Things have really shaken up in March. With the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100,000 point sign-up bonus off the table, its still among the top cards, but not a clear winner like before. Here are the top travel credit cards for March 2017.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred

  • 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 5,000 points for adding an authorized user
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year

Travel is only worth 1.25 on the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, but I have to put Chase Sapphire Preferred ahead of Chase Sapphire Reserve because there’s no annual fee for the first year. It’d rather pay zero dollars for my 50,000 points than $150 dollars (if you deduct the $300 travel credit from the CSR $450 annual fee).

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve

  • 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • $450 annual fee

Its sad to see the 100,000 point bonus officially gone, but we knew it wasn’t going to last. I still think it’s worth getting this card for the 50,000 point sign-up bonus. The annual fee is only $150 if you deduct the $300 travel credit. If you have yet to sign-up for global entry and were planning on doing so, there’s another $100. Might as well get it now, and get the bonus again in 2 years.

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

SPG American Express

  • Personal card: 25,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and an additional 10,000 points after spending another $2,000 within the first 6 months
  • Business card: 25,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months and an additional 10,000 points after spending another $3,000 within the first 6 months
  • $95 annual fee, waived the first year (same for both cards)

Starwood usually increases the sign-up bonus to 35,000 once per year. This time, you’ll have to work a little hard (i.e., spend more money) to get the increased bonus. The personal card is offering 25,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months and an additional 10,000 points after spending another $2,000 within the first 6 months.

If you’ve already received the bonus for the personal card, jump on the business card offer. You’ll get 25,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months and an additional 10,000 points after spending another $3,000 in the first 6 months. The minimum spend is a lot higher but we don’t know what might happen to these products in the future in light of the merger with Marriott.

Act fast! This offer expires 4/5/2017.

Chase Ink Preferred

Chase Ink Preferred

  • 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
  • $95 annual fee

This is currently Chase’s highest bonus on a card offering Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Points are worth 1.25x when redeemed on Chase’s portal. You can also transfer to Chase’s travel partners at a 1:1 ratio. You can earn 3x points on travel purchases and business-related expenses like shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and social media/online advertising. Might as well pay some bills with this card!

Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard

Barclaycard Aviator Red

  • 40,000 miles when you make your first purchase in the first 90 days and pay the annual fee
  • $95 annual fee

It’s rare these days to see an offer that offers such a high bonus without a spending requirement. You’re essentially “buying” miles for the cost of the annual fee which is $95. This would cost close to $1300 with taxes and fees if you were to buy 40,000 miles on the American Airlines website. Sweet!

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Business

  • 60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • $99 annual fee

This is one of the highest bonuses for a Southwest card since they usually offer 40,000 or 50,000 points. If you’re going after the Companion Pass, the 60,000 point offer makes it even easier! You’ll need 110,000 points total to get the Companion Pass. If you combine this card with one of the two personal Southwest cards with 50,000 point bonus, you won’t have to worry about any additional spending to reach 110,000.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard

Barclaycard Arrival Plus

  • 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days
  • $89 annual fee, waived the first year

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus is the best fixed-value travel card since it offers a 5% point rebate on all redemptions. The sign-up offer is currently 10,000 points higher than the usual offer so it’s a good time to get this card. The points are worth at least $500 (more because of the rebate). Also, this card is churnable so you might as well grab it again if you’ve had it in the past!

United MileagePlus Explorer Card

Chase United MileagePlus Explorer

  • 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • $95 annual fee

The typical offer for this card is 30,000 miles with a targeted offer of 50,000 miles. For a limited time, the public offer is 50,000 miles and the targeted offer is 70,000 miles. Even if you aren’t targeted for the higher offer, I’d go for this deal if you’re in need of some United miles. You might as well since you can get the bonus on Chase cards every 24 months.

What cards do you plan on signing up for in March?

Above offers available as of 3/15/17. Click here for the most up-to-date offers.

 

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