I have over a dozen active credit cards now, and over the last few years, I had myself a pretty religious routine of applying for new travel credit cards every 3 months. After all, credit card sign-up bonuses are one of the fastest and easiest ways to quickly earn a ton of miles and points if you have good credit and are a responsible spender.
Now with 2020 in full swing, there are record high sign-up bonuses to look out for. Here are 6 credit cards with increased welcome bonuses for February 2020:
- The Offer: Earn 140,000 IHG Rewards points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. This is the highest welcome bonus in the history of this card.
- Key Perks: Free night reward each account anniversary, 4th night free on award bookings, $100 credit for Global Entry / TSA Pre®, IHG Rewards Platinum elite status (benefits include bonus points, welcome amenity, room upgrades, late checkout, etc.).
- Earnings: Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- My Thoughts: The welcome bonus on this card is record-high, and the annual free night and $100 Global Entry credit essentially wipes away the $89 annual fee. IHG Category 1 properties are just 10,000 points per night, and top-tier properties are capped at 70,000 points per night, so that means that the welcome bonus alone will give you, at the very least, 14 nights at a lower-level property or 2 free nights at the most luxurious hotels in the IHG portfolio (including the aspirational Kimpton Seafire Resort in Grand Cayman – I’m a huge fan of Kimpton). I wouldn’t necessarily use this card for everyday spend, but the welcome bonus and perks alone make this card worthwhile. Excellent news for those who’ve previously the IHG Rewards Club Select card (like me) – you are still eligible to get this card and receive the lucrative 140,000 IHG Rewards points welcome bonus with this offer.
- The Offer: Through 4/1/20, new cardmembers can earn up to 70,000 bonus miles: Earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, and earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card-membership. Annual fee is waived the first year (then $99).
- Key Perks: spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year and receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit, free checked bag, Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights, 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible in-flight purchases (food, beverages, etc.)
- Earnings: Earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets. Earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.
- My Thoughts: This card is a refresh (not a new product) of the previous version of the card. 70,000 SkyMiles is worth $700 of travel, at minimum. The $99 annual fee is waived the first year, so cardmembers can enjoy a valuable welcome bonus and elite-like perks (checked bag, priority boarding, etc) for free with the chance to earn a $100 credit toward Delta flights if you spend $10,000 or more on the card each year, though I personally think there are more valuable spend opportunities with other cards.
- The Offer: Through 4/1/20, new cardmembers can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening, and earn an additional 20,000 bonus miles after your first anniversary of card-membership. $250 annual fee.
- Key Perks: With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after spending $25,000 in purchases in a calendar year, up to two times per year (MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights), free checked bag, Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights, $39 discounted price on Delta Sky Club® passes, 20% savings in the form of a statement credit on eligible in-flight purchases (food, beverages, etc.), Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre ®, no foreign transaction fees.
- Earnings: Earn 3 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2 miles per dollar on restaurants and at US supermarkets. Earn 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases.
- My Thoughts: This card is a refresh (not a new product) of the previous version of the card. 100,000 SkyMiles is worth at least $1,000 of travel, so if you’re a frequent Delta flyer this card can offer the perks of low/mid-tier status and a boost to achieving status goals.
- The Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Southwest Rapid Reward points — 70,000 points after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership, plus earn an additional 30,000 points after spending $25,000 on purchases within the first 6 months of card membership. The most lucrative value from this offer is that you can earn a Southwest Companion pass with this sign-up bonus alone.
- Key Perks: 9,000 bonus points after each cardmember anniversary, 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available, inflight wifi credits, Global Entry or TSA Pre✔® Fee Credit, no cost for employee cards.
- Earnings: Earn 3 miles per dollar on Southwest purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on social media and search engine advertising, Internet, cable and phone services and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
- My Thoughts: This offer requires significant spend, but the Companion Pass can be an asset for travelers who travel with Southwest regularly. The Southwest Companion Pass allows a companion to fly with you for free (taxes additional) for an unlimited number of times without any blackout dates. Since the companion pass expires December 31st of the following year after it is earned, earning the pass now means it will be valid for all of 2020 and all the way through December 31, 2021.
- The Offer: highest offer ever -earn 60,000 bonus TrueBlue points after spending $1,000 within ninety (90) days of account opening. $99 annual fee not waived.
- Key Perks: Free checked bag, 10% rebate on points redemptions, 50% off eligible in-flight purchases, 5,000 bonus TrueBlue points annually after cardmember anniversary, the opportunity to earn top-tier Mosaic status with $50,000 spend on the card, no foreign transaction fees, annual $100 statement credit after you purchase a JetBlue Vacations package of $100 or more.
- Earnings: Earn 6 TrueBlue points per dollar on JetBlue purchases, 2 points per dollar on restaurants/grocery stores, and 1 point per dollar everywhere else.
- My Thoughts: I’ve had my JetBlue Plus credit card since the day it came out in March 2016; and I got the card when the sign-up bonus was only 30,000 points. I keep the card in my wallet because its $99 annual fee is almost instantly offset with the 5,000-point annual bonus (~$70) and the 10% rebate back on redeemed flights adds up quickly and makes redeeming during fare sales and for Mint Class much more affordable.
- The Offer: Earn 100,00 bonus miles after spending $10,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.
- Key Perks: Free checked bag, priority boarding, 2 United Club passes at account opening and at each cardmember anniversary, $99 annual fee (but you receive a $100 United travel credit after seven United flight purchases of $100 or more), 25% back on United inflight purchases (food, wifi, etc.), 5,000 bonus miles each anniversary if you have this card along with and any personal United credit card, such as the United Explorer Card, no foreign transaction fees.
- Earnings: 2 miles per dollar on United purchases, 2 miles per dollar on local transit/commuting (including mass transit, taxis, tolls, ride shares etc.), 2 miles at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores. 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases,
- My Thoughts: I haven’t seen this high 100,000 mile offer in over 7 years. I wouldn’t recommend this card for everyday spend since the than the 3 miles per dollar on travel and restaurants with the Chase Sapphire Reserve and 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases using the Chase Freedom Unlimited is a more valuable and flexible return (United is a 1:1 transfer partner of Ultimate Rewards points). Overall, the United Business Card still is a solid card with a strong welcome bonus and perks such as a free checked bag and priority boarding that mimic low-level elite status. Additionally, the card “pays for itself” when frequent United flyers take the $100 earned travel credit into consideration. The United Business Card is a new card according to Chase, so that means everyone is eligible for the welcome bonus, regardless if you’ve received a welcome bonus on the United Business Explorer card in the last 24 months.
Whether you’re looking to jumpstart elite status, have a big trip in mind, or simply just want to take advantage of an opportunity to earn a boatload of points, many of these credit cards offer valuable perks beyond their initial welcome bonuses.
Love is in the air with Valentines Day right around the corner, but you can be in the air with your love with these credit cards with increased welcome bonuses (#endcornyjoke).
What new credit cards have you picked up this month?