Best Credit Cards to Reward you for Traveling
Credit card sign-up bonuses come in many forms. Some of the most valuable bonuses offer, at least, 75,000 bonus miles, which can be worth hundreds of dollars in free travel.
The credit cards that are most likely to offer 75,000 bonus miles are airline and hotel credit cards. These cards also usually charge an annual fee, because of the value provided with not just the sign-up bonus, but also the many other benefits and perks that come along with card membership.
If you’re planning on making a large purchase anyway, you can get much more for your money with a credit card that offers new cardholders 75,000 bonus miles.
Credit Cards With 75,000 Sign-up Bonus Points
Credit cards that offer bonuses that are as much as 75,000 points are rare. The following credit cards are currently offering new cardholders a bonus of, at least 75,000 points or miles.
British Airways Visa Signature
The British Airways Visa Signature® card is best for those who frequently fly British Airways. New cardholders earn 50,000 Avios after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months. You can earn another 25,000 Avios after spending $15,000 on the card in the first year. The total bonus of 75,000 Avios can be redeemed for flights or seat upgrades with British Airways or airlines with Oneworld airline partners. These airlines include American Airlines, Japan Airlines, and many others. There are flights available with British Airways starting at 12,500 Avios, so your bonus can be worth as many as six tickets, depending on where you travel. Along with these bonuses if you were to join a British Airways Executive Club, you could collect some more noteworthy benefits.
British Airways Executive Club tiers
|Tier||Tier points required||Noteworthy benefits|
|Blue||0||Collect both Avios and Tier points and you get access to exclusive members-only offers.|
|Bronze||300||You’ll get a 25% bonus on the Avios you collect, plus extras like priority boarding, priority check-in, and free seat selection 7 days prior to your flight.|
|Silver||600||You’ll still get priority boarding, priority check-in and free seat selection, plus a 50% bonus on Avios points, access to business lounges, and an additional baggage allowance.|
|Gold||1,500||Get a 100% Avios bonus, first-class check-in and boarding, access to First Class lounges, the added baggage allowance, and additional flight reward availability.|
Hilton Honors American Express
If you prefer to stay in Hilton hotels when you are on the road, you’ll get the most out of the Hilton Honors American Express credit card. This card awards a sign-up bonus of 75,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. These points can be used for award nights at more than 4,200 Hilton hotels and resorts across the globe. Category 1 properties start at 5,000 points for one night, which means your bonus of 75,000 points can be worth as many as 15 nights at a Hilton Hotel. You can also convert your points to miles with airline loyalty programs like JetBlue and US Airways.
Marriott Rewards Premier Visa
This card awards a bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months with the card. This bonus can be worth hundreds of dollars, depending on how you redeem your points. Category 1 properties are often available for as few as 7,500 points, which means your bonus can be enough points for at least 10 award nights at a Marriott Hotel. There are also opportunities to redeem for PointSavers hotel stays, which start as low as 6,000 points for one night in a Category 1 property.
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature
With the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa, you get 50,000 Gold Points after making your first purchase, and then another 35,000 points after spending $2,500 in the first 90 days of opening the account. The total bonus of 85,000 points is one of the highest available, and can be redeemed for award nights starting as low as 10,000 points. The bonus can be worth, at least, eight award nights in a Category 1 Club Carlson property.
How to Meet the Spending Requirements Fast
Some of the sign-up bonuses only require that you make a purchase with the card, which can be easy enough. However, in order to earn the entire bonus, you will typically need to meet a specific spending requirement within a designated period of time.
If you want to get the most value out of your rewards and the sign-up bonuses, you should plan your spending so that you meet the requirements. Some of the ways you can meet your spending requirement fast include the following:
- Hold off until a big purchase. You don’t have to sign-up for the credit card right now to take advantage of sign-up bonuses. These bonuses are usually available by different cards at various times throughout the year. If you want to make sure you meet the spending requirement quickly, it may be best to wait until you have a large purchase to make, before signing up for the card. This is a better option than signing up and missing out on any new cardholder offers simply because you don’t meet the spending requirement.
- Stock up on gift cards. You can also meet the spending requirement by using your card to purchase gift cards. It’s important, however, that you are aware of any expiration dates, but you can stock up on gift cards and, in the meantime, meet your spending requirement. If you purchase gift cards for gas or groceries, you can use them as you need. Or, you can purchase gift cards for specific retailers or restaurants, to use as gifts to friends and family members throughout the year.
- Spend on behalf of others. Are your friends or coworkers planning a large purchase soon? You can offer to charge their purchase to your card and let them reimburse you with cash so that you can meet the spending requirement. This doesn’t cost your friends anything extra, and you get the benefit of meeting your spending requirement and earning the sign-up bonus.
What If You Don’t Meet the Spending Requirements?
It’s important that you are sure you can meet the requirements attached to the sign-up bonus. Otherwise, you risk missing out on the bonus. You also won’t be able to try again, as these offers are often available only to new cardholders or people who have never had the card before.
Check the credit card issuer’s terms and make sure you are clear on what is required to earn the bonus. For instance, don’t count on a balance transfer to increase your spending requirement if the card doesn’t allow you to include balance transfer amounts. Most card issuers are very clear about the terms, and if you don’t meet them, you will not earn the bonus.
What About Taxes on Credit Card Bonuses?
Because some of the bonuses can be worth several hundreds of dollars, it makes sense to be aware of any tax implications. Typically, when you get extra bonuses from signing up for checking or savings accounts, you do have to pay taxes on those bonuses. However, the sign-up bonuses offered with credit cards that award points or miles are considered rebates, which don’t require you to pay taxes on them.
So, if you can take advantage of a valuable sign-up bonus, don’t let the fear or expense of additional taxes keep you from signing up.