June 21, 2021

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It’s Time to Fly

Best Credit Card Bonuses and Deals This Week: May 31, 2021

10 min read

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It’s a great time to consider opening a new credit card, as issuers continue to launch elevated offers and promotions geared toward those who are planning travel now that the world is opening up again.

Taking advantage of an increased credit card bonus now can set you up with points you can use for flights, hotels, and more when you’re finally ready to hit the road. Some cards have boosted their welcome offers to over 100,000 points, including a number of record-high bonuses that won’t be around forever.

Here are some of the best credit card offers to consider this week.

Regular APR

See Pay Over Time APR

Featured Reward

75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of card membership

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott (enrollment required)
    • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
    Cons
    • Bonus categories leave something to be desired
    • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards
    • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
    • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
    • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
    • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
    • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties. Learn More.
    • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
    • $550 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.

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    Transferable credit card points are best if you value flexibility because there are so many ways to redeem them. With programs like American Express Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards, and Capital One Rewards, you’ve got options that include:

    Our top picks for this week include one of the best cards with premium travel and shopping benefits, The Platinum Card® from American Express.

    Capital One miles recently became even more useful with the addition of four new transfer partners and airport lounges coming later this year. You could get at least $1,000 in travel from the 100,000-mile welcome bonus on the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card — and potentially even more value if you transfer miles to airline and hotel partners for award travel.

    Read more: Amex and Chase points are the two most valuable types of credit card rewards — here are their biggest differences

    And don’t overlook our under-the-radar pick — the Citi Premier® Card. Along with a substantial welcome bonus, the card offers excellent earnings in categories that fit well whether you’re sticking close to home or on the road. You’ll earn 3x points on air travel, gas stations, restaurants, supermarkets, and hotels, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

    Regular APR

    15.99%–20.99% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    100,000 points after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • High sign-up bonus
    • Offers 3x bonus points on several spending categories, including travel and advertising purchases
    • Includes comprehensive travel coverage
    Cons
    • Welcome bonus has a very high minimum spending requirement
    • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
    • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
    • With Zero Liability you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
    • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more – your points don’t expire as long as your account is open
    • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account
    • $95 Annual Fee

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    If you’re a small-business owner, opening a small-business credit card can offer a lot of benefits. Keeping your business and personal expenses separate makes it easier to keep track of expenses, and many cards offer bonus points, miles, or cash back in popular business spending categories.

    Read more: The best small-business credit cards of 2021

    You don’t have to own a full-time business or make millions to be eligible to apply — even if you’re a freelancer or have a side gig, you could qualify for a small-business card. The Business Platinum Card® from American Express and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card are both offering 100,000 points after meeting minimum spending requirements, and, depending on how you redeem them, you could get a value of $1,800 or more from these bonuses.

    Annual Fee

    $95 (waived the first year)

    Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable APR

    Featured Reward

    20% back on Amazon.com purchases (up to $200 back) in your first 6 months of Card Membership, plus $150 back as a statement credit after you spend $3,000 on the Card within the first 6 months

    Intro APR

    0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from account opening

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Generous bonus rewards, especially at U.S. supermarkets
    • One of a small handful of credit cards that offer bonus rewards on select streaming services
    • Intro APR offer
    Cons
    • Unlike many other cash-back cards, it charges an annual fee
    • If you spend more than $6,000 at US supermarkets each year, you’ll want to use another card once you reach that cap
    • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
    • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
    • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
    • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
    • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
    • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
    • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
    • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
    • Terms Apply.

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    Our top pick for the best cash-back credit card overall, the Citi® Double Cash Card, doesn’t currently offer a welcome bonus. And other excellent options, like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited®, aren’t exclusively cash-back cards (though they’re marketed that way).

    Read more: The best cash back credit cards of 2021

    Right now, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has an elevated welcome bonus that is particularly good for those who shop at Amazon. You’ll also earn 6% cash back on your first $6,000 in U.S. supermarket spending each year (then 1% back), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back on U.S. gas stations and transit, and 1% back on all other eligible purchases (cash back is earned in the form of Rewards Dollars). 

    Regular APR

    16.49% – 23.49% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open, plus an additional 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Substantial sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 miles
    • A free first and second checked bag can save you and a companion up to $320 round-trip
    • Up to $125 in annual credits toward United purchases can offset half the annual fee
    • 5,000-mile award flight credit can help you stretch your United miles
    Cons
    • High $250 annual fee
    • Card doesn’t offer United Club lounge access or passes
    • Earn 80k bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, an additional 20k bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first 6 months
    • $250 Annual Fee
    • Earn 3X miles on United® purchases, 2X miles at restaurants, on select streaming services & all other travel, 1X on all other purchases
    • Earn 3X miles on United Airlines purchases
    • Earn 2X miles at restaurants and on select streaming services
    • Earn 2X miles on all other travel
    • Earn 1X mile on all other purchases
    • Each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.

    If you’re a United Airlines flyer, you’re spoiled for choice right now with a whopping five Chase United credit cards with increased bonuses to pick from. Because United miles don’t expire, it’s a great time to earn more United MileagePlus miles for a trip when you’re ready to travel again.

    Read more: The best airline credit cards of 2021

    This includes the new New United Quest℠ Card, which is a great option if you check luggage on United flights frequently — it offers two free checked bags for yourself and a companion when you use the card to pay for your ticket (or the taxes and fees on an award ticket).

    Meanwhile, Southwest fans have another reason to look at the three personal Southwest cards. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card are each offering an increased bonus of 65,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

    Annual Fee

    $89 (waived the first year)

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Anniversary reward night can be worth more than the annual fee
    Cons
    • Could offer better rewards on non-IHG purchases
    • Earn 150,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
    • Enjoy a Reward Night after each account anniversary year at eligible IHG hotels worldwide. Plus, enjoy a reward night when you redeem points for any stay of 4 or more nights
    • Earn up to 25 points total per $1 spent when you stay at an IHG hotel
    • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Platinum Elite status as long as you remain a Premier card member
    • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit of up to $100 every 4 years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card
    • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental®, Crowne Plaza®, Kimpton®, EVEN® Hotels, Indigo® Hotels & Holiday Inn®

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    Several hotel credit cards are offering increased bonuses — including all-time-high points offers on the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, Hilton Honors American Express Card, and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
    .

    Read more: The best hotel credit cards of 2021

    There’s also a limited-time 100,000-point offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card to consider. Keep in mind that most hotel chains, including Marriott and Hilton, have temporarily paused points expiration due to the pandemic, so there’s no harm in earning points now for a vacation down the road.

    Jasmin Baron is an associate editor at Personal Finance Insider, where she helps readers maximize rewards and find the best credit cards to fit their lifestyles. She has covered credit cards, points and miles, and loyalty programs for over seven years, and she’s a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF).

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