Frugal Travel Guy’s 10 Credit Card Picks For This Month

AdSense

The following is the October 2017 edition of our favorite credit card products available at the moment. The list is based on a combination of factors, including current welcome bonus offers, daily earning potential, transfer partners and bonus categories, along with the ability to redeem.

The number in parenthesis to the right of each card’s name is last month’s ranking for each card.

1 – Ink Business Preferred Credit Card (1)

Pros:

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don’t expire as long as your account is open.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • $95 Annual Fee.
  • Ultimate Rewards points earned transfer on a 1:1 ratio to Chase partners British Airways Executive Club, Singapore KrisFlyer, Korean Air SKYPASS, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards and IHG Rewards Club.

Cons

  • $5,000 minimum spend requirement to get the welcome bonus.
  • Annual fee of $95 that is not waived the first year.
  • As this is a business card, you must have a business to apply for this card.

2 – The Business Platinum Card from American Express (2)

Pros:

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after you spend an additional $10,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards points on each qualifying purchase of $5,000 or more.
  • Use Membership Rewards Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 50% of the points back.
  • Receive 50% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • Access to American Express Centurion Lounges
  • No preset spending limit
  • Starwood Gold Elite Status
  • $100 credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fees (once every four years)
  • Preferred Gogo and Boingo Internet access.
  • $200 airline fee credit
  • Access to Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $450 annual fee not waived
  • American Express once-per-lifetime sign-up bonus limitation.

3 – Chase Sapphire Reserve (7)

Pros:

  • Welcome bonus offer of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $4,000 spent in the first three months of account opening.
  • Earns 3X points per $1 on travel and dining.
  • $100 credit towards Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every five years.
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • 50 percent off when you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel, providing an effective value of 1.5 cents/point.
  • Ultimate Rewards points earned transfer on a 1:1 ratio to Chase partners British Airways Executive Club, Singapore KrisFlyer, Korean Air SKYPASS, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards and IHG Rewards Club.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Primary Rental Car Insurance.
  • Priority Pass Select

Cons

  • $4,000 minimum spend requirement to get the welcome bonus.
  • Annual fee of $450 that is not waived the first year.

4 – The Platinum Card from American Express (4)

Pros:

  • 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in 3 months
  • New! Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More. Terms Apply.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • $200 annual Uber credit

Cons

  • High spending requirement
  • $550 annual fee not waived

5 – Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card (9)

Pros:

  • 60,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • Earn 2 points for every $1 you spend on Southwest Airlines®
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend on all other purchases.
  • Receive 6,000 bonus points after your cardmember anniversary.

Cons

  • $99 annual fee
  • Limited international flight options offered by Southwest.

6 – Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card from American Express (5)

Pros

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 3 months and an extra 10,000 points after you make an additional $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months.
  • Earns 2X Starpoints per $1 spent on the card for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts participating in the Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards program.
  • Provides two stays and five nights elite credit each year toward SPG Gold and Platinum Elite status.
  • Starpoints earned can be transferred mostly on a 1:1 ratio to SPG’s transfer partners, which include many of the world’s top airlines.
  • For every 20,000 Starpoints that you transfer to one of SPG’s airline partners, you get an additional 5,000 points or miles bonus, which makes this one of the best cards to use for purchases that do not earn additional bonus points.
  • Earn SPG Gold status after spending $30,000 or more in eligible purchases on the card in a calendar year.
  • Provides complimentary unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi and access to Sheraton Club Lounge when staying at Sheraton hotel.
  • Eligible for Amex OPEN Savings benefit.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee (waived the first year).
  • No bonus categories outside of Starwood hotel stays.

7 – Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express (6)

Pros

  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earns 2X Starpoints per $1 spent on the card for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with hotels and resorts participating in the Starwood Preferred Guest and Marriott Rewards program.
  • Provides two stays and five nights elite credit each year toward SPG Gold and Platinum Elite status.
  • Starpoints earned can be transferred mostly on a 1:1 ratio to SPG’s transfer partners, which include many of the world’s top airlines.
  • For every 20,000 Starpoints that you transfer to one of SPG’s airline partners, you get an additional 5,000 points or miles bonus, which makes this one of the best cards to use for purchases that do not earn bonus points.
  • Provides complimentary unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee (waived the first year).
  • No bonus categories outside of Starwood hotel stays.

8 – Citi Prestige Card (3)

Pros

  • 40,000 ThankYou Points after $4,000 spent in the first three months of account opening.
  • Earn 3X points on air travel and hotel purchases.
  • Earn 2X points on dining and entertainment purchases.
  • ThankYou Points earned from the Citi Prestige Card can be transferred on a 1:1 ratio to Citi’s transfer partners Cathay Pacific Asia Miles, Garuda Indonesia Frequent Flyer, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, EVA Air Infinity MileageLands, Malaysia Airlines Enrich, Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus, Etihad Etihad Guest, Qantas Frequent Flyer, Virgin America Elevate, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Qatar Airways Privilege Club and Hilton HHonors.
  • ThankYou Points earned from the Citi Prestige Card can be applied toward airfare at 1.6 cents per dollar (60 percent more value) on flights with American Airlines and at 1.33 cents per dollar (33 percent more value) on flights with all other airlines.
  • $250 air travel credit each year, which can be used for any airline related purchase including airfare across any airline.
  • Complimentary fourth night for any hotel stay.
  • Complimentary access to over 50 American Airlines Admirals Club lounges, plus hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass Select.
  • $100 Global Entry application fee credit every five years.
  • No foreign transaction fees. Access to the MasterCard Airport Concierge service.

Cons

9 – Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (8)

Pros

  • Welcome bonus offer of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after $4,000 spent in the first three months of account opening. Additionally, you can earn 5,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after adding the first authorized user and that user making a purchase with their card within the first three months from account opening.
  • Earns 2X points on all travel and dining purchases. Chase’s definition of travel is extremely liberal, extending from hotels and airlines to taxis, Uber, and parking. 20 percent off when you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel, providing an effective value of 1.25 cents/point. No foreign transaction fees. One of the best looking cards around (made of metal). Ultimate Rewards points earned transfer on a 1:1 ratio to Chase partners British Airways Executive Club, Singapore KrisFlyer, Korean Air SKYPASS, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Air France/KLM Flying Blue, Hyatt Gold Passport, Marriott/Ritz-Carlton Rewards and IHG Rewards Club. Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.

Cons

  • Higher than average minimum spend requirement. (typically we see $3,000 or less)
  • $95 annual fee (waived the first year), although it is easily justified through its many benefits.
  • Almost impossible to receive approval from Chase if you have applied for more than five credit cards from any bank over the last 24 months.

10 – IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card (10)

Pros

  • 80,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening
  • Free Night after each account anniversary year at over 5,200 hotels worldwide
  • 5 points per $1 spent at IHG hotels
  • 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  • Automatic 10% points rebate on redemptions
  • $49 annual fee (one of the lowest of any rewards credit card)

Cons

  • Free nights at top-tier IHG hotels can be pricey at upwards of 60,000 points per night

Removed from last month’s rankings: N/A

Added to this month’s rankings: N/A

What are you applying for this month?

Ariana Arghandewal
Ariana Arghandewal is a travel hacker and travel rewards expert who earns over 1.5 million miles every year. When she’s not contributing to Frugal Travel Guy, she publishes her own points and miles blog, PointChaser.com. You can connect…
All Articles | Follow on Google+

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: No
  • Card Type: Bank

Apply Now
Add to Favorites

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Annual Fee: $95 fee waived for the first year
  • Foreign Fees: No
  • Card Type: Bank
FTG Review Reward Breakdown Points Breakdown
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption – Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Breakdown

Earn (pt.)

Spend


First 3 months

50,000

$4,000


Travel Purchases

2.00

$1


Restaurants Purchases

2.00

$1


Coffee Shops Purchases

2.00

$1


Fast Food Purchases

2.00

$1


Alcohol & Bars Purchases

2.00

$1


All Purchases

1.00

$1


Apply Now

Powered by WPeMatico

eBay