New Year, New Credit Cards. Which are the Best?

Happy 2020! It’s the start to the New Year and all the clocks have reset on all your frequent traveler accounts. You’re reset down to zero on your hotel nights, airline miles, and spend. 

Since right now you’ve got the absolutely most time to take advantage of card benefits that you might receive, which ones make sense to sign up for right now at the beginning of the new year? We’ll look at a few of our favorites and explain why January 2020 is the best time.

Cards with Bonus Spend Tiers

Many cards require you to spend a certain amount of money before you get those coveted bonuses. Some cards give you a bonus if you spend a certain amount in 90 days, 6 months, or more. Some of them give you an extra bump if you complete your spend in a calendar year. 

Since we’re in January, you’ve got a long runway to achieve those goals. Let’s take a look at those cards:

Delta Airlines Credit Cards

I’ve held the Delta Platinum card for years, and I do so because of their MQM potential and BoGo ticket. Every year with the Platinum you get a Buy One Get One Free ticket in coach and with the Reserve you get a BoGo in Coach or First. Don’t get me wrong, those are fantastic, but the best benefit for me are the MQMs. With spend in a calendar year, you earn Medallion Qualifying Miles. 

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card
Delta SkyMiles Reserve Credit Card

With the Platinum card spend $25,000 and get 10,000 MQM, spend $50,000 and get 20,000 MQM

With the Reserve card spend $30,000 and get 15,000 MQM, spend $60,000 and get 30,000 MQM.

Considering you’ve got the entire year to do it, the time to apply is NOW.

Citi AAdvantage Card

Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year

If you’re looking for elite status on American Airlines, spend $40k and earn 10,000 miles towards your next status. This can be a nice bump if you’re close to your next level of status (or even your first!)

British Airways Chase Credit Card

Avios are one of our favorite currencies in the frequent flier world. Since they charge different prices based on distance, not on regions or confusing maps, the opportunity for good value is everywhere.

You can earn up to 100,000 Avios when you sign up for the card, but it comes with that pesky time frame again. Earn 50,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening and earn an additional 50,000 Bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 total on purchases within your first year of account opening.

You can apply for the Chase card here.

Cards with Extra Benefits

Southwest Airlines Credit Cards

Like flying with a friend for free? If you can earn 125,000 points in a year, then you can get the companion pass good for the year that you earn it AND the next year.

Signing up for the any of the cards is a multi-thousands point boost. Choose the one that’s right for you. You’ll want to get cracking though. Earn those points as quickly as possible to take the maximum advantage of the Companion Pass. If you’ve got a business, then the 70k points for the business card is the way to go!

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards(R) Premier Credit Card – 40,000 points
Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card – 40,000 points
Southwest Rapid Rewards┬« Performance Business Credit Card – 70,000 points

The biggest difference falls in to the extra perks. The Priority Card comes with upgrade certificates and $75 travel credit every year. All cards earn the same with Southwest purchases, it just really depends if you’re a heavy SW flier or not.

American Express Gold/Platinum

What better time than now to start your American Express Membership Rewards earning. Both the Gold and Platinum cards come with yearly account credits.

The Gold American Express comes with a $10/month dining credit and $100 airline incidental. That’s $220 every year of the $250 annual fee that can get erased.

On top of that, your 4x points at US Supermarkets is capped at $25,000 a calendar year, so what a better way than to get started now.

The Platinum card comes with Uber Credits of $200 annually and a $200 a year airline incidental fee. Once again, the quicker you get signed up and started, the more credits you’ll potentially earn in the course of the year.

The other perks aren’t annually limited, but sure do make it a compelling card. You’ve got Global lounge access, Gold Status with both Hilton and Marriott, Centurion lounge access, 5x points on airline travel booked with the airlines and more. This is one of our most used cards in our wallets.

While this is by no means a comprehensive list, these are the ones that should be on your radar for right now in the beginning of the year.

Did we miss any cards? Which ones are you making sure not to miss out on for the new year?

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. There are 12 months in a year, not 14.

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    • Thank you for correcting my math

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      • The Chase Sapphire Card. 60,000 miles for spending $4,000.00 in 3 months.

        Post a Reply
        • And the sapphire preferred now looks a lot better than the reserve!

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