Annual Fee Credit Cards

Most airline credit cards charge an annual fee. But most also offer a large number of bonus miles for first purchase on the card, and many waive the annual fee for the first year. In some cases, when the first year fee is not waived, the bonus is large enough to make the fee worth paying.

I mention some offers for Canadians, but probably the best resource for miles producing credit cards for Canadians is the Rewards Canada Bonus Mile Promotion Directory.

Caution: Most cards have a limit on the number of miles you can earn in one year. If you plan to charge a lot on a card, be aware of this limit.

 

 
Starwood American Express Card     Starwood Hotels & Resorts offers my favorite American Express credit card. Read my description of the Starwood Starpoints program in my Other Programs I Like section to see how the program is extremely useful in acquiring airline miles. Earn 1 point/$1 spent. 1,000 points can be converted to 1,000 miles on a large number of airlines (great flexibility as airline programs change), plus 20,000 points convert to 25,000 miles for most airlines (alas, not United Airlines but transferring Starpoints to Marriott points can get you United miles at a reasonable price), meaning essentially you get 1.25 miles/$1 spent.

All U.S. offers below are free of annual fee for one year, then $65 a year.

For a quick, free infusion of extra Starwood Starpoints, consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. So cancel before the end of the first year. Actually using the card would be a very inefficient way of earning Starpoints, but the bonus points for first use would be worthwhile, as each 1,000 Membership Rewards Points convert to 333 Starpoints.

Personal card:

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express Card Members in the U.S. can earn two Starpoints® for every eligible dollar spent using the Card directly at hotels participating in Marriott Rewards globally. Likewise, Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JPMorgan Card Members in the U.S. can earn five Marriott Rewards or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards points for every eligible dollar spent using their respective Card on qualifying purchases made at participating global SPG properties. You also get the usual points for stays at these properties. Details here.

This is my favorite personal card for earning miles for actual spending in all categories, because 20,000 points convert to 25,000 miles for a large number of airlines (alas, not United Airlines but transferring Starpoints to Marriott points can get you United miles at a reasonable price), giving essentially 1.25 miles/$1 spent. Also, the points are quite valuable for hotel stays. 7,000 points got me a free night in Munich, for example.

Two offers:

Personal card:

Starwood Preferred Guest Personal Credit Card from American Express

  • Please ask me to refer you to this offer. This helps me at no cost to you. Thanks. Perhaps easier, if it works: Click on this link. The go to the bottom of the page you get, and click on Travel. Find the offer there.
  • 75,000 points after you make $3,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of Card Membership. (These are really Marriott points.)
  • 6X points for Starwood and Marriott stays. 2 point/$1 for other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on international purchases.
  • The annual fee is waived the first year.
  • The T&Cs say "Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product."
  • Alternate offer: 65,000 points + a $100 statement credit after your first SPG or Marriott Rewards purchase on the Card within the first 6 months.

Business card:

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express

  • 100,000 points for making $5,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 4X points for spending at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • Other stuff the same as the personal card offer. You should be able to get both.
  • Alternate offer: 90,000 points + a $100 statement credit after your first SPG or Marriott Rewards purchase on the Card within the first 6 months.

Starwood has cards for Canadians and residents of the U.K and China. The have steep fees and up front bonuses.

 

   
American Airlines Credit Cards     All of these offers are stated to be for first-time Citi® / AAdvantage® cardmembers. In practice
  • It is possible to get both a personal and a business card.
  • Most Citi AA offers say "American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card opened or closed in the past 24 months." Please tell me if you find one that does not say this. Thanks.
  • After you get the up front bonus for an American Airlines card, actual spending is more efficient via the Starwood American Express cards, as 20,000 points will give you 25,000 American Airlines miles. The cards usually has a nice up front bonus and usually waive the annual fee the first year. You should be able to get both the personal and the business cards.

After you apply for a card, immediately call the credit approval department at 800-763-9795 (maybe 888-201-4523 for business cards) to confirm the details of the offer you got.

Please tell me if there is an offer different or better than the ones I list below. Thanks.

Cardholders can fly to select destinations on American Airlines operated flights for up to 7,500 fewer AAdvantage® miles with Reduced Mileage Awards.

This Flyertalk Wiki follows these cards. Its info may be more up to date than mine below. Please tell me if you find something there of interest. Thanks.

    Citi® Platinum Select® / AAdvantage® World MasterCard
    A similar offer is available for a business card, except bonus miles for certain business expenses. I describe it below. You should be able to get both.

    • 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in three months. If that link doesn't work, try this one.
    • Limited-time: Earn 40,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus, new cardmembers can also receive up to a $200 statement credit on eligible American Airlines purchases in the first 12 months of account opening.
    • 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 you spend on eligible American Airlines, restaurant, and gasoline purchases, and 1 mile/$1 on everything else
    • A $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card.
    • The first eligible bag checked free for you and up to 4 travel companions.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • Group 5 boarding.
    • Discount mileage award tickets - up to 7,500 miles off.
    • Receive a 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your Citi® / AAdvantage® card.7
    • The annual fee is waived the first year.
    • This is a chip and signature card.
    • American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles are not available if you have had any Citi® / AAdvantage® card (other than a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® card) opened or closed in the past 24 months.

    CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Card

    • Offer 1: 75,000 miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 5 months.
    • Offer 2:70,000 miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months. If that link doesn't work, try this one.
    • Get the first eligible bag checked free for you and up to 4 travel companions.†
    • First checked bag free for you and up to 4 travel companions traveling with and listed in the same reservation as the Citi® / AAdvantage® primary credit cardmember..1
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on American Airlines purchases and on purchases at telecommunications, car rental merchants and at gas stations. 1 AAdvantage® mile per $1 spent on other purchases.9.
    • Group 5 boarding.
    • Discount mileage award tickets - up to 7,500 miles off.
    • Earn an American Airlines Companion Certificate for domestic main cabin travel after you spend $30,000 or more in purchases each cardmembership year and cardmembership is renewed. Redeeming the certificate costs $99 for the ticketing fee, plus $21.60 to $43.20 in government taxes and fees based on itinerary.8
    • Receive 25% savings on in-flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card.7
    • The annual fee is waived the first year.
    • This card is not available if the business already has a CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® account. Bonus miles and any additional special offer not available if you have had any CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® account opened or closed in the past 24 months.

    AAdvantage® AviatorTM Red World Elite MasterCard from Barclay Bank.

    • 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles when you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the $95 annual fee. No minimum spend requirement.
      • Doctor of Credit tells us how to get an extra 500 miles for this offer.
    • 10% of your redeemed miles back (10,000 maximum per calendar year)
    • First checked bag free
    • 2X miles for eligible American Airlines purchases
    • First checked bag free
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Group 5 boarding for the primary cardmember on domestic itineraries operated by American Airlines
    • 25% inflight savings on food, beverages, and headsets on American Airlines-operated flights

    AAdvantage® Aviator® Business Mastercard from Barclay Bank.

    • 60,000 bonus American Airlines miles when you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the $95 annual fee. No minimum spend requirement.
    • 5% of your redeemed miles back.
    • Everything else pretty much the same as for the personal card above.

    Citi® / AAdvantage MileUp card.

    • 10,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $500 spent on purchases within the first 3 months
    • 2X miles on groceries and on American Airlines purchases.
    • 25% savings on eligible in–flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card.
    • No annual fee.

    Citi® / AAdvantage® Gold card.

    • 25,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $750 spent on purchases within the first 3 months
    • 25% savings on eligible in–flight food and beverage purchases when you use your card.
    • Save up to 5,000 AAdvantage® miles - use Reduced Mileage Awards and travel for fewer miles.
    • Annual Fee: $50 (Fee waived for the first 12 months)

    Citi Bronze Advantage World MasterCard

    • College student version.
      • No annual fee.
      • 1 mile/$2 spent.
      • No miles bonus for first purchase.
      • No minimum income or co-signer required.
      • Special Student Deals.
      • Access to credit education tips and tools.
    • Regular version.
      • 2,500 miles for first purchase after $125 in purchases within the first 4 months.
      • 1 mile/$2 spent.
      • No annual fee.
      • Maximum miles that can be earned is 25,000 miles per calendar year.
    • I no longer have links to these offers but they still may exist. Try the standard number for applying for Citibank American Airlines cards, (800) 359-4444. If that doesn't work, call customer service at (888) 766-2484 and do not respond to any of the prompts. Instead, wait (several minutes) until the system gives up trying to understand you and sends you to a human being. In both cases, you will most likely have to ask for the card by name. Most reps say they have never heard of it, but they all have the means of looking it up.

    Banco Popular offers AA miles earning credit cards with good bonuses to Puerto Ricans. If you are flying to or from there soon, you might be offered a slightly better deal on the plane.

    A reader says "l live in the Virgin Islands and have banked at BP for 35 years.. always showing healthy balances in my accounts. This offer is quite old and I applied for it, as did my wife, several years ago. They required us to bring in our previous 3 years of tax returns (!!!) and accepted my wife’s app but rejected mine because I showed a loss in one of those years (were both self employed), never mind our superb credit scores. All I can say about the BP app process is that it has a lot in common with an extended visit to your proctologist. You’ll get your miles, probably, but you’ll be “reviewed” first."
   
United Airlines Credit Cards     In addition to the United Airlines offers, consider also acquiring cards earning Ultimate Rewards Points. Nice mega up front points, convertible to United Airlines miles 1,000:1,000, nice bonuses for purchases in special categories, and the annual fee was waived for the first year. The Chase Sapphire Preferred (SM) Card offers a nice bonus and double points for travel expenses. The Ink Business Preferred credit card a offers good bonuses plus 3X points for many business expenses.

Chase Bank, the issuer of United Airlines credit cards, will allow only one bonus for each type of card (personal and business) per person per airline. Supposedly this is per life, but there are reports that Chase's computers "forget" you had a card after about 18 months.

You can get a bonuses for each of the personal business cards. I have received the bonuses for both the personal and the business cards after the bank policy came into effect.

Before you sign up for any card, be sure to read my section on More initial miles below, so you can avoid accepting extras without getting all of the miles you can for them.

If you are not automatically approved for the card, call 800-453-9719. This connects you directly to a Chase Bank credit analyst who can tell you why you were not automatically approved, can suggest ways to fix the problem, and has the power to approve your application.

United Airlines credit cards do not charge foreign transaction fees. But be sure to check the terms and conditions of the offer find to be sure that particular offer has this feature.

Note that this offer says that this product is not available to either current cardmembers of this credit card, or previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. A reader verified that this means what it says, at least for another Chase card (Marriott). The 24 month count starts with the date of the bonus, not the date of closing of the account. A rep told him to wait 30 days after closing the account to apply again, even though it had been over 24 months since he received the bonus. This flyertalk wiki discusses this.

This flyertalk wiki keeps track of the United Airlines credit card offers.

United MileagePlus Explorer Personal Card

  • The standard offer is 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, plus a $100 Statement Credit after your first purchase.
There are other possible ways that I know of for getting 50,000 plus more, or maybe even 70,000 miles:
  • On August 2, 2017, I logged into my UAL account and found a 70,000 miles offer on the front page, $3,000 spend requirement, and with the $95 annual fee not waived the first year. Or try this link and log in to see if you are targeted for the same offer, or perhaps a 50K offer with the annual fee waived the first year.
  • You might find a 60K offer plus a $50 statement credit by making a dummy booking. The annual fee is not waived. If you can't make the $50 statement credit appear via a booking, try adding "50IC" to the URL of the landing page.
  • Doctor of Credit says you may find a 50,000 miles offer at your local Chase branch. Call to ask.
  • Check your first bag for free
  • Priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club with two one-time-use passes every year
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn double miles on tickets purchased from United, at restaurants, and at hotel accommodations, and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
  • Your miles don't expire as long as your credit card account is open, with no limit to the number of miles you can earn Use your miles for any seat, any time, on any United flight
  • Annual fee $95, waived the first year.

    This flyertalk wiki keeps track of the United personal cards offers.

    United MileagePlus® Explorer Business Card

    • The standard offer is 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. The annual fee is waived the first year. If the above link doesn't work, try this one.
      • Doctor of Credit tells us how we might find a 75,000 miles offer for this card.
      • Try this link (log in may be required) for an offer of 50,000 miles + $50 statement credit, $3,000 spend requirement, annual fee waived. May or may not be targeted.
    • If you can do the spend requirement, for businesses the Ink Business PreferredSM credit card is possibly a better choice than the United business card. It offers a good bonuses plus 3X points for many business expenses.

    The United MileagePlus® Club Card is usually way too expensive ($395/year) for mention on this website, as it offers no bonus miles for getting it. But The Miles Professor says that you can probably get it for free for the first year at you local Chase Bank branch. Call first.

    • 1.5 United Mileage Plus miles per dollar on all spending
    • First and second checked bags fee.
    • Close in booking fees waived. United charges a $75 award booking fee when booked within 21 days of departure. This card waives the fee.
    • The primary Cardmember and eligible travel companions will enjoy unlimited access to all United Club locations and participating Star Alliance affiliate lounges worldwide.
    • Enjoy Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum status
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • I don't know if you can get both this card and the standard United Explorer card described above.

    More initial miles:

    When you sign up for your card, do not sign up for the "Payment Protector" program, the one that pays your credit card bill when one of various defined disasters happen to you. Instead, wait for your card to arrive, the call (8007) 801-7319 to see if you can receive miles for accepting the offer. The cost of the plan is $.89 per $100 average balance, with no charge if there is no balance. I was offered this plan by a regular credit card customer service rep, who assured me that even if I were to carry no balance (and thus generate no fee) and then were to cancel, I would still get the 1,000 miles he was offering at the time. I suggest you do just that. It's a terrible bet anyway, unless you know your future.

    After you receive your card, you may be able to refer a friend to receive one and receive 5,000 miles. On March 14, 2009, a customer rep at (800) 537-7783 described this procedure:

    • The person you refer calls (866) 556-7201 and tells the rep which card he or she wants. That person must confirm with the rep all of the terms, conditions, and fees read on line. This is most important. The call center may not have available all of the cards offered online.
    • That person provides your United Airlines Mileage Plus number and his or her number.
    • Both you and the person you refer get and extra 5,000 miles.
    • The rep said this works for any card.
    • In the past I have had to fight to get my referral miles. Good luck.

    First Hawaiian Bank offers a feeble 5,000 United Airlines miles for first use of its credit card. $60 annual fee, not waived the first year.

    United has credit cards available to people residing in many countries other than the U.S. It's list of these cards provides contact phone numbers, but no details of the offers.

     

  •    
    Delta Airlines American Express Miles Card     Note: Do not ask for additional cards when applying for a Delta credit card, unless the specific offer requires that you do this to get bonus miles. See below.

    Note: After you spend the minimum required for your bonus miles, the Starwood American Express card is a much more efficient card for actual daily use at merchants accepting American Express. It gives one point/$1 spent. As of October 2, 2014, 20,000 points give you 25,000 miles on Delta Airlines.

    Those seeking Delta Airlines miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 50,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and one or more cards below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    After you get the card, you might be able to refer others to the card and receive 5,000 miles for this, up to times.

    This flyertalk wiki trys to keep track of the best Delta credit card offers.

    Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express

    • Standard offer: 30,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months† and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
    • Until November 7, 2018, I can refer you a 60,000 miles offer. Just ask. The standard offer is 30,000 miles. Perhaps easier, if it works: Click on this link. The go to the bottom of the page you get, and click on Travel. Find the offer there.
    • Doctor of Credit says you might find an offer of 50,000 miles for spending $2,000 in three months, plus a $150 credit after making your first Delta credit by making a dummy booking. He says there is no lifetime language.
    • 2X miles on Delta purchases. 1 mile/$1 spent on everything else.
    • Check your first bag free for everyone on the same Delta flights itinerary.
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Priority Boarding.
    • The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
    • This offer is not available to applicants who have or have had this product.
    • If you don't see the offer, clear cache and cookies and/or open the page in a private or InPrivate window.

    You should be able to get both the personal and the business cards.

    Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card from American Express OPEN

    • 30,000 Bonus Miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months† and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
    • 2X miles on Delta purchases. 1 mile/$1 spent on everything else.
    • Everything else pretty much the same as the personal card offer.
    • If you don't see the offer, clear cache and cookies and/or open the page in a private or InPrivate window.
    • You should be able to get both the personal and the business cards.

    Blue Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card. Earn 10,000 Bonus Miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. No annual fee. Please allow me to refer you a 60,000 miles offer. Just ask. Perhaps easier, if it works: Click on this link. The go to the bottom of the page you get, and click on Travel. Find the offer there.

    • 2X miles on Delta and restaurant purchase. 1X on everything else.

    Delta has credit card offers from Mexico and the Asia Pacific. Most have bonus miles for applying and using the card.

     

       
    Alaska Airlines credit cards     For U.S. and Canadian residents, Alaska Airlines offers many annual fee credit cards with up front miles that might be attractive to you depending on how you value your miles. I particularly recommend the Alaska Airlines program because of its extensive list of partners on which you can use Alaska miles.

    Note: After you spend the minimum required for your bonus miles, the Starwood American Express card is a much more efficient card for actual daily use at merchants accepting American Express. It gives one point/$1 spent. As of December 31, 2013, 20,000 points give you 25,000 miles on Alaska Airlines.

    Caution to those who don't want to pay the annual fee for the second year: If bill is not paid in full by date annual fee posts, that fee will be assessed. No refunds.

    This flyertalk wiki does a good job of keeping track of Alaska Airlines credit card offers. It says, for example, that "a few people in the Alaska Airlines forum have in the past received personally targeted, single-use links for a 50k offer" when they opt-in to "Partner Offers" in their Mileage Plan account preferences.

    All of the offers I list for personal cards for U.S. residents now include this LIMITED TIME OFFER: Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Buy one ticket, get one for just the taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening. There are no blackout dates.

    Alaska Airlines personal card for U.S.Residents

    • Standard offer: 30,000 miles offer with a $1,000 spend requirement, plus the fee for the companion ticket waived the first year. If the better offer below is no longer available, please allow me to refer you to this one. This helps me at no cost to you. Thanks.
    • Better offer: Same, except 32,500 miles. You need the name and employee ID of an Alaska Airline employee for this one. Perhaps if you are at an airport anyway, find and employee there. Or maybe an employee you speak with on the phone for any reason might give this to you.
    • Still better offer: Some folks on the West Coast are receiving a 40,000 miles offer, but with no $100 bonus. Doctor of credit tells us how anyone can get this offer.
    • Best offer: 30,000 miles plus a $100 statement credit, giving you a $25 profit. Find it by doing a dummy booking a domestic flight on Alaska metal. On June 28, 2018, I successfully did this. I booked a flight for cash. On the last page before I had to confirm payment, I saw the offer. I did not log into my Alaska Airlines account. I was required to tell them whether or not I am a Bank of America customer. I am, and told them so. This allowed auto fill on some of the fields on the application. Instant approval. Of course, I did not purchase the flight.
    • One free companion ticket. Buy one ticket, get one for just taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22)
    • 1 mile/$1 spent. 3 miles/$1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacations packages and Cargo purchases made through Alaska Airlines
    • Annual $99 (USD) Companion Ticket.
    • Free Checked bag.
    • No foreign transaction fee.
    • $75 Annual fee, not waived the first year.

    Alaska Visa Business card for U.S. residents.

    • Standard offer: 30,000 bonus miles after you make at least $1,000 in net retail purchases within the first 90 days. But click here for a 32,500 miles offer.
    • One free companion ticket. Buy one ticket, get one for just taxes and fees ($0 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22)
    • 1 mile/$1 spent. 3 miles/$1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacations packages and Cargo purchases made through Alaska Airlines
    • Annual $99 (USD) Companion Ticket.
    • Free Checked bag.
    • No foreign transaction fee.
    • Annual fees:
      • $50 Company Fee if Company Earning Level Plan; $0 if Individual Earning Level Plan. Be sure to select which you want.
      • Fee per card is $25 if Company Earning Level Plan; $75 if Individual Earning Level Plan.

    Alaska Airlines MasterCard for Canadians

     

       
    Southwest Airlines Credit Cards     Southwest Airlines Credit Cards

    Here are the differences I can see between the Premier and the Plus cards:

    An extra 3,000 points for renewal of the latter card (6,000 vs. 3,000). You probably will not want to renew the card, as the renewal points are not worth the money, but, instead, will cancel the card (after putting a charge on the card about a month before doing so to keep your points alive), wait a year or two, and apply again when another good offer appears.

    The Premier cards have no foreign transaction fees. The Plus cards do.

    The Premier cards earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List and A-List Preferred status for every $10,000 you spend on the card (maximum of 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points annually).

    The Premier cards cost $30/year more.

    Note that when there are 50k offers available, getting two cards and doing the required spends gets you within 6,000 points of the coveted companion pass. The 60K offers get you there right away. Timing this right can get you that pass for almost two years. Here is how. The companion pass allows you to receive a free ticket for a companion flying with you, even if you are flying on an award ticket.

    In addition, the cards give you

    6,000 or 3,000 points every year after your cardmember anniversary.

    2 points/$1 spent on Southwest Airlines® and AirTran® Airways purchases made directly with the airlines and on Rapid Rewards Hotel and Car Rental Partner purchases.

    1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

    No foreign transaction fees for the Premier cards

    The Premier cards earn 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points toward A-List and A-List Preferred status for every $10,000 you spend on the card (maximum of 15,000 Tier Qualifying Points annually).

    Once you have a Southwest Airlines Plus or Premier card, wait awhile and then refer friends to it. You'll get 5,000 bonus points for each friend who gets the card. 50,000 points is the most you can earn for all Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier referrals per year. Here are the links:

    Plus
    Premier

    You should be able to get both a business and a personal card. You can no longer get bonuses for both personal cards.

    If you are not automatically approved for the card, call 800-453-9719. This connects you directly to a Chase Bank credit analyst who can tell you why you were not automatically approved, can suggest ways to fix the problem, and has the power to approve your application.

    Here are the links I currently have. But check with this flyertalk wiki to see if there is something better.
    Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Plus Card (standard offer). 40,000 points when you spend $1,000 in three months. $69 annual fee, not waived the first year.
    • 50,000 points offers with a $2,000 spend requirement for both Southwest Airlines personal credit cards are available via referral here. If you get an offer not available message, wait a bit for that to change to the offer page.

    Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card (standard 40,000 points offer after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. $99 annual fee, not waived the first year.

    • 50,000 points offers with a $2,000 spend requirement for both Southwest Airlines personal credit cards are available via referral here. If you get an offer not available message, wait a bit for that to change to the offer page. Be sure to take a screen shot of the offer and save the URL.

    Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Card. 60,000 points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. $99 annual fee, not waived the first year.

    Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Priority Card. 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus 25,000 points after you spend a total of $15,000 within your first year from account opening. $99 annual fee, not waived the first year. $75 Southwest annual travel credit. Four Upgraded Boardings per year when available. 20% back on in-flight drinks, WiFi, messaging, and movies. No foreign transaction fees.

    If these links no longer work, try calling calling 1-800-278-4370.

     

       
    Frontier Airlines World MasterCard®     Note: Those seeking Frontier Airlines miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    Frontier domestic tickets start at 10,000 miles one way. For more miles Frontier will fly you to Costa Rica, Mexico, Dominican Republic, or Jamaica. See Frontier's awards chart.

    Frontier flies from a large number of U.S. cities, always routing through Denver. See its route map.

    The Frontier Airlines World MasterCard® offers 40,000 miles after spending $1,000 in 90 days, enough for two domestic round trips. The $79 Annual Fee is not waived the first year.

     

       
    Spirit Airlines World MasterCard.     Spirit Air offers a World MasterCard.
    • 15,000 bonus miles after your first purchase + 15,000 bonus miles after making at least $500 in purchases within 90 days of your account opening
    • 2 miles/$1 spent.
    • Annual fee is $59, waived the first year.
    Spirit Air's website describes its very different FREE SPIRIT miles program. Be sure you understand it fully before committing to this card.

     

       
    Hawaiian Airlines Credit Cards     Note: Those seeking Hawaiian Airlines miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 50,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    Note: After you spend the minimum required for your bonus miles, the Starwood American Express card is a much more efficient card for actual daily use at merchants accepting American Express. It gives one point/$1 spent. As of November 5, 2011, 20,000 points give you 25,000 miles on Hawaiian Airlines.

    This flyertalk wiki keeps track of the best offers for Barclays Hawaiian Airlines cards. Check there first, as my links may not be up to date, and may not be to the best offers. Please tell me about any offers better than the ones I list. Thanks.

    The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard®

    • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
    • Doctor of Credit tells us about a way to find a 50,000 miles offer with only a $1,000 spend requirement.
    • Here is a 40,000 miles offer with the annual fee waived the first year. $1,000 spend requirement.
    • If that doesn't work, click here for a 35,000 miles offer for a $1,000 spend.
    • Enjoy a complimentary 1st checked bag for the primary cardmember when you use your card to purchase eligible tickets directly from Hawaiian Airlines
    • Receive a one-time 50% off a companion discount on roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines
    • Earn 3X miles on eligible purchases made directly from Hawaiian Airlines, 2X on gas (I think they mean gasoline, dining and grocery store purchases and 1X miles on all other purchases
    • No foreign transaction fees on purchases
    • No blackout dates plus access to discounted award flights on Hawaiian Airlines
    • $100 discount off a companion ticket each year after your account anniversary for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines upon payment of annual fee
    • Earn 5,000 annual bonus miles after spending $10,000 or more in purchases by your account anniversary.
    • Chip and signature card.
    • The $89 annual fee is not waived the first year, but 40,000 miles gets you a round trip ticket to Hawaii from various place in North America. Also note that Hawaiian is expanding to flight to Asia and Australia. I believe that your card gets you discounted award travel. I believe that this is 2,500 miles off each way, but I can no longer find the specifics of this. Call Hawaiian Airlines to ask before counting on this. Also note Hawaiian's expanding list of partner airlines, useful for flights from the US and for flights to Asia and Australia.

    The Hawaiian Airlines Business Mastercard from Bank of Hawaii

    • If the above link doesn't work, try this one.
    • 50,000 bonus miles with your first purchase
    • 50% off companion discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii and North America on Hawaiian Airlines
    • 3X miles on eligible purchases made directly from Hawaiian Airlines
    • 2x miles for gas, dining and office supply store purchases. )(I think they probably mean gasoline.)
    • 1X miles on all other purchases with no mileage caps
    • No foreign transaction fees on purchases
    • 20,000 Bonus Miles with $50K-$99K annual spend or 40,000 Bonus Miles with $100K or more annual spend
    • Share Miles allows you to send and receive HawaiianMiles between friends and family online at HawaiianAirlines.com without a fee.
    • The $99 annual fee is not waived the first year.

    You should be able to get both cards.

    Take a look at Hawaiian's award chart:

    • Round trip between North America and Hawaii is as low as 40,000 miles. So get the card and spend $5,000 on it, and you are on your way to Hawaii. Such a deal for $89!
    • Note also that Hawaiian is expanding into Asia and Australia. See its route map.
    • You can use Hawaiian miles to book award flights on its partners, American Airlines, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin Australia, JetBlue, All Nippon Airways (ANA), China Airlines, and Korean Air.
    • Note that the bottom of the chart indicates discounts on award travel for Hawaiian Airlines credit card holders. I believe that this is 2,500 miles off each way, but I can't find the specifics of this on the offer. Call Hawaiian Airlines to ask before counting on this.

    The above personal card is issued by Barclays. The below card is issued by Bank of Hawaii. It will be interesting to see if we can get cards from both banks. (Via Rapid Travel Chai)

    Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite MasterCard personal card

    • 35,000 bonus miles after making $1,000 in net purchases within 90 days.
      • There is an in-branch offer of 40,000 points with the annual fee waived the first year. Not sure if you have to be a resident or perhaps just visiting. A kind resident of Hawaii tried this. He says
        • Correction: You do not have to be a resident. My reader was just visiting.
        • You may be able to avoid actually going to the branch. (The branch rep. that called me said he could email he application to me if I preferred.)
        • This card, though applied for at Bank of Hawaii, is actually issued by Barclays Bank.
        • I am guessing that you probably can get approved for both the card from BOH and the card applied for directly from Barclay’s. This is just my guess but I am basing that on my deduction that, since I already had/have two open cards directly from Barclay’s, if this new application thru BOH was counted in the Barclay’s system (limit of two open card at a time) it would probably have been denied. That is obviously based purely on my suspicions of how I was able to get approved and may not be the case. Perhaps they gave me an “exception” because I was applying in branch.
    • 2X miles on direct purchases from Hawaiian Airlines
    • 1X miles on all other purchases with no mileage caps
    • 20,000 Bonus Miles with $50K-$99K annual spend
    • 40,000 Bonus Miles with $100K or more annual spend
    • $89 annual fee, not waived the first year.

     

       
    Sun Country Airlines Credit Cards     Sun Country Ufly Visa credit card
    • 40,000 Sun Country Ufly points after spending $500 on the card within the first three billing cycles.
    • 4 points per $1 spent on qualifying on-board purchases
    • 2 points per $1 spent on qualifying Sun Country Airlines products and services, including tickets and upgrades
    • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
    • First bag checked free when you present your card at check-in
    • 5,000 bonus points for spending $5,000 on the card during each 12 billing cycle period
    • 0% intro APR on purchases for your first 6 billing cycles
    • No intro annual fee1 for the first year. $69 per year after that.
    Sun Country flies between Minneapolis/St.Paul and many cities in the continental U.S., including Anchorage, Alaska, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Costa Rica.

    They say award tickets start at 6,500 points and upgrades for even less.

    They say "Ufly Members are not restricted by blackout dates or frustrated with changing redemption rates."

    This flyertalk thread discusses the offer.

     

       
    Amtrak Credit Cards     Amtrak offers two credit cards, one free, and one with an annual fee of $79. Both offer not particularly impressive up front bonuses.
    • Improved offer: 30,000 points after you make $1,000 or more in purchases on your new card within 90 days of account opening. $79 annual fee. Please tell me when this offer is gone. Thanks.

     

       
    InterContinental Hotels Group IHG® Rewards Club Mastercard     InterContinental Hotels Group (formerly Six Continents) IHG® Rewards Club (formerly Priority Club) offers bonus points for applying for its no annual fee Mastercard and using it once. See the offers I list below. 10,000 points can be converted to 2,000 miles on a large number of airlines. But for hotel stays, especially in expensive places in Europe, I have found that using the points for award stay is much more lucrative. There are Holiday Inns most anywhere in the world.

    Particularly efficient use of miles comes from the 5,000 point stays available on the IHG® Rewards Club PointBreaks page.

    You may read about the IHG® Rewards Club program in the Points to Miles section of my Other Programs I Like page.

    Use of the card provides only one point per dollar spent, which is worth only 1/4 mile, and you must earn another 10,000 points to obtain more miles. However, if you frequently stay at InterContinental Hotels Group properties (Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, and Staybridge Suites), IHG® Rewards Club members can accumulate points for free airline tickets, which may be a better deal than converting to miles, depending on the type of ticket you want.

    For a quick, free infusion of extra IHG® Rewards Club points, consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. So cancel before the end of the first year. Actually using the card would be a very inefficient way of earning IHG® Rewards Club points, but the bonus points for first use would be worthwhile, as each 1,000 Membership Rewards Points convert to 1,000 IHG® Rewards Club points.

    Note: Those seeking IHG® Rewards Club points should consider also acquiring cards earning Ultimate Rewards Points. Nice mega up front points, convertible to IHG® Rewards Club points 1,000:1,000, nice bonuses for purchases in special categories, and the annual fee was waived for the first year.

    I and many other IHG® Rewards Club credit card holders have received a paper mail flyer saying that I will have Platinum Status as long as I keep my card. Platinum status allows you to have the best available room when you arrive at your hotel. The Jr. Suite at one of my Holiday Inn hotels in Italy was a very nice upgrade over the usual tiny European rooms. The status also give you a 50% bonus for base points for paid stays, and guaranteed room availability within 72 hours advanced notice except during special events.

    5 Non-Obvious Things to Know About the New IHG Credit Card

    This flyertalk wiki does a good job of tracking IHG credit card offers.

    IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

    • Standard offer: 100,000 points for for spending $2,000 on the card in the first three month. If my link doesn't work, try this one.
    • Better offer: Same card,but with a 100,000 points + $50 statement credit bonus with a $3,000 spend requirement.
    • If you can't find one of the better offers, please use my referral link to get the normal 80K offer with a $2,000 spend requirement. This helps me at no cost to you. Thanks.
    • 5,000 points for adding an authorized user
    • 10 points/$1 spent at IHG® Rewards Club hotels.
    • 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants*
    • 1 point/$1 spent on most everything else.
    • Fourth night free. For each standard room Reward Night stay of 4 or more nights, every 4th night is free. Applies only to 4 or more consecutive nights within the same Reward Night point redemption room stay at the same property.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • Platinum Elite status for as long as you hold the card. Platinum status provides free upgrade to the best available room upon arrival. This has been quite valuable to me for upgrading tiny European rooms into very nice suites.
    • Free night certificate annually valid at IHG® Hotels with a current point redemption level of 40,000 points or less after you pay the second year fee.
    • The $89 fee is not waived the first year.

    IHG® Rewards Club Travelers Credit Card

    • 60,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
    • 5 points per $1 spent at any of our 5,200+ hotels worldwide
    • Fourth night free. For each standard room Reward Night stay of 4 or more nights, every 4th night is free. Applies only to 4 or more consecutive nights within the same Reward Night point redemption room stay at the same property.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • The $29 fee is not waived the first year.

    Non-U.S. offers:

    • Canada: 60,000 first purchase bonus points, but with a steep $120 annual fee, not waived the first year.
    • United Kingdom. 10,000 and 20,000 Bonus Points offers as of October 1, 2013.
    • China. I am told that the offer is 10,000 Bonus Points, but I am unable to read the Chinese.

     

       
    Marriott Rewards Visa Cards     Marriott Rewards offers various bonuses for successfully applying for their Visa Card and using it once.

    Points are convertible to miles a many airlines, and can be used to acquire free stays and other goodies. See my description of the program in my Other Programs I Like page.

    Please tell me if any of these offers have expired or changed. Thanks.

    All of the offers say that this product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.

    Note: Those seeking Marriott points should consider also acquiring cards earning Ultimate Rewards Points. Nice mega up front points, convertible to Marriott points 1,000:1,000, nice bonuses for purchases in special categories, and the annual fee was waived for the first year.

    This This flyertalk wiki keeps up with the Marriott offers. It is usually reliable.

    Once you have a Marriott Credit Card, you can receive 20,000 points for referring someone to it.

    Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card

    • Personal card.
    • 75,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account. 7,500 bonus points when you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • 6 points/$1 spent at Marriott Rewards® and SPG® hotels.
    • 2 points/$1 spent on everything else.
    • 1 FREE NIGHT AWARD every year after your account anniversary, valid for a one night hotel stay at a property with a redemption level up to 35,000 points.
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • $95 annual fee, not waived the first year.
    • Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express Card Members in the U.S. can earn two Starpoints® for every eligible dollar spent using the Card directly at hotels participating in Marriott Rewards globally. Likewise, Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card from JPMorgan Card Members in the U.S. can earn five Marriott Rewards or The Ritz-Carlton Rewards points for every eligible dollar spent using their respective Card on qualifying purchases made at participating global SPG properties. You also get the usual points for stays at these properties. Details here.
    • Note that the offer says that this product is not available to either current cardmembers of this credit card, or previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. A reader verified that this means what it says. The 24 month count starts with the date of the bonus, not the date of closing of the account. A rep told him to wait 30 days after closing the account to apply again, even though it had been over 24 months since he received the bonus.

    Business card

    • 75,000 Bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from your account opening
    • 5 points/$1 spent at Marriott Rewards® and SPG® hotels.
    • 2 points/$1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly with the airline, and at car rental agencies, restaurants, office supply stores, and for internet, cable and phone services purchases.
    • 1 point/$1 spent on everything else
    • Free Night Stay in a Category 1-5 hotel each year after your account anniversary.
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • $95 annual fee, not waived the first year.
    • Note that the offer says that this product is not available to either current cardmembers of this credit card, or previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months. A reader verified that this means what it says. The 24 month count starts with the date of the bonus, not the date of closing of the account. A rep told him to wait 30 days after closing the account to apply again, even though it had been over 24 months since he received the bonus.

     

       
    Hyatt Credit Card     Hyatt Visa Credit Card
    • Awhile back Doctor of Credit said that you might find 40,000 Bonus Points with a $50 statement credit by doing a dummy booking on Hyatt.com, or perhaps by simply using this link. (I would prefer the former, just to be safe.) But note that the points for spending are not as large as those of the main offer. And Mommy Points said that a Hyatt Visa credit card could be found on Hyatt.com for World of Hyatt members who are making a reservation - 30,000 bonus Hyatt points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first three months + a $150 statement credit after your first purchase.
    • An additional 20,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.
    • 1 Free Night each year on your anniversary in any Category 1-4 property. This, of course, requires that you first pay the $75 annual fee.
    • 1 additional free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Smart Chip protection on international purchases
    • 4 Hyatt Gold Passport points for every $1 spent with your Hyatt Card at all Hyatt properties
    • 2 Hyatt Gold Passport points for every $1 spent for local transit and commuting, including taxis, mass transit, tolls and ride-share services, at restaurants, cafes and coffee, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline and on fitness club and gym memberships.
    • 1 Hyatt Gold Passport point for every $1 spent on purchases elsewhere
    • Elite Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum membership for as long as you are a cardmember.
    • The $95 annual fee is not waived the first year.
    • Please tell me when this offer changes or disappears. Thanks.
    After you get the card, you can earn points for referring others to it - 10,000 points per successful referral, up to 50,000 points max.

     

       
    Radisson Rewards Visa Credit Cards     Radisson Rewards (formely Club Carlson) has four offers for its Visa credit cards. All are listed here. In addition to the up front bonus points, each offers some sort of status and points for purchases - more for Radisson purchases. Radisson Hotels operates hotels under the brand names Radisson, Park Plazas, Country Inns and Suites.
    • Radisson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card. 85K bonus.
    • Radisson Rewards Visa Signature Card - 65k bonus with a lower fee.
    • Radisson Rewards Visa Card - 30K bonus with no annual fee.
    • Radisson Rewards Business Rewards Visa Card - 85K bonus.
    This flyertalk wiki keeps up with the latest offers, which may be better than those I mention.

     

       
    Air Canada Aeroplan Credit Cards     Note: Those seeking Air Canada miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    TD Bank (a U.S. bank) offers the TD Aeroplan™ Visa® Credit Card to Americans.

    • 25,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on net purchases in the first three billing cycles after account opening1
    • 2X Aeroplan Miles per $1 spent on Air Canada net purchases
    • 1 Aeroplan Mile per $1 spent on all other net purchases
    • Annual fee waived for first year, then $95 each year thereafter
    • Your Aeroplan Miles will not expire as long as you are a TD Aeroplan Credit Cardholder
    • The only U.S. Aeroplan affiliated credit card that lets you earn Aeroplan Miles every time you use your card
    • The card has a 3% foreign transaction fee.
    • Flyertalk discussion.
    Air Canada Aeroplan lists numerous mileage earning credit cards on its website. On January 2, 2017, there were offers of 50,000 miles for both its personal and its business cards. Fees are expensive, but the more expensive ones include impressive travel and medical insurance.

     

       
    British Airways Credit Cards     British Airways Visa Credit card to U.S. residents .

    Caution:

    • The British Airways points (Avios) program is very different from those of U.S. Airlines. Be sure you understand the program and exactly how and when you will use it before applying for this card. I am not very familiar with the program, as I have never used it. But here is what I understand about it:
    • British Air charges very high fees for award travel on its own metal. It is possible to avoid these fees by flying on partner airlines like American Airlines.
    • British Air points (Avios) expire, I think after 3 years of no activity, but check this to be sure. I think activity on the account keeps your Avios alive, but again, check this to be sure. I do not list many easy British Airways activities. Be sure you know when you will use these Avios before acquiring them.

    Note: In addition to the British Airways offers, consider also acquiring cards earning Ultimate Rewards Points. Nice mega up front points, convertible to Avios 1,000:1,000, nice bonuses for purchases in special categories, and the annual fee was waived for the first year.

    Note: Those seeking British Airways Avios should consider also acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 Avios. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    Although British Airways charges very high fees for award tickets on its own metal, it does not charge those fees on several of its partners. This makes its Avios (points) especially useful for non-trans Atlantic flights on American Airlines (great for the Caribbean and for Central and South America), and for Alaska Airlines tickets, for example. They can also get you trans Atlantic trips on Air Berlin with no fuel charges and Aer Lingus with very low fuel surcharges. And if you have an Iberia Avios account that's been open for 90 days and has some activity in it, you can move British Airways Avios over to Iberia, and use points in the Iberia account to redeem for Iberia flights without fuel surcharges.

    The offers:

    British Airways Visa Signature® Card

    50,000 bonus Avios after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

    Plus an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 on purchases within your first year of account opening.

    Plus a further 25,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening.

    3 Avios for every $1 spent on British Airways purchases;

    1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

    Travel Together Ticket good for two years, every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases.

    No foreign transaction fees.

    Smart Chip Technology

    10% off when you book your British Airways flight through ba.com/Chase10 when you pay for your ticket with your British Airways credit card. Flights must be booked with outbound travel commencing from now through June 30, 2019. Use promotion code: CARDOFFERU. I leave it to you to read the details. Please tell me if this is extended or canceled. Thanks.

    The $95 annual fee is not waived the first year.

    Chase's 5/24 rule will not stop you from getting this card, though getting it will count towards the 5.

    If you are not automatically approved for the card, call (888) 245-0625. This connects you directly to a Chase Bank credit analyst who can tell you why you were not automatically approved, can suggest ways to fix the problem, and has the power to approve your application.

    Remember that British Air Avios can be combined with Iberia Avios, in either program. Both have the same partners. Taxes and fees for flights are usually lower on Iberia award tickets.

    There is a flyertalk discussion of this offer.

    RewardsCanada posted an excellent article on how Canadians can earn 60,000+ British Airways Avios for free.

    Canadian residents may acquire a very interesting Visa Platinum card from the Royal Bank of Canada.

    • It costs CN$165 per year and offers only 15,000 Avios for first purchase.
      • Special offer: 15,000 Avios upon approval^, plus, for a limited time, get an extra 30,000 Avios if you spend $3,000 in each of the first 3 months. Earn 2x Avios when you make grocery store and gasoline purchases, plus other goodies. The $165 annual fee is not waived the first year, but it gets you interesting comprehensive insurances including Out of Province/Country Emergency Medical Insurance. Please tell me when this offer disappears or is changed. Thanks.

    • It provides 1 Avios every dollar you spend on the card, and double Avios for every dollar you spend on British Airways flight that is purchased with the card.
    • So far, this doesn't seem very impressive return for the large annual fee. However, the card has some very interesting insurance programs that go with it.
      • A very comprehensive medical emergency travel insurance policy for travel outside of Canada that pays for medical expenses and transportation back to Canada, including very expensive air ambulance service if required.
      • Flight Delay Insurance.
      • Emergency Purchases Insurance.
      • Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance.
    • This card is well worth a look for Canadians who frequently travel outside of their country.

    Two British Airways American Express credit cards for UK residents are described here. Note that if you already have a British Airways American Express card, you may earn 4,000 or 9,000 Avios by referring a friend to that card.

    British Airways offers credit cards in many other countries. To find the offers for your country, go to click here, then click on United Kingdom at the top of the page, and then change your country on pull down list. Look for partners pages, both general and for your specific region.

    The British Airways Avios program is quite different that those of U.S. Airlines. This is a card you would buy only if you are familiar with the program and know you will use the Avios before they expire.

     

       
    Aer Lingus Credit Cards    

    In addition to the Aer Lingus offers, consider also acquiring cards earning Ultimate Rewards Points. Nice mega up front points, convertible to Avios 1,000:1,000, nice bonuses for purchases in special categories, and the annual fee was waived for the first year.

    FrequentMiler says "it should be possible to move Avios between British Airways, Iberia, and Aer Lingus (though we’ve heard mixed reports on actually doing it recently — some people find it very easy and others nearly impossible)."

    The offers:

    Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card

    50,000 bonus Avios after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.

    Plus an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 on purchases within your first year of account opening.

    Plus a further 25,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening.

    3 Avios for every $1 spent on Aer Lingus purchases;

    1 Avios for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

    Travel Together Ticket good for two years, every calendar year you make $30,000 in purchases.

    No foreign transaction fees.

    Smart Chip Technology

    Chase's 5/24 rule will not stop you from getting this card, though getting it will count towards the 5.

    The $95 annual fee is not waived the first year.

     

       
    Iberia Credit Cards     Ibera Visa credit card for U.S. residents.
    • 50,000 bonus Avios after you make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
    • Plus an additional 25,000 bonus Avios after you spend $10,000 on purchases within your first year of account opening.
    • Plus a further 25,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year from account opening.
    • 3X Avios for Iberia purchases. 1X for others.
    • Discount voucher of $1,000 to use toward two tickets on the same flight for each year you make purchases of $30,000 on your card.
    • 10% discount. Use your Iberia Visa Signature Card to book your flight on iberia.com/Chase10, and you will receive a 10% discount.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
    • Chase's 5/24 rule will not stop you from getting this card, though getting it will count towards the 5.
    • $95 annual fee, not waived the first year.
    • Remember that Iberia Avios can be combined with British Airways Avios and probably Aer Lingus Avios, in either program. Both have the same partners. Taxes and fees for flights are usually lower on Iberia award tickets than on British Air tickets.

     

       
    Virgin Atlantic Credit Cards     Note: Those seeking Virgin Atlantic miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    The Black Card offers

    • Standard offer: 20,000 Flying Club bonus miles after your first retail purchase.
    • Much better offer: Same as below, except 50,000 additional Flying Club bonus miles after you spend at least $12,000 on purchases within 6 months of your account open date
    • Earn up to 5,000 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card
    • Earn up to 15,000 additional bonus miles upon anniversary.
    • Earn 3 miles/$1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles/$1 spent on all other purchases
    • Spend at least $25,000 on purchases in a year and redeem the necessary miles for a Virgin Atlantic Economy reward ticket and get a companion reward ticket for half the miles.
    • Complimentary Regus businessworld gold membership, worth $300, with access to 1,000 business lounges and cafés worldwide.***
    • The $90 annual fee is not waived the first year.
    • If the link to this offer doesn't work, try this one, which still gives the same bonus miles, but does not mention the Regus offer.
    • 50K miles will get you a round trip ticket to a very large number of places on many partner airlines. I found the awards on Delta (lots of interesting awards), Hawaiian, ANA, Singapore, Air New Zealand, and Virgin America to be of particular interest.

    The White Card offers

    • 12,500 Flying Club bonus miles after your first retail purchase
    • Earn up to 7,500 additional bonus miles upon anniversary
    • Earn up to 2,500 Flying Club bonus miles when you add additional authorized users to your card
    • Earn 3 miles/$1 spent directly on Virgin Atlantic purchases and 1.5 miles/$1 spent on all other purchases
    • Spend at least $25,000 on purchases in a year and redeem the necessary miles for a Virgin Atlantic Economy reward ticket and get a companion reward ticket for half the miles.

    Virgin Atlantic offers two credit cards issued by MBNA to UK residents. Both types give you both and American Express and a Visa card for the same credit card account.

    • The White Card offers
      • 3,000 bonus Flying Club miles upon first spend
      • No annual fee
      • 1 Flying Club mile/£1 spent
      • 2 Flying Club miles /£1 spent direct with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays on the American Express card.
      • A Premium Economy reward upgrade on an Economy redemption when you spend £10,000 on your card in one year. You can earn up to 2 upgrades a year.
      • A complimentary companion reward flight when you spend £15,000 on your card in a year (just pay the taxes and charges)
    • Black Card offers
        The
      • 18,500 bonus Flying Club miles upon first spend
      • £140 annual fee
      • 2 Flying Club mile/£1 spent
      • 4 Flying Club miles /£1 spent direct with Virgin Atlantic or Virgin Holidays
      • A Premium Economy reward upgrade on an Economy redemption when you spend £5,000 on your card in one year. You can earn up to 2 upgrades a year.
      • A complimentary companion reward flight when you spend £7,500 on your card in a year (just pay the taxes and charges)
      • Complimentary Regus Businessworld Gold membership giving you access to 1,100 lounges and cafes in cities worldwide

     

       
    Miles & More Credit Cards (Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines Group, SWISS, Adria Airways, AirDolomit, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Luxair)     Note: After doing the required spending for the bonus, using the Starwood American Express credit card would be a more efficient way to earn Miles and More miles, as 20,000 Starwood points convert to 25,000 Miles and More miles. That Starwood card always offers an up front bonus.

    This flyertalk wiki attempts to keep track of the best Lufthansa credit card offer. Check there to see if there is something better than below, and if so, please tell me about it. Thanks.

    Miles & More® Premier World MasterCard®

    • 50,000 miles - 20,000 award miles after your first purchase and payment of the annual fee, then an additional 30,000 award miles after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days, or 60,000 miles - 20,000 award miles after your first purchase and payment of the annual fee, then an additional 40,000 award miles after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first 90 days. To see this last more obscure offer, scroll down to Welcome Bonus in the T&C.
    • 2 award miles per $1 on ticket purchases directly from Miles & More integrated airline partners and 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
    • Receive two complimentary Lufthansa Business Lounge vouchers annually
    • 15% Off Miles & More Hotel & Car Awards
    • Annual Companion Ticket after first purchase and annually thereafter
    • Chip Technology
    • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made outside the U.S.
    • $89 Annual Fee, waived for SEN and HON Circle Members

    Lufthansa miles are useful for domestic first class awards on United. There are no fuel surcharges on US domestic flights. Lufthansa’s program provides much better access to Lufthansa First Class award space than is offered to partners.

    If this offer do not impress you, you would probably be better off getting a card that earns United Airlines miles. Then use those miles to fly Lufthansa or Star Alliance members.

    Lufthansa's website lists credit cards available for residents of countries other than the U.S.

     

       
    Air France/KLM Credit Cards     Note: Those seeking Air France/KLM miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offer several credit cards on their websites that earn Flying Blue Award miles. No bonus offers for first purchase are listed there. However, you may be able to find bonus offers for your country by clicking on Air France's Flying Blue home page, selecting your country and language at the top of the page, and then navigating to credit card or financial offers. For example:

    Mastercard offer for residents of Switzerland. 5,000 Flying Blue Miles bonus for first use,

    If you provide me a specific link to a special offer for your country, I will list it here. If possible, please provide the links to both the English and native language offers. Thanks.

     

       
    Alitalia     Those seeking Alitalia miles, especially U.S. residents should consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    Alitialia offers an American Express card for U.S. residents.

    • 10,000 miles for first purchase.
    • 5,000 BONUS MILES when you spend $20,000 or more in a 12 month period.
    • 2 MILES PER $1 spent on all qualifying Alitalia purchases2
    • 1 MILE PER $1 spent on all other purchases2
    • 2 FREE ADDITIONAL FREE CHECKED BAGS
    • 2 FREE ALITALIA LOUNGE PASSES
    • NO FOREIGN TRANSACTION FEE
    • NO INTRODUCTORY ANNUAL FEE for the FIRST YEAR after that--$89
    • Although branded American Express, the card is issued by First Bankcard.

    Alitalia suggests obtaining European American Express cards that earn Membership Rewards points, and European Diners Club cards to earn points that convert to Alitalia miles at various conversion rates.

     

       
    Scandinavian Airlines System Credit Cards     SAS offers numerous credit cards for residents of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland.

     

       
    SN Brussels Airlines credit cards     SN Brussels Airlines offers American Express and Mastercard credit cards for residents of Belgium. The American Express card is also available to residents of Luxembourg. Substantial bonus miles are offered for first use.

     

       
    Swiss International Airlines Credit Cards     SWISS has several credit card programs for residents of Switzerland, and relationships with American Express and Diners Club card holders from selected countries.

     

       
    Czech Airlines Credit Cards     Czech Airlines has several credit card programs for residents of the Czech Republic. There is a 5,000 mile offer for a Diners Club card, and 2,000 and 3,000 mile offers for Mastercard and Visa card from Komercni banka. Click on "OK PLus partners" in the left menu, then on the "PAYMENT CARDS" button on the far right.

     

       
    IcelandAir Credit Cards     IcelandAir offers two Mastercards:
    • Select the World++ MasterCard
      • 10,000 Bonus Customer Club Points on first use
      • 2 Points/$1 spent on Icelandair travel
      • 1 Point/$1 spent on anywhere else
      • $39 annual fee
    • Select the Platinum MasterCard
      • 5,000 Bonus Customer Club Points on first use
      • 1 Point/$1 spent on Icelandair travel
      • 1 Point/$2 spent anywhere else
      • No annual fee
    Both have a 0% interest offer for balance transfers, but there is a 3% fee for this, $5 minimum and $50 maximum. A maximum of 5,000 points can be earned for balance transfers. Be sure to read the Cautions section of the Important Starting Info page of this credit card section before doing a balance transfer.

     

       
    Asiana Airlines Visa Credit Cards     Asiana offers a Visa card for U.S. Residents. U.S. residents wanting award tickets on Asiana might be better off getting the mega bonuses from the United Airlines credit card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred (SM) Card, the Ink Bold® Business Card, or the Ink Plus® Business Card, then using the resultant miles to get a Star Alliance ticket on Asiana. All of these waive the annual fee for the first year. For earning miles for actual spending on a card, U.S. residents wanting award tickets on Asiana should consider using the Starwood American Express credit card, which give 1 point/$1 spent, but also gives 5,000 bonus miles for each 20,000 points tranferred 1:1 to Asiana, or specialized spending on the Ink or Sapphire cards mentioned above.

    Asiana Airlines offers a Visa Signature Credit card from Bank of America for U.S. residents:

    • 30,000 Bonus Miles after you make $3,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
    • 3 miles for every $1 spent on purchases with Asiana Airlines
    • 2 miles for every $1 spent on gas and at grocery stores
    • 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases
    • 10,000 Bonus Miles Certificate awarded annually
    • Automatic $100 annual rebate on Asiana Airlines ticket purchases
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees
    • The $99 fee is not waived the first year.

    Asiana lists many Korean banks that issue credit cards which earn Asiana miles. One of them is for Japanese residents. No details are given for any of the cards.

     

       
    Korean Airlines Credit Cards     Note: For a more efficient way to earn Korean Airlines miles through spending on credit cards, and also for more bonus points, consider getting a Starwood credit card, or a card earning Ultimate Rewards points. Starpoints, for example, transfer to Korean at a 1:1 ratio, plus a 25% bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. And cards earning Ultimate Rewards points have lots of bonuses for certain types of spending.

    SKYPASS Visa® Signature Credit Card

    • 30,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 within first 90 days.
    • Earn 1 mile for every $1 you spend in net purchases
    • Double Miles on Korean Air ticket purchases and on gas station and hotel purchases.
    • for Korean Air ticket purchase each year.
    • $50 Off coupon for Korean Air ticket purchase each year.
    • Two Korean Air VIP Lounge coupons each year.
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • Redeem miles for award travel and upgrades on any SkyTeam partner, including Korean Air and domestic carriers such as Alaska Airlines and Delta Air Lines
    • $80 annual fee, not waived the first year.

    Of course, Korean Airlines offers many credit cards for residents of Korea and other countries. To find them, go to its Global Website, chose Korea for your region, and then your language. Click on SKYPASS > Earn Miles in the top menue, then on Credit Cards, or perhaps Other Partners, in the left menu.

     

       
    All Nippon Airways (ANA) Credit Cards     Note: Those seeking ANA miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    Special offer: Cardholders can meet 3, 5, or 7 conditions to earn 500, 1,000, or 3,000 miles. Register if you have an ANA credit card. I leave it to you to read the details.

    All Nippon offers a large number of mileage earning credit cards.

    • It's card for U.S. residents offers a 5,000 mile bonus for first use, and 1 mile/$1 spent on the card. It costs $70 a year, for a cost of 1.4 cents/mile.
    • It's Hong Kong card for residents of Hong Kong offers a 5,000 mile bonus when you accumulate a spending of HK$2,000 or more within the first 3 months of card issuance, and 1 mile/HK$8 spent on the card. It offers lots of other possibly useful goodies.

     

       
    Japan Airlines (JAL) Credit Cards     Japan Airlines offers a Mastercard to U.S. residents. $70 annual fee. 1 mile/$1 spent with no limit on earning miles. Carefully read all of the terms and conditions before applying.

    Japan Airlines offers several credit cards that appear to be Mastercards. You must have a bank account in Japan to qualify for them. There are up front miles, but the fees are in Yen, so I am unwilling to take the time to evaluate these bonuses.

     

       
    Cathay Pacific Credit Cards     Cathay Pacific offers a credit card for U.S. residents:
    • 40,000 bonus Asia Miles after spending $2,500 or more in the first 90 days of opening your account.
    • 2 Asia Miles per $1 spent on eligible Cathay Pacific travel and in-flight purchases
    • 1.5 Asia Miles per $1 spent on dining in the US or abroad
    • 1.5 Asia Miles per $1 spent on purchases outside of the US, with no foreign transaction fees
    • $95 annual fee is not waived the first year.
    • View from the Wing does a nice analysis of this offer, pointing out that it could be a good choice for those who frequently travel in foreign countries.

    Cathay Pacific offers to Canadians a Visa credit card through RBC Royal Bank.

    Cathay Pacific offers a large number of mileage earning credit cards for residents of Asia, Australia, some of the Pacific Islands, and parts of the Middle East. Details, such as they are, here. It appears that you have to contact the bank of interest to find out about the fees and conditions.

     

       
    Singapore Airlines Credit Cards     Note: Those seeking Singapore Airlines miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    Singapore Airlines has several relationships with third party "points" type of cards which allow you to convert those points to the airline's miles. Details here.

     

       
    China Airlines Credit Cards     China Airlines offers two Mastercards for U.S. residents:
    • Platinum Mastercard.
      • $59 annual fee.
      • 7,500 miles for first use. (So the extra 5,000 miles over the card below cost 1.18 cents/mile.)
      • 2 miles/$1 spent on China Airlines travel.
      • 1 mile/$1 spent everything else.
    • Platinum Mastercard.
      • No annual fee.
      • 2,500 miles for first use.
      • 1 mile/$1 spent on China Airlines travel.
      • 1 mile/$2 spent everything else.

    China Airlines offers a large number of mileage earning credit cards for residents of the Far East. It appears that you must contact the bank of interest to find out about the offers, fees and conditions.

     

       
    China Eastern Credit Cards     China Eastern offers a mileage earning credit card. It appears that you must contact the Bank of China to find out about the offers, fees and conditions. Inquire Tel: 8008205288 OR 021-64956178.

     

       
    Eva Air Credit Cards     Eva Air offers a large number of mileage earning credit cards. It appears that you have to contact the bank of interest to find out about the offers, fees and conditions.

     

       
    QANTAS Credit Cards     QANTAS offers a large number of mileage earning credit cards for residents of Australia and New Zealand. It appears that you have to contact the bank of interest to find out about the bonuses, fees and conditions.

     

       
    Air New Zealand Credit Cards     Air New Zealand has several credit card programs about which I have no further information.

     

       
    Mexicana Credit Cards     Note: Those seeking Mexicana miles should consider also acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    Mexicana Airlines offers a Visa Credit Card to U.S. residents.

    • Earn 2 miles/$1 you spend with Mexicana Airlines.
    • Earn 1 mile for every dollar you in spend other retail purchases.
    • 4,000 Welcome Miles when you join Frecuenta Loyalty Program, for a cost of 1.125 cents/mile. I am not certain, but I think this means you don't get the 4,000 miles if you are already a member of the program. The bonus is not mentioned on Mexicana's website.
    • 2,000 anniversary miles each year. You have to pay the fee for the second year to get these.
    • 15% Discount on Mexicana flights from the U.S. to Mexico and Latin America when you use your card (presumably when you buy tickets from Mexicana directly).
    • The annual fee is $45.
    • Companion tickets of dubious value. Read the terms and conditions.
    • This FlyerTalk thread discusses the possibility of getting the 3% rip off fee for foreign currency conversion waived if you are a good customer of Bank of America. Ask.

    Mexicana Airlines mentions a Banamex Credit Card offer, and several other credit card programs about which I have no further information. Presumably residents of Mexico will recognize the cards and will know where to ask.

     

       
    Aeromexico Credit Cards     Note: Those seeking Aeromexico miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible 1,000 points > 1,000 miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive. Consider using one of these cards first, cancelling it before the fee becomes due, then acquiring a card listed below, or visa versa. Or consider acquiring both the Amex and a card below simultaneously to get all of the up front bonus points.

    Aeromexico lists its Visa credit cards on its website here. As of Octover 3, 2015, they offer 20,000, 15,000, or 5,000 bonus miles, and waive the annual fee the first year. Click on the Apply Now button to see the offer page.

     

       
    Avianca Credit Cards     Avianca offers two credit cards for residents of the U.S. View from the Wing describes the both. Doctor of credit tells us how to get increased 40K AND 60K offers for Avianca's credit cards. He says that Avianca has short haul domestic flights starting at 7,500 miles. Not sure what domestic means. Avianca is a Star Alliance member.

     

       
    LAN Airlines     LAN offers three Visa Credit Cards for residents of the U.S.

    • LANPASS Visa Signature® Card
      • 1 LANPASS Mile for every net $1 you spend (purchases minus credit and returns)
      • 20,000 Bonus Miles with your first card use
        • 4,000 Bonus Miles with your annual credit card renewal
        • Double Miles on LAN and TAM ticket purchases
        • $0 intro annual fee for the first year† ($75 thereafter)*
        • 20% discount on first LAN or TAM purchase (up to $1,000) 1 time per year
        • 25% flight miles bonus
        • 3 one-way upgrade coupons per year

      • LANPASS Visa Card
        • 15,000 Bonus Miles with your first card use.
        • 1 LANPASS Mile for every $1 you spend.
        • 2,000 Bonus Miles with your annual credit card renewal.
        • 10% discount on LAN Airfare (1 time per year).
        • $45 annual fee.

      • LANPASS Visa Secured Card
        • 5,000 Bonus Miles with your first card use.
        • 1 LANPASS Mile for every $1 you spend.
        • 10% discount on LAN Airfare (1 time per year).
        • $25 annual fee.
        • This type of card is a good way to establish credit. U.S. Bank says: "Just send us a cashier's check, a certified check, or a money order with your credit card application (from $300 to $5,000) to open a savings account. Once you're approved, we'll send you a credit card. Your credit line will be the same amount as your deposit. It looks and works just like any other credit card when you use it at a restaurant or store."

        LAN very likely offers credit cards for residents of South America. Choose your country to find its website.

        LAN offers 5,000 miles for referring people to its credit cards.

         

       
    VARIG Credit Cards     VARIG mentions a huge number of credit cards. Some offer bonus miles for first use. I have not analyzed any of the offers.

     

       
    El Al Airlines     Those seeking El Al Airlines miles should also consider acquiring American Express Cards that earn Membership Rewards points. They regularly offer 10,000 - 25,000 bonus points which are convertible to miles. The cards often waive the annual fee for a year, and then become prohibitively expensive.

     

       
    Emirates Airlines Credit Cards     Emirates Airlines has credit card programs with Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait, Citibank, Emirates Bank International, and Standard Chartered Bank - Qatar. Citibank offers to UAE residents only 15,000 or 25,000 miles on approval, with annual fees in a currency I don't understand.

     

       
    Jet Airways (India) Credit Cards     Jet Airways of India offers two Citibank Mastercards for residents of India. Click on "Jet Airways Citibank credit cards" in the left menu.

     

       
    Diners Club credit card and some airlines     Diners Club points convert to miles on some airlines 1:1. They used to offer a points bonus for signing up for their credit card, but I haven't seen it recently. Click here for specifics, or call (888) 92-DINERS.

    I am not familiar with Diners Club. I don't know if there is a minimum number of points needed to convert to miles, and I don't know if there is a fee to do so. Ask. (A reader tells me that points must be redeemed in 2,000 point increments only. Another reader tells me that there is a $0.95 charge per 1,000 mile transferred.)

    Dinners club special offers. Read the terms and conditions.

     

       
    American Express credit card and many airlines     American Express offers many credit cards that can be a good alternate or supplement to various airline and hotel cards. They earn Membership Rewards points which are convertible to miles on these airlines, usually at a 1:1 ratio in 1,000 point increments:
    • Delta
    • Hawaiian
    • Air Canada
    • British Airways (40% bonus through November 15, 2018)
    • Virgin Atlantic
    • Mexicana
    • AeroMexico
    • Air France/KLM
    • Aer Lingus (40% bonus through November 15, 2018)
    • Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific and Dragonair)
    • ANA
    • Alitalia
    • Iberia
    • Etihad
    • El Al
    • Emirates
    • Singapore
    and to points on Mommy Points offers some good suggestions on What to do with Membership Rewards Points, including how to use them to access Star Alliance award tickets, even though MR points do not transfer to United Airlines or U.S. Airways.

    The 9 Best Ways To Use Your AMEX Points, from MillionMileSecrets.

    Most cards producing Membership Rewards require steep annual fees, but the first year's fee is often waived - thus my statement that they can be useful, for the up front bonus points.

    How long it takes for Membership Rewards to transfer.

    Caution: Membership Rewards Points earned from American Express Blue cards cannot be transferred to airline miles unless you have an active card earning regular Membership Rewards points. If you do have such a card, points earned from Blue cards can be combined with your regular Membership Rewards points, and can then be used to transfer to airlines. I have a no annual fee American Express EveryDay card in order to keep alive my regular Membership Rewards, most of which were earned from mega-bonuses for other Amex cards. I was told that indeed having this card enables me to transfer points from Blue cards to airlines. To confirm all of this for yourself, call Membership Rewards at 800-297-3276, then say "representative".

    • Military Money Manual says that American Express Waives All Card Holder Fees for Active Duty Military
      How to Get AMEX Military Discount

      To have AMEX handle your account in accordance with the SCRA, simply call the number on the back of your card or 1-800-528-4800 and tell them you are serving on active duty military and had heard that AMEX offers to handle your account in accordance with the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

      The first customer service representative I spoke to didn’'t know about the program and had to ask her supervisor. You’ll be asked 5-10 questions about your situation, such as when you entered active duty and how long your commitment is. This information is then verified by AMEX before they approve your account for the fee waivers. The entire process took about 6 weeks for me, from phone call to receiving the secure message that my account had been approved.

    View from the Wing has an excellent article on where to transfer Membership Rewards Points to get Star Alliance tickets. He likes Air Canada and All Nippon Airways, and explains why.

    There is a tiny fee of $0.0005/mile for converting points to miles - that's 50 cents/1,000 miles. The fee is capped at $50 per transfer. This fee will increase to $0.0006/mile, capped at $99 per transfer. However, on August 2, 2008, a reader wrote

    "Federal laws [or whatever they are] that makes American Express charge for transfer of points to airline frequent flyer programs only applies to US airlines. There is no charge if you transfer points to say Virgin Atlantic.
    He also wrote
    "American Express will transfer points from UK card holders to US card holders at the rate of exchange between the £ and the $. So 10,000 UK points become about 20,000 US points [at the current currency exchange rate]. This is great as the exchange rate between points and frequent flyer miles is the same in the US as it is in the UK.

    So instead of transferring Amex points to get say 10,000 Virgin frequent flyer miles in the UK you convert the Amex points to US points first and then get 20,000 Virgin frequent flyer miles. Cool eh?"

    To see the conversion ratios and do the conversions, go to the Membership Rewards home page, click on Travel in the upper left corner, then on the category you want.

    Special offers:

    • American Express offers 10,000 Membership Rewards Points for enrolling your charge card in its Extended Payment Option, a feature that gives you the flexibility to carry a balance with interest or pay in full each month. You do not actually have to use that option (which, of course, you shouldn't, only enroll in it. This may be a targeted offer, and it applies only to charge cards, the kind that requires that you pay your balance in full each month. Click here and sign in to see the offer. If there is no link on that offer, call the number on the back of your card or 1-866-280-4438 and ask if your are eligible. You may need to use offer code CF2O:0008. (I think that first round thing is the letter oh, not zero.) You can see my list of Amex charge cards below. Probably there are many others.
    • This flyertalk wiki maintains a list of bonuses for transferring American Express Membership Rewards points to airlines. But caution: It is only as good as the members who maintain it.
    • Once you have a card earning Membership Rewards points, you might be able to receive 10,000 points for enrolling in American Express's Extended Pay option. You don't have to actually use the program, just enroll in it. The terms and conditions say "Offer only available to Cardmembers who have received a communication from American Express for this offer", but the system seemed to accept my enrollment. Worth a shot.
    • American Express offers free membership in ShopRunner for as long as you own an eligible American Express card. ShopRunner covers about 80 online stores with free shipping no matter the size of the order and free return shipping, as well as discounts, etc.
    • Frugal Travel Guy suggests how new card holders might get 5,000 or 6,000 extra membership rewards points by making a timely complaint.
    • American Express OPEN for small businesses offers up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points for signing up and using its wire service for foreign exchange currency.
    Important:
    I suggest you make copies of everything. Four items:
    • A screen shot of the offer page.
    • A screen shot of the application page.
    • Copy the URL of AMEX offer page.
    • The URL of the application page. This will be another AMEX URL.

    Please understand the following:

    • The bonus points will not actually post until you receive the statement that shows you paid off the minimum required purchase for that bonus.
    • After you paid off that balance, but before that statement is generated, the customer rep may be able to allow you to use the bonus. That rep will probably not be able to see it until a day or two after you make the payment.
    • Caution: If you close all of your cards earning Membership Rewards, all of your points will disappear. So use them first before cancelling that last card, or, better still, about two months before you have to pay the fee on your current card, apply for another. For example, when I decided I would close my American Express(R) Premier Rewards Gold Card to avoid paying the fee, I first successfully applied for the Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN, put a charge on it, immediately paid off that charge, then called Membership Rewards at 800-297-3276 and asked them to accelerate my points for that charge. They did this instantly. I now use my no annual fee American Express EveryDay card to keep alive my regular Membership Rewards. I will keep it as long as it is free.
    • Some of the offers I list are not standard. They are offered only by American Express affiliate like me. The American Express reps will probably know nothing about them. They see only the standard offers. Yes, this is a strange way for Amex to do business, but then, what else is new with this company?

    Note: If you are not approved, try calling the American Express reconsideration line, 866-314-0237. Many have had success getting approved after understanding why the application was disapproved and then offering appropriate changes, or simply asking what one must do to gain approval.

    After you get an American Express card, you might be able to refer others to the card and receive points or miles for this. Just log into your account and look for your referral link. Doctor of credit now says you can earn points by referring yourself to another American Express card if you already hold one. Cool, at least until they catch on and claw back your points and close your account.

    Card restrictions: Currently American Express restricts each personal card bonus to one per lifetime. But Doctor of Credit tells us that some of the mobile links still have the one per year limitation, as do some of the targeted offers, and offers from referrals. FrequentMiler tells us how that business card restriction might be avoided.

    American Express Premier Rewards Gold Charge Card
    If you don't see the offer, clear cache and cookies and/or open the page in a private or InPrivate window.
    When you apply, do not say you already have an American Express card. Some say that doing so may give you a lesser offer.

    • 25,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $2,000 during your first three months
    • 3 points/$1 spent for flights booked with airlines, 2 points/$1 spent at U.S. gasoline stations and U.S. supermarkets, and 1 point/$1 on other purchases.
    • 3X points for flights booked with airlines.
    • Earn 2X points at US gas stations, U.S. restaurants, and US supermarkets. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
    • There are no foreign transaction fees with your Premier Rewards Gold Card.
    • $100 Airline Fee Credit - up to $100 a year for incidental fees with your selected airline. (So there must be a way to select it.)
    • With The Hotel Collection, you can get up to a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges any time you use your Card to book a stay of at least two consecutive nights.
    • The expensive $195 annual fee is waived the first year.
    • The T&Cs say "This offer is also not available to applicants who have or have had this product."
    • This is a charge card, not a credit card, so it does not count towards the American Express limit of holding at most four credit cards at the same time. The only difference between a credit card and a charge card is that the latter requires that you pay your bill in full each month.

     

       
          American Express Gold Charge Card
    Doctor of Credit explains why you might want to get this card for 25,000 points after you already have the Premier Rewards Gold Card for 50,000 points. This is a charge card, not a credit card, so it does not count towards the American Express limit of holding at most four credit cards at the same time. The only difference between a credit card and a charge card is that the latter requires that you pay your bill in full each month,

     

       
          American Express EveryDaySM cards
    There is a
    flyertalk wiki on these cards.

    EveryDay Credit Card
    If you don't see the offer, clear cache and cookies and/or open the page in a private or InPrivate window.

    When you apply, do not say you already have an American Express card. Some say that doing so may give you a lesser offer.

    Last I looked the offer included

    Get 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.†
    • Doctor of Credit says that there is a 25,000 points offer, using an incognito mode window, but I and may others are having great difficulty getting this to work.
    • I can refer you to a 15,000 points offer. Just ask. Or perhaps easier: Click here, then go to bottom of page. Click on Reward Points. Find the offer.

    Earn 20% more points: Make 20 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.

    2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year

    Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and get 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.

    0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. No fee for balance transfers for 60 days.
    No annual Fee

    This card appears to me to be a very easy way to keep your Membership Rewards points alive.

    After you get the card, you can refer others to it and earn points for doing so. Visit this link for American Express's refer a friend site. From there enter your card information or your American Express log in and you should see the offer to refer others. Note the possible arrow to the right. Click on it to see other referral offers.

    EveryDay Preferred Credit Card
    If you don't see the offer, clear cache and cookies and/or open the page in a private or InPrivate window.
    When you apply, do not say you already have an American Express card. Some say that doing so may give you a lesser offer.

    Get 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.†
    • Try this link in a private window for a 20K offer.

    3x points at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases(then 1x); 2x points at US gas stations; 1x points on other purchases.

    Earn 50% more points: Make 30 or more purchases with your Card in a billing period and get 50% extra points on those purchases less returns and credits. Terms and limitations apply.

    0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.

    $95 Annual Fee, not waived the first year.

     

       
          American Express personal Green Card.
    • The standard offer gives no bonus points for applying. But I can refer you to a 15,000 points offer with the annual fee waived the first year. Just ask. Perhaps easier, if it works: Click on this link. The go to the bottom of the page you get, and click on Reward Points. Find the offer there.

     

       
          American Express Gold Card for Canadians
    • 15,000 Membership Rewards® bonus points when you spend $500 in 3 months.
      • Rewards Canada has a 25,000 points offer for the personal card and a 40,000 points offer for the business cards.
    • No annual fee for your first year of membership, then $150.
    • Earn double points for every $1 in eligible travel purchases charged to the personal Card, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises, and more. Plus, earn double points for every $1 in eligible gas, grocery and drugstore purchases in Canada charged to the Card. You’ll also earn one point/$1 in Card purchases everywhere else.
    • Important: Be sure to make copies of everything. See my list above.
    • Please tell me when this offer changes or disappears. Thanks.

     

       
          The Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express
    • 50,000 Membership Rewards points for spending $5,000 in qualifying purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • PointsCentric and Doctor of Credit tell us how you might futz to find a 75,000 points offer for spending $10,000 in the first three months.
      • Doctor of Credit provides this update for the 75K offer: It’s best to just call and give the offer code “25FR-4NS7T7-2PVV-M3C” to the agent on the phone
      • Dctor of Credit provides these specific instructions on how to get the 75K offer just by calling and asking for it.
    • Now, Choose where you earn more: 3X points on one of these 5 categories: Airfare purchased directly from airlines, US purchases for: advertising in select media, at gas stations, on shipping, & computer hardware, software, & cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
    • 2X points on the 4 remaining categories and 1X points on other purchases
    • 3X and 2X apply to the first $100,000 in purchases in each of the 5 categories per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter
    • The expensive $175 annual fee is waived the first year.

    The points for this card are Membership Rewards points. I have used the card to keep my Membership Reward points alive.

     

       
          Blue BusinessSM Plus Credit Card from American Express
    • 2X Membership Reward® points on the first $50,000 spent each calendar year, with no category restrictions. 1X Membership Reward® points on purchases thereafter.
    • 0.0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. The latter is not recommended, because of the 3% fee.
    • No annual fee. But there is a 2.7% foreign transaction fee.

     

       
          Business Green Rewards Card from American Express OPEN

      5,000 bonus Membership Rewards points for first purchase (nice - no minimum spend requirement), 1 Membership Rewards® point/$1 spent. The expensive $95 annual fee is waived the first year.

      The points for this card are Membership Rewards points. I have used the card to keep my Membership Reward points alive.

     

       
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