Consumer lending may have tightened since the financial crisis, but the competition for credit-worthy frequent travelers has only intensified. Following Capital One's 100,000 point match offer (now closed), Chase's British Airways card is now offering 100,000 miles, and Citi's American AAdvantage cards has a hidden 75,000 mile offer out there. The American Express Platinum Card has upped their sign up bonus to 50,000, but also comes with a range of ongoing benefits that may make it even more valuable for frequent travelers. The BA offer gives you 50,000 miles after your first purchase, and 50,000 after spending $2,500 in your first three months. The AA card offers 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 and the Platinum Card offer requires a $1,000 spend in the first 3 months (Note if you're self-employed or have your own business, you can get a CitiBusiness AA card and the bonus even if you already have a personal Citi AA card). Citi AA waives their first year fee, the Chase BA card has a $95 fee. The American Express Platinum card has a $450 fee, but has added several new valuable features: A $200 annual credit towards ancillary fees on the airline of your choice, and free Standard membership in Priority Pass (a $99 value). Apply for the Platinum Card here. Apply for the Chase British Airways card here. For the Citi cards, you'll need to call 800-408-4954 and ask for the 75,000 sign up bonus. One more bonus for international travelers: Both the Chase British Airways Card and the American Express Platinum cards have no international currency exchange fees -- which can add 1-3% to all foreign charges on many other credit cards.
Having multiple inquiries on your credit report will lower your credit score for six months, so if you're about to buy or refinance a home, you should exercise caution before applying. In the long term, having open, underutilized credit is good for your credit score, and you can always cancel any card after a free first year and keep the bonus.