Every year I earn well over one million Frequent Flyer miles and points. About 250,000 of them come through actual travel, and the rest come through travel hacking: the art of seeing the world on a budget.
One of the easiest ways to earn a lot of miles all at once is through credit card signup bonuses. This post contains the best current card offers as of Wednesday, February 4. If getting every card from this post, you’d earn 215,000 points or miles. Happy travels!
In this edition:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express
- Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card
- The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. Our longstanding, overall “best card” recommendation. The card offers a 40,000 point signup bonus, no foreign transaction fees, double points on all dining and travel expenses, and has the annual fee waived for year one. You’ll get the 40,000 bonus points after spending only $4,000 in three months.
Why it’s good: It’s the gold standard! Or maybe it’s the Sapphire standard… but it’s definitely a standard of some kind.
The Platinum Card® from American Express. If you’re an especially active traveler, the benefits of this card can outweigh the hefty annual fee of $450.
Why it’s good: You’ll get a
25,000 now 40,000 point Membership Rewards sign-up bonus, a $200 airline credit every year, free Priority Pass Lounge Membership ($399 value), entry to American Express’s nice Centurion Lounges, and Global Entry application reimbursement (worth $100). Plus, you’ll impress your friends with a sexy card.
The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express. This new product from AmEx is a lot cheaper than the Platinum card, and offers a quick bonus with a low minimum spend.
Why it’s good: Get 15,000 Membership Rewards points after you use the card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Note that there’s also a no-annual-fee version that provides 10,000 points.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card. Love flying with America’s leading low-cost carrier? Well, get this card and you can fly for free—twice.
Why it’s good: For best results, use this doubling-up strategy to earn a free companion pass. The person of your choice will travel with you for a whole year by just paying the taxes.
The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®. This card offers 35,000 miles with a $1,000 spend in 90 days and a 50% off companion fare for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and the continental U.S. You’ll also get a bonus $100 companion discount every year you have the card, and 5,000 additional miles every year that you spend $10,000 or more.
Why it’s good: well, you’ll get enough miles for a ticket to Hawaii. Here in the middle of northern hemisphere winter, it’s hard to top that!
A few questions and attempted answers are below.
- Does this really work?
Yes. I’ve been receiving regular signup bonuses for more than five years. Many of our readers have also had great success.
- Is this bad for airlines and banks?
No. They are happy to have new customers, especially those who are responsible and trustworthy.
- Isn’t it bad for your credit to apply for so many cards?
Not unless you don’t pay your card balances. Be diligent and you can earn signup bonuses to travel for nearly free for a long time to come.
Learn more about travel hacking in the archives. Join the list below and get regular updates!
Disclosure: Our partner site, CardsforTravel.com, pays us a referral bonus for some of these cards. We always provide the links to the best possible bonus that we’re aware of, and you’re always welcome to apply directly from the card issuers if you prefer.