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Roundup of the Each US Airline’s Credit Card Bonus Offers

I thought it would be helpful to list out the best bonus mile offers available for each airline’s credit cards. Here we go:

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
25,000 miles after first purchase
Pro: $99 companion certificate good on any fare, including first class; miles can also be used on American and Delta
Cons: 25,000 miles is kinda weak; $75 annual fee not waived

American Airlines Amex, Visa and Business Visa
50,000 miles for each card after $2,500 in 4 months
Pro: 150,000 miles after $7,500 in spend; churnable after 18 months (biz card apparently more frequently)
Con: Nothing major. Let’s see – you’ll have to pay foreign transaction fees. This is generally the card combo I tell first-time credit card bonus hounds to get. It’s a (relatively) quick win and before you know it, you’ve got 150,000 miles.

Continental/United MileagePlus Explorer

Up to 40,000 miles (25k on first use + 5k for adding a user + 10k for spending $25k). If you log in to your Continental or United account, you may have an offer there for up to 60k miles.
Pro: First year fee waived; Elite-type benefits, including free checked bag and early boarding
Con: It’s a pretty weak offer, especially the 10k bonus after $25k spend; Silver Elites are annoyed that United is basically giving others the same benefits for just having the card.

Delta Gold Skymiles Business Amex
55,000 miles (25,000 with first purchase; 30k after spending $10k in 6 months)
Pro: First bag free; priority boarding
Con: Good luck using those miles

Hawaiian Airlines B of A card; B of Hawaii card
35,000 miles (20,000 miles on first purchase, 15k after $1000 spend)
Pro: You can get both cards; can combine points with spouse into 1 account; can transfer to Hilton at 1:2
Con: $79 annual fee for each card

JetBlue American Express
10,000 True Blue points on first purchase
Pro: Ummmmmm, let’s see. Hm. There’s gotta be something, but I have no idea what it might be.
Con: Seriously? Someone tell me why they have this card.


Southwest Airlines Visa

50,000 Rapid Rewards Points after first purchase
Pro: Points can be transferred into gift cards from a bunch of retailers; some people like that the 50k points are worth $833 or so in travel.
Con: $69 annual fee; if you don’t live in a city served by Southwest it’s pretty worthless for travel


US Airways Premier World Mastercard

40,000 miles after first purchase
Pro: The most generous no-annual-fee/no-minimum-spend bonus out there.
Con: Perhaps that it’s not 50,000 miles after first purchase?

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  1. I think you are undervaluing the Chase Southwest Airlines Visa. Agreed you need to be able to fly Southwest to use the miles. But the benefits are huge if you can. 50k miles equals $833 in WGA fares. The $69 fee is nearly covered by the 3k RR pts you get at each anniv (worth $50 in WGA fares). Plus doing a pers and business for 50k each gets you 100k of the 110k you need for a unlimited compan pass for all of yr you qualif plus the next cal yr.

  2. Thank you for the great summary!! It’s super helpful.

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