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Top 10 Best Credit Card Sign-up Offers for December 2013



Here is a list of the top 10 best credit card sign-up bonuses for this month. Some of these bonuses are limited time offers, targeted, and some are long standing great offers.

Since the details of the best credit card offers are always changing–terms, annual fee, increased offers–I will post a list each month of the top ten offers (in my opinion).

Some of the best offers have already been pulled this month (such as the 50k Premier Miles & More World MasterCard and the 50k Alaska Airlines Visa), but there are always new offers coming out as well. This monthly post will serve as an updated review of the best current offers, you can always check the top deals found on my list of the best credit card offers.

Update: The Alaska Airlines Visa 50k link is live again and the offer is among the top ten current offers this month. The current sign-up bonus is for 50,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months.

Here is my round up of the 10 best credit card sign-up bonuses for December 2013:

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1. 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 the 3 award charts, and have access to book on any of the partner airlines.

2. 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: This is one of the longest standing great offers from Chase and in continues to be one of the best. Heres why. Ultimate Rewards points are some of the most flexible points because you can transfer them to any of the 1:1 transfer partners. This allows you to redeem them for exactly what you want and you have the option between valuable airline and hotel partners. By keeping your points as UR you also allow protection from future devaluations by individual programs.

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.

3. Premier Rewards Gold Card

Current bonus offer: 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within three months
Annual fee: Waived the first year, then $175 per year

Current Bonus Offer: There is a targeted sign-up bonus offer of 50,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months on the CARDMATCH tool. This offer was first seen on November 16, 2013, but there have been reports of the offer being more widely available as of last week.

Not everyone will get this offer, but you can check whether you are offered the 50k sign-up bonus through the CARDMATCH tool.

The Premier Rewards Gold Card has a public offer of 25,000 points, so this is a great offer if you get it! The card has a 3/2/1 earning structure and you will earn:

  • 3x points on flights booked with airlines
  • 2x at US gas stations and US supermarkets
  • 1x on everything else

If you are a big spender you will also get a 15,000 points bonus any calendar year that you spend $30,000 using the card.

Some of the best uses of 50,000 Membership Rewards points include transferring them to valuable transfer partners such as ANA, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, or Iberia. In total you can transfer them to 17 airline partners that are in all three global alliances and a handful of hotel partners.

4. United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Current bonus offer: There are many reports of an offer of 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first three months by applying at a local Chase bank branch. The online public offer is 30,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first three months. On top of this offer you can get another 5,000 miles by adding an additional user.

You can also try to get the targeted by following these steps.

Many folks have reported that they have been able to send Chase a Secured Message to match the 50k offer, but there are no guarantees of this method working.

Annual Fee: Waived the first year, then $95 per year

Why I dig it: Although United is devaluing their miles for awards booked after February 1, 2014, they are are still some of the most valuable miles for US travelers. Most of the award chart increases will hit the partner international premium cabin awards, so you can still book United and economy partner flights at mostly the same price after the devaluation.

If you are able to get the 50,000 mile offer plus the 5,000 miles for the additional authorized user, you will have a total of 57,000 miles after hitting the minimum spend. This is enough for 2 domestic round trips (25,000 each) and close to enough for an economy round trip award to Europe (60,000 miles).

Because United has great stopover rules you can book some amazing international award trips and get free one ways. This is one aspect that will keep United miles in competition with American Airline miles which will have a better award chart after the United devaluation kicks in.

5. 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 uses a distance based award chart that allows you to book awards based on distance flown. This is incredibly valuable for direct shorthaul flights and you can create amazing multi-leg trips. Each one way starts at just 4,500 avios booking one way shorthaul flights can be useful to connect open jaws and to 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.

6. 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: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns Ultimate Rewards points that are extremely valuable 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 UR points at around 1.6 cents per point which makes this sign-up bonus worth $720.

7.The US Airways Premier World MasterCard®

Current bonus offer: 35,000 Dividend Miles after the first purchase
Annual fee: Waived the first year, then $85 per year

Why I dig it: This card will disappear soon with the American Airlines and US Airways merger officially going through. It is only a matter of time before this offer is pulled, so get this card now if you are thinking about it. With no minimum spend, this is an easy 35,000 miles to get that will most likely be transferred to American Airlines within a year.

[This is a non-affiliate link with no landing page stating the offer, so apply at your own risk. It is currently live and there have been many reports of people successfully getting the offer on FlyerTalk. The affiliate link I have is for 30,000 Dividend Miles after after the first purchase, but shows the bonus details. The annual fee for this offer is not waived, making it a slightly worse deal.]

8. 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: This sign-up bonus has been one of my favorite offers over the last year. The value of the 85,000 point bonus offer extremely lucrative and it has a minimum spend of only $2,500. One of the biggest perks of this card is that you get the second night free when you book stays of 2 or more award nights! This essentially doubles the value of your points.

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. Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Visa Card

Current bonus offer: Two free weekend nights at most Hilton family properties after spending $2,500 within four months
Annual fee: $95

Why I dig it: The Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve Visa Card bonus gives you two free weekend nights. In my opinion the two free nights are worth much more than current points offers after Hilton devalued their award chart. The free night certificates can be redeem at any hotel in any category 1 through 10! If you redeem your nights at a property that currently charges 95,000 points per night, you are essentially getting a bonus worth 190,000 HHonors points. I value the two free nights more than points and this is what makes the card better than the Amex Hilton Surpass in my opinion.

Cardmembers also get Hilton HHonors Gold status as long as they have the card, which gives you free internet and breakfast. The annual fee is not waived, but I easily justified the fee when comparing the value of the sign-up bonus value. I recently applied for this card during my latest round of credit card applications and am looking forward to redeeming my two free nights at a Conrad in Asia early next year.

10.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: With its 2x points on all purchases, the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® is one of the best all-around rewards credit cards. Plus when you redeem points you get a 10% mile rebate, meaning you are essentially earning 2.2% cashback.

You can redeem points at a fixed rate for any travel purchases, so you can purchase any flights or hotels and simply redeem points for a statement credit. 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 cashback bonuses among any cards out there.

The sign-up bonus is worth $444.

Recap

And there you have it. That’s a rundown of the top 10 credit card bonuses (in my opinion) for December 2013.

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