6 of the best credit card offers in July, from premium perks on Southwest to an almost-free flight to Hawaii
Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
- Signing up for a rewards credit card and earning its welcome bonus is one of the easiest ways to earn a ton of points, miles, or cash back.
- While some credit card bonuses stay largely the same, others increase from time to time. Pay extra attention to these limited-time offers.
- In July, you can score enough miles for a free flight to Hawaii with one limited-time bonus, or, if you're lucky, get a rare 100,000-point bonus on the Platinum Card® from American Express through the CardMatch tool. Plus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card's offer is a great way to get started with some of the most valuable points around.
If you want to earn points and miles, there's no quicker route than signing up for a rewards credit card and earning its sign-up bonus. This typically requires meeting a minimum spending requirement in the first three months or 90 days, and it's well worth it - you'll be rewarded with thousands of points or miles to put toward your next trip, or with a sizeable amount of cash back.
Before you apply for any new cards, make sure you understand how credit card applications affect your credit score. Then, scroll down to check out some of the best sign-up offers available in July.
Keep in mind that we're focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.
When you're working to earn credit card rewards, it's important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.
Welcome offer: 60,000 Amex points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. You could be targeted for a 100,000-point offer (with the same spending requirement) when you use the CardMatch tool. Note that the CardMatch offer could change at any time, but it's worth checking to see if you're targeted for an offer that would score you 40,000 extra points.
If you travel frequently and can put its many, many benefits to use, the Amex Platinum can be an easy decision even with its $550 annual fee. See how Business Insider's David Slotnick got more than $2,000 in value from the card in his first year for more info.
Some of the card's top perks include a 5x earning rate on airfare purchased directly from the airline, up to $200 in airline fee credits each calendar year, up to $200 in Uber credits each cardmember year, and up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits each calendar year.
The card also stands out for its airport lounge access benefits. As a card member, you can access Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when you're flying Delta), Priority Pass lounges, Air Space Lounges, International American Express Lounges, Escape Lounges, and Plaza Premium Lounges.
You can use the Amex Membership Rewards points you'll earn with this card to book travel with airlines like British Airways, Delta, and Emirates, and with hotel partners including Marriott.
Click here to learn more about the American Express Platinum from Business Insider's partner, The Points Guy.
Welcome offer: 60,000 Hawaiian miles after you spend $2,000 in the first 90 days. For a limited time - we don't know the offer end date, so act soon if you're interested.
Unless you're based in Hawaii, you probably don't fly to and from the islands enough to make this your credit card for everyday spending, but now's a great time to sign up since the bonus is an elevated 60,000 miles.
That's enough to book a round-trip economy award flight from anywhere in the mainland US to Hawaii. Keep in mind that award prices on Hawaiian Airlines fluctuate according to peak and off-peak dates, but in our sample searches we've found plenty of availability for flights that come under the 60,000-mile mark, from both the East Coast and the West Coast. You'll just have to pay taxes and fees, which are about $6 each way.
Click here to learn more about the Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard from Business Insider's partner, The Points Guy.
Welcome offer: 60,000 Chase points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
If you want a rewards credit card with points that can be used with a variety of travel partners, you can't go wrong with the Sapphire Preferred. It's one of the best general credit card picks if you're new to the world of points and miles or if you don't want to pay the $450 annual fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, as the Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee.
The card has been offering a 60,000-point sign-up bonus for the last several months, and you can use those points to book travel directly through Chase, or you can transfer them to partners like British Airways, Hyatt, Singapore Airlines, and United.
Beyond earning some of the most valuable points around, the Sapphire Preferred offers primary car rental insurance and doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.
Click here to learn more about the Sapphire Preferred from Business Insider's partner, The Points Guy.
Welcome offer: 80,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months.
Southwest's second credit card for small businesses launched in late June, and it offers some premium perks with the airline, along with what's currently the highest sign-up bonus among Southwest credit cards.
The 80,000 points from the sign-up bonus count toward Southwest's Companion Pass benefit, which lets you bring a friend along on flights for free minus taxes and fees. You need to earn 110,000 qualifying points in a year to get the Companion Pass, and if you wanted to open a personal credit card like the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card, that sign-up bonus would count toward it as well.
In exchange for a $199 annual fee, you get four upgraded boardings on Southwest per year, inflight Wi-Fi credits, an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and 9,000 points each year after your cardmember anniversary.
You'll also earn 3 points per dollar on Southwest purchases, and 2 points per dollar on social media and search engine advertising, internet, cable and phone purchases (and 1 point per dollar on everything else).
While this is advertised as a small-business credit card, keep in mind that you could be eligible if you're a freelancer or have a side gig.
Click here to learn more about the Southwest Performance Business Card from Business Insider's partner, The Points Guy.
Welcome offer: 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
The Venture Rewards card has consistently added benefits over the last year or so. While previously you could only use miles to erase purchases on your statement, you can now transfer them to a variety of airline programs, including Air Canada, Air France/KLM and Etihad. There are occasionally transfer bonuses that help you stretch your miles further, too.
This card offers a strong lineup of benefits considering the reasonable $95 annual fee (that's waived the first year). You get an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and earn 10x miles when you book hotels through the hotels.com/venture landing page.
Earning 10 miles per dollar on hotels is hard to beat, and that's in addition to the free night for every 10 paid nights you book that you'll earn through the Hotels.com Rewards program. You'll also earn 2x miles on all non-hotel purchases.
Click here to learn more about the Capital One Venture from Business Insider's partner, The Points Guy.
Welcome offer: 35,000 Amex points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. You could be targeted for a 50,000-point offer (with the same spending requirement) when you use the CardMatch tool. (Note that the CardMatch offer is subject to change at any time.)
If you eat out or buy groceries on a regular basis, the Amex Gold card is made for you. You'll earn 4 points per dollar at restaurants, and 4 points per dollar on the first $25,000 spent at US supermarkets each year (then 1 point per dollar). The card also offers up to $120 in dining credits each year, split into $10 each month, at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth's Steak House, or participating Shake Shack locations.
As with the Amex Platinum, you can use the Amex Membership Rewards points earned from this card to book travel with more than 15 airline partners and three hotel programs (Choice, Hilton, and Marriott).
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