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These are some of the best rewards Credit Cards available
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 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 offers and which ones should top your list.
|Card||Annual Fee||Bonus (value based on TPG’s valuations)||Notable Perks|
|The Business Platinum® Card from American Express||$450||100,000 points
|$200 airline credit, Centurion lounge access, and many more. Terms apply.|
|British Airways Visa Signature Card||$95||100,000 points
|Travel Together Ticket after spending $30,000 in a year|
|Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card||$95||100,000 points
|Companion Ticket after spending $30,000 in a year (economy only)|
|Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card||$95||100,000 points
|Annual free night up to 35,000 points, 15 elite night credits|
|Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express||$95||100,000 points
Also earn a free weekend night after your first anniversary of cardmembership (offer ends 6/27/2018)
|One free weekend night after spending $15,000 in a year, Diamond status after spending $40,000 in a year. Terms apply.|
|Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express||$450||100,000 points
|$250 airline credit, $250 Hilton resort credit, $100 property credit on eligible stays of 2 or more nights at Waldorf Astoria and Conrad hotels. Terms apply.|
It’s incredibly exciting to see the 100,000-point offer back on the Business Platinum, as this is one of the most valuable welcome bonuses ever. TPG values Membership Rewards points at 1.9 cents each, meaning that if you earn the full bonus amount, you’ll get $1,900 worth of points. The bonus is tiered though, and in order to earn the full 100,000, you’ll have to spend quite a bit:
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn another 50,000 points after spending an additional $15,000 in the first 3 months
Remember, this card is made for small businesses, so it’s not unusual for them to have a high level of expenses. But even after you’ve earned the welcome bonus, this card is still a keeper. It offers a $200 annual airline credit, a Priority Pass select membership, access to Centurion lounges, access to Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Gold status with Hilton Honors and Starwood (which will convert to Marriott Gold in the new program) and a host of other benefits. The $450 annual fee isn’t cheap, but the long list of perks helps offset it and it’s still $100 cheaper than the $550 annual fee on the personal Platinum Card® from American Express.
Speaking of the personal Amex Platinum, if you’re hoping to find a 100,000-point offer on that card — and you happen to be lucky — you might find a targeted offer through the CardMatch tool. You just need to enter some information about yourself, including your name and the last four digits of your SSN, and the tool will deliver you personalized card offers, which could include a 100,000 point welcome bonus on the Amex Platinum. That targeted offer resurfaced earlier this year and still seems to be available to some fortunate applicants.
The British Airways Visa Signature Card is also offering a tiered 100,000-point bonus, but thankfully both the spending requirements and the timeframe to complete them are significantly more reasonable.
- Earn 50,000 Avios after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn an additional 25,000 Avios after spending a total of $10,000 in the first 12 months
- Earn another 25,000 Avios after spending a total of $20,000 in the first 12 months
The last two tiers of this bonus count all your purchases for the year, so after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, you only need another $7,000 to unlock the second tier. When you factor in the spending you have to do to earn the bonus, you’ll walk away with a grand total of 120,000 Avios, which is enough to take some pretty impressive trips.
Co-branded airline credit cards usually don’t come with that many bells and whistles, but the British Airways Visa has one impressive perk worth trying to take advantage of: the Travel Together Ticket. You’ll earn this pass after spending $30,000 in a calendar year, and unlike other companion fares, this one is valid on award tickets instead of cash bookings. Just pay taxes and fees — which to be fair, can be quite high on British Airways — and your friend can travel in the same cabin as you (pending availability).
The Avios program is unique in that multiple airlines — British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus — all participate in some form of it. Even better, you can combine Avios between these different programs depending on which airline you want to book with. So if 120,000 Avios isn’t enough for the trip you’re planning, you can also sign up for the new Aer Lingus Visa Signature Card, which is offering the exact same tiered 100,000-point sign-up bonus. The new Iberia Visa Signature Card is also offering a similar bonus of up to 75,000 Avios if you complete the first two spending tiers ($3,000 in the first 3 months and $10,000 total in the first 12 months). Just note that you shouldn’t necessarily apply for the British Airways Visa, Aer Lingus card and Iberia card all together in short order, as you could be shut down by Chase for that sort of activity.
Because of the incredible value that can be found in the British Airways distance based award chart, TPG values Avios at 1.5 cents each, making this 100,000-point bonus worth a nice $1,500. Also, none of these cards appear to be subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.
The Marriott Rewards Premier Plus Credit Card is the first new card from the new Marriott loyalty program. And with the welcome bonuses on the Amex SPG cards reduced to paltry statement credits, this bonus is more valuable than ever. This card, which carries a $95 annual fee, has a more traditionally structured bonus: Spend $5,000 in the first 3 months and earn 100,000 Marriott points. Thanks to the many redemption options that exist in the new program (essentially the best of SPG and the best of Marriott rolled into one), TPG valuations peg this sign-up bonus at $900.
The Marriott Premier Plus comes with a number of perks to help enhance your travels. Most importantly, the card offers an annual free night worth up to 35,000 points after card renewal. This is almost identical to the old Marriott Premier card, which offered a free night up to Category 5, and there are plenty of luxury hotels around the globe where you can redeem this perk. Cardholders also get complimentary Silver elite status and the ability to upgrade to Gold by spending $35,000 in a year beginning in 2019. This card does appear to be restricted by the 5/24 rule, meaning that Chase will automatically reject applicants who’ve opened 5 or more cards in the last 24 months.
While Hilton points are the least valuable currency on this list at only 0.6 cents apiece, there are currently two Hilton cards offering a 100,000-point welcome bonus. Both the Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express and the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express are offering these bonuses, and since they’re different credit card products, you’re able to get both if you want. For the Ascend, spend $3,000 in 3 months to earn the bonus, and for the Aspire, spend $4,000 in 3 months.
These cards cater to different markets, as the Ascend has a lower annual fee and fewer perks, while the Aspire is a value-packed premium card with a hefty annual fee to match. The Ascend gets 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 for spending $15,000 in a year, and 10 free Priority Pass visits a year. Also, from now until June 27, 2018, you’ll also earn a free weekend night after your first anniversary of cardmembership, which is in addition to any free weekend night you earn from spending on the card.
The Aspire has a $450 annual fee, 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 guesting privileges and a number of statement credits to offset the high fee: a $250 annual airline credit, a $250 Hilton resort credit at participating hotels, and a $100 property credit on eligible stays of two nights or more at Conrad and Waldorf Astoria hotels.
If you’re having trouble deciding between these two Hilton cards, make sure to check out our story comparing “Hilton Ascend vs. Hilton Aspire: Which Card Is Right for You?”
Featured image of the Hilton Conrad Maldives courtesy of the hotel.
LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), 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.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
- 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.
- You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
- You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
- Terms Apply
- See Rates & Fees