Thursday, September 10, 2020

Top 5 Travel Credit Card Sign Up offers for September - These cards provide some of the best value out of their welcome bonuses


Here are the Rewards Canada Top 5 Credit Card Sign Up offers for the month of September 2020! This is not a 'best' credit card list like our Top Travel Rewards Credit Card rankings but instead a look at cards that have very good acquisition (welcome/sign up) offers. As always when choosing a card you should always take other factors into account other than the just sign up bonus, but when some of these cards are first year free, they can and do pay off even when you grab them strictly for the sign up rewards. This month we see three first year free cards on the list

For the first time in a long time the card that has sat on top of this list has been dethroned! The Marriott Bonvoy American Express has to say good bye to first place thanks to the amazing new welcome bonus on the HSBC World Elite Mastercard. We also see the return of two TD cards to the list, the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card and the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card.

Editor's Note:
As travel is curtailed right now these offers are more forward looking and can and should be used towards your long term travel plans - whether that's later this year, next year or even beyond. Getting the cards now allows you to achieve the sign up bonuses as you wish and then continue to spend to build up those points and miles balances to make those future vacations that much better. - Or in the case of all the cards except the Alaska Airlines Mastercard you can also look at cash back or cash back equivalents like gift cards from each program if you are looking at short term financial help. If you are going for the latter focus on the cards that have no fee in the first year so that you can maximize your value.

Remember as well that you will find this list smack dab in the middle of the Rewards Canada homepage for easy reference!

Here are our top 5 credit card sign up offers for September (in order of welcome bonus value, calculated as minimum mile/points value minus annual fee)

HSBC World Elite Mastercard - 100,000 points (Apply here)
Minimum value: $500
This card offers a welcome bonus of 100,000 points, split between 20,000 on first purchase and 80,000 more when you spend $5,000 within 180 days of getting the card. The annual fee of $149 is waived in the first year as well meaning these points come to you at no cost other than card spend. The card has a lot of other good benefits like no foreign transaction fees to consider as well! Those 100,000 points are worth $500 in travel rewards but those points can also be converted to British Airways Executive Club, Cathay Pacific Asia Miles or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer.
Minimum Income: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household or $400,000 in assets at any Canadian Financial Institution

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card - 50,000 Points (Apply here)
Minimum value: $380
The 50,000 points, awarded after spending $1,500 on the card in three months are worth at least $500 in our minds which means after subtracting the annual fee you are coming out ahead by $380. In reality you can pull even more value out of the card (into four figures) as we outlined in our post A look at how The Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card provides huge value!  Don't forget you get an annual free night with the card as well on the card anniversary date, automatic Silver Elite status, 15 night credit towards the next elite status and more.
Minimum Income: N/A

Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard - 30,000 Miles (Apply here)
Minimum value: $330
This card offers a welcome bonus of 30,000 miles when you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months of having it. This is one of the easiest bonuses to achieve and this card is one of the most churnable in Canada. There are really no problems in getting it 2-4 times in one year alone! Those 30,000 miles are worth no less than $330 when redeeming for economy class flights and just go up from there like the TD Aeroplan card.
Minimum Income: $80,000 Personal or $150,000 Household

OFFER EXPIRED TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Card - 25,000 Miles
Minimum value: $300
After a few months hiatus the mainstay card for the Aeroplan program returns to the list with it's newest offer. The bonus is awarded as follows: 15,000 Aeroplan Miles when you make your first Purchase with your Card + 10,000 Aeroplan Miles when you spend $1,500 in the first three months of having the card.  Add in no annual in the first year on both the primary and 1st additional card and you get full value of the miles earned. Depending on how you redeem those Aeroplan miles should be worth no less than $300 but more likely closer to $800 or more! In fact if you take the per mile value from our post from late July 2019 this welcome bonus would be worth $1,800 or more.
Minimum Income: $60,000 Personal or $100,000 Household
OFFER EXPIRED TD First Class Visa  - 60,000 Points
Minimum value: $240
The First Class Visa Infinite Card makes it back onto the list this month with its latest offer as well. You receive 20,000 points on your first purchase and 40,000 more points when you spend $1,500 on the card in the first 90 days. The card also has rebates on the primary and first additional card for the first year. At a minimum the points are worth $240 towards any travel but are worth $300 if you choose to redeem via ExpediaForTD
Minimum Income: $60,000 Personal or $100,000 Household

If you went for all these cards you ultimately could end up with anywhere from $1,750 to well over $2,500 in travel value. However even if you only take on one or two you are helping your travel budget significantly at no cost other than regular credit card spend. We don't really recommend getting all five in one month unless you know you can meet the minimum spend for them all at once, rather you'd want to pick one or two right now, perhaps another next month and so on.

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