The month of July is in full swing!
But before we get started – A fun fact about the month of July…
Per Wikipedia, (everyone’s most trusted source on the entire internet 😉 ), July was actually named by the Roman Senate in honor of Julius Caesar (the month of his birth). Prior to that, it was called Quintilis…
Julius Caesar what an interesting man in history! You can actually visit his grave site in person – but you will have to take yourself to Rome first!
Is a trip to Europe “too expensive”? Well, then perhaps the July AYP Top Cards can help!
Apply for one or two of the sweet offers listed below and be on your way to Rome for CHEAP using credit card points and miles! Make sure to say Hi to Caesar for me when you go…
If you are new to the credit card game, it may be wise to warm up with the AYP Starter Guide before jumping straight in. Everyone else, it’s go time.
Note: Within this post I have included various referral links – some links are my own and some links are from friends of mine – and, as a result, either I or another will receive a referral bonus upon your application and approval. I receive no other commission so thank you in advance for your support of AYP by using these links!
Have a referral link yourself? Email me at email@example.com and I will mix your link into my posts to share the bonus points! Seriously! Send me your link and I will post it on the blog and offer it to others who ask!
(1) Chase Sapphire Preferred (Chase) – Beginners and Experts alike – this card is for you! The CSP is the best card on the market and will provide you a solid rewards earning base, which can then be supplemented with additional card applications and bonuses. The current offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred is at its highest in almost 5 years and will earn you 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, with an additional 5,000 bonus points awarded after adding an authorized user.
The current bonus has been available for some time now and I have not heard of any changes coming in the near future, but remember – offers can change at any point in time… If this card is not in your wallet then check out why you NEED the Chase Sapphire Preferred! The card comes with $0 fee the first year, then $95 annually.
Own a business? It might also be worth applying for the Chase Ink Business card for 60k points through this link (or 70k points if you apply in a Chase branch) – note the $5,000 minimum spending in 3 months!
(2) The Citi Prestige – If the CSP is bread, the Citi Prestige is ridiculous buttery goodness! This card will earn you 50,000 ThankYou Points upon $3,000 in spending in the first 3 months.
UPDATE: Act soon on the Prestige! There are rumblings around the interwebs that the current 50,000 ThankYou Points sign-up bonus is set to change on July 19, 2016 – less than a week away!
Those ThankYou points are worth up to $800 in flights on American Airlines, $665 in flights on any other airline, or $500 in gift cards. In addition to that great value, the points are flexible and can be transferred to Citi ThankYou transfer partners (including Singapore Airlines – consistently ranked as one of the top airlines in the world)! While the annual fee amounts to $450 per year (stay with me here), here are just a few of the benefits you earn as a cardholder that make the annual fee worth the investment:
- Annual $250 Air Travel Credit – can automatically be applied to flight-related expenses charged to your card, including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades (that cuts the annual fee to $200 right there!)
- Lounge Access – Complimentary access to the American Airlines Admirals Club Lounges, plus hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass Select
- Complimentary 4th Night Free at any hotel of your choice after a minimum 4-consecutive-night booking
- Free Global Entry/TSA PreCheck – the card earns you a $100 Global Entry application fee credit. Once approved for Global Entry by the U.S. Government, you can bypass long lines and enjoy expedited entry into the U.S – seriously, you are not still waiting in those long TSA lines… are you??
DO NOT let the $450 annual fee scare you… it is time that you seriously consider the Citi Prestige!
(3) Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Visa (Chase) – I LUV Southwest – no frills, free bags, just right! The current sign-up bonus on the Premier Card is at an increased 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points – which equates to about $700-$800 in Southwest flights – upon spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.
Going for BOGO Southwest flights with the Companion Pass!? Those 50,000 points provide a nice Rapid Rewards boost and will come in mighty handy on your quest for 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year!
Though the annual fee is $99 (not waived the first year), the card provides great upfront value, as well as a 6,000 Rapid Reward Point annual card member bonus (earned following payment of the 2nd year annual fee). Although we typically see this bonus a couple times a year, I suggest taking advantage of it now, just in case history stops repeating itself.
Own a business? Go for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business card and for another 50k Rapid Rewards points to bring you even closer to the Companion Pass threshold!
(4) The Hyatt Credit Card (Chase) – I really enjoy staying luxury hotels… FOR FREE! If you are anything like me, then this card is too great to pass up – 2 Free Night Certificates (for stays at any Hyatt worldwide) after spending $1,000 in 3 months from account opening, with an additional 5,000 bonus points awarded after adding an authorized user. Yes, you heard correctly – ANY HYATT!
These certificates can be worth BIG MONEY! Get the most bang for your buck by redeeming at top tier Hyatt properties – like my previous stay at The Park Hyatt Paris Vendome – which can between $600 and $1,200 per night… for a Standard Room! The card is great even after the first year sign-up bonus, as it provides ongoing value with 1 free night every year at any Category 1-4 property (like the Andaz Savannah) upon the card’s anniversary. That perk makes the card more than worth the $75 annual fee ($0 fee for the first year)!
(5) Chase Marriott Rewards (Chase) – Tied for 4th are a couple of great hotel credit cards, the first of which is the Marriott Rewards credit card! The current sign-up bonus for the Chase Marriott Rewards Credit Card is an impressive 80,000 Marriott Rewards points (plus an additional 7,500 for adding an authorized user)! The total bonus amount of 87,500 is yours after meeting the $3,000 in minimum spend in 3 months! This offer is perfect for you if you are interested in boosting your points in the Marriott Rewards program. My favorite redemptions for Marriott Rewards Points (and all hotel points in general) are for high value hotels like JW Marriott and Ritz Carlton Brand Hotels!
I feel really good about this offer (so good that I had my wife Mallory apply earlier this year) and think it is a great pick-up for those looking to quickly build a Marriott Rewards balance! There is an $85 annual fee (not waived the first year) – but this is more than offset by fact that you also receive an annual free night stay in a Category 1-5 hotel (like the Courtyard New Orleans Westbank/Gretna) each year after your account anniversary.
Own a business? Consider the limited time Chase Marriott Rewards Premier Business card, offering up to 100k Marriott Rewards points upon spending $5,000 in 3 months.
(6) Cards not [AS HIGH] on my list – The cards below are some of my favorites, but I would advise you to hold off on the public offers and instead keep an eye out for targeted offers until the bonus offerings increase again:
- Delta Cards by American Express – With the limited time 50k and 60k Skymiles offers behind us , it is best to hold off on Delta Gold (30k) and Delta Platinum (35k & 5k MQMs) applications… but keep your eyes open for targeted snail mail & email increased offers!
- The American Express Premier Rewards Gold – DO NOT go for the standard public 25k Membership Rewards point sign-up bonus on this card. Instead, try this link in a private or “incognito” browser (I was able to find with Internet Explorer) for the 50k (or 65k) sign-up bonus offer!
Go through Internet Explorer InPrivate window to find the increased offer!
Now is the best time to take action! Make a move, apply for a card or two, and be on your way to your travel dreams! Stop sitting on your couch every weekend, scrolling through Instagram just wishing you could be on vacations like your cool friends…
The world is a really neat place. You CAN travel the world and you can do it for FREE or cheap! The offers above will take you where you want to go, you just have to let them!
Keep in mind that all of the offers above are “public offers” and are available to all applicants. There are often higher, more select, offers out there (check your email and mailbox!) – so, if you are targeted for these higher offers, apply for your targeted offer rather than through the links above!
Did I miss one of you favorite current card offerings? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
3 thoughts on “AYP List of Top Credit Cards for July 2016!”
I’m really on the fence about the Prestige, but leaning away from it since I, unfortunately, don’t feel that I fly quite frequently enough to justify paying a second annual fee on it. I went in branch to try the $100 cheaper AF, but the banker said they’ll probably bill me the $100 later upon realizing I’m not a CitiGold member.
Thanks for the post!
I can appreciate that. If you don’t travel often to take advantage of lounge access, global entry, and 4th night free benefits than the value will be harder to justify. Good call on applying in branch – have you considered opening a CitiGold account to take advantage of the current $400 promotion? Also, don’t be so sure that Citi will notice the annual fee… I have experienced multiple errors in my favor in the past related to Citi annual fees… Thanks for reading!