30 Jan AYP List of Top Credit Cards January 2017

A new year and a new you! Welcome to the year 2017! We are almost out of January and I hope that 2017 has brought you a slew of good fortune thus far!

January is the time for resolutions. Each of us should set out to do something different, or better this year – like travel more to new places! Sound great on paper… but how exactly do we plan to achieve that!?

January Top Cards

Credit cards! With AYP January Top Cards to be exact! There are some top notch cards in here, some with hefty annual fees – but you are completing resolutions here and achieving travel bliss for heavens sake!

Our goal here with Top Cards is to list out the best offers of the month based on our research – so then you can apply for one or two of these sweet offers and be on your way to [enter destination of your choice] for CHEAP using credit card points and miles!

If you are new to the credit card game, it may be wise to warm up with the AYP Starter Guide before jumping straight in. Everyone else, it’s game time.

Note: Within this post I have included various referral links – some links are my own and some links are from friends of mine – and, as a result, either I or another will receive a referral bonus upon your application and approval. I receive no other commission so thank you in advance for your support of AYP by using these links!

Have a referral link yourself? Email me at derek@accountingyourpoints.com and I will mix your link into my posts to share the bonus points! Seriously! Send me your link and I will post it on the blog and offer it to others who ask!

The AYP Top Card List:

Ain't she beautiful!?

Ain’t she beautiful!?

(1) The Chase Sapphire Reserve 

This is THE CARD to get right now!

At first I was not sure how Chase was able to offer a card that offers so much more value than any other credit card available – but then I realized that Chase was promoting this product at a loss, to the tune of about $300 MILLION! Granted, Chase will likely recoup these costs over the product lifecycle… but $300 million!? Yikes!

It makes perfect sense why Chase recently slashed the 100,000 Ultimate Rewards bonus in half – but lucky for you this MONSTER sign-up is still available in-branch though March 11th!

Here is a rundown of the card benefits:

  • IN-BRANCH ONLY – Sign-up bonus of 100,000 Chase Ultimate rewards after $4,000 spending after 3 months! (Seriously people… 100,000 points! That is HUGE! I honestly cannot believe that they are offering a point sign-up bonus this good…)
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit automatically applied to your account – includes airfare, hotel stays and more!
  • Lounge Access – Priority Pass Select (includes guest privileges)
  • $100 Global Entry (or TSA Pre-Check) Fee Credit
  • A $450 Annual Fee (Not Waived), $75 for Authorized Users
  • Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards for a 50% bonus (compared to 25% with the Sapphire Preferred) through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal
  • 1:1 Point Transfer to Chase Transfer Partners
  • 3x Earning on Dining & Travel Expenditures
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Visa Infinite

My advice? Get this card.

“But Derek, the annual fee is $450!?”

Correct – and it is worth it! I assure you.

A word of caution – the Chase 5/24 Rule has been confirmed and the language is present within the card application. For those over 5/24, it was possible to bypass via an in-branch pre-approved offer, though that is no longer the case, and anyone over 5/24 seems to be outta luck here…


(2) Chase Sapphire Preferred (Chase) 

Even though I am advising people to apply for the CSR and downgrade the CSP – I remain a part of the CSP fan faithful! There are 2 types of people that I would recommend the CSP to – 1) Those who are new to the credit cards and travel rewards game, and 2) Those that just cannot stomach the high (but totally justifiable) annual fee for my #1 Top Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve.

If you are one of those two – then focus your attention to a former AYP #1 Top Card…

The CSP is the best second best card on the market and will provide you a solid rewards earning base, which can then be supplemented with other card applications and bonuses. The current offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred remains at its highest in almost 5 years and will earn you 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, with an additional 5,000 bonus points awarded after adding an authorized user.

The current bonus has been available for some time now and I have not heard of any changes coming in the near future, but remember – offers can change at any point in time… If this card is not in your wallet then check out why you NEED the Chase Sapphire Preferred! The card comes with $0 fee the first year, then $95 annually.

Own a business? It might also be worth applying for the New Chase Ink Business Preferred card for 80k points through this link – note the $5,000 minimum spending in 3 months!

STOP RIGHT HERE! If you are reading this and do not have one of the AYP Top 2 then you are going about the points game all wrong! If you are without a Sapphire card, circle back up and reconsider applying!

For those that are Chase Sapphire equipped, let’s keep it moving!


(3) Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier & Plus Visa (Chase) –

I LUV Southwest – no frills, free bags, just right! The current sign-up bonus on the Premier Card treks on at an increased 50,000 Rapid Rewards Points – which equates to about $700-$800 in Southwest flights – upon spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.

This card is a great pickup if you are focused on BOGO Southwest flights with the Companion Pass!  Your quest for 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year will seem much easier with that nice 50k boost! Though the annual fee is $99 (not waived the first year), the card provides great upfront value, as well as a 6,000 Rapid Reward Point annual card member bonus (earned following payment of the 2nd year annual fee). Although we typically see this bonus a couple times a year, I suggest taking advantage of it now, just in case history stops repeating itself.

Own a business? Go for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Business card and for another 60k Rapid Rewards points to bring you even closer to the Companion Pass threshold!

Delta Plane

 (4) An AYP Special! Through 2/1/17!

While the public offers for the Delta Cards by American Express are expired, I just happen to have some personal referral links for the increased offers! However, according to my Amex Refer-a-friend links, you are able to apply and earn the bonus even longer – through February 1, 2017!

Delta Cards by American Express –

American Express is back with some increased credit card sign-up bonuses on the Delta Gold from American Express and the Delta Platinum from American Express (and the Business Gold… sorry I don’t have the Business Platinum Delta card) and they are absolutely worth your application consideration!

The Delta Gold from American Express and the the Delta Platinum from American Express are offering increased bonuses of 50,000 Skymiles + $50 and 70,000 Skymiles (and 10,000 MQMs) + $100, after $2,000 spending in the first 3 months on each! These offers are perfect if you are able to leverage Delta’s lower redemption rates – like I did with my 60,000 Skymiles redemption for two one-way tickets to Paris this past Valentine’s Day! In addition to the Skymiles and statement credit, as a cardholder you will enjoy free checked bags, no foreign transactions fees, and since this is an American Express credit card, you will gain access to the valuable Amex Offers program. The cards come with a $95 Annual Fee (waived the first year) for the Delta Gold and a $195 Annual Fee (NOT waived the first year) for the Delta Platinum.

Amex Platinum

 (5) American Express Platinum –

The American Express Platinum Charge Card comes with a nice sign-up bonus of 40,000 Membership Rewards points after $3k spending in the first 3 months along with a long list of travel perks and benefits, but with a $450 annual fee, it is not for everyone! While $450 is a lot of money to spend to be a credit card holder, IT IS POSSIBLE to justify this fee if you can maximize the cards sign-up bonus and benefits:


(6) Still thirsty for more!?

Check out (1) the Barclaycard Arrival Plus for over $500 in free travel! I applied just a month ago and took care of a round-trip flight London to Tampa on British Airways! And (2) the Merrill+ Visa Signature Card for up to $1,000 in free flights! I just picked up this card last week after reading about it on Doctor of Credit and it seems like a no brainer!

Very interested to see how this little guy works out...

Very interested to see how this little guy works out…

Final Thought

2017… we made it! Do you have resolved to travel this year? Then now is the time to act! Make 2017 the year you achieve your travel dreams.

You CAN travel the world and you can do it for FREE or cheap! The offers above will take you where you want to go, you just have to let them!

Keep in mind that all of the offers above are “public offers” and are available to all applicants. There are often higher, more exclusive, offers out there (check your email and mailbox). So, if you are targeted for these higher offers, apply for your targeted offer rather than through the links above!

Did I miss one of your favorite current card offerings? Comment below or email me at derek@accountingyourpoints.com

Happy Travels!



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