If you are planning a trip in the not-too-distant future, you might be dreading the high cost of airfare. However, one way to address the high cost of flying these days is with a welcome bonus from a travel credit card. Welcome bonuses reward you with points you can use on things like hotels and airfare, generally after you spend a certain amount.
Travel cards tend to offer some of the best welcome bonuses, allowing you to greatly reduce the cost of your trip. These cards sometimes have high fees, too, but their generous benefits can more than offset the fee for the right person. Just remember to pay the card off, as interest charges can eliminate the discount you get with these welcome bonuses. Here are five of the best current offers out there.
- Welcome offer: 80,000 bonus points after spending $8,000 within six months of account opening
- Annual fee:
The American Express Platinum Card has upped its bonus recently, offering a welcome offer of 80,000 points. With so many bonus points, this card’s welcome bonus alone could be enough to offset its admittedly sky-high fee.
But it has other benefits, too, like annual $200 hotel (2-night minimum stay)and $240 entertainment credits (up to $20 per month). It also gives you $200 of Uber Cash and up to $200 in airline fee credit. Rounding out its credits is a $140 Walmart+ credit. Lastly, it gives you access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection, which has over 1,400 lounges in 650 cities.
- Welcome bonus: 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening
- Annual fee:
If you don’t mind an annual fee but don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars per year on one, the Citi Premier is a solid choice. Its bonus of 60,000 ThankYou Points is redeemable for dining, groceries, gas, or travel. You can also redeem it for a statement credit or $600 in gift cards.
This card earns 3x points at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, and on air travel and hotel booking. All other purchases earn 1x points. Overall, it offers excellent benefits for an entry-level premium card, plus a generous welcome bonus.
Capital One Venture Rewards
- Welcome bonus: 75,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening
- Annual fee: $95
The Capital One Venture Rewards is another entry-level premium credit card with a $95 annual fee. Its current welcome bonus is 75,000 bonus points which you can redeem in Capital One Travel.
One interesting feature Capital One has is it lets you use miles to get reimbursed for past travel purchases made elsewhere. This card also earns unlimited 2x points on all purchases, making it good for everyday spending. You can also earn 5x points on travel booked through Capital One Travel.
Barclays JetBlue Plus Card
- Welcome bonus: 80,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases and paying the annual fee in the first 90 days
- Annual fee: $99
With a $99 annual fee, the Barclays JetBlue Plus Card is another travel card with a low annual fee. Despite being among the premium tier, its minimum spend is just $1,000 — much lower than the other cards on this list — yet it still offers a welcome bonus of 80,000 points.
It has other nice perks, like 6x points on eligible JetBlue purchases and 2x points on grocery stores and restaurants. Another perk is 5,000 bonus points every year on your anniversary. Lastly, it will give you 10% of your points as a bonus after redeeming for travel on a JetBlue-operated Award Flight.
- Welcome bonus: 80,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 within three months of account opening
- Annual fee: $250
The Chase United Quest Card has a welcome bonus of 80,000 bonus points, though its minimum spend of $5,000 is on the high side. However, its $250 annual fee is reasonable. After all, it has a $125 annual United purchase credit, and it gives you two 5,000-mile anniversary award flight credits.
Other perks include 3x points on United Airlines purchases, 2x points on all other travel, and 2x points on dining and select streaming services. It will also give your first and second checked bags for free, for savings of up to $320 per trip.
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