The Virgin America Credit Card bonus was 10,000 points for spending at least $1,000 within 90 days of opening an account. But Comenity Bank closed all Virgin America Credit Card accounts in 2018, a few months before Virgin America merged with Alaska Airlines.
Anyone looking for a good alternative to the now-defunct Virgin America Credit Card bonus should consider the Alaska Airlines Credit Card. It offers 40,000 miles and a free companion ticket for spending $2,000 in the first 90 days that you have the card. You’ll also qualify for a free companion ticket after you’ve had the account open for one year and on your card anniversary every year after that.
The best travel credit card signup bonus is 50,000 miles (worth $500 in travel) for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months with the Capital One Venture card. Or, you can earn 100,000 miles by spending $20,000 within the first 12 months. The Venture card also gives 2 miles for every dollar spent, with no limit on how many miles you can earn. You can easily redeem your miles for any travel-related expenses using Capital One’s Purchase Eraser.… read full answer
Venture has a $95 annual fee, so you need to decide if the rewards are worth it before paying to start earning them. As with all of the best travel credit cards, Venture has no foreign transaction fees.
In general, the best travel cards are those that reward you extra for every travel purchase and have no foreign transaction fees. Add on huge signup bonuses, and there’s even more reason to apply if you have the good-to-excellent credit needed for approval. Earning the best travel credit card signup bonuses requires paying an annual fee ranging from $0-$99. But the bonuses you’ll get are worth several times more.
Best Travel Credit Card Signup Bonuses:
Capital One Venture Rewards Card: 50,000 miles once cardholders spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. $95 annual fee. Or 100,000 miles by spending $20,000 within the first 12 months.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: 80,000 points once cardholders spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. $95 annual fee.
Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select Card: 50,000 miles once cardholders spend $2,500 in the first 3 months. $0 annual fee the first year, $99 after.
Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card: 70,000 miles once cardholders spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. $0 annual fee the first year, $99 after.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card: 25,000 points once cardholders spend $1,000 in the first 90 days. $0 annual fee.
Most of the signup bonuses can be redeemed at a 1:1 rate, so 1 reward point/mile is equal to 1 cent. The exception is Chase Sapphire Preferred, whose points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed for travel.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve 5/24 rule is not real, at least not right now, according to what a Chase representative said over the phone. The rule is a rumor, based on reality, that has circulated online and is talked about on many third-party sites. Supposedly, if you’ve opened 5 credit cards from any issuer in the past 24 months, you’ll automatically be denied for … read full answerany new Chase card you apply for. Language to that effect briefly appeared on Reserve’s application in 2016, but Chase removed it the same year.
Most evidence that this rule still exists comes from people’s anecdotes on forums. But if you ask Chase, they’ll tell you the 5/24 rule is not currently used. That’s not to say Chase doesn’t take the number of accounts you’ve opened recently into consideration. But you won’t be denied based on that alone.
Here’s what matters more than the Chase Sapphire Reserve 5/24 rule:
Credit standing. Your credit report and credit score are very important for approval. You’ll need excellent credit for Sapphire Reserve, which means a score of 750+ is ideal. And you’ll want your credit report to be in top shape, showing on-time payments and low utilization.
Income. You must be able to afford both the card’s $450 annual fee and your minimum monthly payments. Those payments could be pretty pricey, considering the lowest credit limit anyone will get is $10,000. So you’ll need some source of income, even if it’s not from a job. Assets also count.
Debt. Issuers look at both your income and your debt to see how much you can afford to spend on new credit cards. Paying down debts gives you a better chance of approval.
Your housing status. Chase considers whether you own or rent your home. Ownership shows more stability than renting.
The number of cards you’ve opened. No, Chase won’t automatically deny your application just because you’ve opened 5 cards in the last 24 months. But opening cards that frequently will raise red flags and increase the odds of denial, especially if anything else on your application indicates you’re a risk. People often open a bunch of new credit card accounts when they’re having trouble making ends meet.
These certainly aren’t the only things Chase looks at when deciding whether or not to approve you for Sapphire Reserve, but they’re some of the most important. And while the 5/24 rule isn’t an official policy in terms of automatic denial, Chase does take a look at the number of cards you’ve opened recently.
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