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With the year coming to a close, it's the perfect time to recap the top credit card offers. This was a competitive field in 2020, as card issuers ramped up benefits quite a bit.
For this list, I picked out the credit card offers I liked the most this year. It includes a variety of offer types, but what they all have in common is high value. And you can still get most of them, although I did include an expired offer at the end that was too good not to mention.
1. 100,000 bonus miles with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Capital One made its flagship travel card much better by doubling its sign-up bonus. You can now earn up to 100,000 bonus miles when you get the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. Here's how:
- Earn 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 in the first three months
- Earn 50,000 more miles for spending $20,000 in the first 12 months
You can redeem Venture miles at $0.01 per mile toward travel purchases. That gives the offer a value of $1,000. Capital One also has travel partners where you can transfer your miles.
2. Six bonus categories with the Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase made a great addition to its lineup in September with the release of the Chase Freedom Flex℠. This no-annual-fee card has half a dozen bonus categories, and they're broad categories where many consumers have high spending. Here are a few examples:
- 5% back on grocery store purchases (excluding Walmart and Target) on up to $12,000 in spending your first year using the card
- 5% back on all travel that you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 5% back at restaurants, including takeout and orders through eligible delivery services
- 3% back at drugstores
You also get 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022 and 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases across bonus categories that you activate.
3. Streaming and wireless credits from The Platinum Card® from American Express
Several cards offered bonus points on streaming services in 2020. That's a nice benefit, but unless you spend a lot of money on streaming, it probably won't amount to many extra points.
I like what American Express did much more. In May, The Platinum Card® from American Express began offering two credits of up to $20 per month on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and wireless phone service charges with U.S. providers.
Those credits last through the end of this month and are an easy way for Card Members to save on their monthly expenses. If you've used the full $40 in credits from May through December, that's $320 in savings.
4. Bonus grocery rewards from Chase Sapphire cards
With people staying home much more because of the pandemic, groceries became an even bigger expense. That's why I loved how Chase added bonus rewards on groceries.
In particular, the Chase Sapphire cards have offered multiple limited-time grocery bonuses. Earlier in the year, you could get 5 points per $1 on groceries with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, while the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offered 3 points per $1.
These cards aren't earning quite as much now, but you can still get bonus grocery rewards. Through April 30, 2021, Chase Sapphire cards offer the following rates on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month:
- 3 points per $1 with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- 2 points per $1 with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5. 60,000 bonus points with the American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card has had an excellent rewards rate and useful benefits for years. The biggest complaint was its welcome offer, which was only 35,000 bonus points.
Fortunately, American Express gave one of its best rewards cards a big upgrade. New Card Members can now earn 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 with the American Express® Gold Card in the first six months.
Since those are American Express Membership Rewards points, they're transferable to any of the card issuer's many travel partners. You could get at least $0.02 per point depending on how you use them. Based on that, a 60,000-point bonus can be worth $1,200 or more.
6. $750 bonuses from Chase Ink cards
When you're looking at no-annual-fee credit cards, you don't often see sign-up bonuses of more than $200 to $250. That's what makes two of the Chase Ink business cards special.
You can earn a bonus of $750 after spending $7,500 in the first three months. This offer is available with the following credit cards:
7. Five free nights from the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
Although this bonus isn't available anymore, it offered so much value that it had to make the list. In October, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ credit card launched a sign-up bonus of five free-night certificates for spending $5,000 in the first three months.
Each free-night certificate could be used at a participating Marriott Bonvoy property up to a value of 50,000 points. That gave the bonus a value of up to 250,000 points. And since those properties can easily cost or exceed $500 per night, those five free nights could be worth $2,500 or more.
It's worth noting that this Marriott Bonvoy card still has a good sign-up bonus, as it now offers 75,000 points for spending $3,000 in three months.
We saw lots of fantastic credit card offers in 2020. With any luck, this trend will continue in 2021. Make sure to check for new deals every now and then, because you never know when a card issuer will launch a special offer.