We’ve simplified things with our “Best Of” rankings here. If you don’t have time to research cards, take advantage of our expertise! Need a primer on Rewards Cards, check out Rewards Cards 101. 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.
Please note: If there’s a better link I can offer that will not earn us commission, I will post the better offer. I hope that earns your respect and trust over time.
3 Highlights for February
1. Don’t Let Offers Disappear
We’ve seen a LOT of offers come and go in the last two months. 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! I learned this the hard way when I was already counting on my $750 in free travel from the 75k Capital One Venture card, then it disappeared without warning before I made time to apply.
2. Southwest Offers
The recent Southwest Personal Card Offers WITH the 2019 Companion Pass have expired. These cards are now offering 40,000 miles once you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Personal Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Personal Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Personal Card
3. “Bonvoy”-age to SPG and Marriott (Now Live!)
If you’ve never had an SPG personal card, it may be a good time to grab this. There is a huge re-branding happening this month as the final piece of the Marriott and SPG merger. Their merged rewards program (and credit cards) are now becoming… wait for it… “Bonvoy.” Sounds kind of like a fun little car or an ice cream treat, but oh well. For more juicy details, check out Frequent Miler’s comprehensive writeup.
Two important news of note:
1) The Amex SPG Personal card is going away on February 12th. There will be no new equivalent, just a $450 annual fee card. So, it’s a great play to jump on this SPG Personal card before Feb 12th.
2) Now LIVE! The new Amex Bonvoy Business card (previously the SPG Business card) will be out on February 13th with a 100,000 point welcome bonus. That’s very tasty, especially because Amex business cards do NOT count towards 5/24 and don’t report to personal credit.
Zac’s Advice: If you are ready for your next card, over 5/24, and would like some nice hotel points, consider the Amex SPG Personal card before it expires on Feb 12th! Note, the welcome bonus is not available for anyone who has had this card in the last 7 years.
Bonus Tip of the Month
The Chase Business offers are still going strong. The best offer is the 80k with the Chase Ink Preferred. For those who can’t spend $5,000 in 3 months, the Chase Ink Cash is an incredible deal for 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points and NO annual fee.
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 Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (50,000 points)
- Overall Best Business Travel Card: Chase Ink Business Preferred (80,000 points)
- Best Airline Personal Card: (EXPIRED Feb 11, 2019)
Chase Southwest Priority (30k Miles + Companion Pass) or Chase Southwest Plus (30k Miles + Companion Pass)
- Best Airline Business Card: Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Business (75,000 miles)
- Best Hotel Personal Card: (EXPIRED Feb 12, 2019)
American Express SPG Preferred Card (75,000 miles)OR Chase World of Hyatt (50,000 points)
- Best Hotel Business Card: (Now LIVE!) Amex Marriott Bonvoy Business Card (100,000 points)
- Best Travel Personal Card With No Annual Fee: Wells Fargo Propel Amex (30,000 points)
- Best Travel Business Card With No Annual Fee: Chase Ink Business Cash (50,000 points / $500 bonus)
- Best Card for Easiest Redemptions: Barclaycard Arrival Plus (70,000 points) or Capital One Venture Rewards (50,000 points)
- Best Cash Back Personal Card: Capital One Savor Cash Rewards ($500 bonus)
- Best Cash Back Business Card: Capital One Spark Cash for Business ($500 bonus for $5k spend)
- Best Ultra-Premium Card: Amex Platinum (Personal) or Amex Business Platinum (100k using Card Match Tool)
- Best Card for College Students/Grads: Chase Freedom or Discover It Student
- Best Long-term 0% APR of 18 months: Wells Fargo Platinum or BankAmericard Credit Card
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|
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, and Citi. Here are some comprehensive guides to help you understand them better.
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