I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently. Deep thinking. Like, “which spending bonuses am I going to go after?” Heavy s#$*.
I’m usually too busy meeting minimum spending requirements on rewards cards, but anything is possible.
Sorry, had to do it. That’s Kevin Garnett (basketball player) celebrating an NBA championship a few years ago. I believe he said this right after thanking all his baby mamma’s. Classy.
Back on topic: Anything’s possible, so I’m diving into spending bonuses to see if any make sense for me. It’s January, so if you’re going after calendar year spending bonuses – get going.
Here are a few cards that have spending bonuses and tiers.
Annual bonus of 15,000 Membership Rewards points if you spend $30,000 in a year. So essentially, you are earning 1.5 Membership Rewards points if you are able to meet the annual spend bonus. The current sign-up bonus for the Amex PRG card is 25,000 after spending $2,000 in 3 months. There are also some category bonuses with the card, such as 3x for airfare and 2x for gas and groceries. If you don’t have an American Express-backed card (who doesn’t), then read here about why it could be the smartest thing you can do right now.
United MileagePlus Explorer Card
The signup bonus is 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of the account being open. A perk that isn’t talked about much with the Explorer card, is you will receive a bonus of 10,000 United MileagePlus miles if you spend $25,000 on the card, annually. It’s not talked about much, since it’s really a crappy deal. And if you have the United Club card, you receive 1.5 United miles per $1. That means, it would make more sense to spend the $25,000 with your Club card because you would receive 12,500 miles instead of 12,000. In the end, it’s only a difference of 500 miles.
The British Airways card comes with a companion certificate if you spend $30,000 annually. The fuel surcharges are redic, but if you already buy business/first class tickets regularly, you could take advantage of the companion certificate. Also, with the current offer, you get 50,000 Avios after spending $1,000 in 3 months. Then, 25,000 more if you spend $10,000. And, if you’re still within 12 months of the account opening, and spend an additional $10,000, yes – you guessed it – you earn another 25,000 Avios points. That’s a total of 100,000 Avios points if you spend $20,000 annually on this card (add a companion ticket if you spend $30,000).
Here’s my post on the “Travel Together companion ticket.”
If you spend $10,000 in a card membership year (12 months from account opening date) on your Citi Reserve card, you will receive a free (is it really free?) weekend night certificate. Yeah buddy. I’m starting to stockpile Hilton weekend certificates and points. I’m cray cray like that.
But if you spend $40,000 in a calendar year with your Hilton HHonors Reserve card, you will receive Diamond Status! I like it a lot when you can spend for top tier status. It gets me going.
The sign-up bonus on the Reserve card is 2 free weekend night certificates after spending $2,500 in 4 months. Remember, you can get two Reserve cards at once (video proof). You also receive instant Gold status with Hilton (free internet, breakfast, and possible room upgrade).
- Earn 10 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on hotel stays within the Hilton HHonors portfolio*
- Earn 5 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline and car rental purchases*
- Earn 3 HHonors Bonus Points per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases*
- Enjoy the benefits of HHonors Gold status as long as you are a cardmember*
- No foreign transaction fees on purchases*
- Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with your Citi chip credit card
- Earn an anniversary bonus of 1 weekend night certificate at select hotels and resorts within the Hilton HHonors portfolio each cardmembership year with qualifying purchases*
Just like the Citi Hilton Reserve card, you will receive Diamond status if you spend $40,000 through your card in a calendar year. Like whoa. You do receive Gold status with Hilton for “free” the first year, but to maintain your Gold status you will have to spend $20,000 in a calendar year.
The current sign-up bonus for the Surpass card is: 40,000 points after first purchase and then 20,000 more Hilton points after spending $3,000 in 90 days. You can also see if your regular Hilton card can be upgraded to the Surpass (no credit inquiry needed).
You will receive 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying miles after spending $40,000 through your AAdvantage World Elite card. This is a nice perk if you’re an AA loyalist and a big spender.
You will receive 30,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $1,000 in 3 months, free checked bags, Admiral Lounge membership, and more – but there is a $450 annual fee.
You will receive 15,000 regular & elite Delta miles after spending $30,000. Then, another 15,000 regular & elite miles after spending an additional $30,000 in a calendar year.
The sign-up bonus for the Delta Reserve card is 10,000 elite qualifying miles after first purchase, free lounge access, checked bags and more. There is a $450 annual fee on the card, though. This card is mainly for big spenders who want to maintain or achieve elite status with Delta.
Sum it up
There you have it! A few options of receiving additional miles or perks for meeting spending tiers. I’m definitely going to meet the $10,000 spending bonus on my Citi Hilton Reserve, so I can earn the free weekend night certificate. I’m torn about whether or not I should try for Diamond Hilton status by spending $40,000. It’s a “no” for now, because I don’t think it’s worth the effort. Then again, I like a good challenge.
[Disclosure: I receive a referral commission for some of the cards mentioned in the post. Thank you for the support if you decide to apply through the blog!]
— Geoff Whitmore