Credit Cards Rewards Credit Cards

The Best Credit Cards to Start Churning With

Chase IHG Rewards MasterCard

If you wait for a promotion, this card is good for free hotel nights. If you keep it past a year, you get a free night at any of their hotels once a year, which includes their extremely high-end $600+/night hotels.

Sign-on bonus: The 80,000 point sign-on bonus, which appears regularly, is the best. With the 70,000 point sign-on bonus that is currently in offer at the time of this article, it’s still worth it.

Minimum spend: $1,000 in the first three months.

Award redemption: With 70,000-80,000 points, you can get 2-4 nights at a Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express or 1-2 nights at a nicer hotel like an InterContinental. Some less popular hotels are even offered for as little as 5,000 points each night.

Annual fee: Waived the first year, $49 each following year.

Alternative: The Chase Ink Plus is also a great option to pair with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, currently offering a promotion for 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select MasterCard

The sign-on bonus is a little less attractive here, but this is very worthwhile if you can get the promotional offer that’s often floating around.

Sign-on bonus: Usually 30,000 miles. Wait until you find the 50,000 mile offer.

Minimum spend: $1,000 in the first 3 months for 30,000 miles. $3,000 in the first 3 months for 50,000 miles.

Award redemption: 50,000 miles is enough for two domestic round-trip flights.

Annual fee: Waived the first year, $95 each following year.

Alternative: The Delta SkyMiles American Express cards and the United MileagePlus are good options for people loyal to those airlines, and often offer even better bonuses. Citi Prestige is a good alternative Citi card if you can find a 50k, 60k, or sometimes even a 100k sign-on offer.

About the author

Elizabeth Aldrich

Elizabeth Aldrich

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and “digital nomad” specializing in small business, entrepreneurship, career advice, real estate, travel, arts, and culture. She’s written for outlets as varied as Rawckus Music and Arts Magazine, Itcher Entertainment, Sweden Tips, Houzz, Hometalk, JobHero, Tico Times, and Eugene Weekly. Thanks to a three-year stint in a travel job, a knack for mining great deals, and credit card churning, she has not paid for a single flight since 2012, despite her constant travels. You can find her on Twitter @LizzieAldrich or her website, www.elizabethaldrich.com.

2 Comments

  • in addition to looking for the best offers, you have to be careful of the anti-churning rules that each bank uses. i use bonuspit.com to keep track of all my credit card and they apply the bank rules automatically so i know which bank i can open a credit card with without violating those rules.

  • Do you think I can a credit wil capital one with my credit score of 583? Credit karma said capital one very good?

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