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Travel for Less: 7 New or Limited-Time Card Offers That Can Help Family Travelers

Aug. 04, 2018
11 min read
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

Good things seem to come in waves, and as we near the end of summer, the credit card companies have decided to entice us with new cards and increased offers -- all at the same time! This is a very good problem to have, but it is a situation that is best managed with a thoughtful strategy if your family wants to earn as many points and perks as possible. It can be hard to keep track of every new offer or benefit, so I've curated the offers down to seven different new or limited-time offers that are worth a look for family travelers.

From a personal perspective, it has been a few months since we added any rewards credit cards to our wallets, so I'm feeling the itch to add to our points arsenal with one of the new or increased card offers. We do not go crazy applying for anything and everything, but we do pull the trigger on new cards a few times a year to pad our point balances and take advantage of the various built-in card perks so our family can travel more for less.

1. Days Left for 100,000 Business Platinum Card Offer

If your family has been considering the 100,000-point welcome bonus on The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, know that it ends on August 8, 2018. This is an offer that does not come around frequently, so if you want in on this one, now is the time. My family loves our Amex Platinum for the built-in perks such as access to Centurion Lounges with up to two guests, the $200 airline fee credit, Gold elite status in Hilton Honors, access to the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, $200 airline fee credit, Priority Pass membership with two free guests and even 10 included Gogo inflight Wi-Fi passes each year.

The downside to this offer is the hefty spending requirement, but if you have a small business and can meet the spending requirement, this is one to consider as Membership Rewards points are extremely useful and it is rare the public bonus goes this high.

Earn 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards points via the following breakdown:

  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership
  • Earn another 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership

You can learn more about this offer here.

2. Earn 60,000 Points With the Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier® Card just increased its welcome bonus to a best-ever level of 60,000 ThankYou Rewards points after spending $4,000 on the card in the first three months. Best-ever bonuses always catch my attention, and while we already have this card, it is worth a look if it isn't yet in your family's wallet.

Based on TPG’s latest valuations, 60,000 ThankYou points are worth over $1,000 when utilized for award flights via Citi’s airline transfer partners. However, if your family wants to keep things super simple, then the 60,000-point sign-up bonus will let you book $750 of paid airfare directly at the Citi ThankYou travel center so you don't have to worry at all about award availability.

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To be eligible for this bonus, you can't have opened or closed a card in the Citi ThankYou family in the last 24 months.

3. The Return of the Starwood Amex Point Bonuses

For most of the summer, the Starwood Preferred Guest credit cards issued by Amex were only offering statement credits as a welcome bonus instead of points. However, that has thankfully now changed and the welcome bonuses comprised of Starwood points have returned!

The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is now offering a welcome bonus of 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months and the Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express is offering a limited-time bonus of 100,000 points after spending $5,000 on the card within the first 3 months until October 31, 2018.

There are not all-time high water marks for these bonuses (when you factor in that SPG points convert to Marriott points convert at a 1:3 ratio), but they are the best the welcome bonuses have been in months, and may be worth pouncing on ASAP to take advantage of some of the improved limited-time redemption rates at higher end SPG resorts that kick in on August 18, 2018, when the combined award chart launches. For example, we absolutely loved our family trip the St. Regis Punta Mita in Mexico and it will be decreasing from the current award price of up to 105,000 Marriott Rewards points per night to just 60,000 points per night until early 2019.

The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, a Starwood property. (Photo courtesy Starwood Hotels & Resorts)
The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, a Starwood property. (Photo courtesy Starwood Hotels & Resorts)

4. Brand-New Luxury SPG Card Launching on August 23

My family already has some form of pretty much all of the cards I've already mentioned, but no one yet has the brand new Amex SPG Luxury Card that is set to launch on August 23. This is just three days ahead of new restrictions that will limit your ability to collect a new member bonus if you’ve recently had similar products from Chase, which will count me out of being eligible for this card for quite a while since I got a Chase Marriott card a few months ago. If I am to get this new SPG card in the near term with its welcome bonus, it seems like I will have to apply as soon as it gets released -- which is exactly my plan.

We don't know what the SPG Luxury Card’s sign-up offer will be just yet, but my bet would be it is a (low) six-figure number based on how the new Marriott credit card launched.

As a reminder, the Luxury Card will carry a $450 annual fee, but comes along with the following benefits:

  • $300 in statement credits for purchases at participating Marriott hotels each cardmember year
  • $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • Priority Pass Select membership (including two guests)
  • Annual free night award (up to 50,000 points) after card renewal
  • Automatic Gold status and the ability to earn Platinum after spending $75k in a calendar year
  • Boingo Wi-Fi access
  • 15 elite night credits beginning in 2019 (limited to once per member per year, not once per card)
Families can use the annual night award that comes with the SPG Luxury Amex at the Disney Swan or Dolphin
Families can use the annual night award that comes with the SPG Luxury Amex at the Disney Swan or Dolphin

I'm not yet sure if the SPG Luxury Amex will be a long-term keeper for me, but I will absolutely give it a try for the first year and then see how things are going for the card and the program next summer before committing to a second year.

5. 100,000 Points Via the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card

The bonus on the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card just increased to 100,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months, which is a solid bonus for this card. While IHG is not my primary program, it can come in handy in a pinch when rates are high in a given city -- or it can be what gets your family started on a trip to a nice Kimpton resort somewhere such as the Kimpton Seafire Grand Cayman!

Photo courtesy of the Kimpton Seafire
Photo courtesy of the Kimpton Seafire

In addition to the welcome bonus points and the IHG Platinum status, one of the best perks of the IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card is that the fourth award night is free. If a family is using IHG points as a cornerstone of a real vacation, then get this card and plan to stay put for four nights to make use of that awesome card benefit! Be aware you are not eligible to receive this card and its sign-up bonus unless you don't have any open IHG cards and haven't received a sign-up bonus for one in the last 24 months. Read the full card review here.

6. Don't Forget 60,000 World of Hyatt Points

The new World of Hyatt Credit Card just launched in June 2018, but given how many cards have launched or changed their offers since then, this card almost seems like ancient history. That said, don't forget about it since 60,000 Hyatt points are extremely valuable for family travel -- especially if you enjoy high-end Hyatt resorts even half as much as my family does.

Photo courtesy of the Grand Hyatt Kauai
Photo courtesy of the Grand Hyatt Kauai

For a limited time, the World of Hyatt card is offering a tiered 60,000-point sign-up bonus. You’ll get the first 40,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, and then you receive another 20,000 points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.

Cardholders can also earn up to two Category 1-4 certificates each year, (that you could use at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point shown below) earn credit toward Hyatt elite status based on annual card spending, earn four points per dollar on Hyatt expenses and more. Currently, my husband and I both have the "old" Hyatt credit card, so we aren't actually eligible to apply for this one and get the sign-up bonus unless we close that account and have waited at least 24 months from when we initially received that bonus. We are okay on the 24-month requirement, so we plan for close down my husband's current Hyatt account and apply for a new one in the near future. Check out the full card review here.

Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Coconut Point
Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Coconut Point

7. Increased Limited-Time Delta SkyMiles Bonuses

To round out our list with some brand-new increased airline offers, from now through September 19, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus SkyMiles on the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, and 70,000 bonus SkyMiles on the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express. (Don’t forget to clear your browser’s cache if you don’t see the offers when you click on the links.)

These offers are all increased over the standard levels, which makes now a good time to pull the trigger. My family has several of these Delta Amex cards and has been thoroughly impressed at how useful SkyMiles can be, especially for domestic economy travel. In fact, in our recent Best Airlines for Families report, Delta SkyMiles ranked higher than most similar frequent flyer programs in terms of offering reasonably priced domestic economy award tickets for four people.

The $195 annual fee is coming due for my Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card from American Express, but I'm paying it and keeping the card because the Companion Certificate is saving my family way more than $195 on a peak travel date. You can check out a full review of these new offers.

The best cards and offers for family travelers change as fast as the welcome bonuses and perks, but these are the seven offers that have my attention the least until the next round of changes takes place!

Featured image by St. Regis Punta Mita (Photo courtesy of Marriott)

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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