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The Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season is one of the best times to get a new travel credit card. Chances are, you spend more in the final months of the year than during the other months, and the banks usually get very aggressive with their offers. In the last couple of weeks, we’ve seen new and limited time offers over 75,000 miles. And while there are many great options, these are some of the best current credit card offers to end 2018.
Limited-Time Best Current Credit Card Offers
These best current credit card offers are only around for a few weeks. If you want these bonuses, now is the time to apply.
United Explorer Card: Earn Up To 65,000 Bonus Miles
As one of the legacy carriers, United flies to almost anywhere in the world. Plus, they are one of the few carriers that still offer a fixed award chart. With the chart, you don’t have to guess how many miles you’ll spend to book an award flight.
For a limited time, the United Explorer Card offers new card owners a bonus worth up to 65,000 bonus miles. The normal sign-up bonus is worth 40,000 miles.
This is a two-step signup bonus:
- Earn the first 40,000 miles by spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
- Get the final 25,000 miles after making $10,000 in total purchases during the first six months
Other United℠ Explorer Card benefits include a free Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, up to two free checked bags per flight, and 25% back on in-flight purchases. Each card anniversary, you also get two United Club one-time passes.
This isn’t the best Chase credit card offer around, but it’s very solid, especially for United flyers.
Barclaycard Arrival Plus: 70,000 Bonus Miles
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus has an enhanced signup bonus of 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days. This bonus is worth $700 in travel statement credits because you get a 5% travel redemption bonus.
You also earn unlimited 2 miles for every $1 you spend. It also has an international chip and pin capability so your card works when you must enter a PIN to complete a credit card purchase. With the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees, your miles don’t expire, and the $89 annual fee is waived the first year. See rates and fees here.
Delta Credit Cards: Bonus Miles, MQMs, and Statement Credits
You might also like one of the three personal Delta credit cards that charge an annual fee. With these cards, you can enjoy free checked bags, 20% in-flight savings, and other Delta perks like mileage boosts and seat upgrades.
These are the current Delta credit card offers:
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express: 30,000 bonus miles and $50 statement credit
- Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card: 35,000 bonus miles; 5,000 MQMs and $100 Statement Credit
- Delta Reserve SkyMiles Credit Card: 40,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs
New Best Current Credit Card Offers Launches & Benefit Upgrades
The following best current credit card offers either launched in 2018 or they now offer more benefits than before.
Capital One Venture: Earn Up to 10x Points and Transfer Miles
The Capital One Venture is a favorite card for flat rate travel rewards. You still earn 2x points on every purchase plus 10X miles on thousands of select hotels. You redeem them for travel statement credits or award travel.
And Capital One recently announced you will be able to transfer your miles out travel partners.
Now, you can enjoy these three benefit upgrades that all rolled out in 2018:
- Earn 10x points on all Hotels.com purchases
- Transfer miles to Capital One airline partners
- Free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is sure to keep you and your loved ones happy.
IHG Premier Credit Card
There are two new IHG co-brand credit cards. But, the more lavish of the two is the new IHG Premier Card. This card comes with an 80,000-point signup bonus worth up to 40 free nights after spending 2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
You will also earn a free anniversary hotel night and you will get your fourth night free on a 4+ night stay paid for with points along with IHG Platinum Elite status.
Finally, Chase reimburses your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is a great option that gets you plenty of benefits.
Hilton Honors Credit Cards
American Express became the exclusive Hilton credit card provider in early 2018. They relaunched the entire lineup and now offer three personal cards and one business credit card:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card ($0 Annual Fee and the ability to earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points)
- Hilton Honors American Express Ascend Card ($95 Annual Fee and the ability to earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points)
- Hilton Honors Aspire ($450 Annual Fee)
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card ($95 Annual Fee and the ability to earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors Business Card)
Except for the no-fee Hilton Honors Card, you have the chance to get a free weekend night certification with the Ascend and Hilton Honors Business Card.
With the premium Hilton Honors Aspire, you get one free night upon application approval. Then, you can get a second night after spending $60,000 in annual card purchases. The Aspire also offers $250 airline fee credit and $250 Hilton Resort credit. Plus, you also get $100 on-property credit and Priority Pass Select lounge membership.
Southwest Rapid Rewards: Up to 60,000 Bonus Miles
There are three personal Southwest Rapid Rewards Credit Cards.
In 2018, we saw the launch of the new (and best yet) Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. This is the flagship Southwest credit card that boasts these benefits:
- 2 points per $1 on Southwest and Rapid Rewards hotel and car rental partner purchases
- 7,500-anniversary points each year
- $75 annual Southwest travel credit
- Four upgraded bookings each year (when available)
- 20% back on in-flight purchases
New cardholders can also earn this tiered signup bonus:
- Get 40,000 points by spending $1,000 in the first three months
- Earn another 20,000 points by spending $12,000 on purchases in the first 12 months
Wells Fargo Propel
Another 2018 newcomer is the Wells Fargo Propel. This card doesn’t have an annual fee, but it does a good job of optimizing lifestyle and travel rewards. You get 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
The Propel also pays 3x points on these purchases:
- Popular Streaming Services
This Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card offers free cell phone protection up to $600 per claim too.
American Express Gold: 25,000 Membership Rewards
Remember the Premier Rewards Gold from American Express? That flexible travel rewards credit card is now the American Express Gold. To celebrate the rebranding, new cardholders can enjoy a few limited-time perks:
- 25,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $2,000 in the first three months
- 20% back (up to $100) on dining purchases during the first three months (Apply before 1/9/19)
- Choice of Rose Gold color design (Apply before 1/9/19)
The American Express® Gold Card is a good card for airline and dining rewards. These are the benefits you will enjoy below:
- 4X points at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $25,000 per year in purchases
- 4x points on U.S. restaurants
- 3x points on flights booked directly from carrier or AmexTravel.com
- $120 Dining Credit
- $100 Airline Fee Credit
For each purchase, you earn Membership Rewards points. You can transfer these points to 18 airlines transfer partners.
Credit Card Rewards Travel News
It’s also been an exciting year for the American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards. Both loyalty programs have added several new transfer partners this year. The best current credit card offers mentioned above are part of these programs.
American Express Membership Rewards
Membership Rewards now has 18 transfer partners. The new additions for 2018 include:
- Aer Lingus
- Avianca LifeMiles
These names are in addition to popular carriers like Delta, JetBlue, Emirates, and Etihad.
Several American Express credit cards earn Membership Rewards include:
- Platinum Card from American Express
- American Express Gold
- American Express EveryDay Credit Card
You can earn bonus points for your travel and daily purchases.
Chase Ultimate Rewards
Chase has also had a busy 2018 by adding three airlines to their Ultimate Rewards program:
- Aer Lingus
Other long-standing partners include Southwest Airlines and United Airlines. Plus, you can also book some nice hotel nights with World of Hyatt and Marriott Rewards too.
The three Chase cards that let you redeem points for a travel bonus or transfer partners are:
All of these cards are subject to the Chase 5/24 rule. If you have five new credit cards in the most recent 24 months, wait to apply.
Also, Chase changed some of the sign-up bonus rules for Sapphire credit cards. Now, you can’t receive the bonus on a second Sapphire product if you currently own its sibling card or if you’ve owned any Sapphire product in the most recent 24 months.
Summary of the Best Current Credit Card Offers to End 2018
This has been another exciting year for rewards credit cards. As you have read above, there are a number of best current credit card offers to complete the year. Plus, there are some attractive offers and new products to try out. Which one will you apply for?
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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.