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3 credit cards that offer $500 or more in value

The Points Guy logo The Points Guy 1/20/2020 Jonathan Eves
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Before I started working at The Points Guy, I had one credit card —  the “Plain Jane” card your bank issues to get you started. Little did I know there was an entire world of offers out there that would earn me valuable points and miles on all my purchases. These purchases, in turn, have put me closer to a first-class round-trip ticket to my next destination.

I’ve come a long way in the past year. I now have five credit cards in my wallet, offering awesome benefits and sign-up bonuses. The annual fees vary, but I’m undeterred. The benefits easily make up for the fees.

Here are my top three cards that offer at least $500 in value.

Credit Card Bonus Offer Bonus Redeemable Value* TPG  Bonus Valuation** Annual Fee Essential Perks
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 60,000 ultimate rewards points after spending $4,000 or more in the first three months $750 (when redeemed through Chase Rewards) $1200 $95 Trip delay, trip cancellation, and baggage delay insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; purchase protection; extended warranty.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 or more in the first three months $500 (when redeemed as a statement credit) $700 $95 (waived the first year) Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement credit (up to $100); travel accident insurance; auto rental collision damage waiver; extended warranty.
The Platinum Card® from American Express 60,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months $600 (when used for eligible gift card redemptions, or eligible travel through $1200 $550 Trip cancellation/interruption insurance; Global Entry/TSA PreCheck statement credit; Centurion Lounge access; Delta SkyClub access on same-day flights; $200 airline-fee credit; $200 in annual Uber credits; $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit ($50 biannually); Priority Pass lounge access; elite Gold status with Hilton and Marriott; auto rental collision damage waiver;  return protection.

*Redemption value through issuer’s platform

**Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.

Should I get the Chase Sapphire Preferred?

(Photo by Riley Arthur for The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Riley Arthur for The Points Guy)

Why Chase Sapphire Preferred: You may recognize this card as our top mid-tier card of 2018. It earns 2x points on dining and travel — Amtrak, Uber, Airbnb, even Lime scooters. It also offers trip delay insurance (up to $500 per ticket), $10,000 in trip cancellation insurance, and even $100 per day in baggage delay insurance.

What are the perks?: 2x points on travel and dining and some sweet travel protections that include primary rental car coverage, trip delay insurance, trip cancellation insurance, baggage delay insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement.

Sign-up bonus:  60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months (worth $600, according to TPG valuations, or $750 when redeemed for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal)

Annual fee: $95

Read our full card review here.

Should I get the Capital One Venture?

a close up of food on a table: (Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)

Why Venture: This card is the universal point-earner with double miles on everything you buy. Those points will add up fast. This was my first real travel credit card, and it still holds a place in my wallet for all of those miscellaneous items I won’t earn 2x miles on from other cards.

What are the perks?: 2x miles on all purchases and a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application-fee credit (up to $100)

Sign-up bonus:  50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months, worth $500, according to TPG valuations

Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)

Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuationhere

Read our full card review here.

Should I get the American Express Platinum?

a close up of a piece of paper: (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy) © The Points Guy (Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Why American Express Platinum: This card is the cream of the crop when it comes to travel perks. My favorite advantage is access to American Express’ coveted Centurion Lounges. Complimentary drinks and food — not to mention refuge from the chaos of the rest of the airport — is always a win in my book. This card earns 5x points on flights and hotels booked through Amex travel or through any airline, and 1x points on every other purchase.

What are the perks?: Access to more than 1,200 airport lounges, including American Express Centurion Lounges, Priority Pass lounges and Delta Sky Clubs, along with Airspace and Escape lounges. You can earn a credit of up to $200 annually to cover airline incidentals like checked bag fees, change fees and inflight purchases, plus up to $200 in Uber credits each year. The card also waives foreign transaction fees (see rates and fees) and provides Gold elite status with both Marriott and Hilton. You’ll also have access to secondary car rental loss and damage insurance, extended warranty protection, return protection and purchase protection.

Earning rates: 5 points per dollar spent for flights and hotels booked through Amex Travel as well as flights booked directly through the airline; 1 point per dollar everywhere else.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months of opening your account. (valued at $1,200 by The Points Guy)

Annual fee: $550 (see rates & fees)

Read our full card review here.

Bottom Line

For trip insurance and points easily redeemed toward travel, get the CSP. If you want to skip the TSA line with PreCheck, get the Capital One Venture. If you want to have an airport experience fit for royalty, the Amex Platinum is your best bet. Whichever card you choose, don’t let the annual fee deter you. Just always remember to pay your bills on time and in full every single month. You’ll be on your way to your dream trip sooner than you think.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, please click here

SPONSORED: Start planning your 2020 adventures with these travel rewards cards!


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


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