BEST CREDIT CARD BONUSES OF 2013

Well folks as we approach June we are half way through 2013.  It’s been a good year so far with lots of great mile and point earning opportunities in many areas and especially credit card sign up bonuses.  We have seen many 50,000 mile/point offers and even the lucrative infamous American Express Business Gold Rewards 75,000 offers that pop up and last for less than 24 hours.  So much fun!  

I am writing this post today because so many readers ask me what are the best credit cards to apply for.   So I decided to create a chart and add it as a section to the Miles Momma site.  These offers are all currently available as far as I am aware.  I will continually update this chart throughout the year as offers come and go. If you notice that I’ve missed an important card, please leave a comment on this post and I will update the chart.  This chart is by no means a list of every rewards credit card available but only cards I feel are top earners for either the signup bonus or long term spending rewards.  You can locate this chart under the Credit Card section on the Miles Momma site here.

I have also added a “Family Bonus” category for my family readers to show how lucrative the bonuses could be for a family where a husband and wife both applied for the same card doubling the bonus for the family.

NOTE:  If you have a personal card, you can also get a business version.  Additionally, you can apply for a personal and business version at the same time because these applications are considered separately.

 

CREDIT CARD

LENDER

INDIVIDUAL

BONUS

FAMILY
BONUS

MINIMUM SPEND
I
ndividual

MINIMUM
SPEND
Family

ANNUAL FEES
Individual

ANNUAL FEES
Family

Marriott Premier Rewards Card

CHASE

70,000
points

140,000
points

$1,000

$2,000

First year wavied

First year waived

Ink Bold Business Card

CHASE

50,000
points

100,000
points

$5,000

$10,000

First year waived

First year waived

Ink Plus Business Card

CHASE

50,000
points

100,000
points

$5,000

$10,000

First year waived

First year waived

British Airways Visa Signature® Card

CHASE

50,000
Avios

100,000
miles

$1,000

$2,000

$95

$190
($95 x2)

United MileagePlus Explorer Card

CHASE

 30,000
miles
 60,000
miles
 $1,000 $2,000   First year waived First year waived 

Business Gold Rewards Card from American Exprss

AMEX

50,000
points

100,000
points

$5,000

$10,000

First year waived

First year waived

Lufthansa Miles & More

BARCLAY

50,000
points

100,000
points

$5,000

$10,000

 $79 $158
($79 x 2) 

Chase Sapphire Preferred SM Card

CHASE

40,000
points

80,000
points

$3,000

$6,000

First year waived

First year waived

Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

AMEX

30,000
miles

60,000
miles

$500

$1000

First year waived

First year waived

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN

AMEX

30,000
miles

60,000
miles

$500

$1000

First year waived

First year waived

The US Airways Premier World MasterCard

BARCLAY

40,000
10,000 anniversary bonus

80,000
100,000 -after 1st year

First Use

First Use

$89

$178
($89 x2)

Barclaycard Arrival World Mastercard

BARCLAY

40,000
points

80,000
points

$1,000

$2,000

$89

$178
($89 x 2)

Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard®

CITIBANK

40,000
miles

80,000
miles

$3,000

$6,000

$95, waived for first 12 months

$190, waived for first 12 months

CitiBusiness Advantage World MasterCard

CITIBANK

40,000
miles

80,000
miles

$3,000

$6,000

$95, waived for first 12 months

$190, waived for first 12 months

HOTEL POINTS

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

AMEX

25,000
points

50,000
points

$5,000

$10,000

First year waived

First year waived

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN

AMEX

25,000
points

50,000
points

$5,000

$10,000

First year waived

First year waived

Chase Hyatt Credit Card

CHASE

2 free weekend nights

4 free weekend nights

$1,000

$2,000

$75

$150
($75x 2)

Citi Hilton HHonors TM  Reserve Card

CITIBANK

2 free weekend nights -select properties

4 free nights – select properties

$2,500

$5,000

$95

$190 
($95 x 2)

Club Carlson Visa

BARCLAY

85,000
points

170,000 points

2,500

5,000

$75

$150
($75 x 2)

Club Carlson Visa

BARCLAY

85,000
points

170,000 points

2,500

5,000

$75

$150
($75 x 2)

I feel these are the best credit card bonuses currently available worth considering.  There are so many others and they are constantly changing.  My suggestions before you apply for any cards is to have a travel plan.  Where do you want to go?  How many miles do you need on what airline.  Where do you want to stay.  How many nights.  How many points do you need from which programs.  Build a miles and points budget and then see which credit cards could help you move towards your goal.  That being said, sometimes there will be extremely lucrative bonus offers that you don’t know exactly what you’ll use them for but you just grab the miles/points and figure it out later.  If you’d like, you can check out my most recent trip budget spreadsheet which is quite extensive.  I used this template spreadsheet to budget for our trips.

If you do decide to start using credit card bonuses to secure free travel for your family be sure to keep good records.  I keep an extensive running spreadsheet of all my credit cards opened and closed in the last 2 years.  Here is my current spreadsheet if you’d like to take a peak at my system.  This will give you an idea of how to track your cards and keep things organized.  You can view it here.  You can also download it and erase the content and use as a template for your own.  If you need any help or have questions, don’t hesitate to email me.  I’m always available to answer questions and no question is too silly.  I was once a newbie and some kind more experienced collector helped me learn.

If you are concerned about the effect of applying for credit cards on your credit history, then just dabble and monitor it.  You will see that each application drops your score 2 -3 points which is nothing significant.  You will probably see that as you add credit cards and that your credit scores actually will begin to rise and get even better.  The top two free sources I recommend for long-term credit monitoring are Credit Sesame and Credit Karama.  I use both of these services personally and they are completely free and do not require a credit card.  They do not give you your full credit report which I do recommend you get at least every 6 months.  There are some good services to obtain your credit report here my site.

So start now to plan for next year’s adventures and the years to come.  I always have told myself, “Dream big or it will never happen!” I’m living proof that an average middle class family can travel the world.  If you learn the hobby of collecting miles and points and creatively using the financial tools available through credit cards wisely, you can experience some incredible adventures with your loved ones.  If I can help you in any way, please don’t hesitate to call on me.

 

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