The Best Travel Credit Card Welcome Bonus Offers Right Now

Check out the latest and greatest offers for adding a new travel credit card to your wallet.
May 20, 2022

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There are a number of travel rewards credit cards with boosted welcome bonus offers to have on your radar.

Here’s a look at some of the best travel credit card offers out there right now, based on the value of the welcome bonus offers, which were calculated using NerdWallet's valuations of credit card and loyalty program points.

This is the shortlist of the best travel card deals of 2022:

New travel card offers

Card name

Welcome offer

Value of welcome offer

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card!

0.7 cent.

$1,050.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Terms Apply.

0.5 cent.

$600.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

1 cent with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, but as much as 1.9 cents if you also hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

$300 - $570.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

1.25 cents in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal, but as much as 1.8 cents if you take advantage of transfer partners.

$1,000 - $1,440.

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card

Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

0.8 cent.

$1,120.

United℠ Explorer Card

Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.

1 cent.

$700.

Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card

Get a $100 statement credit, 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

1.1 cents.

$540.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

1 cent in the Capital One Travel portal, but as much as 1.8 cents with transfer partners.

$750 - $1,350.

A closer look

Learn more about these new cardholder incentives, each vying to offer the best travel card welcome bonus offer.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
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Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card!

  • Annual fee: $95.

  • Value of welcome bonus: $1,050. Marriott Bonvoy points are worth about 0.7 cent each according to NerdWallet's valuations. The free night awards are particularly valuable at some of the higher-end hotels that are bookable for 50,000 points or less (due to the new top-up feature).

  • Why you should get it: You can earn up to 17x on eligible Marriott spending (6x from the card, 10x as a Marriott Bonvoy member, 1x with the automatic Silver elite status). The most notable benefit is the one free night award up to 35,000 points every year after the account anniversary.

  • Who should get it: People who are ready to dip their toes into co-branded hotel credit cards and can spend at least two nights every year at a Marriott, particularly if you visit properties that cost 50,000 points or less per night.

  • Who should skip it: If you want a more luxurious hotel travel experience, like a higher level of automatic elite status and a free night award you can use at higher category hotels, consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card instead. Terms apply.

American Express Hilton HonorsTM Card from American Express Credit Card
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Earn 100,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn up to $100 in Statement Credits on eligible purchases made on the Card at any of the Hilton family hotels in the first 12 months of Membership. Terms Apply.

  • Annual fee: $0.

  • Value of welcome bonus: $600. Hilton Honors points are worth about 0.5 cent each, according to NerdWallet's valuations, so the bonus points are worth about $500, plus the $100 statement credit.

  • Why you should get it: The extra $100 statement credit already covers the annual fee on this card, and even though Hilton points aren't worth a ton, this card makes up for it with high earning rates. You can earn 5x on multiple everyday spending categories, including U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. supermarkets. Terms apply.

  • Who should get it: People with some Hilton travel in mind for the next year. This card not only earns a bunch of points, it also comes with automatic Silver elite status, which can help you stretch those points even further with the fifth night free benefit.

  • Who should skip it: People who want the most value out of their spending on the card. Even with the high earning rates, there are other hotel or travel cards that can give you a better return. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns 3x on dining, but since each point is worth 1.25 cents in the travel portal, that's a 3.75% return, compared to the Hilton Honors American Express Card's 2.5% return.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
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Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

  • Annual fee: $0.

  • Value of welcome bonus: $300. But it could be as much as $570 based on the other Chase Sapphire cards you might have and whether you take advantage of your the Sapphire card's transfer partners. More on how that works below.

  • Why you should get it: With this welcome offer, you'll get an excellent rewards rate on your everyday spending: 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). Compare that to the usual 1% people get back on most purchases.

  • Who should get it: If you have a Sapphire card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a must-have, especially while this offer is available. The secret is the Chase Freedom Unlimited® actually rewards Chase Ultimate Rewards® points that you can redeem for cash back at a rate of 1 cent per point. But if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer your points from your Chase Freedom Unlimited® to your Sapphire card to be able to redeem them at a rate of 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents each in the travel portal. Or better yet, you could transfer those points to airline and hotel partners where you might find even more value.

  • Who should skip it: If you're looking to add a huge chunk of points to your reserves for an upcoming trip, this card probably won't do the trick since it's based on spending for an entire year (or the first $20,000 you spend, whatever comes first). Look into some of the other best travel cards to top off your account instead.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
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Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Annual fee: $95.

  • Value of welcome bonus offer: $1,000. Points from this card can be redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel portal for a value of 1.25 cents each, but if you transfer your points to some of the high-value partners (like Hyatt), you could get closer to 1.8 cents per point. That would make this bonus worth more than $1,400.

  • Why you should get it: This card has been the darling of the travel credit card space for years. A 1.25 cent per point valuation is still one of the best redemption rates out there compared to other cards with a similar annual fee. This sign-up bonus may not be as high as the 100,000-point offer last year, but if you've been meaning to add this card to your wallet, it's still 20,000 points more than you could've gotten earlier this year.

  • Who should get it: People trying to complete their Chase trifecta. The access to transfer partners makes this card an excellent compliment to the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. (See above.)

  • Who should skip it: If you carry a premium travel credit card, this card probably won't add many benefits you don't have already. After all, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card's 2x on travel isn't much to write home about anymore, considering high rewards rates on other travel credit cards.

IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
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Earn 140,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

  • Annual fee: $99.

  • Value of welcome bonus offer: $1,120. NerdWallet values IHG points at 0.8 cent each.

  • Why you should get it: This sign-up bonus is 15,000 points more than it was previously, and this card just got an entire revamp. You'll now earn higher rewards rate on all purchases, including up to 26x on IHG spending, 5x on travel, gas stations and restaurants, and 3x on everything else. Plus, it comes with an anniversary night worth up to 40,000 points each year.

  • Who should get it: If you're usually underwhelmed by hotel credit card benefits, this card might change your mind. It comes with an anniversary night that's much easier to use than other reward nights that come with a low points-per-night cap. That's because you can always add IHG points from your account to supplement the 40,000-point value of the anniversary night. Plus the automatic elite status that comes with it is already the second-highest tier, so you'll already eligible for space-upgrades and other sweet perks.

  • Who should skip it: People who don't stay often at IHG properties. IHG is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards® so if you only need IHG points occasionally, you'd probably be better served by one of the Chase Sapphire cards.

Chase United Airlines Mileage Plus Credit Card
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Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.

  • Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

  • Value of welcome bonus offer: $700. NerdWallet values United miles at 1 cent each.

  • Why you should get it: This two-part sign-up bonus has manageable spending requirements, and in total, it's 20,000 miles more than the previous offer. That means you can get about $200 more in award travel from the sign-up bonus alone.

  • Who should get it: United frequent flyers will love the perks like one free checked bag and two complimentary day passes per year to the United Club. Plus, international travelers can take advantage of United's Star Alliance partners and the Excursionist Perk.

  • Who should skip it: If United doesn't fly often out of your home airport, you probably won't get much use out of the miles you earn on this card.

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature®  Credit Card
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Get a $100 statement credit, 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from $22) with this offer. To qualify, make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.

  • Annual fee: $75.

  • Value of welcome bonus offer: $540. NerdWallet values Alaska miles at 1.1 cents each.

  • Why you should get it: The $100 statement credit more than makes up for the annual fee. Not to mention, this card comes with a companion pass that can be especially lucrative if you're using it to fly cross-country or to Hawaii.

  • Who should get it: West Coast-based travelers who can take advantage of the route network and the sweet spots in the Alaska award chart.

  • Who should skip it: People who don't live near an Alaska hub, which would make it hard to use the miles. Several other airline cards offers a similar companion pass as a benefit, so you can definitely find like-perks with other airlines if Alaska isn't convenient for you.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

  • Annual fee: $95.

  • Value of welcome bonus offer: $750 - $1,350. Capital One miles can be redeemed for 1 cent each in the Capital One Travel portal, but NerdWallet values Capital One miles at 1.8 cents each if you take advantage of transfer partners.

  • Why you should get it: The welcome offer is 15,000 miles higher than before and now matches the offer on the more expensive Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. If you're just trying to collect Capital One miles, this is a much cheaper entry point.

  • Who should get it: Beginner travel credit card users, or really anyone who doesn't want to keep track of a lot of bonus categories and statement credits. This card gets an excellent 2x on all spending, and 5x on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel portal. More advanced travel credit cardholders will love the access to transfer partners like Turkish Airlines and Finnair, which aren't available through Chase Ultimate Rewards® or American Express Membership Rewards.

  • Who should skip it: If you want lounge access, it's worth spending the extra $300 on the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, which can be offset by the $300 back in statement credits annually toward bookings made through Capital One Travel. Also, Capital One has limited options if you're trying to transfer your points to hotel programs, so people earning points for award stays might have more options with a different travel or hotel card.

To view rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, see this page.


How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2022, including those best for:

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