|Miles to Memories does not have a direct relationship with the card issuing bank(s) and this post does not include any affiliate links. If you wish to support the site by applying for credit cards or using other referral links, you can do so here.
Before applying I highly suggest reading the following posts: Slow & Steady Doesn't Make You A Loser and A Mandatory Waiting Period to Apply for Credit Cards?. You can find all of our credit card reviews here.
My Favorite Cards and Why
Today I am going to talk about which credit card from each bank I feel is the best. The premise of this post is simple and before I go any further, there are no affiliate links here and I am not trying to sell you on anything. Every card with the exception of one is currently either in mine or my wife’s wallet and the one that is not will soon be!
Some of these cards have publicly available best offers that you can get anywhere. For those cards, I will mention the best offer, but not provide a link. If a card has a special offer that requires a special link, I will provide it so you can get the best deal. As mentioned before, no link provided in this post is an affiliate link.
Bank of America
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
There are some interesting cash cards from Bank of America, but the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature is my favorite simply because of the valuable miles I can earn when signing up. It also comes with a $99 companion fare which is very good if you live in or near an Alaska Airlines market.
The main reason I love Alaska Airlines miles is that they partner with a ton of other airlines. I personally am saving up Alaska miles to fly on Emirates in first class. They also partner with Cathay, but I can use American miles to fly their first class product.
Best Offer: 25,000 miles after approval and a $100 statement credit after spending $1,000 during the first 3 months. Application Link
Wells Fargo Visa Signature
While the Wells Fargo Propel card is interesting, my favorite card is the Wells Fargo Visa Signature. Why would a card that has no sign-up bonus and only 1% cash back earning be my favorite?
There are two reasons this card is so good. First, it earns 5% at gas, grocery & drug stores during the first 6 months and points are worth an additional 50% when redeeming for airfare. This basically means that you are earning 7.5% back towards airfare during the first 6 months. Oh and this card loves REDbird.
Best Offer: No sign-up bonus, but 5% at gas, grocery and drug stores for the first 6 months.
Citi Prestige Card
To be honest, this card isn’t one I have yet in my wallet, but I am applying within the next few days, so I thought I would include it. The Citi Prestige does have a $450 annual fee, but it comes with Priority Pass Lounge Membership including guests, Admiral’s Club access when flying AA or US Airways, an annual $250 airline credit and the ability to redeem ThankYou points for 1.33 cents each or 1.6 cents on American Airlines or US Airways.
The real reason I am excited about getting this card is because of the in-branch sign-up bonus of 60,000 ThankYou points after $15,000 in spend which also takes $100 off the annual fee. This offer is simply too good to pass up and will probably mean my Amex Platinum card will be going away.
Best Offer: There is a public 50,000 point offer after $3k in spend the first three months. You can find out more about the in-branch 60k offer here.
I have written plenty of times about the Arrival Plus (My review). I love the $440+ sign-up bonus and I love the ability to earn 2.2% cashback towards all of my travels. I use Arrival points to cover ancillary expenses all of the times like rental car fees, taxes on airlines awards and more. This card is ALWAYS in my wallet to be used for non-bonused spend.
Best Offer: 40,000 points after $3k in spend during the first 3 months.
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature
I know this one will be a bit controversial, but I am looking at the overall picture. I think the Cash+ 5% card is very interesting as are the FlexPerks cards, but I still believe the Club Carlson card is the best despite the loss of the bonus award night.
The card still earns 5x Club Carlson points on everyday purchases, comes with an 85,000 point sign-up bonus and gives a 40,000 point bonus every year on the card anniversary date. Oh and there is also gold status which is one step above worthless, although it works better for modest upgrades in Europe.
Best Offer: 50,000 points after first purchase and an additional 35,000 after $2.5k spent during the first three months.
Chase Ink Plus
This one probably isn’t a surprise either. Between the ability to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on “office supplies” and on my cell and internet bills, this card more than makes up for its $95 annual fee. The Chase Ink Plus also earns 2x on gas in a pinch and I love the Ultimate Rewards program and its ability to transfer points. The 50,000 point sign-up bonus is fantastic as well. (Although it has been as high as 70k in the past year.)
Best Offer: 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5k during the first 3 months.
Business Rewards Gold
This is a tough one because I think the Everyday cards provide a ton of value, but I love the Business Rewards Gold. I currently earn 3x points at gas stations and part of my calculation has been the ability to pretty easily get a 75,000 point sign-up bonus.
If you are looking for a no annual fee Amex card then the Everyday card is simply the best, but I feel the Business Rewards Gold card offers enough of a benefit to give it a try given the large sign-up bonus and the waived first year annual fee.
Best Offer: The best offer for this card is currently 25,000 points after $2k in spend, but there are targeted 50,000 and 75,000 point bonus offers. You can see if you have been targeted for the 75,000 point offer here. I wouldn’t apply for less than a 75,000 bonus personally.
As I hope you can tell, this post was not designed to sell anything, but to share my current thoughts on my own personal cards from each bank. Some cards are my favorite simply because of sign-up bonuses while others help me generate massive amounts of points/cash back on a daily basis.
Which cards are your favorites? Am I way off on anything? Let me know in the comments!