Last updated 2pm 8/5/14. Here is a current list of what we think the top 5 credit card signup bonus offers are. Consider any of these “highly recommended.” If you’re new, we realize that it can be scary to apply for any credit card, much less many at the same time. Dip your toe in the water. It is worth it. These will be updated regularly as offers come and go. Please comment at bottom with news, questions or issues.
1. 60,000 American miles after spending $5k in spending in 3 months on a Citi Executive AAdvantage/World Elite Mastercard. You'll receive $1 in statement credits for the first $100 you spend on the card, 2 miles per dollar spent on American Airlines, and no foreign transaction fees. Value: $1,400 or approximately 2¢ each (note that you'll end up with up to 65,000 total points when you combine the bonus points with the points earned from the spending that gets you to the bonus, and a $100 statement credit for spending $100).
2. 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points with $5k in spending via this link for the Chase Ink Bold Visa. You earn 5 points per $1 on office supply stores and phone, internet and TV services or 2x for gas and hotels. UPDATE: For a limited time, applying for the Ink Plus card at a Chase Bank branch will earn you 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points! Value: $1,320 or 2.2¢ each for the 60,000 point offer. You actually get a total of 65k points: 60k from the bonus and at least 5k from spending. Points can transfer to United, Southwest, Amtrak, British Airways, Korean Airlines, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and others.
3. 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points with $1,000 in spending on an American Express Platinum Mercedes-Benz; there is a $475 annual fee but you get standard Amex Platinum benefits including $200 towards airline fees (or gift cards in some cases) plus a bunch of Mercedes discounts Value: $1,275 or 2.5¢ each. Points can transfer 1:1 into Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Air France, Hawaiian, Jet Blue, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America.
4. 50,000 United MileagePlus Membership Rewards miles, with $2,000 in spending over 3 months with the United MileagePlus Explorer Card. You'll also receive 5,000 miles for adding an additional cardholder to the account. The card also
gives you one free bag when flying on United, and 10,000 miles for spending $25,000 in a calendar year. There are no foreign transaction fees. Check out our MileagePlus guide if you're curious about United's mileage program. Value: $1,000, at a 2 cent per point valuation. You can certainly extract more value with award tickets that are used on expensive flights, especially on United's Star Alliance Partners.
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