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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|
|Brex World Elite Mastercard||$0**||100,000 points
|Transfer to six transfer partners at a 1:1 ratio, or redeem points directly for travel or a statement credit at 1 cent apiece.|
|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)||130,000 points (plus a free weekend night)
Offer ends 8/28/2019
|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)||130,000 points (plus a free weekend night)
Offer ends 8/28/2019
|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|
Brex is offering an exclusive for TPG readers: earn 100,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first three months from account opening — but only through August 31, 2019. The card comes with World Elite Mastercard benefits including price protection and extended warranty, along with discounts on Lyft, Boxed and Lufthansa purchases, among others. Brex Exclusive Rewards is quite competitive, and now the points you earn on the can be transferred at a 1-to-1 ratio to six airline programs including Singapore KrisFlyer, Avianca LifeMiles and Air France/KLM Flying Blue. And because they are part of the three major airline partnerships — Oneworld, Sky Team and Star Alliance — those 100,000 points can take you much further when used on partner carriers.
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 130,000-point welcome bonuses with a free weekend night award, 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 $4,000 on purchases in four months to earn the bonus, while the Business card requires $5,000 in spend in the first four 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 November 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 miles per dollar on British Airways purchases (1 mile per dollar on everything else), which is pretty solid for a cobranded airline credit card. The card’s most valuable 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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This card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 150,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express after you use your new Card to make $4,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, enjoy a free Weekend Night Reward within your first year and every year after renewal.
- Earn 14X Hilton Bonus Points when you make eligible purchases on your Card at participating hotels or resorts within the Hilton Portfolio.
- Earn 7X Bonus Points for eligible purchases: on flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies & at U.S. restaurants.
- Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
- Enjoy up to $250 in Hilton Resort Credits on your Card each anniversary year, when you stay at participating resorts within the Hilton portfolio.
- Enjoy complimentary Diamond status with your Hilton Honors Aspire Card.
- $450 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees