Did you read that!? Apparently august (in its adjective part of speech) is synonymous with fancy high class words like “distinguished” and “renowned”…
Well, AYP August Top Cards is here to see if “August” can live up to its acclaimed, exalted and prestigious name sake!
Our goal here with Top Cards is to list out the best offers of the month based on our research – so then you can apply for one or two of the sweet offers and be on your way to [enter destination of your choice] for CHEAP using credit card points and miles!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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) The [Rumored] Chase Sapphire Reserve – This card has not been released and it is not available for signup (release is set for August 21, 2016) … yet it is my #1 Top Card for the month of August! This card is the bee’s knees you guys…
While we have not received full details on the card, there have been some reliable leaks, confirming some of the exciting benefits of the card.
Here is a rundown of what we know (or what we think we know):
- Sign-up bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate rewards after $4,000 spending after 3 months
- $300 Annual Airline Credit (automatically applied to your account)
- Lounge Access – Most likely a version of Priority Pass Select
- $100 Global Entry (or TSA Pre-Check) Fee Credit
- A $450 Annual Fee (Not Waived), $75 for Authorized Users
- Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards for a 50% bonus (compared to 25% with the Sapphire Preferred) through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal
- 1:1 Point Transfer to Chase Transfer Partners
- 3x Earning on Dining & Travel Expenditures
- No Foreign Transaction Fees
- Visa Infinite (compared to the common Visa Signature)
My advice? Get this card. It is worth it. I promise. A word of caution though to anyone that might get caught up by the Chase 5/24 Rule (like yours truly)…
(2) Chase Sapphire Preferred (Chase) – If you just cannot stomach the high (but totally justifiable) annual fee for my #1 Top Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve, then focus your attention to a former AYP #1 Top Card…
The CSP is the best second best card on the market and will provide you a solid rewards earning base, which can then be supplemented with other card applications and bonuses. The current offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred remains 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 – through August 20, 2016) – note the $5,000 minimum spending in 3 months!
(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 treks on 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.
This card is a great pickup if you are focused on BOGO Southwest flights with the Companion Pass! Your quest for 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year will seem much easier with that nice 50k boost! 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 Ritz Carlton Rewards (Chase) – If you have ever stayed at a Ritz-Carlton Hotel – you know the high standard that they achieve at each of their properties! That high standard normally doesn’t come cheap… unless you take advantage of the new offer Ritz-Carlton branded credit card! The card offers 3 free nights at a Tier 1-4 Ritz-Carlton property after $5,000 in spending in the first three months. In addition, you will receive 10,000 Marriott points for adding an authorized user!
Considering that Ritz-Carlton nights can easily exceed $500 per night, this sign-up bonus card can be worth in excess of $1,500! While the annual fee on the card is $450, there are some awesome perks that come with it, including Marriott Gold Status (the first year as a cardholder), an annual $300 airline incidental fee credit (which reportedly can be used to purchase airline gift cards…but you didn’t hear it from me ;)), Priority Pass Select Lounge Membership, (3) complimentary Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge upgrades, and a $100 Global Entry (or TSA PreCheck) reimbursement! Additionally, the card is a Visa Infinite, meaning you can save $100 each time you purchase domestic coach round-trip airfare for two people! I love the Ritz-Carlton, and I love this card! Mallory had it a little while back and I think that I am up for a sign-up next!
(5) American Express Platinum – This card comes with a nice sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points after $3k spending in the first 3 months, along with a long list of travel perks and benefits, but with a $450 annual fee, it is not for everyone! While $450 is a lot of money to spend to be a credit card holder, IT IS POSSIBLE to justify this fee if you can maximize the cards sign-up bonus and benefits:
- Annual $200 Airline Fee Credit
- Global Entry of TSA PreCheck Fee Reimbursement
- Lounge Access –Delta SkyClub, American Express Centurion, & Priority Pass
- Gold Status atStarwood and Hilton
(6) Cards not [AS HIGH] on my list – Former #2 in the AYP July Top Cards:
The Citi Prestige … 😦
This card used to be the #2 in my one-two combo with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, but now it is just #2 (hint: it stinks)! The bonus is down from 50k to 40k ThankYou Points, and the American Airlines Lounge Access, and the extra redemption bonus on American Airlines paid flights are around for now, but will be gone with the wind in July 2017…
If you were thinking that the annual fee might have been reduced given the decrease in benefits… you would be wrong – still a whopping $450 per year!
Ok, so the card is not ALL bad, since they did decide to keep some of the attractive features, including:
- 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 –VIP lounges through Priority Pass Select
- Complimentary 4th Night Free at any hotel (though the terms have changed)
- Free Global Entry/TSA PreCheck (fee reimbursement)
My advice? Pass on this card and go for a different premium card – like the Chase Sapphire Reserve!
Some people are still pushing this card, but $450 is a good chunk of cash that can be better spent on a different annual fee!
Note: There are still some 50k Citi Prestige links out there, so if you are interested in applying for this card under the former bonus, head to Flyertalk!
If you can wait until August 21st, wait. The Chase Sapphire will be worth the slight delay! This card is going to be the best thing that we have seen in a long time, so be ready for it! The other cards on the list are all solid, but seriously, 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points…
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 your favorite current card offerings? Comment below or email me at email@example.com