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Travel volumes are increasing as leisure travelers book spring trips and summer vacations after a pause in 2020. For those who may be finally traveling away from home for maybe the first time in over a year, they may be excited to know that some travel credit cards are increasing their signup bonuses from their pre-pandemic level. Here are some travel credit cards with increased bonuses.

Alaska Airlines landing at SEA
Travel credit cards with increased bonuses can help you earn rewards for enhanced travel in the future. Alaska Airlines landing at SEA. Credit: JohnnyJet

11 Travel Credit Cards With Increased Bonuses

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (80,000 Ultimate Rewards)

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is offering new cardmembers 80,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. This new bonus is worth up to $1,000 in award travel rewards and Chase Pay Yourself Back statement credits. New cardmembers can also earn up to $50 in grocery store statement credits for the first year. Supermarket purchases also earn 2x points until April 30, 2021 (then 1x points).

This is the highest-ever Sapphire Preferred signup bonus. Applicants that don’t have a Chase Sapphire card and haven’t earned a Sapphire bonus in the last 48 months can likely qualify, though terms apply.

Other card benefits include:

  • Earn unlimited 2x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery) and travel purchases worldwide
  • 25% redemption bonus for travel and select purchase categories
  • 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers

Cardholders also earn 5x points on Lyft rides, through March 2022. Additional Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with a DoorDash DashPass subscription (activate your card by December 31, 2021). 

Plus, 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 September 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 September 30, 2021.

The annual fee is $95.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Chase Sapphire Reserve (60,000 Ultimate Rewards)

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® also has a slightly higher signup bonus of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards ($900 award travel value) by spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

Card benefits include:

  • Earn unlimited 3x points on dining worldwide (including eligible takeout and delivery)
  • Earn unlimited 3x points on travel worldwide, immediately after earning the $300 travel credit
  • 1:1 point transfers
  • Priority Pass lounge access

Gas station and grocery store purchases will also count towards earning the annual $300 travel credit, through December 31, 2021. Additionally, through April 30, 2021, cardholders automatically earn 3x points per $1 spent at grocery stores, up to $1,000 per month. Cardholders can also earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. 

This is in addition to the complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription that lets cardholders get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. They also earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases ($60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021).

Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022. Points are worth 50% more through September 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 50% more when redeemed through the Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through September 30, 2021.

The annual fee is $550.

Related: Chase Sapphire Reserve Review

The Platinum Card from American Express (75,000 Membership Rewards)

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers the ability to earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points worth $750 in award travel after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 6 months. New cardmembers can also earn 10x points on the first $15,000 in eligible combined purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets during the first 6 months of card membership.

It’s possible to qualify for a targeted signup bonus worth up to 125,000 Membership Rewards when trying for the Amex Platinum through CardMatch.

This card offers many perks, including:

  • Annual $200 airline fee credit
  • Complimentary Global Lounge Collection (airport lounge) access
  • Uber VIP status and up to $200 in annual Uber savings on rides or eats in the U.S. (Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to basic cardmember and additional Centurion Cards only)
  • 5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on there purchases per calendar year
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel

Cardholders can also enjoy complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with a $550 average total value at Fine Hotels & Resorts (terms apply). They also can enjoy up to $100 in annual statement credits for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually; enrollment required).

The annual fee is $550 (See Rates & Fees).

Related: How hard is it to get the Amex Platinum?

American Express Gold Card (60,000 Membership Rewards)

Next on our travel credit cards with increased bonuses list is this gold or rose gold gem. The American Express® Gold Card is upping its welcome offer to 60,000 Membership Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months. Cardholders can choose between the Gold and Rose Gold metal card designs too.

The American Express® Gold Card earns unlimited 4x Membership Rewards points on dining worldwide (including delivery and takeout), plus, earn 4x points on Uber Eats purchases, too. Cardholders also earn 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually, then 1x). Cardholders also earn 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Uber Perks

American Express® Gold Card cardholders can also get up to $120 in Uber Cash annually. Plus, you’ll earn 4x Membership Rewards® points for each Uber Eats purchase on your card. To use this perk, simply add your card to your Uber account and you’ll automatically get $10 in Uber Cash each month in your Uber account for U.S. Uber Eats orders or U.S. Uber rides. Any unused Uber Cash expires at the end of each month (it does not roll over to the next month).

Cardholders also get up to 12 complimentary months of Eats Pass when you subscribe with your American Express Gold Card. That’s a value of up to $119 annually (based on the $9.99 monthly price over 12 months). With the Uber Eats Pass, you can get unlimited $0 Delivery Fees and 5% off orders over $15 at eligible restaurants. Note that taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum.

This benefit applies only in the U.S. on U.S. orders at eligible restaurants and on eligible restaurant purchases.

Enrollment is required by 12/31/2021. After that, the Uber Eats Pass will begin auto-billing 12 months after your enrollment in this offer, at the then-current monthly price. Learn more about the Uber Eats partnership for more information.

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards

The annual fee is $250 (See Rates & Fees).

Related: American Express Gold Card Review

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card (Up to 100,000 Miles)

One of the biggest bonuses on a personal card in this travel credit cards with increased bonuses list is this easy-to-use offering. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is offering a limited-time sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 miles worth $1,000 in travel rewards. Earn the full bonus by spending $20,000 in the first 12 months. This is one of the most valuable limited-time credit card offers.

It’s also possible to earn the standard bonus of 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. This bonus is worth up to $500.

All purchases earn 2x miles and the most valuable redemption options are travel statement credits and travel partner point transfers.

The annual fee is $95.

Related: The Best Travel Credit Cards

Southwest Airlines Credit Cards (Up to 80,000 Miles)

The consumer and business Southwest Airlines credit cards consistently mix it up with different bonus options.

The personal cards currently offer 40,000 bonus Rapid Rewards by spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. Dining, takeout, and delivery services earn 3x points during the first 12 months of card membership too.

Business travelers can appreciate the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card offering 80,000 Rapid Rewards by spending $5,000 in the first 3 months.

Related: Best Southwest Credit Cards

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card and Chase Ink Unlimited Credit Card ($750 Cash Back)

The two no annual fee Chase small business cards now offer $750 bonus cash back. Earn the bonus by spending $7,500 in the first 3 months. The two Chase business cards with this bonus are:

Each card has different rewards categories but the redemption options are the same for cash, travel, and gift cards. Neither card offers 1:1 point transfers.

Related: Best Chase Business Credit Cards

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card (125,000 IHG Points and Reward Night)

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers 125,000 points and a Reward Night after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Award nights start at 5,000 points making this bonus worth as much as 25 free nights.

Cardholders can earn another 10,000 points after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months.

Additional card benefits include:

  • Earn up to 25x points total per $1 spent when staying at an IHG property
  • Earn 2x points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants
  • 1 award night each card anniversary renewal (redeem at eligible properties for 40,00 points or less)
  • 4th reward night on 4+ night stays paid for with points
  • Automatic Platinum Elite status
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

The annual fee is $89.

Related: IHG Rewards Club Premier review

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express ($300)

Next on our travel credit cards with increased bonuses list is a card that earns cash rewards. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express recently increased its welcome bonus to a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months.

Also the annual fee is $0 for the first year then $95 (See Rates & Fees).

Purchase categories include:

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1% back); on select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back on transit and at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% cash back on everything else

Cardholders can also take advantage of Plan It®, which gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.

Note that cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Terms apply.

Related: The Best Cash Back Credit Card Offers

Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card (100,000 Ultimate Rewards)

The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offers the most valuable Ultimate Rewards signup bonus worth up to $1,250 in award travel. Cardmembers earn 100,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $15,000 in the first 3 months.

Select business purchases can earn up to 3x Ultimate Rewards. Points are worth 25% more for award travel bookings and 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers are available.

The annual fee is $95.

Related: How Hard Is It To Get the Chase Ink Business Preferred?

Summary

Before you book your next trip or make a major purchase, consider getting one of these travel credit cards first. You can earn more points than several months ago. Plus, the minimum spending requirement is usually unchanged so you get more value than before.

FAQs

How do you get a signup bonus on a credit card?

Applicants can automatically enroll in a credit card signup bonus promotion when trying for a new credit card. The credit card provider provides the offer terms and conditions during the application and approval process.

Most credit card bonus offers require spending a minimum amount of money (usually between $500 and $5,000) in the first 3 months for consumer credit cards.

More valuable bonuses with high spending minimums may extend the bonus up to 12 months.

Some American Express credit cards have a 6-month spending period instead of 3 months due to the pandemic and the economic uncertainty many households face.

Applicants that currently have or recently closed a card that earns the same type of rewards points (i.e., Chase Ultimate Rewards or Citi ThankYou points) should read the offer terms and conditions. Returning and existing customers may not qualify.

What credit card gives the best travel rewards?

The best travel rewards can vary by preference. Here are some of the best cards to consider first:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred (25% travel redemption bonus, 1:1 point transfers, and trip protection benefits)
  • Amex Gold Card (Up to $120 in dining credits, $120 in Uber Cash and earn up to 4x points on dining, travel and supermarket purchases)
  • Amex Platinum Card ($200 airline fee credit, up to $200 in Uber Cash, airport lounge access and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, plus other perks)

Airline credit cards and hotel credit cards can be better for travelers loyal to a particular travel brand. It’s possible to enjoy benefits like free checked bags and accelerated loyalty status.

What credit score is needed for a travel credit card?

Most travel credit cards need a minimum credit score of 700 to have the best approval odds. Travel credit cards without an annual fee may only require a minimum credit score of 620. Many of these cards are co-brand airline or hotel credit cards.

Related Articles:

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of The American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

And for rates and fees of The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

Josh Patoka
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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

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