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This May several of our favorite credit cards are enticing new cardholders with excellent introductory offers. First and foremost, in a plot twist we didn’t see coming, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card surprised us with the return of its limited-time 80,000-point introductory bonus in late April, one of its highest ever. Meanwhile, the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card continues to entice with a 75,000-mile welcome bonus. The card, which grants double miles on every purchase, is going all-in on travel with branded airport lounges and a new hotel collection program, providing benefits competitive with premium Chase and American Express cards. And, finally, let’s not overlook the low annual fee, perk-heavy IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card—one of our top picks for small business owners and small proprietors–which has elevated its welcome offer to a best-ever 165,000 points.
There are many excellent and enticing offers at the moment—here are our six picks to consider right now and why.
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Best for: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is best for those who want a solid travel credit card that earns points quickly but has a low annual fee.
Why now? Summer travel is around the corner, and Chase Sapphire Preferred is offering the opportunity to earn lots of points through its limited-time welcome offer.
Welcome offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on new purchases within the first three months of having the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can cash those bonus points out for 1.25 cents apiece—a value equal to $1,000—on travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Annual fee: $95
Earn points: Earn five points per dollar spent on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and on Lyft rides, three points per dollar on dining (including takeout, eligible delivery services, and international restaurants), select streaming services (including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, FuboTV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, and YouTube TV), and on online grocery purchases (except for Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs). Earn two points per dollar on travel not booked through Chase (including airfare, hotels, trains, rideshares, and more) and earn one point per dollar on other purchases.
Credits: Earn $50 back each year in statement credits for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Also, cardholders earn bonus points equivalent to 10 percent of the total purchases they made the previous year. For example, if you spend $25,000 during the year, you will earn 2,500 bonus points.
Key perks: Chase points are exceptionally versatile and can be transferred to 11 airlines and three hotel partners, including Hyatt, Southwest, United, and Air Canada Aeroplan. This means cardholders can rack up points on everyday spending then convert them into points or miles with the partner program they choose when they need them for a specific redemption. Chase points can also be redeemed at 1.25 cents apiece for bookings through the Chase travel portal or with select categories, which change quarterly, under the “Pay Yourself Back” feature.
2. Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Best for: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is best for those who want an excellent travel credit card that pays for itself through credits, benefits, lounge access, and a rewarding earnings structure while also offering flexibility in redeeming points.
Why now? Capital One is rolling out its own collection of airport lounges for cardholders and has launched its new Premier Collection, offering special perks at hundreds of hotels globally.
Welcome offer: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
Annual fee: $395
Earn points: Earn 10 miles per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and five miles per dollar spent on flights booked through Capital One Travel. All other purchases earn two miles per dollar spent.
Credits: When booking through Capital One Travel, receive up to $300 in statement credits. Get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Credit once every four years (up to $100). Receive an annual 10,000 bonus miles after your account anniversary.
Key perks: Access Capital One Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and Plaza Premium lounges at airports. The card is also smart for those who plan to add cardholders to their accounts. Up to four can be added at no cost. Priority Pass lounge membership and access to Capital One and Plaza Premium airport lounges extends to each of these additional cardholders at no extra cost. As far as redemptions go, miles transfer to 16 airline and hotel partners.
3. IHG® Rewards Premier Business Credit Card
Best for: The IHG Rewards Premier Business Credit Card is best for IHG loyalists (or even those who occasionally stay at properties within the IHG portfolio) who can take advantage of the card’s great perks and earnings potential.
Why now? This is the highest welcome offer to date on the business card.
Welcome offer: Earn 165,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months. (The standard offer ranges between 125,000 and 140,000 points.)
Annual fee: $99
Earn points: Earn 26 points per dollar (yes, you read that correctly) on purchases made at IHG hotels and resorts and five points per dollar on all non-IHG travel, gas stations, select advertising, and restaurants. Earn three points per dollar on everything else.
Credits: Get a credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck or Nexus application fee (worth up to $100) once every four years.
Key perks: You’ll automatically gain Platinum Elite status, which usually requires either 40 nights each year or earning 60,000 qualifying points at IHG properties. Top perks of Platinum Elite status include late checkout, complimentary room upgrades (space available), complimentary Wi-Fi, and 60 percent bonus points on hotel purchases. Also earn an Anniversary Free Night certificate every year of card membership, valued at 40,000 points. (For hotels costing more than 40,000 points per night, cardholders can top off the certificate by pulling from their existing points balance.)
4. The Platinum Card® from American Express
Best for: The Platinum Card from American Express is best for those who value luxury benefits on land and in the air, including the best in airport lounge access, and understand such benefits (plus a program that includes copious statement credits) far outweigh a hefty annual fee. The card is also best for those who plan to add cardholders to their accounts. Select benefits—specifically a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit and that unbeatable lounge access—extend to every cardholder (which is not the case with most other cards).
Why now? A good introductory welcome offer, travel benefits aplenty, and excellent benefits for additional cardholders.
Welcome offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after spending $6,000 in the first six months of card membership. (Terms apply.)
Annual fee: $695 (See rates and fees.)
Earn points: Earn five points per dollar spent on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 per calendar year, and on prepaid hotel bookings made through American Express Travel. Earn one point per dollar on everything else.
Credits: Statement credits include up to $200 per calendar year on airline incidentals, $200 per calendar year on Fine Hotels + Resorts or the Hotel Collection bookings (minimum two-night stay) with American Express Travel, up to $200 annually for Uber/UberEats (given in Uber Cash), up to $100 annually at Saks Fifth Avenue, up to $240 annually on digital entertainment (applicable toward charges on Hulu, Disney+, SiriusXM, and the New York Times), up to $300 annually toward select Equinox gym memberships, a $155 Walmart+ Credit (to cover the monthly membership cost of Walmart+), and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit (worth up to $100) once every four years (for every cardholder). Enrollment required for select benefits; terms apply.
Key perks: The best in airport lounge access (including Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges, and more) plus Gold elite status in Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, which extends to both primary and additional cardholders; in terms of points spending, Amex Membership Rewards points transfer to 19 airlines and three hotel partners, including Delta, Hilton, and Air Canada Aeroplan.
5. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Why now? Summer travel is around the corner, and Chase Sapphire Reserve carries the most thorough travel coverage of any credit card on the market, hands down.
Welcome offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on new purchases within the first three months. You can cash those bonus points out for 1.50 cents apiece—a value equal to $900—on travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
Annual fee: $550
Earn points: Earn 10 points per dollar spent on hotel and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards, five points per dollar spent on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards, three points per dollar on dining, including takeout and international restaurants, and three points per dollar on travel not booked through Chase—including airfare, hotels, trains, rideshares, and more. Earn one point per dollar on other purchases.
Credits: Earn $300 back each year in statement credits for travel purchases, effectively reducing the annual fee to $250. Also, receive up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck or Nexus credit every four years.
Key perks: Get Priority Pass Select Membership, allowing access to more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world in the Priority Pass network plus access to the current and upcoming Chase Sapphire Lounges by the Club (and the Sapphire Terrace). Moreover, Chase points are exceptionally versatile and can be transferred to 11 airlines and three hotel partners. Chase points can also be redeemed at 1.50 cents apiece for bookings through the Chase travel portal or with select categories, which change quarterly, under the “Pay Yourself Back” feature.
6. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
Best for: The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card is best for those who want extra perks at Hilton properties and airport lounge access, plus the chance to earn several free hotel stays without paying a large annual fee.
Why now? The card is offering 130,000 Hilton Bonus Points and one Free Night Reward. The card also has earnings multipliers in select key categories, making it easy to rack up points quickly through spending.
Welcome offer: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points and One Free Night Reward after spending $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. Terms apply.
Annual fee: $95 (See rates and fees.)
Earn points: Earn 12 points per dollar at properties in the Hilton portfolio, six points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, and three points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
Credits: No credits
Key perks: Get 10 free lounge visits to 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges for every year enrolled in Priority Pass Select Membership through the Surpass card. No other personal credit card at this fee level offers such lounge access. Also, get Hilton Honors Gold Status with card membership. Benefits of Gold status include the following at stays within the Hilton umbrella: space-available room upgrades, complimentary WiFi, and on-property food and beverage credits daily (the amount of which varies by brand, but for luxury brands like Waldorf Astoria run an impressive $50 per room per day, assuming two guests per room).
This article was most recently updated on May 12, 2023. While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they are subject to change at any time, and may have changed or may no longer be available.