Credit Cards

The 9 Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Deals

We’ve assembled a list of the best credit card bonuses available today. Some hit $1,250!

Editor's Note

You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone. This content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser, unless otherwise noted below.

Today credit card companies are working hard to gain new members. They do it with Super Bowl commercials, of course. But their real secret selling tool is the bonus deal.

Most rewards cards these days offer excellent sign-on bonus deals. Some credit card users even rotate through cards every few months to take advantage of these savings. If you have excellent credit, this can be a good option. Even if you don’t, though, you could choose a long-term credit card partially based on its bonus rewards.

Listen to our podcast on credit card signup deals and promotions

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

60,000 bonus points–Up to $750 value

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the premier travel credit cards available today. After making $4,000 in purchases during the first three months, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus points. Those points are worth 25% more when you book your travel through Chase, the bonus could be as lucrative as $750.

There are no foreign transaction fees to use the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card but there is a $95 annual fee.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

$300 statement credit

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express currently offers a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months. In addition, you earn up to 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases per year), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit. Cardholders will earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms Apply.

The card also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (the regular APR applies after that). There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 for this card.

Get more details HERE.

Blue Cash EveryDay® Card from American Express

$200 statement credit

The Blue Cash EveryDay® Card from American Express is a no-fee version of the Blue Cash cards. It offers new members up to $200 welcome bonus in the form of a statement credit when you spend $2,000 in the first six months. Earn Cash Back: 3% at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 2% at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores and 1% on all other purchases. Terms Apply.

The card offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then an ongoing APR of 13.99% – 23.99% Variable applies). There is no annual fee.

Get more details on this card HERE.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

60,000 bonus miles–$600 travel value

When you sign up for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, you can earn 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

I’ve used this card for years and have been very happy with the rewards and Capital One customer service. Beyond the bonus, you’ll earn 2 miles for every $1 in purchases charged to the card. Earn 5X miles on hotels and car rentals when booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. And there are no foreign transaction fees.

There is a $95 annual fee.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

$150 cash bonus

The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card offers a $150 cash bonus when you spend $500 on the card in the first three months. Beyond the bonus you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase. And during the first 12 months, you can earn 1.8% cash back when you pay with qualified digital wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™.

The card also offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. There is no annual fee.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

$200 cash bonus

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months from account opening. In addition, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There are no rotating categories to worry about.

The card also offers a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (the regular APR will apply after that). There is a 0% annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

125,000 bonus points

This is a card I signed up for just last year because my family routinely stays at a Holiday Inn Express a couple of times a year. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card offers 125,000 bonus points + a Free Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Every anniversary, you can enjoy a free night’s stay at over 5,000 locations. 25 points are earned per dollar spent at IHG hotels which is a massive haul.

Earn two points per dollar spent are earned at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants, and single points per dollar spent are earned elsewhere.

Every cardholder automatically gets bumped to Platinum Elite status. The IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card has an $89 annual fee that’s waived for all year one cardmembers.

The Platinum card® from American Express

100,000 points

The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 in purchases in the first six months. Beyond the bonus, the card offers a wealth of additional rewards. Earn 5x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.

You’ll also earn 5X Membership Rewards points on eligible prepaid hotels booked through American Express. Amex also provides 10x Membership Rewards points on eligible purchases at within the first 6 months of card membership at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S. (up to $25,000 in combined purchases). Terms Apply.

The annual fee for this card is $695.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on purchases (up to $20,000 in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!

Chase launched a new cash back credit card a few years ago and called it the Chase Freedom Unlimited. You’ll earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. Another big benefit is that it includes a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. After the intro rate expires, the ongoing APR becomes 14.99% - 24.74% variable.

There is no annual fee to own the Chase Freedom Unlimited and all purchases earn a flat cash back rate of 1.5%.

Most Offer Other Benefits

Virtually every card on this list offers significant benefits beyond bonus points or miles. Travel rewards, in particular, can be generous, depending on your typical spending patterns. Many of the cards also offer a zero interest transfer deal that can run anywhere from 12 to 18 months.

In researching the cards on this list, I was able to identify at least three recurring provisions that you need to be aware of:

Some “Gotcha” Provisions to Watch Out For

In researching the cards on this list, I was able to identify at least three recurring provisions that you need to be aware of:

  • Almost all require you to spend money in order to get the bonus – This can vary from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on the card. It may not matter much since you will likely use your card for general spending anyway. But the more generous bonuses generally come from the cards that have higher spending requirements. You’ll have to be careful that you aren’t persuaded by the spending requirements to buy items that you wouldn’t normally buy in order to meet the restriction. This can be a problem if you don’t normally shop with a credit card.
  • APRs are high – The zero interest rate period is certainly attractive, but it will come to an end eventually. When it does, there are interest rates ranging from the low teens to the low 20s awaiting you.
  • The offers are credit sensitive – Once again if you read the fine print, you will see that the bonus offers will depend on your creditworthiness. If your credit falls below certain criteria, you may not get the bonus offer being promoted – or any of the other perks.

FAQ

How do rewards credit cards work?

Credit card rewards are tied to how much you spend using a credit card. The more you spend, the more rewards you’ll earn.

Sign-up bonuses usually have a limit. A card may provide a $500 sign-up bonus after you spend, say, $3,000 within three months of opening the card account. Once you reach that spending limit, no more signup bonus rewards will be issued.

But with cash back rewards and points, you’ll continue to earn those rewards once you’ve met the criteria for the sign-up bonus (or even if you don’t). Some cards offer a flat rewards structure based on either all purchase activity or only in certain categories. Others may offer a tiered structure, where they’ll pay more rewards for certain purchase categories than for others.

You should also be aware that sign-up bonuses and rewards apply only to purchases. They don’t apply to balance transfers, cash advances, travelers checks and certain other restricted transactions.

What can I do with credit card rewards?

It all depends on how the rewards are structured with the issuing card. You’ll typically be able to redeem your rewards as a statement credit (applied to your outstanding balance), or applied toward certain purchases, like travel.

But some rewards arrangements also allow you to receive cash. For example, if you accumulate $50 in cash back rewards, you can opt to have the funds transferred to a linked bank account, or even have a check mailed to your home.

Is cash back better than rewards points?

In most cases, cash back and rewards points work out to be about the same. That’s because both are based on percentages. The main difference is that cash back is usually expressed as a percentage, like 2% of purchases, while points are based on earning a certain number for every dollar spent.

However, this is actually another type of percentage rewards basis. If you earn two points for every dollar spent, that’s the equivalent of 2% rewards. And you can often redeem rewards points in much the same way you can cash back.

How do I know if a rewards card will be the right choice for me?

The major factor to be aware of is your spending level. Or more specifically, how much of your spending activity is done using credit cards.

Whether you spend a lot or a little using credit cards, rewards will still work in your favor. But the more you spend, the more you’ll earn.

For example, if you have a rewards card offering 2% cash back (or points), and you spend $10,000 during the course of the year, you’ll earn $200 in rewards. But if you spend $100,000, you can earn $2,000.

How can I maximize the benefit of credit card sign-up bonuses, and rewards?

First, plan to pay off your entire credit card balance each and every month, and in full. That’ll avoid interest charges, making your bonuses and rewards a pure positive return.

Second, be sure to match rewards tiers with your spending. If one credit card offers 2% rewards across the board, and another offers 5% cash back for groceries, the second card should be used for all grocery purchases.

Third, make sure the sign-up bonus and rewards will easily exceed the annual fee. For example, if the card charges a $95 annual fee, you’ll need to spend at least $4,750 per year just to recover the cost of the annual fee.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to exceed that spending threshold, you’ll be better off choosing a card with a big sign on bonus, a 0% introductory APR, or some other benefit that will offset the cost of the annual fee.

The Bottom Line

One of the beautiful things about competition, especially when businesses vie for consumers is that everybody wins. Businesses end up getting what they want (which they may end up paying more for) and consumers can shop around for the best good or service that suits their needs. No one entity controls the market and in the end, the best business will usually prevail.

When looking at the full list of credit card deals above, it's easy to see just how profitable a few applications can be. All you need is the excellent credit these cards require, and you can walk away with thousands of dollars in savings.

* See the online credit card application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty.

Rob Berger

Rob Berger

Rob Berger is the founder of Dough Roller and the Dough Roller Money Podcast. A former securities law attorney and Forbes deputy editor, Rob is the author of the book Retire Before Mom and Dad. He educates independent investors on his YouTube channel and at RobBerger.com.


Recommended Stories