We’ve simplified things with our “Best Of” rankings here. If you don’t have time to research cards, take advantage of our expertise! Travel Freely is here to help you with the best credit card offers. Need a primer on Rewards Cards? Check out Rewards Cards 101 or join a weekly Free Travel 101 webinar for absolute beginners.
Don’t Let Offers Disappear – We’ve seen a LOT of offers come and go. Some offers have clear expiration dates, and others just vanish without warning. My advice: If you are ready for another card, and you know the card you want… Don’t delay!
Please note: You can support Travel Freely by using our partner links when you sign up for a card, which may earn us a commission. See full advertising disclosure below. If there’s a better link I can offer that will not earn commission, I will post the better offer. I hope that earns your respect and trust over time.
Highlights for October
Chase Marriott, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Cash trick
There’s a brand new signup bonus offer for the Chase Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant. It’s up from 75k to 100k.
We still have the Chase Freedom Unlimited increased offer of 3% (or 3x points) on all purchases up to $20k in the first year. Recently, this offer disappeared on Chase’s website, but we still have the 3% offer here (10/10/19 Update: This is now gone. The offer is now a $150 sign-up bonus and 1.5x points on all spending). Lastly, people have loved hearing about the 5x Amazon points trick with the Chase Ink Cash – this card earns 5x points at office supply stores. So you can get this card and buy Amazon gift cards at office supply stores for 5x points on all your Amazon purchases! (up to $25k per year). Remember to check your 5/24 number as all these cards require you to be 4 or less to be approved.
Big Delta bonuses are back
Delta has some new big offers for this month on their personal and business cards. Most expire on 10/30/19. To see all these offers, go to the CardGenie page and search Rewards Programs –> Delta.
Almost time for Southwest, but not yet
There are a lot of Southwest fans out there, and for good reason. While Southwest has some good offers, I would strongly recommend holding off on these if you covet a Companion Pass. The best time to earn a Southwest Companion Pass is in late 2019 and early 2020 (January) in order to get almost 2 years of unlimited 2-for-1 travel. Here’s the strategic guide on the Southwest Companion Pass. In the meantime, I would recommend a Chase Sapphire Preferred (or Reserve) or a Chase Ink Business card. Why? Chase Ultimate Rewards points can transfer to Southwest for free at a 1:1 ratio.
Best Credit Card Offers
At Travel Freely, we are all about maximizing great sign-up bonuses. It’s part of our approach to get the most amount of points in the least amount of time. Sign-up bonuses are the #1 way to rack up points WITHOUT traveling or spending a lot of money. Some people get more rewards in one bonus than they would in an entire year’s worth of spending on the same old card they’ve had for 5 years. Check out the BEST deals here.
- Overall Best Starter Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (60,000 points)
- Best “No-Thinking” Card for Beginners: Capital One Venture Rewards (50,000 points)
- Overall Best Business Travel Card: Chase Ink Business Preferred (80,000 points)
- Best Travel Business Card With No Annual Fee: Chase Ink Business Cash (50,000 points / $500 bonus)
- Best Airline Personal Card: Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red (60,000 miles) or Chase Southwest Plus (60,000 miles)
- Best Airline Business Card: Chase Southwest Performance Business (
80,000 Miles70,000 Miles) and Chase United Business (100,000 miles)
- Best Hotel Personal Card: Chase World of Hyatt (50,000 points) or Chase Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant (100,000 points) or
IHG Premier (Offer ending 10/9/19!)
- Best Hotel Business Card: Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business Card (100,000 points)
- Best Cash Back Personal Card: Chase Freedom Unlimited (1.5x on all purchases)
- Best Cash Back Business Card: Capital One Spark Cash for Business ($500 bonus for $5k spend)
- Best Ultra-Premium Card: Amex Platinum or Chase Sapphire Reserve
- Best Card for College Students/Grads: Chase Freedom Unlimited or Discover It Student
Amazing Offers on Chase Business Cards
Ink Preferred – 80,000 Points (Learn More)
This is the best overall business card right now with a great sign-up bonus and 3X categories. It’s hard to beat the Chase Ink Business Preferred if you’re looking for an all-around business card that has flexible redemption options and can be combined with your personal Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
- Earns 3X rewards on travel, shipping, internet, cable, phone, and advertising with social media sites (up to $150K spend per year)
- Points worth 25% more when redeemed for travel
- Cell phone protection against theft or damage
- No foreign transaction fees
Incredible signup bonus for a no-fee card. An excellent companion to the Ink Preferred, personal Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred. Like the personal Sapphire cards, this card earns valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Earn 5X rewards (on first $25k spent) for phone, TV, internet, and office supply stores.
- Earn 2X rewards on gas and restaurants
- It has 0% APR for 12 months
- No Annual Fee
An all-round great cash back business card with no annual fee. It’s very simple. You earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. Also has 0% APR for 12 months. This can be a great standalone card, but it is a excellent companion card to the Ink Business Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred!
- Earn 1.5X rewards on Everything
- It has 0% APR for 12 months
- No Annual Fee
|Card||Sign-up Bonus||Spending Required||Annual Fee|
|Ink Preferred||80,000||$5,000 in first 3 months||$95|
|Ink Cash||$500||$3,000 in first 3 months||$0|
|Ink Unlimited||$500||$3,000 in first 3 months||$0|
Special Guide for Business Owners
What’s Our Criteria for the Best Cards?
- Value of points – Not all points and miles have the same value when it comes time to redeeming them. We take this seriously.
- Bonuses – Travel Freely seeks to maximize sign-up bonuses, so if great sign-up bonus offers come out, those cards will move up in the rankings.
- Type of Card – We value airline cards higher than hotel cards because airfare never goes on sale (whereas hotel sites can get you almost 50% retail rates). So airfare is the highest value in free travel. So, if we see airlines and hotel cards as similarly great deals, the airline card will get the edge in the rankings.
- Bonus spending requirement – We rank cards lower that require major spending as part of sign-up bonus. For example: Some cards offer 50,000 points if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, but then they’ll offer an add’l 25,000 points if you spend $10-15k in additional spending over the course of the year. This is considered major spending to us and we do not factor that in for the normal free traveler.
- Ease-of-use – Factors such as customer service and redemption fees play a factor in our rankings. We don’t want you to spend hours on the phone with poorly trained, off-shore customer service when you have a question about your card. Avoiding ridiculous fees for redeeming free travel are also important to us. For example: Frontier – You might get a “free flight” on Frontier Airlines with 20,000 points. But, you have to spend a reward redemption fee, bag fee for carry-on or checked luggage, and a seat booking fee. You might spend $96 in fees for a “free” $110 flight!
Here’s Help with Rewards Programs:
The three major bank rewards programs are Chase, Amex, Citi, and Marriot Bonvoy. Here are some comprehensive guides to help you understand them better.
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