Each month, I recap the best credit card offers currently available. There are a lot of credit cards out there offering generous signup bonuses. Some bonuses are better than others. This post will hopefully give you some ideas if you’re looking for your next card.
It’s important to note that this post is not intended to be an exhaustive list and there may be cards not listed here that are better for you. If you want personalized advice for your situation, feel free to fill out my free credit card consultation form and I’ll get back to you with specific advice for your situation.
Before you get started, be sure you know about the Chase 5/24 Rule. This is an important rule that will impact your long-term strategy when it comes to credit cards.
Also, if you have a side hustle or anything that can qualify as a business, consider taking advantage of business credit cards. These are a great way to earn even more points and miles.
With all that said, here are the current best credit card offers for October 2020:
Chase Sapphire Preferred
The Chase Sapphire Preferred is currently offering 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within the first three months (the previous sign-up bonus was 60,000 points). That’s good for a minimum of $1,000 worth of travel if you use your points in the Chase travel portal (and worth more if transferred to travel partners). 80,000 points is an all-time high offer for this card, which makes it a good option if you’re eligible for it.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee that is not waived in the first year. That said, the extra points you earn more than makes up for the annual fee.
In addition, keep in mind the following before applying for the Chase Sapphire Preferred:
One Sapphire Rule. The general rule is that you can only have either the Chase Sapphire Preferred OR the Chase Sapphire Reserve active at one time. You can’t have both cards active at the same time.
Bonus Eligibility (48 Month Rule). You’re only eligible for the bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred if you haven’t earned a bonus on either the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve in the past 48 months. This time restriction begins from the date you earn the bonus (so, 48 months from when you last earned a bonus on either of these cards).
Keep, Cancel, Downgrade, or Upgrade? Once you have the card for a year, you’ll need to make a decision about whether to keep, cancel, downgrade, or upgrade this card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred gives you access to the Chase travel portal at higher points rates and allows you to transfer your points to travel partners. However, you can also get these same benefits via the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Ink Business Preferred. Here’s how I would think about this decision:
- If it makes sense for you, you can upgrade this card to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. You’ll pay a higher annual fee for this card, but also get all of the benefits that come with it (higher points rates on the Chase travel portal, $300 per year travel credit, Lyft and DoorDash benefits, Priority Pass, etc).
- If paying the annual fee doesn’t work for you, you can also downgrade the card to the Chase Freedom Flex or the Chase Freedom Unlimited, both of which have no annual fee.
- Since you can downgrade the Chase Sapphire Preferred to a no annual fee option, I would not recommend canceling it. Instead, downgrade it if you don’t want to pay the annual fee.
This offer is scheduled to end on November 8, 2020, so get it before then if it makes sense for you.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless
The Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless has an interesting offer that may make sense for some people. The card is currently offering a signup bonus of five free night certificates after spending $5,000 on the card within the first three months. Each free night certificate can be used on a hotel worth up to 50,000 points per night.
The catch is that these free night certificates are valid for 1 year, so if you get this card, you have to make sure you can use these certificates within the next year. That obviously might be difficult to do given the current state of the world. It’s possible that Marriott might allow you to extend the expiration date on these certificates, but I wouldn’t go into this deal expecting that.
That said, if you know you’ll be able to use these five free night certificates, then the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless is likely worth getting.
Note that to be eligible for this bonus, you can’t have earned a signup bonus on the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant or the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business within the past 24 months.
This offer is scheduled to end on October 28, 2020. If the five free nights make sense for you, you’ll want to snag this card sooner, rather than later. However, you might also want to think about skipping this card and instead going with the American Express Marriott cards discussed in the next section (specifically, the American Express Marriott Bonvoy Business Card).
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant And Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Cards
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant and Marriott Bonvoy Business cards from American Express are both offering 100,000 Marriott points after spending $5,000 in the first three months. An interesting feature is that both cards are also offering Marriott Platinum status for 2021.
Platinum status is the point where status starts to matter for Marriott, so if you have any Marriott stays planned for 2021, either of these cards could be worth getting.
I’d personally be leaning towards the Marriott Bonvoy Business card since that’s a business card that doesn’t impact your 5/24 status.
Before applying, remember the general rule that Marriott only allows you to earn the bonus on either the Chase or the American Express cards, not both at the same time. So if you’re thinking about these Marriott cards, you’ll have to decide whether the Chase offer or the American Express offer makes more sense for you.
Chase Business Cards Are Back
At the beginning of the pandemic, Chase tightened up their business card applications, making it essentially impossible to open a new business card. There are now numerous reports that Chase has loosened these restrictions, now making it possible for most people with a side hustle or business to open a Chase business card.
At the moment, I’d recommend either the Chase Ink Cash or the Chase Ink Unlimited. Both cards offer 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points after spending $3,000 within the first three months. They also have no annual fees.
The Chase Ink Preferred has a 100,000 point signup bonus, but it requires you to spend $15,000 within the first three months. This will likely be difficult for most people to do.
Other Good Bonuses This Month
- The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card is currently offering 140,000 IHG points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. This is an all-time high offer. The annual fee is waived in year 1.
- The United℠ Business Card is currently offering 75,000 United Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is waived in year 1.
More Credit Card Offers
For more credit card offers or to apply for any of the cards I discuss here, check out my best credit cards page, where you can check out more credit card offers and apply for cards not listed here.
If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me a message.