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I often tell people that the hardest way to earn frequent flyer miles is to step on an airplane. Even on the carriers that still offer you miles based on the distance you travel, you’ll only earn about 500 miles per hour you spend on an airplane. And you’ll have to spend an entire night in a hotel just to earn a few thousand points in their loyalty program.

In contrast, it takes just a few minutes to sign-up for a credit card that can offer you 50,000 to 100,000 points or miles as a sign-up bonus. 50,000 miles is a competitive offer from an airline card or one that offers points that can be transferred to airline miles. However, the best offers will be in the 60,000 to 100,000-mile range.  With hotel points, a strong offer is one with enough points for at least two free nights in a mid-range hotel. But because hotel points are generally less valuable than airline miles, expect to receive 75,000 to 125,000 points from the best of these offers.

To receive these rewards, you’ll typically have to meet a minimum spending requirement, often $3,000 to $5,000 within three months of account opening. However, some of the most generous offers will have even larger spending requirements. Also, most cards will have an annual fee, although some are waived the first year.

Once you’ve paid an annual fee and received your sign-up bonus, the last thing you’ll want to do is cancel your card. Instead, try it out for a year and see how you like its rewards, benefits and customer service. At the end of your first year, you’ll have all the information you need to decide if it’s worth keeping or not.

10 Major Credit Card Bonuses for February 2020

 

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Welcome offer:  Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles. Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.

Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)

Comment: American Express recently revamped all of its cards, and is featuring a very large welcome offer. It also offers 3x miles on Delta purchases and those made with hotels, as well as 2x miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets.

 

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

Welcome offer:  Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs). Earn 80,000 bonus miles and 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.

Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)

Comment: This newly revamped card now has a very strong welcome offer. Plus, it’s loaded with benefits, the most valuable of which is access to both Delta SkyClubs and the more opulent American Express Centurion lounges.

 

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Welcome offer:  Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of Card Membership. Offer Expires 4/1/2020.

Annual fee: $99, waived the first year (see rates and fees)

Comment: This newly re-launched card now offers 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets, and one mile per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

 

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express

Welcome offer: Earn up to 75,000 Membership Rewards. You earn the first 50,000 after you spend $10,000, and another 25,000 after spending an additional $10,000 within your first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $595 (see rates and fees)

Comment: This is a very attractive sign-up bonus, but it also has very high minimum spending requirements for its tiered bonuses. Still, this can be an attractive offer for small business owners looking to jump start their rewards balances. The annual fee is expensive, but it comes with enough perks, benefits, and travel fee reimbursements to justify it.

 

 United Explorer Card

Welcome offer: Earn up to 60,000 United MileagePlus miles after spending $3,000 within three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Comment: This is a really strong, tiered offer from a card worth keeping. That’s because cardholders receive access to additional saver award seats, making your miles more valuable. Other benefits include up to two United Club passes each year. It also offers you double miles at restaurants and hotels, and up to a $200 Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee credit.

 

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Welcome offer:  Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)

Comment: This card now offers you 6% cashback on up to $6,000 spent each year at U.S. supermarkets and on select U.S. streaming services. You also earn 3% back on gas and transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

 

The Platinum Card® from American Express 

Welcome offer: 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)

Comment: While the card's annual fee is among the very highest, it also comes bundled with up to $200 in annual air travel fee statement credit, and up to $200 in annual Uber credit and up to $100 in credit towards the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application. This card now offers up to a $50 credit towards Saks Fifth Avenue purchases twice a year (registration required). You also earn 5x points per $1 for flights booked through the airline and hotels booked with Amextravel.com.

 

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Welcome offer:  Earn 125,000 bonus points after spending just $2,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. You also get a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)

Comment: This is an excellent offer for a card that offers 12x points at Hilton portfolio hotels, 6x points at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets and gas stations and 3x points on all other purchases. You also receive Gold elite status.

 

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Welcome offer:  Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first three months of Card Membership.

Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees)

Comment: This card offers you 12x at Hilton hotels, 6x at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations and 3x everywhere else. Plus you get Gold status and a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 

Welcome offer:  Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening, worth over $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Annual fee: $95

Comment: This card is a perennial favorite for travel rewards enthusiasts, as you can transfer your points to airline and hotel partners.

 

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