Southwest Airlines Credit Cards: 50,000 Bonus Points Worth $650+ in Airfare, Also Counts Toward Companion Pass

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Southwest Airlines offers a very flexible Rapid Rewards program where the points can be used to book basically any seat that they sell for cash, instead of trying to nab just the ones some airlines set aside for awards. Redeeming Southwest points for flights varies in a narrow range, but a very reasonable approximation from my experience is 1.3 cents in Wanna Get Away airfare in per point. That works out to roughly $650+ in Wanna Get Away airfare for every 50,000 points. Add in those two free checked bags on all flights, and you see why Southwest is popular wherever they fly.

Another unique Southwest feature is their unique Companion Pass, which lets you pick one person to fly with free when you book both paid AND award flights (including to Hawaii!) on Southwest. This lasts for both the year in which you earn it AND all of the next year (ex. rest of 2023 + all of 2024). Importantly, points earned from credit cards are qualifying points toward the requirement, including sign-up bonuses! You can often get very close to that magic 125,000 points with a calendar year when you add up the potential miles from these Southwest consumer and business cards. This is on top of the value you can get by redeeming those bonus points for Southwest flights.

Note: In October 2022, Southwest announced that starting 1/1/2023, the Companion Pass for 2023 will require 135,000 points (increased from 125,000 points). However, Southwest-branded credit cardholders will receive a new benefit – a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points every year – which basically brings it back down to 125,000 points again.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus credit card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 3,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • 2X points on Southwest(R) purchases.
  • NEW: 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • NEW: 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • NEW: 2 EarlyBird Check-In(R) each year
  • NEW: 25% back on inflight purchases
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass(R).
  • $69 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • NEW: 3X points on Southwest(R) purchases.
  • NEW: 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • NEW: 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • NEW: 2 EarlyBird Check-In(R) each year
  • NEW: 25% back on inflight purchases
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass(R).
  • $99 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 7,500 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • NEW: 3X points on Southwest(R) purchases.
  • NEW: 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • NEW: 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • NEW: 2 EarlyBird Check-In(R) each year
  • NEW: 25% back on inflight purchases
  • NEW: 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points towards A-List Status for every $10,000 in spend
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • $75 Southwest annual travel credit.
  • $149 annual fee.

The following are business credit cards:

Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business card

  • 80,000 points after $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 9,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • NEW: 4X points on Southwest(R) purchases.
  • 3X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners.
  • NEW: 2X points on rideshare.
  • 2X points on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.
  • Inflight WiFi Credits (up to 365 x $8 credits per year).
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® Fee Credit in the form of a statement credit of up to $100 every four years.
  • $199 annual fee.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business card

  • 60,000 Rapid Rewards points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • 6,000 bonus points after each Cardmember anniversary.
  • NEW: 3X points on Southwest(R) purchases.
  • 2X points and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partners.
  • NEW: 2X points on rideshare.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • NEW: 2 EarlyBird Check-In(R) each year
  • $99 annual fee.

Value of Rapid Rewards points. Redeeming Southwest points for flights varies in a narrow range, but a very reasonable approximation from my experience is 1.3 cents in Wanna Get Away airfare in per point. That works out to $650+ in Wanna Get Away airfare for every 50,000 points or $1,300+ in Wanna Get Away airfare from 100,000 points (you are still liable for taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way). Importantly, Southwest does NOT have blackout dates or seat restrictions when you redeem with points. This means that Southwest points are much easier to use than a “saver award” on traditional airlines.

Now, if you manage to qualify for the the Companion Pass on every trip that you book with those points, that doubles the potential value of each award redemption. In other words, 125,000 Rapid Rewards, would usually get you $1,850 in Wanna Get Away airfare, but with the Companion Pass you’d get an extra companion ticket for every flight booked.

There may be other options like gift cards, but the redemption value is less than half the value you could get from redeeming for flights.

Southwest points expiration policy, per Southwest.com:

Do the points I earn expire?

No, your Rapid Rewards points do not expire. However, if you choose to close your account, the points in your account will be terminated.

Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person. The fees on the other airlines have crept up to $30 per bag, each-way. That adds up.

Our family policy is to not try out a new credit card unless it offers us $500 in total value. Just the free award flights from the points are enough to satisfy that rule, and then you can add on the potential value of the companion tickets.

Card restrictions. All of these Southwest credit cards are subject to “5/24” restrictions, which means that your application will be automatically denied if you have opened 5 or more credit cards in the last 24 months (check your credit reports). Our household strategy is to have one person only apply for Chase 5/24 cards, and the other person applies for everything else. There is also this language on the consumer card:

The product is not available to either (i) current Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards® Credit Card, or (ii) previous Cardmembers of any Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Card who received a new Cardmember bonus within the last 24 months. This does not apply to Cardmembers of the Southwest Rapid Rewards Business Card and Employee Credit Card products.

Basically, you can get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest consumer card once every 24 months. You can also get one sign-up bonus from a Southwest business card once every 24 months.

Stack your Companion Pass with Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest points on a 1:1 basis. If you book an award flight with those Southwest points while you have the Companion Pass, you can double the value of your Ultimate Rewards points as well.

Bottom line. Southwest credit cards offer new cardholders the opportunity to earn hundreds of dollars worth of Wanna Get Away airfare, but if you time things right and maybe combine a personal and business card, you can also grab the Southwest Companion pass, which provides a free companion ticket on every flight bought with cash or points booked both during the rest of the year in which you earned it, AND the full next calendar year. Finally, Southwest still includes two free checked bags per person on every flight.

Also see: Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers and the Top 10 Best Business Card Offers.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Bilt Mastercard: Earn Rewards For Paying Rent w/ Any Landlord (+Double Points Holiday Promotion)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Black Friday double points for 7 days: From Friday 11/24 12:00am ET through 12/1 11:59pm PT, earn double points rewards: 6X on dining, 4X on travel, and 2X on other purchases (rent is excluded). I’d rather earn 2X Hyatt points per dollar spent than 2% cash back. Max 50,000 bonus points. 2X Transfer Bonus: On 12/1/2022, you can transfer 1 Bilt point into 2 IHG points (1:2 instead of 1:1).

Full review:

The updated Bilt Mastercard is a unique credit card that earns rewards on rent payments to any landlord. Bilt is a rent payment platform and they will send your landlord a check or ACH bank transfer so that your landlord will not have to do anything. In addition, the credit card has bonus categories and a variety of points redemption options like many other rewards credit cards. Here are the highlights:

  • Up to 1X points spent on rent payments without the transaction fee, up to 50,000 points each calendar year.
  • 3X points on dining.
  • 2X points on travel including hotels, rental cars, and cruises when booked directly with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies.
  • 1X points on other purchases.
  • Earn points when you make 5 transactions that post each statement period.
  • When renting at a Bilt Alliance property, you can choose to have your rent payments automatically reported by Bilt to the three major credit bureaus each month; Experian(TM), TransUnion(TM), and Equifax(TM).
  • No annual fee.
  • World Elite Mastercard perks like cell phone insurance and purchase protection.

That means your rent can be up to $50,000 per year ($4,166 per month) and you would still be able to take full advantage of the 1X points per dollar spent on rent payments. They do require you to make at least 5 transactions per month (rent can be one), otherwise too many people might just put their rent on the card and not use the card otherwise.

Bilt has partnered with the owners of over 2,000,000 apartment units to create the Bilt Rewards Alliance. The easiest way is find out if you live in a qualifying property is to simply type in your address into the Bilt app.

Bilt also offers Double Points on “Rent Day”, aka the 1st of every month. This means that on the 1st day of every month, you can get 6X on dining, 4X on travel, and 2X on other purchases(except rent). They also offer other promos on this day. For example on 12/1/2022, you can transfer 1 Bilt point into 2 IHG points (1:2 instead of 1:1).

Bilt Rewards Points redemption options

Travel partners. Bilt Rewards points transfer on a 1:1 basis to the following hotel and airline partners. You can also get 100 bonus points for every loyalty program you link to Bilt.

  • American Airlines AAdvantage
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • United Airlines
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • FlyingBlue (Air France/KLM)
  • Miles & Smiles (Turkish Airlines)
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Cathay Pacific Asia Miles
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Aer Lingus Aer Club
  • Turkish Miles & Smiles
  • Iberia Plus
  • World of Hyatt
  • IHG One

Hyatt hotel points, American, United, and Hawaiian miles are likely the most useful points for the average US traveler. I am conservative when valuing points and miles due to their redemption hassles and steady threat of devaluation, so I would place the value here a 1 cent a point even though I definitely plan to exceed that. You may wish to use a different value.

Home Downpayment? Bilt says that your points can be redeemed at 1.5 cents per point when used towards a home downpayment. This seems like it might be rather complicated to actually redeem, so I would keep it mind but wouldn’t count on it. If you racked up 100,000 points over time, it would be nice to have $1,500 via this method.

Shop with Points at Amazon. You can link your Bilt Rewards points to Amazon and pay for your purchases at rate of 0.70 cents per point.

Rent. Bilt will let you convert points towards your next rent payment at 0.55 cents per point. This is not a good redemption rate when compared to the miles/Hyatt option. It’s too bad there is no easy, decent cash-out option.

Other options include fitness classes or physical items like “limited-edition” home decor or art in the “Bilt Collection” catalog. Personally, I like being able to add to my Hyatt and Canada Aeroplan stash.

Possibly help your credit score? When renting at a Bilt Alliance property, your on-time payment activity can be automatically reported to the three major credit bureaus. In addition, with the optional “BiltProtect” feature, your rent payments will be immediately withdrawn from a linked bank account so your credit limit is not decreased (and ideally your rent won’t contribute to your credit card debt).

Bottom line. The Bilt Mastercard offers a unique rewards structure targeted specifically at all renters with any landlord. At $2,000 a month in rent, the 1X rewards would add up to 24,000 points per year in rewards = 24,000 American/United/Hawaiian miles or 24,000 Hyatt points with no additional transaction fees and no credit card annual fee. Something to consider if you already have to pay rent anyway.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card: 60,000 Bonus Points, $300 Annual Travel Credit

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

The “ultra-premium” Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is offering an opening incentive of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points which can be redeemed for at least $900 of travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards, but can also be used in many other ways which can bring even more value. Here is the long list of card perks:

  • 60,000 Bonus Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. That can be redeemed for $900 of airfare, hotels, and other travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit . Every year, the card will automatically rebate you back up to $300 in travel purchases such as airfare and hotel nights charged on your card.
  • 5X total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually.
  • 3X points per $1 spent on travel & dining worldwide. The 3X points on travel kick in immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Up to $100 statement credit towards Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck® every four years.
  • Airport lounge access via Priority Pass Select membership. Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select.
  • New: Access to Chase Sapphire Lounges, which are new airport lounges starting at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA), Boston Logan International Airport (BOS), and Hong Kong International Airport (HKG).
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs.
  • Complimentary DashPass + $5 monthly DoorDash Credits from DoorDash through 12/31/2024. 12 months of complimentary DashPass + Get $5 in DoorDash credits each calendar month while enrolled in DashPass through 12/31/2024. Activate by 12/31/2024.
  • Complimentary Instacart+ Membership.: 12 months of complimentary Instacart+ membership, activate by 7/31/2024.
  • NEW: 2 free years of Lyft Pink All Access and a 3rd year at 50% off when you activate by Dec 31, 2024 (a value of $199/year). Membership auto-renews. Details here. Benefits here.
  • Annual fee is $550; $75 for each additional authorized user.

Note the following offer language:

The product is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of any Sapphire credit card who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months. If you are an existing Sapphire customer and would like this product, please call the number on the back of your card to see if you are eligible for a product change. You will not receive the new cardmember bonus if you change products.

Ultimate Rewards points. The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a special 50% bonus on travel redemptions made through the Ultimate Rewards travel website. Compare that with the 25% bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred. 60,000 Ultimate Rewards = $900 in travel. Similar to Expedia or Travelocity, you can book flights on most major airlines and hotel chains. This makes it much more flexible to spend your points. You can even buy something more expensive than what you can afford with solely points and pay the difference in cash.

If you have other Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points like the Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, Ink Business Cash or Ink Business Unlimited, you can transfer points into this card account and take advantage of the this higher premium. In other words, your existing Ultimate Rewards points balance could be increased in value by getting this card.

Possibly even better value via airline and/or hotel points. This card also allows you to transfer Ultimate Rewards points into hotel and/or airline miles. Transfer to United Airlines, British Airways, Air Canada (new), Singapore Airlines, Korean Air, Southwest, Hyatt Hotels, IHG Hotels, and Marriott Hotels at a ratio of 1 Ultimate Rewards point = 1 mile/hotel point. Miles redemption continue to offer great value for savvy travelers, especially for last-minute travel and business class seats.

Personally, my preferred redemption method is Hyatt points, where I can consistently get over 2 cents per points of value for my hotel bookings. Recently, I have also been using my Ultimate Rewards points on the new Air Canada option.

Cash redemptions are a simple and easy option, but the conversion is a straight 100 points = $1.

Sharing points. Ultimate Rewards points are instantly transferable to other accounts like family members, as long as they have their own Chase card with Ultimate Rewards as an authorized user (free with Chase Freedom). This way, you can pool points together for transfers and redemptions if you like.

Additional card benefits:

  • Dedicated customer service line with a live person that answers the phone 24/7. No waiting or complicated phone trees.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Primary car rental collision damage waiver insurance. Decline the rental company’s collision insurance and charge the entire rental cost to your card. Coverage is primary and provides reimbursement up to $75,000 for theft and collision damage for most rental cars in the U.S. and abroad. Most other cards only offer secondary coverage that kicks in only after the deductible of your individual insurance policy is used.
  • Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you can be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for your pre-paid, non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours, and hotels.
  • Trip Delay Reimbursement. If your common carrier travel is delayed more than 6 hours or requires an overnight stay, you and your family are covered for unreimbursed expenses, such as meals and lodging, up to $500 per ticket
  • Enjoy special car rental privileges from National Car Rental, Avis, and Silvercar when you book with your card.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

As for the $300 annual travel credit, “annually” means the year beginning with your account open date through the first December statement date of that same year, and each 12 billing cycles starting after your December statement date through the following December statement date. So it’s not exactly by calendar year, but roughly close and you can likely get this twice under the first year’s annual fee. When you log into the Chase website, there is a handy tracker that tells you how much of your $300 annual credit has been reimbursed, and how much is remaining.

Bottom line. The Chase Sapphire Reserve Card has a 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus, 50% boost to all your travel credit redemptions of Ultimate Rewards points, $300 annual travel credit, 3X points on Dining/Travel (more if you use their travel website to book), Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, up to $100 Global Entry application credit, DoorDash perks, Lyft perks, and more… in exchange for a $550 annual fee. You should compare against that of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which has less perks but also a lower annual fee.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers – December 2022 (Updated)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Updated and checked December 2022. That space in your wallet or purse is valuable, and you should be the one to get that value. By being smart and picky, you can find offers worth $500+ for a single card, all to encourage you to apply and try it out. This adds up to thousands of dollars in extra income (over $5,000 in 2021). These are the top 10 credit card offers that I would personally apply for right now (or have already). Notable recent changes:

  • Added Southwest 75k, Marriott 3FreeNights, Alaska 62k, Venture 75k, JetBlue 80k, IHG 140k+FreeNight, Premier 80k.
  • Removed Sapphire Reserve 80k, United 70k, Delta 70k, Southwest 75k, Citi AA 75k.

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Business Card Offers. Small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

Citi Premier Card

  • 80,000 points (worth $800 in gift cards, or transferrable to miles) after $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points for every $1 spent on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • Must not have gotten bonus from or closed a Citi Rewards+, ThankYou Preferred, Premier, or Prestige card in the past 24 months.
  • $95 annual fee.

Chase Aeroplan Credit Card

  • 70,000 bonus Aeroplan points. 70,000 points after $3,000 in purchases within 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bags on Air Canada flights: one free checked bag for the primary cardmember and up to eight other travelers on the same itinerary.
  • Aeroplan 25K Elite Status benefits for the remainder of the first calendar year, plus the following calendar year.
  • $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card

  • 75,000 Rapid Rewards points. Earn 75,000 points after $3,000 in purchases in first 3 months. This can be redeemed for over $900 in “Wanna Get Away” airfare with no blackout dates.
  • Southwest still gives everyone two free checked bags.
  • More than halfway to Companion Pass. If you can sign up for this one and also the small business version, you can qualify for a Companion Pass in 2022/2023.
  • $69 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

JetBlue Plus Card

  • 80,000 bonus TrueBlue points after $1,000 in purchases and paying the $99 annual fee, both within 90 days. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free for the primary cardmember and up to 3 companions when tickets are purchased with your JetBlue Plus Card.
  • $99 annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card

  • 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free Night after each account anniversary year (valued up to 35,000 Marriott points).
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Card

  • 140,000 bonus points + Free Night Award (40k) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Free Award Night valued at up to 40k points (or pay the difference above 40k). Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • Additional Free Night after each account anniversary year (valued up to 40,000 IHG points).
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee credit up to $100 every 4 years.
  • $99 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

  • 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $750 minimum towards travel and more) after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards(R), 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.*
  • Upgrade pick: Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. Higher travel perks including airport lounge access, higher annual fee.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Card

  • 75,000 miles (worth $750 towards travel, or transferrable to miles) after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • $300 annual travel credit. Get up to $300 in statement credits when booking through Capital One Travel.
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access. Additional cardholders are free, and also get their own Priority Pass!
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $395 annual fee.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card

  • 75,000 miles (worth $500 towards travel, or transferrable to miles) after $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 2% cash back on ALL purchases.
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $95 annual fee.

The Platinum Card from American Express

  • 100,000 Membership Rewards points after $6,000 in purchases in the first 6 months. Plus 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months. See link for details.
  • $200 Hotel Credits, $240 Streaming Credits, $200 Airline Fee Credits, $200 Uber Cash, $189 CLEAR Credit, $300 Equinox credit, $100 Shop Saks credit and more annually!
  • $100 Global Entry or $85 TSA PreCheck fee credit.
  • Premium airport lounge access through the American Express Global Lounge Collection®.
  • $695 annual fee.

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Mastercard

  • 60,000 American Airlines miles after $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99.

U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card

  • 50,000 bonus points (worth $500 in statement credits) after $2,000 in purchases within 120 days. See link for details.
  • 4X points on travel and gas stations, 2X points on dining and grocery stores.
  • Up to $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • $30 annual streaming bonus.
  • $0 annual fee the first year, $95/year thereafter.

Hawaiian Airlines MasterCard

  • 70,000 Hawaiian miles after first purchase (any amount) within the first 90 days. Any 6 digit promo code works. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for primary cardmember.
  • One-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and The Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

Alaska Airlines Visa Card (Bank of America)

  • 62,000 bonus miles + Companion Fare voucher after $3,000 in purchases within first 90 days. See link for details.
  • Companion fare voucher is “Buy one ticket, get one from $121” ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22).
  • Free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation (worth $60 roundtrip per person).
  • $75 annual fee.

American Express® Gold Card

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points after $4,000 in purchases in first 6 months. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • $120 in Uber Cash annually (good towards Uber Eats or Uber rides in the US).
  • $120 in annual dining credit at Grubhub, Seamless, and more.
  • 4X points at at restaurants.
  • 4X points at US supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per year.
  • $250 annual fee.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

  • 50,000 points (worth $500 towards travel) after $3,000 in purchases within the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • $100 annual Airline Incidental Statement Credit.
  • Up to $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fee.
  • $95 annual fee.

If you pay off your balances every month, then you can join me and many others in funding a huge chunk of your annual travel budget with cash credits, points, and miles. I mostly use my rewards points on family trips – domestic economy flights, mid-range hotels, and cheap car rentals. If you have credit card debt, you should focus on paying that off first as the interest charges could offset most of the perks.

* 5/24 Rule? Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 24 months (2 years). This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Top 10 Best Small Business Credit Card Bonus Offers – November 2022

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Updated November 2022. Do you have small business income or work as an independent contractor? Freelance, Uber/Lyft, Amazon, eBay, Etsy, Airbnb? A small business credit card separates your personal and business expenses and can build up your business credit profile. If you are not a corporation or LLC, you can apply as a sole proprietorship, with your name as the business name and your Social Security number as the Tax ID number. These are the top 10 credit card offers that I would personally apply for right now (or have already). Recent changes:

  • Added Ink Cash 90k, Ink Unlimited 90k, Hilton 130k+FreeNight, Barc AA 80k+$95, Hawaiian 90k, JetBlue 80k+$99, Citi AA 65k.
  • Removed United 150k, Alaska 70k, Marriott 125k, Delta 75k

This is a companion post to my Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers for personal cards. Notice that small business bonuses are on average even higher than those on consumer cards.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card

  • $900 bonus cash back (highest ever) (90,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after $6,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.*

Chase Ink Business Cash Card

  • $900 bonus cash back (highest ever) (90,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after $6,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
  • No annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.*

United Explorer Business Card

  • 75,000 bonus United miles after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Free first checked bag for both you and a companion (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip).
  • Expanded award availability. Having this card makes it easier to redeem for that saver award economy ticket.
  • 5,000-mile “better together” bonus each anniversary when you have both the United(SM) Business Card and personal Chase United credit card.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.*

Business Platinum® Card from American Express

  • 120,000 Membership Rewards points after $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
  • HUGE list of additional perks including $400 Dell, $360 Indeed, $150 Adobe, $120 wireless phone annual credits, $200 annual airline fee credit, $189 CLEAR credit, Centurion airport lounge access, and more. See link for details.
  • $695 annual fee.

Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

  • 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points (worth $1,000 straight cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®) after $15,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • 3X points on the first $150,000 spent on travel, shipping purchases, internet/cable/phone services, and advertising purchases with social media sites and search engines.
  • Primary rental car coverage when renting for business purposes.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.*

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after $5,000 in purchases in first 3 months. Plus a Free Night Reward after you spend $10,000 in purchases in first 6 months. Offer ends 12/21/22. See link for details.
  • Earn another Free Night Reward after you spend $15,000 on purchases in a calendar year.
  • $95 annual fee.

Hawaiian Airlines Business MasterCard

  • Up to 90,000 Hawaiian miles. 50,000 miles after $2,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. +40,000 miles after $8,000 in purchases within the first 12 months. Limited-time offer. See link for details.
  • Receive a one-time 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and The Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.
  • $99 annual fee.

Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Business Card

  • 80,000 American Airlines miles + $95. 80,000 miles and a $95 statement credit after $2,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights for you and up to 4 companions ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $95 annual fee.

CitiBusiness / AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard

  • 65,000 American Airlines miles after $4,000 in purchases in first the 4 months. See link for details.
  • First checked bag free on domestic AA flights for you and up to 4 companions ($60 value per roundtrip, per person).
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $99.

World of Hyatt Business Card

  • 60,000 Hyatt points after $5,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details and rough valuation of points.
  • Up to $100 in Hyatt statement credits – spend $50 or more at any Hyatt property and earn $50 statement credits up to two times each anniversary year.
  • $199 annual fee.
  • Subject to 5/24 rule.

Bank of America Business Advantage Cash Rewards Card

  • $500 statement credit after $5,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. See link for details.
  • 3% cash back on your choice of six categories. 2% cash back on dining and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The 3% and 2% cash back applies to the first $50,000 in combined category/dining purchases each calendar year, 1% thereafter.
  • No annual fee.

US Bank Business Leverage Card

  • 75,000 bonus points after $7,500 in purchases (on the Account Owner’s Card only) in first the 4 months. 75,000 bonus points can be redeemed for $750 in cash back. See link for details.
  • Availability may be restricted to certain states.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Business Card

  • Up to $1,000 cash bonus. $500 once you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months, and $500 once you spend $50,000 in the first 6 months of account opening. See link for details.
  • Unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • $150 annual fee.

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business Card

  • 50,000 miles (worth a $500 statement credit) after $4,500 in purchases in the first 3 months. See link for details.
  • Flat 2X points per dollar spent on all purchases with no limit.
  • $0 annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Alaska Airlines Visa Business Card (Bank of America)

  • 40,000 Alaska miles + Companion Fare Voucher after $2,000 in purchase within 90 days. See link for details.
  • Companion fare voucher is “Buy one ticket, get one for $121” ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22).
  • Free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other passengers on the same reservation (worth $60 roundtrip per person).
  • $50 annual fee for company, plus $25 per card.

* Note: Certain Chase cards have a “5/24 rule” which is an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards on your credit report within the past 2 years. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so if you are new, you might want to start with those Chase cards.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Citi Double Cash Card: 2% Cash Back on All Purchases

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

The Citi® Double Cash Card is a popular rewards credit card as it offers 2% flat cash back on all purchases, not just specific categories. As of March 2022, $1 in cash back rewards is also 100 Citi ThankYou points for potentially even better reward redemptions (details below). For example, if you value a Citi ThankYou point at 1.5 cents per point (by using the Citi Premier card and redeeming them as airline miles for free flights), then that is effectively get 3% value back! I’ve had this card for years.

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • No annual fee.

There is a 0% APR balance transfer offer available, but I must warn you that if you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.

  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 17.74% – 27.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Cash back details. Imagine you make a $100 purchase. 1 point per $1 spent is 100 points. You pay the $100 bill from your bank account, and get an additional 100 points. Final tally: 200 points = $2.00 back on $100 in purchases. In other words, still 2% cash back.

There is no longer a minimum redemption amount of $25 for direct deposits into your bank account or statement credit ($5 minimum for paper check). You can redeem as little as 1 point for 1 cent, cashing out down to the penny.

You can redeem for cash via statement credit, direct deposit to your bank account, or a paper check. The direct deposit works with any Citi bank account or verified non-Citi bank account. In the past, this just meant that you made two successful credit card payments from your non-Citi bank account.

Citi ThankYou point details. Since $0.01 in cash back rewards is the same as 1 Citi ThankYou point, it is very valuable that Citi lets you combine Citi Thankyou points across cards. From their FAQ:

Can customers combine points from multiple Citi accounts?
Absolutely, as long as all the Citi Accounts are owned by the same person. If they have one (or more) Citi credit cards participating in ThankYou® Rewards, Citibank consumer checking account and other linked banking products and services, an enrolled Citi Corporate Travel & Entertainment Card, they can combine the associated ThankYou® accounts into 1 ThankYou® Account. Please note that if they combine their ThankYou® Accounts, points are not separated based on which Citi Account they were earned and are displayed as a total among all Citi Accounts.

If you have the Citi® Double Cash Card AND the Citi Premier Card:

  • By having the Citi Premier Card, you can transfer the ThankYou points earned on the Citi Double Cash to participating airline mileage programs on a 1:1 basis including JetBlue TrueBlue, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Etihad, Flying Blue by Air France and KLM, and Thai Airways.
  • By having the Citi Double Cash, you can cash out the ThankYou points earned on the Citi Premier Card (which has the special feature of paying 3X points at Supermarkets, Restaurants, Gas Stations, Air Travel, and Hotels).

If you have the Citi® Double Cash Card AND the Citi Rewards+ Card:

  • By having the Citi Rewards+ Card, you get 10% Points Back for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points you redeem per year. For example, if you earn and redeem 20,000 ThankYou points, you’ll get 2,000 points rebated back to your account.
  • The Citi Rewards+ Card automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase, so for example a $1 parking charge or $2 cup of coffee can earn 10 points. ).

If you have the Citi® Double Cash Card AND the Citi Custom Cash Card:

  • By using the Citi Custom Cash Card, you get 5% cash back (5X Thank You points) on your top eligible spending category up to $500 spent each monthly billing cycle. (The Citi Double Cash card does not have any special categories.)
  • By using the Citi Double Cash, you get 2% cash back (2X Thank You points) on all other purchases. (The Citi Custom Cash card only earns 1% cash back on all other purchases.)

You can combine all of your various ThankYou points account into one account by calling Citi ThankYou at 800-842-6596 or the number on the back of your card. Alternatively, you can try it online by logging into your ThankYou account and clicking on “Points Summary” in the top right corner where it says “Hi [Your Name]”. See below:

As you can see, Citi has been steadily improving their ThankYou point program to make it more rewarding to hold multiple Citi credit cards. It is good for the consumer to have competition with Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards points, and Capital One Miles.

Bottom line. The Citi® Double Cash Card lets you earn 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. Everyone should have a 2% cash back card in their purse/wallets, even if they have other cards with higher cashback in specific categories. I’ve had this card for several years now. You can also convert $1 in cash back into 100 Citi ThankYou points, which offers additional flexibility and potentially more valuable redemption options when combined with other Citi rewards cards.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Reader Question: Credit Card Bonuses, Paying Annual Fees, and FICO Scores

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Here’s a reader question via email that comes up pretty regularly, and I’m surprised that I don’t have a dedicated post answering it. So here it is! 😁

Hi Jonathan,

I have been following you for a long time and appreciate your work. One question, for the credit cards that have an annual fee do keep them and pay the fee or do you cancel them before the fee is applied? I wa just approved for the citi premier card.

For most new credit cards with big bonuses, if the annual fee is not waived for the first year, it will be charged immediately on your first billing cycle. So with the Citi Premier card, you should see a $95 charge in your first monthly statement. You can’t avoid it if you want the sign-up bonus. Of course, the good news is that the sign-up offer is worth over $800. Now, after 12 months, another annual fee will be charged. What then?

I view credit card bonuses as a paid trial. The credit card issuer wants to make me their customer, in the hopes of making profits (transaction fees, interest, fees, etc) by providing me a service. As a consumer, I am lazy and don’t really want to go through the hassle of applying for a new credit card. I certainly wouldn’t do it for free. Therefore, the credit card issuer must offer an incentive. What do I owe the credit card issuer? I agree to give them a chance to earn my business by testing out the features for a full year.

Is it ever worth it? Yes, there are several credit cards that I have kept for at least another year and paid the annual fee because they earned my business. I felt the annual fee was worth it. As my professional and travel habits changed, some cards were dropped and others were added. Here are a few past and present examples:

Don’t think it’s worth it? Other times, it’s not worth it or circumstances change. Again, I usually wait a full year until the next annual fee is charged onto my statement. Then, I call them up and either ask to cancel or tell them directly the annual fee is too high and I don’t want to pay it.

  • They might directly offer to waive the annual fee for another year.
  • They might offer some sort of mini-hurdle like spend $1,000 on the card in 60 days and they will credit back the annual fee.
  • They might offer to downgrade to another card version with no annual fee.
  • They might offer you nothing and cancel your card on the spot.

If they close the account, that’s fine. I gave them a shot. End of agreement.

Still worried? The issue underlying this question is usually this: Doesn’t closing a credit card hurt my credit score?

For me, the answer is no, at least not enough for me to notice. For others, the answer is a bit more complicated. This post is old but still valid – How Opening and Closing Credit Card Accounts Affects Your Credit Score.

Here’s the short version: Closing a credit card will affect the following two factors in your credit score: Credit utilization ratio (percent of total available credit used as debt) and average age of accounts. So if the credit card in question has a credit limit of $10,000 and your only other credit card is brand new with a $500 limit, then closing it will likely lower your score quite noticeably. If you have multiple credit cards with a few years of history, pay off your balance each month, and don’t close the oldest credit card, then the effect will be much smaller.

If you think about it, you need to open up multiple credit cards over time in order to eventually build up a durable credit utilization ratio and average age of accounts. Otherwise, you’ll always be one forced/arbitrary account closure away from a credit score drop. Over time, I have multiple accounts that are decades old and no new credit card is ever more than 10% of my total available credit, so I don’t worry at all about closing a card that I don’t want anymore. If you are brand-new to credit, then you may wish to tread more lightly and find some quality no-annual-fee cards to open and keep to build up your credit profile.

Photo by Avery Evans, Unsplash

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Chase Ink Business Unlimited Card Review: $900 Cash Bonus, 1.5% Flat Cash Back, No Annual Fee

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Limited-time bonus, highest ever. The Ink Business Unlimited Card is a small business credit card offering an increased $900 cash bonus for new cardholders and the simplicity of a flat, unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Here are the details:

  • BEST OFFER EVER: $900 bonus cash back (90,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Unlimited, flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases.
  • Free additional cards for employees.
  • No annual fee.

Ultimate Rewards points. The cash sign-up bonus actually comes in the form of Ultimate Rewards points at 1 point = 1 cent in cash. 50,000 points = $500 cash. If you have one of the other annual fee cards that offer a boost in value like the Ink Business Preferred, Sapphire Preferred, or Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer your points between Ultimate Rewards accounts and redeem using that other card’s 25% travel bonus. This can increase the value of your points.

You could think of this card as the small business version of the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

Prefer airline and/or hotel points? You can’t transfer points to miles directly with this card, but if you transfer over your Ultimate Rewards points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (or Ink Business Preferred card), then you can use that card to transfer into hotel and/or airline miles. If you value those miles/points at more than 1 cent per point, then your 1.5X rewards from this card can be significantly higher. Examples:

– You could earn 1.5 United miles per dollar spent.
– You could earn 1.5 Hyatt points per dollar spent.
– You could earn 1.5 British Airways Avios per dollar spent.
– You could earn 1.5 Southwest Rapid Rewards points per dollar spent.

For example, if you placed a perceived value of 1.5 cents on each United mile or Southwest Rapid Rewards point, then you’d receive 2.25 cents of perceived value per dollar spent with this card. Your actual numbers will depend on your own specific redemption choices.

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

Bottom line. The Ink Business Unlimited Card has a large sign-up bonus and flat 1.5% cash back with no annual fee. This card is best for people who want simple and straightforward rewards. If you have certain other Chase credit cards, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points over to those cards and increase your value. Be sure to compare with other Chase small business cards – Ink Business Preferred and Ink Business Cash.

Right now, the sign-up bonus is the highest ever at $900 cash (90,000 Ultimate Rewards points).

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Chase Ink Business Cash Card Review: $900 Bonus (Highest Ever), 5% Back Categories, No Annual Fee

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Highest bonus ever! Got a small business? The Ink Business Cash Card has improved their sign-up promotion to a $900 cash bonus (90,000 Ultimate Rewards points) for new cardholders, along with 5% cash back and 2% cash back on select small business categories, all with no annual fee. Here are the details:

  • BEST OFFER EVER: $900 bonus cash back (90,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year.
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
  • 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases.
  • Free additional cards for employees.
  • No annual fee.

Ultimate Rewards points. The cash sign-up bonus actually comes in the form of Ultimate Rewards points at 1 point = 1 cent in cash. 75,000 points = $750 cash. This is similar to the situation with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

If you have also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Card, then you can pool all of your Ultimate Rewards points together (even with your spouse/partner as an authorized user) and either use the airline/hotel transfer partners or redeem using the new “Pay Yourself Back” tool for a 25% to 50% boost in value.

Leveraging the 5% back bonus categories. Putting all of your small business cell phone, landline, and internet bills on the card and getting 5% back is pretty handy. For example, even just $200 a month x 12 months x 5% back is $120 back a year without changing your spending habits. Now let’s take the office supply store category and the fact that you can buy gifts cards to Amazon.com and other retailers at such office supply stores like Staples and OfficeMax… now you can effectively discount many of your other purchasing needs by 5% as well. Putting those purchases on such gift cards upfront can also help you meet the spending requirement for the bonus.

Many people aren’t aware of the fact that they can apply for business credit cards, even if they are not a corporation or LLC. The business type is called a sole proprietorship, and these days many people are full-time or part-time consultants, freelancers, eBay/Amazon/Etsy sellers, or other one-person business owners. This is the simplest business entity, but it is fully legit and recognized by the IRS. On a business credit card application, you should use your own legal name as the business name, and your Social Security Number as the Tax ID.

Note that Chase has an unofficial rule that they will automatically deny approval on new credit cards if you have 5 or more new credit cards from any issuer on your credit report within the past 2 years (aka the 5/24 rule). This rule is designed to discourage folks that apply for high numbers of sign-up bonuses. This rule applies on a per-person basis, so in our household one applies to Chase while the other applies at other card issuers.

Bottom line. The Ink Business Cash Card has a large sign-up bonus and ongoing features of 5X/2X categories with no annual fee. This card is best if you have significant expenses in the special 5% and 2% categories above. If you have certain other Chase credit cards, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points over to those cards and increase your value. Right now, the sign-up bonus is the highest ever at $900 cash (90,000 Ultimate Rewards points).

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Hilton Honors American Express Cards: Up to 130,000 Bonus Points + Free Night Reward Limited-Time Offer

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

New limited-time offer for business version. Free Night Rewards now valid any night of the week, not just weekends. Hilton Hotels and American Express have co-branded credit cards with special perks for Hilton customers. Each person can only get one welcome offer, per card in your entire lifetime, so it’s best to apply during a temporary bump-ups.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 7X Hilton Honors points on purchases at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
  • 5X Hilton Honors points on purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
  • 3X Hilton Honors points for all other eligible purchases.
  • Free Honors Silver status (5th standard reward night free, 2 bottles of water in your room).
  • Spend $20,000 in a calendar year on this card and get Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • No annual fee. (See Rates and Fees)
  • Terms Apply.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $5,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first 3 Months of Card Membership. Plus you can earn a Free Night Reward after you spend $10,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors Business Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 12/21/22.
  • Earn a Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
  • Earn another Free Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend an additional $45,000 in purchases on your Card in the same calendar year.
  • Earn Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card: 12X at hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio, 6X at U.S. gas stations, on U.S. purchases for shipping, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers, on flights booked directly with airlines or with Amex Travel, on car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies, and at U.S. restaurants, 3X on all other eligible purchases.
  • Free upgrade to Honors Gold status (free breakfast, room upgrades based on availability, 5th standard reward night free).
  • $95 annual fee. (See Rates and Fees)
  • Terms Apply.

What are Hilton Honor points worth? The best value is from booking free hotel nights or using their “Points & Money” option where you pay with a combination of Hilton points and cash. Hilton has some really nice properties, but the value varies from hotel to hotel. I just ran a search and for the same 60,000 Hilton points, I could book rooms that cost $320 or $532 cash. I’ve seen some valuations around 0.6 cents per point, which I think is fair on average, but I would be more conservative at 0.5 cents a point. That would make 150,000 points = $750 value and 100,000 points = $500 value towards Hilton hotel stays.

The good part of Hilton points is that they have so many different hotel brands, from business-class DoubleTree to luxury Waldorf Astoria. Hilton also lets you transfer and pool points with other with other family or household members. As long as you keep them active (once every 12 months), I do like to keep some around. These credit cards are good at creating activity, but here’s another tip on how to keep Hilton points active.

Free night award details. The free night is valid any night of the week, includes resort fees and taxes, and does not come with a points limit, but there are some excluded hotels that are not bookable. Here is the fine print behind the Free Night Award:

The Free Night Reward can be redeemed for one standard accommodation, double occupancy, subject to availability at properties in the Hilton portfolio, excluding those listed at HiltonHonors.com/freenightreward. To redeem the Free Night Reward, you must call 1-800-446-6677. The Free Night Reward expire 12 months from date of issuance. […] The Free Night Reward includes all applicable resort fees and taxes on the cost of the room for the redeemed night.

Theoretically, this free night award could be used to book a room night that would otherwise require 95,000 Hilton points. Indeed, I have redeemed my award for a night at the Grand Wailea in Maui, which is worth 95,000 points a night. Amazing hotel, and very happy the resort fees were covered as well. However, you may need to book early enough that standard rooms are still available.

Bottom line. Hilton American Express cards offer regular Hilton customers a good opportunity to earn additional points towards free Hilton hotel stays as well as additional perks like status upgrades. The best time to apply for a Hilton co-branded American Express card is during a limited-time increase to their welcome offers. This is because American Express has changed their policy to only allow each person to get a welcome bonus once per card per lifetime.

Also see: Top 10 Best Credit Card Bonus Offers and Top 10 Best Business Card Offers.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Discover Card Free Online Privacy Protection Review (Delayed Success!)

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

Follow-up: Although the initial scan did not find any hits (even though my data was on the sites), a subsequent scan did a better job and Discover removed my data from 33 different hits from the 10 people search sites. I randomly spot-checked them and confirmed that my information was removed. For a free service that didn’t take up my time, I am happy with this result. I would now recommend opting in and being patient. Screenshots below:

Full review:

Discover is offering their credit card and banking customers a new free service called Online Privacy Protection (press release). Essentially, it automatically submits opt-out requests at 10 selected “people search sites”. These are creepy websites that scrape your personal information from many different publicly-available databases and then makes money by selling access. I wrote about these invasive sites previously and you may be surprised at how much information about you is floating around out there – your age, current and past addresses, phone numbers, and the names of your parents, siblings, children, cousins, and in-laws.

Once catch is that you must access this feature via the Discover app. They are still rolling it out, so it may not be available to everyone yet. I used the QR code from the link and it seemed to find it directly after installing the app.

Initially, after signing up for the service, I was disappointed that my May 2022 scan didn’t find my name on any of the databases. I was hopeful that was because I already opted out of several of these sites manually a few years ago. However, I manually checked and did find some of my information some of the sites. So the service is not perfect.

Here are the ten sites they mention, although there are more out there (not linked on purpose):

  • Addresses.com
  • AnyWho.com
  • InstantCheckmate.com
  • InstantPeopleFinder.com
  • Intelius.com
  • Spokeo.com
  • TruthFinder.com
  • USSearch.com
  • YellowPages.com
  • ZabaSearch.com

The scan occurs every 90 days or so. On my August 2022 scan, the app did find a bunch of hits (often multiple profiles at the same site with similar info) and went to work removing my data. I manually spot-checked a few of them and am happy to report that my information was indeed removed.

I would recommend signing up for this service now, with the knowledge that a little patience may be required.

I mainly use my Discover card for the 5% cash back categories and the occasional Amazon Pay with Points promos, but I do appreciate these side efforts. Besides being one of the first to offer a free FICO score, they also have a free Social Security and Experian credit inquiry alert service.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

Free Fully-Funded IRA 2022 Q3 Update: $6,227 in Bonuses So Far!

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards and may receive a commission. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned.

3rd Quarter 2022 update. Each year, I have a side goal of earning the equivalent of the maximum annual IRA contribution limit ($6,000 for 2022) using the profits from various finance promotions alone. In 2021, I reached $5,592 in bonuses and $2,500+ in extra interest. If you had put $6,000 into your IRA every year for the recent 10 year period (2011-2020) and invested in a simple Target Date retirement fund, you would have turned small, weekly deals into a $100,000+ nest egg.

That’s worth repeating: An extra hundred grand has been the real-world result of regularly investing $500 a month for 10 years! A couple could double these numbers.

Ground rules: Real-world results for one real person only. Following with My Money Blog tradition, this will track my personal, real-world results. It would be quite easy to list a bunch of random promotions that add up to $6,000, but these will be promotions that I personally sign up for and complete the requirements (even though I’ve already opened so many bank accounts, credit cards, and brokerage accounts over the years). I will track my individual results only, although my partner does also participate on a more selective basis. Nearly all of them have been documented in real-time in the Deals and Offers category, Top 10 credit cards list, and brokerage bonus list.

The 💵 symbol means I have received and/or cashed out the bonus successfully. The ⌛ symbol means the promo is still in progress.

2022 bonuses and promotions (so far)

The total tally is currently $6,227 in cashed-out bonuses, which is 104% of the $6,000 annual IRA contribution limit. There are still another $2,000 in pending bonuses that are in progress but haven’t posted yet. If you remove the ACAT transfer bonuses and deposit bonuses, the tally is $4,727 (including pending) which is 79% of the goal with 82% of the year elapsed.

This is a personal challenge to motivate myself. I look for the best payoff/effort ratio for my situation; your choices won’t look like my choices. For those new to this hobby, I would first grab the low-hanging fruit like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve and build up a nice stash of flexible Ultimate Rewards points. After that, the Citi Premier and Capital Venture X are probably the juiciest low-hanging fruit. Most of the big banks and big brokerage firms also have a sign-up bonus as well.

These numbers included fixed bonuses for short-term asset transfers, but ignore higher interest rates overall from buying US Treasury bonds or savings bonds. They also ignore ongoing credit card purchase rewards like 2% to 2.6% cash back on all credit purchases (or airline miles or hotel points) and 5% cash back on specific categories.

This is an enjoyable and profitable hobby for me, but I don’t like to waste my time either. I look for a solid return based on the time commitment required. I tend to avoid speculative bets, bonuses that are hard to convert to real value, and anything that requires driving to stores where things may or may not be in stock. The deals that I post usually last at least a few days, but it’s a bit like value investing where you have to be ready to get off your butt and take decisive action when an opportunity shows up, because they won’t last forever.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.