There are a ton of credit cards out there that that offer a lot in value just by holding the card. When it comes to cards with annual fees, generally, it will come with credits that make up, or completely eliminate the annual fee. In this post, I wanted to show you some cards out there that offer over $800 in value just by signing up and getting the welcome bonus.
Before getting into it, there are a few assumptions that I have to make. Since these cards are generally not earning cash back, we have to assign a value to the points these cards offer. Some are more valuable than others, and it’s important that we are aware of that. If we use TPGs point values:
- American Express Membership Reward Points: 2 cents per point
- Chase Ultimate Reward Points: 2 cents per point
- Hilton Honors: 0.7 cents per point
- Hyatt: 1.8 cents per points
- Marriott: 0.8 cents per point
The second assumption is that you already have a Ultimate Reward earning credit card. This is so we can transfer points to that card, so it end s up being worth more than just the face value.
With that out of the way, lets get to the cards!
American Express Platinum
The Platinum card is one of American Express’ top travel card. It comes with 5x points on airfare booked on prepaid flights or through amextravel and access to American Express’ exclusive Centurion lounges. It comes with a $550 annual fee, but has more than enough credits to offset that fee from airline fees, Uber, and even Saks.
The sign up bonus on the card awards you 60,000 MR points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. At 2 cents per point, this would mean the sign up bonus is worth $1,200. This would be a 24% return on your spending for the sign up bonus.
Chase Sapphire Reserve/Preferred
The Sapphire Preferred could arguably be considered one of the first travel credit cards. Offering 2x back on travel and dining purchases, it’s a pretty simple card and very valuable one for traveling. It comes with a $95 annual fee.
The Sapphire Reserve card instead comes with a $450 annual fee, but offers a few benefits and credits, including a $300 travel credit. For the additional cost, you will earn 3x on travel and dining.
Although both of these cards offer a very different benefits and reward structure, they both have the same sign up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points for spending $4,000 within the first three months. Because these points are worth 2 cents per point, that would put the total of these sign up bonuses at $1,000. That means the spending you do on the sign up bonus would give you a 25% return.
Chase Business Ink Cash/Ink Unlimited
These two cards are Chase’s business credit cards. The Ink Cash offers 5% in various categories including office supply stores and telecommunication bills, and 2% at gas stations and restaurants. The Ink Unlimited offers 1.5% on every purchase instead. Both of these cards do not charge an annual fee and their points can be transferred over to a card that earns Ultimate Reward points for point redemption.
Similar to the Sapphire cards, these two cards offer the same sign up bonus, even if their reward structures are different. They each offer a $500 sign up bonus for spending $3,000 in the first three months. At face value, that $500 isn’t more than $800, so why is it in this list? It’s because the way the card earns. Technically that $500 can be turned into 50,000 points when transferring it to a Ultimate Reward point credit card. You just turned that $500 into $1,000!
Chase Ink Business Preferred
To round up the Chase core cards, we have the Ink Business Preferred. The card comes with a $95 annual fee. As far as rewards, you will earn 3x on telecommunication bills, social media and search engine advertising, as well as travel and dining.
The sign up bonus on the card is earned by spending $5,000 within the first 3 months. This will net you 80,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points. That’s worth $1,600! Which would put your return on spending for the sign up bonus at 32%.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card offers the same reward structure as the old SPG luxury card. It comes with a $450 annual fee, but gives you back a $300 credit when you stay at Marriott hotels. This of course is in addition to a free night that is good at any hotel up to 50,000 points per night. The card will earn you 6x Marriott points for spending at Marriott hotels, 3x for US restaurants and flights booked directly with the airlines, and finally 2x for everything else.
For the time being, the sign up bonus on this card is 100,000 Marriott points for spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. If we value the Marriott points at 0.8 cents per point, this would give us a total of $800 in value. That would mean we are getting a 16% return on our spending.
Hilton Aspire Card
The Hilton Aspire card is Hilton’s answer to the $450 annual fee credit card. It comes with a $250 credit for spending at Hilton hotels, and includes a free night every year. The best part about the card is that it comes with Hilton’s top tier Diamond status. The card earns 14x points at Hilton properties, 7x for U.S. restaurants, car rentals booked directly, and flights booked directly or through Amextravel, and finally 3x everywhere else.
The current sign up bonus on this card is 150,000 Hilton points for spending $4000 in the first 3 months. If we valued their points at 0.7 points, that would give us a value of $1050. That would give us a return of 26% on the spending we do for the sign up bonus.
World of Hyatt
unlike the Marriott and Hiltons, the world of Hyatt is Hyatt’s only credit card. It comes with a $95 annual fee. For that you are getting 4x points at Hyatt hotels, and 2x at public transit, ride share, restaurants, flights, and even gym and fitness clubs.
The sign up bonus on the Hyatt card is a tiered one. If you spend $3,000 within the first 3 months, you’ll earn 25,000 points. If you spend $6,000 within the first 6 months, you’ll earn the remaining 25,000. This comes out to 50,000 points for $6,000 within 6 months. If we value these points at 1.8 cents per point, we are looking at a value of $900.
There are a lot of great ways you can earn a ton of money with credit cards. The most immediate way is the sign up bonus. Credit card companies will pay a lot of money in order to get you to use their card. If you’re smart about it, you can get some very valuable sign up bonuses and use these points for traveling. That’s what we are all about on creditalacarte!
Which is your favorite sign up bonus? Are there any other sign up bonus that you know about that’s very valuable? Let us know below!