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10 lucrative credit card deals new cardholders can get in January 2019 ' including the best Southwest offer we've ever seen

Published by Business Insider on Fri, 11 Jan 2019

TheInsider Picksteam writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider and The Points Guy Affiliate Network receive a commission from card issuers if you apply through these links and are approved.Earning new member bonuses is the fastest way to earn credit card points and frequent flyer miles.You can use points from cards like theChase Sapphire Preferred Cardor thePlatinum Card from American Expressforvirtually free travel, upgrades, cash back, gift cards, and more.Some of these offers are brand new, and somelike an unprecedented offer from Southwestare only available for a limited time, so make sure not to miss out. Here are some of the best welcome bonuses and card products available in the first month of 2019.Earning credit card rewards points for your everyday spending is easy, especially with cards offering bonus earning on things like dining or at supermarkets.However, the fastest and easiest way to earn a lot of points quicklywhether you're planning a big trip but don't have enough points yet, or you're just looking to build up your storesis to open a new credit card that offers a lucrative welcome bonus.Credit card issuers like Chase and AmEx offer huge bonuses to attract customers, and while each card may have different eligibility requirements, in most cases if you haven't had that card before, you're good to go.You can read more aboutearning new card member bonuses and how that will affect your credit score here, or scroll down to find some of the best offers available this month.Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.When you're working to earn credit card rewards, it's important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically,treat your credit card like a debit card.1. Any Southwest credit cardSign-up bonus: A Southwest Companion Pass (good through 2019) and 30,000 Rapid Rewards points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months). Offer ends February 11.The Southwest Companion Pass is one of the most coveted scores in the credit card rewards and "travel hacking" world. When you have it, you can bring a travel buddy with you on any Southwest flightwhether you booked your ticket with points or cashfor just the cost of taxes and fees, which are usually around $5.60 for domestic flights. The pass isn't a one-time thing; you can use it as many times as you like until it expires.Usually, to earn the Companion Pass, you'd have to take 100 flights with Southwest, or earn 110,000 points in a calendar year. Then, you could use the pass for the rest of the year, and all of the following calendar year.For the first time ever, Southwest is offering the Companion Passplus 30,000 pointsas a sign-up bonus when you open a new consumer credit card. The pass will only be good through 2019, but it's still a fantastic deal.There are three Southwest consumer cards, but our choice for the best one is the Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card. That's because, unlike the other cards, it comes with enough tangible benefits to cancel out the cost of its annual fee.You can learn more about the Companion Pass and the three Southwest cards here.Click here to learn more about the Southwest Priority card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.2.Capital One Spark Miles for BusinessSign-up bonus:Up to 200,000 miles (50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months, and an additional 150,000 miles after spending $50,000 in the first six months). For a limited time only.Like the Venture, the Capital One Spark Miles is gaining the ability to transfer miles to 14 airline frequent flyer partners. Unlike the Venture, the Spark Miles is still offering a limited-time sign-up bonus to mark the change.The spending requirement to earn the full bonus$50,000 in the first six monthsis high, but it's definitely achievable for plenty of small- and medium-sized businessesparticularly those that lay out for materials, equipment, or services on behalf of a client.The Spark Miles is fairly similar to the Venture, aside from the fact that it's a business card rather than a personal one. It earns 2x miles on all purchases, with no limits, and has a $95 annual fee that's waived the first year.It was already a solid card; with the ability to transfer miles to airline partners, plus the massive sign-up bonus, the Spark Miles becomes a major player.Click here to learn more about the Capital One Spark Miles from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.3.Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardSign-up bonus: 50,000 miles (after spending $3,000 in the first three months).TheCapital One Venturehas historically been a useful card, thanks to a solid earning rate of 2x miles on everything, even though the rewards program was just...fine. Unlike cards offered by competitors, miles had a fixed value of 1 each toward travel purchases. Generally,transferable credit card points those that you can transfer to an airline frequent flyer program, should you chooseare more valuable, thanks to the way that booking frequent flyer award tickets works. You canread more about that here.However,Capital One has announcedthatas of December 10,Venturecardholders will be able to transfer miles to 14 new airline partners, significantly increasing the potential value of each mile.Capital One had a month-long promotional sign-up bonus (up to 75,000 miles) when it first made the announcement. Although the bonus has returned to its normal amount50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three monthsit's still a solid value worth pursuing.TheCapital One Ventureearns miles at a rate of 2x per dollar spent on all purchases, and an incredible 10x points per dollar spent on hotel stays when you book and pay throughHotels.com/Venture. Hotels.com has its own loyalty program that rewards you with a free night after 10 paid nights, so that equates to a staggering 20% return on hotels.Between the ability to transfer miles to airlines, and the chance to earn up to 10x miles on hotels, this is one of the best cards available right now.The card also offers a credit to enroll in TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. It has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.Click here to learn more about the Capital One Venture from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.4.The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MastercardSign-up bonus: 70,000 miles (after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days). For a limited time only.This is the highest sign-up bonus we've ever seen for this cardan exciting development, coming near the end of a busy year for Barclaycard's flagship US product.Earlier this year,Barclaysclosed applications for one of its most popular credit cards, before relaunching the card with a new all-time highest sign-up bonus. Then, this fall, Barclays began waiving the card's $89 annual fee for the first year, a first for the card.TheBarclaycard Arrival Plusearns double miles on every dollar spent. Miles can be redeemed for one cent each on travel purchases (applied as a statement credit to negate the cost of that purchase), or a half-cent each for cash back or gift cards. Best of all, you'll earn 5% of your miles back every time you make a redemption.Effectively, that means that the sign-up bonus is worth $700 toward travel, plus an extra $100 from the miles you'll earn meeting the spending requirement.The card comes equipped withChip-and-PIN service, which, combined with the fact that the card has no foreign transaction fees, makes it a great option when traveling internationally.Depending on your spending habits, it is easy to get more value from the card than what you pay for the annual fee, thanks to the 2x earning rate on all purchases. Of course, the sign-up bonus alone will cover the annual fee for more than eight years.Click here to learn more about the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard.5.Platinum Card from American ExpressWelcome Offer:60,000 points (after spending $5,000 in the first three months).TheAmerican Express Platinum cardhas one of the highest annual fees of any consumer credit or charge card$550but as AmEx's flagship product, this premium credit card offers a tremendous amount of value to offset that fee. For example,I got more than $2,000 worth of value in my first yearwith the card.The cardearns Membership Rewards points, the currency in AmEx's loyalty program, which can be exchanged for statement credits or cash back, used to book travel through AmEx's travel website, or, to get the most value, transferred to any of 17 airline and three hotel transfer partners (transferable pointsare among the best). Travel website The Points Guy lists a valuation of 1.9 per Membership Rewards point; based on that, the welcome offer is worth around $1,140.The Platinum Cardearns an incredible 5x points on airfare purchased directly from the airline, and offers a $200 airline fee credit each calendar year, and up to $200 in Uber credits each card member year. It also grants the cardholder access to more than 1,200 airport lounges around the world, including Delta Sky Clubs and AmEx's own Centurion Lounges. Other benefits include automatic gold elite status at Starwood, Marriott, and Hilton hotels, a statement credit to cover enrollment in Global Entry/TSA PreCheck, concierge service, and much more.If you're an active militaryservicemember, you can get the AmEx Platinum Card's fee waived.You canread our complete review of the card here.Click here to learn more about the American Express Platinum from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.6.Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit CardSign-up bonus: $500 (after spending $3,000 in the first three months).If dining and cooking are your thing, and cash back is what you're after, theCapital One Savorissure to please.The cardearns unlimited 4% cash back on all dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else. Plus, the card offers a whopping $500 sign-up bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months.TheSavorcarries a lower annual fee than the AmEx Gold$95, waived the first year. The earning rate will make up for the fee in many cases, based on normal spending, but if that's too high for you, there's an alternative: theCapital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.TheSavorOne cardhas no annual fee, and offers a slightly lowerbut still valuableearning rate of 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on everything else. It offers a lower sign-up bonus of $150 when you spend $500 in the first three months.Click here to learn more about the Capital One Savor card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.Click here to learn more about the Capital One SavorOne card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.Read more:The Capital One Savor offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainmenthere's how much the average American saves each year with the card7.Chase Sapphire PreferredSign-up bonus:50,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months).TheSapphire Preferredis one of the most popular all-around rewards credit cards, andit's easy to see why. This card earns 2x points per dollar spent on just about all travel and dining purchases, and 1x point on everything else. It also comes with a ton of travel and purchase protections, such as rental car insurance, trip delay coverage, and extended warranty.The sign-up bonus50,000 UR pointsis worth, at the very least, $500 as cash back or gift cards. However, if you book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and use points to pay, you'll get a 25% bonus, making points worth 1.25 cents each. That means that the sign-up bonus would be worth $625.Even more lucrativetheChase Sapphire Preferredlets you transfer your UR points to a few different frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. This comes in handy because, in many cases, it costs fewer points to book a trip if you go through one of those programs, as opposed to using the points as cash. You can read more about why transferring points to frequent flyer programs gets you more valuehere.This all comes for a fairly standard annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year.Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Preferred from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.8.Chase Sapphire ReserveSign-up bonus:50,000 points (after spending $4,000 in the first three months).TheSapphire Reserveis basically a beefier version of the Preferred. While the card comes with the same sign-up bonus, it earns points on everyday spending faster, nabbing a higher 3x points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases, and 1x on everything else. It also offers similar, though in many cases, enhanced travel and purchase protections.Unlike the Preferred, theSapphire Reservecomes with a Priority Pass Select membership, which gets you and any travel companions free access to more than 1,000 airport lounges around the world.You can use points from theReservethe same ways as with the Preferred, except that you'll get a 50% bonus when booking travel through Chase, making your points worth 1.5 each.The cardcarries a higher annual fee than the Preferred: $450. However, it also comes with a $300 travel credit each card member year. Each year, you'll get statement credits for the first $300 in travel-related purchases you make, including things like subway fare, taxis, parking, and tolls, as well as airfare and hotels. When you subtract this credit from the annual fee, the card is effectively only $150 each year.If you're not sure whether the Preferred orReserveis the better card for you, take a look atthis breakdown. Also keep in mind that you can typically only earn the sign-up bonus for one Sapphire-branded card every two years.Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Reserve from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.9.Hilton Honors American Express Aspire CardWelcome offer:150,000 Hilton Honors points when you spend $4,000 in the first three months.The premiumHilton Honors American Express Aspire card has a hefty $450 annual fee, but it comes with so many perks, benefits, and rebates thatit's more than worth paying for Hilton loyalistsor even brand-agnostic hotel guests.In addition to a $250 airline fee credit per calendar year and a $250 Hilton resort statement credit each card member year,the Aspirealso offers a $100 Hilton on-property credit every time you book a stay of two nights or longer at a Hilton propertyyou just need to book through aspecific website for cardholders.The cardalso offers a free weekend night reward each yearregardless of how much you spendand a second if you spend $60,000 on the card in a calendar year. It also comes with complimentary Diamond status.The Aspireearns a tremendous 14x points per dollar spent with Hilton, 7x points on flights booked with the airline, car rentals, and at US restaurants, and 3x points on everything else.Click here to learn more about the Hilton Honors Aspire card from Insider Picks' partner The Points Guy.10.Wells Fargo Propel American Express CardWelcome offer: 30,000 Go Far points (after spending $3,000 in the first three months).Thisnew card from Wells Fargohas one of themore attractive rewards offeringsyou'll find from a no-annual-fee card. The new Propel card is actually a re-launch of an old productWells Fargo stopped accepting applications for the old card back in February, before announcing the new product and reopening applications this summer.The cardearns 3x points on all travel, dining, and select streaming services (and 1x point on everything else). If that sounds familiar, it's because it's almost the same as the popularChase Sapphire Reserve.There are some key differences between the cards.The Propellets you redeem points for 1 each toward cash back, merchandise, travel, or more, while theSapphire Reserve offers a range of more valuable redemption optionsit's easy to get at least 50% more value for Chase points. Plus, the Sapphire Reserve offers a number of premium perks that the Propel doesn't, like airport lounge access, a $300 annual travel credit travel delay insurance, and more.Of course, theSapphire Reservealso comes with a $450 annual fee, while theWells Fargo Propeldoesn't have a fee. Between the new member offer, and the solid earning rate on popular spend categories, the Propel makes a decent option for those who don't travel often, or who aren't comfortable floating a large annual fee.We named the Propel thebest no-fee cardof 2018.Click here to learn more about the Wells Fargo Propel card from Insider Picks' partner: The Points Guy.DON'T MISS:Southwest just announced an unheard-of deal for its credit cards ' you'll get the coveted Companion Pass simply by opening oneSEE ALSO:The best credit card rewards, bonuses, and perks of 2019Join the conversation about this story
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