Best Credit Cards

Last Updated: March 1st

(If you see any errors, please let me know. I try to keep a full list, but it’s a lot of information and I do make mistakes)

Significant Changes Since Last Month:
-Cathay Pacific card added.
-PenFed 2% card added.
-Citibank and American Express Hilton 75,000-point offers returned.
-Starwood (SPG) Personal and Business up to 35,000 points.
-Some seeing 75,000 points on Amex Platinum and Business Gold again.
-American Personal and Business offers without “every 24 months” wording.
-Blue For Business 25,000-point offer from Amex.
-Removed Delta links for this month.
-Finally removed Diners Club.

Time my monthly Top 25 Credit Cards. It’s called “Top 25” out of tradition, but you’ll get many more links than that below. Again, if you’re a rookie, make sure you read The Newbie Guide. It’s a little outdated but many basic questions can still be answered there. For people running out of cards, remember there’s often a Business card option. Also, “churning” (getting the same card more than once) might be an option. The dates here were a guideline but things always tend to vary individually. If you’re new, it might be wise to start with Chase cards because of the limitations they’ll place on you soon.

Miles and points are far from an equal currency. 50,000 Delta SkyMiles are worth less to me than that amount from Alaska Airlines. 25,000 Hyatt points mean way more than the same number from Hilton. And so on. These links work right now (March 1st at midnight). If you read this later, many of the offers will have changed. Things move fast so read offer details and terms before applying. Especially all that small print when you’re trying to get bonuses more than once on the same card. Ok, enough chatter…here we go! My “Top 25” current credit cards are below.

Before getting to the main list, I wanted to group some of the more popular American Express cards together…

(You can always roll the dice for better Amex offers with the method here, MUCH better targeted offers in your mailbox, or by checking here)

  • Mercedes Benz Platinum 
    • 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.
    • Here’s a regular link for the Amex Personal Platinum card (try clicking and also opening with an incognito browser for 75,000 points).
  • Business Platinum
    • Spend $10,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points. Or $20,000 for 75,000.
    • Again, for Amex cards, try signing in first. Also try clicking the links in an incognito browser. Play around with these a little bit and you’ll regularly see better offers.
  • Business Gold Rewards
    • Spend $10,000 in 3 months. Get 75,000 points.
    • Try this link too for $5,000 spend and same bonus.
  • Premier Rewards Gold
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • Some people have seen 100,000 points.
    • Others seeing 65,000-point offers.
    • A different (Ameriprise) Gold card here.

(It’s possible that by the time you click the above links, they may be dead. As always, if aware of anything better, please send me the link so everyone can benefit)

  • Sapphire Reserve (Chase)
    • Spend $4,000 in 3 months. Get 100,000 points.
    • Must apply in a Chase branch to get this bonus (by March 12th).
    • Big $450 fee.
    • $300 annual travel credit used cleverly and collected twice helps.
  • Ink Business Preferred (Chase)
    • Spend $5,000 in 3 months. Get 80,000 points.
    • The points transfer to United, Southwest, British, Hyatt, etc.
    • Ink Cash at the same link still gives 5X at office stores.
  • Sapphire Preferred (Chase)
    • Spend $4,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • These Ultimate Rewards points are very valuable. See Ink.
    • Try applying in-branch and ask to be matched to 70,000 points.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest (American Express)
    • Temporary $5,000 spend for 35,000 points.
    • Business version is an $8,000 spend for the same bonus.
    • Try incognito and different browsers if necessary to see bonus.
    • Increased offer through April 5th then should drop back to 25,000.
  • American Airlines (Both Citibank and Barclays)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 miles.
    • 40,000 miles with a $100 credit is here.
    • Business card is here.
    • Until it dies, this link doesn’t have the “only every 24 months” limitation.
    • Here’s a Business link without that limitation.
    • Call/message Citi to get your 50,000 matched to 60,000.
    • The Barclays 40,000-mile card is here.
  • Merril Lynch (Bank of America)
    • Spend $3,000 in 90 days. Get 50,000 points.
    • Possible to use the points for up to $1,000 in flights.
  • British Airways (Chase)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • Looks like the higher bonus for big spenders is dead for now.
  • Barclay Arrival (Barclays)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 miles.
    • Some of the most flexible, easy-to-use miles around.
  • United Airlines (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months and add a user. Get 55,000 miles.
    • Here’s a link that might work for a $50 credit.
    • Some people have gotten 70,000-mile links to work here or here.
    • 50,000 miles for the Business version here or here.
  • Southwest (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points on Premier or Plus.
    • Business card is up to 60,000.
    • If any of those offers disappear, try checking referral links.
    • Best companion pass strategy is to earn 110,000 points early in a year.
  • Hilton Honors Reserve (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,500 in 4 months. Get 2 weekend nights.
    • The best Hilton card.
    • Gold status while you have the card. Upgrades, breakfast, internet, etc.
    • Here’s a link with $100.
  • Prestige (Citibank)
    • Spend $5,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points.
    • Try different browsers and incognito mode if necessary.
    • Nice benefits like $250 annual airline credit help with $450 annual fee.
    • Might get a lower $350 annual fee applying in local branch.
    • See if you’re targeted for a 100,000-point offer.
  • Hyatt (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 2 nights and 5,000 points for adding a user.
    • Because of anniversary free night, one of the few cards I keep open.
  • Marriott (Chase)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months and add a user. Get 87,500 points.
    • Business version worth 80,000 points is here.
    • 150,000 points with this strange offer.
  • Ritz Carlton (Chase)
    • Spend $4,000 in 3 months. Get 2 free nights.
    • Big annual fee. But a travel credit of $300 makes that much less of a pain.
    • Possible application link that could still get 3 nights here.
  • InterContinental Hotel aka IHG aka Priority Club (Chase)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 80,000 points.
    • This link gives an extra 2,000 points for applying.
    • Apply for the lower offer & send a message to Chase to match 80,000.
  • Alaska Airlines (Bank of America)
    • Spend $1,000 in 90 days. Get 30,000 miles and $100 credit.
    • Offer without $100 credit here.
    • Business version worth 30,000 miles is here.
    • Bank of America cards can be MUCH more “churnable” than most.
    • Reader Ashok says now limited to only one every 90 days.
  • Club Carlson Premier (US Bank)
    • Spend $2,500 in 90 days. Get 85,000 points.
    • Nice hotel card that’s not from the usual issuers.
  • Asiana (Bank of America)
    • Spend $3,000 in 90 days. Get 30,000 miles.
    • Some good uses with partners like First Class on Lufthansa.
  • FlexPerks (US Bank)
    • Spend $2,000 in 4 months. Get 20,000 points.
    • Many different card options for FlexPerks. Gold is 30,000 points.
    • Very useful points for paid flights.
  • Avianca LifeMiles (Banco Popular)
    • 20,000 or 40,000 miles after first purchase.
    • The Vuela version should show 60,000 if you use code AVSPWE.
    • Will be interesting to see if we can churn this card.
  • Lufthansa (Barclays)
    • Spend $5,000 in 90 days. Get 50,000 miles.
    • Bonus up from 35,000 miles again.
  • Wyndham (Barclays)
    • Spend $2,000 in 90 days. Get 45,000 points.
    • Offer has fluctuated between 30,000 and 45,000 for a LONG time.
    • Book any Wyndham hotel for 15,000 points a night.
  • JetBlue (Barclays)
    • Spend $1000 in 90 days. Get 30,000 points.
    • Business version worth 30,000 points is here.
  • Propel (Wells Fargo)
    • Apply in-person at a branch for 40,000 points.
    • A note on this one from reader Adam.
    • If you bank at Wells Fargo, see what cards are in your account.
  • Hilton Honors (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 75,000 points.
    • Up from the normal 60,000.
  • Hilton Honors (American Express)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 75,000 points.
    • Back up from 50,000 points.
  • Hilton Honors Surpass (American Express)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 100,000 points.
    • That bonus moves up and down all the time.
    • Get previous card on the list and you’ll get offers to upgrade to this.
  • Virgin Atlantic (Bank of America)
    • The 75,000 to 90,000 mile offer is back (again).
    • Again, Bank of America is more churnable than most.
  • Thank You Premier (Citibank)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 30,000 points.
    • Down from 50,000 and 40,000 points but 40,000 still works in-branch.
    • Bonuses on this card go up/down often.
  • Premier Traveler (PNC)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 30,000 points.
    • 2% back card if used for travel.
    • Limited states.
  • Korean (US Bank)
    • Spend $1. Get 15,000 miles on Personal or Business.
    • For now, also offering statement credits.
    • Back down from 25,000. Goes up and down often.
  • Spark (Capital One)
    • Spend $4,500 in 3 months. Get 50,000 miles.
    • Redeem the miles for $500 in travel purchases.
    • No annual fee version of this card might be found in-branch.
  • Venture (Capital One)
    • Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • Has been up from 20,000 miles for a while.
  • Hawaiian Airlines (Barclays)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 35,000 miles.
    • Better 50,000 until it dies if you log in and View My Account. Or try this.
    • Business version is here.
  • Blue For Business (American Express)
    •  Spend $5,000 in 6 months. Get 25,000 Membership Rewards points.
    • 30% annual bonus on points earned during the year.
  • Multiple Business Cards (Bank of America)
    • $200 back on each of these with minimal spend.
    • Obviously very interesting because it’s Bank of America (c-h-u-r-n-a-b-l-e).
  • Gold Charge Card and/or Green Charge Card (American Express)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 25,000 points.
    • Not the greatest, but nice to have different Amex options.
  • Aeroplan (TD Bank)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 billing statements. Get 25,000 miles.
    • Unspectacular, but low spend and not the usual issuer.
  • Virgin America (Comenity)
    • 2 different card offers I discussed here.
    • Nothing fancy. But issued by Comenity Bank, so that’s something.
  • Freedom (Chase)
    • Worth having in your no-fee collection for the 5% quarterly bonuses.
    • Maybe a better bonus here?
    • Another version is Freedom Unlimited.
    • Some have gotten 30,000 points ($300) in-branch.
  • Cathay Pacific (Synchrony)
    • Spend $2,500 in 90 days. Get 25,000 miles.
    • Not my favorite bank.
  • Amtrak (Bank of America)
    • Spend $1,000 in 90 days. Get 30,000 points.
    • Here’s a 20,000-point link if/when the other one dies.
  • Bank Americard Travel Rewards (Bank of America)
    • Spend $1,000 in 90 days. Get 20,000 points.
    • This is double the old offer. Worth $200.
  • LAN (US Bank)
    • Spend $1. Get 20,000 miles.
    • This bonus has gone up and down often.
  • Frontier Airlines (Barclays)
    • Spend $500 in 3 months. Get 40,000 miles.
    • These miles kind of suck. Expire after 6 months of no activity.
    • In case of emergency, there’s an interesting use for the miles here.
  • LaQuinta (First Bank of Omaha)
    • 20,000 to 40,000 points.
    • Big spending to get the higher of that range.
  • Expedia (Citibank)
    • Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 25,000 points.
    • Also a 15,000-point version with no annual fee.
  • Everyday (Amex)
    • 30,000 and 25,000-point offers are dead so it moves down the list for now.
    • Always try an incognito browser to open the link with Amex.
    • No annual fee. Preferred has a 15,000-point bonus with a $95 fee.
  • Sun Country (First National Bank of Omaha)
    • Spend $1,000 in 3 billing cycles. Get 30,000 points.
    • Not the most popular airline in the world. Sorry Omaha.
  • Best Western (First Bank of Omaha)
    • Multiple card options. Up to 70,000 points on one.
    • Up to 80,000 points on Business version.
    • Better than the old Barclays Best Western card.
  • Spirit (Bank of America)
    • Pro: 15,000 miles after first purchase.
    • Con: It’s Spirit Airlines.
  • NFL (Barclays)
    • Spend $500 in 90 days. Get $100 credit.
    • Offer has been higher in the past.
  • Total Rewards (Comenity)
    • Spend $750 in 90 days. Get 10,000 points.
    • Popular card for Vegas regulars.
  • Choice Hotel (Barclays)
    • I keep this as the last card mostly out of tradition.
    • Maybe a version with a $25 credit here.
    • If you’ve been reading this far, I salute you!

Beyond that mile/point list, the following are some great cashback cards:

milenerdBest Credit Cards