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Best Credit Card Bonuses in May

The best credit card bonus offers have the potential to earn lucrative points, rewards and cash.

Advertiser Disclosure: Most products in our articles are from partners who may provide us with compensation. However, opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain.

Whether you’re looking for a premium platinum card or a credit card that offers perks like purchase protections or statement credits for rideshares, take a look at the best credit card bonus offers from our partners.

These welcome offers could easily net you hundreds of extra dollars in cash back or travel rewards.

Rewards Credit Card Bonuses
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $95
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $550
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card
Bonus Offer: Earn $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on purchases (up to $20,000 spent) in the first year
Annual Fee: $0
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Welcome Bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $6,000 during the first six months of card membership.
Annual Fee: $695
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Welcome Bonus: Earn $300 after spending $3,000 with the card during the first six months of card membership.
Annual Fee: $95 (waived for first year)
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Welcome Bonus: Earn $200 after spending $2,000 with the card during the first six months of card membership.
Annual Fee: $0
American Express® Gold Card
Welcome Bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases during the first six months of card membership.
Annual Fee: $250
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0 | Rates and Fees
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee: $95
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 20,000 miles after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bonus Offer: Earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Bonus Offer: Earn $200 after spending $750 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0
Citi Premier® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $95
Citi Rewards+® Card
Bonus Offer: Earn 20,000 ThankYou Points after spending $1,500 in the first 3 months of account opening + earn 5x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on air travel and hotel purchases up to $6,000 in the first 12 months
Annual Fee: $0
United℠ Explorer Card
Bonus Offer: Earn up to 70,000 miles (earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, then an additional 10,000 miles after spending $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months)
Annual Fee: $95 (waived for first year)
Chase Freedom® Student Card
Bonus Offer: Earn $50 after making the first purchase in the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee: $0

>>Review the methodology our finance experts use to evaluate the best credit card sign-up offers from our credit card partners, or skip to most the frequently asked questions about credit card bonuses.

Best Credit Cards Bonuses in May 2022 From Our Partners

Credit card issuers often incentivize new customers with sign-up bonuses that can be worth hundreds of dollars in cash-back or travel rewards. In addition to annual fees and benefits, many cards are judged on the value of their one-time bonuses.

Below, you’ll discover the best credit card sign-up bonus offers from our partners.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 80,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 5x points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x points on dining (including eligible takeout and delivery services), as well as 3x points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs). This card earns 2x points on all other travel spending and 1x point per dollar everywhere else. Chase broadly defines travel to include not just airfare, hotels and rental cars, but expenses like parking, tolls and public transit too.

Sign-Up Bonus: New applicants can earn 80,000 bonus points after using their card to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s $1,000 when redeeming points to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who are beginning with travel rewards cards.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred actually works like having over a dozen different rewards credit cards. That’s because this credit card allows you to transfer your rewards points into miles with 11 airlines and points with three hotel programs.

Although the Chase Sapphire Preferred might not be ideal for the most frequent travelers and highest spenders, it’s part of a family of Chase cards that has a built-in upgrade path. So when it comes time to take your travel rewards game to the next level, you won’t have to start from scratch with an entirely different credit card and rewards program.

The card has a $95 annual fee, but the $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit effectively reduces that fee to $45. Plus, the credit card allows you to continue earning points through bonus categories and a 10% anniversary points boost. But when it comes time to redeem your rewards for travel, this card really shines. You can take advantage of some really strong transfer partners such as United, Southwest, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Hyatt. Similarly, you can just book any reservation you want through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel center.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the gold standards for earning travel rewards. This travel credit card helps users earn points quickly with accelerated rewards in everyday spending categories like travel and dining.

Cardholders enjoy perks like a $50 annual hotel credit, 10% anniversary point boost and access to the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal, powered by Expedia.

New cardmembers can earn 80,000 bonus points after using their credit card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. This bonus is worth $1,000 in travel reservations booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, but potentially more when transferred to airline and hotel partners. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.


Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $550
Bonus: 50,000 Points
APR: Variable Rate
Rewards Rate: 1X-10X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $550

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 10x points per dollar spent on hotels and rental cars as well as 5x points on air travel booked directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards immediately after you spend $300 on travel purchases annually. Additionally, earn 3x points per dollar spent on all other travel and dining purchases and 1x everywhere else.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after using your card to spend $4,000 within three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Frequent travelers who are serious about earning travel awards.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Right off the bat, Chase Sapphire Reserve features a $300 annual credit for travel purchases. That means the annual fee is effectively just $250 per year for frequent travelers. You also get free access to more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges and restaurant options around the world. Those lounges usually give you free food and drinks, cleaner bathrooms, fast internet and a comfortable place to sit outside of the ruckus of an airport terminal. Plus, the Sapphire Reserve will get you access to the upcoming Chase Sapphire Lounge network.

If you’re looking to elevate your travel experience, look no further than the Chase Sapphire Reserve. When you first get approved, you’ll earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months — that’s worth $750 in travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and potentially more if you transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s airline or hotel partners.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve is among the top premium travel cards available. While this credit card comes with a hefty $550 annual fee, the Sapphire Reserve is packed with travel perks that more than make up for the expense.

Right off the bat, the Chase Sapphire Reserve features a $300 annual travel credit. You also get free access to more than 1,300 Priority Pass lounges and restaurant options in airports around the world. Those lounges usually give you free food and drinks, cleaner bathrooms, fast internet and a comfortable place to sit outside of the ruckus of an airport terminal.

New cardholders can also earn a sign-up bonus of 50,000 points after they spend $4,000 during the first three months of account opening. This Chase Sapphire Reserve bonus is worth $750 in travel redemptions when booking through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal — where each point is worth at least 1.5 cents. Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve review.


Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $200
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After the introductory period, a variable rate will apply. Balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account membership will be charged a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer. After 60 days, that balance transfer fees increases to either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness. See terms for details.

Rewards Rate: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in rotating categories (when you activate), 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining, including takeout and delivery, 3% back at drugstores and 1% back on everything else.

Sign-Up Bonus: Receive a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who want to maximize cash-back rewards with the option to get more value with travel redemptions.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Freedom Flex® Card

We love that the Chase Freedom Flex card expands on an already lucrative offering from Chase. The original Chase Freedom card was already a solid choice for cash-back enthusiasts, and this one raises the bar.

The Freedom Flex also gives cardholders access to Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is arguably the most versatile credit card rewards platform available. You’ll get plenty of redemption options at good rates. Plus, if you have one of the program’s travel credit cards, you can transfer points from your Chase Freedom Flex to your travel card account and get even more value and flexibility with how you redeem.

The Chase Freedom Flex Card is an excellent cash-back credit card for people who are looking to maximize rewards. Cardholders can take advantage of its excellent rewards rate: 5% cash back on rotating categories when you activate (up to $1,500 each quarter), 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining, including takeout and delivery, 3% back at drugstores and 1% back on other purchases.

As a new Freedom Flex cardholder, you’ll also earn a $200 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.

The Freedom Flex also offers an introductory 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 month from account opening. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex Card review.


Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: Extra 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) in the first year
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Intro Rewards Rate: 3%-6.5% Cash Back
Standard Rewards Rate: 1.5%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: This card allows new cardholders to save money with an introductory 0% interest rate on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months of account opening.

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000) in the first year of account opening. This bonus is valued at up to $300 in cash back, and increases rewards rates to: 6.5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 4.5% back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and drugstore purchases and 3% back on all other purchases.

Rewards Rate: After the bonus 1.5% cash back intro offer period concludes, earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% back at drugstores and on dining purchases and 1.5% back on everything else.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households that prioritize cash-back rewards for everyday spending and Chase loyalists who are looking to maximize Ultimate Rewards earnings.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

You don’t need excellent credit to get the Chase Freedom Unlimited. In fact, many cardholders report getting approved with good credit. We like that the card offers a high flat rewards rate but also provides accelerated rewards on some common everyday spending categories. You’ll also get access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which allows you to use your cash-back earnings for travel rewards, gift cards and more.

And that sign-up bonus? Adding extra value to everyday spending categories like dining and travel help elevate this card above its competitors. Add the fact that there’s a 0% introductory APR for 15 months, an extra 1.5% cash back bonus during the first year of account holding and no annual fee, and you’ll see why the Chase Freedom Unlimited is among our favorite flat-rate cards.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a valuable all-around credit card with no annual fee. This cash-back card earns a rewards rate of 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back at drugstores, 3% back on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services and a flat-rate 1.5% back on other purchases. There are no rotating categories to track, caps on how much you can earn or excluded purchase categories.

New cardholders can take advantage of its big sign-up bonus—enjoy an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases (up to $20,000 spent) in the first year. This bonus is valued at up to $300 in cash back, and stacks with all the above rewards rates, meaning you can earn up to 6.5% cash back. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card.


United℠ Explorer Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95 (fee waived first year)
Bonus: Up to 70,000 Bonus Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1X-2X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95, waived for the first year

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card features 2X miles for every dollar spent on United purchases, at restaurants and eligible meal-delivery services like GrubHub, DoorDash, Seamless and Caviar. You also earn 2X miles for every dollar spent on hotel accommodations booked directly through the hotel. Additionally, you get 1X miles per dollar everywhere else.

Sign-Up Bonus: This card’s bonus is worth up to 70,000 bonus miles. New cardholders earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases with their new cards in the first three months of account opening. Then, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles by spending $6,000 total on purchases in the first six months the account is open.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? United loyalists who want to earn free and discounted airfare.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the United℠ Explorer Card

The United Explorer Card’s benefits are what makes it really stand out from the crowd. Here’s what you’ll get: One free checked bag for each flight, priority boarding, 25% back on inflight purchases, two United Club airport lounge passes every year and Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application fee credit every four years.

The United Explorer Card also offers several trip protections including primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and trip delay reimbursement. The card’s annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95 after that, which will give you some time to confirm that it’s a good fit before the fee hits.

The best airline credit card for you is likely the card offered by the airline you fly with most. For total value, the United Explorer Card is tough to beat. Perks like free checked bags and complimentary airport lounge passes can more than compensate for its $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year. The cardholder and a companion can get one free checked bag each way. Use that once per calendar year for a roundtrip flight and you’ve already saved $140 with the card, more than the annual cost.

Additionally, new cardholders can earn a sign-up bonus of up to 70,000 MileagePlus Miles. First, earn 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open. After that, earn an additional 10,000 bonus miles after spending $6,000 total on purchases in the first six months of account opening.

United MileagePlus Miles can be used for United flights, as well as with partner airlines, upgrades, hotel accommodations, car rentals, gift cards and more. Read our full review of the United Explorer Card.


Chase Freedom® Student Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $50
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1.5%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

APR: Variable APR depending on credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: Earn 1% cash back per dollar spent on all purchases. Cash-back rewards don’t expire as long the account is open, and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.

Sign-Up Bonus: Receive a $50 cash bonus after first purchase is made with the card during the first three months of account membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who are looking to build credit and earn rewards with their first student credit card.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card

The Chase Freedom® Student credit card is a great starting credit card for college students who want to earn cash back rewards with no annual fee. Overall, the Chase Freedom Student credit card is a good choice for those who are newer to credit. Chase is a top brand for anyone into cash back or travel rewards credit cards and this card is a good way to get your foot in the door with valuable bonuses and useful features.

Major highlights include a $50 cash bonus after making your first purchase and a $20 annual bonus for keeping your account in good standing for up to five years. In addition to bonuses worth $150, you will earn 1% back on all other purchases with the card. It also comes with valuable benefits at DoorDash and Lyft.

Credit cards, when handled responsibly, are an important part of managing your finances. The Chase Freedom Student credit card is a great starting credit card for college students who want to earn cash-back rewards with no annual fee.

Major highlights include a $50 cash bonus after making your first purchase within the first three months of account opening and a $20 annual bonus for keeping your account in good standing for up to five years. In addition to bonuses worth $150, you will earn 1% back on all other purchases with the Freedom Student Card. It also comes with valuable benefits at DoorDash and Lyft. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Student.


Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus
APR: Variable 15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% APR After Low Intro APR Period
Rewards Rate: 2% cash rewards on purchases
Details: Full Review

Rates and Fees

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: The card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then the regular APR is applied to balances. Balance transfers must be made within the first 15 months of membership to qualify for the introductory 0% APR and 3% balance transfer fee. After the promotional period, balance transfer fees increase to 5% (minimum of $5).

APR: After the intro low APR offer concludes, a variable APR will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders earn a one-time $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first three months.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who prioritize simple cash rewards and do not want the hassle of tracking bonus spending categories.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

If you’re a fan of earning cash rewards for your everyday spending, then you need a credit card that rewards you for purchases outside of popular bonus categories like travel, grocery stores and gas stations. With the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card (Rates and Fees), you earn 2% back for every dollar spent without the fuss of tracking specific bonus categories. Plus, cash rewards do not expire as long as your account remains open.

It’s rare for a 2% rewards card to feature a bonus offer for new cardholders. Additionally, the introductory 0% APR offer for the first 15 months of card ownership will be appealing to households planning on expensive projects like home remodeling or big-ticket purchases like appliances and vehicle repair.

Many rewards credit cards tempt you with bonus rewards for specific purchases, but with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card (Rates and Fees), you simply receive a 2% cash rewards on purchases. There’s no need to register for anything, and there is no annual fee to carry this credit card in your wallet.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card applicants can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening. Additionally, new accounts receive a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (a 15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% variable APR applies after). Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 120 days of account opening. Read our full review of the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card.


Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 75,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 2X-5X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR based on creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers a flat 2X miles on every purchase you make, giving cardholders predictability and simplicity. You’ll also earn 5X miles on all hotel and rental car purchases that you make with the card through Capital One’s proprietary travel booking platform.

Sign-Up Bonus: You can earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Travel rewards enthusiasts who want simplicity in credit card rewards and benefits.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a lot of value to beginner and expert travelers alike. The card’s big upfront bonus and high ongoing rewards rate aren’t easy to beat, making it a solid option for a large audience. Where it really shines, though, is with the redemption process. When it comes to travel credit cards, it can be really challenging to find a way to use your rewards in the way you want.

With hotel and airline credit cards, for instance, you’re basically stuck redeeming your points or miles with the co-branded hotel or airline partner. And with some general rewards programs, you might get less value if you use your points or miles to book a flight versus a rental car or hotel.

With the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, though, you’ll get a lot of flexibility. Here are some of the top redemption options that are available: redeem miles to cover past travel expenses, book travel through Capital One or transfer miles to any of Capital One’s multiple airline and hotel loyalty programs.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a lot of value to beginner and expert travelers alike. This travel rewards credit card’s big upfront sign-up bonus and high ongoing rewards rate aren’t easy to beat, making it a solid option for a large audience.

You’ll also get a lot of flexibility when it comes time to redeem your travel rewards including access to booking travel through Capital One and a long list of transfer partners (both hotels and airlines). Similarly, with no foreign transaction fees, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is ideal for people who regularly make international purchases. Read our full review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.


Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

Offer Details
capital one ventureone card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: 20,000 Miles
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1.25X-5X Miles
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: The card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases. The VentureOne Rewards Card charges a 3% balance transfer fee for transferred balances during the 15-month promotion.

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers unlimited 1.25x miles per dollar on every purchase you make. You’ll also earn 5X miles on all hotel and rental car purchases that you make with the card through Capital One’s proprietary travel booking platform.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus miles after spending $500 with the card during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Travel rewards enthusiasts who want simplicity in credit card rewards and benefits without paying an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card features several standout benefits. The introductory, 15-month APR of 0% is notable, and so is the 20,000 bonus mile opportunity with a low $500 spending requirement.

But perhaps the most appealing feature of this travel credit card is the ability to transfer miles to Capital One travel partners—an uncommon feature on a card with no annual fee.Plus, the ability to transfer miles to travel partners—both airlines and hotels—is arguably the most attractive feature of this travel card.

The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card may work well for travel credit card users who want to earn rewards without the cost of an annual fee.

The ability to transfer rewards miles to travel partners—both airlines and hotels—is arguably the most attractive feature of this travel card. The 0% introductory APR for 15 months, no foreign transaction fees, sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months, give the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card added value as well. Read our full review of the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.


Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Offer Details
capital one quicksilver card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $200
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1.5%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: Introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months, variable APR after that. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card charges a 3% balance transfer fee for transferred balances during the 15-month promotion.

APR: Variable APR based on creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back per dollar on every purchase you make and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, giving cardholders predictability and simplicity.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 with the card during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households that want a simple, flat-rate cash rewards without spending categories or annual fees.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card features several standout benefits. The introductory, 15-month APR of 0% is notable, and so is the $200 bonus opportunity with a low $500 spending requirement for new cardholders. The potential cash back earnings with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card are hard to ignore. You can maximize your rewards by making it your go-to everyday use credit card.

With no annual fee, all of your spending goes towards earning rewards. It’s even a great card to use when traveling internationally since it has no foreign transaction fees.

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is a popular cash-back credit card, offering unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Additionally, earn 5% cash back on rental cars and hotels booked through Capital One Travel.

New cardholders can take advantage of its sizable $200 cash sign-up bonus once you spend $500 within three months of account opening. Additionally, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card offers an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (Variable APR based on creditworthiness applies after this offer concludes. See details on issuer site).

The benefits of this Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card aren’t limited just to its cash-back rewards. To start out, there’s no annual fee, and the card also offers several key travel perks and purchase protections that help to make it a standout fee-free rewards card to add to your wallet. Read our full review of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.


Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Offer Details
capital one savorone card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $200
APR: Variable APR After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1%-5% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: An introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 15 months of account membership, variable APR after that. The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card charges a 3% balance transfer fee for transferred balances during the 15-month promotion.

APR: Variable APR based on creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers unlimited 3% cash back per dollar spent on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target). Additionally, earn 5% cash back per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. It offers 1% back per dollar on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New cardholders can earn a one-time $200 bonus after spending $500 with the card during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who regularly spend on entertainment, dining and grocery stores, but do not want a credit card with an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Foodies and entertainment aficionados alike will find a lot of value with the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. After all, with no annual fee and a big $200 bonus to get started, there’s plenty to gain and little to lose by trying it out. When you carry a Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn cash back rewards every time you swipe, dip, tap or click to checkout. As your cash back balance grows, your biggest question will be how to treat yourself when you cash out your rewards.

Plus, when you sign up as a new cardholder, you won’t pay any interest on purchases for the first 15 months. Once you reach that date, regular variable interest rates begin. Having more than a year interest-free can be a very useful benefit when you’re looking to make a large purchase or undertake a big project at home.

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is an absolute cash-back powerhouse. It awards 3% cash back for every dollar spent at restaurants, grocery stores, entertainment venues and eligible streaming services, including Netflix, Disney+ and Hulu. Additionally, it awards 5% cash back for every dollar spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1% back on all other purchases. That’s a lot of value for a cash-back credit card with no annual fee.

New Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card users can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on the credit card in the first three months of account opening. You also won’t pay any interest on purchases or balance transfers for the first 15 months. Read our full review of the Capital One Savor One Card.


Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Offer Details
CITI Custom Cash card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: $200
APR: Variable APR Between 14.74% – 24.74% After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 5% Back in Top Eligible Spend Category
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be based on your creditworthiness. Note that there is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5% of the transfer, whichever is greater. Furthermore, balance transfers need to occur during the first four months of account opening.

Once the no-interest offer concludes, a variable APR between 14.74% – 24.74%, based on credit worthiness, will apply to all balances.

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who want flexibility in their spending rewards.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. The credit card offers an impressive 5% cash back on purchases made in your top eligible spending category each month, up to $500 spent per month — no activation required. After that, you’ll earn just 1% back on every purchase because that’s the base rewards rate.

The list of eligible bonus categories includes restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel and transit, select streaming services, drug stores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment.

Cardholders can redeem their ThankYou Points for cash back as a direct deposit, statement credit or check. Alternatively, they can redeem their points for gift cards, travel and online shopping via Amazon.com. The ThankYou rewards program also partners with a number of airlines, both domestic and international, and you can transfer your points to these frequent flyer programs.

The Citi Custom Cash Card, from our partner Citi, gives cardholders the chance to earn 5% cash back every month on their top eligible spending category, up to $500 each month — no activation required. This Citi card is technically billed as a cash-back credit card, but you’ll actually earn ThankYou Points, which can be worth more than traditional cash-back rewards.

Citi Custom Cash Card is offering $200 cash back after you spend $750 in the first three months — that’s 20,000 ThankYou Points, which you can redeem for cash back or for a number of other things, including gift cards and travel. Plus, new cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be based on your creditworthiness. Read our full review of the Citi Custom Cash Card.


Citi Premier® Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95
Bonus: 60,000 ThankYou Points
APR: Variable APR Between 16.74% – 24.74%
Rewards Rate: 1X-3X ThankYou Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95

APR: Variable APR based on creditworthiness.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 3x ThankYou Points per $1 spent at supermarkets, gas stations, restaurants, air travel and hotels. Beyond that, the card awards 1x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: New account holders can earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points after making $4,000 worth of purchases during the first three months of account opening.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who want to maximize rewards in multiple spending categories and welcome transferring points to airline partners.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier Card, from our partner Citi, is worth considering if you’re looking for accelerated travel rewards, but don’t want to pay a huge annual fee. It earns 3X points per dollar on air travel, hotels and spending at gas stations. You’ll also earn 3X points per dollar at supermarkets and restaurants and 1X point on everything else.

It’s easy to quickly rack up lots of points on this card. While you can redeem ThankYou points for gift cards, you’ll get more value when you redeem points for flights and hotels, and potentially even better value when you transfer points to travel partners.

Citi has dramatically improved the ThankYou Rewards program in recent years as well as the cards that earn those points, especially the Citi Premier Card. To compete with American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi has onboarded new airline partners like Avianca LifeMiles and JetBlue TrueBlue.

The Citi Premier Card, from our partner Citi, is worth considering if you’re looking for a travel credit card, but don’t want to pay a huge annual fee. The Citi Premier Card offers new cardholders a sign-up bonus of 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 during the first three months of account opening.

Additionally, this Citi credit card offers a range of incentives, such as bonus points, gift cards and deals with retail partners. Best of all, you’ll get more value when you redeem points for flights, and potentially even better value when you transfer points to Citi’s travel partners. Read our full review of the Citi Premier Card.


Citi Rewards+® Card

Offer Details
Citi rewards+ card art

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Bonus: 20,000 ThankYou Points
APR: Variable APR Between 14.24% – 24.24% After Intro 0% APR Period
Rewards Rate: 1X-5X ThankYou Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: New cardholders can enjoy an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. Afterwards, any balances will carry a variable APR based on creditworthiness. Note that there is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first four months of account opening. After that, the balance transfer fee is 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum).

APR: After the intro 0% APR offer concludes, a variable APR between 14.24% – 24.24% will apply.

Rewards Rate: The card offers 5X ThankYou Points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months (and then the point-to-dollar ratio becomes 1:1 thereafter). Additionally, earn 2X ThankYou Points per dollar spent at grocery stores and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year (after that, the point-to-dollar ratio is 1:1). Otherwise, the card awards 1x ThankYou Points per dollar spent on all eligible spending.

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou Points after you spend $1,500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $200 in gift cards at thankyou.com

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who make lots of small purchases.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the Citi Rewards+® Card

The Citi Rewards+ Card, from our partner Citi, has a novel approach to rewarding spending. It rounds up all purchases to the nearest 10 ThankYou Points. As an example, if you bought a cup of coffee for $2, you’d earn 10 ThankYou Points. Similarly, if a burger and fries cost $15, you’d earn 20 ThankYou Points. Awesome, right?

If you make a lot of small purchases, like a morning cup of coffee, this could be the card for you. The Citi Rewards+ Card also earns 2X ThankYou Points per dollar spent at grocery stores and gas stations up to the first $6,000 each year. Plus, for a limited time earn 5X ThankYou Points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first year. The card offers introductory 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.

Citi Rewards+ Card, from our partner Citi, is a cash-back rewards credit card with no annual fee. The card includes unique features, including a round-up to the next 10 Thank You Points on any purchase and 10% back on redemptions. New cardholders can earn 20,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $1,500 in the first three months of the account opening date for a limited time. Additionally, new cardholders earn 5x ThankYou points per dollar spent on air travel and hotels up to $6,000 in the first 12 months (then the points-per-dollar ratio becomes 1:1 thereafter).

When shopping with the Citi Rewards+ Card, you’ll earn 2x ThankYou Points per dollar spent at supermarkets and gas stations up to $6,000 in annual purchases. That means you can earn up to 12,000 points per year from these bonus category purchases. Any other purchases beyond $6,000 earn the card’s regular rewards rate of 1x point per dollar. Read our full review of the Citi Rewards+ Card.


American Express Credit Card Welcome Bonuses

Dollar-for-dollar, many consider American Express to offer the most exciting credit cards on the market. American Express bonuses come in the form of high-value Membership Rewards Points, as well as cash statement credits.

Whether you’re looking to enjoy travel credits with the flagship American Express Platinum Card or earn accelerated cash-back earnings at U.S. supermarkets, American Express offers some of the best credit card welcome bonuses.

While American Express offers many co-branded airline and hotel credit cards, its travel rewards and cash-back credit cards offer some of the best value you can get.

Similar to the Citi® Double Cash Card, from our partner Citi, American Express cash rewards credit cards don’t make you fuss with quarterly bonus categories. Instead Amex cards offer accelerated earnings on popular household spending categories like U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.


The Platinum Card® from American Express

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $695
Welcome Bonus: 100,000 Membership Rewards Points
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1-5X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $695

APR: The card charges a variable APR on balances, depending on your credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card awards 5X points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com up to $500,000 a year and prepaid hotels also booked via amextravel.com. You’ll also earn 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

Welcome Bonus: New cardholders can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $6,000 with the card during their first six months of card membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? People who travel frequently will be able to make the most use of this premium credit cards multiple perks and statement credits.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the American Express Platinum Card®
The American Express Platinum Card is a cornucopia of perks and annual credits that reminds one of a fancy coupon book. Each year, cardholders have a variety of credits to look forward to including a $200 hotel credit, $240 digital entertainment credit, $155 Walmart+ credit, $200 airline fee credit, $200 in Uber Cash, and more.

Like other premium credit cards, households that are able to use all of these statement credits and benefits will easily offset the cost of hefty annual fees. But people who have no use for Equinox or Saks Fifth Avenue rebates will most likely find the Platinum Card’s annual fee out of reach.

Still, this credit card is extremely popular among rewards credit card enthusiasts, and it’s easy to see why. Not only does it offer new cardholders a generous welcome bonus, but the perks alone could add up to eclipse the annual fee — but only if you already use services like Walmart+ and Uber enough to warrant the expense of a luxury card. Otherwise, you may end up spending $150, just to save $10.

The American Express Platinum Card has long been a symbol of extravagance and affluence. And with its precious annual fee, it’s easy to see why. Yet, this premium credit card is more than just wallet candy — it offers cardholders a diverse lineup of statement credits and benefits that may negate the yearly cost for many people.

Each year, Platinum Card members look forward to a collection of rebates, including:

  • $200 hotel credit: Prepaid bookings with select hotels
  • $200 airline fee credit: Benefit can be applied to one selected airline
  • $240 digital entertainment credit: $20 benefit per month
  • $155 Walmart+ credit: Benefit covers monthly membership cost
  • $200 Uber Cash: Receive $15 monthly benefit for rideshares and meal delivery
  • $300 Equinox credit: $25 benefit each month
  • $100 Saks Fifth Avenue credit: $50 benefit between January and June and then again between July through December
  • $179 CLEAR credit: Benefit applies to annual membership

Some of these benefits will more exciting than others, depending on the merchants and services you already use. Still, cardholders who can take full advantage of what the Platinum Card offers will find outsized value for its yearly fee.

Keep in mind, with any credit card benefit, terms and conditions apply. Read our full review of the Platinum Card.


Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $95 (free for the first year)
Welcome Bonus: $300
Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1%-6% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $95 (fee waived for the first year)

Intro APR: Enjoy introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate applies.

APR: The card charges a variable APR on balances, depending on your credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card earns 6% cash back per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 each calendar year (then 1%) and 6% back on select U.S. streaming services. You’ll also earn 3% back on gas from U.S. gas stations and transit expenses, including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, buses and more. All other eligible purchases earn 1% back.

Welcome Bonus: New cardholders can earn $300 after spending $3,000 with the card during their first six months of card membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households who spend enough each year on groceries and gasoline to justify the expense of an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card
It’s rare for a cash-back credit card to charge an annual fee, but it’s even more unexpected to earn a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and with select streaming services. Big families will undoubtedly offset the cost of the annual fee, which is waived for the first year.

Many large households will naturally spend $6,000 annually at supermarkets, and with 6% cash back — the card returns $360 of your budgeted grocery bill. That’s nearly four times the annual fee (after the free introductory first year).

This credit card may also be ideal for families who spend a lot of time commuting around the city and who also have multiple U.S. streaming subscriptions, too. The Blue Cash Preferred Card is definitely designed to help busy households maximize their cash-back earnings.

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card is designed to help on-the-go households maximize cash-back earnings. While this card carries an annual fee, which is rare for a cash-back product, large families that spend heavily on gas and groceries will most likely spend enough to offset the $95 annual fee, which is waived for the first 12 months.

The card earns 6% back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 each calendar year (then 1%) and 6% back on select U.S. streaming services. You’ll also earn 3% back on fuel purchases at U.S. gas stations and 3% on transit expenses, including parking, tolls, bus fare and more. All other eligible spending earns 1% cash back.

New cardholders have the opportunity to earn a welcome bonus of $300 once they spend $3,000 with the card during their first six months of card membership. Learn more with our full review of the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card


Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: $200
Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for the first 15 months
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1%-3% Cash Back
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $0

Intro APR: Enjoy introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable rate applies.

APR: The card charges a variable APR on balances, depending on your credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card earns 3% cash back per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 each calendar year (then 1%) and 2% back on gas from U.S. gas stations. All other eligible purchases earn 1% back.

Welcome Bonus: New cardholders can earn $200 after spending $2,000 with the card during their first six months of card membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households who frequently purchase groceries and gasoline, but not in quantities high enough to justify paying an annual fee.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express offers good value among cash back rewards card competitors with no annual fee. Between its competitive grocery rewards rate and $200 welcome bonus offer, it’s easy to extract a lot of value from this card.

Cardholders earn cash back rewards of up to 3% on every purchase, with bonuses for eligible grocery store and gas station purchases in the U.S. and 1% on standard purchases everywhere else.

If you want to earn cash back on everyday purchases but don’t feel like your household budget is high enough to justify a more premium card with an annual fee, this card might be a good choice.

For a card with no annual fee, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers an impressive amount of value. Right off the bat, new cardmembers can earn a $200 Welcome Bonus after spending $2,000 on purchases during the first six months of card membership.

This card earns 3% cash back per dollar spent at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 each calendar year (then 1%) and 2% back on gas from U.S. gas stations. All other eligible purchases earn 1% back.

If you’re looking for a simple card to get cash back and earn a bonus on the popular groceries and gas categories, this card could fit your spending needs. Check out our full review of the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card.


American Express® Gold Card

Offer Details

Secure application on issuer’s website.

Annual Fee: $250
Welcome Bonus: 60,000 Membership Rewards Points
APR: Variable APR
Rewards Rate: 1-4X Points
Details: Full Review

Terms and restrictions apply

Offer Terms

Annual Fee: $250

APR: The card charges a variable APR on balances, depending on your credit worthiness.

Rewards Rate: This card awards 4X points per dollar at U.S. grocery stores, up to $25,000 each calendar year (1X point afterwards), and 4X points at restaurants worldwide, including eligible takeout and delivery services in the U.S. . Also earn 3X points on flights booked directly through airlines or with amextravel.com. Earn 1X points on all other eligible purchases.

Welcome Bonus: New cardholders can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $4,000 on eligible purchases during their first six months of card membership.

Who Should Use This Credit Card? Households that spend a large portion of their budget on food, either at grocery stores or restaurants, will find a lot of value with this credit card.

Why We Like It

Why We Like the American Express® Gold Card
The American Express Gold Card is a foodie’s dream. Not only will you earn outsized rewards at U.S. grocery stores and restaurants worldwide, you’ll also enjoy perks like $120 in dining credits each year with select merchants including Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations.

Yet, benefits like no foreign transaction fees for international purchases and $120 in annual Uber Cash credits make this card ideal for travelers as well. While the hefty annual fee may look daunting, households that are able to take advantage of the $240 worth of annual statement credits will easily offset that recurring cost.

All things considered, the American Express Gold Card is among the most appealing rewards credit cards currently on the market.

The American Express Gold Card is a foodie’s dream come true. This appetizing credit card awards 4X points per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide, including eligible takeout and delivery services in the U.S., and 4X points at U.S. supermarkets, up to $25,000 each calendar year (then 1%). You’ll also earn 3X points on flights booked directly through airlines or amextravel.com, and 1X point per dollar on all other purchases.

While the $250 annual fee may seem out of reach for many households, when you consider that this credit card also offers $120 annual Uber Cash credits (valid for both rideshare and meal delivery) and $120 in annual dining credits for select merchants including The Cheesecake Factory, Ruth Chris Steakhouse, Grubhub, Seamless, Boxed, and participating Shake Shack locations — families who use these services will undoubtedly offset the recurring cost of card membership.

Plus, the generous welcome bonus will go along way towards booking that next family vacation. Read our full review of the American Express Gold Card to learn more about its benefits and costs.

Other American Express cards include:

Types of Credit Card Bonus Offers

Credit cards that offer sign-up bonuses will offer them in two different ways, either in cash back or points/miles. Here is the break down of both.

Cash-Back Bonuses

Cash-back bonuses can be more flexible than earning points. Typically, you won’t earn as much cash back as you would point and miles, but it is easier to spend. To redeem your cash-back bonus, just request a statement credit or have the bonus transferred to your bank account.

Points and Miles

Other cards reward you in points or miles. This can turn your bonus into a free vacation. These points/miles usually go farthest when redeeming them for travel. Some cards will allow you to redeem your points/miles for cash, account credit or gift cards, but the conversion rate isn’t always as high. Redeeming points or miles might take a little more legwork since you have to make sure you are redeeming your hard-earned points/miles for top dollar travel plans.

How to Choose a Card with a Sign-Up Bonus

When choosing the best rewards credit card for your budget, look at the sign-on bonuses. Weigh them carefully with the card’s everyday spending rewards — for example, if you are torn between two cards, which one will give you more cash back throughout the year rather than just upfront. Here are a few questions to ask when you are comparing credit cards:

Can you reach the spending threshold? 

This isn’t as simple as just going on a grand shopping spree. Calculate how much you must spend to reach the threshold and if it fits into your budget. Anyone can blow $5,000, but not everyone can afford to do so without digging themselves into debt. Your sign-up bonus will not be worth it when you have a high-interest rate that comes when you carry thousands of dollars of debt.

Is the annual fee worth it? 

If the card comes with an annual fee, weigh the fee against the perks. Cards with smaller annual fees typically come with smaller bonuses, but they also have lower spending minimums to activate the bonus also.

Is this the best offer for a particular card? 

Credit card offers come and go. Try to research other offers the card issuer has promoted within the past calendar year. There is a good chance similar bonuses will occur again.

What is the credit card sign-up bonus really worth? It is also wise to be realistic about how you will use the bonus. If you don’t love to travel, then you will probably take a lower cash value for your bonus — i.e., your 50,000 points might only be worth $350 in cash rather than $500 in travel redemption.

Also, the promised 50,000 points a card might offer might only equate to $500 in perks when redeemed for a specific airline or hotel chain. Make sure to research the card’s bonus redemption options, so you aren’t stuck with a bonus you can’t use.

How to Maximize a Sign-Up Bonus

Once you know which credit card bonus you will be pursuing, it is time to make the most of it. Just a little more effort could land you more bonus points.

Time Your Applications Carefully

Timing is everything when it comes to credit cards. You want to apply when the card has the best offer, and you also want to apply at a time you were planning on spending more money, such as right before Christmas or right before booking a vacation. This will help you reach the spending limit faster. Make sure you have let enough time pass between similar credit card offers. For example, you must wait 24 months to receive another sign-up bonus from a Chase credit card.

Never Overspend

The desire to meet your spending limit might put you in a shopping flurry. Keep track of your spending to make sure you reach the minimum without racking up debt.

Look for Special Offers

Sometimes a card will allow you to add an authorized user for additional points. Other times, you can activate offers on your card to make your spending go even further.

Watch Out for Hidden Fees

Not every retailer lets you swipe your plastic for free. Some purchases will incur a convenience fee. These fees are common for online ticket vendors or third-party companies that allow you to pay your rent with a credit card.

Understand What Counts Toward Your Spending Threshold

Most cards will not count annual fees, transferred balances or cash advances toward the spending threshold. Many cards will also not count gift cards, lottery ticket purchases and similar purchases toward the bonus, either. Read your card’s fine print thoroughly before you spend. When in doubt, a quick chat with your card’s customer service line can help.

Be Careful About Returning Items

Any returns made on your card will not count toward your purchase total. Even if you return an item after you receive your bonus, the issuer can reclaim the bonus if your original purchases did not meet the spending requirements. This is at the discretion of the card issuer. But what if you really hate the sweater you bought? Try returning items in exchange for store credit rather than getting credit back on your card.

How to Compare Bonus Offers

When using a rewards credit card, you are able to earn cash back, points or miles for each dollar you spend. But while it’s always helpful to earn a couple of points with the best travel credit cards on all of your purchases, it’s even better to snag thousands of them at once, thanks to an impressive bonus offer.

Credit card bonuses are frequently available to new cardholders in exchange for meeting certain spending requirements. The best credit card bonus offers are often worth hundreds of dollars (or more), giving you a jump-start on your cash-back earnings and easily canceling out any annual fees your issuer may charge.

Methodology

While the right rewards credit card for you will depend on a number of factors, these are some of our favorites right now that are also offering enviable sign-up bonuses.

We considered a number of factors when choosing these cards, including the value of the bonus, redemption options and whether or not the card charges an annual fee. To help ensure that the card is a great choice for you beyond that initial bonus, we also looked at the benefits included and the rewards rate on future purchases.

With each of these cards shown, you will enjoy either no annual fee or a fee that can easily be recouped with the benefits and/or bonuses offered.

Credit Card Bonus Offers FAQ

What Is a Credit Card Bonus Offer?

Many credit cards will offer a sign-up bonus for new cardholders who spend a specific amount in their first three months. This amount varies by credit card, but typically cards with higher sign-on bonuses require users to spend $4,000 to 5,000 in qualifying purchases in their first three months. Balance transfers, cash advances and annual fees will not count toward this bonus minimum. Credit card bonus offers can come in the form of cash back, miles or points. For some cards, the initial point bonus will qualify them for more perks, such as the use of an airline companion pass.

Which Credit Cards Give You a Bonus?

Rewards credit cards and co-branded travel cards typically have the best sign-up bonuses. Many cards are very similar in the everyday spending rewards they offer. Therefore, they might offer an enticing sign-up bonus to attract more users. Popular cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Amex Platinum Card offer two of the biggest and most valuable bonus offers for frequent travelers. Look for a rewards credit card that not only gives you an awesome sign-on bonus, but also a card that rewards you for how you spend money. If you don’t spend a lot of money on travel, research cards that offer more rewards back on groceries and gas instead of travel.

Are Credit Card Bonuses Taxable?

Thankfully, most credit card bonuses are not taxable. As long as you earn your bonus through meeting a spending limit and it’s for a personal account. The same rule applies for any money, points or miles earned through everyday spending. Individuals using credit card bonuses for business purposes should consult a tax expert to ensure they are claiming bonuses correctly. If a credit card rewards you points, miles or a cash bonus just for signing up, then your bonus would be considered taxable.

What Is Chase Ultimate Rewards?

Chase Ultimate Rewards is considered one of the best travel rewards program available. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are a valuable currency you can use to purchase flights, hotels, cruises, vacation rentals, travel activities and more. Chase offers multiple credit cards that earn Chase points with every dollar you spend. They may even come with a sign-up bonus worth tens of thousands of points worth enough for multiple round-trip flights.

What Is a Foreign Transaction Fee?

A foreign transaction fee is a charge your credit card issuer imposes anytime you make a transaction with your card in a foreign currency or through a foreign financial institution. In processing these international transactions, your card issuer levies an extra transaction fee at a certain percentage of the amount of your total transaction. This percentage usually falls somewhere between 1% to 3%. Typically, travel credit cards do not charge a foreign transaction fee as part of the suite of benefits provided to cardholders. However, many cash-back cards, like the Citi Double Cash Card, do charge a foreign transaction fee.

What Is a Balance Transfer Credit Card?

Unlike travel cards, a balance transfer card is a credit card specifically focused on encouraging consumers to move their debt. A balance transfer card usually offers a 0% APR for a limited period of time to attract borrowers who are tired of a high interest rate. In many cases, it’s possible to find a balance transfer card that will offer 0% APR on credit card balances for 12, 15, 18 or 21 months. Generally, your new card issuer pays off your debt with the other creditor and you make payments to your new creditor instead.

What Is a Balance Transfer Fee?

Many credit card issuers charge a fee to handle the process of moving your debt from your old creditor to the new card. It’s common for balance transfer fees to be between 3% and 5% of the amount you transfer. Some creditors might also impose a minimum fee of $5 or $10. This fee is typically added to your credit card balance.

Tips to Improve Credit Scores

If you don’t have a strong credit score, you may be wondering what your chances are of getting approved for a card. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to say because credit card issuers don’t disclose their eligibility criteria publicly. However, here are some tips for improving your chances of getting your next credit card.

  • Improve your credit score: If your credit score isn’t in great shape, consider working on improving it before you apply for a new account. Check your credit report to see which areas need work and address them as quickly as possible.
  • Apply within your credit range: Rewards credit cards are appealing, but most of them require good or excellent credit (that’s a FICO credit score of 670 or higher). If your credit score isn’t quite there yet, focus on cards that market to people who are working on building their credit.
  • Don’t give up: If you’ve had a credit card application declined recently, it can be easy to take it personally or get discouraged. In some cases, you may be able to call and ask them to reconsider. If they won’t, just because one card issuer denied you, it doesn’t mean all of them will. While it’s best to avoid applying for multiple credit cards in a short period, don’t be afraid to apply again in the future.

As you follow these steps and consider these tips to improve your credit score, you’ll be in a better position to apply for and get the credit card you want to have.

While we work hard on our research, we do not always provide a complete listing of all available offers from credit-card companies and banks. And because offers can change, we cannot guarantee that our information will always be up to date, so we encourage you to verify all the terms and conditions of any financial product before you apply.

Ryan M Tronier
Ryan M Tronierhttps://ryantronier.com/
Ryan Tronier is a personal finance expert and writer. His work has been published on NBC, ABC, USATODAY, The Mortgage Reports, Yahoo Finance, MSN, and more. Ryan is the former managing editor of the finance website Sapling, as well as the former personal finance editor at Slickdeals. Find him online at ryantronier.com.