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With Exciting Card Bonuses & Extensive Perks, These Cards Are What You Need to Travel Like a Pirate!
As travel has begun to ramp back up, we've seen travel credit cards reintroduce enticing sign-up bonuses.
In the case of the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (our recommended first travel card), you can earn 60,000 bonus points after signing up, which is worth at least $1,000 in travel. The American Express Platinum card has also introduced an enticing bonus of 80,000 points, which we value at around $800. Read on for more info about both of these cards and how to best use them.
First off, if you're not going to pay off your card in full every month, then stop right here, go back to looking out our other deals, and don't bother getting these cards. This is rule number one for using travel credit cards, and if you can't follow it, then you'll be missing out on the entire point of these cards.
Now that we got that out of the way, here's how you can get $100s, even $1,000s, in value from each of these cards, and significantly more than that with just a little bit of effort.
You can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months after opening the account. This is pretty easy for most of us, especially if you can pay higher ticket items (rent, tuition, car repair, whatever) with your card. Just make sure you spend the minimum amount before those three months are out, or you'll be missing out on $750 in travel.
This card has an annual fee of $95 a year, which allows the card to offer its great benefits, including solid trip delay insurance, great primary car rental insurance, $50 a year towards hotel stays, bonus points on travel and dining, and a bunch more. You can read all about it and apply here.
It's up to you if you want to keep the card after the first year, but keep in mind that the biggest point of value is the sign-up bonus. You MUST keep the card open until the second year of membership to keep your bonus, and if you choose to cancel, wait till the annual fee for year 2 hits, call them up and the fee will be waived — they might even wave it to keep you from canceling!
This card comes with a much higher annual fee of $695, but the travel benefits pay for the fee and more. Before we get to the sign-up bonus, to cover the annual fee you can:
-Use the annual $200 hotel credit for a luxury stay
-Use the $200 airline fee for travel stuff you'd be paying for anyway
-Get free access to thousands of Priority Pass lounges and Amex Centurion Lounges (we value this at least $300, though for someone that travels frequently it can be worth closer to $1,000)
-Get CLEAR and Amex will reimburse the entire fee
-Get $200 a year in Uber cash — great for rides to/from the airport or Uber Eats
-Get Global Entry and Amex will reimburse the entire fee
With a total value of at least $1,179, these are just the benefits that we feel are most relevant to the avid traveler — Amex includes lots more that you can look into here.
The bonus is the really exciting part though — you can apply for the Amex Platinum here and the bonus is 80,000 points. That's like having $800 in travel in the palm of your hand just for opening up the card and meeting the $6,000 minimum spend within 6 months. So if you want to travel like a pirate, but don't yet have these cards, now's the time to earn some points and miles and take those trips you've been dreaming of!
Chase United cards have some great offers right now, including up to 70,000 United miles on the Explorer card, in addition to a waived annual fee for the first year and the normal benefits such as free United lounge passes.
The Amex Gold Card is also worth having in your wallet, at least if you're getting the current sign up bonus of 60,000 points
One of our personal favs is the Hilton American Express card — it has a solid bonus, gets you a low-level status at Hilton, and carries no annual fee.
Amex has some solid no-fee cards that offer sign up bonuses.
Chase also offers cards with no fee, which can be a good alternative.
The offers listed here can change at any time, our apologies if you've missed them — head to the bottom of the page to sign up for our all of our notification methods so you won't miss the next hot deal!