Recently, I shared some of my secrets (or rather non-secrets) to travel, one of which is to apply for credit cards when they have significant sign-on bonuses (see, World-Wide Travel on a Dime and Credit Card Primer).
In that post, I also announced that this blog was recently approved to have affiliate links covering a broad spectrum of credit cards from CreditCards.Com. Here is the link to the Credit Card tab at the top of this blog (thank you for your support).
My best credit cards have been ones which had special limited time promotions – usually offering 100,000 points or miles. The first was a 110,000 point offer from Capital One over 5 years ago (thanks to this post by The Points Guy). The second one was a 100,000 mile offer from British Airways Visa card from Chase. The bonus from that one credit card carried both Won’t Run aka Dave (now aka the Traveling Music Man) and me to Mendoza and Buenos Aires, Argentina for a fabulous trip four years ago. (Oh, we stayed in a suite at the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires care of the Hyatt Visa card also from Chase). Then, a few years later, I got a platinum American Express card, with a 100,000 Membership Reward point bonus, which has taken me many places, and given me entry to countless lounges around the globe as well as global entry so I can get home quicker once I have landed.
Right now, there are two credit cards that will feed my travel insanity – one offers 100,000 Ultimate Reward points as a sign-on bonus and the other offers 100,000 Membership Reward points. Both cards are available from the Credit Card tab above.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa Card
The big buzz at the moment is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Visa credit card. The draw of this credit card is that you earn 100,000 Ultimate Reward (UR) points as a sign-on bonus after spending $4,000 within the first three months. That’s huge! Those 100,000 points translate into a very nice trip!
Although the card has a $450 annual fee, there is a $300 annual travel credit, so, right off, the card is really more like a $150 annual fee credit card. In addition: (1) the card also earns 3X UR points on travel and dining, (2) you get 50% more value when redeeming the points for travel, (3) you get a $100 statement credit as reimbursement for Global Entry or TSA pre applications, and (4) you get access to many airport lounges worldwide with Priority Pass membership.
Here are the highlights:
- New! Earn 100K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,500 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card
- 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
- Access to 900+ airport lounges worldwide with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
- Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre√®
Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN
The other card I’m currently gaga over is a business card – the Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN. These are the highlights:
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® points. Offer expires January 25, 2017.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 and an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
- New: Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That’s 1.5 points per dollar, on each qualifying purchase of $5,000 or more. Y
- ou can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- New 50% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 50% of the points back.
- New: You can also receive 50% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
- You can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
Like the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, the annual fee for the Enhanced Business Platinum Amex is a hefty $450, but you receive a $200 statement credit for incidental airline fees, and $100 application fee credit for global entry. There are many other privileges and benefits that come with this card too.
For me, I look at this card and I see Australia. Or New Zealand. Or perhaps Bali. What do you see?
If the above cards aren’t for you, that’s fine. Feel free to browse around the cards offered in the Credit Card tab above, and do not hesitate to ask questions.
Only Apply for Credit Cards if You can Afford it
This goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway. Please don’t apply for these credit cards if you are not able to afford it, or you are not able to comfortably pay off your balance each month.