Update: Some of the credit card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our travel rewards card page for the latest offers.
Because airfare and lodging can be significant expenses when you travel, the fastest way to free airfare and free hotel stays and lowering your travel costs is through credit card signup bonuses, specifically credit cards with no minimum spend requirements.
Credit card signup bonuses can vary from 10,000 – 50,000 miles or points. Depending on the airline and where you’re flying, the bonus miles may be enough to earn you a free airline ticket or two. Bonus points can be enough for several free hotel nights.
From a purely economic standpoint, credit cards with no minimum spend requirements and high signup bonuses offer the best bang for your buck.
Miles/Points: “free” signup bonus miles/points received upon approval or first use
Bonus Miles/Points: additional miles/points received for laying out some dough
Cost for card: annual fee cost if any, most waive the fee for the first year
cpm (cost per mile) and cpp (cost per point): since there’s no such thing as a free lunch, what you’re paying for those “free” miles and “free” points
Credit Cards With No Minimum Spend Requirements
These are the credit cards with no minimum spend requirements.
Points: 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points after first use
Bonus points: 15,000 Ultimate Rewards after $5,000 spend in first three months
Cost for card: $0 annual fee
cpp (cost per point): $0.01 ($1 ÷ 5,000)
cpp (cost per point): $0.20 ($1 + $5,000 ÷ 25,000)
Hawaiian Airlines Visa Signature card
Miles: 60,000 Hawaiian Airline miles after spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
Cost for card: $99 annual fee
cpm (cost per mile): $0.03 ($2,000 + $99 ÷ 60,000)
Points: 80,000 Hilton HHonors points after spending $1,000 in the first three months. And another 50,000 points after spending a total of $5,000 in the first six months.
Cost for card: $0 annual fee (see rates and fees)
cpp (cost per point): $0.0125 ($1,000 ÷ 80,000); $0.0125 ($1,000 + $0 ÷ 80,000)
cpp (cost per point): $0.038 ($5,000 ÷ 130,000); $0.038 ($5,000 + $0 ÷ 1300,000)
Points: 50,000 Marriott Rewards points after first use
Cost for card: $85 annual fee after first year
cpp (cost per point): $0.01 ($1 ÷ 50,000); $0.02 ($1 + $85 ÷ 50,000)
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For Hilton Honors rates and fees, click here.
Traveling Well For Less has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Traveling Well For Less and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Friday 30th of November 2012
When calculating the PCM you didn't include the points earned from the min spend.
Friday 30th of November 2012
Which card are you referred to? If it's the Alaska card, you get the points without any minimum spend.
Wednesday 28th of November 2012
[...] you have a Chase Ink card, (see this post about credit cards with no minimum spend), you can now shop with points at [...]
Sunday 9th of September 2012
[...] complete list of airline and hotel branded credit cards that have no minimum spend requirements can be found in this post. /* airline branded credit card, AYCE all you can earn, Credit [...]