4 Exciting New Travel Rewards Credit Card Offers in May 2018

4 Exciting New Travel Rewards Credit Card Offers in May 2018

Editor's Note: The offers referred to in this article below have all expired. To view the most current travel rewards and cash back credit card offers, please visit BestCashCow.com's credit card section.

May has already seen four exciting new travel rewards credit card offerings. These are worth taking a look at for anyone who enjoys free travel and/or wants to maximize the value of their credit card spend.

  1. Chase’s New Marriott Rewards Credit Card

This new Chase card is offered in preparation for the full 3-to-1 integration of the Marriott and Starwood Preferred Guest programs (following Marriott’s 2016 acquisition of the latter). While the card is inferior to the 1 SPG points per dollar Amex card (3 Marriott points per dollar) that has been a staple of a good travel rewards credit card program, it is better than prior offerings by Chase for Marriott. It has also been reported that following the full integration later this year, Amex will be allowed to maintain its SPG accounts, but will devalue its program to earn only 2 Marriott points per dollar spent. Therefore, if you aim to rack up Marriott points, this will be your best bet.

Here are the details of the offer. Get 100,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months of card membership. Earn 2 points per dollar on all spend, 6 points per dollar at Starwood and Marriott programs.

The card also gives a free night award (up to a 35,000 Marriott point value) when you renew each year. It carries a $95 annual fee (not waived the first year) and has no foreign exchange fees.

Some existing Chase Marriott card members will receive an offer to upgrade to this card.

I don’t have much to say about this card. I was always a fan of the Starwood Preferred Guest program and held the Amex card for many years. The 100,000 bonus Marriott points that this card offers (= 33,333 SPG) are slightly better than the sign up offer than most people got when they first got the Amex SPG card, but 2 Marriott points aren’t as good as the 3 that SPG was giving you all of these years. With so many other cards offering more for your spend, this will be compelling for very few.

See the 20 best credit cards for spend. Or, use our card maximizer tool to find the best card for your spend profile.

  1. Chase’s Freedom Unlimited Card Offering 3x On All Spend for your First Year

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card ordinarily offers 1.50x on all spend. Since I can find redemption values of Chase points as high or higher than 2.40 cents a piece, I love racking up these points with this card. But the card is essentially designed as a cash-back card and in order to get those types of values, you also need to have a Chase Sapphire card which will enable transfers to Hyatt, United, Singapore Krisflyer or British Airways and use it in conjunction with that card. This strategy is fully explained here.

For a limited time, Chase is offering new cardholders 3x on all spend in their first year. If you can get 2.4 cents out of the points like I can, that is a return of over 7 cents per dollar spent on everything over your first year. You’ll also get 15,000 Chase points for spending $500 in your first 3 months and the card has no annual fee. This seems like a deal worth taking a look at.

And, the next two cards are small business cards, except you really don’t need to have a business to take advantage of these offers (learn more).

  1. Chase to Unveil New Ink Business Unlimited Card on May 20

This new card also offers 1.50x on all spend and has no annual fee and is therefore akin to the Freedom Unlimited card, described above. However, the card gives a 50,000 Chase points sign-up bonus with your spend of $3,000 in the first 3 months. Also like the Freedom Unlimited card, this is intended primarily as a cash back card and it isn’t available to existing Chase Ink card holders (although they can request a product change to it). While the sign-up bonus isn’t as good as the Ink Business Preferred Card (that card offers 80,000 Chase points with a $5,000 spend), it doesn't have an annual fee. It will also be preferable for those who have small business expense that ordinarily doesn’t qualify for one of the Ink Preferred’s spend categories (and therefore usually earn only 1 point per dollar on that card). Unlike the Ink Preferred, you’ll need to have a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Sapphire Preferred in order to get your points to one of the valuable travel partners (Hyatt, United, Singapore).

  1. Barclays Raises AAdvantage Aviator Business Mastercard Sign-Up Bonus to 50,000 American Points

Barclays has been somewhat limited in terms of how and when they can promote their American Airlines products, but they did recently unveil a business card, and now they have raised the sign-up bonus for the card to 50,000 American AAdvantage points. You’ll need only to make a single purchase on the card in your first 3 months in order to get the sign-up bonus. The card carries a $95 fee that is not waived during the first year.

See all top 10 travel rewards business cards, Or, use our card maximizer tool to find the best card for your spend profile.

Ari Socolow
Ari Socolow: Ari Socolow is the Chief Economist and Editor-in-Chief at BestCashCow. He is particularly interested in issues relating to bank transparency and the climate crisis. Since co-founding BestCashCow in 2005, Ari has been frequently cited in the media as an expert on local and national savings accounts, CD products, mortgage and loan products and credit card rewards products.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

User Generated Content Disclosure: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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