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It’s a brand new year and the holiday season is nearly behind us. As you map out your 2021 travel plans and money goals, it’s worth pursuing the best credit card offers. Earning bonus travel rewards or bonus cash can make it easier to achieve your annual goals.
Best Credit Card Offers 2021
You’ll find that many of the best credit card offers to start 2021 are also limited-time offers. Additionally, some of these offers also include perks that don’t involve travel. If you don’t have any travel planned, you can always earn points, miles, and rewards to use for the future. So long as your account remains open, your points usually don’t expire.
Southwest Airlines Credit Cards
Up to 80,000 Rapid Rewards Points
The Southwest Airlines credit cards offer several limited-time credit card offers during the year. It’s possible to earn up to 80,000 bonus Rapid Rewards with any of the consumer cards:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
- And the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
Of the three options, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Card can be the best option for frequent Southwest flyers. Card benefits include an annual $75 Southwest credit, 4 Upgraded Booking per year (when available), and a 7,500-point anniversary bonus. The annual fee is $149.
To earn the full 80,000 Rapid Rewards bonus, new cardholders must achieve two spending milestones. First, spend $2,000 in the first 3 months to earn 50,000 bonus points. Then, spend a total of $10,000 in the first 9 months to earn the remaining 30,000 bonus points.
From 12/1/2020 to 3/31/2021, the Southwest credit cards can earn 5x Rapid Rewards on the first $2,000 in Southwest purchases per month. After hitting the $2,000 monthly threshold, cardholders can earn unlimited 2x points per $1 spent on Southwest purchases and Rapid Rewards® car rental and hotel partner purchases. Everything else will earn you 1 point per dollar spent.
Related: Best Southwest Credit Card Offers
American Express Gold Card
Up to 75,000 Membership Rewards
The American Express® Gold Card is letting applicants earn 60,000 bonus Membership Rewards ($600 value) by spending $4,000 in the first 6 months. The standard welcome bonus is only 35,000 bonus points worth $350.
However, you may qualify for a targeted 75,000 Membership Rewards offer ($750 value) when you apply through CardMatch™. If so, you will need to spend $5,000 in the first 6 months.
This card excels at maximizing food and travel purchases. Earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in annual spending, then 1x points) and restaurants, including takeout and delivery worldwide. Flights that you book directly from the airline or on amextravel.com earn 3x points.
The Amex Gold Card offers up to $120 in annual dining credits ($10 monthly) and also includes a $100 Hotel Collection on-site credit for qualifying stays. The annual fee is $250 (See Rates & Fees).
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns some of the most valuable credit card points. It also has a valuable signup bonus worth $750 in award travel and other qualifying redemptions. You can earn the 60,000-point bonus by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.
The Sapphire Preferred also earns 2x Ultimate Rewards on travel and dining purchases. Until April 30, 2021, up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month earn 2x Ultimate Rewards. All non-bonus purchases earn 1 point per $1.
Each Ultimate Rewards is worth 25% more (1.25 cents each) for award travel redemptions through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Additionally, cardholders can earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. Points are worth 25% more now through April 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. Points are also worth 25% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through April 30, 2021.
Also, 1:1 points transfer to travel brands like World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, Southwest Airlines, and United Airlines is another valuable point redemption option.
The annual fee is $95 per year.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred Review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Up to 125,000 Membership Rewards
It’s possible to qualify for a targeted offer of either 125,000 Membership Rewards or 100,000 Membership Rewards for The Platinum Card® from American Express. Each offer is worth $1,250 and $1,000, respectively. The minimum spend is $5,000 in the first 6 months. You will need to try for the Amex Platinum using the CardMatch tool to see if you qualify.
Otherwise, the current welcome bonus directly from American Express is 75,000 bonus Membership Rewards by spending $5,000 in the first 6 months.
If you want a premium travel credit card, this is one of the highest-ever offers for the Platinum Card. You can also earn 10x points at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets during the first 6 months of account opening (up to $15,000 in combined purchases).
Other card benefits include a $200 annual airline fee credit, up to $200 in Uber credits, airport lounge access, and other exclusive travel and retail perks. The annual fee is $550 (See Rates & Fees). You can read more about why this annual fee can be worth it, including all the ways it is offset, in our in-depth Platinum Card From American Express Review.
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
140,000 IHG points
The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is offering a signup bonus of 140,000 IHG points (up to 28 free award nights) after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Card purchases at IHG hotel stays can earn up to 25x IHG points per $1 spent. Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. Two notable card benefits include one anniversary night per year (40,000 points or less) and the 4th award night on 4+ night award stays.
The annual fee is $89.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points
New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card cardholders can earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $3,000 in purchases in their first 3 months.
Featured card benefits include an annual $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit, 1 free night award each card anniversary (50,000 points or less), and $100 Marriott Bonvoy on-site credit on qualifying stays.
The annual fee is $450 (See Rates & Fees).
Related: Best Marriott Credit Cards
Chase Freedom Flex
$200 bonus cash
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a tiered cash back credit card with no annual fee. The signup bonus is $200 cash back by spending $500 in the first 3 months.
Ongoing cash rewards include 5% back on the first $1,500 in combined quarterly bonus purchases. Travel purchases made on Chase Ultimate Rewards earn 5% back too. Qualifying dining and drugstore purchases earn 3% back. Non-bonus purchases earn 1% back.
Other exciting benefits include free cell phone insurance and 3 months of complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership (then 50% off for the next 9 months).
Related: Chase Freedom Flex Review
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points
Need a business credit card? Consider the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card which is offering a signup bonus of 100,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards ($1,250 value). Earn this bonus (one of the most valuable credit card offers) by spending $15,000 in the first 3 months.
Card purchases earn up to 3x Ultimate Rewards. Each point is worth 25% more when redeemed for award travel but you can transfer at a 1:1 ratio as well.
The annual fee is $95.
There are many exciting credit card offers for 2021 to start a new year. Whether you only anticipate spending a little money or have a large budget, there is likely an offer that can maximize your upcoming purchases. And, the rewards earned can always be used at a later time, as long as your account is open and active.
- The Best Chase Credit Cards For Travel & Rewards
- Best American Express Cards For Travel (New Bonuses, Rewards)
- Do You Know About The Chase Sapphire Reserve Peloton Credit?
For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
- 1 Best Credit Card Offers 2021
- 2 Southwest Airlines Credit Cards
- 3 American Express Gold Card
- 4 Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- 5 The Platinum Card from American Express
- 6 IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- 7 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card
- 8 Chase Freedom Flex
- 9 Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
- 10 Summary