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A Bunch of Credit Cards That Will Earn You 50,000 Points…Without any Vanilla Fuss

Rick over at Frugal Travel Guy sent out a note the other day in which he said he is basically staying away from the whole Vanilla Reload thing (if that means nothing to you, you can read my summary here) because there are so many other ways to generate miles in a nearly risk-free manner through credit card signups. I basically wrote the same thing a week or so ago here.

(Upon further examination, FTG sent out an email today all-but-suggesting that you go out and rent an army of orphans and have them apply for the Ink cards…apparently I misread the first missive….carry on).

I’m staying away from the Vanilla Reload nonsense because of the risk, because there are no Office Depots in Manhattan carrying the card, and even if there were (and even if New York City weren’t under water/on fire) my time is more valuable than running around chasing reloadable cards. Eh, and mostly because you can’t get them in Manhattan.

Given that, I thought I would present a list of credit cards offering signup bonuses of 50,000 points/miles or greater. As you think about your next churn, make sure you’re considering all of the options out there, including these cards that give significant bonuses. And it’s certainly easier than traipsing from Office Depot to Office Depot looking for cards (not that there’s anything wrong with that…to each his own, right?).

Card (Links to Application)BonusMinimum Spend to Earn BonusAnnual FeeComments
ULTIMATE REWARDS & MEMBERSHIP REWARDS
Chase Ink Plus50,000 Ultimate Rewards points50,000 points after $5,000 spend in 3 monthsNone, then $95Compare the Chase Business Cards here
Chase Ink Bold50,000 Ultimate Rewards points50,000 points after $5,000 spend in 3 monthsNone, then $95Compare the Chase Business Cards here
American Express Mercedes-Benz Platinum Card50,000 Membership Rewards points$1,000 in 3 months$475
American Express Premier Rewards Gold Business50,000 Membership Rewards points$5,000 in 3 monthsNone, then $175
AIRLINES
Citi American Airlines AAdvantage Visa50,000 miles$2,500 in 4 monthsFree, then $85Also comes with 2 lounge passes. Apply for Visa and Amex at same time using 2-browser trick (open one application in one browser, other in different browser, hit submit at same time). Can be churned after 18 months.
Citi American Airlines AAdvantage Amex50,000 miles40,000 miles after $2,000 spend in 4 months; 10,000 miles after additional $3,000 spendFree, then $85Also comes with 2 lounge passes. Apply for Visa and Amex at same time using 2-browser trick (open one application in one browser, other in different browser, hit submit at same time). Can be churned after 18 months.
American Airlines AAdvantage Business Visa50,000 miles$3,000 in 4 monthsFree, then $85Wait 65 days after getting personal Citi AA cards before you apply for business version.
Chase British Airways Visa50,000 points$1,000 in 90 days$95
Chase United MileagePlus Explorer50,000 miles (plus 5,000 for adding a user)$1,000 in 3 monthsFree, then $95You need to have miles in your Mileage Plus account to receive the offer. Either transfer from Ultimate Rewards or signup for PointsHound (here) and get 100 points for signing up for free.
HOTELS
Hawaiian Airlines Bank of America Visa35,000 miles (converts to 70,000 Hilton Hhonors points)$1,000 in 3 months$79
Hawaiian Airlines Bank of Hawaii Visa35,000 miles (converts to 70,000 Hilton Hhonors points)$1,000 in 3 months$79
Hilton HHonors Amex65,000 points 40,000 points for $750 in 3 months; additional 25,000 for $3,000 in 3 monthsNone
Citi Hilton HHonors Visa50,000 points$1,500 in 6 monthsNone
Hilton HHonors Surpass from American Express60,000 points40,000 on first purchase; additional 20,000 when you spend $3,000 in 90 days$75
Priority Club Visa80,000 pointsFirst purchaseNone, then $49
Marriott Rewards Premier Visa50,000 points + $75 statement creditfirst purchaseNone, then $85
Ritz Carlton Rewards Card70,000 points$2,000 in 3 months$3953 suite upgrades; $100 credit on 2-night stay; Gold status that counts with Marriott; $200 airline incidentals covered
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  1. Didnt FTG actually mention that he would easily max out the $50 limit (for the 5X bonus) at OD for both him and his wife? Not sure when he said he is staying away from the Reload game.

    • Crap – did I misunderstand the email he sent out about a week ago? Am I literally the only person staying away from the whole thing? (I assume all of us in Manhattan aren’t involved…)

  2. The Citi American Airlines AAdvantage Business Visa link does not work. Is there an alternative?

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