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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

10 Travel Credit Cards With Increased Bonuses

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (100,000 Ultimate Rewards)

New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $1250 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This is the highest bonus offer ever for the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

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:

  • 25% redemption bonus for travel and select purchase categories
  • 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees

Also, enjoy new Chase Sapphire benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x points on dining, and 2x points on all other travel purchases, plus more.

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:

  • 1:1 point transfers
  • Priority Pass lounge access
  • $300 annual travel credit

Plus, earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Gas station and grocery store purchases will also count towards earning the annual $300 travel credit, through December 31, 2021. 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 (100,000 Membership Rewards)

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. New cardholders also earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms apply. 

However, it’s possible to qualify for a targeted bonus of 150,000 points.

This card offers many perks, including:

  • Annual $200 airline fee credit (in the form of statement credits, terms apply, enrollment required)
  • Complimentary Global Lounge Collection (airport lounge) access
  • 5x points for flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel, up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year
  • 5x points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel
  • Terms apply

Cardholders can get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when paying with their Platinum Card®.

If you ride Uber or use Uber Eats, this credit will make you happy. Cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.

Plus, American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.

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).

Terms apply. Enrollment may be required.

New The Platinum Card from American Express Benefits

There’s also a new digital entertainment credit. Cardholders can get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.

In addition to enjoying TSA PreCheck or Global Entry access, cardholders can also enjoy CLEAR perks. Cardholders can use their Card and get up to $179 back per year on their CLEAR® membership. Terms apply.

Another exciting new benefit is the ability for cardholders to enjoy up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. This amounts to up to $300 annually. Enrollment required. 

Get the full details and learn more in our in-depth The Platinum Card from American Express review.

The annual fee is $695 (See Rates & Fees) but can be offset with the perks, which are valued at over $1,400.    

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

Platinum Card Welcome Bonus

New The Platinum Card® from American Express cardmembers can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. New cardholders also earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms apply. 

Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards 

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 with the ability to earn 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. Terms apply.

The American Express Gold Card earns unlimited 4x Membership Rewards points at restaurants (including delivery and takeout). 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).

Southwest Airlines Credit Cards (Up to 80k Points)

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

The personal cards currently offer to ability to earn 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Plus, earn 3X points on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, for the first year. These are the cards with the offer:

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 (150,000 IHG Points)

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers 150,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. Award nights start at 5,000 points making this bonus worth as much as 30 reward nights. There’s a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $89.

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

Related: IHG Rewards Club Premier review

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (Up to $350)

Next on our travel credit cards with increased bonuses list is a card that earns cash rewards. New The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express cardholders can earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.

There is a $0 introductory annual fee 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
  • Terms apply

Note that cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. 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 (terms apply). 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)
  • American Express® Gold Card (Up to $120 in dining credits, $120 in Uber Cash and earn up to 4x points on dining at restaurants, travel, and U.S. supermarket purchases; terms apply, enrollment may be required)
  • 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; terms apply, enrollment may be required)

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.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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APPLY NOW
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 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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