We normally put together a list of our favorite credit cards each month and this is what we have come up with for 2016 from across the web. There are so many offers that it is sometimes hard to decide and because we are one of the only unbiased sites online that does not have affiliate links to offers you can assure we could care less which card you apply for. We just rank these cards in the order that we feel we would want to apply if we had not already had most of these cards and could reapply for them. Let us know if any of the links are broken or if you are having problems with these.
Keep in mind that miles and points are not equal and that each Hotel and Airline are not equal. There are also other factors we look at when weighing programs such as mile bonuses and how many more points we can earn per charge. Always read the small print on these credit card offers to make certain it is the right card for you.
Some recent card changes include The JetBlue American Express card which is being phased out for another program. The Barclays Lufthansa card has dropped the miles bonus so we recommend when it goes back to 50,000 miles. The Bank of America Asiana Miles and the US Bank LifeMiles also need to go back up to better bonus sign-ups before we would consider them again.
Here is the list of the top rated Rewards credit cards right now:
#1 Discover It – Our Favorite Card of 2016 is by far the Discover It Card. Not only is Discover a known pioneer of the credit card industry when it comes to rewards but its DOUBLE cash back offer is the best out there especially when they double your shopping and Apple Pay bonuses. Head here to get a $50 Bonus when you sign up and Double points for a Year.
#2 American Express Cards – American Express has had incredible Twitter and Sync offers for their accounts in the past year. Two must have cards are the Discover It card (above) and an American Express in your wallet. AMEX Offers pop-up and save me about a thousand a year. You can get these applied to any AMEX Card. Here are a few AMEX Business and Personal cards we rate the highest:
- 35k Points Starwood Preferred Guest aka SPG American Express Business Card
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Back down to 35,000 points.
- One of the top credit card rewards currencies.
- 35k for the Personal Card and Business Card is only available for a limited time and is the highest offer ever for this card.
75k Points Business Gold Platinum / Gold Rewards
- Current offer is : Spend $10,000 in 3 months. Get 75,000 points.
- We sometimes see a Possible 100,000 points available for this offer so you may want to wait for that bonus to come around again.
- 50k Miles (Expires Soon) Delta Airlines
- Spend $1,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 miles.
- 50k Points Mercedes Benz Platinum
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months to get 50,000 Amex Membership Rewards points.
- $475 annual fee but comes with benefits like global entry credit and $200 airline credits.
- 30k Points Everyday AMEX
- Spend $2,000 in 3 months to get 30,000 Membership Rewards points. More than the typical offer you will see for this card.
#3 Chase Credit Card Offers:
- 75 Points British Airways Avios
- Spend $2,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 points. Spend $20,000 total in the first year for a total of 100,000 points.
- Great for having these Avios for U.S. domestic American Airlines flights or for use in Europe.
- $600 worth of points from Ink Plus
- Spend $5,000 in 3 months. Get 60,000 points.
- The points transfer to United, Southwest, British, Hyatt, British Airways, and more.
- 5x the points on purchases at office stores.
- You may be able to get a 70,000-point offer at your local Chase branch.
- 50k Miles United Airlines
- You may be targeted for the 50,000-mile offer when you log-into your account. You can also apply at airports at the kiosks for that offer.
- Business Owner? 50,000-miles with no annual fee for the first year. See here for details: theexplorercard.com/Business50KAFW.
- 50k Points Southwest Rapid Rewards
- Best Offer is to go to the Southwest Premier link and scroll down to where it says “Not the card for you” and click “More.” That way you will get the same card basically plus 50k points for only $69 instead of the $99 fee. The Plus Card does charge for foreign exchange fees but who uses their Southwest Airlines card for that?
- You get 50k points when you spend $2,000 in 3 months.
- The Premier Business card will also score you 50k points.
- 60,000-point Business Premier if you call 1-888-883-2721.
Two highly competitive cards are the Sapphire and the Arrival Card Below:
- Sapphire (creditcards.chase.com)
- Spend $4,000 in 3 months to get 40,000 points.
- These Ultimate Rewards points are highly valuable compared to most card issuers. The Sapphire Preferred card is still the best card to use for travel and restaurant purchases, assuming you don’t have a 3x or 5x card.
- Barclays Arrival (FindMyBarclayCard.com)
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months to get 40,000 miles.
- The Barclay’s Arrival card has great value for non-bonused spending because you can earn 2.22 cents per dollar on everything. This makes it superior to the Sapphire Preferred Card from Chase on non-bonused spend when redeeming for travel purchases.
Citibank Credit Cards:
- 50k Miles American Airlines cards
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months. Get 50,000 miles.
- The American AAdvantage Executive card is back up to 75,000 miles for a limited time.
- 50k Points Citi Prestige
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months and get 50,000 points.
- Benefits include a $250 credit per year, but huge $450 annual fee.
- 60,000-point offer possible if you go into your local branch.
- Citibank shows cards you are prequalified for with a tool on their site where you should find this 50k offer. You may be targeted for a 100k point offer that would really be incredible.
- If you stay at a hotel for 4 nights you get the 4th night free by calling their travel concierge to book the stay.
- 50k Points Thank You Premier
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months to get 50,000 points.
- Similar to the Prestige card but no huge annual fee.
- AT&T Citi Offer
Hot Hotel Card Offers:
- 15,000 points after first purchase which gets you a FREE night at any of their hotels.
- Book any hotel for 15,000 points a night including Ramada hotels.
- 2 Free Nights Hilton Honors Reserve
- Spend $2,500 in 4 months for 2 free weekend nights. Also, the annual fee of $65.
- Gold status while you have the card including upgrades, free breakfast, free wifi.
- 2 Free Nights Ritz Carlton (Marriott)
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months to get 2 free nights at any Marriott or Ritz Carlton hotel.
- These 2 free nights will cost you at a $395 annual fee but it comes with a travel credit of $300 to use once per year and you can make it add up to $600 in credits if you plan it right.
- 2 Free Nights Hyatt Hotels
- Spend $1,000 in 3 months to get 2 nights, $50, and 5,000 points for adding a user.
- 80k Points InterContinental Hotel (IHG aka Priority Club)
- Spend $1,000 to get a possible 80,000 points plus the small annual fee.
- Spend $1,000 to get a possible 80,000 points plus the small annual fee.
- 85k Points Club Carlson Premier from US Bank
- Spend $2,500 in 90 days to get 85,000 points.
- Lot’s of great hotels across the world in beautiful places such as Amsterdam.
- You likely do not already have a US Bank Card
- 2 Free Nights Fairmont Hotel from Chase
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months to get 2 nights and breakfast at any Fairmont.
- Expensive chain of hotels so the 2 free nights are worth the annual fee!
- Up to 80k Points Marriott (Chase)
- Spend $2,000 in 3 months to get 50,000 points.
- The regular 70,000-point Business link still works plus there are other offers for 40,000 points and $100.
- Find targeted 80k point offers by going into a Chase branch or calling.
- 70k Points Best Western from First Bank of Omaha
- First Bank of Omaha offers 4 different card options for this card with up to 70,000 points with one listed.
- You have to do some high spending to get the 70k points but you get the annual fee free for the the first year then its $59.
- Hilton HHonors has a card from Citibank and American Express. The AMEX Card will get you up to 75k points .
Bank Of America Cards:
- 25k miles Alaska Airlines
- Spend $1 and get 25,000 miles.
- Call 1.800.932.2775 and give priority code VACFQ7 if you cannot find a good offer for Alaska Airlines online you can also shop for a flight on their website and see credit card offers listed.
- Bank of America cards are easier to churn than other banks meaning you can possibly cancel the card and reapply to get the bonus again.
- You can apply for two BOA Alaska Airlines cards at once just by applying with two open browsers at the same time. It will also run on the same credit report inquiry.
- $200 Bank Americard Travel Rewards
- Spend $1,000 in 90 days to get 20,000 points. Offer is up $100 from its normal offer.
- Up to 20k points Amtrak
- 20,000 and 12,000 points cards offered but limitations on point transfer
Wells Fargo Cards:
- 40k points Propel
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months to get 40,000 points.
- $500 Bonus Spark Business Card
- Spend $4,500 in 3 months to get 50,000 miles or $500 in travel purchases.
- Capital One also offers a beautiful green 2% back Spark Business Card with a $500 bonus.
- Venture (Personal)
- Spend $3,000 in 3 months then get 40,000 miles instead of the normal 20k mile offering.
BMO Harris Bank:
- Diners Club Elite (DinersClubUS.com for more information)
- 3x points at gas station, grocery stores, and pharmacies that can turn into Starwood points.
- 25k miles Aeroplan
- Spend $1,000 in 3 billing statements to get 25,000 miles.
- Not spectacular, but low spend and not the usual issuer.
- Virgin America
- Airline is expanding but they offer a card that allows you to cancel flights for free even though they barely offer any flights unless you live in their hub San Francisco.
- The Virgin America Platinum card has something that we wish all airline credit cards would have which is a cancellation-fee reimbursement. The annual fee is steep but if you fly Virgin America and cancel a lot of flights then this is a great card.
Other cards possibly worth mentioning:
- LAN (US Bank)
- 20,000 miles after first use. Was 25,000 before March 1.
- Down from a 40,000-mile offer.
- Frontier Airlines (Barclayscard)
- Spend $500 in 3 months to get 40,000 miles.
- Frontier’s miles expire after 6 months of no activity.
Citibank offers the Expedia card where you can spend $2,000 in 3 months and get 20,000 points.This comes with an annual fee but they offer a 10k card with no fee.
Choice Hotels has a card from Barclays and you can see some of their latest hotels here. This could be a good one to own for 4 free stays.
Cash Back Cards we wish that had a bigger bonus or any at all are the following:
- BarclaysCard NFL Card Offer was great a few years ago when they offered more than a $100 bonus. Let’s hope that bonus goes back up to $500 or so.
- TD Easy Rewards – 5% cashback select categories for 6 months.
- Fidelity Card– 2% cashback. $50 bonus available for now.
- Citi Double Cash – 2% cashback.
- BB&T Spectrum Card– 3% cashback for 90 days, plus bonuses. Limited states.
- Capital One Quicksilver Card – 1.5% cashback and 20% Back on Uber Ride Share.
- Barclays Sallie Mae – 5% gas, grocery, and books. On first $750 per month. Including Amazon!