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Is a 100,000-point sign-up bonus worth it?

Consider point value and redemption options before jumping at a flashy offer

Summary

Though it sounds generous, a 100,000-point bonus might not be worth as much as it seems.

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When the Chase Sapphire Reserve card debuted a few years ago with a 100,000-point introductory offer, it caught a lot of attention. This was an incredibly generous bonus, even if it was only available for the first few months the card was open for applications (this offer is no longer available).

Since the limited-time offer on the Sapphire Reserve, many other cards have followed suit – offering an inflated sign-up bonus with a card launch (or relaunch). Cards regularly offer promotions advertising welcome offers up to 100,000 points and higher.

Now, even more of these offers are available. But are they actually worth it? Point values can shift drastically by rewards program, so they might not be quite as valuable as they seem.

Which cards are currently offering 100,000-point introductory bonuses?

The following credit cards all include welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or more.

CardIntroductory offer
Chase Ink Business Preferred card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

100,000 points if you spend $15,000 in first 3 months
The Platinum Card from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

100,000 points if you spend $6,000 in first 6 months
Hilton Honors American Express Ascend

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

130,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months of card membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.
American Express Aspire

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card*

150,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Hilton Honors Business

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

130,000 points if you spend $2,000 in first 3 months of card membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 points after you spend a total of $10,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.
IHG Rewards Premier

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

125,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
Capital One Venture X

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

100,000 bonus miles when you spend $10,000 in first 6 months

Point value of current introductory bonuses

Unfortunately, not all 100,000-point sign-up bonuses are created equal. Point values can vary drastically by rewards program, affecting just how far your introductory offer will stretch. Like many hotel rewards programs, Hilton Honors’ points are inflated, meaning none of the bonuses are quite as valuable as they sound.

On the flip side, Chase Ultimate Rewards have a high value, meaning you can actually get a lot out of your bonus – if you can meet the higher spend threshold.

Here’s our estimated value of current bonuses based on our valuations of rewards program points.

Rewards programPoint value (cents)Approximate value of current introductory bonuses
Hilton Honors0.5
  • $650 for 130,000-point intro bonus
  • $750 for 150,000-point intro bonus
IHG Rewards Club0.55$688
Chase Ultimate Rewards1.25 (When redeemed for travel in UR portal with the Ink Preferred cards)$1,250
Capital One rewards1Up to $1,000

In the case of the Hilton Honors and IHG cards, the seemingly generous bonuses aren’t worth more than other cards’ less eye-catching offers.

CardIntroductory offerEstimated value of introductory offer
Chase Sapphire Reserve50,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months$750 in travel through Chase

Since this card gets up to 1.5 cents per point of value, a smaller-sounding bonus is actually worth a similar amount. If the Reserve has a rewards rate that better suits your spending patterns, you actually might be better off bypassing a 100,000-point bonus for a card with a better point value.

Redemption options for a 100,000-point introductory bonus

Before jumping at a 100,000-point introductory offer, you should also consider point flexibility. Points might be harder to redeem or even worth much less when redeemed for certain options. If using points is harder than earning them, a 100,000-point bonus might not be worth it.

Hilton Honors redemption options

Redemption optionPoint value (cents)
Average standard room reward0.5
Average premium room reward0.3
Points & Money0.5
Car rentals0.2
Cruise certificate0.2
On-property rewards0.2
Amazon merchandise0.2
Donations (PointWorth.com)0.25

As you can see, Hilton Honors does not have a good cash redemption option. However, frequent travelers who often stay at Hilton hotels will enjoy simple free night redemptions.

IHG Rewards Club redemption options

Redemption optionPoint value (cents)
Reward nights0.55
Gift cards0.25
Merchandise/digital downloads0.25
Flights (through IHG travel portal)0.3
Non-IHG hotels (through IHG travel portal)0.23

IHG points are slightly more valuable than Hilton Honors points when redeemed for reward stays, but the program offers less redemption variety.

Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption options

Redemption optionPoint value (cents)
Ultimate Rewards portal travel1.25
All other travel1
Statement credit1
Gift cards1
Amazon.com purchases0.8

The Ink Business Preferred offers a 25% higher point value when you redeem your reward for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, so that is the best way to stretch the introductory bonus.

Capital One Miles redemption options

Redemption optionPoint value (cents)
Travel purchased in Capital One Travel Center1
All other travel purchases1
Statement credit0.5
Gift cards0.8-1
Amazon.com purchases0.8

Capital One miles are incredibly flexible, allowing cardholders to redeem their rewards for any travel purchase without sacrificing value. This is a big plus for deal hunters who like to scope out third-party booking sites for the best rates. Plus, you can also transfer Capital One miles to more than 15 transfer partners.

Marriott redemption options

Redemption optionPoint value (cents)
Standard rooms0.8
Upgraded rooms0.7
Cash + Points0.6
Point transfersVaries by the airline you use
Travel packagesVaries by the airline you use
Instant redemption0.2
Cruises0.4
Car rentals0.4
Marriott MomentsVaries
Merchandise0.4
Donation0.3

The best use of Marriott points is redeeming them for standard and upgraded rooms – that’s where your Marriott rewards will have the most value. While there are plenty of other redemption options, your points will lose a lot of value if you decide to take advantage of them.

Currently, Marriott isn’t offering any welcome bonuses of 100,000 points or higher. However, the rewards program updates its sign-up bonus offers frequently, so if you stay at Marriott hotels often, it’s a good idea to check back every once in a while.

Who is eligible to earn these sign-up bonuses?

Introductory offers are often only available to certain applicants, so make sure you qualify for the bonus before you apply for the card. For example, all of the offers mentioned in this article are restricted to new cardholders.

Should you sign up for a 100,000-point bonus offer?

If you frequent Hilton hotels, now is the best time to sign up for one of their co-branded cards. These offers are only available for a limited time and provide great value for frequent travelers. Just make sure the card makes sense for your spending habits in the long-term, beyond the flashy introductory bonus.

See related: Hilton Honors guide: The best ways to earn and use Hilton Honors points

The sign-up bonus offer on the new Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is also rather appealing, especially considering how flexible Capital One redemptions are. However, the spend requirement can be steep for many cardholders.

As other 100,000-point or higher bonuses pop up in the future, be sure to consider the true value of the offer. While 100,000 points might sound like a lot, the rewards program’s point value and redemption options can significantly impact the overall value. If another card with a smaller bonus has a better reward rate, point value and redemption flexibility, it might be a better choice.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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