Targeted spending bonuses are blooming this spring

As plants sprout outside, targeted credit-card offers are popping up in cardholders’ email inboxes and snail-mail boxes, promising everything from temporary bonus categories to bonus points.

Issuers aren’t doing this just to be nice. Many cardholders become less enthusiastic about cards after earning their sign-up bonuses. A surprise targeted bonus, your issuer hopes, will inspire you to move its card back to the top of your wallet.

If you have one of the cards below, check your inbox – a bonus opportunity may await you for your spring spending.

NEW: Hilton — 2X or 3X points on stays

Between May 1 and August 30, Hilton’s Go More Get More promotion allows you to earn more points per dollar on stays.

All Honors members will earn double points, and Diamond members will earn triple points per dollar. Say you’d earn 3,000 base points on your stay. That turns into 6,000 points for Honors members and 9,000 points for Diamond members. If you’re staying at a Hilton property anyway, this is a way to greatly increase your earning power.

See details and sign up here.

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card – 3,000 – 35,000 bonus points

IHG has two major targeted bonuses that are tied to card spend:

1. General spending: Between April 1 and August 31, cardholders can earn 600 bonus points each month they make $750 in purchases. If you hit this target every month from April to August, that’s 3,000 bonus IHG points.

Keep in mind, this bonus is tracked by calendar month, not by statement, so monitor your progress carefully.

Per the latest valuations from The Points Guy, IHG points are worth 0.7 cents each. So 3,000 points is worth roughly $21. Not so exciting. Plus, you can buy 3,000 points for about $40 from IHG directly.

So the only way this promotion becomes lucrative is if you would spend $750 per month on the card anyway. If, for example, you’ve got some IHG paid stays coming up that you’re using the card for, hitting the monthly $750 requirement may be effortless. You may be able to throw on some gas and grocery spending, too (the card’s bonus categories). If that’s the case, you’re getting 3,000 bonus points with no extra spend. Just avoid using this relatively weak bonus opportunity to spend more – or to divert your spending from your more lucrative rewards cards.

2. IHG spending: Between April 16 and May 15, you can earn up to 35,000 bonus points by staying at an IHG property and paying with your IHG card. The size of your bonus is unique to you. On the low end, you can earn 8,000 bonus points for staying two nights and 35,000 bonus points for staying 15 nights. If you have the IHG card, log in and click on “offers.”

Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards — Various bonuses

There’s variation in this bonus (which extends from April 1 to August 31). Some cardholders are being offered up to 3,000 bonus points (600 bonus points each month they spend $750), while others are being offered 300 bonus points each month they spend $500.

As with the IHG offer, this one’s only worth hitting naturally (especially if you’re using your card for Southwest plane tickets). It’s not worth your time to deliberately go after it with normal spending, especially if you have other card options.

Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature — $25 bonus when you spend $75 on Amazon

No enrollment is required for this bonus. Just use your Fidelity card on Amazon.com and make at least three purchases of at least $25 each ($75 total) to get a $25 Fidelity Rewards bonus. Deadline is May 31, 2017.

JetBlue Plus card – 10k bonus miles and other bonuses

Some lucky cardholders have gotten an offer for 10,000 extra points after spending $750 per month in April, May and June. JetBlue Points are worth 1.2 cents each, according to the Points Guy, so this bonus is worth about $120. Put another way, for $2,250 in spending, you’re getting an extra $120 – a 5.3 percent return on spending. Not bad.

Other JetBlue cardholders are being offered a less-exciting targeted bonus opportunity: additional bonus categories: 2X at gas stations, home improvement stores and department stores between April 1 and June 30 (up to 2,500 points). This is advantageous to you only if you don’t already have other cards earning bonus points in those categories. Also, you need to manually activate this one via online banking.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus, Cash Forward and other Barclaycard products – Temporary bonus categories

Various Barclaycard products are adding 2X bonus categories between April 1 and June 30 – gas stations, home improvement stores and department stores.

You must activate these offers by May 31, 2017, and you’re capped at 2,500 bonus points (or $25 for cash-back cards). If you don’t already have a card earning bonus points in these categories, this is a good way to pick up some extra miles or cash back. However, it isn’t enticing enough to divert spending from more lucrative cards.


Citi ThankYou cards – temporary 5 percent statement credits in bonus categories


Some Citi ThankYou Preferred and Premier cardholders have been getting emails offering them 5 percent back (via statement credit) on purchases in certain categories (including grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores and mass transit).

This promotion is good through June 30, 2017. The limit, however, is $25 back.

This bonus provides a quick and easy way to earn 5 percent cash back in categories your other cards may not have.

British Airways card – 4,000 bonus Avios

According to Dr. of Credit, some cardholders are being offered 4,000 Avios after spending at least $4,000 with their British Airways card between April 1 and June 30. This bonus is potentially lucrative, as it gives you the flexibility to spend $4,000 anytime in the next three months, instead of requiring per-month spending thresholds.

This bonus requires enrollment.

Hyatt Credit Card – 4,000 bonus points

Via Reddit, this targeted bonus lets you earn 4,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 on the Hyatt Credit Card between April 1 and June 30. As with the similar British Airways offer, this one keeps things flexible; you can divide up your $4,000 spending target as you wish over the next three months. Enrollment is required.

Barclaycard Aviator cards – 10k (or more) bonus miles for required spend

Several Reddit users are getting boosted bonuses for their AAdvantage Aviator cards. In some cases, you’re required to spend $750 each month in April, May and June, in others only 500. In some cases, the bonus is 10,000 AAdvantage miles, in other’s it’s 15,000.

This relatively high bonus probably gives a good enough return on your spending to justify diverting $750 in purchases to your card for the next three months.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select – temporary bonus categories

Dr. of Credit has listed some of the many bonuses cardholders are getting for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select cards. Depending on your offer, you can earn 3X AAdvantage miles in various temporary categories (April 1 through June 30). Your offer may include home furnishing stores, computer and electronic stores, department stores, mass-transit purchases, movie theaters, online purchases and more. In most of the reported cases, you’re limited to 2,500 bonus miles. Enrollment required.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card — 10k bonus Starpoints

Per Dr. of Credit, some cardholders are being offered 10,000 bonus Starpoints if they spend at least $10,000 on your Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner) by June 30. Starpoints are valuable (and transferable) rewards currency, so diverting extra spending to your card may be warranted, if you want to earn this bonus.

GAP Visa card — various bonuses

Our forum members and Reddit users have gotten offers for everything from 5X in certain spending categories, to 100 bonus points per day for just using the card, to 2X rewards on non-GAP purchases. Whichever offer you got, it ends June 30.

Updated April 3, 2017

 
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