NOTE: If you’re new to this stuff and find the array of credit cards bewildering, please consider my guide to credit cards and bank bonuses.
DISCLAIMER: A few of these are affiliate links, which means I get paid for them if your application is approved. In the spirit of full disclosure, all affiliate links of mine are marked like so: (A). I do not post an affiliate link, or any other link, unless it is the best possible offer in its niche. If a link isn’t working or isn’t the best offer, or if you have any general credit card questions please drop me a line or leave a comment below.
This page has two sections: the best sign-up bonuses, and the best spending bonuses.
BEST SIGN-UP BONUSES
- Alaska Airlines (B of A): 25K miles, 30K miles
- American Airlines (Citi): 40K miles (personal), 40K miles (business)
- British Airways (ChasE) 50K after $1K spend
- Delta Airlines (Amex) 45K miles, annual fee waived 1st year (go to the link, fill out your name and address, leave the SSN blank)
- B of A Hawaiian Airlines 35K after $1K spend
- B of Hawaii Hawaiian Airlines 35K after $1K spend (you can apply for both Hawaiian Airlines cards at the same time)
- The Lufthansa Premier Miles & More World MasterCard®: 35K miles (A). Note that you can get a domestic business-class roundtrip for 35K M&M miles.
- Southwest Airlines (Chase): There are currently four different 50K offers for this one–two personal and two business: Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Card, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Card, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Business Card
- United Airlines (Chase): Please go here (second item) for instructions on how to get the best United offers. Currently they’re 30-55K miles.
- USAir (Barclays): 40K after first use
- Virgin Atlantic (B of A): 50K
- Club Carlson (US Bank): 85K points personal and business
- Fairmont (Chase): 2 free nights, annual fee waived 1st year
- HHonors Surpass (Amex) Gold status + 40K after first use + 20K after $3K spend
- HHonors( Amex) 40K after $750 spend
- HHonors (Citi) 50K after $1.5K spend
- Hilton Reserve (Citi) Gold status + 2 free weekend nights after $2.5K
- Hyatt (Chase) 2 free nights after first purchase
- Marriott (Chase) 70 K points. To get this offer, follow the directions in this Flyertalk thread.
- Priority Club (Chase): 80K points, follow the first link here.
- Starwood (Amex): 25K points
- Chase Sapphire 40K points after $3K spend
- Chase Ink Bold 50K points after $5K spend
- Chase Ink Plus 50K points after $5K spend (note that Ink Bold and Ink Plus are two different products, so you can have both)
- Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard (A): 40K points + 2% back on all purchases (2.2% if redeemed for travel)
- Business Gold (Amex): 50K points
- NFL Card (Barclays): $400
- Amex Blue Cash Everyday, Blue Cash Preferred: $150 (Everyday) / $250 (Preferred) (go to the link, fill out your name and address, leave the SSN blank)
BEST SPENDING BONUSES
There is one credit card that all of you should have in your wallet, and that’s the Fidelity Amex. It gives you 2% cash back on everything and has no annual fee. It is the only card like this. I do not benefit in any way if you get this card–I just feel very strongly that it’s the best general-purpose card out there.
The Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard (A) gets you 2.2% back on your purchases (a flat 2% otherwise) if you redeem for travel. It has an annual fee, but the fee is waived the first year, plus it comes with a 40,000 point bonus.
If you live in CA, OR, WA, or NV, you may want to consider the Marukai JCB card, which gives 3% on almost all spending. I don’t live in any of those states, so I have no firsthand experience, but I’d certainly check it out if I did live on the west coast.
If you live in the bank’s footprint, there’s a TD Bank card with 5% on gas, groceries, and drugstores for the first 6 months here.
The Chase AARP card gives 3% cash back on both gas stations and restaurants.
Aside from that, the best category bonuses are:
Blue Cash Preferred (6%, capped at $6K/yr, $75 annual fee, submit your info at the link)
Salle Mae (5%, no annual fee, $250/month)
PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards - 5% unlimited, no annual fee
OFFICE AND CELL PHONE:
Amex SimplyCash – 5%, no annual fee, capped at $12,000 / yr