Best Sign-Up Bonus Credit Cards for September 2016

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New Member Sign-Up Bonuses are the best way to get a jump start on free travel and savings. Take a look at Point Savvy’s favorite offers for September. You may be just a few clicks away from a free flight or cash in your pocket.

Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card

Premium Card – Chase Sapphire ReserveSM

In the Premium category the winner is the new Chase Sapphire ReserveSM

The Chase Sapphire ReserveSM hefty bonus of 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening is actually $1,500 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

When Chase Sapphire ReserveSM cardholders redeem points for travel the redemption rate is 1.5 cents each. All travel and dining purchases earn 3 points per dollar spent, and translate to a 4.5% rewards rate when redeemed for travel. Other purchases, which earn a flat 1 point per dollar spent, have a rewards rate of 1.5% when redeemed for travel. That’s among the best in the industry.

Who might like this card?
  1. If you spend at least $3,333 on travel and dining per year you’ll automatically wipe out the $450 annual fee, and absorb the $300 annual travel credit.
  2. If you travel a lot you’ll benefit from the TSA and Global Entry $100 credit as well as complimentary membership to Priority Pass Select Lounge Service offering access to more than 900 lounges word wide.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus credit card

Conventional Travel Card for Everyday Expenses – Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

In this broad use category Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® wins our selection for September.

Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. That’s translates into $400 in travel reimbursement once you include the 5% redemption credit. Not too shabby!

You’ll earn 2x miles on all purchases so earning is straightforward and easy to track. Your miles don’t expire, and you’ll have the flexibility of redeeming for travel related statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise alike. In addition, each time that you redeem, you’ll benefit from a 5% redemption credit for future use.

Who might like this card?
  1. If you aren’t loyal to a specific airline and enjoy the flexibility of travel options this could be for you. Anything from Uber rides to Amtrak travel, and AirBnb stays are included as potential travel expenses.
  2. If you tend to redeem points frequently this could be your best bet. With the 5% redemption credit you’ll get more miles more often to use when you want.
  3. If you travel internationally you won’t be saddled with any foreign transaction fees abroad.

Hotel Credit Cards – Due to the impending merger of Starwood® and Marriott® we’ve included both of them this month!

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Richest Redemption – Starwood Preferred Guest® Card Credit Card from American Express

Sign-up for the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new credit card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Use points at Starwood Preferred® Guest hotels, or transfer them to airlines like Alaska, American, British Airways, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, and more usually at a 1:1 rate.

We value Starpoints® at 2.3 cents apiece on average. They’re worth most when redeemed to book domestic weekday and weekend hotel stays at SPG locations. Starpoints® can also be redeemed, at a lower value, for things like rental cars, charitable donations and gift cards.
Who might like this card?
  1. If you are a frequent Starwood® Hotel customer you will earn 4-5 points per dollar at SPG hotels, with 1 point per dollar everywhere else. You’ll be eligible for opportunities to upgrade to Gold and Platinum status, which, if achieved, grants the cardholder accelerated return rates, free upgrades, and automatic late check out.
  2. If you are not loyal to one specific airline you can trade in Starpoints® at a 1:1 point-to-mile ratio on many popular airlines.
  3. If you travel internationally there’s no foreign transaction fee on this card either.

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Biggest Hotel Bonus – Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card

You’ll earn 80,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That can automatically give you 5 nights of free hotel stays. We value Marriott Rewards® Points at around 1 cent apiece on average. They’re worth most when redeemed for domestic and international weekday stays and domestic weekend stays at Marriott hotels.

Who might like this card?
  1. If you stay at Marriott® Hotels this card earns 5 points for every dollar spent at Marriott® locations, 2 points per dollar for airfare bought directly from airlines, rental car agencies and restaurants, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. It comes with automatic Silver Elite status which translates into priority late checkout, and other discounts on amenities. You’ll automatically earn one free night every year on the anniversary of card approval for as long as you have the card and as long as you’re in good standing.
  1. If you travel internationally you’ll enjoy the benefit of no foreign transaction fees.

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Airline Card – Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Flying for free just got easier with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

Earn 50,000 Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Use miles for Southwest Airlines or international flights, hotel rooms, rental cars or gift cards. We value Rapid Rewards® points at 1 cent apiece on average. Domestic and international Wanna Get Away® fares offer the best redemption value at 1.1 cents each. 

Who might like this card?
  1. If you are a loyal Southwest customer you’ll earn 2 points per dollar spent on all Southwest purchases including Rapid Rewards® partners. You’ll receive an anniversary bonus of 6,000 bonus points every year on your account anniversary, and you’ll have no black out dates when you book a flight.
  2. If you travel internationally, there are no foreign transaction fees.

All in all we think that there are some great bonus points awards available this month. Do you have any others that you would like to add? We at Point Savvy welcome your feedback and insight. Please share.

Chase Sapphire ReserveSM

Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card

  • New! Earn 100K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $1,500 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases such as airfare and hotels charged to your card
  • 3X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Plus, no foreign transaction fees
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,500 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 900+ airport lounges worldwide with complimentary Priority Pass™ Select membership
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre√®
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions – as long as there’s a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Bonus
100,000 miles

Balance Transfer Fee
5.00%

Ongoing APR
16.24%-23.24% variable

Annual Fee
$450

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.