After all, it’s free money on some level.
To take advantage of the best credit card signup bonus offers, you need to have very good credit and the ability to meet a card’s minimum spend requirement within the defined time period—usually within three months of opening the account.
And if you’re going to be spending all that money anyhow on holiday presents, it’s can really be a win-win.
Overview: Best credit card sign-up bonus intro offers
|Credit Card||Best For|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Travel Rewards for Excellent Credit|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||Premium Travelers|
|Discover it® Cash Back||General Best Cash Back|
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Frequent Diners|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Grocery Store Purchases|
|Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card||Low Spending Requirement|
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card||Bank of America Customers|
|Capital One® Spark® Cash For Business||Small Business Owners|
Best travel sign-up bonus for excellent credit
What we like:
A monster of an up-front bonus. 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months
2x points per dollar spent on all travel and dining at restaurants, worldwide
Points are worth 25% more when you redeem travel through Chase Unlimited Rewards
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Points are also redeemable at face value (1:1) at certain airline and hotel and loyalty programs. After that, the Sapphire Preferred card lets you earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
One final point to note: the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has a $95 annual fee.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card will give you a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles—worth up to $500 in free travel—if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of approval. On top of that, you’ll earn unlimited 2x miles per dollar spent on every purchase, every day. Miles are redeemable for flights on any airline or stays at any hotel.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card’s annual fee is as follows: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has been one of our top picks for international travel for years thanks to no foreign transaction fees and worldwide acceptance.
Best general cash back
Discover it® Cash Back
The Discover it® Cash Back offers one of the most generous and therefore enticing cash back rewards programs in the credit card industry. With the Cashback Match, Discover it® Cash Back will automatically match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year you open up your new Discover it® Cash Back card.
That’s correct – there’s no limit to the amount that they’ll match. And bonus – you don’t even need to sign up for this.
Practically this means if you turn $400 in cash back into $800, or $1000 to $2000. You can’t quite beat that!
You’ll also get 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories with a max spend of $1,500 per quarter.
In 2020, the 5% Cash back bonus quarterly categories are:
- January to March: Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS (excludes Walmart and Target)
- April to June: Gas stations, Uber, Lyft and Wholesale Clubs
- July to September: Restaurants and PayPal
- October to December: Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com
*You must activate each quarter to take advantage of the 5% cash back categories.
Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Best credit card sign-up bonus offer for dining and entertainment
Capital One® Savor® Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a fine diner’s dream. It offers a $300 sign-up bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
Plus, it offers an incredible 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases! Customers also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases. On top of that, when swiping your card to purchase sports, concert and theater tickets through Vivid Seats, you can get a whopping 8% cash back!
The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card’s annual fee is a $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
Best credit card sign-up bonus offer with low spending requirement
What we like:
Earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.
5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year and an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; then a variable APR of 14.99% – 23.74%
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
- No annual fee
- No minimum to redeem for cash back
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers an excellent sign-up bonus of $200 after you spend just $500 within the first three months of having the card — and there’s NO annual fee. That’s like getting a 40% return on investment. On top of the great sign up bonus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is offering a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; the APR rate ranges between 14.99 - 23.74% Variable.
Where this card REALLY shines, though is the cash back rate.
First, You’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases (so no need to mess with rotating categories), but what’s even better is you can now earn 5% cash back on groceries up to $12,000 (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) in the first year. And if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, those points can be worth 25% or 50% more respectively.
That could mean up to 7.5% cash back at the grocery store.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card
Disclaimer – The information about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card has been collected independently by fzcjhy.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card is one of the best all-around cash back credit cards on the market, and the cherry on top is that it provides an easy way to snag $150. Just spend $500 in the first three months to earn a $150 cash rewards bonus.
With this no annual fee card, you will earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on virtually every purchase (you don’t have to worry about complicated rotating categories). You’ll also get 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during your first 12 months from account opening.
One of the most unique perks is an up-to $600 insurance protection on your cell phone against theft or damage (subject to a $25 deductible) if you pay your cell phone bill with the card.
Best credit card sign-up bonus offer for Bank of America customers
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
The no annual fee Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card is the perfect choice if you don’t want an annual fee and want a lower spend requirement. This card will award you with 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days from approval. That’s worth $250 as a statement credit toward any travel purchases, making this sign up bonus one of the best you can get from a card with $0 annual fee.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card pays unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases which you can redeem for travel anytime without blackout dates or restrictions.
Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business
The Capital One Spark Cash For Business has one of the biggest pure-cash sign-up bonus of $500.
If you’re self-employed or own a small business, you could snag a $500 cash bonus. You’ll earn $500 after you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first three months.
You’ll also earn an unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, every day. Rewards don’t expire. The annual fee is: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.
Summary of the best sign-up bonus credit cards
|Credit Card||Sign-up Bonus Value||Spend Required||Annual Fee|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||50,000 Miles; worth $500 (Travel)||$3,000 within 3 mos.||$0 intro for first year; $95 after that|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||$750 (Travel)||$4,000 within 3 mos.||$95|
|Discover it Cash Back||There is no limit to the amount Discover will match||Discover matches all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.||$0|
|Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card||$300 (Cash)||$3,000 within 3 mos.||$0 intro for first year; $95 after that|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$200||$500||$0|
|Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card||$150 (Cash)||$500 within 3 mos.||$0|
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card||$250 (Travel)||$1,000 within 3 mos.||$0|
|Capital One Spark Cash For Business||$500 (Cash)||$4,500 in the first three months.||$0 intro for first year; $95 after that|
How we came up with our list of best sign-up bonus credit cards
We took several factors into consideration when determining the best sign-up bonus credit cards for this year.
The quality of a sign-up bonus depends on how much you can get out of the credit card. Benefits vary from cash back, bonus points, airline miles, bonus match, statement credits, and more, and each of these perks gave points to the credit cards that offered them.
Additionally, we took other factors into consideration such as interest rates, overall fees, flexibility of use, terms and policies, and reward program details like earn rates and redemption policies. We’ll dig deep into each of these categories later. And without further ado, here are the best sign-up bonus credit cards currently on the market.
How to calculate the value of a sign-up bonus
After analyzing the various offers from the many sign-up bonus credit cards available, the real question becomes how to determine whether or not the sign-up bonus is worthwhile for you.
In fact, you can do the math pretty simply by calculating how much you generally spend per month/year and factoring in the various bonuses.
Of course, the various benefits received can get a little tricky to quantify. For example, you can’t put a dollar amount on the convenience of having express check-in or the comfort of upgrading your hotel room to a suite.
In general, you can determine how valuable a sign-up bonus is by asking yourself these questions before you sign up:
How much are you required to spend before the sign-up bonus is activated?
If the required amount is within the range that you generally spend each month anyway then you’re essentially getting a free sign-up bonus. All you’ll need to do is transfer your monthly bills onto the card.
On the other hand, the minimum spend requirement for the card is significantly more than the amount you normally spend then the sign-up bonus card might not be right for you.
Do you have good enough credit to get approval for a sign-up bonus card?
To take advantage of the best credit card sign-up bonuses, you need to have very good credit. Remember, each time you apply for a new credit card, the issuer will make a hard pull on your credit score, which will cause it to dip. You want to make sure you’re being approved for whichever card you’re applying for so that you don’t cause this dip more than once.
Sign-up bonus credit cards are some of the best on the market, and the ones on our list therefore require credit scores of 700 or higher. If you don’t know your score, check out our free credit score estimator tool. If your score is lower, there are plenty of other great cards on the market for you—take a look at this list and find the right card for you:
What is the bonus offering and is this something you can take advantage of?
What is the actual bonus? Are you getting airline miles, cash back, or bonus points? Make sure the offer is something that appeals to you.
For example, if you’re looking at a card that offers a big package of travel rewards but you’re a bit of a app德扑圈官方网址homebody, that card might not be the right one for you.
What fees will you need to pay?
When making your calculations, be sure to include whatever fees come along with the credit card. For example, if you earn a $150 cash bonus but have to pay a $99 annual fee then you’re really only earning $51 as a cash bonus. This seriously reduces the value of the sign-up bonus.
Look at fees like annual, foreign transaction, and late payment fees before signing up. It’s also a good idea to review the APR offered. If your interest payments are exceedingly higher than on other cards, the sign-up bonus might not be worth your while.
That said, at Money Under 30 we always recommend paying off your balance in full and on time, and if you’re responsibly following our advice then even a high APR won’t matter much because you won’t ever be paying it!
Which categories count towards your spending?
This is a common pitfall for credit cardholders, who don’t realize that they’re spending out side the rotating categories. You can earn a tremendous 60,000 bonus points as a sign-up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. You’ll also earn 2x points for your spending. However, that 2x points offer only applies to travel and restaurant purchases. If you don’t eat out or travel, then you won’t be able to maximize value for this card.
More importantly, many cards have specific areas or categories where your spending will count towards the spend requirement. If you don’t spend money in these categories, your purchases won’t contribute to the minimum spend requirement and you won’t reach your limit in order to activate the sign-up bonus.
This is possibly the biggest issue people run into when signing up for a bonus card, so pay attention to spend requirements.
Top features of a sign-up bonus
Now that you know how lucrative sign-up bonus credit cards can be, it’s time to learn how to determine which ones are worth your application. There are hundreds of credit cards out there and they all claim to have to best offer for you. So, how do you know what to watch out for? Here are the most important features when shopping around for the best sign-up bonus credit cards:
Obviously, this is the most important aspect of a sign-up bonus card. Without a good sign-up offer, it might be a lucrative card, but it won’t fall into this category.
This is likely the most appealing benefit for cardholders. You just can’t beat getting cash back. With this bonus, you can use your rewards in any way that you want, and you receive the cash back by using your card for expenses that you have anyway, so it’s really like free money.
Often, travel credit cards will offer you a sign-up bonus in the form of travel rewards. For example, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers a whopping 50,000 miles when you sign up and spend $3,000 within the first three months.
If you travel a lot this can be a lucrative offer. If you don’t travel a lot, you’re probably better off looking for another type of credit card in the first place since these cards are geared towards travel spenders.
However, if you want a free flight or an upgraded ticket, this kind of sign-up bonus/travel credit card can be really useful.
Other travel perks
As mentioned, great travel credit cards come with great travel rewards. For those who travel frequently, these types of rewards are a godsend, and a sign-up bonus credit card that bundles travel rewards into its package is truly top notch.
Some of the best travel rewards include no foreign transaction fee, extra earn rates for travel purchases, upgrades on hotels, flights, or car rentals, auto and luggage insurance, emergency assistance, trip interruption or cancellation insurance, VIP airport lounge access, and more.
How much interest you pay on your credit card balance is a major consideration for most people. A high APR can totally cancel out any savings or bonuses you receive, even a hefty sign-up bonus.
Of course, you can negate this factor altogether by paying off your balance in full each month. This is the most responsible way to spend, but if it’s not financially feasible for you, only consider credit cards with competitive APRs.
Annual fees vary dramatically in this category. You can find cards charging anywhere from $0 to $450. Sometimes, the annual fee is a reflection of what you are getting from the credit card, but not always.
FAQ on sign-up bonus credit cards
Should you get a sign-up bonus credit card?
The best sign-up bonus credit cards are really the cream of the crop of the entire credit card industry. The right cards offer the most benefits, the biggest bonuses, and terms that are both reasonable and manageable.
So in a word, if your credit scores allows you access to this category, you should definitely consider applying for one of these cards. Just be sure to read the terms, understand what you are signing up for, and calculate the value of the offer before you jump in.