Best Credit Cards with Signup Bonuses: Cash Back, Miles, Points etc.
That’s why we put together this handy guide. We’ll help you understand what a signup bonus is, and we’ll go through the different types of signup bonuses that credit cards offer. Finally, we’ll help you understand how to pick the best signup bonus for your particular needs.
Use this information to make smart choices about different credit card products. After all, you’re going to be generating a decent profit for the credit card company. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure that you get the most out of the credit card you choose.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
Credit Score Required:
Good to Excellent
Signup and welcome bonuses are a big thing in the credit card industry, and the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is easily one of our favorite cards with a signup bonus. You’ll get 50,000 bonus miles worth up to $500 in travel when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership. That’s a great bonus no matter how you look at it
What We Like
Easy-to-understand rewards program gets you 2 miles per $1 spent
No foreign transaction fees
Book at Hotels.com for 10 miles per $1 spent
TSA Pre-check application reimbursement
Credit Score Required:
Good to Excellent
The Chase Freedom® Card is one of the best options for cash back cards with excellent signup bonuses. The Chase Freedom® Card offers the Chase Ultimate Rewards system, so you can turn your rewards into cash back or use them for travel. You’ll get a $150 bonus after spending $500 in your first three months of membership.
What We Like
$0 Annual Fee
Earn Cash back on rotating quarterly categories up to 5%
Flexible Rewards Program
Unlimited 1% cash back once you hit spending cap
What are Signup Bonuses?
Signup bonuses are special offers credit card companies offer to get consumers to enroll with their product. These bonuses frequently have limited timeframes. They also change all the time. Therefore, we’re not going to spend a lot of time listing specific credit cards and their bonuses. Instead, we’ll focus on helping you understand what different bonuses mean and how you use them.
List of Best Credit Cards with Signup Bonuses
- Free Points Signup Bonus
- Free Miles Signup Bonus
- Double Perk Signup Bonus
- Balance Transfer Signup Bonus
- Cash Back Signup Bonus
- No Annual Fee Signup Bonus
Using Different Signup Bonuses on Credit Cards
Limits on Signup Bonuses
No matter what the particular bonus is, you’ll want to ensure that the card you pick works for you. That’s because nearly every signup bonus has an expiration date. You don’t want to choose a card only because of its signup bonus and then find out that the card itself doesn’t fit your needs.
That means one of the most important considerations when picking a signup bonus is how long the bonus lasts. Make sure you keep that in mind when you compare credit cards. After all, you’ll get more value out of a card that offers 1.5 times points for a year than a card that offers double points for six months.
How You’ll Use the Card
Another thing to keep in mind is what you intend to use the card for. If you’re going to get a card for emergencies only, then that will affect what kind of signup bonuses will benefit you most. The same goes if you’re getting the card to make one specific large purchase. Additionally, a credit card that you plan to use for every-day spending will benefit more from some signup bonuses than others.
What are the Best Signup Bonuses?
This section covers all of the different signup bonuses that cards offer. We’ll explain each one and help you understand how you can use each bonus to your advantage. We’ll also help you understand which signup bonus is best depending on how you intend to use the credit card.
Free Points Signup Bonus
A lot of credit cards offer points for your purchases. Usually these points translate to $1 spent on the card = 1 point. However, there are lots of companies that offer you a pile of free points just for signing up for the card.
Consumers can use points to get discounts on various products. They can also use points to lower the balance on their card. Every company has different rules regarding their points. Therefore, make sure you understand what you can use points for before you agree to a points card.
The free points bonus is best for people that intend to use the credit card for emergencies only. That’s because you get the free bonus points regardless of how much you use the card. If you’re getting the card for emergencies only, then signup bonuses like double points might expire before your use the card to reap the benefits. That means you’ll either have to use the card in ways other than you intended or miss out on your signup bonus.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a good example of this type of signup bonus. The card offers points when you sign up. It also gives you bonus rewards for money you spend on travel and restaurants.
Free Miles Signup Bonus
The free miles signup bonus is similar to the free points signup bonus. However, instead of representing your rewards as points, they’re represented as miles. Each company has their own formula for translating miles into rewards. They also have their own formula for determining how many miles you earn on a purchase. For the best business credit cards for travel check out our other article.
Some companies offer bonus miles when you use your card at certain places, like grocery stores and gas stations. Sometimes these bonus mile locations are fixed. Other times they shift from month to month.
The free miles signup bonus is a good choice for people that want to use their card for emergencies and also like to travel. That’s because the best credit cards for travel that use miles generally have more travel-related perks than cards that use points. Emergency-only cardholders benefit from the free miles because they’ll get them no matter how much they use the card. Take a look at the best credit cards for travel rewards.
The American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp Card is a good example of this signup bonus. You get 10,000 miles when you sign up. There’s also no annual fee. Consumers also earn double miles for spending at grocery stores and American Airlines purchases. They earn 1 mile for every $1 spent on any other kind of purchase. Check out more of the best airline points credit card offers.
Double Perk Signup Bonus
One of the most common credit card signup bonuses is to give double points or miles on purchases. This offer is usually limited, so make sure you understand how long you can get your perk. You can use points and miles in exchange for various rewards from the card company. The rewards can include discounts on travel and hotels, discounts on products or events, or other kinds of discounts. Each company has its own specific offers.
The double perk signup bonus is best for consumers that are looking for an everyday card. That’s because they’ll get the most benefit out of the double perk period. It can also be a good choice for consumers that are taking out a card to make a single large purchase. The single large purchase will generate a substantial number of points if you use it during the bonus period.
The Discover it Cash Back card is a prime example of this kind of card. It’s also one of the best options for double bonuses. Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. The company does this automatically. That’s great because you don’t need to remember to fill out any forms or apply for the program. There’s also no limit to how much cashback you can earn.
Balance Transfer Signup Bonus
Balance transfers are a popular way for people to get their credit card debt under control. The process works by transferring the balance from one credit card to another. The new credit card will have special balance transfer signup bonuses on it.
There are a couple different ways that a balance transfer signup bonus can work. The most common, and most effective to eliminate credit card debt, is to offer no interest on balance transfers for a certain period of time. As a result, consumers can rapidly pay down the debt they transfer without incurring additional interest charges. This lets them save a lot of money over the course of repayment. It also lets them pay down their debt faster.
The other type of balance transfer signup bonus is credit cards with no balance transfer fee. This can also save consumers a lot of money. Nearly any card will let you transfer a balance. However, most of them charge a fee to do so. The fee is expressed as a minimum amount or a certain percentage of the balance transferred, whichever is greater.
That means if you transfer a $10,000 balance to a new card, but pay a 5% fee, your new balance will be $10,500. This can seriously impact your plans to pay off your credit card debt. As a result, a window where you can transfer a balance without a fee is a huge help for people looking to get out of credit card debt.
Balance transfer signup bonuses are most useful for people that are trying to pay off credit card debt. They don’t provide much value to people who plan to use the card in emergencies. They also don’t offer value for people looking for a card for every-day purchases.
The Citi Diamond Preferred Card offers 0% APR for all transfers for 21 months from the date of the first transfer. This offer is only available for the first 4 months that you own the card. After that, there’s a variable APR of 14.99-24.99% on balance transfers.
Cash Back Signup Bonus
Some of the best cash back cards are the ones with the best overall rewards. These are similar to miles and points. The difference is that a cash back reward just takes the form of money that you can apply to your balance, donate, or send to your checking account.
Most cash back bonus signup offers give you extra cash back than you’d normally get with the card. For example, some cards may offer a standard cash back bonus of 1%. However, you’ll get a signup bonus for 3% cash back.
You need to pay close attention to how long the bonus lasts. You should also make note of any restrictions on the extra cash back. Some cards only offer extra cash back for certain purchases like restaurants or gas stations.
Cash back signup bonuses are best for people that are looking to make a large purchase with their card and those that are looking for a card to use for everyday purchases. These uses will allow you to take the most advantage of the signup bonus, lowering the cost of using the card.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card lets you earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1,000 on the card I the first 3 months. After that you earn 1.5% cash rewards on all purchases. You also get 1.8% cash rewards when you make a mobile wallet purchase through Google Pay or Apple Pay for the first 12 months you have the card.
No Annual Fee Signup Bonus
Many people only think about finding the best low interest rate credit cards when they are considering how much it costs to use a credit card. Interest rates are an important cost of a credit card, but they aren’t the only one. Many cards also charge an annual fee to have the card. This fee can range from $25 to a couple hundred dollars. Most credit card companies will wave the annual fee if you spend a certain amount of money on the card every year. However, that’s not always the case.
The no annual fee signup bonus gets you a credit card and the company waives the annual fee. They might do this permanently, or they might do it for a number of years. As a result, this bonus makes it cheaper to have the credit card account.
This option is one of the best bonuses for people that are looking to use their credit card in emergencies only. That’s because, ideally, you won’t be using the card at all. As a result, you’re more likely to incur annual fees. As a result, a no annual fee signup bonus lets you have the card available as backup when you need it without paying any money for the privilege.
The Gold Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express normally has a $95 annual fee. However, that’s waived for the first year. You earn double miles on every dollar spent with Delta and 1 mile for every $1 on other purchases. You also get 30,000 miles as an additional intro bonus.
Which Signup Bonus is Best for You?
Now that you understand the basic set up of most credit card signup bonus offers, you need to figure out which card is right for you. The best way to do that is by considering how you’ll use the card and how much value you’ll get from the bonus.
For example, if you are looking for a card for everyday spending, then you’ll benefit most from miles, points, or cash back. However, those three options are all a bit different. If you don’t mind doing the work, then you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to discounts on products and trips through points and miles.
However, if that seems like it’s more complicated than you want to deal with, the cashback rewards are an excellent choice for your credit card signup bonus. It makes it cheaper to use the card. Just ensure that there aren’t any limitations on where you get the cashback bonus. If there are, be sure that you’ll use your card at those kinds of locations often enough to make it worth it.
If you’re planning on using the card for emergencies, then the upfront bonus points, miles, or cash options are the best choice for you. That’s because you’ll get the bonus whether you use the card or not, and if the card is intended for emergency uses, then ideally you won’t be using it.
As you can see, Credit card signup bonuses can seem confusing. However, if you pay attention to restrictions and carefully consider how you plan on using the card, you can use them to add tremendous value to your credit card transactions.
General Credit Card Signup Bonus Questions
This section covers the basics you need to know to understand credit card signup bonuses.
How to spend money to get credit card bonus?
All you need to do to ensure you get your credit card bonus is make sure to use your card on eligible purchases. For most cards that will be the standard stuff you buy every day!
How to meet credit card signup bonus?
That depends on the credit card you have. Most credit cards require you to spend a certain amount within 90 days of getting approved for the card. Just use the card for your normal purchases to get to your bonus.
What purchases count towards credit card bonus?
Most purchases will count towards most credit card bonuses. The things that don’t are usually items like balance transfers and other large, one-time transactions.
How long to wait until credit card bonus is valid again?
There are no laws restricting when credit card bonuses are valid again. However, you should make sure your credit score won’t be hurt by taking out a new card for the bonus.
How to use your credit card bonus?
The best way to use your credit card bonus depends on your card. You should check with your card provider to see what kinds of options are available to you.
When do you get your credit card bonus?
When you get your credit card bonus depends on the terms of your agreement. For cashback or statement-credit bonuses, you’ll usually get them on the statement after you meet the requirements.
How to check your credit card bonus offers?
You can use internet sites to search credit card bonus offers. The best sites will take your information and pick the cards you’re most likely to get approved for.
What is a credit card welcome bonus?
A credit card welcome bonus is a gift from the credit card company for choosing them over the competition.
What is an anniversary bonus for credit card?
An anniversary bonus is a reward you get for keeping your credit card. You’ll get the bonus every year that you have the account.
How long until I can cancel credit card and get sign up bonus again?
There’s no set limit of time you need to wait to cancel a card and sign up to get a bonus again. However, doing so will hurt your credit score, making it harder to get a good card with a good bonus.
Where do I find my sign-up bonus info on a credit card?
You’ll need to talk to the bank or company that services your credit card to find out how to see your sign-up bonus information. Most credit cards offer this info on your account online.
How many credit cards can you open for bonuses?
There’s no legal limit on the number of credit cards you can open. However, the more credit cards you have, the less likely you are to be approved for new credit cards. Also be sure to take a look at 0 intro apr credit cards.
When do you receive credit card bonus?
Most credit cards give you your bonus on the statement you get after you complete the requirements for the bonus.
Types of Credit Card Signup Bonuses
We’ll answer the most common questions about different types of credit card signup bonuses in this section.
What is a cashback bonus on a credit card?
A cashback bonus is where the credit card company gives you cash back based on how much you spend on the card. This is usually between 1% and 5% of your spending.
Which credit cards give bonus points for office supplies?
Most business credit cards, like the American Express Blue Business Cash Card, give you bonuses at office supply stores. You can also use rotating categories to pick office supplies on other credit cards.
Which credit card has a better cash back bonus program?
Everyone has a different financial situation, so there’s no one best cash back bonus program. You should look at your spending and see where you spend the most, and get a card that gives the most cash back for that category.
Which credit card provides cash reward bonus?
There are lots of credit cards that provide a cash reward bonus. Chase Freedom is one of the most popular cash reward bonus credit cards.
What credit card offers the most bonus rebates?
The best way to find the most bonus rebates is to get a card that is designed for your current spending. Lots of people benefit from the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card because you get rewards no matter how you spend your money.
What is the current highest cash back bonus credit card?
Credit card cash back bonuses change all the time, but the Chase Freedom can give you 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter.
Which credit cards give bonus for Amazon?
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is the most popular Amazon bonus card. But you can use cashback bonuses to spend more on Amazon as well.
What credit card give bonuses for paying utility bill?
There aren’t many cards that give extra bonuses for utility bills, so your best option is cards that give cash back on all purchases. Chase Freedom and the Capital One Venture cards are both good options. Although there may not be any credit cards fair credit options in this rewards category if your score is lower.
How long to credit miles earned with card opening miles bonus?
You’ll need to talk to your specific card servicer to see when bonus miles will be applied to your account. This usually happens the statement after you meet requirements.
Specific Credit Card Signup Bonus Questions
This section covers the most popular questions about specific credit card signup bonuses.
How often does the United Airlines credit card give bonus miles?
The United Airlines credit card offers extra bonus miles when you meet certain conditions after approval. After that you’ll only earn miles for spending on the card according to the terms of your agreement.
How long does it take to get Hyatt credit card bonus points?
The amount of time it takes to get Hyatt credit card bonus points depends on how much you spend on your card each month. The more you spend, the faster you’ll get your points. Also you may want to take a look at the best credit card no annual fee required.
How to get second Capital One credit card with bonus?
The only way to get a second Capital One credit card with bonus is to apply for another credit card. Capital One’s terms may or may not prevent you from getting approval or a second bonus. If you don’t qualify for this one then look at a credit card for people with no credit or lower credit.
How does the miles bonus of AA credit card work?
The miles bonus for the AA credit card works by giving you bonus miles after you meet your minimum spending threshold within the first three months of having the card.
How to achieve 3 months expense to get the credit card bonus for Chase Sapphire?
It’s not a good idea to spend extra money just to get your credit card bonus. However, if you use your Chase Sapphire card regularly, then you’ll likely hit your bonus before the three months are up.
How do British Airways credit card bonuses work?
The British Airways Signature Visa will give you 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of membership. You can get another 50,000 miles if you spend $20,000 in the first year of membership. You have to have a decent credit score to qualify for these. If you don’t qualify then learn more about how to get a credit card with bad credit.
How many days to get the Chase credit card bonus?
Most Chase customers will receive their bonus within 10 days, assuming that they meet the terms and conditions of the bonus.
Where are my bonus American Airlines after opening credit card?
You need to spend a certain amount on qualifying purchases before you get your American Airlines bonus miles. The amount depends on your specific card and agreement.
What are spending bonuses on Discover credit card?
The spending bonuses you get on Discover credit cards are that you can get Cashback that never expires and can be redeemed at any time.
How long for the Bank of America credit card $100 bonus?
You should see your $100 bonus from Bank of America the first statement after you make the required qualifying purchases. You need a decent score to qualify for this one though so if your score is lower then consider looking at a poor credit unsecured credit card.
When does Southwest credit card offer 50,000-mile signup bonus?
Southwest doesn’t publish a list of when they’ll offer their signup bonus program – you’ll need to keep your eyes open to spot the offer when it comes up.
How long does it take to get bonus miles from Delta credit card?
It shouldn’t take long to get the bonus miles from your Delta credit card. You should see them reflected on your statement after you meet your qualifying purchase threshold.
How to redeem $200 online cash bonus from Bank of America credit card?
You’ll need a Bank of America checking account to receive your $200 online bonus from the BoA credit card.
How do I get my 40,000 bonus miles Alaska credit card?
Your Alaska Airlines credit card will give you 40,000 bonus miles after you make $2,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days of membership.
What is the base bonus of the Wells Fargo credit card?
That depends on your specific Wells Fargo credit card. You need more information to get an accurate answer to your question.
How long to wait to apply to Chase credit card for bonus?
Before you start a credit card application for Chase you should make sure that your credit score is enough to get you approved. If your score is high enough, then you can apply for Chase for the bonus right away.
How to receive Chase credit card bonus without Chase checking?
You’ll need to contact Chase to see what your options are, as they have multiple credit card bonus offers that are handled differently. Also learn more about how to get pre approved for credit card offers like this.
How do I know when I am again eligible for Southwest credit card bonus award points?
The best way to find out when you’re eligible for Southwest Credit Card bonus award points is to check your monthly statement or log into your account online.
Other Credit Card Signup Bonus Questions
This section covers credit card signup bonus questions that don’t fit in our other categories. Check here if you can’t find your question answered elsewhere.
What are the easiest credit card bonus to get?
The easiest credit card bonuses to get are ones that give you a reward after spending a certain amount. We recommend the Chase Freedom and Capital One Venture Card for this. If your score is low then look at credit cards for people with average credit.
How long to keep a credit card after getting bonus?
There’s no reason to close a credit card unless you’re paying a fee on it. Closing a card can hurt your credit score in multiple ways.
How do I know what credit card bonus I signed up for?
The best way to see what credit card bonus you signed up for is to go to your credit card account online or to call your credit card issuer.
How to track credit card bonus points?
Each credit card has a different way of tracking reward points. You should log into your account online and see what kind of tracking options your credit card company provides.
How to get bonus offers on credit cards after first year?
The best way to get bonus offers on credit cards after the first year is to sign up for credit cards that offer anniversary bonuses. That means you’ll get a bonus every year you have the account.
How do I report credit card signup bonus?
The way you report a credit card signup bonus on your taxes depends on the form the bonus takes. You should talk to a certified tax preparer to get a clear answer in your case.
How to keep travel bonus each year on credit card?
Your credit card has terms and conditions you agreed to when you gained your account. Those terms will explain how to keep your travel bonus each year on your credit card. Also be sure to have a good car rental insurance credit card if you will be traveling frequently.
How many times are you able to get the credit card bonus?
Most credit cards only offer one bonus for signing up. However, there are also cards that offer anniversary bonuses. These will give you a bonus every year for as long as you hold the account.
How do bonus points for credit card translate to airline?
The translation rate for credit card bonus points into airline dollars depends on your specific credit card and airline. You’ll need to talk to your card servicer for more information about your case.
How is the 90 days determined for credit card bonus points?
Most credit card companies start the 90-day countdown from when you accept the credit card agreement.
How to earn credit card sign up bonus again?
Most credit card companies won’t let you double down on sign up bonuses without opening another credit card. Opening a second credit card account is the most likely way you’ll get your bonus again. There are also some store credit cards easy to get approved for.
Financial Advisor - Best.CreditCard
David is our in-house financial advisor with years of experience in the credit card industry. He became interested in credit cards after working for several years at a major bank. He holds a Masters Degree in Finance.