The 8 Best Credit Card Offers for Travelers in May 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

Credit Cards Thrifty Traveler Shirt scaled e1650296682454

The 8 Best Credit Card Offers for Travelers in May 2022

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. For more information check out our Advertising Disclosure.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Getting ahead with travel credit cards is all about timing: Getting a card when the welcome bonus is at its highest is what it’s all about. And if you’re in the market for a new travel credit card right now, you’re in luck.

Several banks are out with some eye-popping bonuses of points and miles on their best travel cards – in some cases, among the biggest we’ve ever seen. Some of these offers are for a limited-time and won’t last much longer, so it could pay to act fast.

We’ve assembled a list of the absolute best credit card offers for May 2022 that are currently available – and everything you need to know if you are thinking about taking advantage.

Just remember: Credit cards are serious business. You should never apply for a credit card if you’re already in debt, and never charge more to a credit card than you can afford to pay off immediately.

For more information on the best current offers, make sure to head to our Top Credit Cards Page.

 

 

1. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Current Offer

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is currently offering 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. These points are worth a minimum of $1,000 for future travel. This is a limited-time offer!

Annual Fee: $95

 

chase sapphire preferred card

 

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

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

The record-setting 100,000-point offer on the Chase Sapphire Preferred from last fall is gone, which is a shame. But we probably won’t see an offer like that ever again.

So getting 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points is still a very solid offer and one of the biggest bonuses ever on this card. Simply put, it is the best offer available right now.

Those 80,000 points can be used to book at least $1,000 in travel through the Chase Travel Portal – or $1,000 towards an Airbnb stay via the Pay Yourself Back feature – as every point is worth 1.25 cents apiece. But you can easily get double that (or more) by using Chase 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, there’s 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: Are You Eligible for the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

 

2. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Current Offer

The brand new Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is currently offering 75,000 Venture Miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Considering you earn 2x for every dollar you spend on the Venture X Card, you’ll earn a total of at least 83,000 Venture Miles right off the bat.

Annual Fee: $395

 

capital one venture x card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

Because it’s one of the most exciting new travel credit cards to hit the market in years – if ever.

Capital One first unveiled the card in early November 2021. It’s a souped-up version of the ever-popular Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card that’s chock full of extra benefits: Access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass lounges, a $300 annual travel credit, a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, great travel and rental car insurance protection, and more.

And all that comes with a price tag of just $395 a year. While that may seem steep, that automatically makes this card a compelling alternative to premium competitors like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Platinum Card® from American Express, which cost as much as $695 per year.

While a $395 annual fee may still immediately turn off many travelers, it’s a mirage – it’s actually far cheaper. Consider the fact that you get an automatic $300 credit a year towards travel booked through the Capital One Travel portal. Then, starting in year two, you get a 10,000-point bonus every year: points worth a minimum of $100.

Are you the kind of person who plans to spend $300 a year or more on travel? If so, do the math and you’ll see that in reality, you’re paying $95 a year for this card – or much less when you add in the other perks and welcome bonus.

It’s hard to think of any other travel credit card with a better value proposition right now than this one.

 

3. The American Express® Gold Card

Current Offer

Earn at least 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first six months of card membership. You’ll also get six months to meet the spending requirements, which is twice as long as normal.

Be sure to check if you’re eligible for an even better 75,000-point offer via CardMatch!

And right now, there is a targeted referral offer allowing you to earn up to 90,000 points for the same spending requirement. You’ll also earn up to a $250 credit to use at restaurants in your first year with the card. But you must apply through one of these referral links by June 8, 2022.

Annual Fee: $250 (see rates & fees)
 

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. Here’s what you need to know: The real value of the Gold card goes far beyond that initial bonus – though a 60,000- to 90,000-point bonus or more sure doesn’t hurt.

That’s because the Gold Card earns 4x points for every dollar you spend at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 annually then 1x) and 4x points per dollar spent at restaurants, making it arguably the best card to use at grocery stores and restaurants.

You’ll also get up to $120 in dining credits each year and up to $120 annually in credits to use at both Uber or Uber Eats. Maximize these two credits alone and that will cover $240 of your $250 annual fee. These credits and bonus categories are a big part of the reason we feel the card is easily worth the $250 annual fee.

The Rose Gold version of the card is back – and back for good. New cardholders can choose between the traditional Gold finish and Rose Gold when applying for the card. Already have a Gold Card and want to go Rose? Just message American Express and ask for a replacement.

This targeted referral offer is the biggest and best we have ever seen on the Gold card and is certainly worth your attention.

Read our full review of the American Express Gold Card

 

4. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Current Offer

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card is currently offering 100,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points … plus a Marriott Free Night Award certificate (worth up to 85,000 points) after spending $5,000 in your first three months of card membership.

This limited-time offer ends on May 18, 2022. 

Annual Fee: $450
 

Bonvoy Brilliant
 

Click Here to learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card. 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

If you are thinking about picking up a co-branded Marriott credit card, this is a really solid offer that can be redeemed for up to 185,000 points. That should allow you to come out way ahead on your $450 annual fee investment.

Unfortunately, it just got a bit trickier to get outsized value from Marriott points. Back in March, Marriott started the transition of its Bonvoy points toward dynamic pricing. That means they’re ditching the award chart governing how many points a night at all of their properties should cost. Eventually, the value of Bonvoy points will be more closely tied to the cash price of a stay.

That likely means the most expensive properties will cost more points than they previously did. But there is no question that you can still find value in the program. It shouldn’t be too hard to get plenty of value out of this bonus.

 

5. 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.

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 2020 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®.

That’s because you can transfer the cashback you earn 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% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and 3% back on dining at drugstores.

Again, if you already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card, this card is a natural next step.

Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex Card

 

6. The Platinum Card® from American Express

Current Offer

There is currently a targeted offer available through creditcards.com’s CardMatch tool to earn 150,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first six months of card membership.

Even if you aren’t eligible for the 150,000-point offer, you can get a 125,000-point bonus (plus earn a whopping 10x points per dollar spent on the first $25,000 spent at restaurants in six months) by applying for the Platinum Card through Resy! You may also be able to get a 150,000-point offer through a personal referral link.

At the very least, you’ll earn at least 100,000 American Express points after spending $6,000 within the first six months.

Annual Fee: $695 (see rates & fees)
 

amex platinum card
 

Click Here to learn more about the Platinum Card from American Express.
See if you’re eligible for the 150,000-point offer via CardMatch

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

The Platinum Card® from American Express got a big refresh last year, bringing new benefits and a bigger annual fee.

And while that big annual fee may be hard to stomach, you can still come out way ahead in your first year thanks in part to the record welcome bonus currently available. That takes the cake for the best offer we have ever seen on the Platinum Card … and it’s not even close.

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 150,000 points. That said, this offer won’t be available for all users.

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

 

7. The Chase Aeroplan Credit Card

Current Offer

The Chase Aeroplan Credit Card recently hit the scene with a hefty bonus. You’ll now earn a Welcome Flight Reward worth up to 50,000 points after you spend $3,000 as well as up to 51,000 points through 10x total points on travel and dining in your first six months of card membership.

This new Chase Aeroplan credit card will also automatically unlock Air Canada’s 25K Elite status for at least a year – with a path to extend (or level up) that status by spending on your card each year.

Annual Fee: $95

 

chase aeroplan card

 

Click Here to learn more about the Chase Aeroplan Credit Card

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

Because even if you never set foot on an Air Canada plane, these points are incredibly valuable. And this card offers an easy way to build towards your next reward flight on Star Alliance and other carriers.

Aeroplan partners with 45 different airlines around the globe, including Star Alliance heavy-hitters like United, Lufthansa, ANA, EVA Air, and Turkish Airlines as well as a growing number of one-off partnerships like Etihad, Gulf Air, and Oman Air. That gives you plenty of ways to put these points to use, whether you’re looking to fly to Hawaii from just 25,000 miles roundtrip or business class to Asia for 75,000 miles or less.

Read more on how to maximize Air Canada’s Aeroplan program!

Beyond the bonus, this card carries a handful of other perks and bonuses like a generous 3x points per dollar spent at all grocery stores and restaurants worldwide; a free credit that will cover the cost of TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or NEXUS; and more.

Read more: Chase, Air Canada Unveil New Aeroplan Card for U.S. Travelers

 

8. The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

Current Offer

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® allows you to earn 50,000 bonus miles after making your first purchase in the first 90 days. Buy a cup of coffee, a pack of gum, or anything and you’ll earn the 50,000 miles.

Annual Fee: $99
 

aa aviator card
 

Apply Here (for full disclosure this is not an affiliate link).

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

These are some of the easiest miles you will ever earn. Make one purchase, and you’ve got 50,000 American Airlines miles.

 

Bottom Line

May is a big month in terms of elevated credit card offers … but many of these may be ending soon! 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.