Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the most valuable rewards credit cards. It offers 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months and up to 2x points on everyday purchases.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is without question an elite credit card. It’s one of my personal favorites. It offers bonus points worth $625 in travel when redeemed through Chase Unlimited Rewards. The card also offers 2x in points on dining at restaurants and travel, and 1x point on all other purchases. Add to that no foreign transactions fees, and this card is THE card for those who love to travel.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Snapshot

  • Receive 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 50k points are worth $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

Rewards Program

The rewards program includes both bonus points and points earned on everyday purchases. Let’s review both:

Bonus Points

The card gets a lot of attention for its 50,000 bonus points. Here’s how it works. If you spend $4,000 within your first 3 months of opening your account, Chase will give you 50,000 rewards points.

Normally these points would be worth $500. If you use the points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, however, you get a 20% off. This effectively increases the value of the 50,000 points to $625. This is one of the largest signup bonuses available on any credit card.

There’s also a second bonus that many don’t know about. You can earn an additional 5,000 points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.

Everyday Points

In addition to the bonus points, you’ll earn 2x points for every dollar charged to the card on dining at restaurants and on travel. You’ll earn  1 point per dollar on everything else.  There are no reward caps.

Using Points

You can of course redeem points for travel purchased with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. As noted above, travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards qualifies for 20%, thus extending the value of the points.

Here’s how Chase describes this discount:

Each point you redeem for travel booked through Ultimate Rewards is worth $.0125 (one and a quarter cents), which means that 100 points is worth $1.25 in redemption value. This is like getting a 20% discount on travel you get with points when compared to the cash price. For example, a $500 airline ticket will only cost you 40,000 points. You would need 50,000 points to get $500 in cash through Ultimate Rewards and 40,000 points is 20% less than 50,000. The cost of travel and comparison of the points price and cash price is based on the rates and fares available through the Ultimate Rewards website and travel center, and may not reflect all rates and fares that are available through other sales channels.

A big bonus comes in the form of transfers. You can transfer your points at full value to any of these Chase partners:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®
  • United MileagePlus®
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Hyatt Gold Passport®
  • IHG® Rewards Club
  • Marriott Rewards®
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®.

Other Perks

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers several additional benefits:

  • Chip-Enabled Security: Enjoy enhanced security and wider acceptance with your chip-enabled card when used at a chip card reader
  • $0 Foreign Transaction Fees: Pay no foreign transaction fees when you use your card on purchases made outside of the United States
  • 1:1 Point Transfer: Transfer points to participating frequent travel programs at full value. For example, 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Exclusive Events & Experiences: Access special travel opportunities and exclusive events available to cardmembers.  Explore VIP packages to major culinary, entertainment and sporting events, from the 2016 PGA Championship to exclusive dining with acclaimed chefs

What we like about the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • 50,000 bonus rewards points for new customers
  • 2X points on dining and travel
  • $0 Foreign Transaction Fees
  • 20% off travel redemption

What could be better

  • Intro Annual Fee $0 the first year, then $95
  • Requires Excellent Credit
    Excellent Credit
    Credit cards for excellent credit are
    intended for those with a credit score of 700 or Higher.
    Get Your Free Score

Summary

  • Receive 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. 50k points are worth $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.99%
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Annual Fee:Intro Annual Fee $0 the first year, then $95
  • Late Payment Fee: See Pricing & Terms
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Ideal for those looking for a card that provides rewards points on all purchases
  • Offers 1:1 points transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value
  • Well suited for those who frequently travel internationally with $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Requires Excellent Credit
    Excellent Credit
    Credit cards for excellent credit are
    intended for those with a credit score of 700 or Higher.
    Get Your Free Score

Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card

The Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card is an ideal choice for those who frequently stay at Hilton Hotels and for those looking to get free stays at any of the Hilton properties.

Citi Hilton HHonors Visa SignatureThis Hilton credit card offers a fast way to earn 2 free night stays. It also has the highest reward payout on Hilton purchases at 10x points for every dollar spent. It does not, however, offer bonus HHonors points, as other options do (more on that below).

Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve Card Snapshot

  • Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening*
  • Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton portfolio*
  • Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card

Rewards Program

The card offers both bonus rewards and rewards based on your use of the card. We will start with the Bonus Rewards.

  • Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors™ portfolio after $2,500 in eligible purchases within 4 months of account opening
  • Earn an anniversary bonus of one weekend night (standard room, double occupancy) at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton Portfolio after you spend $10,000 on purchases each year (starting from your Annual Fee Date) and remain a cardmember.

With a reasonable spend requirement, 3 free night stays the first year and one every year thereafter more than covers the annual fee for this card.

On top of the bonus rewards, here’s what you earn when you make purchases with the card.

  • Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton HHonors portfolio
  • Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases

Using Your Rewards

To really figure out what these rewards will get you, you first need to take a look at the chart below. It all depends on where you want to stay. For example, you earn a free stay with as little as 7,500 points for Category 1 hotels. Here’s the chart from the HHonors’ website:


Here’s a list of the other hotel brands that are part of the Hhonors rewards program.

  • Waldorf Astoria® Hotels & Resorts
  • Conrad® Hotels & Resorts
  • Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • DoubleTree by Hilton™
  • Embassy Suites Hotels™
  • Hilton Garden Inn®
  • Hampton Inn®
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton®
  • Home2 Suites by Hilton®
  • Hilton Grand Vacations®

Another perk is that you don’t have to use your rewards points for hotel stays. Hilton has partnered with cruise lines, car rental companies, and restaurants where rewards can be used. Hilton also offers the Hilton HHonors™ Shopping Mall where you can use rewards to shop online.

Hilton HHonors® VIP Status

The card automatically qualifies you for HHonors Gold status. This is significant. Without the card, achieving Gold status is a significant challenge. It requires the following:

  • 20 stays in a calendar year, or
  • 40 nights in a calendar year, or
  • 75,000 HHonors Base Points in a calendar year

Gold status provides the following benefits:

  • 25% ELITE STATUS BONUS: With Gold elite status, you automatically receive a 25% bonus on all the HHonors Base Points you earn.
  • 5TH NIGHT FREE: Silver, Gold and Diamond elite members will receive every 5th night free4 on Standard Room Reward stays of 5 nights or more.
  • HOTEL BENEFITS
    • Digital Check-In: choose your room, and customize your stay from your mobile device up to 24 hours in advance.
    • Complimentary in-room and lobby Standard Internet access during stays at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Canopy™ by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™
    • Quick reservations and check-ins based on your room preferences
    • Late check-out
    • Express check-out
    • 2nd Guest stays free
    • Complimentary access to fitness centers and health clubs
    • Two complimentary bottles of water per stay (at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Curio – A Collection by Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Embassy Suites Hotels™, Hilton Garden Inn™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™ hotels)

What we like about the Citi® Hilton HHonors Reserve Card

  • 2 free night stays
  • HHonors Gold status
  • Up to 10x rewards based on card usage
  • No limit on rewards you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees

What could be better

  • $95 annual fee
  • Requires Excellent Credit
    Excellent Credit
    Credit cards for excellent credit are
    intended for those with a credit score of 700 or Higher.
    Get Your Free Score

Summary

  • Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening*
  • Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton portfolio*
  • Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases*
  • Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases*
  • Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember*
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.74% (Variable)
  • Penalty APR:Up to 29.99%, based on your credit­worthiness
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Late Payment Fee:Up to $35
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None.
  • Ideal for those who frequently stay at Hilton hotel brands
  • Excellent card for international travel
  • Requires Excellent Credit
    Excellent Credit
    Credit cards for excellent credit are
    intended for those with a credit score of 700 or Higher.
    Get Your Free Score

Chase Freedom Review – 5% Cash Back +$150 Bonus

The Chase Freedom credit card is one of the best all-around rewards cards available today. It offers up to 5% cash back, a $150 signup bonus, a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers, and no annual fee.

This card is one of my personal favorites. It offers something for everybody. It’s best known for its 5% cash back on select categories that change every quarter (more about that in a moment). What is less known about this card is its 0% introductory APR and $150 cash bonus. We’ll cover each of these features and more in this review.

Chase Freedom Snapshot

  • You receive a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months
  • You earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in select categories each quarter you activate
  • You earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No Annual Fee

Rewards Program

There are three components of the Chase Freedom rewards program: (1) the $150 bonus; (2) 5% cash back; and (3) 1% cash back.

1. $150 Bonus: Let’s first talk about the nice bonus this card offers – $150 Cash Back. All you have to do is spend $500 within 3 months and you will earn $150 cash back.

There’s also another potential bonus that many don’t know about. Chase pays an extra $25 bonus when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within this same 3 month period.

2. 5% Cash Back: For rewards, you can earn 5% cash back on categories that change each quarter. These categories include gas, home improvement and department stores. They are rotating categories which change every quarter so you have to stay on top of what the categories are so you can maximize your earning.

Keep in mind that the 5% cash back is on $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter. Once you’ve charged $1,500 to the card for the 5% category, any additional purchases will earn 1% cash back.

3. 1% Cash Back: On all purchases that fall outside the 5% categories you will earn 1% cash back with no spending tiers or caps.

0% Introductory Rate

The card offers a 0% introductory rate on purchases for 15 months. This is ideal if you are making a big purchase and you know you will need some extra time to pay it off. If you need a balance transfer card then you’re in luck because this card also gives 0% on transfers for 15 months.

When you combine both the 0% on purchases and 0% on balance transfers this card is a tough one to beat. Note that there is a 5% fee (minimum $5) on balance transfers.

Blueprint

The Chase Freedom offers flexible payment options and online tracking to monitor your spending. With Blueprint, your payment and money management options include the following:

  • Full Pay: With full pay, you can select the categories of purchases you want to pay in full each month. Chase will then show these purchases separately on your bill, and you can pay them in full even while you carry a balance in other categories of purchases.
  • Split Pay: For larger purchases, you can set up a payment plan, and track your progress month to month.
  • Finish It: If you want to pay off your balance, you can set up a payment plan that will help you eliminate your credit card debt.
  • Track It: The tracking feature allows you to set spending goals by category and track your progress throughout the month. For example, you can set a spending limit for groceries or restaurants, and Blueprint will track your spending throughout the month. It can even send you alerts as you near your spending goal.

Other Perks

The Chase Freedom card offers several additional benefits:

  • Zero Liability Protection: You won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • Chip-Enabled Security: Provides an extra layer of security when used in a chip card reader.
  • Purchase Protection: This protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.
  • Price Protection: If a card purchase you made in the U.S. is advertised for less in print or online within 90 days, you can be reimbursed the difference up to $500 per item, $2,500 per year.
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver:  Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is provided for theft and collision damage for most cars in the U.S. and abroad. In the U.S., coverage is secondary to your personal insurance.*

What we like about the Chase Freedom Card

  • The $150 cash bonus
  • Up to 5% cash back
  • 0% introductory APR
  • No annual fee

What could be better

  • The 5% cash back has a spending cap
  • You must sign up each quarter to qualify for the 5% cash back
  • Requires Excellent Credit
    Excellent Credit
    Credit cards for excellent credit are
    intended for those with a credit score of 700 or Higher.
    Get Your Free Score

Summary

  • You receive a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months
  • You earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in select categories each quarter you activate
  • You earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No Annual Fee
  • Regular Purchase APR: 13.99%-22.99% (Variable)
  • Penalty APR: See Terms
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: See Terms
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Ideal for those who want a 5% cash back card
  • A good choice for those looking for a 0% APR introductory rate
  • Well suited for those wanting a rewards card with no annual fee
  • Requires Excellent Credit
    Excellent Credit
    Credit cards for excellent credit are
    intended for those with a credit score of 700 or Higher.
    Get Your Free Score

Citi Double Cash Review – Earn 1% + 1% Cash Back

The Citi® Double Cash Card offers a unique cash back reward. You earn unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase + 1% cash back when you pay your credit card bill on time. It also offers an excellent 0% introductory rate on balance transfers and purchases. It’s the card I use everyday.

There are other cards that pay 2%, but only if you use the rewards for travel (e.g., Capital One Venture Rewards) or have an account at Fidelity (e.g., American Express Fidelity card). With the Citi® Double Cash Card, there are no such requirements, as you’ll see in this review.

Citi® Double Cash Card Snapshot

  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49 – 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The only card that earns you cash back TWICE on every purchase with:
  • 1% cash back when you buy
  • Plus 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases, whether you pay in full or over time*
  • No Category Restrictions, No Caps, No Enrollments in Rotating Categories
  • No Annual Fee
cashforwardLooking for a card with an upfront bonus?  A great alternative to the Citi Double Cash Card is the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®.  It offers a flat 1.575% cash back on all purchases as well as a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card ownership.

How Double Cash Works

Citi Double Cash ReviewOne draw to this card is its simplicity. There are no rotating categories and rewards do not need to be spent in a certain way to get the maximum benefit. Instead, simply use the card and make at least the minimum payment on time.

You’ll earn 1% on every purchase with the card. You’ll then earn another 1% when you make at least the minimum payment on time. There is no need to pay the card in full. If you do, however, you’ll speed up earning the second 1% cash back. The result is that you can earn a total of 2% of the value of your purchases, so long as you make the minimum monthly payment on time.

Redeeming rewards is easy. You can apply them as a statement credit to your bill or use them to buy gift cards. You can also ask Citi to send you a check.

Last year we earned nearly $2,000 in cash back with this card. Granted, I paid for our children’s college tuition with the card, but why not? Here’s the email Citi® Double Cash Card sent me on the one year anniversary of getting the card:

Citi Double Cash--Cash Back

0% Introductory Rate

The card offers a 0% APR introductory rate for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% fee of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater. This 0% deal compares favorably to the other no interest offers we track.

Other Perks

The Citi® Double Cash Card as a long list of additional benefits:

  • A late fee pass: Citi gives you a pass on your first late fee.
  • Citi® Private Pass®: As a Citi cardmember you’ll get access to purchase tickets to thousands of entertainment events and special experiences; including VIP packages, preferred & presale tickets to live concerts, family and comedy shows, plus sports clinics with celebrity athletes and culinary events with top chefs.
  • Citi Price Rewind: After you make a purchase, Citi searches for a lower price. If they find a lower price within 60 days, you can get a refund of the difference up to $300 per item (up to $1,200 per year).
  • EMV Chip Technology: The card has an EMV chip for added security.
  • Damage & Theft Purchase Protection: You are covered up to $1,000 per item, up to $50,000 per year if purchases made with your Citi card are damaged or stolen within 120 days of purchase (90 days for New York residents).
  • Extended Warranty: You may be able to add up to a year on your warranty of five years or less. You’re covered for up to $10,000 per year.
  • Citi with Apple Pay: You can use ApplePay with your Citi® Double Cash Card.
  • Citi® Identity Theft Solutions: Citi offers assistance if your identity is stolen.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized charges
  • The Lost Wallet® Service: Citi will replace your card usually within 24 hours. They will also provide you with emergency cash subject to your available cash advance limit.
  • Worldwide Car Rental Insurance: You may be covered against theft or damage up to $50,000 for any rental car in any country when you pay with your Citi card and decline the rental company’s collision loss/damage insurance.
  • Trip Cancellation & Interruption Protection: If certain unforeseen events get in the way of your trip, you may be reimbursed for non–refundable trip expenses, like change fees, up to $1,500 per year provided you paid for the trip with your Citi card.
  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance: Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance may offer some financial help to you or your loved ones if a tragic accident does occur, up to $250,000 in compensation.
  • Our Concierge Service: Similar to a personal assistant, Citi’s concierge service is available 24/7 to help you with everything from making travel arrangements and dinner reservations, to ordinary conveniences like scheduling a cleaning service and finding a dog walker.

What we like about the Citi Double Cash Card

  • Excellent cash back rewards
  • Rewards can be redeemed in several ways, including a statement credit or check
  • No annual fee
  • Very good 0% APR offer on balance transfers and purchases
  • Excellent services from Citibank

What could be better

  • Requires Excellent Credit
    Excellent Credit
    Credit cards for excellent credit are
    intended for those with a credit score of 700 or Higher.
    Get Your Free Score
  • Foreign transaction fee makes card not ideal for overseas travel
  • No bonus offer on sign-up

Summary

  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49 – 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The only card that earns you cash back TWICE on every purchase with:
  • 1% cash back when you buy
  • Plus 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases, whether you pay in full or over time*
  • No Category Restrictions, No Caps, No Enrollments in Rotating Categories
  • No Annual Fee
  • Regular Purchase APR: 13.49%-23.49% (Variable)
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: None for the first late payment; up to $35 after that.
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase.
  • Ideal for those who want a solid cash back card
  • A good choice for those looking for a 0% APR introductory rate
  • Well suited for those wanting a rewards card with no annual fee
  • Requires Excellent Credit
    Excellent Credit
    Credit cards for excellent credit are
    intended for those with a credit score of 700 or Higher.
    Get Your Free Score

Citi® Simplicity Card Review – 0% for 21 Months

The Citi Simplicity® Card is, well, simple. As the name suggests, the card does one thing, and it does it really well. It offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months.

With this card there is no annual fee and there are no late fees or over the limit fees. This is a basic credit card with no rewards program but an excellent 0% offer. Its 0% introductory rate on balance transfers and purchases lasts for 21 months is the longest available offer we’ve been able to find anywhere.

Compare Your Options

    • Citi Simplicity Card: 0% on balance transfers for 21 months with a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is less;
    • Discover it® Cashback Match™ with No Annual Fee: 0% for 18 months + double cash back the first year
    • Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard®0% intro APR for 15 months + NO balance transfer fee
    • Chase Slate: 0% for 15 months with no balance transfer fee for transfers initiated in the first 60 days of account openining + no annual fee + free access to your monthly FICO score

Citi Simplicity® Card Review

Here are the card details in a nutshell:

  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% – 23.49% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • No late fees – Ever
  • No penalty rate – Ever
  • No annual fee – Ever
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day.

0% Offer

The Citi Simplicity card comes with a dual 0% offer on balance transfers for 21 months and on purchases for 21 months. A balance transfer fee of 3% (minimum $5) will apply to all amounts transferred to the card. There are no fees associated with the 0% on purchases offer.

Your variable APR will be 13.49% – 23.49% based on your creditworthiness. This rate may change based on the prime rate.

Citi provides the following instructions on using the balance transfer offer:

1. After receiving your card, you may call the customer service number on the back of your card to transfer balances. However, if you are presented with the option to transfer a balance with your application, it will take at least 14 days after your account is opened to process balance transfer payments. During this time you may cancel or modify your balance transfer request by calling the number on the back of your card.

2. You may transfer any amount, but the total amount of your balance transfers and balance transfer fees must be less than your available credit limit. Be sure you do not transfer any disputed purchase or other charge amount, as you may lose your dispute rights. You cannot transfer balances from other accounts issued by Citibank, N.A. or its affiliates.

3. Continue to make payments on your other accounts until you have confirmed this balance transfer has been received. Once approved, we pay the amount of the balance transfer directly to that issuer. The available credit limit for your new card will be reduced by the total amount of the transfers, including fees, we approve.

barclay ringLooking for a balance transfer card without a balance transfer fee?  The Barclaycard Ring™ MasterCard®.  The card offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months and also includes NO balance transfer fee.  The ongoing APR is a low 13.99% variable and includes access to a monthly free FICO score.

Fees

One very nice feature with this card is its fee structure. If charges no annual fee. Further, it doesn’t charge late fees or penalty rates. That’s not to suggest that you should pay your credit card bill late. Late payments hurt your credit score, and you’ll of course pay interest on the outstanding balance.

Additional Benefits

This card offers a variety of additional benefits for being a card member. Here is a list of some of the these benefits:

  • Citi Price Rewind: Register an item you purchased with your card and Citi will track prices at hundreds of online merchants for 60 days from your purchase date. If Citi finds a lower price you can request a refund of the price difference, up to $300 per item and up to $1,200 per calendar year.
  • Extended Warranty: Add up to a year on your warranty of five years or less when you make purchases with your Citi card. You may be covered for up to $10,000 per calendar year.
  • Choose your Payment Due Date: You can choose to pay your bill on any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month.
  • Automatic Account Alerts: Once you’ve set up alerts, Citi will remind you about your balance levels, payments due, or when you go over your credit limit, by email or directly on your mobile phone.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% – 23.49% based on your creditworthiness.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • No late fees – Ever
  • No penalty rate – Ever
  • No annual fee – Ever
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day.
  • Regular Purchase APR:13.49 – 23.49% (Variable)
  • Penalty APR: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Late Payment Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each purchase transaction in US dollars.
  • Ideal for those looking for a 0% balance transfer offer
  • Also perfect for those wanting 0% on purchases for an extended period
  • Well suited for those wanting a rewards card with no annual fee
  • Requires excellent credit

Citi Diamond Preferred Card Review

The Citi Diamond Preferred card combines three key features. It offers one of the longest 0% offers on purchases and balance transfers. To this it combines points rewards on purchases and no annual fee.

This card from Citi is unique in two ways. First, it offers the longest available 0% offer on balance transfers and purchases. Second, unlike many top balance transfer cards, it offers a points rewards program.  In this review we’ll look at its key features, including the 0% offer. We’ll also cover fees and rates, as well as other Citi perks that come with the card.

Compare Your Options

  • Citi Diamond Preferred card: 0% on balance transfers for 21 months with a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is less
  • Discover it® Cashback Match with No Annual Fee: 0% for 18 months + double cash back the first year
  • Chase Slate: 0% for 15 months with no balance transfer fee for transfers initiated in the first 60 days of account openining + no annual fee + free access to your monthly FICO score

Review

Snapshot

Here are the key features of the Citi Diamond Preferred credit card:

  • Get 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the APR will be 12.49% – 22.49% based upon your creditworthiness.*
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer.
  • Citi Easy Deals(SM) Get what you want for less. Earn Citi Easy Deals Points for the purchases you make with your card. Redeem your points for great online deals on name-brand merchandise, gift cards and even local deals.
  • Let our 24/7 concierge service help book your hotel rooms, flights and more.
  • $0 liability on unauthorized purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • No annual fee*
  • More details: Citi Diamond Preferred credit card

0% Introductory Rate

One of the best features of the Citi Diamond Preferred credit card is its 0% rate. On balance transfers the card offers 0% for 18 months and 0% for 18 months on purchases. The regular APR is between 12.49% – 22.49%, based on your creditworthiness.

Additional Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Details

This card offers a variety of additional benefits for being a card member. Here is a list of some of the additional benefits the card offers:

  • Concierge Service: The Diamond Preferred Concierge Service can take care of just about everything, from booking flights and hotel rooms to purchasing concert tickets or making restaurant reservations. This service is also available 24/7 anywhere in the world.
  • Citi® Easy DealsSMEnjoy members only savings with Citi Easy Deals, on a benefit that gives you access to great online deals on brands like Gap, CVS and Footlocker.
  • $0 Liability on Unauthorized Charges: Shop anywhere and never lose a penny on unauthorized charges. With $0 Liability you won’t pay for any unauthorized charges made on your Citi credit card.
  • Travel & Emergency Assistance: You’re protected when you’re traveling in the U.S. and abroad. Travel & Emergency Assistance include medical and legal referrals, lost luggage assistance, emergency transportation, and translation services. Also included in this service are MasterTrip Travel Assistance, Travel Services Medical Assistance and MasterLegal Referral Service.
  • Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance: Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance is a type of coverage that you hope to never need, but it may offer some financial help to you or your loved ones if a tragic accident does occur, up to $250,000 in compensation.
  • Citi with Apple Pay: With a simple touch you can pay in-app or at over 200,000 stores with the iPhone® 6, or in-app with the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3. Plus, you’ll still enjoy all of the security and benefits that come with your Citi card when you use Apple Pay to check out.

Best Airline Miles Credit Cards of 2016

The best airline miles credit cards enable you to earn frequent flyer miles with every purchase. And many of the credit card offers listed below come with bonus points that allow you to earn a free plane ticket very quickly. The offers are organized into two categories.

First, we list those all-purpose travel cards that offer excellent rewards. With these cards, you can use points or miles on any airline. Then will list airline specific cards. These are ideal if you frequently fly on the same airline.

All-Purpose Travel Reward Cards

Editor’s Pick: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns top honors for an all-purpose travel rewards card. Its 2x points for every $1 spent and $50,000 bonus points for new cardmembers lead the pack in the travel category.
Credit Card Travel Rewards Rate Sign-Up Bonus Annual Fee
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card 2 miles per $1 spent 40,000 Miles* $0 intro for the first year, $59 after that
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Up to 2 points per $1 spent 50,000 Points** $0 the first year, then $95
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® 2X miles on all purchases 50,000 Miles*** $89 (waived the first year)
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. 20,000 Points***** $0

*Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel.

**Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

***Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days; that’s enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit.

****Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening –  redeemable for $500 in gift cards, $625 for airfare, or other great rewards.

*****20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days –  that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases

Airline Miles Cards

Editor’s Pick: My favorite airline card is the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card. It gets my vote for two reasons. It offers an excellent signup bonus of 50,000 miles. And it’s a great airline to fly.

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Credit Card Travel Rewards Sign-Up Bonus Annual Fee
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card 2 Points Per $1 on Travel Purchases 50,000 Miles* $99
Citi®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® 2 Miles per dollar on American Airlines, 1 Mile on other purchases 30,000 Miles** $95, waived for first 12 Months
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® 2 Miles per dollar on American Airlines, 1 Mile on other purchases 50,000 Miles*** $450
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. 30,000 Miles**** $0 intro for the first year, then $95
United MileagePlus Explorer Card Double Miles Earned on United Ticket Purchases 30,000 Miles***** $0 intro for the first year, then $95

*Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

**Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

***Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

****Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months.

*****Start with 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.


2016 Credit Card Signup Bonuses

Credit card companies roll out the red carpet to get new card members. From cash to points to miles, signup bonuses abound from top card issuers. It’s for that reason that I complied this exhaustive list of credit card signup bonuses, deals, and promotions for 2016.

The list starts with the highest bonuses, and then is organized by type of bonus (cash, points, or miles) and by type of card (business and student cards).

As you review this list keep a few things in mind:

  • The signup bonus, while certainly a nice perk, is only one factor to consider when comparing the cards;
  • The higher the signup bonus, the higher then spending requirement you’ll need to meet to get it;
  • The higher the signup bonus, the higher the annual fee; and
  • The value of points or miles can vary depending on how you use them.

With that, let’s get to the list:

Best Signup Bonuses

Here are the cards that offer some of the highest bonuses currently available:

Credit Card Signup Bonus Spend Requirement Annual Fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 50,000 Points $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Intro $0 the first year, then $95
Value: $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Ink Plus Business Credit Card  60,000 Points $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $95
Value: $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Cash Signup Bonuses

As the saying goes, cash is king. The following credit cards pay a cash bonus when you spend a set amount within a certain period of time. Keep in mind that many of the points and miles offers can be converted to cash or statement credits.

Credit Card Signup Bonus Spend Requirement Annual Fee
Chase Freedom $150 $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. $0
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express $150 $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. $95 ($75 if application is received by 8/3/16)
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card $150  $500 on purchases within the first 3 months  $0
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express $100 $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. $0
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card $100 $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. $0
Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® $200 $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days after account opening. $0

Miles Signup Bonuses

Here you’ll find the top miles bonuses, followed by the top points deals in the next section. There really is, however, no practical difference between points and miles.

Airlines typically call their rewards “miles,” although there are exceptions. British Airways calls them “Avios.” Go figure. Southwest Airlines calls them points, but we know Southwest just likes to be different (remember how they board planes). Most hotel cards and non-branded travel cards call rewards points, but again, their are exceptions. The Capital One Venture Rewards card calls its rewards “miles.”

So why did I divide them between miles and points? Simplicity. With that said, here are the Miles promotions:

Credit Card Signup Bonus Spend Requirement Annual Fee
Citi®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® 30,000 Miles $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. $95, waived for first 12 Months
Value: Round-tip award travel starts at 25,000 miles (Source: AAdvantage Mileage Chart)
United MileagePlus Explorer Card 30,000 Miles  $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. $0 intro for the first year, then $95
Value: Round-trip award travel starts at 20,000 miles (Source: United Mileage Chart)
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express 30,000 Miles $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. (limited time offer) $0 for the first year, then $95
Value: Round-trip award travel starts at 20,000 miles (Source: Delta Mileage Chart)
British Airways Visa Signature card 50,000 Avios $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. $95
Value: Round-trip award travel starts at 9,000 Avios (Source: Avios Award Map) Note: This will go up to 15,000 Avios starting Feb. 2, 2016 (Source: British Airways)
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® 50,000 Miles $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. $89 (waived the first year)
Value: $500 travel statement credit

Points Signup Bonuses

Here are the points promotions. As with miles, it’s not enough to simply compare these bonuses in absolute terms. You need to understand the value of the points when you redeem them. Often, the value depends on how you redeem the points.

Credit Card Signup Bonus Spend Requirement Annual Fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 50,000 Points $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Intro $0 the first year, then $95
Value: $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Value: $500 in gift cards, $625 for airfare, or other great rewards.
Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card 80,000 Points $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening $85
Value: Free night stays start at 7,500 points for Category 1 properties (Source: Marriott Rewards Chart)
IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card 60,000 Points $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. $0 for first year, then $49 annually
Value: Free night stays start at 10,000 points (Source: IHG Reward Chart)
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card 50,000 Points $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open $99
Value: Varies based on flight.
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card 40,000 Points $1,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. $0
Value: Free night stats start at 5,000 points (Source: Hilton)
Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Reserve® Card 75,000 Points $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. $0
Value: Free night stats start at 5,000 points (Source: Hilton)
Citi Prestige® Card 40,000 Points $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. $450
Value: Points are redeemable for an $800 flight on American Airlines or US Airways®, a $665 flight on any other airline or $500 in gift cards.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card-Earn 20,000 Bonus Points 20,000 Points $1,500 in card purchases within 3 months of account opening. $0
Value: $200 in gift cards.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express 25,000 Points $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. $0 intro annual fee for first year, then $95
Value: Free night stats start at 3,000 Starpoints (Source: Starwood)
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express 25,000 Points $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Intro $0 for first year, then $195
Value: Up to $250 depending on method of redemption
The Platinum Card® from American Express 40,000 Points $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months. $450
Value: Up to $400 depending on method of redemption
The Amex Everyday® Credit Card from American Express 10,000 Points $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. $0
Value: Up to $100 depending on method of redemption
U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® card 20,000 Points $3,500 in Net Purchases (purchases minus credits and returns) on your Card within the first four months of account opening. $0 intro* for the first year, then $49*
Value: Up to $400 if used for an airline ticket.

Business Card Signup Bonuses

As a small business owner, I know the value of a good credit card. These deals span all categories, cash, miles and points.

Credit Card Signup Bonus Spend Requirement Annual Fee
SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express $400  $5,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership + $10,000 spent in the first year $0
Capital One® Spark® Cash Select for Business $200 $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months $0
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business $500 $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months $0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business  50,000 Miles $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months  $0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Ink Cash Business Credit Card $200 $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening $0
Capital One® Spark® Miles Select for Business 20,000 Miles $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months $0
Ink Plus Business Credit Card 60,000 Points $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  $95
Bank of America® WorldPoints® Travel Rewards for Business Visa® credit card $100 $500 in purchases within 60 days of account opening $0
Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Business MasterCard® credit card $100 $500 in purchases within 60 days of account opening  $0
The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN 25,000 Points $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership  $0 for the first year, then $175
The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN 20,000 Points 10,000 points after making a purchase within the first 3 months $0
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN 75,000 Points  (50,000 points) – $10,000 spent in the first three months (25,000 points) – $10,000 additional spent in the first three months $450
CitiBusiness® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® 50,000 Miles $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening $95, waived for first 12 months
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card From American Express 25,000 Points $5,000 in purchases within the first three months  $0 intro for first year, then $95

Student Card Signup Bonuses

Finally, for college students, here are some signup offers on cards with no annual fees.

Credit Card Bonus Spend Requirement Annual Fee
Discover it® for Students – New! Good Grades Rewards $20  Each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.  $0
Discover it® chrome for Students – New! Good Grades Rewards $20  Each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.  $0
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students 2,500 Points $500 within the first 3 months of cardmembership.  $0

 


American Express Credit Cards

I’ve carried American Express credit cards for years. It started with the iconic Green American Express many years ago. Since then I’ve carried the Gold card, Platinum Card, TrueEarnings CostCo card (no longer available), and the Blue Cash Preferred card. Yes, I’m an Amex fan.

Today Amex offers a wide variety of cards with excellent rewards. It offers top notch travel rewards, cash back, and even 0% introductory rate offers on balance transfers and purchases. The list below starts with consumer cards, followed by Amex business credit cards.

American Express Personal Credit Cards

Editor’s Pick: My favorite consumer Amex card is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. With cash back of up to 6%, the $75 annual fee is well worth the cost. The $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months helps, too.

The Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express
  • Rewards: 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • Bonus: Earn 10,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months
  • 0% Offer: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
  • Annual Fee: $0
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
  • Rewards: 3% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 2% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept stores, 1% other purchases.
  • Bonus: Get $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $100 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • 0% Offer: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
  • Annual Fee: $0
The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express
  • Rewards: 3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • Bonus: Earn 15,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Bonus #2: Make 30 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and get 50% extra points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • 0% Offer: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
  • Annual Fee: $95
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • Rewards: 6% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 3% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept stores, 1% other purchases.
  • Bonus: $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • 0% Offer: 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
  • Annual Fee: $75
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express
  • Rewards: 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.  $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Bonus: Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 0% Offer: N/A
  • Annual Fee: There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $195.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Rewards: 2X Membership Rewards® points on each dollar of eligible purchases, 1X Membership Rewards® points for every eligible dollar you spend. $200 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Bonus: Get 40,000 points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • 0% Offer: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $450
Hilton HHonors™ Card from American Express
  • Rewards: Get 7X Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton Portfolio. Get 5X Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Bonus: Get 80,000 Hilton HHonors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Enjoy complimentary Silver status with your Hilton HHonors™ Card.
  • 0% Offer: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
  • Rewards: Earn up to 5 Starpoints on eligible purchases, & 1 Starpoint on all other purchases.
  • Bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 0% Offer: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for first year, then $95
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
  • Rewards: Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. Check your first bag free on every Delta flight
  • Bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months. Additionally, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • 0% Offer: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for first year, then $95

American Express Business Credit Cards

Editor’s Pick:For Amex business cards, I give the top pick to the SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express. As a small business owner, I know the value of 5% cash back on office supplies and wireless. Add to that 3% cash back on a category of your choice and no annual fee, and this card is a clear winner.

The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
  • Rewards: Get 3x points – Choose 1 out of 5 categories. Plus, 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
  • Bonus: Get 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership
  • 0% Offer: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $175
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
  • Rewards: 2x points when you book online with Amex Travel, 1x point per dollar on all other purchases
  • Bonus: Get 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 in purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership + $10,000 additional in the first three months. (So spend $20,000 total).
  • 0% Offer: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $450
The Plum Card® from American Express OPEN
  • Rewards: Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back.
  • Bonus: N/A
  • 0% Offer: Take up to 60 days to pay with no interest, if you pay your minimum due.
  • Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $250
SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express
  • Rewards: 5% cash back at U.S. office supply stores and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers. 3% cash back on the category of your choice from a list of select categories and 1% cash back on other purchases. 5% and 3% apply to purchases up to $25,000 per rebate year then 1% thereafter. Cash back earned is automatically credited to your statement.
  • Bonus: Earn a one-time $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership & earn an additional $200 after $10,000 is spent in the first year.
  • 0% Offer: 0% introductory APR on purchases for 9 months.
  • Annual Fee: $0
The Blue for Business® Credit Card from American Express OPEN
  • Rewards: 2X points on each dollar of eligible purchases; 1x points on all other purchases. Plus, get 30% more points on purchases with an annual points bonus
  • Bonus: Limited time offer: Get 10X points at U.S. restaurants for the first six months, on up to $2,000 in purchases. Offer expires 02/01/2017. Plus get 2X points on all qualifying purchases on the first $50,000 for the first year. That’s an additional 1 point per dollar spent on purchases.
  • 0% Offer: 0% introductory APR on purchases for 9 months.
  • Annual Fee: $0
Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card From American Express
  • Rewards: Earn up to 5 Starpoints on eligible purchases, & 1 Starpoint on all other purchases.
  • Bonus: Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 0% Offer: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for first year, then $95

The Best Travel Reward Credit Cards of 2017

Travel reward credit cards is a very broad category. It encompasses everything from airline miles cards to more generic rewards cards. Some cards offer miles, others use points. As a result, picking the best travel rewards card can be a challenge.

To narrow down the list, I divide travel cards into four categories:

1 All-purpose travel cards: These cards aren’t part of an airline or hotel brand. Instead they offer miles or points that can be used with any travel. As you’ll see below the top cards in this category offer at least 2% in rewards. The “catch,” if you will, is that these rewards must be used for travel.

2 Airline miles cards: Offered from every major airlines, these cards can offer the highest value in rewards. The key is to understand your travel patterns. These cards are ideal for those who fly frequently with the same airline.

3 Hotel rewards cards: As with airline miles, these cards can offer good rewards for those who stay with the same hotel brand.

4 Specialty cards: Finally, there are some travel cards that don’t fit neatly into the above categories. An Expedia credit card is a good example, and I’ve placed these types of cards in their own category.

For each of these categories I’ll share my top choice, followed by several excellent options.

All-Purpose Travel Rewards Cards

Editor’s Pick: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card earns top honors for an all-purpose travel rewards card. Its 2x points for every $1 spent and $50,000 bonus points for new cardmembers lead the pack in the travel category.
Credit Card Travel Rewards Rate Sign-Up Bonus Annual Fee
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card 2 miles per $1 spent 40,000 Miles* $0 intro for the first year, $59 after that
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card Up to 2 points per $1 spent 50,000 Points** $0 the first year, then $95
Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® 2X miles on all purchases 50,000 Miles***

$89 (waived the first year)

*Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel.

**Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

***Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days; that’s enough to redeem for a $500 travel statement credit.

Airline Miles Cards

Editor’s Pick: My favorite airline card is the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card. It gets my vote for two reasons. It offers an excellent signup bonus of 50,000 miles. And it’s a great airline to fly.

Credit Card Travel Rewards Sign-Up Bonus Annual Fee
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card 2 Points Per $1 on Travel Purchases 50,000 Miles* $99
Citi®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® 2 Miles per dollar on American Airlines, 1 Mile on other purchases 30,000 Miles** $95, waived for first 12 Months
United MileagePlus Explorer Card Double Miles Earned on United Ticket Purchases 30,000 Miles*** $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95

*Earn 50,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

**Earn 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

***Start with 30,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Hotel Rewards Cards

Editor’s Pick: The top pick goes to the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card. It offers excellent value in terms of redemptions, and you can earn free night stays very quickly.

 

Credit Card Travel Rewards Sign-Up Bonus Annual Fee
Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card Earn 5 points on Marriott purchases 80,000 Points* $85
Citi® Hilton HHonorsTM Reserve Card Earn up to 10 bonus points Earn 2 weekend night certificates** $95

*Earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

**Earn 2 weekend night certificates good at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio after you make $2,500 in purchases within 4 months of account opening.

***Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.

Speciality Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Editor’s Pick: For the speciality category the top pick goes to the Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi. The points earned on Expedia purchased coupled with the bonus points and cash bonus easily win this category. Note that the Travelocity Credit Card is no longer available.

Credit Card Travel Rewards Sign-Up Bonus Annual Fee
Priceline Credit Card 3x ThankYou Points on Travel Expenses including gas 5,000 Points* $95, waived for first 12 months
Expedia®+ Voyager Card from Citi 4 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on eligible Expedia purchases including flights, hotels, activities and vacation packages; 2 Expedia+ bonus points per $1 spent on purchases for dining out and entertainment, including tickets to concerts, movies and sporting events; 1 Expedia+ bonus point per $1 spent on other purchases 20,000 Points+ $100** $95

*Earn 5,000 bonus points after your first card purchase – That’s enough to redeem for statement credits totalling $50 toward purchases of $25 or more made in the 120 days before redemption

**Earn a $100 statement credit after your first eligible Expedia purchase greater than $100 within 3 month of account opening. PLUS, earn 20,000 Expedia+ rewards bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening.