5 best credit card airline mile sign-up bonuses

The credit card industry is highly competitive, and there are some great offers out there if you know where to look. For individuals and small businesses that pay their bills on time each month, there's little incentive to shop around for better interest rates. Instead, the real allure is in the sign-up bonus. How many airline miles can you get when switching to a new card? More than enough for a free ticket, it turns out.

Recently, WiseBread rounded up the five best credit card sign-up offers. Here is what they recommend:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus

Singing up for the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus can net you 50,000 points, which is worth as much as $830 in their "Wanna Get Away" program. One of the most compelling aspects of this program is that there are no blank-out conditions; the points can be applied to any seat Southwest sells.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase scores the second position on the list with the Sapphire Preferred, which is also worth 50,000 points, using the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program. This bonus is applicable to miles with United, British Airways and other airline partners, or for a variety of merchandise or cash.

American Express Business Gold Rewards

The American Express Business Gold Rewards program includes a 50,000 point sign-up bonus if you spend $10,000 in the first 5 months -- not difficult if you use the card to pay for regular business or personal expenses. You can also apply the points to merchandise or miles with 15 different airline partners.

British Airways Visa

Chase makes one more appearance on the list with the British Airways Visa, which nets you a 50,000 miles sign-up bonus. If you spend $30,000 in a year with the card, you'll get a companion award certificate that essentially doubles the value of the miles. Moreover, it's worth pointing out that this card lands you 1.25 miles per dollar spent, which is above the average rate for affiliate cards.

American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Select Visa

Lastly, the Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select Visa offers 30,000 miles as a sing-up bonus after spending just $750 in the first four months. If that's not enough, you also get two free Admiral's Club lounge passes.

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