Monday’s Deals

4 deals to start the week…

  • Amex gift cards with a bonus on Monday. Bigcrumbs says: “Thanks to the support of our incredibly awesome members, we’ve been able to arrange higher rates with American Express Gift Cards! Cash back is set to increase on Monday, October 20th and will only last for 24 hours.”
  • Free money this week for buying Visa gift cards from Staples.
  • Wells Fargo customer? Go to a local branch by November 16th to get your credit score and report for free.
  • Qantas fan? Read the last few posts on this Australian blog to pick up a ton of easy points.


milenerdMonday’s Deals

The Top 25 Credit Cards

(If you see any errors or missing cards, feel free to let me know. It’s a lot of information, so I tend to make some mistakes).

Time for the monthly edition of my Top 25 Credit Cards. Again, if you’re a newbie, make sure you read The Newbie Guide. Many of your questions will be answered there. Basic things like not applying for 3 Chase cards at the same time should be known before you continue. For people running out of cards, remember there’s often a Business card option. I listed a few here but not many, so it might be worth exploring more Business cards. Also, “churning” might be an option. The dates here were a guideline but things always tend to vary individually.

Miles and points aren’t an equal currency. 50,000 Delta Skymiles are worth less to me than 50,000 miles from pretty much any other airline. 25,000 Hyatt points are worth a ton more than 25,000 Hilton points. And so on. These links work right now (October 17th at midnight). If you read this later, many of the offers will have changed. Things move fast in this game so read the offer details before applying. Here we go! My Top 25 current credit cards in order are…
  • Ink Bold and/or Ink/Plus (Chase)
    • Spend $5,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • The points transfer to United, Southwest, British, Hyatt, etc.
    • 5 times the points on purchases at office stores.
    • Ink Plus is the better choice right now with 70,000 points.
  • Sapphire (Chase)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Still very valuable points. See Ink cards above.
    • One of my favorite cards to use when I don’t have any spends to meet.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest aka SPG (American Express)
    • Spend $5,000 in 6 months. Get 25,000 points.
    • Incredible card. I really, really love cash + points for hotel stays.
    • I’m also a big fan of some of their 3,000-point properties.
  • Barclay Arrival (Barclays)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • One of the best cards for actual spending, as discussed here.
  • American Airlines cards (Citibank)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 miles.
    • Read the wiki post for the most current links.
  • US Airways (Barclays)
    • Spend $1. Get 40,000 miles.
    • Still a good time to grab your American and US Airways miles.
  • United Airlines (Chase)
    • Log in and see if you are targeted for the 50,000-mile offer.
    • This offer is also being pushed heavily in airports.
    • A good business version can be found here.
  • Southwest (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • Possible Business version here.
    • Time when you meet the spend and this is a good moment to start working on your companion pass.
  • Mercedes Benz Platinum (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points.
    • Big $475 fee but benefits like global entry credit and $200 credit.
    • A no-fee for the first year Platinum card is here.
    • Be on the lookout for MUCH better targeted Amex offers in your mailbox.
  • Platinum (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Temporary increase from the usual 25,000 points.
    • Incredible benefits, but $450 annual fee. $200 in credits does help.
  • Ritz Carlton (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 70,000 points..
    • Read why applying by phone is probably the way to go.
    • Older offers discussed here. One for 140,000 points.
    • If all other offers have expired, you can still get a free night.
  • Marriott (Chase)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 70,000 points and a free night.
    • If all offers expire, the standard one is just ok. Log into your Marriott account for a possibly better targeted offer.
    • Business card links here.
  • Hilton Honors Reserve (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,500 in 4 months. Get 2 weekend nights. Best Hilton card.
    • Gold status while you have the card. Upgrades, breakfast, internet, etc.
    • They just added a $100 statement credit to this offer.
  • British Airways (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • 100,000-point offer recently ended (for now).
  • Club Carlson Premier (US Bank)
    • Spend $2,500 in 90 days. Get 85,000 points.
    • Great hotel card and not from the usual issuers.
  • InterContinental Hotel aka IHG aka Priority Club (Chase)
    • Spend $1,000. Get 80,000 points.
    • One of the most underrated hotel cards out there.
  • Hyatt (Chase)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 2 nights at any Hyatt.
    • Even more valuable after the point devaluation.
  • Fairmont Hotel (Chase)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 2 nights and breakfast at any Fairmont.
    • Again, many of these hotels are very expensive.
  • Alaska Airlines (Bank of America)
    • Spend $1. Get 25,000 miles.
    • Offer with statement credit here.
    • Bank of America cards can be MUCH more “churnable” than most.
  • Lufthansa (Barclays)
    • Spend $5,000 in 90 days. Get 50,000 miles.
    • This offer comes and goes regularly.
  • Premier Gold (Amex)
    • Possible 50,000 points, rather than the usual 25,000.
    • A bit of a pain, but you can see if you’re targeted.
  • Propel (Wells Fargo)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • A decent new offering, and again, it’s always good to see cards from different banks.
    • Here’s a solid Business card from Wells Fargo.
  • Hawaiian Airlines (Barclays)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 35,000 miles.
    • Business version is here.
  • FlexPerks (US Bank)
    • Spend $3,500. Get 20,000 FlexPoints.
    • The Business version is here.
    • Thanks to Christopher F. for getting me to add this card to the list.
  • Venture (Capital One)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • Up from 20,000 miles.
  • Frontier Airlines (Barclays)
    • Spend $500 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • Frontier miles aren’t for everyone.
  • Thank You (Citibank)
    • Weird offer. 20,000 points for spending $2,000 in 3 months. Then 30,000 more points for spending $3,000 in first 3 months of 2nd year.
    • Bonuses on this card go up/down often.
  • Korean (US Bank)
    • Spend $1. Get 15,000 miles.
    • Down from 30,000-mile offer.
    • Business card is here.
  • Wyndham (Barclays)
    • Spend $1,000 in 90 days. Get 45,000 miles.
    • Offer goes up and down. We’re in an “up” time right now.
  • Hilton Honors (American Express)
    • Spend $750 in 3 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Hilton points are definitely not what they used to be.
  • Hilton Honors Surpass (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 60,000 points.
    • Get the previous card, and you’ll get tons of offers to upgrade to this one.
  • Hilton Honors (Citibank)
    • Spend $1,000 in 4 months. Get 40,000 points.
    • Between the 4 cards, you have LOTS of Hilton options.
    • They added a $50 credit for this one.
  • Prestige (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 30,000 points.
    • Nice benefits including $200 credit, but huge $450 annual fee.
    • There is also a 60,000-point offer possible if you go into your local branch.
  • Asiana (Bank of America)
    • Spend $2,500 in 90 days. Get 25,000 miles.
    • Meh.
  • Virgin America (Comenity)
    • 2 different card offers I discussed here.
    • Issued by Comenity Bank, which is the best thing about these cards.
  • Freedom (Chase)
    • Worth having in your collection for the 5% quarterly bonuses.
    • No reason to close this one.
    • Other semi-decent quarterly bonus cards are the Citi Dividend and Discover It.
  • LAN (US Bank)
    • 20,000 miles for opening. 3 upgrade coupons each year.
    • Down from a 40,000-mile offer.
  • Expedia (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 25,000 points.
    • Also a 15,000-point version with no annual fee.
  • Virgin Atlantic (Bank of America)
    • Skip this 25,000-mile offer and wait for 50,000 to return.
    • Possible 90,000-mile offer here.
    • Again, Bank of America is more churnable than most.
    • Global Entry credit might still be working if you’re looking to save the TSA PreCheck fee.
  • Choice Hotel (Barclays)
    • You’re truly running out of cards if you’re still reading this far.
    • I keep this as the last card mostly out of tradition.


milenerdThe Top 25 Credit Cards

Catching Up

So many deals lately! Rapid-fire, here are some delayed posts:

  • Get 7,500 American miles for test-driving a Cadillac. Prepare for long hold times.
  • Pick up a 35% bonus transferring Amex Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic. Could be a decent-ish use of points.
  • There’s also a 50% bonus to Starwood.
  • Uber has added uberPLUS as a ride option. The standard free $30 for new Uber members is still going. Sync your Amex card to Twitter and tweet #AmexUber for a $10 statement credit after a $10+ Uber ride this year.
  • I’d write an official goodbye to Amazon Payments but I just don’t care that it’s gone.
  • Use just one Amex point to get $20 off at Amazon.
    • Link your Amex Membership Rewards card to Amazon here.
    • Add any shipped item $20 or more to your cart (not Amazon gift cards).
    • At checkout, select your linked card and click “choose a different amount.”
    • Enter .01 and enter code SWP20AMR on the next page
    • This is a widely targeted offer, but not working for everyone.
  • Another commonly targeted offer is 3X at restaurants with your Amex Membership Rewards card.
  • Get $20 back starting Sunday at Staples when you buy $300 or more in Visa gift cards.


milenerdCatching Up


A couple of decent offers if you’re the type who doesn’t mind doing a few surveys. Personally, I mind them. If you’re a (much) more patient nerd, get 350 Alaska bonus miles from e-miles. Or choose 1,000 points from Hilton.



Barclaycard Community

Interesting email from reader Jake today. Apparently there’s a Reddit post where a guy claims to have made almost 200,000 Barclays Arrival points here. The interesting part isn’t the amount of points. It’s the fact that he earned them without using his credit card. I know next to nothing about the Barclaycard Travel Community, but apparently people are racking up the points there. Seems a little tedious, but hey…if there’s a crowd for that kind of thing…


milenerdBarclaycard Community