11 of the best credit card offers in September, from up to 60,000 Southwest points to the best rewards card for beginners
- Signing up for a rewards credit card and earning its welcome bonus is one of the easiest ways to earn a ton of points, miles, or cash back.
- While some credit card bonuses stay largely the same, others increase from time to time. Pay extra attention to these limited-time offers.
- In September, you can score more than 100,000 Hilton points with the hotel brand’s co-branded card. And the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card‘s offer remains a great way to get started with some of the most valuable points around.
If you want to earn points and miles, there’s no quicker route than signing up for a rewards credit card and earning its sign-up bonus. This typically requires meeting a minimum spending requirement in the first three months or 90 days, and it’s well worth it — you’ll be rewarded with thousands of points or miles to put toward your next trip, or with a sizeable amount of cash back.
Before you apply for any new cards, make sure you understand how credit card applications affect your credit score. Then, scroll down to check out some of the best sign-up offers available in September.
Keep in mind that we’re focusing on the rewards and perks that make these credit cards great options, not things like interest rates and late fees, which can far outweigh the value of any rewards.
When you’re working to earn credit card rewards, it’s important to practice financial discipline, like paying your balances off in full each month, making payments on time, and not spending more than you can afford to pay back. Basically, treat your credit card like a debit card.
Welcome offer: 60,000 Amex points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months.
Annual fee: $550
If you travel frequently and can put its many, many benefits to use, the Amex Platinum can be an easy decision even with its $550 annual fee. See how Business Insider’s David Slotnick got more than $2,000 in value from the card in his first year for more info.
Some of the card’s top perks include a 5x earning rate on airfare purchased directly from the airline, up to $200 in airline fee credits each calendar year, up to $200 in Uber credits each cardmember year, and up to $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits each calendar year.
The card also stands out for its airport lounge access benefits. As a card member, you can access Amex Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when you’re flying Delta), Priority Pass lounges, Air Space Lounges, International American Express Lounges, Escape Lounges, and Plaza Premium Lounges.
You can use the Amex Membership Rewards points you’ll earn with this card to book travel with airlines like British Airways, Delta, and Emirates, and with hotel partners including Marriott.
Welcome offer: 60,000 Chase points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Annual fee: $95
If you want a rewards credit card with points that can be used with a variety of travel partners, you can’t go wrong with the Sapphire Preferred. It’s one of the best general credit card picks if you’re new to the world of points and miles or if you don’t want to pay the $450 annual fee of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, as the Sapphire Preferred has a $95 annual fee.
The card has been offering a 60,000-point sign-up bonus for the last several months, and you can use those points to book travel directly through Chase, or you can transfer them to partners like British Airways, Hyatt, Singapore Airlines, and United.
Beyond earning some of the most valuable points around, the Sapphire Preferred offers primary car rental insurance and doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
Welcome offer: 100,000 Marriott points after you make $5,000 in qualifying purchases in the first three months. Plus, get a 0% APR on purchases for the first six months, then a variable rate of 17.74% to 26.74%.
Annual fee: $125
September is a good month for business credit card welcome bonuses, as several of them are currently elevated. One example is the Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex, which is offering 25,000 more points than its standard welcome bonus now through October 23.
Beyond the welcome bonus, this card offers an annual free night award for hotels that cost up to 35,000 points, and cardholders get complimentary Marriott Silver status. This could be a good choice for your business if you travel frequently and could make good use of Marriott points for an upcoming vacation.
Welcome offer: 50,000 Amex points after you spend $10,000 and another 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases in the first three months
Annual fee: $595
Until December 4, the Business Platinum Amex is offering an elevated welcome bonus of up to 100,000 points. You’ll have to spend a total of $25,000 in the first three months to earn the full bonus, but if your business can easily meet that spending requirement, it could be well worth it.
Based on The Points Guy’s valuations, 100,000 Amex points are worth $2,000. The card’s standard welcome bonus is for 75,000 points, so now’s a great time to apply if you were already considering the Business Platinum.
Card benefits include up to $200 in airline incidental fee credits each year, up to $200 in annual Dell statement credits, complimentary Gold status with Hilton and Marriott, and airport lounge access. If you enroll by December 31, you can also get a year of Platinum Global WeWork access, which means you can use coworking spaces around the world.
Welcome offer: 150,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months
Annual fee: $450
Paying a $450 annual fee for a hotel credit card may seem outlandish, but when you take a look at just how many benefits you get with the Hilton Aspire card, it can be an easy decision for frequent guests of the hotel chain.
The card gets you complimentary Hilton Diamond status, the highest elite tier in the Hilton Honors program, which entitles you to perks like free breakfast and room upgrades. You also get up to $250 in Hilton resort credits each card anniversary year, and up to $250 in airline fee credits each calendar year. So if you utilize those two annual credits to their full extent, you’re already getting more value than the annual fee.
That’s not even counting the generous welcome bonus of 150,000 points, and the Hilton Aspire‘s earning rate of 14 points per dollar at Hilton properties. If you rarely stay at Hilton hotels, this card probably doesn’t make sense, but if you do, it can be an obvious choice.
Welcome offer: 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)
The Venture Rewards card has consistently added benefits over the last year or so. While previously you could only use miles to erase purchases on your statement, you can now transfer them to a variety of airline programs, including Air Canada, Air France/KLM and Etihad. There are occasionally transfer bonuses that help you stretch your miles further, too.
This card offers a strong lineup of benefits considering the reasonable $95 annual fee (that’s waived the first year). You get an application fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, and earn 10x miles when you book hotels through the hotels.com/venture landing page.
Earning 10 miles per dollar on hotels is hard to beat, and that’s in addition to the free night for every 10 paid nights you book that you’ll earn through the Hotels.com Rewards program. You’ll also earn 2x miles on all non-hotel purchases.
Welcome offer: 30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
Annual fee: $0
If you prefer earning cash back to points and miles, the Wells Fargo Propel is a great choice. It earns 3 points per dollar on dining, on travel, gas stations, rideshares, and on popular streaming services, and 1 point per dollar on everything else. That’s a strong selection of bonus categories, and it’s even better when you consider that this card has no annual fee.
The Propel Card also includes cell phone protection, and there are no foreign transaction fees.
Welcome offer: 35,000 Amex points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
Annual fee: $250
If you eat out or buy groceries on a regular basis, the Amex Gold card is made for you. You’ll earn 4 points per dollar at restaurants, and 4 points per dollar on the first $25,000 spent at US supermarkets each year (then 1 point per dollar). The card also offers up to $120 in dining credits each year, split into $10 each month, at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Steak House, or participating Shake Shack locations.
As with the Amex Platinum, you can use the Amex Membership Rewards points earned from this card to book travel with more than 15 airline partners and three hotel programs (Choice, Hilton, and Marriott).
Welcome offer: 125,000 points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months
Annual fee: $89
This is a solid hotel co-branded credit card thanks to its annual free night benefit – each year after your account anniversary, you’ll get a free night certificate that you can use at IHG hotels that cost up to 40,000 points per night. The card also offers complimentary Platinum Elite IHG status and a statement credit of up to $100 to cover the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
The IHG Premier Card just launched a new sign-up offer that gets you 45,000 more points than the previous 80,000-point bonus. So if you can fit any IHG points stays into your upcoming travel plans, that higher bonus — combined with the annual free night — make this a strong option.
Click here to learn more about the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card from our partner The Points Guy.
Welcome offer: 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months
Annual fee: $95
The Ink Business Preferred card offers the highest sign-up bonus among Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points. Plus, it has generous bonus categories — you’ll earn 3 points per dollar in the first $150,000 in combined purchases you make on categories including travel, shipping, and advertising (and 1 point per dollar on everything else).
This card has a $95 annual fee, and it offers benefits like primary rental car insurance when you’re renting a car for business purposes.
11. Up to 60k points with 3 Southwest credit cards
Welcome offer: 40,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points after you spend $1,000 in the first three months, plus another 20,000 points after you spend $12,000 in the first 12 months.
Annual fee: Varies
Southwest’s three personal credit cards are offering elevated sign-up bonuses of up to 60,000 points. You can only have one personal Southwest credit card at a time, so you’ll want to take a look at the one that makes the most sense for your needs:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card ($69 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card ($99 annual fee)
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card ($149 annual fee)
You could leverage this sign-up bonus to work toward the Southwest Companion Pass, which lets you bring a companion along on your Southwest flights for free minus taxes and fees. It requires earning 110,000 qualifying points in a year, and it’s best to time your qualification as early in the calendar year as possible, since the benefit is valid for the entire year in which you qualify as well as the entire following year.
More credit card coverage
- What’s the best airline credit card?
- The best cash-back credit cards
- Southwest credit card review
- Best credit card reward programs