The 13 Best Credit Card Offers for Travelers in September 2021
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The 13 Best Credit Card Offers for Travelers in September 2021

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

Many banks are out with some eye-popping bonuses of points and miles – in some cases, the biggest we’ve ever seen. Banks, airlines, and hotel chains alike are competing hard for a share of your wallet, trying to capitalize on the renewed interest in travel.

We’ve assembled a list of the absolute best credit card offers for September 2021 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 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. This is a limited-time offer, up from the typical 60,000 points for the same spending requirement. It’s the best offer we have ever seen on one of the best travel credit cards, period.

Annual Fee: $95

 

chase sapphire preferred card

 

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

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

We can’t stress this enough: It’s the best credit card offer right now, period. And maybe ever. And if we had to guess, it won’t be around much longer.

You can use the 100,000 points to book at least $1,250 in travel through the Chase Travel Portal – or $1,250 in everyday expenses via the new 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’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, 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’s 100K Bonus?

 

2. The Citi Premier® Card

Current Offer

The Citi Premier® Card is out with its biggest ever welcome bonus offer of 80,000 Citi ThankYou Points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. That’s up from the standard bonus of 60,000 points for the same spending requirement. This is a limited-time offer.

Annual Fee: $95

 

citi premier card

 

Click Here to Learn More About the Citi Premier Card.

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

Citi ThankYou points have long been considered a distant third behind both Chase Ultimate Rewards, and American Express Membership Rewards. But by no means are they worthless. There are a ton of great ways to use Citi ThankYou points.

Critically, through Nov. 13, 2021, you can transfer Citi ThankYou points to American Airlines on a 1:1 basis. That means one Citi ThankYou point will be equal to one American Airlines mile. So the 80,000 points welcome bonus would get you 80,000 American Airlines miles.

While that may not sound like a big deal, American Airlines are some of the most valuable miles out there, thanks in part to their incredible airline alliance partners.

Read More: 7 Reasons American Airlines Miles Have Huge Value

 

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!

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. The real value of the Gold card goes far beyond that initial bonus – though a 60,000-point bonus or more sure doesn’t hurt.

Most importantly, 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 one of the best cards to use at grocery stores and restaurants.

You’ll also get up to a $120 dining credit each year and up to a $120 annual credit 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.

Read our full review of the American Express Gold Card

 

4. 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. But you will also earn 5% cashback on grocery spending on the first $12,000 spent in your first 12 months of card membership – making it possible to earn another $600 cashback (or 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points).

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 easily among the best no-annual-fee travel 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.

And for a limited time, you’ll earn 5% back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on all grocery spending in your first year (up to $12,000). It’s the best offer we’ve seen on the card and it allows you to earn up to $800 back in your first year (or 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Points).

If you already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card, this should be your next move.

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.

 

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. You also earn 5% cashback on grocery spending on the first $12,000 spent in your first 12 months of card membership – making it possible to earn another $600 cashback (or 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points).

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.

And for a limited time, you’ll earn 5% back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on all grocery spending in your first year (up to $12,000). It’s the best offer we’ve seen on the card and it allows you to earn up to $800 back in your first year (or 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Points).

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, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022, and 3% back on dining at drugstores.

Again, if you already have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve card, this should be your next move.

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 15x points per dollar spent on the first $25,000 spent at restaurants and U.S. small businesses in six months) by applying for the Platinum Card through Resy!

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

In addition to that bigger welcome bonus, you’ll also earn 10x points for every dollar you spend at restaurants worldwide and at small businesses in the U.S. on up to $25,000 during the first six months of card membership!

Earn the welcome bonus and maximize that 10x multiplier and you can earn as much as 350,000 points. That is unbeatable.

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 just had a huge refresh, 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 United Quest Card

Current Offer

The United Quest Card is currently offering 80,000 United MileagePlus miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months of card membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 20,000 miles after you spend $10,000 in the first six months for 100,000 miles total. This limited-time offer ends on 9/22/21!

Annual Fee: $250

 

united quest card

 

Click Here to learn more about the New United Quest Card

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

Above and beyond the huge limited-time welcome bonus offer, you’ll also receive an annual $125 statement credit to use towards United Airlines purchases. That includes flights, of course, but any other expense charged by United like fees, United Club access, and much more. That should make it easy to put this credit to use, effectively bringing the card’s $250 annual fee down to $125.

Additionally, when you book an award flight using United miles, you’ll get 5,000 miles back up to two times each year for a total of 10,000 miles back. This benefit is based on the cardmember year – not the calendar year. That means your allowance of two mileage rebates will reset each year on your cardmember anniversary once you pay your $250 annual fee.

Finally, if you often check bags when you fly with United, the United Quest Card may be worth a look. You’ll get two free checked bags when you pay for your flight with the Quest card. And that’s true even if you are booked on a United basic economy ticket.

That’s one more bag than the United Explorer Card offers and on par with what the top-tier United Club Infinite Card provides. But this limited-time offer ends on Sept. 22, so don’t wait if you are thinking about applying!

Read More: Chase Launches Brand New United Quest Card with 100K Mile Bonus

 

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

Current Offer

The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® allows you to earn 60,000 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 60,000 miles. Plus, now the card’s $99 annual fee is completely waived for the first year.

Annual Fee: $99 (waived for the first year of card membership.

 

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. Historically, this same offer was available, but you have always needed to pay the $99 annual fee up front. This was still an amazing deal as there was no big spending requirement to earn the bonus miles.

With this new offer to get your annual fee waived for the first year, it makes a great deal even better.

Read More: Earn 60k AA Miles After One Purchase with Aviator Red Card + No First Year Fee

 

9. The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card

Current Offer

Earlier this year, U.S. Bank officially launched the new U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card, making a splash in the middle of the market for travel credit cards.

First and foremost, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 120 days of card membership (four months). Those points will be redeemable through U.S. Bank at 1 cent apiece (for $500 total) for travel, cashback, gift cards, merchandise, and more (terms and conditions apply).

Annual Fee: $0 introductory annual fee for the first 12 months, $95 per year afterward. See rates & fees

 

US Bank Altitude Connect

 

Click Here to learn more and apply for the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card. 

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

Just for opening the card and spending $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 120 days (four months) of card membership, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points. Those points are redeemable for up to $500 towards travel, merchandise, gift cards, cash back, and more. Your points will never expire for as long as you hold the card.

But if you are looking for a card that will cover the cost of either Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, this card is easily one of the most cost-effective ways to do it. Every four years, you’ll receive up to a $100 credit to cover the application fee for either program. And membership in both programs is good for five years.

You’ll also earn 4x points for every dollar they spend on both travel purchases and at gas stations. Eligible travel expenses include flights, hotels, rideshare, cruises, and much more. Since these points are worth one cent each when it comes time to redeem them, that’s effectively a 4% return on purchases in both categories.

Not to mention, cardholders will also earn 2x points for purchases at grocery stores (including grocery delivery), dining at restaurants, and on streaming services. All other eligible purchases on the card will earn 1x point for every dollar you spend.

 

10. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

Current Offer

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card is currently offering three free nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.

Annual Fee: $95

 

Marriott bonvoy boundless

 

Click Here to learn more about the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

 

Why This Offer Makes the List

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card typically offers 75,000 points for spending $3,000 in the first three months. So if you can maximize this offer, the welcome bonus can be worth up to 150,000 points. 

 

11. 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 business cash card 

 

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

 

chase ink unlimited card

 

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

 

Why These Offers 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. Just as with the Chase Freedom cards, you can transfer the cashback it earns into valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Read our full review of the Chase Ink Business Cards. 

 

12. 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 card

 

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.

 

13. The World of Hyatt Credit Card

Current Offer

The World of Hyatt Credit Card is offering 30,000 points after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months of card membership. You can earn another 30,000 points (for 60,000 total) by earning 2x points on all spending up to $15,000 in the first six months of card membership.

Limited Time Offer: Apply by 9/30/21 and upon approval, you’ll receive 2 Tier-Qualifying Night Credits for each night you stay from 8/16/21 through 12/31/21.

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 five of those tier-qualifying nights in 2021. Plus if you apply by 9/30/21 and upon approval, you’ll receive 2 Tier-Qualifying Night Credits for each night you stay from 8/16/21 through 12/31/21.

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

September is 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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