Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offers (2020) - Snag $500 And More
How do travel hackers fly around the world for almost nothing? Credit card sign-up bonuses. Get up to $750 in cash with the following competitive offers.

With the new year here, and the start of the new decade, this is exactly the right time to consider whether you want to get a new credit card and take advantage of a sweet sign-up bonus.

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 CardBest For
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardTravel Rewards for Excellent Credit
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardPremium Travelers
Discover it® Cash Back General Best Cash Back
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit CardFrequent Diners
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Everyday Purchases
Chase Freedom Flex℠Low Spending Requirement
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit CardBank of America Customers
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit CardSmall business owners
Ink Business Cash® Credit CardOffice supplies and internet

Best travel sign-up bonus for excellent credit

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

In A Nutshell

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card sets the standard for travel rewards by offering an excellent 2x points on all travel and dining at restaurant purchases that you then can transfer to airline and hotel partners. And points are worth 25% more when you redeem travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means that the killer 60,000 point sign-up bonus is worth $750 towards travel.

Read review
Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card sets the standard for travel rewards by offering an excellent 2x points on all travel and dining at restaurant purchases that you then can transfer to airline and hotel partners. And points are worth 25% more when you redeem travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means that the killer 60,000 point sign-up bonus is worth $750 towards travel.

Read review
Credit score requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a [FICO 8] [Vantage 3.0] score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit. ?
  • Excellent
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

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 Ultimate 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, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • 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 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Intro APR Purchases
N/A
Intro Term Purchases
0 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers
N/A
Intro Term Balance Transfers
0 months
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95

Apply Now >>

If you’re willing and able to spend $4,000 in three months, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a significant travel signup bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening—that’s $750 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Or, if you prefer cash, that’s $600 in cash.

As an added bonus, all Chase Sapphire® Preferred cardholders will earn 2x points per dollar spent (on a max spend of $1,000 per month) on groceries through April 30th, 2021.

Points are also redeemable at face value (1:1) at certain airline and hotel and loyalty programs. After that, the Chase 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.

Apply here or read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Best credit card sign-up bonus offer for premium travelers

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

In A Nutshell

Capital One’s leading product is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and it shows. A one-time 100,000 mile bonus after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months is flat out AWESOME, and 2X miles per dollar spent is about as good as it gets with a travel rewards credit card.

Read review
Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

Capital One’s leading product is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and it shows. A one-time 100,000 mile bonus after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months is flat out AWESOME, and 2X miles per dollar spent is about as good as it gets with a travel rewards credit card.

Read review
Credit score requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a [FICO 8] [Vantage 3.0] score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit. ?
  • Good/
  • Excellent
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What we like:

  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months

  • 2X miles earned for $1 spent on all purchases

  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro APR Purchases
N/A
Intro Term Purchases
N/A
Intro APR Balance Transfers
N/A
Intro Term Balance Transfers
N/A
Regular APR
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$95

Apply Now >>

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card will give you a one-time bonus of 100,000 miles—worth up to $1,000 in free travel—if you spend $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 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: $95.

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.

Apply here or read our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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.

Apply here or read our full review of the Discover it® Cash Back Card.

Best credit card sign-up bonus offer for dining and entertainment

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Disclaimer – The information about the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by fzcjhy.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.

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.

Apply here or read our full review of the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best credit card sign-up bonus offer for everyday purchases

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

In A Nutshell

The Chase Freedom Unlimited opens up with a terrific bonus opportunity where you’ll earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months. Tack on a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (standard 14.99% – 23.74% variable APR) add to that a strong everyday rewards program and it’s a terrific option for anyone looking to save a ton of money on everyday purchases.

Read review
Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

The Chase Freedom Unlimited opens up with a terrific bonus opportunity where you’ll earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months. Tack on a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (standard 14.99% – 23.74% variable APR) add to that a strong everyday rewards program and it’s a terrific option for anyone looking to save a ton of money on everyday purchases.

Read review
Credit score requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a [FICO 8] [Vantage 3.0] score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit. ?
  • Good/
  • Excellent
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

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.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
Intro APR Purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Intro Term Purchases
15 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers
N/A
Intro Term Balance Transfers
0 months
Regular APR
14.99 - 23.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0

Apply Now >>

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 5% cash back on groceries up to $12,000 (not including Target or Walmart purchases) in the first year. If you like to travel, you’ll also love the additional 5% back on all travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

But, the rewards keep on coming! You’ll also get 3% back on dining, including takeout, as well as 3% cash back on drugstore purchases. And to top it all off, you’ll also earn a flat 1.5% cash back on all other purchases (so no need to mess with rotating categories). 

Apply here or read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Best credit card sign-up bonus offer with low spending requirement

Chase Freedom Flex℠

In A Nutshell

The Chase Freedom FlexSM offers an enticing $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in the first three months and 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.  Plus cash back rewards on travel, dining, drugstore and every day purchases with rewards that never expire. All for no annual fee!

Read review
Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

The Chase Freedom FlexSM offers an enticing $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in the first three months and 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.  Plus cash back rewards on travel, dining, drugstore and every day purchases with rewards that never expire. All for no annual fee!

Read review
Credit score requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a [FICO 8] [Vantage 3.0] score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit. ?
  • Good/
  • Excellent
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What we like:

  • Awesome $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, 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 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
Intro APR Purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Intro Term Purchases
15 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers
N/A
Intro Term Balance Transfers
0 months
Regular APR
14.99 - 23.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0

Apply Now >>

If you consider yourself to be a relatively low spender on the credit card front, Chase Freedom Flex℠ is one of the best cash back credit cards on the market where you are required to spend only $500 within the first three months of card ownership in order to earn a $200 cash back bonus.

But cash back with Chase Freedom Flex℠ does not end there: the first year with the card you get 5% cash back on groceries up to $12,000 (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases). And you’ll get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.

This, in my experience, can really add up to a significant chunk of change.

Plus, those savings are in addition to 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases and 5% cash back you’ll get on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card also has 1% cash back on all other purchases – unlimited.

And these cash back rewards never expire!

Finally, the cherry on the top is that there’s NO annual fee.

Apply here or read our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ 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.

Apply here or read our full review of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Best credit card cash bonus offer for small business owners

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card opens up with a $750 cash bonus after spending $7,500 in the first three months from account opening; includes 1.5% cash back on all purchases and charges no annual fee.

Read review
Credit score requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a [FICO 8] [Vantage 3.0] score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What we like:

  • Earn $750 in bonus cash after spending $7,500 in the first three months of account opening

  • Earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases

  • No annual fee

  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.24% - 19.24% Variable
Intro APR
Intro APR Purchases 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 Months , 12 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers N/A , 0 months

Apply Now >>

The Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card offers an attractive $750 cash back welcome offer. Cardholders can earn $750 in cash back when they spend at least $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after opening an account.

The card also features unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, making it a great choice for business owners looking for an all-purpose cash back card to use on business expenses. There are no spending categories or earning limits, so cardholders can enjoy unlimited earning potential.

With a $0 annual fee, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card works for even the tightest budgets, and cardholders can also take advantage of the 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 Months. If you’re self-employed or own a small business, this is a great rewards card with a lucrative welcome offer.

Apply here

Best credit card cash bonus offer for office supplies and internet

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is an excellent card for any small business.  From a big up front bonus to an all-around excellent rewards program, cardholders can cash in on rewards without the worry of an annual fee.

Read review
Credit score requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a [FICO 8] [Vantage 3.0] score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What we like:

  • $750 cash back bonus after spending $7,500 in the first three months of card ownership

  • 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on office supplies, internet, cable and phone service purchases each account anniversary year

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 13.24% – 19.24%

  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No Annual Fee
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.24% - 19.24% Variable
Intro APR
Intro APR Purchases 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 12 months , 12 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers N/A , 0 months

Apply Now >>

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has an impressive $750 cash back reward after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months. The card also features 5% cash back (on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases) on office supplies, phone, cable, and internet, 2% cash back (on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases) on gas and restaurants, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

If you’re self-employed or a small business owner with a lot of office expenses, this is a card that you won’t want to miss out on. It’s a great fit for businesses who spend a lot each month on phone and internet utility bills and at office supplies stores, and the $750 bonus cash back is one of the most generous welcome bonuses available.

The card also has a $0 annual fee, plenty of other business-related benefits, and as an added bonus, your rewards never expire as long as your account is in good standing.

Apply here

Summary of the best sign-up bonus credit cards

Credit CardSign-up Bonus ValueSpend RequiredAnnual Fee
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card100,000 bonus miles worth $1,000 in travel$20,000 within the first 12 months$95
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card$750 (Travel)$4,000 within 3 mos.$95
Discover it Cash BackThere is no limit to the amount Discover will matchDiscover 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

Chase Freedom Flex℠

$200$500$0
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card$250 (Travel)$1,000 within 3 mos.$0
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card$750$7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months$0
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card$750$7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months$0

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:

Best Credit Cards If Your FICO Score Is Between 650 And 699

Best Credit Cards If Your FICO Score Is Between 600 And 649

Best Credit Cards If Your FICO Score Is Under 599

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:

Sign-up bonus

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.

Cash rewards

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.

Travel rewards

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 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 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.

APR

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

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

Each credit card issuer will determine the eligibility terms for their sign-up bonus credit cards. Most will require that you are a US citizen and above the age of 18. What type of credit you have, your annual income, and your debt to income ratio can factor into the approval decision, but these requirements will vary from issuer to issuer.
In general, the answer is no. You can get enough value out of a sign-up bonus to make it attractive, but you also need to use the card to reach its minimum spend requirements. It won’t be worthwhile signing up for a bonus that you can’t access.
You can sign up for one card only per offer. Meaning you can only sign up for one Discover it® Cash Back. However, you can sign up for multiple credit cards such as one Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, and one Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card. However, we don’t recommend signing up for multiple cards simultaneously for a few reasons. 1. You will need to meet the sign-up bonus requirements for each card you sign up for. It is unlikely you will spend enough within the given time frame to qualify for multiple sign-up bonuses, unless you’re a very big spender. 2. It is difficult to manage multiple credit cards simultaneously, and you can quickly fall into debt by confusing payment dates, APRs, and other terms. Late or missed payments can seriously destroy your credit score. 3. Closing credit cards shortly after applying (ex. one year after to just take advantage of the first year sign-up bonus) can also adversely affect your credit. This is because you won’t have a long credit history of maintaining a card, something that reflects positively on your credit report. 4. Each time you apply for another credit card, your credit score is reduced slightly.
Assuming the sign-up bonus requirements are met, you can utilize the sign-up bonus soon after. If you cancel your card before you take advantage of the bonus, however, most cards will not honor your bonus privileges.

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.

Read more:

Related Tools

About the

Chris Muller picture
Total Articles: 167
Chris has an MBA with a focus in advanced investments and has been writing about all things personal finance since 2015. He’s also built and run a digital marketing agency, focusing on content marketing, copywriting, and SEO, since 2016. You can connect with Chris on Twitter.

Article comments

We invite readers to respond with questions or comments. Comments may be held for moderation and will be published according to our comment policy. Comments are the opinions of their s; they do not represent the views or opinions of Money Under 30. Comments have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser, nor are they reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.
13 comments
Joanne says:

I already have a few credit cards, but some of these offers look too good to pass up. Is it a bad idea to sign up for a card just for the bonus and then cancel afterward? And how many cards is too many?

Reply

Cancelling your card after a short time isn’t good financial practice because the constant credit inquiries don’t look good on your report.

Plus, not having a long-standing record of repayment with a single (or multiple) cards doesn’t bode well for your credit history. Instead, sign up for cards with great signup bonuses, and keep them around for the credit-building value. You can have as many as 5 or 6 without it being a problem.

Just make sure that you can keep track of your cards and that you are making payments on time and responsibly for each one.

Reply
Elena Adler says:

Wow! This has been extremely informative. Thanks for breaking things down so clearly.

I was considering opening another credit card because my credit score is doing well and I heard this could boost my credit report even more, but I had no idea where to start. This article has supplied me with a lot of information and details for comparison. Thanks a lot!

Reply
Bob at The Frugal Fellow says:

This is exactly what I needed right now as I am looking to start “travel hacking.” I usually see Chase being listed as best for travel but I am trying to get more opinions on that. Is that generally good advice?

Reply
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ3DQbom53k says:

Hi there jᥙst wanted to gіve you a quick heads up. The ѡords in your post seem to Ьe running off the screen іn Firefox.

I’m not sure іf this is a formatting issue οr ѕomething
to ɗo witҺ web browser compatibility Ƅut Ⅰ thougһt
I’d post to let you know. The layout look greɑt tһough!
Hope you get the issue resolved ѕoon. Kudos

Reply
Tiara Joseph says:

I have a Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Visa which I think is an excellent card for earning free flights. I am using this since last 2 years. I got 50,000 point bonus for opening an account and meeting the minimum spending requirement which is worth about $850 in airfare. Altogether, it’s a Holy Grail card for the people like me who loves to travel.

Reply
Dan says:

So my wife and I have high 700s low 800s credit scores. We have 6 credit cards that we maintain with zero balance. The main three cards are BOA, Discover and USAA, The problem is that I have had these cards for 15+ years and so I know that I can qualify for a much better card with much better rewards however what I would prefer to do is close all these smaller accounts (some of them were zero interest promotional cards) and consolidate down to one or two cards then just get rid of all the others. I contacted BOA and they did offer me their rewards card but they did not want me to cancel or close the basic account with a 15+ year history. Is there a way to do this simplification without affecting my credit scores to much? Or should I just pick a better card and open another line of credit?

Reply
Pablo says:

I have a credit rating of around 690. Even though my company gives me a corporate credit card, I still very much need another card just in case, since I travel 90% of my time Internationally.
Is it true by where you live it can also affect your approval?
I live in Puerto Rico but my employer is based in the US.
Am I even more limited for approval because of my rating and where I live?

I feel that AMEX platinum would be perfect for my needs, but I am reluctant to apply since it will hurt my rating, and I am trying to improve it. Do they have consultants which can tell me before a hard inquiry if I am probable of approval?

Reply
Denys says:

Try Credit Karma it’s free

Reply
David Weliver says:

Both good points.

@Bishnu, I would only worry about the credit inquiry if I knew I was going to need a mortgage or other big loan in the next 6-12 months. Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry if your credit score takes a tiny hit. Even then, hard inquiries only really become a problem when there are more a couple.

@Tim, I agree, it’s a balancing act.

I’ve read about some people that literarally chase every single one of these offers…they apply, make the purchases, cash in the rewards, and cut up the card. As long as they manage their credit well otherwise, their credit scores are just fine. I would never recommend that, but it has been done.

Personally, I totally get the “fewer cards the better” argument.

I did a swap when I applied for the Chase card…I cancelled a card I rarely used, hadn’t been open very long, and didn’t report my credit limit. Now I have four open cards, but only carry and use two of them. The others I keep them open simply because I’ve had them forever and closing them would do more damage (in the form of shortening my credit history). So 2-3 open cards is probably optimal, but if you’ve got good credit and don’t need it for anything else anytime soon, there’s probably no harm in using it to take advantage of an offer like this.

Reply
Tim says:

David,

Thanks for the info. I always like to see how other “financially savvy” people manage the number of accounts they have. I like visiting the internet “deal” sites and the people there go crazy over these offers! To me, it’s just not worth it. If I was considering the account otherwise, it becomes a nice incentive to pull the trigger.

Speaking of Rewards offers- I’d like to point out ING’s Black Friday Saving Sale…a pretty cool idea- reward those of us who save on Black Friday- not spend! I opened their checking last year and got $125. I’m excited to see what they have going this year!

Cheers!

Reply
Tim says:

David,

I’m just kind of wondering, how many credit cards is too many? I’ve got a Chase Freedom MC I like the rewards program for, and that is my main card I use. In addition to that I have a credit card through my credit union, a corporate card, and a line of credit. I also have a app德扑圈官方网址home Depot Charge as interest-free offers are nice to have as projects come up around the house.

I have toyed with the idea of getting a charge card (AmEx Zync) or another credit card (Discover More) but am hesitant- because do I really need it? I pay all my balances in full, besides the deferred interest balances, which are paid in full before the time is up.

I’m just curious your thoughts, as the $100 offer from Discover sounds rather tempting.

Thanks!

Reply
Bishnu says:

Is it worth the hard inquiry?

Reply

Cancel reply