you pay with your points for any first or business class ticket, or economy tickets with your selected airline.
Marriott offers a wide array of cobranded credit cards, but one of the most compelling is the Bonvoy Business Card from Amex. In addition to a limited-time 100,000 point welcome bonus (worth $800 based on TPG’s valuations), the card offers an anniversary free night certificate worth up to 35,000 points, which will more than offset the $125 annual fee. Heavy spending businesses can even earn a second 35,000-point free night by spending $60,000 a year on the card. The Bonvoy Business Amex comes with automatic Marriott Silver status (and 15 elite night credits), but you can upgrade to Gold by spending $35,000 a year.
The Bonvoy Business Amex is also more rewarding when it comes to actual spending. Like most Marriott cards, it earns 6x points per dollar on Marriott purchases and 2x on everyday spending. However, where it stands out is the 4x points per dollar it offers on US restaurants, at US gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from US service and on US purchases for shipping.
While Hilton points are the least valuable currency on this list, at only 0.6 cents apiece, there are currently three Hilton cards all offering welcome bonuses above and beyond 100,000 points. The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express has the highest bonus of the three — you’ll earn 150,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
The Aspire is a value-packed premium card with a hefty $450 annual fee to match. But in exchange for that fee, you’ll automatically receive top-tier Hilton Diamond status, one free weekend night when you open your card and another every year when you renew. Cardmembers get a full Priority Pass membership with up to two guests and a number of statement credits to offset the high fee: an up to $250 annual airline credit, up to $250 Hilton resort credit at participating hotels, and an up to $100 property credit on eligible stays of two nights or more at Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotels.
If a $450 annual fee sounds a little too rich for you, you can consider one of Hilton’s two mid-tier credit cards instead, both of which have significantly lower $95 annual fees. The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card and the Hilton Honors Business Card from American Express are each offering 125,000-point welcome bonuses, and since they’re different credit card products, you’re able to get both if you want. For the Surpass card, you’ll need to spend $2,000 on purchases in 3 months to earn the bonus, while the Business card requires $3,000 in spend in the first 3 months.
When it comes to features, these two cards are very similar. Both will get you complimentary Hilton Gold status and the ability to upgrade to Diamond by spending $40,000 in a year, plus a free weekend night certificate good at practically any Hilton property for spending $15,000 in a year, and 10 free Priority Pass visits annually. The Business card has one extra feature that can be useful for high spenders — the ability to earn a second free weekend night with $60,000 in total spend on the card in a calendar year.
If you’re having trouble deciding between one of the mid-tier Hilton cards and the premium Aspire card, make sure to check out our guide comparing “Hilton Ascend vs. Hilton Aspire: Which Card Is Right for You?”
While we’ve seen a lot of 100,000-point or higher welcome bonuses lately, many of them require multiple tiers of spending in order to unlock all the points. New applicants to the United Explorer Business Card can earn up to 100,000 miles, 50,000 after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months of account opening, and another 50,000 after spending $25,000 total in the first 6 months. TPG values United miles at 1.3 cents each, making this bonus worth a cool $1,300.
The valuation for United miles used to be a little higher, but it dropped when United announced that it would switch to dynamic award pricing for its own flights beginning on Nov. 15. The good news is that for now at least, Star Alliance partner flights still use a fixed award chart and there are some decent values to be had, including EVA Air business class to Asia for 80,000 miles or leveraging the Excursionist Perk for free flights within Europe. United Explorer Business cardholders can also look forward to a range of benefits when traveling with United, including priority boarding, a first checked bag free, two United Club passes each year, and perhaps most importantly, better award availability on select economy flights.
The British Airways Visa Signature Card offers US-based travelers a lot more value than you’d expect from a foreign airline credit card. It’s currently offering a tiered sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 Avios — 50,000 Avios after spending $3,000 in the first three months, plus another 50,000 Avios after spending a total of $20,000 in the first year. That works out to about $1,700 per month if you want to earn the full bonus. At $95 per year, its annual fee is also relatively reasonable.
On the earning side, the card offers 3 Avios per dollar on British Airways purchases (1 mile per dollar on everything else) and 2 Avios per dollar on hotels, which is pretty solid for a cobranded airline credit card. The card also just added a brand new perk — a partial rebate on the carrier’s extremely high award ticket surcharges — which could easily offset the annual fee by just using it once a year (you can use it up to three times). Other perks include a 10% discount on British Airways flights and a Travel Together Ticket every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your card.
The best use of British Airways Avios is for awards on Oneworld partner airlines. Thanks to the program’s distance-based award chart, you can book domestic US economy awards of up to 1,151 miles for just 9,000 Avios one-way, business class awards on those same flights for just 16,500 Avios and economy awards from major West Coast cities to Hawaii for just 13,000 Avios. That’s a whole lot less than what you’d pay when booking those awards with partners like American or Alaska outright.
The IHG Premier Card is an important reminder to focus on the value of the points you’re earning, not just how many points you get. While 125,000 points is enough to book a number of free nights at luxurious InterContinental properties around the world, this bonus is only worth $625 based on TPG’s valuations.
New applicants can earn 125,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, as well as elevated bonus categories for the first year. For your first 12 months, you’ll earn 25x points on IHG purchases (which drops to 10x in subsequent years), and 4x on everything else, which turns into 2x on gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants and 1x everywhere else beginning in your second year. The card also comes with an anniversary free night certificate worth up to 40,000 points and automatic IHG Platinum elite status.
Bonus: CardMatch Tool
If you’re lucky, you might find yourself targeted for a 100,000-point welcome bonus on a card in the CardMatch tool (which are subject to change at any time). The site takes some simple personal information like your name, address and part of your social security number, and then matches you with personalized credit card offers for which you might be eligible. These offers can sometimes be higher — sometimes even much higher — than those available through other public channels.We’ve seen targeted offers such as 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months for the personal Platinum Card® from American Express, through CardMatch, so it’s definitely worth looking at what card offers are available to you through the tool.
Remember that each issuer has its own set of application rules, so make sure you’re always getting the top offer when you apply for a credit card, because you might only get one shot at the bonus on that card. But these cards offering 100,000-point bonuses (and more) could definitely be worth considering if you’re looking to boost your rewards balance in a specific airline or hotel loyalty program.
Additional reporting by Benji Stawski. Featured image of the Hilton Conrad Maldives courtesy of the hotel.
This is The Points Guy’s permanent page for credit cards currently featuring 100,000-point bonuses, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for updates. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older offers below.
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Aside from the up to 100,000 points welcome bonus, Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Welcome Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- Enroll to get up to $200 in statement credits annually by getting up to $100 semi-annually for U.S. purchases with Dell. Terms apply.
- Get one year of Platinum Global Access from WeWork. With this membership, you can access 300+ premium, inspiring workspaces in 75+ cities. To get this exclusive offer, enroll between 2/15/2019 and 12/31/2019.
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees