Posted by sirtheta on March 20, 2017
Credit Cards Rewards Credit Cards with Additional Spending Bonuses

Published on March 20th, 2017 | by sirtheta

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Master List of Credit Cards with Additional Spending Bonuses

March 28, 2017 update: added FNBO Best Western cards.
March 27, 2017 update: added IHG, Southwest, & Virgin America cards; moved various definitions of “year” to their own section.

In the comments of our article “A Spreadsheet of Current & Recent Credit Card Signup Bonuses for Major Issuers”reader Olympia wanted us to put together a resource of credit cards with additional spending bonuses. The usual caveats apply here: the intent is to cover major issuers, I’ve probably missed a few things, etc. (Though I’ll definitely consider putting in more “minor” issuers if some are brought up—the list is not that big!)

I have defined “additional spending bonus” to mean some bonus that derives from spending a specific amount on a card on some yearly basis. This is more or less obvious, but this definition excludes things that are not bonuses (e.g. category caps) & things that are not tied to spending a specific amount (e.g. the 30% relationship bonus on the Blue for Business card, anniversary points, discounts that apply for as long as you have the card, etc.).

The list is broken down first by issuer and then by program (or equivalent). You’ll want to read A Few Very Important Definitions first, or at least reference it as you go through. I decided to write out the bonuses long hand instead of using a list or table format, so keep that in mind. In general, explanations are kept to a minimum except where necessary (e.g. I don’t want to explain what Hilton Gold status is, but how Marriott awards elite night credits is important enough to warrant an explainder).

If I’ve missed anything, made any mistakes, or you have suggestions, drop a comment below!

A Few Very Important Definitions

Unless noted otherwise, all spending requirements are based on calendar year (January 1–December 31). This is definitively true for almost all items that give status, since status is awarded on a calendar year basis.

There are a few other ways spending requirements can be structured, though. They are indicated by “in a(n) {whatever} year” following the spending requirement. Where possible, I have kept intact the issuers terminology, even if that duplicates definitions or could create confusion. If the issuer did not indicate terminology, I either use another issuers or chose my own.

  • Anniversary year: the 12 billing cycles beginning with your account open date and each 12 billing cycles thereafter,
    • American Express calls this cardmembership year: the 12 billing cycles in a row beginning with the billing cycle that starts in the calendar month in which account anniversary occurs.
    • Chase calls this account anniversary year: the year beginning with your account open date through the first statement after the anniversary of your account open date and each 12 billing cycles thereafter.
    • U.S. Bank also calls this cardmembership year: the 12-month billing cycle period immediately prior to the annual anniversary of your account open date.
  • Annual fee year: the 1 year period following when you are billed the annual fee and resetting when the annual fee is next billed.
  • Billing year: the 12-billing-cycle period ending with the closing date of your last billing cycle during a calendar year. (i.e. your statement closing in January thru your statement closing in December.)
  • Cardmembership year (issuers that are not American Express or US Bank): the 12-month period beginning with your account open date and each 12-month period thereafter.
    • Citi uses an equivalent definition of cardmembership year: the 12-month period prior to an account anniversary date.

American Express

Note from the above that American Express’s definition of cardmembership year is equivalent to anniversary year, not other cardmembership years.

Cash

The Blue Cash card (also known as the “Old Blue Cash”) gives you 5% on U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. drugstores–up to $50,000—& 1% on other purchases after $6,500 in spending in a cardmembership year. (For the first $6,500 in spending it is 1% on U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. drugstores & 0.5% on other purchases.)

Delta SkyMiles

The Platinum Delta SkyMiles & Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business cards give you 10,000 SkyMiles & 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after each $25,000 in spending. The maximum is 20,000 SkyMiles & 20,000 MQMs after spending $50,000.

The Delta Reserve & Delta Reserve for Business cards give you 15,000 SkyMiles & 15,000 MQMs after each $30,000 in spending. The maximum is 30,000 SkyMiles & 30,000 MQMs after spending $60,000. (Effective May 2017, it’s possible that you are limited to two miles boosts per year, for a total of 30,000 SkyMiles & MQMs, even if you have both cards.)

Hilton Honors

The Hilton HHonors card gives you Hilton Gold status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $20,000.

The Hilton HHonors Surpass card gives you Hilton Diamond status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $40,000.

Membership Rewards

The Enhanced Business Platinum gives you an extra 0.5x Membership Rewards (MR) on purchases of $5,000+. The maximum is 1,000,000 MR, equating to $2,000,000 in $5,000+ purchases.

The Ameriprise Platinum card (more properly known as “The Platinum Card from American Express for Ameriprise Financial”) gives you 5,000 MR after each $20,000 in spending. The maximum is 30,000 MR after spending $120,000.

Mercedes-Benz

The Mercedes-Benz card gives you a $500 certificate, good towards the future purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz, after spending $5,000.

The Mercedes-Benz Platinum card (more properly known as “The Platinum Card from American Express Exclusively for Mercedes-Benz”) gives you a $1,000 certificate, good towards the future purchase or lease of a new Mercedes-Benz, after spending $5,000.

Starwood Preferred Guest

The Starwood Preferred Guest & Starwood Preferred Guest Business cards give you SPG Gold status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $30,000.

(Note that the SPG, Marriott, and Ritz-Carlton programs all status match each other.)

Banco Popular

Avianca LifeMiles

The Avianca Vuela card gives you a coupon for a 50% discount on an award ticket after each $12,000 in spending in a billing year. The maximum is 2 coupons for $24,000 in spend.

Bank of America

Amtrak Guest Rewards

The Amtrak Guest Rewards card gives you 1,000 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) after each $5,000 in spending. The maximum is 4,000 TQPs after spending $20,000.

Merrill+

The Merrill+ card gives you either a $200 Travel Credit or Delta Sky Club membership after spending $50,000 in a billing year. (The Travel Credit resets January 1. The Delta Sky Club membership is valid for 1 year beginning the month it is requested.)

Spirit

The Spirit Airlines card gives you 5,000 Free Spirit miles after spending $10,000 in an anniversary year.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

The Virgin Atlantic & Virgin Atlantic Black cards give you 7,500 Flying Club miles after spending $15,000 in an anniversary year, and an additional 7,500 Flying Club miles after spending $25,000 in an anniversary year. The Virgin Atlantic & Virgin Atlantic Black cards also give you an Economy Companion Reward Ticket (ECRT) after spending $25,000 in a cardmembership year. (An ECRT lets you book an additional standard reward ticket for half the miles when purchasing a reward ticket for the full amount of miles.)

The Virgin Atlantic White card gives you 2,500 Flying Club miles after spending $5,000 in an anniversary year, and an additional 5,000 Flying Club miles after spending $15,000 in an anniversary year. The Virgin Atlantic Black card also gives you an ECRT after spending $25,000 in a cardmembership year.

Barclays

American Airlines AAdvantage

The AAviator Blue card gives you $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) after spending $25,000.

The AAviator Red card gives you $3,000 EQDs after spending $25,000. The AAviator Red card also gives you a $100 Flight Discount after spending $30,000 in a cardmembership year. (Your account must also remain open for at least 45 days after your anniversary date.)

The AAviator Silver card gives you 5,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after each $20,000 in spending, and $3,000 EQDs after each $25,000 in spending. The maximum is 10,000 EQMs for spending $40,000, and $6,000 EQDs after spending $50,000. The AAviator Silver card also gives you a Companion Certificate, good for up to two guests, after spending $30,000 in a cardmembership year. (Your account must also remain open for at least 45 days after your anniversary date.)

The AAviator Business card gives you $3,000 EQDs after spending $25,000. The AAviator Business card also gives you a Companion Certificate after spending $30,000 in a cardmembership year. (Your account must also remain open for at least 45 days after your anniversary date.)

Choice Privileges

The Choice Privileges card gives you 8,000 Choice Privileges points after spending $10,000 in a cardmembership year.

Frontier

The Frontier Airlines card ($69 annual fee version) gives you a $100 Flight Discount after spending $2,500 in a cardmembership year.

Hawaiian

The Hawaiian Airlines card gives you 5,000 HawaiianMiles after spending $10,000 in a cardmembership year.

JetBlue TrueBlue

The JetBlue Plus and JetBlue Business cards give you JetBlue Mosaic status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $50,000.

Chase

British Airways Avios

The British Airways card gives you a “Travel Together Ticket”, good for 2 years, after spending $30,000.

Fairmont

The Fairmont card has been discontinued, but it gave 1 Free Night after spending $12,000. The Fairmont card also gave 1 night credit towards Fairmont President’s Club Platinum status after each $7,500 in spending. The maximum was 2 night credits after spending $15,000.

Hyatt

The Hyatt card gives you Hyatt Explorist status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $50,000.

IHG

There is no explicit additional spending bonus on the IHG card. Unusually for hotel-branded credit cards, however, points earned for spending on the IHG card are elite qualifying points and do count towards Spire Elite status, which requires 75,000 points (cardholders already have Platinum Elite status). Therefore, the IHG card gives you IHG Spire Elite status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending between $37,500 (on gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants) and $75,000 (all other purchases). (Less spend is required if you stay at IHG properties and/or use your card at IHG properties.)

Marriott

The Marriott Rewards Premier & Marriott Rewards Premier Business cards gives you 1 elite night credit (ENC) after each $3,000 in spending. There is no maximum. (The ENC is award within 6–8 weeks from the last day of a calendar month in which the $3,000 threshold is met.)

The Marriott Rewards Premier Business card gives you Marriott Gold status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $50,000 in an account anniversary year.

(Note that the Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, and SPG programs all status match each other.)

Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz Carlton card gives you Ritz-Carlton Gold status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $10,000 in an account anniversary year. (You receive Gold status automatically in your first account year.) The Ritz Carlton card also gives you Ritz-Carlton Platinum status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $75,000 in an account anniversary year.

(Note that the Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, and SPG programs all status match each other.)

Southwest

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier & Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business cards give you 1,500 Tier Qualifying Points (TQPs) after each $10,000 in spending during a billing year. The maximum is 15,000 TQPs after spending $100,000 in a billing year.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus, Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier, & Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business cards also have an unstated spending bonus. Points earned for spending on the Southwest cards count towards the Companion Pass, which requires 110,000 points. Therefore, the Southwest cards give you a Companion Pass, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $110,000. (Less spend is required if you fly Southwest, use your card to pay for Southwest flights, and/or use your card for hotel & car rental purchases.)

United

The United MileagePlus Explorer & United MileagePlus Explorer Business cards give you 10,000 United miles after spending $25,000.

Citi

American Airlines AAdvantage

The AAdvantage Executive card gives you 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after spending $40,000.

The AAdvantage Platinum Select Business card gives you a Companion Certificate after spending $30,000 in a cardmembership year. (Your account must also remain open for at least 45 days after your anniversary date.)

Expedia+

The Expedia+ card gives you one Elite Qualifying Hotel Night (EQHN) towards Expedia+ gold status qualification after each $2,500 in spending. There is no maximum. (The EQHN is awarded once your statement closes; Expedia+ status extends from the day you earn the status, through the next calendar year, to February 28 of the following year [the year following “next calendar year”].)

The Expedia+ Voyager card gives you 5,000 Expedia+ points after spending $10,000 in a cardmembership year.

Hilton

The Hilton HHonors card gives you Hilton Gold status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $20,000. The Hilton HHonors card also gives you 10,000 Hilton Honors points after spending $1,000 or more on stays in the Hilton portfolio.

The Hilton Reserve card gives you Hilton Diamond status, good through the end of the next calendar year, after spending $40,000. The Hilton Reserve card also gives you a Weekend Night Certificate after spending $10,000 in an annual fee year. (Your account must also remain open for at least one billing cycle after your annual fee date.)

ThankYou Points

The AT&T Access More has been discontinued (but is still available via a product change), but it gave 10,000 ThankYou Points after spending $10,000 in a cardmembership year.

Comenity

Virgin America

The Virgin America Premium Visa Signature card gives you 5,000 Status Points after each $10,000 in spending in a billing year. The maximum is 15,000 Status Points after spending $30,000 in a billing year. (Note that the T&C, point #3 initially claims this is by calendar year—but it is not.)

First National Bank of Omaha

Best Western

The Best Western Rewards Premium card gives you 20,000 Best Western points after spending $5,000 in an anniversary year.

The Best Western Rewards Business card gives you 32,000 Best Western points after spending $25,000 in an anniversary year.

U.S. Bank

Club Carlson

All Club Carlson cards* give you 1 Free Night Certificate for spending $10,000 in a cardmembership year. (You must also pay the annual fee for the next cardmember year.)

* (That would be the Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature, Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature, Club Carlson Platinum Rewards Visa, Club Carlson Rewards Visa, and Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa.)

FlexPerks

The FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature card previously gave you a statement credit for your $49 annual fee after spending $24,000 in a cardmembership year. This is no longer true for new applications.

The FlexPerks Business Edge Travel Rewards card gives you a statement credit for your $55 annual fee (plus the $10 per employee card fee) after spending $24,000 in a cardmembership year.

FAQ

None so far!



30 Responses to Master List of Credit Cards with Additional Spending Bonuses

  1. chao says:

    nice post. thank you!

  2. Nick says:

    US Bank Club Carlson card gives a free night with $10k annual spend.

  3. brian says:

    Believe the Citi Access More has a 10k TYP bonus for $10k spend in a year. Unsure though if its 12 mo after signup or Jan-Dec.

  4. Paul says:

    Another good resource by DOC. Thanks!

  5. Fiby says:

    I can’t imagine why somebody would try to get this bonus, but for the sake of completelness, Merrill+ has a $200 travel credit after $50k spend in a year.

  6. Olympia says:

    Olympia is awesome! j/k – awesome post – love it!

  7. Mahi says:

    Spending 30K with SPG – Per & Biz, will give gold status? Or it is 30K per any one card – Per OR Biz?

  8. Dev says:

    I got a mail from citi for Hilton honors card about 75000 points( says limited tile offer) for spending $2000 in 3 months. Is this good offer. No annual fee card.

  9. Adam says:

    Awesome post. Something I was pondering over this morn w all my new cards recently. And how I can MS to leverage ongoing bennies thruout the year. Thank you for putting this together. I trust it’ll be semi-regularly updated. So subbing as well!

  10. Abey says:

    Amazing post. Love it. Just when i thought i know everything…
    Sirtheta i missed your posts. We need more and more often! 😍

  11. Kelly says:

    I believe the Barclays AAviator Silver gives two $99 companion tickets after 30K in spend per anniversary year.

  12. NinjaX says:

    great work, but this really needs to be in table format. maybe when you have time later as a long term project. lets you filter and look things up easier.

    • NinjaX says:

      oh yea. btw. there is a very secret spend bonus for US Bank FlexPerks which nobody talks about because its gone from all new apps.

      Personal Visa Signature annual bonus of 3,500 points each cardmember year when you spend $24,000 or more.

      Business Edge Travel Rewards Visa will credit your account with the amount of the annual fee: $55 when you spend $24,000 or more.

    • Not sure it does need to be in a table personally

    • sirtheta says:

      I think a table would be overkill here because there’s not much information associated with each card, but at the same time some explanations can take up a lot of space, which hurts a tabular format. Ultimately my worry is that condensing everything into a table will be either a bad presentation or is duplicating the current text (and thus means info has to be updated in 2 places in the post).

  13. bluecat says:

    Great post…I’ve been looking for something exactly like this. Hope you will add a link to it from your top menubar link to “Credit Cards”

    I know everyone’s situation is different but, using the “option of spending with this card or a 2% cash back card”, do ANY of these make sense as a standalone goal? (E.g., the Fairmont card requires 10K spending for a free room, for which you could also earn $200 with a cash back card, so this is possibly worthwhile.)

    • sirtheta says:

      This is a tough call. The Fairmont card was a pretty clear one where the free night was likely better than a 2% card. The AT&T Access More was an extra 1x TYP / $ for $10,000 spend and also made it worth it.

      Most of the bonuses depend on how much value you get out of hotel or airline status [or being closer to airline status], which is extremely variable, or how much you can redeem airline miles for, which is also extremely variable. I’d say the most highly valued statuses you can get from spending would be Ritz-Carlton Platinum (transfers equally to Marriott & SPG at minimum), JetBlue Mosaic, and possibly Hilton Diamond.

      Outside of the categories already mentioned, the Merrill+ and the American Airlines Companion Certificates are pretty good. In the former case, Delta Sky Club membership can be extremely valuable for some people. In the latter case, the Companion Certificate lets you book a $99 domestic, economy companion ticket (+ taxes & fees), so it could be worth anywhere from very little to $300+. The AAviator Silver being good for up to 2 guests doubles the worth, so the bonus on that is equivalent to a 2% card if it saves you $300 a piece (and that doesn’t count the 30k+ miles).

    • I’ll add this to our credit card reference page, you can find that from the top menu.

  14. TomT says:

    One more to add: Banco Popular Avianca Vuela: A 50% discount on an award ticket redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States after $12,000 spent each year (January through December billing statements). An additional 50% discount on an award ticket redeemed for travel to Central America or Colombia from the United States after $24,000 spent each year (January through December billing statements) direct from the official website: https://www.lifemilescreditcard.com/WLInternet/WlInternet_ProductFeatures.aspx?ProductId=2#!

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