7 cards currently offering welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more
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Credit card welcome bonuses are the fastest way to top up your points and miles stash. 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 your travel rewards.
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 current offers, and which ones should top your list and why:
|Credit Card||Annual Fee||Bonus Value*||Notable Perks|
|Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business||$95, waived first year||Up to 200,000 miles, worth up to $2,800||2x miles on all purchases; free employee cards|
|Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express||$450 (see rates & fees)||150,000 points, worth up to $900; terms apply||Up to $250 airline credit; up to $250 Hilton resort credit; up to $100 property credit on eligible stays of two or more nights at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad hotels; terms apply|
|Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||$95 (see rates & fees)||150,000 points plus $100 statement credit, worth up to $1,000; terms apply
|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, worth up to $750; terms apply||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, worth up to $1,300||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, worth up to $1,500||10% off all British Airways flights and a Travel Together Ticket every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases on your card|
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.
When Capital One first added airline transfer partners to its Venture and Spark cards late last year, the issuer celebrated this huge improvement with limited-time elevated welcome bonuses on both cards. Now, the Spark is back with the biggest and most valuable bonus on this list, if you can stomach the spending requirement.
As is the norm these days, this bonus has two tiers. New applicants will earn 50,000 Capital One miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months, and another 150,000 miles after spending $50,000 total in the first six months. This high-flying card is also the only one on the list to waive its annual fee for the first year, although in subsequent years, you will be charged $95.
The Spark Miles is all about simplicity, offering a fixed 2x miles per dollar on all purchases with no caps or bonus categories to worry about. You can redeem your points at a fixed rate of 1 cent each to erase eligible travel purchases from your billing statement, or you can transfer your miles to any of Capital One’s incredible airline partners. Most airlines transfer at a 2:1.5 ratio, so you can really think of this card as earning 1.5x airline miles per dollar spent, which is a pretty great return for a business card.
APPLY HERE: Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business
Although Hilton points are the least valuable currency on this list, at only 0.6 cents apiece, there are currently three Hilton cards 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 on purchases in the first three months.
The Aspire is a value-packed premium card with a hefty $450 annual fee (see rates and fees) 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, including 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.
APPLY HERE: Hilton Honors Aspire Card From American Express
If Aspire’s premium card $450 annual fee (see rates and fees) sounds a little too rich for you, you can consider instead one of Hilton’s two mid-tier credit cards — Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card (see rates and fees) and the Hilton Honors Business Card from American Express (see rates and fees), both of which have significantly lower $95 annual fees. The Hilton Surpass is offering a welcome bonus of a $100 statement credit after your first purchase on the card within your first three months of card membership plus, 150,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership. (Offer expires 12/31/2019) The Hilton Business Amex is offering 125,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within the first three months of card membership. And since they’re different credit card products, you’re able to get both, if you want.
When it comes to features, these two cards are 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 spending on the card in a calendar year.
If you’re having trouble deciding upon the mid-tier Hilton cards or the premium Aspire card, check out our guide comparing Hilton Ascend vs. Hilton Aspire: Which card is right for you?
We’ve seen a lot of 100,000-point or higher welcome bonuses lately, but many of them require multiple tiers of spending in order to unlock all the points. It’s the same for new applicants to the United Explorer Business Card, who can earn up to 100,000 miles (50,000 after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening, and another 50,000 after spending $25,000 total in the first six 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, 2019. 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 one-time United Club passes each year, and perhaps most importantly, better award availability on select economy flights.
APPLY HERE: United Explorer Business Card
The British Airways Visa Signature Card offers U.S.-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 on purchases 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 $1,500 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 U.S. 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.
APPLY HERE: British Airways Visa Signature Card
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 (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. For example, the public offer for The Platinum Card® from American Express is 60,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. However, we’ve seen targeted offers such as 100,000 points after meeting minimum spend requirements 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 and Benét J. Wilson.
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.
LIMITED TIME OFFER: Earn up to 200,000 bonus miles with this business card, plus 5x miles on hotels and car rental booking through Capital One Travel, and 2x miles on all other purchases.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 200,000 bonus miles worth up to $2,000 to spend on travel—flights, hotels and more
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn 150,000 bonus miles when you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of your account opening
- Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, everywhere, no limits or category restrictions, and miles won't expire for the life of the account
- Earn 5X miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel℠ using a Spark Miles card
- Transfer your miles to 10+ leading travel loyalty programs like JetBlue™, Air Canada, and Emirates™
- Redeem your miles instantly for any travel-related purchases, from flights and hotels to ride-sharing services
- Fly through security with one statement credit for either the $85 TSA Pre✓® application fee or the $100 Global Entry application fee
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that