Update: This post contains outdated offers and should only be used for reference. Click the following link for the most up-to-date offers on my favorite travel hacking cards. -cg
Once again, it’s raining points and miles—a bunch of new travel hacking offers have hit the market all at once, offering you the chance to earn up to 175,000 miles (or more depending on how you count it) and an additional $500 in cash.
There’s been some confusion about all these AmEx offers, so I thought I’d break down the most attractive ones and also clarify something. Let’s start with the clarification: these are marketed as business card offers, but if you’re eligible for U.S. credit cards, you’re probably eligible for at least one of these.
100,000 Points Signup Bonus + Centurion Lounge Access + More
First up, the big one. American Express has “enhanced” its Business Platinum card. The main enhancement is… you can now get a 100,000 points welcome offer after completion of the minimum spend. 100,000 points! The welcome offer is usually 50,000, and that’s a good deal on its own.
This is a major offer. Even with a very conservative valuation, 100,000 Membership Rewards points are worth a minimum of $1,250 in travel. Most of us will be able to get a lot more value out of them.
For example, you could transfer 72,500 points to Singapore Airlines and use them for a flight in their exclusive “Suites” class complete with private compartment and a double bed.
(And yeah, you’d still have points left over.)
You could also transfer them to Air Canada’s Aeroplan program and use them for Star Alliance flights all over the world. I recently redeemed 50,000 points in exactly that fashion to fly JFK-Zurich in Swiss Air Business Class, then continuing to Cairo on the same award. The total taxes were $24.80.
There are many other good uses.
75,000 Delta SkyMiles & 10,000 EQMs
Next, they’ve increased the welcome offer on the Delta SkyMiles Business Card to 75,000 SkyMiles and 10,000 EQMs (Elite Qualifying Miles) that can be applied toward elite status.
To be clear, SkyMiles are worth less than Membership Rewards points—potentially a lot less. Still, 75,000 are still worth at least $600, if not more, and getting the jump on status will be worth it to a lot of people.
SimplyCash: $500 Statement Credit, Never Any Fees
Finally, the welcome offer on the SimplyCash card has gone from $250 to $500. This is a no-annual fee card. In other words, AmEx will pay you in cash to get and use this card. You also have a longer time than usual to meet the minimum spend. As long as you can charge $10,000 over 12 months, the $500 will be automatically applied to your statement. Pay your bill on time every month and there will never be any fees.
This is a great deal for those who don’t care about miles and points. Personally, I’d rather have 100,000 Membership Rewards points than $500 in cash—but cash is good, too. 🙂
OK, So What About the Business Card Thing?
These days, many people (especially my readers!) work for themselves in some fashion. If you do any sort of consulting, freelancing, coaching, online work of any kind—then you have a business. If you’re even thinking of starting a business at some point, you’ll need a business card.
You can use your own name in the “Business Name” field and include your SSN instead of a Tax ID (EIN) number—all of this is normal and fine. Or if you prefer, you can get a Tax ID (EIN) number at no charge and use that.
The distinction between consumer cards and business cards is largely a marketing one. Sure, it helps if you’re a business owner. But in the end, the banks and issuers are most concerned with your ability to repay your debts.
These are major offers, the likes of which we usually only see in the last quarter of the year. Don’t miss out!