A big part of the excitement about travel rewards credit cards are the huge sign-up bonuses credit card companies in the US have been handing out. And they are especially high during the occasional promotions – currently, Marriott offers an increased bonus of 100,000 points for their Chase Visa card and Starwood offers 35,000 points for their American Express card – both are the best in a while!
Marriott is now the biggest hotel company in the world by number of beds and has offered a their Marriott Rewards card in cooperation with Chase for years. Their typical sign-up bonus has been 80,000 points, but the current promotion offers 100,000 points – worth about $800! You’ll have to spend $5,000 in the first three months after opening the account, which is pretty steep compared to similar offers. The Marriott card is one I would recommend holding for the long term, because it offers a 1 free night certificate every renewal, offsetting the annual fee! You can read my review of the card here (coming soon). You can sign up for the card here!
Starwood, recently acquired by Marriott, is also offering an increased sign-up bonus of 35,000 points (typically 25,000) in partnership with American Express (a value of $700). You will earn 25,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months and an additional 10,000 points after spending an additional $2,000 in the first 6 months – very similar terms to the Marriott. The bonus is very similar to Marriott as well, because you can transfer points between the SPG Rewards program and Marriott Rewards at a ration of 3:1, so this bonus would get you 105,000 Marriott points after transferring! I have reviewed the SPG AmEx card here and am not a big fan, but this bonus does make it more interesting. You can sign up for the card here!
Because you can transfer points between the two programs, applying for both cards would net you over 200,000 Marriott points or 68,000 SPG points – that would make for a pretty long vacation, even if you don’t currently have a lot of points with either program.
Of course, other Hotel Programs are not standing still. American Express is offering increased sign-up bonuses for their two Hilton Honors cards: The standard Hilton Honors card without an annual fee has an increased bonus of 80,000 points (value of $320) and the Hilton Surpass card has a sign-up bonus of 100,000 points (value of $400). You also get a free weekend at any Hilton Hotel night after your anniversary! I have reviewed both cards (click on the names above), have held the standard card for years and recently upgraded to the Surpass card. A $320 sign-up bonus is good for a no-annual-fee card, but the Surpass Card sign-up bonus is the best ever offered. With nights at top properties like the Conrad Rangali Maldives going for more than $1,000/night – it’s a great offer. You can sign up for the AmEx Surpass card with my referral link (I get a bonus of 25,000 points for that) here!
As with all credit cards, I recommend that you read my tips for travel rewards cards before applying. I have held both of these cards before, but not currently and do not receive any compensation for this – I just believe these are good opportunities, if you travel a lot.
If you’d like to get more deals like this or missed the time window, please follow me on Twitter – I’m posting great deals daily and many will sell out quickly, so stay ahead with my Twitter updates! Or sign up for Sunday Summary, my weekly newsletter!