In the post “The game we play” I broke down the miles & points “game” into two key components:
- Acquire points & miles very cheaply
- Use points & miles for maximum value
The easiest way to acquire points & miles cheaply is through credit card signup bonuses. And, the best way to maximize value from your points is to focus on transferable points. These are points that can be transferred to a variety of airline and hotel programs. Transferable points make it easier to maximize value because they can often be transferred to whichever loyalty programs best meet your needs for your travel plans. An overview of transferable points programs can be found here: A quick guide to transferable points programs.
In previous posts, I introduced unbiased rankings of hotel card signup offers, and unbiased rankings of airline card signup offers. Today, I’m introducing unbiased rankings of transferable point signup offers.
I ranked all of the best transferable point signup offers by “first year value”. First year values are calculated as: estimated first year value minus estimated first year costs. First year value includes signup bonus points and statement credits. First year costs include the first year annual fee and the opportunity cost of meeting minimum spend requirements. Full details of how first year value is calculated can be found here: Credit card signup bonus estimation details. It’s important to understand that these rankings are not intended to identify which cards are best to keep long term and/or to use for everyday spend. The rankings are specifically tied to to each card’s current signup offer. The question that the rankings try to answer is: which cards offer the most value from their signup bonuses?
Over time, as signup bonuses and related factors change, the rankings will change as well. For now, though, we see the following top 5:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Citi ThankYou Premier
- Chase Ink Plus
- Starwood Preferred Guest
- Starwood Preferred Guest Business
Coincidentally, that is not only a good list of signup offers, but in my opinion it happens to be a list of great credit cards overall.
The full ranked list can be found here: Top 10+ Transferable Points Program Credit Card Offers.
You can always find the best offer rankings in the Credit Cards menu on this site. Currently, the offer rankings can be found under the sub-heading “Best Credit Card Offers”.