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Taking advantage of a credit card’s welcome offer is a smart way to earn a large amount of points in a short time. If you can meet the spending requirement and pay your balance off on time and in full, there are several cards right now featuring huge welcome bonuses of 100,000 points.
A bonus of that size can be hugely attractive. You can book a lot of free travel with 100,000 points, paying only taxes and fees.
That said, consider your budget, spending habits, and whether a card meets your financial needs before chasing a lucrative bonus offer. You especially want to avoid interest charges.
“When you start paying interest on a credit card, you’re losing the value and it makes the bonus much less attractive,” says Benét Wilson, senior credit cards editor at The Points Guy (which, like NextAdvisor, is owned by Red Ventures.)
If you’re ready to take on the responsibility, we think these credit cards offer the most versatile benefits and rewards, on top of their 100,000-point welcome bonuses.
Credit Cards With 100,000-Point Welcome Bonuses
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture X offers great rewards on travel, elevated travel perks, and a generous welcome bonus. As one of the newest premium travel cards on the market, it offers 2x miles for each dollar you spend, 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, and 5x miles on flights booked via Capital One Travel.
It also comes with a massive 100,000-mile bonus, the best welcome bonus we’ve seen since Chase ended its own 100,000-point bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. According to Capital One, the card’s welcome bonus is worth $1,000 in travel, but new cardholders will have to spend $10,000 on purchases in the first six months from account opening to earn it.
You’ll also get up to $300 in annual statement credits toward travel purchases through Capital One Travel; 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary after your first year; complimentary Priority Pass membership; and more. But this card comes at a cost: a $395 annual fee. The card’s high annual fee may not be worth it for you if you don’t travel frequently and don’t take advantage of the card’s elevated travel credits and perks.
American Express Platinum Card®
The American Express Platinum Card got a major overhaul in July. The annual fee increased to $695 (see Rates and Fees), and Amex added new perks like a $200 hotel credit, $300 Equinox credit, and a $179 Clear membership credit.
It’s also offering an appealing welcome bonus: 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months of account opening. The card’s rewards structure remains unchanged: 5x points per dollar on airfare booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel, and 1x point per dollar on everything else.
But this card doesn’t make sense for everyone. The welcome offer requires a larger spending threshold than the Chase Sapphire Preferred for the same amount of points, and if you’re not constantly traveling or don’t value luxury travel perks, the premium benefits that come with this card won’t be worth the high annual fee.
Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
For some business owners, the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card may offer a lot of value.
The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, which is among our picks for the best business cards, currently has a welcome offer of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening the account. That’s worth $1,250 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
You can maximize your points earned by using this card for all business purchases in its 3x bonus categories. It offers 3x points per dollar on many categories where business owners typically spend, such as shipping, internet, travel, and more.
The card’s bonus categories are limited to $150,000 in spend each year; after that, you’ll earn 1x. But if you hit the spending cap in the bonus categories for this card annually, you’ll still earn 450,000 Ultimate Rewards points each year — worth $4,500 in redemption value, or $5,625 when you redeem for travel. This card doesn’t offer as many premium travel benefits as other business cards, but it makes up for it with rewards and a lower annual fee of $95.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Intro bonus:60,000 points
- Annual fee:$95
- Regular APR:15.99% – 22.99% Variable
- Recommended credit:670-850 (Good to Excellent)
- Apply Now At Chase’s secure site
The Platinum Card® from American Express
How to Earn a Big Credit Card Welcome Offer Without Overspending
The key to meeting a card’s welcome offer requirement without overspending is charging only what you can pay off and making your credit card payments on time. It’s doable as long as you’re planning ahead. If you want to earn a big credit card welcome offer without overspending, we have tips to help keep you accountable while you’re trying to reach that goal:
- Have a budget
- Track credit card spending
- Use your credit for things you would have purchased anyway
- Spread your purchases over the welcome bonus period
- Pay off your credit card balance every month
Other Credit Cards With Welcome Bonuses of 100,000 Points or More
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
- Hilton Honors American Express Card
- IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
- The Business Platinum Card from American Express
These credit cards also offer welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more after meeting the spending requirements, but you won’t get as much value or flexibility from them, since they are co-branded cards. If you get a co-branded credit card with a specific airline or hotel, you will only earn that airline or hotel chain’s currency, whereas transferable points, like Chase Ultimate Rewards, give you leeway to book with a variety of airlines and hotel partners.
The entry-level Hilton Honors American Express card caters to people who want to earn Hilton Honors points for hotel stays and enjoy a few added travel perks, such as auto rental coverage and complimentary Silver elite status, without paying an annual fee. If you find yourself staying frequently at Hilton properties, one of the more premium cards in Hilton’s lineup, such as the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card*, will likely add more value to your stays. A card like that comes with better rewards and hotel benefits — 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months since account opening and up to $250 in airline fee credits and $250 in Hilton resort credits —but comes with a steep annual fee of $450.
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is another co-branded credit card that allows you to earn points within the IHG Rewards Club and redeem them for stays at nearly 6,000 hotels and resorts around the world. The card is mostly geared toward people who prefer to stay with IHG brands, offering 125,000 points plus a free night after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening. (Hotel points are typically less valuable than credit card points or airline miles.)
The Business Platinum Card from American Express is not a co-branded card. Like the Ink Business Preferred, the Amex Business Platinum is among our picks for the best business cards, but we have not included it among our top choices among cards with welcome offers of 100,000 points or more since it only makes sense for frequent business travelers willing to pay extra for convenience and comfort. Its annual fee is $595 ($695 if application is received on or after 01/13/2022 (See Rates & Fees), and while it comes with premium travel perks, the hefty cost makes it worthwhile only for people who are on the road for work a lot.
*All information about the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has been collected independently by NextAdvisor and has not been reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the American Express Platinum Card®, click here
For rates and fees of The Business Platinum Card from American Express, click here