I’ve gathered what I think are some of the best credit card offers and narrowed it down to the top ten offers. So, here’s list of the top 10 best credit card sign-up bonuses for March 2014. On the list are some higher offers released in the past few weeks, as well as some offers that have been around for a while, but are still some of the most valuable sign-up bonus and worth mentioning.
During the first week of every month, I’ll post the top 10 best current credit card sign-up offers and update the list throughout the month if offers change. You can always check out my credit cards page for a full list of cards, but since the best credit card offers are always changing–increased offers, terms, annual fee–this post will review what I think are the 10 best available offers currently available.
Quick recap: Citi’s Executive Advantage 100,000 mile card offer is still available, but make note of its hefty $10,000 spending requirement. The Barclays Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard was also relaunched and now both the personal and business version of the card are offering a 35,000 mile sign-up offer. The spending requirement on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® increased to $3,000 within the first 90 days, but the 40,000 mile bonus remained unchanged and is still worth $440 in free travel.
Here’s my round-up of the 10 best credit card sign-up bonuses for March 2014.
1. Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Application Link: Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
Current bonus offer: 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within 90 days
Annual fee: Waived the first year, then $89 per year
Why I dig it: The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® earns 2x points on all purchases, making it one of the best all-around travel rewards credit cards. On top of that, when you redeem points for travel you get a 10% mile rebate, meaning you are essentially earning 2.2% cash back.
My favorite feature of the card is that it is a hassle free way to earn 2.2% back on every $1 spent. For general travelers it’s one of the best cards out there since they can purchase any flight or hotel and redeem points for a statement credit at a value of 1 cent per point. If you don’t want to carry around many cards, then this card is a great one to keep in your wallet because it earns some of the highest cash back bonuses among any cards out there.
The current 40,000 mile bonus on the Arrival Plus card is worth $440 when redeemed for travel.
2. Citi Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard
Application Link: Citi Executive® / AAdvantage® World Elite™ MasterCard®
Current bonus offer: 100,000 miles + $200 in statement credits after spending $10,000 within three months
Annual fee: $450
Why I dig it: The $10,000 minimum spend is hefty, but if you can hit it, the card may be a great option for many who can use the Admirals Club access and 10,000 EMQs. The current 100,000 bonus miles offer is the highest I’ve seen on this card making it a great time to grab it if you’ve been thinking about applying. After this offer gets pulled it’s doubtful we will see it hit this level anytime again soon.
The card benefits worth mentioning are 10,000 EQMs after spending $40,000 in each calendar year, the $200 in statement credits in the first 12 months, and the Admirals Club access. The 10,000 EQMs can be a valuable calendar year spending bonus if you’re going for AA elite status or need to get bumped up to the next tier.
3. Ink Plus Business Card and Ink Bold Business Card
Current bonus offer: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months
Annual fee: Waived the first year, then $95 per year
Why I dig it: The Chase Ink and Bold cards are two of the longest standing great offers from Chase and if you haven’t had both versions of the cards it’s worth applying for the 50,000 points. Here’s why: Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most flexible points and can be transferred to any of Chase’s 1:1 airline and hotel transfer partners. This makes Ultimate Rewards points some of the most flexible points currencies that can be used for exactly the award travel you want. A side note is that by keeping a balance of UR points also helps protect you from future devaluations by individual programs–although some of the programs themselves may be devalued, you have other transfer options.
Both the Ink Bold and Ink Plus offer great 5x bonus spending categories to earn more points through everyday purchases. You get 5x points at office supply stores, internet, cell phone, and cable, and 2x points on gas and hotels. Both the bonus and the points earning potential of these cards are very lucrative!
I value Ultimate Rewards points at about 1.6 cents each, making this bonus worth $800.
4. The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®
Application Link: The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®
Current bonus offer: 40,000 miles after first purchase
Annual fee: $89 per year
Why I dig it: This is a great time to earn US Airways miles and in the near future (as the merger continues) they will become American Airlines miles. You’ll get 40,000 miles after your first purchase, so this is a great card to through into a round of applications or for anyone that doesn’t want to manufacture spend to meet a spending requirement. The card also gets you a free checked bag for you and four of your travel companions on domestic US Airways flights..
This card has been hotly debated as to whether it will disappear and when, either way it’s a great way to earn 40k US Airways miles to book trips now on oneworld alliance or wait until they change to AA miles. Getting this card before it’s gone is a no brainer in my opinion.
US Airways miles are among the most valuable miles of any airline in my opinion, and I would place this 40,000 bonus worth $700+ in free flights. US Airways has one of the most valuable award charts among all US carriers. Some valuable uses of US Airways miles are 120k for a roundtrip First Class flight to North Asia and 100k roundtrip Business Class to Europe (125k in First).
5. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Application Link: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Current bonus offer: 45,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months and adding an additional authorized user that makes a purchase within three months
Annual fee: Waived the first year, then $95
Why I dig it: Similar to Chase’s Ink cards the Sapphire Preferred Card earns Ultimate Rewards points that are valuable and flexible because you can transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to Korean Air, United, Hyatt, and many other valuable partners. The card earns double points on dining and travel which makes it a great everyday card. With the 7% annual points “dividend” you’re essentially earning 2.14 points per dollar.
I value Ultimate Rewards points at around 1.6 cents per point which makes this sign-up bonus worth $720.
6. The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®
Application Link: The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®
Current bonus offer: 40,000 Frontier miles after spending $500 within 90 days
Annual fee: $69
Why I dig it: The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® is one of the best credit cards for domestic travel and the 40,000 mile bonus is worth two free round trip flights within the US (including Alaska)! It costs only 20,000 miles to fly round trip anywhere Frontier Airlines flies within the US and 30,000 miles to Central America. This is the highest bonus ever offered for this card and is a great deal for anyone looking to get free domestic flights.
One of the best use of Frontier miles is for summer travel to Alaska. A round trip flight to Alaska during the summer can easily cost $400+, so 40,000 Frontier miles could easily be worth ~$800+ in free flights when redeemed for trips to Anchorage or Fairbanks.
For a 40,000 mile bonus the card has very low minimum spend of $500 within 90 days. The bonus is worth:
- 2 round trip awards anywhere Frontier flies within the US, including Alaska
- 1 round trip award anywhere Frontier flies in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
7. Chase IHG Rewards Club Visa
Link: Chase IHG Rewards Club Visa
Current bonus offer: 80,000 points after spending $1,000 within three months
Annual fee: Waived the first year, then $49 per year
Why I dig it: The IHG Rewards Club visa currently offers a 80,000 point sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in 3 months and along with the perks that come with the card it’s an amazing deal.
This card has one of the BEST sign-up bonuses among all hotel credit cards and unlike many other cards the annual fee is easily worth paying after the first year.
The $49 annual fee on the IHG Rewards Club Visa is close to half of other cards and it gets you a free night certificate every year that can be used at ANY IHG hotel! This means you get a free night at a hotel that costs ~$900 a night just by keeping the card open and paying the $49 annual fee. Plus you get additional perks with the card. I’ll never cancel my card because of these benefits.
Plus the card has some great perks, such as automatic Platinum elite status which gives you room upgrades upon availability and free internet.
8. Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card
Application Link: Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card
Current bonus offer: 50,000 points after the first purchase, and an additional 35,000 points after spending $2,500 on the card within 90 days
Annual fee: $75
Why I dig it: The value of the 85,000 point bonus offer is extremely lucrative since one of the perks of this card is that you get the second night free when you book stays of 2 or more award nights. This can essentially double the value of your points.
If you are looking to get free hotel stays in Europe this is one of the best bonuses since Club Carlson has most of its top-tier Radisson Blu properties there. Another perk of the card is that you get automatic Gold status that gives you complimentary room upgrades.
After hitting the minimum spend you will have close to 100,000 points which is worth 4 free nights at Club Carlson’s top category hotels (50k per night) when booking two night stays. I stayed at three amazing Radisson Blu properties on my last trip to Europe and used the bonus free nights on each occasion.
9. British Airways Visa Signature® Card
Current bonus offer: 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 within three months
Annual fee: $95
Why I dig it: British Airways’ distance based award chart allows you to book awards short-haul flights for an incredible value. This also lets you can make creative multi-leg trips without using many more miles. Each one way starts at just 4,500 Avios and by booking one way short-haul flights you can connect open jaws and create short round trips.
This card bonus is not great for long haul international flights because of the high fuel surcharges on those flights. The card is great to fill in all the short direct flights that you need to book, and will save you miles vs. using American or United miles.
There is also an offer available for 100,000 Avios after spending $20,000 dollars within a year. If you are a big spender this offer may be worth it to you.
10. Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage MasterCard
Application link: Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage MasterCard
Current bonus offer: 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $3,000 within three months
Annual fee: Waived the first year, then $95 per year
Why I dig it: American Airlines miles are one of the (if not the most) valuable airline miles out there. Considering the United and Delta devaluation and taking into account the American Airline/US Airways merger, these miles will be even more valuable. You can use them on any of the Oneworld partners and travel to almost anywhere in the world. On top of that, you get access to some of the best premium cabin flights in the world.
I consider this sign-up offer to be worth about $950 and put a value of about 1.9 cents per mile. American Airline miles have incredible flexibility because you can use them on any of its 3 award charts, and have access to book on any of the partner airlines.
The 100,000 mile offer for the Citi Executive AAdvantage credit card is still available and a great deal if you can meet the $10k minimum spend. It’s good to see the Hawaiian Airlines credit card back and you can 35k miles with the current sign-up bonus. For summer travel, especially if you’ve been wanted to visit Alaska, The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard is still a great offer for getting domestic flights. It’s only 20,000 miles round trip anywhere Frontier flies in the US.