Home > Credit Cards > Happy Cardiversary! Credit Cards That Offer an Annual Bonus

Comments 0 Comments

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

The first rule for most couples is to never fail to commemorate an anniversary. Credit card issuers seem to want to recognize the anniversary of when customers began their relationship with the issuer too. But rather than giving chocolates or sending flowers, banks are offering valuable points, miles and other rewards to their loyal customers. That’s nice of them, but like sending flowers, these bonuses are also meant to offset potential hurt feelings, as that’s the same time of year when customers are billed their annual fee.

So are these credit card anniversary bonuses worth more than the annual fee?

Cards That Offer Anniversary Bonuses

Hyatt Visa Signature Card from Chase. This card offers customers one free night stay at a category 1-4 hotel every year, but cardholders must also pay a $75 annual fee. Nevertheless, a free night at a category 4 hotel such as the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capital Hill or the Andaz West Hollywood can be worth $200-$300.

Club Carlson Premier Rewards Visa Signature Card from U.S. Bank. Club Carlson is the rewards program for Radisson hotels and several other brands. Its credit card offers 40,000 renewal bonus points each year, but there is also a $75 annual fee. Like the Hyatt card, these points can be redeemed for free one-night stays worth several hundred dollars.

Platinum Delta SkyMiles card from American ExpressThis card offers cardholders a domestic economy class companion certificate each year. When used, travelers pay the regular price for one ticket and can add a companion for merely the cost of taxes and government fees. Unfortunately, the certificate is only valid for travel within the 48 contiguous United States, although exceptions are made for residents of Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands who begin their travel from home. The rest of us can forget about a free ticket to Hawaii. There is a annual fee for this card, so the value of this benefit will exceed the cost of an additional ticket in nearly every case. For rates and fees of the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express, please click here:.

Can You Keep It if You Cancel?

Just as some people in relationships may initiate a breakup after accepting a gift, cardholders may wonder if they can wait until after they have received their anniversary bonus to cancel their card. Surprisingly, some card issuers actually permit customers to do this. For example, the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards card from Chase deposits bonus points into cardholders’ accounts when their first statement is issued after their card member anniversary. If cardholders then choose to cancel their accounts before paying the annual fee, the anniversary bonus is still retained. On the other hand, Delta only awards its companion certificate “upon renewal,” which means that it is only given once the annual fee is paid.

By understanding how credit card issuers retain their customers through anniversary bonuses, cardholders might discover that these rewards can be used to help celebrate their own special occasions.

Image: iStockphoto

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team