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One of the best aspects of getting a new credit card is earning a big chunk of rewards right at the start from a new customer bonus. These bonus offers alone can often earn you enough points or miles for a round-trip flight or a multi-night stay at the resort of your dreams — all just by being approved for a credit card with a strong offer and meeting the minimum spending requirement.
And if you’ve been on the cusp of applying for a new credit card, right now there are a number of cards offering lucrative welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more. Of course, not every credit card is created equal, so a 100k bonus on one card might actually be worth a lot more than another.
But don’t worry! We’ve gone through all of the biggest bonus offers currently available and picked out the best based on the value of the points, the card’s benefits and who should get it. So take a look at our list of the best credit cards with 100,000 bonus points or more and see which one is right for you.
The best credit cards with 100,000 bonus points or more
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Best for Hilton hotels
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card: Best for IHG hotels
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card: Best for Marriott hotels
British Airways Visa Signature Card: Best for short domestic flights
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best elite perks for businesses
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best travel card for businesses
Let’s dive into the details of each of these cards and see how they compare and how much each bonus offer is actually worth.
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
Best for Hilton hotels
If Hilton is your go-to chain when it comes to hotel stays, the Hilton Honors Surpass Card could be the right credit card for you — especially with its lucrative current welcome offer.
Right now, new card members can earn up to 180,000 bonus points, which break down like this: You’ll earn 130,000 bonus points after spending $2,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months after opening the account, plus an additional 50,000 bonus points after you spend a total of $10,000 on the card in the first six months.
Based on the point valuations of frequent flyer website The Points Guy, those 180,000 bonus points are worth as much as $1,080 in travel. Since the Hilton Surpass Card only has a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees), the card easily pays for itself in the first year.
Plus, you’ll automatically earn many other perks with the Hilton Surpass Card that will come in handy during your next Hilton stay. Just by having the card, you’ll get automatic Hilton Gold elite status, which is one of the best mid-tier statuses available across major hotel chains. Gold status perks include complimentary breakfast, space-available upgrades and late checkout when you stay at a Hilton.
You can also earn a weekend night certificate with the Hilton Surpass Card if you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year. This certificate can be used at any Hilton property as long as a standard room is available.
Typically, as the name describes, weekend reward nights are limited to just weekends. But Hilton has made some temporary changes due to the pandemic, so you can redeem certificates issued at any point through 2022 on any day of the week. Additionally, certificates typically expire 12 months after they’re earned, but right now all certificates issued in 2021 are extended until December 31, 2022.
Other money-saving benefits of the Hilton Surpass Card include a Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership with 10 complimentary visits a year, as well as the ability to earn 12 points for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels, and 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and U.S. gas stations. All other purchases earn 3 points for every dollar you spend on them.
But if you still think the $95 annual fee is too steep, or you can’t use all the benefits, there’s another Hilton Honors credit card that’s also offering an increased welcome bonus.
New Hilton Honors American Express Card members can currently earn up to 130,000 bonus points — 80,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card in the first three months after opening the account, plus an additional 50,000 bonus points after you spend a total of $5,000 on the card in the first six months.
This card has no annual fee at all (see rates and fees), though of course the benefits aren’t as good. You’ll still receive complimentary Hilton Silver elite status with the Hilton Amex Card. Yes, that isn’t nearly the same as Gold, but checking into a Hilton hotel with some sort of elite status — versus no status at all — can only help.
And with the Hilton Amex Card, you’ll earn 7 points for every dollar you spend on eligible purchases at Hilton hotels, and 5 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. You’ll also earn 3 points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases. And through December 31, 2022, all bonus points earned from eligible purchases will count as Base Points towards Elite tier qualification and Lifetime Diamond status.
Not sure which Hilton card to get? We recommend trying the Hilton Surpass Card with its better benefits and higher bonus to start — the card will easily pay for itself in the first year. Then, if you find the benefits are worth paying the fee after the first year, you can either keep it or convert it to the Hilton Amex Card with no annual fee going forward.
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Best for IHG hotels
The IHG Rewards Club Premier card is currently offering a record-high 150,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months after opening the account. With a low $89 annual fee that’s waived for the first year, this is a credit card that IHG travelers should pay attention to.
Although IHG points aren’t worth as much as some other hotel loyalty programs, this welcome offer is still worth a decent up to $750 toward travel based on The Points Guy’s valuations. But the real reason to have this card — and to keep it year after year — are the benefits.
Our favorite benefit by far is the annual night certificate you’ll get starting at the second year you have the card. This certificate allows you to stay for free at any IHG property costing 40,000 points or fewer and expires a year from the date it is deposited into your IHG account. This benefit alone can very quickly make up for the annual fee, especially if used at an expensive property.
On top of that, when you have the IHG Premier card, you’ll receive your fourth night free when you use your points to redeem for a free stay. If you find yourself staying at hotels for more than a few nights at a time, this perk can be invaluable. And don’t forget about the complimentary Platinum elite status and cell phone protection that you get with the card — two additional benefits that are the icing on the cake.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
Best for Marriott hotels
With such a large presence, there’s a good chance that wherever you’re going for your next vacation, there’s a perfect Marriott property for you. And there are currently three different Marriott credit cards offering welcome bonuses of more than 100,000 points — giving you a significant jump start on figuring out a destination for your next trip.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is offering 125,000 bonus points and a Free Night Award after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account. With Marriott points worth 0.8 cents apiece according to The Points Guy, those 125,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel, plus the Free Night Award can be used at any Marriott hotel with a redemption rate of up to 50,000 points.
While the Marriott Boundless card costs a relatively low $95 annual fee, it offers complimentary Marriott Silver elite status (which comes with late checkout and a 10% bonus on points earned during your stay), 15 annual elite night credits to give you a jump start on earning a higher status level, travel protections, purchase protection and a complimentary award night certificate at every account anniversary year.
While the sign-up bonus alone is a reason to get the Marriott Boundless card, the yearly anniversary certificate is a top reason to hold onto it. Starting with the first year you renew your account and every year thereafter, you’ll receive a certificate that can be used at any Marriott hotel for one night costing 35,000 points or less. That leaves some great properties to utilize your certificate, all which generally cost well over $95 a night — the cost of the card’s annual fee.
Now, if you’re looking for a Marriott credit card with significantly more benefits — albeit a much higher annual fee — the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is also offering a limited-time welcome bonus, and it’s even better than the one on the Marriott Boundless card.
Through Nov. 3, 2021, new card members can earn 150,000 bonus points and a Free Night Award after you make $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening the account. This free night award can be redeemed at any Marriott property costing up to 85,000 points, which means you can use it at any essentially any Marriott in the world at standard redemption rates.
The Marriott Brilliant card has a whopping $450 annual fee (see rates and fees) but it comes with many perks that can help offset the fee. For example, every year you’ll get up to $300 in statement credits for Marriott purchases, so if you stay at Marriott properties often enough, it’s easy to use those credits, and they’ll effectively bring your annual fee down to a more manageable $150.
Also, starting with your second year as a Marriott Brilliant card member, you’ll get a Free Night Award certificate that can be used at any Marriott hotel costing 50,000 points or less, giving you more redemption options than the certificate that comes with the Marriott Boundless card.
Finally, if you’re a business owner, you might want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card, which is also offering a limited-time bonus through Nov. 3, 2021. New card members can earn 125,000 bonus points and two Free Night Awards after making $5,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership.
Similar to the Marriott Boundless card offer, the Free Night Awards that come with the Marriott Business card welcome bonus can be used at any Marriott hotel with a redemption rate of up to 50,000 points. And with the business card, you’ll get two of them.
The Marriott Business card’s annual fee is slightly more than the Marriott Boundless at $125 per year (see rates and fees) but it also offers the same complimentary annual award night starting with your second card member year, which can be used at any Marriott property with a redemption rate of up to 35,000 points.
British Airways Visa Signature Card
Best for short domestic flights
Right now, the British Airways Visa Signature Card, which earns British Airways miles known as Avios, is offering a hardy 100,000 bonus Avios after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months after opening the account. And while it’s not unusual to see 100k offers on this card, the current offer is special thanks to a greatly reduced minimum spending requirement.
Typically the minimum spending requirement on the British Airways Visa is $20,000 over 12 months to earn the entire 100,000 bonus Avios, making it extremely difficult for many people to reach. But with the current offer, earning an extra 100,000 Avios in a very valuable loyalty program shouldn’t be a problem for most.
Even though this card is linked to an international airline, there are many opportunities to use British Airways Avios on its partner airlines, especially American Airlines. In fact, you might find that Avios can be far more valuable then American AAdvantage miles if you’re looking to travel domestically.
Why? Well, British Airways offers a distance-based award chart where the number of Avios required for an award flight is directly tied to the distance you fly. For flights on American Airlines within the United States, British Airways charges the following number of Avios:
- 0-650 flight miles: 7,500 Avios
- 651-1,150 flight miles: 9,000 Avios
- 1,151-2,000 flight miles: 11,000 Avios
- 2,001-3,000 flight miles: 13,000 Avios
That means when it comes to short flights in the US, it can be cheaper to book the same American Airlines flight using Avios than AAdvantage miles. However, keep in mind that you’ll have access to less American award inventory when using Avios, and British Airways charges Avios on a per segment basis. So if you have a routing that includes a layover, you’ll have to add up the number of Avios per leg to get your total cost.
Of course you can always use your Avios on British Airways flights as well as other partner airlines, but you’ll find that the taxes and fees on those flights can be quite high at times — especially on international British Airways flights.
Other benefits of the British Airways Visa include no foreign transaction fees, travel and purchase protection, statement credits for paid tickets booked to London on British Airways and 10% off British Airways flights departing from the US. And with British Airways Avios worth 1.5 cents apiece according to The Points Guy, this card can easily net you $1,500 in value — a great sign-up offer on a card with only a $95 annual fee.
The Business Platinum Card from American Express
Best elite perks for businesses
If you’re looking for both a big welcome bonus and VIP perks, the Business Platinum Card from American Express is where it’s at. Right now small-business owners can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on the card within the first three months of card membership. Based on the point valuations of The Points Guy, Amex Membership Rewards are worth 2 cents apiece, which makes this bonus worth $2,000.
But the welcome bonus is just the start of this card’s numerous features. You’ll get access with the Amex Business Platinum to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, including the exclusive American Express Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Club lounges (when flying Delta), Priority Pass Select lounges, Escape Lounges and more.
Another one of our favorite money-saving benefits that comes with the Amex Business Platinum are the up to $200 in airline fee credits. Each year you can select one airline to earn up to $200 in annual statement credits for incidental fees with that airline, such as checked bags, change fees and in-flight Wi-Fi, to name just a few. (Enrollment required for select benefits.)
Even if you’re not traveling again just yet, the Amex Business Platinum comes with some perks you can use at home. One of the main ones is up to $200 in annual statement credits for U.S. purchases at Dell; it’s split in half, with up to $100 in statement credits between January and June, and up to $100 in statement credits between July and December.
You’ll also receive up to $100 in statement credits for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Global Entry allows you to zip through US immigration faster when returning to the United States, while TSA PreCheck gives you fast-track access through TSA airport security lines within the United States. When approved for the Global Entry program, you’re automatically approved for TSA PreCheck, so applying for the former is our recommendation.
Although there’s a $595 annual fee on the Amex Business Platinum (see rates and fees), the statement credits and perks — which add up to $500 in 2021 if fully used — can help significantly offset the fee.
Ink Business Preferred
Best travel card for businesses
If you’re in the market for a flexible business travel credit card, look no further than the Ink Business Preferred. With the card’s current welcome offer of 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months after you open the account, you could be looking at $2,000 in travel value based on The Points Guy’s valuations.
The Ink Business Preferred earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points — similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve — and you can use these points in a few different ways. You can redeem them for cash back at 1 cent apiece, or redeem them for travel through Chase’s travel portal at 1.25 cents apiece.
But to get the most value for them, you’d want to do some homework and learn about Chase’s 14 airline and hotel travel partners, since you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to any of these partners at a 1-to-1 ratio. Transferring points is the best way to get premium redemptions like first- or business-class flights, but it does take some time and effort to find the best awards.
Another perk of the Ink Business Preferred — and possibly the best reason to be a card holder — is its cell phone protection benefit. When you pay your cell phone bill with the card, you and all your employees on your phone plan are covered if a phone is stolen or damaged. This can potentially save your business a lot of money, all while earning 3 points for every dollar you spend on your phone bill.
Other desirable perks of the Ink Business Preferred include purchase protection, trip insurance, trip delay protection and primary car rental insurance. But the one downside to this offer is its high minimum spend — $15,000 in the first three months after you open the account. However, for many businesses, putting $5,000 per month in business expenses on a credit card may not be very challenging.
Check out CNN Underscored’s list of the best credit cards of 2021.