Related post: Reconsideration For Those Without The Gift Of Gab (Don’t just give up after you are denied!)
Chase has really stepped up their credit card offers in recent years. The signup bonuses and credit card spending multiples have really stolen the thunder of one-time wundercards like the Starwood American Express that couldn’t be matched.
Here’s a quick roundup:
–Chase Ink Bold and Chase Ink Plus business cards.
Signup bonus: Both of these cards give a whopping 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points each for spending $5,000 within 3 months. You should easily be able to get a value of at least 1.9 cents for your Ultimate Rewards points, making the signup bonus worth $950. Ink Plus is a credit card and Ink Bold is a charge card. I’ve been able to get both approved due to that with one call to Reconsideration.
They both have no annual fees for the first year, no foreign transaction fees, and 2 free lounge visits per year (even for free additional user cards!)
But even more importantly you earn 5 points per dollar at office supply stores, where you can find hundreds of gift cards to other online and retail stores. And that’s besides for 5 points per dollar on telecom, cable, and internet as well as 2 points per dollar on gas and hotels.
50,000 signup points and 5 points per dollar earning makes the Ink cards a must-have for any mileage junkies. While the $5,000 spend in 3 months may sound daunting for some, between Amazon Payments, Vanilla Reloads, or even buying Visa gift cards (which work on Amazon Payments as well) or store gift cards from office supply stores with 5x points, it’s really not all that difficult. Even if you pay your federal taxes via a credit card for a 1.88% fee, you’ll be coming out way ahead thanks to the generous signup bonus.
Read more about the awesome Chase Ultimate Rewards program in this post. Points transfer to some of the best airlines and hotel programs out there.
-Chase Sapphire Preferred
Signup bonus: 40,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points for spending $3,000 within 3 months. The annual fee is waived for the first year.
You should easily be able to get a value of at least 1.9 cents for your Ultimate Rewards points, making the signup bonus worth $760.
Sapphire Preferred offers a 7% points dividend every February for the previous year’s purchases, effectively making the card earn at least 1.07 points per dollar spent. You will also earn 2.14 points per dollar spent on restaurants, airfare, hotels, car rentals, charges in airports, travel agencies, caterers, timeshares, trains, buses, taxis/limos, ferries, bridges, tolls, and parking. There are no foreign exchange fee.
-Chase Southwest Visa Signature
Signup bonus: 50,000 Southwest points for spending $2,000 within 3 months.
There are 4 versions of this card, each giving 50,000 points that are accessible under the “Additional Southwest Airlines Credit Cards.” They include a consumer and business premier card with a $99 annual fee that have higher annual bonuses and no foreign exchange fees and a consumer and business plus card with a $69 annual fee that have lower annual bonuses and charge foreign exchange fees.
When used for flights points are worth roughly 1.9 cents each and when used for gift cards points are worth 1 cent each, making making the signup bonus worth anywhere between $500 and $950.
If you collect 110,000 Southwest points in a year from select sources, including all points from Southwest credit cards, you can to bring along a companion for free on all of your Southwest (and Southwest coded Airtran) flights for the remainder of the year and for the entire following year. That’s good on paid flights and on award flights, so you can effectively get twice the value out of your points earned. And award changes and cancellations are free, as are your checked luggage.
Read this post for more info on the Southwest program and various options for the points for non-flyers, such as store gift cards.
-Chase British Airways Visa Signature
Signup bonus: 50,000 BA Avios for spending $1,000 within 3 months.
You should easily be able to get a value of at least 1.3 cents for your Avios, making the signup bonus worth $650.
With short-haul flights starting at just 4,500 Avios you can get a lot of free travel from your Avios. Plus BA doesn’t charge any last minute expedite/close-in fees, doesn’t collect massive fuel surcharges for flights on AA within the Western Hemisphere or on Aer Lingus, Alaska, Air Berlin, LAN worldwide, and only charges $2.50-$10 (just the 9/11 fees) to cancel a domestic award.
Other awesome Chase cards with lesser published signup bonuses that you can add onto a “3BM” with just 1 credit pull include the Chase Freedom (which gives 5 points per dollar in rotating categories and 10% bonus points if you have a Chase checking account) and the Chase United Explorer (which gives free luggage, free primary car rental insurance in most countries worldwide besides Israel, expanded saver and standard award ticket availability, priority boarding, and more). There is also a business version of the United Explorer (click on “are you a business owner” on the Explorer application) and a Club version of the United card (click on the Club tab on the Explorer application) that gives 1.5 miles per dollar spent, 2 free checked bags per person, a United Club membership with unlimited free lounge and airport terminal access for you and your family, and waived expedite fees on United awards.