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- The fastest way to earn credit card rewards and
frequent flyer miles is to open a new card and get the new
- This month, there are a handful of fantastic,
limited-time offers on cards from issuers like
American Express — there’s even a huge new sign-up bonus on a
United Airlines credit card.
- We’ve also included a few of our favorite ongoing
- You can use the points from these cards to fly or stay
in hotels for virtually free, or for upgrades, cash back, gift
cards, and more.
- Read on for the best offers of December
It’s easy to earn frequent flyer miles and rewards points from
everyday credit card spending.
To step up your rewards and get serious points, though, the best
thing to do is open a new card and earn the bonus offered to new
Credit card issuers offer huge bonuses to attract customers, and
while each card may have different eligibility requirements, in
most cases you can get the bonus as long as you haven’t had that
card before — or, in some cases, as long as you haven’t had it in
the past few years.
Over the course of 2018 we’ve seen some incredible offers on new
cards, refreshed products, and old standbys — and right now, some
of the best offers we’ve seen are available as we get ready to
close out the year.
Even after you earn the bonus, it’s easy to keep the rewards and
benefits coming. All you need to do is use a card for your normal
spending — and pay it off in full each month — and you’ll earn
tons of bonus points in categories like grocery stores, dining, and
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
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.
Sign-up bonus: 75,000 miles (after spending
$5,000 in the first three months). For a limited time only.
Capital One Venture has historically been a useful card, thanks
to a solid earning rate of 2x miles on everything, even though the
rewards program was just…fine. Unlike cards offered by
competitors, miles had a fixed value of 1¢ each toward travel
transferable credit card points — those that you can transfer
to an airline frequent flyer program, should you choose — are
more valuable, thanks to the way that booking frequent flyer award
tickets works. You can
read more about that here.
Additionally, Capital One announced a new, limited-time sign-up
75,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first three months.
That’s worth at least $750 toward travel if you choose to redeem
against a travel purchase, and potentially much more when you
transfer to an airline frequent flyer program.
Between the ability to transfer miles to airlines, and the
limited-time sign-up bonus, this is one of the best cards available
The limited-time offer has already been around for
almost a month, and we don’t know how much longer it will be
available, so now is the time to apply.
Capital One Venture earns miles at a rate of 2x per dollar
spent on all purchases, and an incredible 10x points per dollar
spent on hotel stays when you book and pay through
Hotels.com/Venture. Hotels.com has its own loyalty program that
rewards you with a free night after 10 paid nights, so that equates
to a staggering 20% return on hotels.
The card also offers a credit to enroll in TSA PreCheck or
Global Entry. It has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first
Sign-up bonus: Up to 65,000 United miles
(40,000 after spending $2,000 in the first three months, and an
additional 25,000 miles after spending a total of $10,000 in the
first six months). For a limited time only.
Earlier this year, United and Chase re-launched their co-branded
credit card, slightly changing the name, but more importantly,
tweaking the benefits and improving how the card earns
points. Previously, the
card earned 2x miles on every dollar spent with United
Airlines and 1x dollar on everything else. Now, the card also earns
2x points at restaurants and hotels.
This sign-up bonus is one of the best public offers
we’ve ever seen on this card, but it’s only available until January
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, 25% off in-flight
purchases, and a fee credit to cover your application to Global
Entry or TSA PreCheck.
United Explorer 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
Sign-up bonus: Up to 200,000 miles (50,000
miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months, and an
additional 150,000 miles after spending $50,000 in the first six
months). For a limited time only.
Like the Venture, the Capital One Spark Miles is gaining the
ability to transfer miles to 12 airline frequent flyer partners.
Also like the Venture, the Spark Miles is offering a limited-time
sign-up bonus to mark the change.
Of course, the spending requirement to earn the full bonus —
$50,000 in the first six months — is high, but it’s definitely
achievable for plenty of small- and medium-sized businesses —
particularly those that lay out for materials, equipment, or
services on behalf of a client.
The Spark Miles is fairly similar to the Venture, aside from the
fact that it’s a business card rather than a personal one. It earns
2x miles on all purchases, with no limits, and has a $95 annual fee
that’s waived the first year.
It was already a solid card; with the ability to transfer miles
to airline partners, plus the massive sign-up bonus, the Spark
Miles becomes a major player.
Welcome offer: 25,000 Membership Rewards
points (after spending $2,000 in the first three months). Until
January 9: Get up 20% back at US restaurants within the first three
months, up to $100 total.
Last month, American Express launched a massive reboot of its
Premier Rewards Gold card, rebranding it as the American
Express Gold Card, releasing a new metal design and limited-edition
rose gold version, and totally overhauling the rewards and
benefits on the card. Because that wasn’t quite enough, AmEx also
introduced a fairly unique new welcome bonus.
The new Gold
Card earns 4x points at US restaurants and on up to $25,000
per year at US supermarkets (and 1x after that), 3x points on
flights booked directly with the airline, and 1x point on
Based on the fact that you
can easily redeem Membership Rewards points for more than 1¢ of
value each, that makes this the highest-earning card for
Card keeps the old card’s $100 airline fee credit each
calendar year, and adds up to $120 of dining credits — split into
$10 each month — at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory,
Ruth’s Steak House, or participating Shake Shack locations. If you
use those credits in full, that’s a guaranteed $220 of value each
New card members — those who haven’t previously had the
Premier Rewards Gold — can earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 points
when they spend $2,000 in the first three months. Additionally,
those who apply before January 9 can get 20% back on all US
restaurant charges — up to $100 total — in the form of a
statement credit. Keep in mind you may be able to be targeted for a
While it’s difficult to assign a single objective value to
Membership Rewards points, due to
the many ways you can redeem them, travel website The
Points Guy subjectively estimates each point as worth 1.9¢.
That makes the welcome bonus worth $575 — $475 for the points,
and up to $100 back from restaurants. Even without factoring in the
annual credit benefits, that’s more than enough to make up for the
card’s $250 annual fee.
Sign-up bonus: 70,000 miles (after spending
$5,000 in the first 90 days), for a limited time only.
This is the highest sign-up bonus we’ve ever seen for this card
— an exciting development, coming near the end of a busy year for
Barclaycard’s flagship US product.
Earlier this year, Barclays closed
applications for one of its most popular credit cards, before
relaunching the card with a new all-time highest sign-up bonus.
Then, this fall, Barclays began waiving the card’s $89 annual fee
for the first year, a first for the card.
Arrival Plus earns double miles on every dollar spent. Miles
can be redeemed for one cent each on travel purchases (applied as a
statement credit to negate the cost of that purchase), or a
half-cent each for cash back or gift cards. Best of all, you’ll
earn 5% of your miles back every time you make a redemption.
Effectively, that means that the sign-up bonus is worth $700
toward travel, plus an extra $100 from the miles you’ll earn
meeting the spending requirement.
The card comes equipped with Chip-and-PIN
service, which, combined with the fact that the card has no
foreign transaction fees, makes it a great option when traveling
Depending on your spending habits, it is easy to get more value
from the card than what you pay for the annual fee, thanks to the
2x earning rate on all purchases. Of course, the sign-up bonus
alone will cover the annual fee for more than eight years.
Welcome Offer: 60,000 points (after spending
$5,000 in the first three months)
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
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 1.9¢ per Membership Rewards point; based on
that, the welcome offer is worth around $1,140.
Because $5,000 is one of the steepest spending
requirements of any consumer credit card, this is an ideal time to
open it — with holiday spending going on, you can take advantage
of those planned expenses to meet a higher minimum required spend
than you would normally be able to.
Plus, you can take advantage of the card’s airport lounge access
to make holiday travel a little bit less hectic.
The Platinum Card earns an incredible 5x points on airfare
purchased directly from the airline, and offers a $200 airline fee
credit 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 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
Sign-up bonus: $500 (after spending $3,000 in
the first three months)
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.
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.
Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
11 lucrative credit card deals you can get when opening a new card in December — including a 200,000-mile bonus