Get Set for Summer Travel with These Credit Card Intro Bonuses
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It may only be February, but you can bet that a number of Americans are already looking forward to the summer. In particular, many are likely planning their summer travel plans as I speak. For them, several co-branded credit cards from airline and hotel brands are currently offering enhanced welcome bonuses.
First up, as I mentioned last week, Delta and American Express have unveiled new offers for most of their co-branded cards (minus the lowest-tier Skymiles Blue card). These offers coincided with the debut of the new “TakeOff 15” feature that’s now a perk of each of these cards. As cardholders, customers will be able to save 15% on award bookings for Delta flights, meaning they’ll need to use fewer Skymiles to make their trip a reality. Here’s a look at those updated welcome bonuses — which are currently set to expire on March 29th.
- Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express: Earn 70,000 miles after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first six months
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express: Earn 90,000 miles after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first six months
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express: Earn 90,000 miles after spending $6,000 in purchases in the first six months
Next up, while Southwest may not be feeling as much of the “luv” from travelers these days as they were before December, those who haven’t sworn off their airline may be able to benefit from new limited-time offers that include a version of Southwest’s famed Companion Pass. For those unaware, with Companion Pass, flyers can bring along a friend or loved one on their travels for almost free when they book a flight. Companion Pass holders will need to designate one person who will fill this role and they’ll need to still pay taxes and fees for their tickets. Note that the version of the pass included with these welcome bonuses will be valid through February 28th, 2024. Those offers are (and, yes, they are the same):
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus: Earn a Companion Pass good through 2/28/24 plus 30,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier: Earn a Companion Pass good through 2/28/24 plus 30,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority: Earn a Companion Pass good through 2/28/24 plus 30,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months
Moving from airlines to hotels, IHG is currently offering its best point bonus ever for its Premier card. The Chase-issued card offers a number of rewards, including an additional 10 points per dollar spent on IHG purchases, 5x points on travel purchases, 5x at gas stations, 5x on dining, and 3x on all other purchases. It also includes automatic Platinum Elite status for cardholders among other perks. However, it does carry a $99 annual fee. Take a look at the current offer:
- IHG Rewards Premier: Earn 175,000 Bonus Points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months
Meanwhile, Hilton also has a pair of limited-time offers. One is for the no-annual-fee Hilton Honors American Express card while the other is for the $95 annual fee Hilton Honors American Express Surpass card. These particular offers will expire on April 5th:
- Hilton Honors American Express Card: Earn 100,000 points after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first six months
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card: Earn 150,000 points after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first six months
Finally, we come to two limited-time offers from Marriott Bonvoy. As you may know, Marriott’s card portfolio actually spans two issuers, but these offers both come from the Chase side. Specifically, they involve the no-annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy Bold card and the $95 annual fee Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card (sound familiar?). No end date has been published for these, but you may not want to wait around if you’re planning to take advantage:
- Marriott Bonvoy Bold: Earn 60,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless: Earn 100,000 points after spending $2,000 on purchases in the first three months
As you map out your summer travel plans, perhaps it might make sense to add a new credit card to your wallet. Of course, while these bonuses can certainly help you reach your award travel goals faster, you’ll likely want to pick a card that aligns with the brands you frequent (and enjoy) the most. But, after you run the numbers, be sure to snap up the offers you want before their blow away in the spring breeze.
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