American Express has a new card called the Premier Rewards Gold Card, which offers these primary perks:
* Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months of Card membership. MR points are very versatile, and can be converted to 15,000 frequent flier miles in a number of programs (or 10 Southwest credits), or you can simply get $150 in gift cards at several stores like Home Depot, Crate & Barrel, or Macy’s. I think you can also get cash equivalents at a reduced ratio.
* Offers 3X points on airfare, 2X points on gas and groceries, and 1X points on everything else.
* Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you spend $30,000 per calendar year.
* No annual fee for your first year. After that it is $175.
There are two ways to maximize this offer. The easy way is to simply sign-up, grab the 15,000 MR points bonus, and then cancel anytime within the first year, that’s a quick $150+ bonus which is rare these days.
The only other scenario is that you are a big spender and purchase a lot of airfare, because triple MR points is pretty rare and you’ll have to reach that $30,000 spending target to offset the $175 annual fee after the first year.