Credit card offers are often the single most lucrative way to rack up large amounts of miles very quickly. The credit card issuers are in a fierce battle for premium customers, and give very generous signup bonuses. Now, a couple of quick words about your credit. You're going to need a reasonable credit score to get premium cards. And you do need to think about your credit score, ingy often says 'your credit is one of your most important assets.' So it's worth understanding how credit card signups affect your credit * Each consumer-initiated request for credit will slightly ding your score, for a limited period of time. It may be a 2-4 point hit to your score in most cases, though this varies. The credit bureaus think that if you're applying for credit, you might well NEED it and you might USE it and this might affect your ability to pay off other creditors. * The affect on your credit lasts no more than two years, and is largest the closest in time you are to the applications. * Long-term though, more available credit that you do not use helps your score, it pushes down your utilization percentage (if you have more credit that sits unused you show how responsible you are with credit!). * There's no real benefit to a perfect score, once you hit 760 FICO or so the incremental benefit to higher scores really just isn't there. Still, I don't churn credit cards when I'm about to go for a mortgage. Otherwise I personally don't worry so much. I've been signing up for bonuses for years, and I have really great credit. Of course I also consider cancelling cards before the fee comes due, unless also the card issuer wants to give me a bonus for keeping it! Oddly enough I've kept my annual fee United Visa even though I rarely use it. It happens to be the single oldest credit card I have, and that's useful for my credit score. Plus I keep it for nostalgia. But I wanted to point out some of the best current credit card offers out there. 1. American Airlines cards from Citibank. www.travel2.citicards.com has 3 cards on offer. The offer is 75k miles for $4k in spend within 6 months, no fee the first year. Get a personal card and a small business card (sometimes they will come back and ask you to verify business address but not usually, lots of folks call themselves 'their name and associates'). That's 150k miles. Have a spouse or significant other? Have them do it to! Now you each have 150k miles... then consider flying Cathay Pacific first class from North America to South Asia together. 2. Chase is offering 50,000 miles for a new Continental Mastercard. http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/content/products/chase/continental.aspx?&offer=OPP50 You used to be able to get bonuses for Chase cards over and over, like every 60 days, now each card is (usually) once in a lifetime. If you haven't had the Continental card yet, now is a great time to get it. The Continental program is going away, so odds on you aren't giving up a better offer later. And the miles will get folded into Mileage Plus later this year. Register for the Continental Mile-a-thon offer before applying for the card and by February 28 (http://www.continental.com/web/en-US/apps/onepass/promotions/mileathon/login.aspx) and signing up for the card earns credit for that offer and even more bonus points. I actually like the card because holding it means you will earn double miles for online shopping through the Continental mileage mall. I love FTD via the shopping portal, instead of 25 miles per dollar on flowers I've been earning 50 miles per dollar.. 3. The British Airways Visa from Chase offers 50,000 miles at signup, though there's a $75 annual fee not waived. http://www.britishairways.com/travel/creditcards/public/en_us .. the thing to know here is that it's a great offer, of course not as good as the 100,000 mile signup bonus from a year ago. I love BA miles, especially for Cathay Pacific business and first class and for South America business class awards (only 80k from San Francisco to Easter Island on LAN with free stopovers in each direction!). But they do add fuel surcharges to awards, and combined with high UK taxes a premium cabin redemption to London and back can cost you out of pocket US$700 or so per person. The card itself is interesting, no foreign currency transaction fees and 1.25 miles per dollar, plus a free companion award ticket for spending $30k on the card in a year (valid on BA metal only, and both passengers pay the full taxes/fees). So, what do I have in MY wallet? Starwood American Express, still my go-to card for most spend, even after all these years. Diners Club, primarily for renting cars due to the primary collision coverage, I can play adult bumper cars. American Express Platinum, for very high volume spend (and I do like my Membership Rewards points for their near-instant transfer ot many mileage programs) plus lounge access. Hilton Surpass American Express, because $40k in spend gets me Diamond status and I rack up tons of reimbursable business expense.. plus since I'll put conferences on the card, and Hilton spend earns 9 points per dollar. United Visa and Continental Mastercard, as mentioned above. I've got other cards too, and business cards for various business entities I help to manage. But these are some of the key every day cards. And of course a card with no foreign currency transaction fees (like the BA Visa or Hyatt Visa) are absolutely key for heavy international travelers.... So as they say, what's in your wallet???