Many banks are tightening up the rules to make credit card churning more difficult. Gone are the days when you could generate millions of miles through impromptu card churns. Now there are rules about how many cards you can get and how often. Not to mention, there are once-per-lifetime rules in place for Amex cards, while Chase is still reinforcing the 5/24 rule.
With these restrictions in mind, it might be a good idea to hold off on acquiring certain credit cards until the sign-up bonus reaches a certain number. Here are five credit card sign-up bonuses worth holding out for:
Amex Platinum – 100,000 Points
Since American Express restricts sign-up bonuses to one per lifetime, you should get it on the highest bonus possible. That definitely applies to the Amex Platinum card, which has in the past offered sign-up bonuses of 100,000 points or more. Higher bonuses tend to be targeted and not accessible to everyone. But a 100,000 point bonus comes around at least once a year, so I would definitely hold out for it. Currently, the Amex Platinum Card offers 60,000 bonus points after $5,000 spent in 3 months. That’s actually a reasonable spending requirement but I still wouldn’t recommend getting the card unless you absolutely need the points.
Amex Platinum Business – 100,000 – 150,000 points
The current sign-up bonus for the Amex Business Platinum Card isn’t shabby at 75,000 points. Earning the first 50,000 points requires $10,000 in spending. Another $10,000 gets you the remaining 25,000 points. Overall, that’s a decent offer, but considering the card has offered bonuses as high as 150,000 points (and even 250,000 for targeted audiences), I would hold out for at least a 100,000 point offer if you’re not in a hurry.
Capital One Venture – 100,000 miles
The highest sign-up bonus on the Capital One Venture card was 100,000 miles. It was issued around 2011 and only after applicants provided proof of airline miles earned via another credit card. Normally, the sign-up bonus for this card is 50,000 miles. That’s perfectly respectable, especially if you’re going to keep the card long-term. But since Capital One does pull your credit from all three bureaus, I wouldn’t go for this card unless another 100k offer came around.
Sapphire Reserve – 100,000 point pipe dream?
When the Sapphire Reserve came out, the sign-up bonus was very appealing at 100,000 points. The problem was that Chase was already reinforcing the 5/24 rule, meaning a lot of travel hackers weren’t eligible. Now, the bonus is 50,000 points, which is still decent. Since the 100,000 point bonus cost Chase hundreds of millions of dollars, I won’t hold my breath for another one. If you want the Sapphire Reserve for the perks rather than the sign-up bonus (which is the same as the Sapphire Preferred’s), then I say go for it. But do hold off on other credit card applications if you’re above 5/24.
Southwest Card – Companion Pass OR 50,000 miles
Remember the days when you had to get two Southwest credit cards in order to earn the Companion Pass? Through February 11, Chase is offering the Companion Pass as a sign-up bonus on virtually all their Southwest credit cards. You’ll also earn 30,000 miles. All this in exchange for $4,000 in spend across 3 months. We don’t know if this offer will return anytime soon. So if you find yourself in need of a Southwest card a year from now, I say hold out for at least a 50,000 point bonus.
Citi Executive AAdvantage – 100,000 miles
I don’t think more than two weeks go by before I receive an email or flyer from Citi, offering to let me upgrade my Citi AAdvantage Platinum card to the Executive version. With no incentive. No thanks. The card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles after $5,000 spent in 3 months. Perfectly respectable, but it’s the same bonus as the Platinum Card. Which has a lower fee at $95. I expect more from a credit card with a $450 annual fee, which is why I generally don’t recommend this card unless the sign-up bonus hits 100,000 AAdvantage miles again.
Are you holding out for any of these credit card sign-up bonuses? I’d love your feedback in the comment section.