September 21, 2021

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It’s Time to Fly

Best Credit Card Deals and Bonuses This Week: September 6, 2021

12 min read

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Now that summer is winding down, it’s a great time to open a new credit card — especially if you’re planning winter travels or have holiday expenses coming up. Nearly 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.

If you already have American Express Membership Rewards points in your arsenal, be sure to have a look at the unprecedented limited-time Amex transfer bonuses to 12 airline and hotel partners. When you transfer points with a bonus, you can get a sweeter deal on award travel — and the timing is particularly handy if you have a fall or winter vacation in the works.

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

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 New United Quest℠ Card, 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%-22.99% Variable

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • High sign-up bonus starts you off with lots of points
    • Strong travel coverage
    Cons
    • Doesn’t offer a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit
    • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
    • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
    • With Pay Yourself Back(SM), your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
    • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
    • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
    • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

    Read Our Review
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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 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

    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

    Read Our Review
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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.

    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

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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℠, 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

    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).

    Hotel credit card bonuses

    Regular APR

    15.74%-24.74% Variable

    Featured Reward

    80,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership. Plus, earn an additional 50,000 points after spending $5,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months

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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details

  • Pros
    • High welcome bonus
    • No annual fee
    • Complimentary Silver elite status with Hilton
    Cons
    • Limited benefits beyond earning Hilton points
    • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
    • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
    • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
    • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
    • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
    • No Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.

    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

    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

    Featured Reward

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

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