- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Earn 40,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. Get an extra 5,000 points when adding an additional user to your account.
- Receive a 7% bonus dividend every year on all miles earned. That essentially gives you 51,360 points just for signing up, adding a user, and meeting the spending requirement.
- Earn 2x points for spending on travel and restaurant dining and 3x points when you book airfare and hotels through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website (flights, hotels, cabs, car rentals, etc.). 3x points for spending at restaurants on the first Friday of every month.
- $0 intro annual fee your first year and then $95 per year after that. After a year you can choose to keep the card, as the value of the card usually exceeds the $95 fee, or just downgrade the card to a Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire non-annual fee card to avoid the $95.
- No foreign transaction fees. When you use this card abroad or to make purchases in a different currency, there are no additional fees.
- Why is this card so valuable? Chase Ultimate Reward Points are transferrable to multiple airlines and hotel chains giving you the freedom and flexibility to transfer your points instantaneously to make a booking of your choice. Travel programs include British Airways Executive Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®, United MileagePlus®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Amtrak Guest Rewards®, Hyatt Gold Passport®, Marriott Rewards®, IHG® Rewards Club and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®.
- 25,000 points can get you a free round trip ticket from Los Angeles to New York, while 60,000 points can get you a free round trip ticket to Europe and a free stopover. You can redeem nights for as little as 5,000 points or if you’re feeling luxurious, use 30,000 points for a category 7 Park Hyatt hotel in Paris, Tokyo, or Sydney among others that go for over $1,000 a night!
- United is a valuable program to transfer to as they have amazing award availability and don’t have fuel surcharges on flights overseas. British Airways is another amazing award partner. Their award points chart goes according to the distance you travel. See Chase British Airways card below.
- As an added bonus, this card comes in an all blue metal with a chip enabled for overseas use, which makes it a really cool card to carry around.
- Also, if you like to make online purchases at your favorite stores, you can earn up double, triple or up to 15x or even 30x points when using Ultimate Rewards to shop through online retailers such as Kohls, Macy’s, Amazon, Sephora, and Groupon.
2. American Express Starwood Preferred Guest
- Earn up to 25,000 points when you spend $5,000 in 6 months. Earn 10,000 points after your first purchase and an additional 15,000 when you meet the spending threshold of $5,000 in 6 months.
- Now the Amex Starwood doesn’t have as generous of a signup offer as some of the Chase credit cards. However, this card is valuable in so many ways and is a must have for anyone who uses their credit cards on a regular basis.
- $0 first year introductory fee, $65 a year following the first year.
- Earn double points for spending at Starwood hotels and receive a 2 stay and 5 night elite status credit per year that go towards you reaching elite status.
- Why is this card so valuable? Starwood points transfer to almost every major airline in the world at a 1:1 ratio and when you transfer 20,000 points you receive an additional 5,000 points free! For example, if you were to transfer 20,000 points to American Airlines, your AA account would receive 25,000 points. On top of that, Starwood hotels include the Westin, Sheraton, Le Meridien, W Hotels, St. Regis, and more that can be redeemed at some really great values. I recently redeemed a $300 a night hotel stay for 12,000 points and received a complimentary upgrade for having this card.
- American Express is also known for having great purchase protections and I recommend using this card for making purchases on expensive electronic products.
3. Chase Ink Bold & Chase Ink Plus Business Cards
- Earn 50,000 points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. The Chase Ink and Bold are business cards and transfer to the same partners as listed in the Chase Sapphire Preferred description.
- You do not need to have a business to get this card. Just put your social security number where it asks for the Tax ID number and put your full name Sole Proprietorship under business name. Anyone can use this card for a side business such as selling items on eBay or for any purpose that you may want to keep tabs on yours and your family’s or employee’s spending on separate statements.
- Why is this card so valuable? Besides the generous signup bonus, earn 5x points for every dollar spent on telecommunications (cell phone, cable, internet, and satellite TV bills). Earn 5x points for spending at office supply stores such as Staples, OfficeMax, and Office Depot. These stores carry gift cards for many stores that can help you rack up a ton of points. Earn 2x points at gas stations (many also carry gift cards) and 2x points for hotels for up to 50,000 points of spending in bonus categories.
- Receive 2 Free lounge passes with this card and every additional user card you have by signing up with this link: loungeprogramenroll.com/inkcard
- No annual fee first year, $95 following. No foreign transaction fees.
- If you and your spouse get a Bold and a Plus card that’s 220,000 points that can be used for multiple round trip tickets to Europe, South America, Australia, or Asia! If you are worried about meeting the spending threshold then one can buy gift cards to be used at a later date, use Amazon Payments, and get a bluebird card. Also, these cards can be downgraded to avoid paying annual fees.
4. Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card
- Earn 50,000 points for spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.
- Spend $30,000 in a year and receive a free travel companion ticket good for 2 years for a free ticket to travel anywhere with a companion. For more details, visit ba.com/traveltogetherticket. There have also been frequent offers as of late for an additional 25,000 points when you spend $10,000 and another 25,000 points when you spend another $10,000 for a total of 120,000 points when spending $20,000 in a calendar year.
- $95 annual fee, no foreign transaction fees.
- 2.5 points per dollar spent on British Airways and 1.25 for ever dollar spent on any purchases.
- Why is this card so valuable? British Airways Avios can be used for travel at as little as 4,500 points each way. British Airways charges a fixed amount of points depending on the distance you travel. Domestic flights have no fuel surcharges and British Airways is partners with American Airlines which now includes US Airways flights, thanks to the merger, as they begin their integration with one another. British Airways does charge fuel surcharges for overseas flights on BA and with some of their partner airlines. However, for domestic and for some overseas travel you can make the most of these points at a very low redemption rate. For example, I booked a trip last second from JFK to Boston for 9,000 points round trip and $5. Other options were to travel to Barbados, St. Maarten, or Florida for just 15,000 points round trip or Santiago, Chile for 20,000 points!
5. Chase Freedom Visa Card (No annual fee)
- Earn 10,000 points for spending $500, which is the equivalent of $100 cash back. This card has no annual fee and is primarily a cash back card. However, if you also have either a Chase Sapphire Preferred or a Chase Ink Bold or Plus, then your Chase Freedom points can also be transferred to airlines and hotels at a 1:1 ratio.
- Why is this card so valuable? The Chase Freedom card has rotating 5x points categories for the 4 quarters of the year. Each quarter allows you to earn 5x points at different categories such as: Starbucks, movie theaters, gas stations, Amazon.com, and others. Also, if you have a Chase checking account then you receive a 10% point dividend on top of all these bonus points.
6. Chase United Mileage Plus
- Earn 30,000 points for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Many people have been able to send a private message through Chase’s website and asked to be matched to the 50,000 point offer. You also receive 5,000 points for adding an additional user and should mention in your private message to Chase to ask for a $50 statement credit. Your mileage may vary but you could potentially receive 55,000 points plus $50 statement credit for spending $1,000 in 3 months!
- $0 intro annual fee, then $95. No foreign transaction fee.
- Double miles per dollar spent on United and 2 free United lounge passes worth $100.
- Why is this card so valuable? United has amazing award availability with no fuel surcharges along with many Star Alliance carrier partners. This card allows free checked luggage, priority boarding, two free United lounge passes, and increased award availability. This card also provides great primary car rental insurance, while many other cards only offer secondary coverage.
7. Citi AAdvantage World Mastercard
- Earn 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in 3 months.
- Earn 2 points on every dollar spent on AA purchases.
- $0 intro annual fee, $95 following.
- Why is this card so valuable? Besides the generous signup bonus, you get your first checked bag for free along with up to 4 travel companions as well as priority boarding. When you use your points to redeem an AA ticket you will receive 10% of those points back into your account each calendar year. AA also offers reduced mileage awards when you possess this card.
8. Chase Hyatt Card
- Receive 2 free nights at any Hyatt property after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.
- Earn 3 points for every dollar spent at Hyatt properties, and 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and restaurants.
- $0 intro annual fee, $75 after. 1 free night at a category 1-4 hotel on the annual anniversary of your card opening.
- Elite upgrade to Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum Membership status.
- Why is this card so valuable? The signup bonus is fantastic. If you are looking to stay at the coveted Park Hyatt Paris, Park Hyatt Sydney, Park Hyatt Tokyo, just to name a few, then this is the best way to do it. These hotels can often go for over $1,000 a night! I got this card for each one of my family members and we were able to stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo and Grand Hyatt Hong Kong for multiple nights that would’ve cost us thousands of dollars. Also, the free night at a category 1-4 at every anniversary of card opening makes the $75 annual fee well worth keeping the card and the platinum status that comes with it. If you are already a platinum member with Hyatt then you will become a diamond member and receive 2 nights at a suite at any Hyatt hotel property when meeting the spending threshold.
9. American Express Premier Rewards Gold Card
- Earn 25,000 points after spending $2,000 in 3 months. Earn an additional 15,000 points when you spend $30,000 in a year.
- $0 intro annual fee, then $175.
- Why is this card so valuable? Earn 3x points for flights booked with airlines, 2x points at gas stations, and 2x points at supermarkets. This allows you to earn points at a much faster rate, which are transferrable to several airline and hotel chains. There are foreign exchange fees and the annual fee can be a bit high, but you can downgrade the card to avoid paying the fee.
10. Chase Southwest Airlines Card
- Earn 50,000 points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months. If you like flying on Southwest, this is a great card to have.
- $99 annual fee. Receive 6,000 bonus points on your card-opening anniversary. No foreign transaction fees.
- 2x points spent on Southwest and Airtran as well as their Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partners.
- Why is this card valuable? There is a generous signup bonus that can equate to multiple round trip tickets with Southwest’s low pricing. Southwest offers 2 free bags and no change fees when changing a flight itinerary. Also, if you don’t like flying on Southwest, the 50,000 points can be used for a $500 gift card to some amazing stores. If you can manage to accrue 110,000 points in a year, then you qualify for a companion pass, which gives your companion a free ticket on any Southwest flight you take for the rest of the year and through the next year! This is one of the most valuable perks offered by any airline rewards program, so definitely consider that when applying for the Chase Southwest Airlines Premier card.