Finding the right credit card these days is often easier said than done. One great way to narrow things down is by focusing on credit cards that offer the best sign-up bonuses. Credit card companies compete fiercely for loyal customers, and they dangle these bonuses as a way of enticing people to sign up. By understanding how these bonuses work and how to make the most of them, you can more easily find a credit card that will deliver real benefits for you.
To qualify for most credit card sign-up bonuses, you typically must spend a certain amount on your credit card within a specified period of time. Bonuses may be given as miles, points, statement credits, or cash back. The main advantage of these bonuses, then, is that they can make using a credit card more affordable. In some cases, you can even pretty much be paid for using the credit card — and what could be better than that?
1. The Platinum Card from American Express
With perks that include a large sign-up bonus, airline fee credits, and other travel rewards, the Platinum Card from American Express is a great choice for anyone who travels often. You will need good to excellent credit — think a credit score between 670 and 850 — to qualify.
When you spend $5,000 in the first three months, you will receive a 60,000-point bonus. Other benefits include $200 in annual Uber savings, access to more than 1,100 airport lounges, a $100 free credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck, and more. Be warned, however, that there is a $500 annual fee.
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred
If you dine out and travel a lot, you will get a lot from this credit card. Currently, when you spend at least $4,000 on the card in the first three months, you will receive 50,000 bonus points. That is equal to $625 toward travel.
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There is no annual fee the first year, and it is $95 per year after that. Earn one point per dollar on all purchases and double points on all travel and dining purchases. Additional benefits include trip cancellation and interruption insurance, extended warranty coverage, and auto rental collision damage waivers.
Note that you will need excellent credit, or a credit score between 740 and 850, to qualify for this card.
3. Capital One Venture Rewards
When it comes to accumulating airline miles, you can’t beat the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card. Spend at least $3,000 on the card in the first three months to receive a 50,000-mile bonus, which is equal to $500 in travel. You will earn double miles on all purchases every day, and you will earn 10 times miles on thousands of hotels. As an added bonus, this card entitles you to up to a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck. The annual fee is $95, which is waived the first year, and you will need good to excellent credit to be approved for this card.
4. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
If you have good to excellent credit and love to travel, this card is sure to pique your interest. Spend at least $5,000 on the card within the first 90 days to receive a whopping 60,000 in bonus miles. You will also enjoy unlimited double miles on every purchase. Plus, any time that you redeem them, you will also receive five percent of them back to put toward your next redemption.
There is an $89 annual fee that is waived the first year, and you will enjoy zero-percent interest on balance transfers for 12 months when completed within the first 45 days of opening the card.
5. Bank of America Cash Rewards
This no-fuss credit card has a lot to offer in terms of sign-up bonuses and perks. There’s no annual fee, but you will need good to excellent credit to qualify. Plus, receive a $200 online cash reward bonus when you spend just $500 within the first 90 days.
You will enjoy one-percent cash rewards on all purchases, two-percent rewards on grocery and wholesale club purchases for the first $2,500 spent per quarter, and three-percent rewards on gas for the first $2,500 spent per quarter on groceries and gas combined. Any time that you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America account, you will receive an additional 10-percent bonus.
6. Citi Premier Card
This versatile card offers a lot in exchange for very little. You will qualify if you have excellent credit, and you will receive 50,000 in bonus points when you spend at least $4,000 on the card within the first three months of opening it. This is equal to $625 in airfare, or it can be redeemed for a $500 gift card. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year, and you will earn one point per dollar on all purchases, double points on dining and entertainment purchases, and triple points on travel and gas purchases.
7. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa
If you don’t tend to spend a lot on credit cards every month but still want a sign-up bonus, this may be the card for you. Spend just $1,000 on this card in the first 90 days to receive a $200 cash rewards bonus. There is a zero-percent introductory APR for the first 12 months, and the card entitles you to up to $600 in protection on your cell phone when you pay that bill with this credit card. There is no annual fee, and you will earn 1.5 percent cash rewards on all purchases and 1.8 percent on mobile wallet purchases made during the first 12 months.
Note that good-to-excellent credit is required to be eligible for this card.
8. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
If you want a card that rewards you well for dining and entertainment, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card may be for you. The $95 annual fee is waived for the first year, and being a cardholder gives you access to a variety of “premium experiences” in dining, entertainment, and more.
When you spend at least $3,000 on the card in the first 90 days, you will receive a $500 bonus. On top of that, the card earns you unlimited four-percent rewards on dining and entertainment purchases, two-percent rewards on grocery purchases, and one-percent rewards on all other purchases.
You will need good-to-excellent credit, or a score between 670 and 850 or so, to qualify for this card.