10 lucrative credit card deals new cardholders can get in February 2019 — including a free Southwest Companion Pass

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best credit card sign-up offers, January 2019

  • The fastest way to earn credit card points and frequent flyer
    miles is to open a new card and earn its sign-up or welcome
    bonus.
  • You can use points from cards like the Chase
    Sapphire Preferred Card
     or the Platinum
    Card® from American Express
     for virtually
    free travel
    , upgrades, cash back, gift cards, or
    more.
  • This month, there’s an unprecedented offer available on
    Southwest’s personal credit cards, but it’s only available until
    February 11.
  • Some of these offers are brand new, and some are only
    available for a limited time, so make sure not to miss
    out.

Earning credit card rewards on your everyday spending is easy,
but if you’re looking to earn a lot of points quickly — whether
you’re planning a big trip, or you’re just looking to build up your
reserves — the best way is to earn new member bonuses by opening
cards.

Credit card issuers like Chase and AmEx offer huge bonuses to
attract customers, and while each card may have different
eligibility requirements, you can usually get the bonus as long as
you haven’t had that card before — or in some cases, if you
haven’t had it in the past few years. 

With brand-new, limited-time offers available, along with some
reliable standbys, there’s plenty available this month.

You can read more about earning
new card member bonuses and how that will affect your credit score
here
, or scroll down to find some of the best offers available
in February 2019.

Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that
make these cards great options, not things like interest rates and
late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.

When you’re working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important
to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in
full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more
than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat
your credit card like a debit card
.

1.
Any personal Southwest credit card


southwest airlines companion pass

Sign-up bonus: A Southwest Companion Pass (good
through 2019) and 30,000 Rapid Rewards points (after spending
$4,000 in the first three months). Offer ends February
11.

The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most coveted scores
in the credit card rewards and “travel hacking” world. When you
have it, you can bring a pre-designated travel buddy with you on
any Southwest flight — whether you booked your ticket with points
or cash — for just the cost of taxes and fees, which are usually
around $5.60 for domestic flights. The pass isn’t a one-time thing;
you can use it as many times as you like until it expires.

Usually, to earn the Companion Pass, you’d have to take 100
flights with Southwest, or earn 110,000 points in a calendar year.
Then, you could use the pass for the rest of the year, and all of
the following calendar year.

For the first time ever, Southwest is offering
the Companion Pass — plus 30,000 points — as a sign-up bonus
when you open a new consumer credit card. The pass will only be
good through 2019, but it’s still a fantastic deal.

There are three Southwest consumer cards, but our choice for the
best one is the Southwest
Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card
. That’s because, unlike the
other cards, it comes with enough tangible benefits to cancel out
the cost of its annual fee.

You can learn more about the Companion Pass and the three
Southwest cards here.


Click here to learn more about the Southwest Priority card from
Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.

2.
Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express


SPG AmEx Card

Welcome bonus: 75,000 points (after spending
$3,000 in the first three months). Offer ends February
12.

Marriott recently announced the last phase in its merger with
Starwood, combining the two groups’ loyalty programs under one new
program: Marriott Bonvoy.

As part of the merger and rebrand, Chase — which previously
offered Marriott credit cards — and American Express — which
offered Starwood cards — are splitting the Marriott Bonvoy
portfolio, and both issuers are discontinuing cards that don’t fit
under their new areas of focus.

As part of this, AmEx is closing applications for its mainstream
card, and an old favorite in the rewards and loyalty world: the
classic SPG AmEx. However, anyone who has the card already, or who
applies for the card before the deadline will get to keep it.

There are a few reasons you might want to get the SPG AmEx —
which will be renamed the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card.
Unlike the mainstream Bonvoy card Chase will continue to issue, the
AmEx version waives its annual fee for the first year.


The SPG AmEx
offers 6x points on every dollar spent at Starwood
and Marriott hotels, and 2x points on everything else. It comes
with complimentary Silver elite status, offers a free night
certificate on your cardmember anniversary each year, and has a
solid welcome bonus. You can read more about why you might want the
card before it’s discontinued here.


Click here to learn more about the SPG AmEx from Insider Picks’
partner: The Points Guy.

3.
United Explorer Business Card

Sign-up bonus: 75,000 miles (after spending
$5,000 in the first three months). Offer ends March
18.


Following
a limited-time offer on their co-branded personal
card, United Airlines and Chase have launched an even better
promotion on their small business card.


The card
 offers a free checked bag when you use your card to
purchase your tickets, priority boarding as long as you have the
open card attached to your MileagePlus account, and more.


The United Explorer Business
 also has two benefits that are
unique among US airline credit cards in the same class. First,
you’ll get two complimentary United Club lounge passes each year.
In the lounges, you can enjoy comfortable seating, Wi-Fi, free food
and drinks, and more before your flight. Normally, one-time entry
to a United Club would cost $59 if you didn’t have a
membership.

Second, although this is an unpublished benefit, United
cardholders also get access to more saver award space than other
United members — that makes it easier to find good flights when
it’s time to use your miles..

The card has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.
You’ll earn 2x miles on every dollar spent at restaurants, gas
stations, office supply stores, and on United purchases, and 1x
mile per dollar on everything else.


Click here to learn more about the United Explorer Business
Card from Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.

4. Platinum
Card® from American Express


Amex Platinum card

Welcome Offer: 60,000 points (after spending
$5,000 in the first three months).

The American
Express Platinum card
 has one of the highest annual fees of
any consumer credit or charge card — $550 — but as AmEx’s
flagship product, this premium credit card offers a tremendous
amount of value to offset that fee. For example, I
got more than $2,000 worth of value in my first year
 with the
card.


The card
 earns Membership Rewards points, the currency in
AmEx’s loyalty program, which can be exchanged for statement
credits or cash back, used to book travel through AmEx’s travel
website, or, to get the most value, transferred to any of 17
airline and three hotel transfer partners (transferable
points
 are among the best). Travel website The Points Guy
lists a valuation of 2¢ per Membership Rewards point; based on
that, the welcome offer is worth around $1,200.


The Platinum Card
 earns an incredible 5x points on airfare
purchased directly from the airline, and offers an airline fee
credit of up to $200 each calendar year, and up to $200 in Uber
credits each card member year. It also grants the cardholder access
to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world, including
Delta Sky Clubs and AmEx’s own Centurion Lounges. Other benefits
include automatic gold elite status at Starwood, Marriott, and
Hilton hotels, a statement credit up to $100 to cover enrollment in
Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, concierge service, and much more.

If you’re an active military servicemember,
you can get the AmEx Platinum Card’s fee waived
.

You can read
our complete review of the card here.


Click here to learn more about the American Express Platinum from
Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.

5. Wells
Fargo Propel American Express® Card


wells fargo propel credit card lifestyle 22

Welcome offer: 30,000 Go Far points (after
spending $3,000 in the first three months).

This
card from Wells Fargo
 has one of the more
attractive rewards offerings
 you’ll find from a no-annual-fee
card. The current Propel card is actually a re-launch of an old
product — Wells Fargo stopped accepting applications for the old
card a year ago, before announcing the new product and reopening
applications this summer.


The card
 earns 3x points on all travel, dining, and select
streaming services (and 1x point on everything else). If that
sounds familiar, it’s because it’s almost the same as the
popular Chase
Sapphire Reserve
.

There are some key differences between the cards. The
Propel
 lets you redeem points for 1¢ each toward cash back,
merchandise, travel, or more, while the Sapphire
Reserve
offers a range of more valuable redemption options —
it’s easy to get at least 50% more value for Chase points. Plus,
the Sapphire Reserve offers a number of premium perks that the
Propel doesn’t, like airport lounge access, a $300 annual travel
credit travel delay insurance, and more.

Of course, the Sapphire
Reserve
 also comes with a $450 annual fee, while the Wells
Fargo Propel
 doesn’t have a fee. Between the new member offer,
and the solid earning rate on popular spend categories, the Propel
makes a decent option for those who don’t travel often, or who
aren’t comfortable floating a large annual fee.

We named the Propel the best
no-fee card
 of 2018.


Click here to learn more about the Wells Fargo Propel card from
Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.

6. Capital
One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Sign-up bonus: $500 (after spending $3,000 in
the first three months).

If dining and cooking are your thing, and cash back is what
you’re after, the Capital
One Savor
 is sure
to please
.


The card
 earns unlimited 4% cash back on all dining and
entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything
else. Plus, the card offers a whopping $500 sign-up bonus when you
spend $3,000 in the first three months.

The Savor carries
a lower annual fee than the AmEx Gold — $95, waived the first
year. The earning rate will make up for the fee in many cases,
based on normal spending, but if that’s too high for you, there’s
an alternative: the Capital
One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
.

The SavorOne
card
 has no annual fee, and offers a slightly lower — but
still valuable — earning rate of 3% cash back on dining and
entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything
else. It offers a lower sign-up bonus of $150 when you spend $500
in the first three months.


Click here to learn more about the Capital One Savor card
from Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.


Click here to learn more about the Capital One SavorOne
card from Insider Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.

Read more: The
Capital One Savor offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
— here’s how much the average American saves each year with the
card

7. Chase
Sapphire Preferred


NY City Cards chase sapphire preferred 9

Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points (after spending
$4,000 in the first three months).

The Sapphire
Preferred
 is one of the most popular all-around rewards credit
cards, and it’s
easy to see why
. This card earns 2x points per dollar spent on
just about all travel and dining purchases, and 1x point on
everything else. It also comes with a ton of travel and purchase
protections, such as rental car insurance, trip delay coverage, and
extended warranty.

The sign-up bonus — 50,000 UR points — is worth, at the very
least, $500 as cash back or gift cards. However, if you book travel
through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and use points to pay,
you’ll get a 25% bonus, making points worth 1.25 cents each. That
means that the sign-up bonus would be worth $625.

Even more lucrative — the Chase
Sapphire Preferred
 lets you transfer your UR points to a few
different frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. This comes in
handy because, in many cases, it costs fewer points to book a trip
if you go through one of those programs, as opposed to using the
points as cash. You can read more about why transferring points to
frequent flyer programs gets you more value here.

This all comes for a fairly standard annual fee of $95, which is
waived the first year.


Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Preferred from Insider
Picks’ partner: The Points Guy.

8. Chase
Sapphire Reserve

Sign-up bonus: 50,000 points (after spending
$4,000 in the first three months).

The Sapphire
Reserve
 is basically a beefier version of the Preferred. While
the card comes with the same sign-up bonus, it earns points on
everyday spending faster, nabbing a higher 3x points per dollar
spent on travel and dining purchases, and 1x on everything else. It
also offers similar, though in many cases, enhanced travel and
purchase protections.

Unlike the Preferred, the Sapphire
Reserve
 comes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which
gets you and any travel companions free access to more than 1,000
airport lounges around the world.

You can use points from the Reserve the
same ways as with the Preferred, except that you’ll get a 50% bonus
when booking travel through Chase, making your points worth 1.5¢
each.


The card
 carries a higher annual fee than the Preferred: $450.
However, it also..

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
10 lucrative credit card deals new cardholders can get in February 2019 — including a free Southwest Companion Pass