Credit Cards With Signup Bonuses

Credit cards hanging
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Many of the best rewards credit cards offer signup bonuses—a lump sum of rewards you can earn earn within the first few months of having your credit card. To earn the bonuses, you generally have to spend a certain amount of money within the first few months of opening the credit card.

What's great about signup bonuses is that you can earn a generous amount of rewards by spending only a fraction of the amount you'd ordinarily need to spend to earn the same amount of rewards.

 Taking advantage of the signup bonus can save you a lot of money.

Travel Rewards With Signup Bonuses

Some cards offer rewards for purchases specific to travel, such as those with airlines or hotels. Following are some deals as of May 2019:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve: Earn 50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: 3 points per dollar on travel and dining, 1 point per dollar one everything else; $300 annual travel credit. Annual fee: $450.
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Earn 60,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, 1 point per dollar one everything else. Annual fee: $95.
  • Venture From Capital One: Earn 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: two miles per dollar on all purchases and 10 miles per dollar at select hotels through January 2020. Annual fee: $95, waived the first year.
  • Premier Rewards Gold From American Express: Earn 35,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: one point per dollar and three points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel and four points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and supermarkets on up to $25,000 in purchases. Annual fee: $250.
  • Platinum Card From American Express: Earn 60,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: one point per dollar and five points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel or on prepaid hotels booked on American Express Travel. Annual fee: $550.
  • Citi ThankYou Premier: Earn 50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: three points per dollar on travel, two points per dollar on dining out and entertainment, and one point per dollar on everything else. Annual fee: $95, waived the first year.
  • Bank AmeriCard Travel Rewards: Earn 25,000 bonus points for applying online. Rewards: 1.5 points per dollar. No annual fee.
  • U.S. Bank Flex Perks Travel Rewards Visa Signature: Earn 25,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in the first 4 months. Rewards: Double points on qualifying charitable donations, with cellphone providers, and with airlines, gas stations, or grocery stores. Annual fee: $49, waived the first year.
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard: Earn 50,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Rewards: Double miles on all purchases and 5% miles back each time you make a redemption. Annual fee: $89, waived the first year.
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus World MasterCard: Earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Rewards: Double miles on qualifying travel and dining purchases, one mile per dollar on all other purchases, and 5% miles back for each redemption. Annual fee: $89, waived the first year.

Hotel Rewards With Signup Bonuses

Some cards offer rewards for purchases specific to hotels. Following are some deals as of May 2019:

  • IHG Rewards Club Premier From Chase: Earn 80,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: Earn 25 points per dollar on IHG hotels and 10 points per dollar on other purchases during the stay. Annual fee: $89.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant From American Express: Earn 75,000 if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: Up to six points per dollar at eligible Marriott Bonvoy hotels, three points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and two points per dollar on everything else. Must sign up by March 30, 2016 for this bonus offer. Annual fee: $450.

    Airline Rewards With Signup Bonuses

    Some cards offer rewards for purchases specific to airlines. Following are some deals as of May 2019:

    • Gold Delta SkyMiles From American Express: Earn 30,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months, plus a $50 statement credit. Rewards: two miles on Delta purchases, one mile on other purchases, priority boarding on Delta flights, first bag checked free on Delta flights. Bonus available only to new cardmembers. Annual fee: $95, waived the first year.
    • United Mileage Plus Explorer From Chase: Earn 40,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: Double miles on United purchases directly from United and one mile per dollar on all other purchases. Annual fee: $95, waived the first year.

    Cash Back Rewards With Signup Bonuses

    Some cards offer rewards for signing up or for using the card during the first few months. Following are some deals as of May 2019:

    • Blue Cash Preferred From American Express: Earn a $250 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Rewards: 6% back at supermarkets (up to $6,000 in annual purchases), 6% on select US streaming services, 3% on ground transportation, and 3% at gas stations, 1% on everything else. Bonus may only be available for new cardmembers. Annual fee: $95.
    • Blue Cash Everyday From American Express: Earn a $150 statement credit if you spend $500 in the first 3 months. Rewards: 3% on the first $6,000 in grocery store purchases each year; 2% at select gas stations and department stores; 1% on everything else. Bonus may only be available for new cardmembers. No annual fee.
    • Chase Freedom: Earn a $150 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months. Rewards: 5% back on quarterly rotating categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter) and 1% back on everything else. No annual fee.
    • U.S. Bank FlexPerks Select+ American Express: Earn 10,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 in the first 4 months. Rewards: One point per dollar. No annual fee.
    • NFL Extra Points Visa: Earn 10,000 bonus points if you spend $500 in the first 3 months. Rewards: Double points on NFL and team purchases, game tickets, purchases at team pro shops, and in-stadium purchases on game day; One point per dollar on everything else. No annual fee.

    What to Know About Earning the Signup Bonus

    All credit card reward programs have detailed limits and restrictions, and its important to read through those before signing up for a card. Following are some common guidelines to keep in mind for earning rewards:

    • Your credit limit plays a role. Your credit limit affects how easy it is to earn the bonus. If your credit limit is below the spending threshold, you'll have to continually pay off your credit card balance to free up additional credit for purchases.
    • Purchases count, but not other transactions. The spending amount is based on net purchases made, not balance transfers or cash advances. If your goal is to earn a signup bonus on your new credit card, leave your balance transfer for another card. Also, note that returns and credits will offset spending you've already made.
    • Expect an annual fee. Many rewards cards have annual fees. Some credit cards waive the annual fee in the first year, but others don't. When a credit card does charge an annual fee in the first year, the fee does not count toward the spending amount required to earn the bonus.
    • Note the timing of the bonus. The terms and conditions for most signup bonuses say it takes 6-8 weeks for the bonus to post to your account. This means it can take up to six months from the time you open your account to make the necessary purchases and then actually receive your bonus.
    • Always pay in full. Paying interest on a rewards credit card negates the benefit of the rewards. Not only that, carrying a balance ties up your credit, making it harder to continually rack up rewards. Use your rewards card for everything, but pay the balance in full each month.
    • Read the rules. American Express' rules suggest that you cannot receive a signup bonus for the same card twice and possibly not if you have another Amex open at the same time. Chase won't allow you to earn the bonus if you already have the credit card or if you earned a bonus within the past 24 months. Citi terms suggest that you cancel your card and wait 18 months before reapplying and receiving a signup bonus for the same credit card.