Below are some of the great travel credit cards to apply for and use, to get lots of miles, so you can travel for free. This list will get updated often, so check back here for more tips and information.
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard has a current sign up bonus of 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. This equates to $400 off your travel expenses (airfare, cruise fare, hotels, etc) you put on the card!! You earn 2X miles on ALL your purchases!! and the annual fee is waived for the first year, $89 thereafter. There are NO foreign transactions fees, which means its a great card to use overseas or traveling in Mexico or Canada. Best of all, you can book any ticket you want, and you can use the points to pay off the ticket cost, up to $440. Example: you book a ticket on Alaska Airlines to Mexico, and the cost is $500; you essentially can use the points to pay $440 of the cost, leaving you to pay only the remaining.
The Alaska Airlines Signature Visa card has a current sign up bonus of 30,000 miles after spending $1000 in 90 days. You also get a coach companion ticket, which lets you fly anywhere Alaska Airlines goes to, including Hawaii and Mexico. Pay any coach fare, and your companion flies for $121. Alaska partners with Emirates and Cathay Pacific, and has one of the best redemption rates out there currently. I highly recommend this card for any beginners.
UPDATE: The $100 statement credit offer is dead, but may return. I will update the link if it does come back.
The Chase Sapphire Signature Visa card has a current sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Reward points after $4,000 in 3 mths These points are valuable because they can be transferred into an array of programs, such as United Mileage Plus, Southwest Airlines, or even Amtrak. They can also be redeemed for gift cards, such as Macy’s, Starbucks, Hyatt, Marriott, and much much more. You get 2 points per dollar spent on Airlines and Hotel. No annual fee for the first year, $95 thereafter. Of course, there are options to get around this (covered later).
The Chase FREEDOM Visa card has a current sign up bonus of 15,000 Ultimate Reward points or $150 bonus. There is no annual fee, so this card is a keeper to help your credit score and a great way to park Ultimate Reward points. The beauty of this card is 5% cash back on bonus categories throughout the year, such as gas, airlines, supermarkets, Starbucks, etc. The points may be combined from the Sapphire Card, and the INK card(s) for greater redemption options.
The American Express Starwood Preferred Guest card has a current sign up bonus of up to 35,000 Starwood points. These points are also valuable because they can be transferred into many airline mileage programs, including Alaska Airlines, Delta, Emirates, American and more at a 1:1 ratio, with an in included bonus. That means 35,000 SPG points = 40,000 miles. Points can be redeemed for free nights at Sheraton, Westin, W Hotels, and much more! You could use them to stay at the Westin Maui for 7000 pts for one night.
The US Airways Premier World MasterCard® has a current sign up bonus of up to 40,000 miles. You get 40,000 miles after first purchase. Miles can be used on any of the One World partners. Annual fee of $89, which IS NOT waived the first year. However, you are getting 40,000 miles after the first use, so you will easily make up for it. You get ONE free US Airways Club Lounge pass every year of card membership. TWO $99 companion tickets to use on US Airways flights. Easy to redeem miles and plenty of availability across all One World partners, including American Airlines.
UPDATE: I’ll replace this card with the Barclays Aviator soon.
The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® is a great way to get to Hawaii for free. You earn 35,000 bonus miles after spending $1000 in 3 mths. You also get a 50% off companion discount to use when traveling between the North America and Hawaii. There is an $89 annual fee which is NOT waived the first year, but it makes up for it when redeeming for a free ticket to Hawaii. You can also book one way awards, which are useful, if you don’t have enough miles in your account for round trip. You also get a discount when redeeming for an award if you are a card holder, so you will use less miles for traveling for free. Round-trip award flights start at 20,000 and even less if you have this card. For the most part, you can find flights out of Hawaiian gateway cities, such as Las Vegas, San Jose, Portland, Seattle.
UPDATE: I don’t think this a great card anymore –I’ll replace it with another card soon. Check back.
Best Business Credit Cards
The Chase INK Bold card gives you 50,000 Ultimate Reward points after spending $5,000 within 3 months. That’s enough for $625 worth of travel, or you can convert the points to various airline programs such as United Airlines and Southwest Airlines. You get 5X per dollar at office supply stores, and on cell phones, landlines, internet and cable/satellite TV bills. The points can really add up!! There is a $95 annual fee, but is waived for the first year. I personally had this card, but canceled it after a year to get the Chase INK PLUS card.
Disclosure:i DO NOT receive any compensation for these cards.