If you have an excellent credit score and a willingness to spend freely, you are a prime target for reward-card issuers offering generous bounties of bonus points. You might want to take one up on its offer if you pay off your credit cards every month.
Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature (www.bankofamerica.com) charges a $75 annual fee, but in return new cardholders receive 25,000 miles, enough for a free flight anywhere Alaska Airlines flies. You earn three miles per dollar spent on flights and one mile on everything else; to qualify for another Alaska Airlines flight, figure on spending about $2,000 a month for a year on everyday purchases. You can also use points for flights on 15 partner airlines.
Sign up for the no-fee PenFed Platinum Rewards card (www.penfed.org) and you’ll receive 5,000 points after your first purchase and another 20,000 points, which are worth $200 in rewards, if you spend $1,000 in the first three months. Use your points for merchandise, travel, gift cards or prepaid Visa cards. A round-trip flight from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles recently required about 40,000 points. You earn five points per dollar spent on gas, three points on groceries and one point on all other spending.
With the no-fee Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature card (www.citibank.com), you get 40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 within four months. You can use points at any of the ten Hilton-brand hotels, or you can exchange them for miles with participating airline partners. You earn six points for each dollar spent at hotels; three points for supermarket, gas-station and drugstore purchases; and two points for everything else.