January might be a somewhat slow month for travel, but it is a great time to apply for a travel rewards card in order to plan an award trip in the future. The credit card industry is willing to offer new applicants extremely valuable travel rewards in exchange for a chance to earn the business of credit card users.
Here are some of the top travel rewards promotions for January:
Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
This card continues to be a favorite of travel rewards experts for a number of reasons. New applicants receive 10,000 points after their first purchase and another 15,000 after they spend $5,000 within the first six months of cardmembership. These points can be redeemed for free nights at Starwood hotels, which include Westin, Sheraton, and other brands, for as little as 2,000 points per night. When cardholders redeem four consecutive nights, their fifth award night is free.
Furthermore, points can be transferred to miles with the frequent flier programs of over 30 different airlines. When cardholders transfer 20,000 points to miles, they also receive a 5,000 mile bonus. There is a $65 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year.
The Platinum Card from American Express
For international travelers, there is no substitute for the American Express Platinum card. It currently offers 25,000 Membership Rewards points to new applicants who spend $2,000 in purchases within the first three months of opening an account, as well as one point per dollar spent. These points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards, or travel reservations. In addition, points can be transferred to miles with 17 different airline programs.
This card offers business lounge access with Delta Airlines and several other lounge clubs around the world. There is also a $200 annual statement credit towards airline fees, and a reimbursement of the $100 application fee Global Entry, the program run by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol that allows for expedited entry to the United States and makes the holder eligible for the TSA’s Pre-Check program. There is a $450 annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees.