The 14 Best Credit Card Offers of January 2021
best credit card offers

The 14 Best Credit Card Offers of January 2021

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Between big mileage bonuses and new benefits, credit card offers are constantly changing. Figuring out the best credit card offers on the market can feel like a full-time job.

Here’s what it boils down to: Now might be the best time to open a new travel credit card. Many of the banks are back with huge bonus offers of points and miles that are worth your attention. January has already been a crazy month for these bigger bonuses, continuing the momentum we saw late last year.

We’ve assembled a list of the absolute best credit card offers for January 2021 that are currently available – and everything you need to know if you are thinking about taking advantage. For more information, make sure to head to our Top Credit Cards Page.

 

1. The Platinum Card from American Express

Current Offer

There is currently a targeted offer available through the creditcards.com CardMatch tool to earn 125,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Even if you aren’t eligible for the 125,000 point offer, you’ll earn at least 75,000 American Express points after spending $5,000 within the first six months. That’s up from the standard offer of 60,000 points – plus you’ve got twice the usual three-month period to earn them. But you may be able to get an even bigger 100,000-point welcome bonus by searching for the Amex Platinum in an incognito browser, or by using a personal referral link. If not, we appreciate it if you apply through our links.

But it gets even better. In addition to that bigger welcome bonus, you’ll also earn 10x points for every dollar you spend at both gas stations and at supermarkets in the U.S. on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the first six months of card membership! That’s the most lucrative bonus you’ll find for spending at supermarkets or gas stations.

Earn the welcome bonus and maximize that 10x multiplier on groceries and gas stations, and you can earn as much as 275,000 points. That is unbeatable.

Annual Fee: $550

 

amex platinum card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express.
See if you’re eligible for the 125,000-point offer via CardMatch

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

The standard offer on this card is typically 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. We’ve regularly seen a 100,000-point targeted offer for that same spending requirement through the CardMatch tool.

But the current offer to earn 10x points per dollar spent at gas and U.S. supermarkets for the first six months on up to $15,000 spent is the biggest offer we have ever seen in either category. Assuming you can spend the required $15,000 in six months in these categories, you can earn up to 275,000 American Express Membership Rewards points from this offer alone.

That takes the cake for the best offer we have ever seen. And it is only available for a limited time. It’s unclear when this offer may end.

As an added bonus above and beyond the benefits the card already offers, Amex just announced a monthly $30 PayPal credit through June – adding another $180 to the card’s value proposition.

Based on past evidence, it seems that those who have never held an American Express card have the best chance to pull up the targeted CardMatch offer for 125,000 points. That said, this offer won’t be available for all users. Some may be targeted for lower offers like 100,000 points, while others may not see an offer through CardMatch at all.

Check out some of the best ways to use your bonus from the Amex Platinum card.

 

2. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Current Offer

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is currently offering 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.

Annual Fee: $95

 

Chase Transfer Bonus British Airways

 

Click Here to Learn More About the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

Since the 60,000 points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each through the Chase Travel Portal or through the new Pay Yourself Back feature, the sign-up bonus alone is worth a minimum of $750. But you can get easily double that (or more) by using Chase’s transfer partners like United, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, or Hyatt. Not bad for a card with an annual fee of only $95, right?

There are some restrictions you’ll need to be aware of. First and foremost: the Chase 5/24 rule. If you have been approved for five or more cards from any bank (not just Chase) in a 24 month period, you will automatically be declined for any new Chase card. Additionally, if you have earned a bonus on either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve in the past 48 months (four years), you will not be eligible.

Read more: 7 Great Ways to Use the Sign-Up Bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

 

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Current Offer

The Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is currently offering $200 cashback (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards Points) after spending only $500 in the first three months of card membership.

As long as you apply before then, you’ll earn 5% back (or 5x Chase points) for every dollar you spend on groceries for the first 12 months you hold the card. You can read more about this here.

Annual Fee: $0

 

chase freedom unlimited card

 

Click Here to Learn More About the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card. 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

With the rollout of the Chase Freedom Flex Card in October 2020, Chase also updated the benefits of the Chase Freedom Unlimited. And it got much, much better.

It’s also easily among the best no annual fee travel rewards credit cards. And it gets better if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, as that allows you to transfer your cashback into Chase points. Every cent of cashback gets you 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point.

You’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cashback (1.5x points) on every dollar you spend. You’ll also earn 5% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022, and 3% back on dining at drugstores.

Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card

Make sure to check out our guide on Freedom Flex vs Freedom Unlimited to help you decide which version is right for you.

 

4. The American Express Gold Card

Current Offer

Earn 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first six months of card membership. That’s up from the old offer of only 35,000 points for the same spending requirement. You’ll also get six months, which is twice as much time to spend the $4,000.

Annual Fee: $250

 

amex gold card

 

Click Here to Learn More About the American Express Gold Card. 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

The American Express Gold Card is one of our favorite travel rewards credit cards. Historically, the welcome offer bonus has been 35,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership.

This 60,000 point welcome bonus offer allows you to earn more points while spending the same amount over six months instead of just three. That’s a big deal.

But the value of the Gold card goes far beyond that initial bonus. The card also earns 4x points for every dollar you spend at U.S. grocery stores (up to $25,000 annually) and 4x points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, making it one of the best cards to use at grocery stores and restaurants.

You’ll also get a $120 dining credit each year and a $100 travel credit that can be used to pay for certain airline fees (this will be going away in 2022). And starting in early 2021, you’ll get an annual $100 credit ($10 each month) to use with Uber or Uber Eats.

These credits and bonus categories are a big part of the reason we feel the card is easily worth the $250 annual fee.

Read our full review of the American Express Gold Card

 

5. Earn 100K Miles With the American Airlines Credit Cards

Current Offer

You can get two American Airlines personal credit cards: Pay one $99 annual fee (on the Aviator Red Card), and spend just $2,500 on the other (the Citi Platinum Select World Elite card) in the first three months. Bam: You’ve got 100,000 American Airlines miles.

Annual Fee: $99 Aviator Red Card. $99 Citi Advantage Card (waived for the first year)

 

Beat American Basic Economy

 

Click Here to learn more about the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.

 

aviator card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Barclays AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard (for full disclosure this is not an affiliate link) 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

American Airlines is different. They have co-branded credit cards with two different banks: Citi and Barclays.

Why does this matter? It means you can apply for and open credit cards from both banks – and earn the sign-up bonus on each. These aren’t the highest bonuses we’ve seen on either card. But the ability to quickly earn 100,000 miles is tough to beat.

But before you do this, you’ll want to make sure you have an American Airlines AAdvantage account. That way, you can use your account number on both card applications. If you don’t have one, you can create one here first.

To start with, few credit cards offer a better, more lucrative sign-up bonus offer than the AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard from Barclays. Just for opening the card, making a single purchase, and paying the upfront $99 annual fee, you will earn 50,000 American Airlines miles.

While most credit cards require you to spend $2,000 or more in the first three months to unlock a big welcome bonus, that’s not the case here. For less than $100, you can earn a quick and easy 50,000 miles that will be worth much, much more than that price. They’re some of the easiest points and miles you will ever earn.

And then there’s American’s relationship with CitiBank, which means you can also apply for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard. This card currently offers 50,000 AAdvantage Miles after spending $2,500 within the first three months of card membership. And the card’s $99 annual fee is even waived for the first year of card membership.

It’s undeniable that American Airlines and its AAdvantage mileage program are incredibly valuable – their amazing partner airlines make AA miles among the best to fuel your future travels. So even if you’re not planning to get on a plane anytime soon, earning American Airlines miles is never a bad idea. Better yet, it’s easier to earn a big stash of these miles fast than with perhaps any other major airline.

Read more: 7 Reasons You Should Be Earning American Airlines Miles.

 

6. IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

Current Offer

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is currently offering 140,000 IHG Rewards Club points after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. This is a limited-time offer that ends on Jan.13, 2021!

Annual Fee: $89 (waived for the first year!)

 

ihg card

 

Click Here to learn more about the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has long been one of our favorite hotel credit cards. Historically, the sign-up bonus offer has been only 80,000 points for the same spending requirement. Earning 140,000 points is a substantial increase. But it will only be around through Jan. 13, 2021.

On top of this bigger sign-up bonus offer, you’ll receive a free night certificate each year on your cardmember anniversary for properties that cost 40,000 points or less. That alone can easily offset the card’s $89 annual fee.

You’ll also get automatic IHG Platinum Elite status just for holding the card, and receive your fourth night free when you book three or more consecutive award stay nights. When you hold IHG Platinum Elite status, your points will never expire.

In addition to this offer, you can also currently earn 100,000 IHG Rewards Club points on the no annual fee IHG Rewards Club Traveler Credit Card.

Read our full review of the Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Card.

 

7. Marriott Bonvoy American Express Credit Cards

Current Offer

On the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card you can earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. Then you’ll earn an additional 25,000 points after your first card anniversary.

Best of all, you’ll also get complimentary Platinum Elite status with your card for the 2021 status year. This starts on Feb. 1, 2021, and runs through Jan. 31, 2022.

But this limited-time offer expires on Jan. 13, 2021. 

Annual Fee: $450

 

bonvoy brilliant card

 

Click Here to Learn More about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Credit Card. 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

This is an insanely lucrative offer. You’ll earn Marriott’s Platinum Elite status for a full year which will get you room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, and many other benefits.

Have a small business? The Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card is also offering a free year of complimentary Platinum Elite status.

Even without this new bonus offer, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Credit Card is worth a look if you often stay in Marriott hotels. And even if you don’t, the annual free night certificate (a separate perk from this new offer) the card provides is worth a lot. Not to mention the $300 credit the card provides for Marriott stays each year.

But one of the biggest benefits of Marriott’s program is the ability to transfer your points to over 40 partner airlines. These transfer at a rate of 3:1, but there’s a bonus – for every 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points you transfer to an airline, you get 5,000 bonus airline miles.

Read our full review of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant 125K point offer

 

8. The Chase Freedom Flex Card

Current Offer

The Chase Freedom Flex Card is currently offering $200 cashback (or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards Points) after spending only $500 in the first three months of card membership.

As long as you apply before then, you’ll earn 5% back (or 5x Chase points) for every dollar you spend on groceries for the first 12 months you hold the card. You can read more about this here.

Annual Fee: $0

 

freedom flex card

 

Click Here to Learn More About the Chase Freedom Flex Card. 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

Chase introduced the Chase Freedom Flex Card in October as a replacement to the popular Freedom Card – which is no longer available for new applications. It’s easily one of the best no annual fee credit cards, period. And it gets even better if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

That’s because you can transfer the cashback it earns into valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And since the earning rates on the Freedom Flex are better on certain categories than the Sapphire Cards, it is a better option for much of your everyday spending.

You’ll earn 5% cashback (5x URs) on up to $1,500 each quarter on a list of rotating bonus categories. You’ll also earn 5% cashback on groceries for the first year on up to $12,000 of spending (excluding Target and Walmart), 5% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2020, and 3% back on dining at drugstores.

Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex Card

 

9. The Suite of Southwest Airlines Credit Cards

Current Offer

All three of the Southwest Airlines’ personal credit cards are currently offering up to 80,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points after spending a total of $10,000 within the first nine months of card membership. And you can earn those 80,000 points no matter which Southwest credit card you choose. This is a limited-time offer. 

You’ll earn 50,000 points after you spend just $2,000 in the first three months, and then an additional 30,000 points after you spend a total of $10,000 in the first nine months. That’s up from the standard offer of just 40,000 points after spending $1,000 on all three cards in the first three months.

 

southwest credit card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Southwest Priority Credit Card.

 

southwest credit card

 

Click Here to get more details on the Southwest Premier Credit Card.

 

southwest card 

 

Click Here to get more details on the Southwest Plus Credit Card.
Annual Fee: Starting at $69 on the Southwest Plus Credit Card.

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

It’s all about the Southwest Companion Pass.

Grabbing one of these cards and pairing it with the Southwest Rapid Rewards Performance Business Credit Card or the Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business Credit Card would get you more than enough points to secure the Southwest companion pass for 2021 and 2022. It’s one of the best deals in the world of travel.

If you live in a Southwest stronghold and can get approved for a business credit card, this is a no-brainer.

All three of these Southwest credit cards make great companion cards to either the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card cards.

That’s because Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to your Southwest Rapid Rewards account on a 1:1 basis, so 1 Chase Point = 1 Southwest Rapid Reward Point. And those transfers are instant.

Points transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards will not count towards the 125,000 points needed to earn a companion pass, but it’s a great way to keep your balance of Southwest points high once you have earned your pass. Yes, you can use your companion pass when you book an award flight using Southwest points.

Read our full review of the Chase Southwest Credit Cards.

 

10. Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Current Offer

For a limited time, The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express allows you to earn $100 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first six months of card membership.

You’ll also earn 20% cashback on all Amazon purchases for the first six months of card membership on up to $1,000 in spending – for another $200 cashback. And on top of that, there are other standard bonus categories on everyday spending that make the Blue Cash Everyday Card a great no annual fee card.

Annual Fee: $0

 

amex blue cash card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

This is a fantastic offer for a no annual fee cashback credit card.

With the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, you’ll earn 20% back on all of your Amazon shopping on up to $1,000 of spending for the next six months. You can earn a maximum of $200 back.

In addition to that, you’ll earn another $100 back after you spend a total of $1,000 on the card within the first six months of card membership.

Unfortunately, you cannot transfer rewards from this card into American Express Membership Rewards points, as is the case with the no annual fee Chase Freedom Cards. But it doesn’t get much better for a straight-up cash back credit card.

Read our full review of the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express. 

 

11. The United Explorer Card

Current Offer

For a limited time, Chase is offering a bigger bonus on the United Explorer Credit Card, allowing you to earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 within three months. You’ll also earn an additional 10,000 Miles (70,000 total) by spending a total of $6,000 in the first six months of card membership. This offer is now expired. 

Annual Fee: $95 (waived for the first year).

 

United credit card

 

Click Here to learn more about the United Explorer Card.

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

This is among the highest bonuses we’ve seen on United’s entry-level card. Beyond the elevated sign-up bonus, it has a handful of lucrative benefits like free baggage, an application credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and gives you better access to cheap United award space to make your miles go even farther.

And the card’s $95 annual fee is even waived for the first year.

Read our full review of the United Explorer Card here.

 

12. The Chase Ink Cash and Ink Unlimited Business Credit Cards

Current Offer

Both the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card are offering $750 cash back (or 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $7,500 in the first three months of card membership.  This is a limited time offer!

Annual Fee: $0 on both cards.

 

chase ink card 

 

Click Here to learn more about the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card. 

 

chase ink card 

 

Click Here to learn more about the Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

The standard offer on both of these cards is $500 back (or 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after spending $3,000 in the first three months. So while the spending requirement is higher, it is a very good offer for two cards that don’t have an annual fee.

And it gets even better if you hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve Card.

That’s because you can transfer the cashback it earns into valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Read our full review of the Chase Ink Business Cards. 

 

13. The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Current Offer

The Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is currently offering 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points after spending $15,000 in the first three months of card membership. This is a limited time offer!

Annual Fee: $95

 

chase ink business preferred

 

Click Here to Learn More about the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card boasts one of the current best sign-up bonuses of any small business card out there. The bonus on this card is typically 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you have a small business with the ability to spend $15,000 in the first three months of card membership, this is a great offer.

In addition to the sign-up bonus offer, you’ll earn 3x points per $1 spent on travel, shipping, and technology purchases on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases per year.

This card earns the same points as both the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve. If you hold either of them in conjunction with the Ink Preferred Card, you can combine the points into the same Ultimate Rewards account.

Read more: 8 Great Ways to Use a Big Chase Bonus.

 

14. The World of Hyatt Credit Card

Current Offer

The World of Hyatt Credit Card is offering 25,000 points after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership. You can earn another 25,000 points  (50,000 total) after spending $6,000 total in the first six months.

Annual Fee: $95

 

world of hyatt credit card

 

Click Here to learn more about the World of Hyatt Credit Card. 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List 

The points are great, but it’s all about earning Hyatt status.

Hyatt has halved the requirements for earning status next year. That means you’ll only need to hit half of the elite qualifying nights to earn status and keep it all the way into early 2023.

That provides an easy avenue to climb the status ladder from Hyatt Discoverist to Explorist to Globalist – one of the best status levels in the world of hotels thanks to suite upgrade certificates, free lounge access, waived resort fees, and two free night stays a year. Here’s how it looks for earning Hyatt status next year:

  • Discoverist: Stay five tier-qualifying nights OR earn 12,500 base points
  • Explorist: Stay 15 tier-qualifying nights OR earn 25,000 base points
  • Globalist: Stay 30 tier-qualifying nights or earn 50,000 base points

New cardholders will get 5 of those tier-qualifying nights in 2021.

This is a big reason why we think now is the best time to open the card. Just for opening it, you’ll be well on your way to earning their top-tier Globalist status.

Read our full review of the World of Hyatt Card. 

 

Bottom Line

January is already a huge month in terms of elevated credit card offers. These are some of the best that are currently available. And make sure to check our Top Credit Cards Page, as offers are always changing.

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

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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