Credit cards that give you an anniversary gift

A card’s sign-up bonuses might woo you into signing up. But, after you burn through those bonus points, the card might seem less exciting – and, if it has an annual fee, harder to justify keeping open.

Some cards, however, give you an incentive to stick around every year, in the form of an anniversary or annual bonus. When exactly you get this gift depends on the card. Some make you wait until your cardmember anniversary (when you usually pay the annual fee). For other cards, your annual bonus is more of a holiday gift that you earn around the end of a calendar year.Card anniversary

What exactly you get also depends on the card. Airline cards, for example, give you anything from bonus miles, to flight discounts, to free or discounted companion fares. Hotel cards, for the most part, give you a free night’s stay at the affiliated chain. Meanwhile, cash-back and generic rewards cards tend to give you a percentage of the miles or points you earned during the year as a bonus or “dividend.”

There are some restrictions to watch out for, however, as your card will often want something in return. You might need to spend a certain amount on the card over the year, for example, before you get your bonus. In other cases, the attached strings are on the other side of the deal – you earn the bonus for doing nothing more than keeping the card open, but you have to jump through hoops before you can redeem it (by using your bonus rewards within a certain time frame, for example, or by using your free night’s stay for a certain type of room).

The chart below shows some of the most popular cards that give you a yearly bonus – and the requirements for getting it and using it. Terms are subject to change, so make sure you check with your issuer.

Credit card anniversary bonuses from our partners
CardAnniversary giftRequirementsWhen you get itAnnual fee
AIRLINE CARDS
Alaska Airlines Visa SignatureCoach companion fare for $118Must be redeemed within 12 months of issue.Upon renewal and every anniversary thereafter.$75
British Airways Visa Signature (This offer is temporarily unavailable on CreditCardForum. The following information is for reference only.)Companion certificate (aka "Travel Together" ticket)Must make $30,000 in purchases on the card within calendar year. Valid 2 years from date of issue. All travel must originate and end in the U.S.4 to 6 weeks after billing cycle in which you reach $30,000 in purchases.$95
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus3,000 pointsThe date that is 12 months after your enrollment date (and every 12 months thereafter)$69
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier6,000 points$99
Platinum Delta SkyMiles cardCompanion certificateFlight must be round trip, in economy and within the 48 contiguous U.S. Travel must be booked by date on front of certificate.Each anniversary, upon renewal$195
Delta ReserveCompanion certificateFlight must be round trip and within the 48 contiguous U.S. Travel must be booked by date on front of certificate.Each anniversary, upon renewal$450
Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard5,000 bonus miles + $100 companion ticket discountFor 5,000 bonus miles: Must make $10,000 or more in purchases with your card.

For companion fare discount: Must be used for round trip in coach between Hawaii and North America. Valid for 12 months.
Account cycle of anniversary month.$89
HOTEL CARDS
Club Carlson Rewards Visa Signature25,000-point renewal bonusYou must pay at least the minimum amount due by the due date on the statement in which the annual fee is billed.6 to 8 weeks after the statement in which the annual fee is billed$50
Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature40,000-point renewal bonus$75
The Hyatt Credit Card1 free night (category 1-4)Must be used for a standard room within 12 months after issue date.4 to 6 weeks after account anniversary date each year$75, waived first year
IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card1 free nightMust be used for a standard room within 12 months of issue.On renewal anniversary date each year$49, waived the first year
Marriot Rewards Premier Credit Card1 free night (category 1-5)Must be redeemed within 6 months of issue date.6 to 8 weeks after account anniversary date each year$85
GENERAL/TRAVEL REWARDS
American Express Platinum (personal and business)$200 airline fee creditYou must enroll and choose an airline. Current year's credit expires on Dec. 31 each year.When you enroll, and Jan. 1 thereafter.$450
BankAmericard Travel Rewards10% bonus on net purchases in calendar year (ex: if you spent $10,000 in a year, you'll get 1,000 points).You must have an open Bank of America checking or savings accountFeb. or March statement, for bonus earned during previous calendar year$0
Chase Freedom10% bonus on all new points earned with card during previous calendar year (even those earned in 5% categories). UPDATE: This benefit is being discontinued December 2015.You must have an open Chase checking account at the end of the year (December billing statement).With Jan. or Feb. billing statement.$0
Wells Fargo Propel cards (365 and World)A bonus between 10% and 50% of the points you earned in a year. You must have a checking account or PMA package with Wells Fargo. Amount of bonus depends on type of account and its balance. No bonus earned on extra points earned in the card's bonus categories.The 13th month after the date you opened your card (and every anniversary thereafter)$45 for Propel 365 and $175 for Propel World. Both waived first year.
Expedia+ Voyager card5,000 points Spend $10,000 on the card in previous membership year.Billing period that marks your cardmember anniversary$95
U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards3,500 FlexPointsSpend $24,000 on net purchasesAccount anniversary$49 (waived first year)
Lufthansa Miles & More World MasterCard and Premier World MasterCardCompanion ticketKeep card open.

Note: Must book in H class or higher.
Account anniversary$59 (World MasterCard) or $79 (Premier World MasterCard)

Updated Dec. 4, 2014

 
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