September 21, 2021

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It’s Time to Fly

Best Credit Card Deals and Bonuses This Week: August 23, 2021

12 min read

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If you’re making plans for a winter getaway or just want to earn cash back you can use for anything, it’s a great time to open a new credit card. Almost all of the big credit card issuers have recently launched huge offers and even brand-new cards, including some with record-high welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more — but many are for a limited time.

These include one of the most exciting offers we’ve ever seen — a record-high bonus of 100,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Chase recently announced major upgrades to the card, including up to $50 per year in Chase Travel Portal hotel booking credits and improved earning in certain categories.

There’s also an excellent offer on The Platinum Card® from American Express
to earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership, plus 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership. Amex recently raised the annual fee to $695 (See Rates), but also added numerous new benefits that can more than offset the fee bump.

Read more: The best current credit card offers of August 2021

Last week, Capital One introduced a bundle of new cards, including two student credit cards and three refreshed versions of its popular Spark Cash small-business cards. 

Other improved offers to consider include rarely seen welcome bonuses on the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card and The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, new bonuses on three Amex Hilton cards, and a 5x grocery bonus on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

If you need to boost your stash of airline miles, it’s worth looking at the six-figure bonuses on Chase’s Avios-earning cards, and increased offers for the United℠ Explorer Card, United Gateway℠ Card, and United℠ Business Card.

With new offers popping up constantly, you’ve got a terrific opportunity to take advantage of an increased credit card bonus now, so you’re set up with points you can use for flights, hotels, and more when you’re finally ready to hit the road.

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

Best credit card offers this week

Flexible rewards credit card bonuses

Regular APR

15.99% – 23.99% Variable

Credit Score

Good to Excellent

Featured Reward

80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Strong sign-up bonus
    • Generous bonus categories
    Cons
    • Doesn’t offer much in the way of statement credits or other perks
    • Citi ThankYou Rewards may not be as convenient as other points for US-based travelers
    • Earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
    • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
    • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
    • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
    • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
    • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
    • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

    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 favorite under-the-radar card — the Citi Premier® Card — is offering a record-high welcome bonus, and it 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.

    If you’ve been on the fence about applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — one of the very best rewards credit cards, especially if you’re new to travel points and miles — now is the time to pull the trigger. The card offers a staggering 100,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

    Read more: Chase Sapphire Preferred card review

    That’s worth $1,000 in cash back, $1,250 in travel booked through Chase or for statement credits toward eligible purchases through Pay Yourself back, and potentially much more if you transfer to Chase’s airline and hotel partners for award travel.

    The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card now offers improved earning categories for current and new cardholders:

    • 5x points on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
    • 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out (previously 2x)
    • 3x points on select streaming services
    • 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs)

    Other eligible travel purchases will continue to earn 2x points, and all other purchases will earn 1 point per dollar as before.

    Another excellent deal is one of the best cards with premium travel and shopping benefits, The Platinum Card® from American Express. You can currently earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in your first 6 months of card membership, plus 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of card membership — here’s our Amex Platinum card review for all the details.

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

    Small-business credit card bonuses

    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

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • 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

    Read Our Review
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    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.

    The recent annual-fee increase on the personal Platinum Card actually makes the Amex Business Platinum Card a more compelling choice, since its annual fee is a full $100 less than the personal version (See Rates) — but it comes with many of the same benefits and credits.

    Cash-back credit card bonuses

    Annual Fee

    $0 intro for the first year, then $95

    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

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • 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.

    Read Our Review
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    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℠, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and the new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, 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. New cardholders can earn 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. 

    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). 

    Airline credit card bonuses

    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

    Chevron icon It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.

  • 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).

    Hotel credit card bonuses

    Regular APR

    15.99% – 22.99% Variable

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • Annual free night reward for hotels that cost up to 35,000 points can be worth more than annual fee
    Cons
    • The only lucrative bonus category is participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels
    • Upgrading to Gold status requires spending $35,000 on the card in an account year,
    • Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.
    • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
    • Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™.
    • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
    • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
    • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
    • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.

    Read Our Review
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Several hotel credit cards are offering increased bonuses — including the IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card, Hilton Honors American Express Card, Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, and The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card.

    There’s also a unique elevated offer on the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card. New cardholders can earn 3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months.

    Marriott points are worth, on average, 0.7 cents each according to Insider’s points and miles valuations, so you can expect to get around $1,225 in value if you redeem your free nights at 50,000-point hotels and max out the 10x grocery, gas, and dining bonus.

    Read more: The best hotel credit cards of 2021

    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.

    Featured credit cards from our partners

    Featured Reward

    100,000 points

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    3 Free Nights (valued up to 50,000 points each) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus 10x total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases in select categories within your first 6 months

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    $200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening

    Credit Needed

    Good to Excellent

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