15 Best Bank Bonus Credit Cards (2017)

15 Best Bank Bonus Credit Cards (2017)

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Posted: November 28, 2017
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

Every time you use your favorite credit card to make a purchase, the merchant must pay the credit card issuer a fee for the pleasure of collecting your money. While the specific fee varies by issuer, it’s generally around 2% of your purchase price — and that adds up quickly.

Because these purchasing fees are a big part of how many issuers make their money, it’s in each one’s best interest to encourage you to use its brand of card over its competitors. As the credit card market becomes increasingly saturated, however, issuers have needed to incentivize the use of their particular cards.

It was then that credit card rewards were born — and so, too, was their supersized sibling: the signup bonus. Fairly brimming with potential points and cash back, cards with succulent signup bonuses can be found from nearly every major bank.

Cash Back | Travel | Points

Top “Cash Back” Bank Signup Bonuses

The simplest of the credit card rewards, the cash back bonus is exactly what it sounds like: the bank or issuer gives you a portion of your spending back.

Cash Back Card Photo

When you use a cash back card for purchases, the bank gives you a percentage of each qualified purchase back.

While this is usually a statement credit, not actual paper currency, cash back rewards are essentially like having a rebate coupon that’s good everywhere your credit card is accepted.

When it comes to finding the best cash back signup bonus, you’ll want to look at the minimum spending requirement; most signup bonuses have them. Make sure you can afford to pay off your purchases, or you may spend more on interest payments than what you receive in cash back rewards. You’ll also want to look out for annual fees, which can put a dent into any bonus.

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

With a minimum spending requirement attainable by most credit card users, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has a solid signup bonus offer. You’ll also get an introductory 0% APR on new purchases, giving you a little more wiggle room to repay your purchases.

Discover it® - Cashback Match™ Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards instantly at Amazon.com checkout.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Unique among the major issuers, Discover has put its own twist on the signup bonus with its Cashback Match program. The Discover Cashback Match card did away with the spending requirement, instead offering a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn during the first year of spending.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.99% - 24.74% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

Those interested in the Chase Freedom Unlimited, but whose spending fits into a few key categories, should instead look at the Chase Freedom card. The Freedom has the same solid signup bonus offer, as well as 5% cash back in rotating categories such as groceries and gas.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

If your monthly spending is enough to hit the minimum requirement, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise card signup bonus is a good choice. Not only is it one of the larger cash back signup offers, but the card also has an unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 months
0% for 9 months
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has a good-sized signup bonus with a very attainable minimum spending requirement, making it a top choice for cash back signup bonus offers.

Top “Travel” Bank Signup Bonuses

Although cash may be king in many respects, when it comes to credit card rewards, it’s not always best. Anyone who travels regularly may prefer to earn miles, which often give you a greater dollar value per mile when redeemed for travel expenses like airline flights or hotel stays.

Travel Rewards Card Photo

Travel rewards cards earn you points toward flights, hotel stays, car rentals, cruises, and more.

Travel rewards signup bonuses will have similar minimum spending requirements as those required for cash back bonuses, so be sure you can meet them if the bonus is your goal.

You’ll also want to make sure you can redeem your travel rewards with the specific airlines or hotel chains you use while traveling, as well as investigating the blackout dates or other availability restrictions.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

Worth a full $0.01 per mile, the rewards from your Capital One® Venture® Rewards signup bonus can get you farther when redeemed for travel. Capital One® miles can be redeemed on any airline or hotel, so you can use your favorite brands. The minimum spending requirement might be a little hefty for some, so make sure you don’t get in over your head.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Excellent Credit

With a whopping signup bonus worth up to $0.0125 per mile when redeemed for travel, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is a stellar choice and the best value of the bunch. Of course, that’s provided you comfortably meet the large spending requirement without getting stuck with a bundle of interest charges.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.99%-22.99% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
12.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

For those who like the Capital One® Venture® Rewards credit card but don’t feel they can meet the large spending requirement, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards card is a good alternative. You can get the same $0.01 per mile and blackout-free redemption, but with a slimmed down signup bonus and spending requirement.

Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles.
  • Unlimited 1.5x Miles per dollar on all purchases, every day, with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates - fly any airline, stay at any hotel.
  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
10.99% for 14 months
11.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Discover it Miles card comes with the same twist on the signup bonus as its cash back card: all of the miles you earn in your first year of spending will be doubled at the end of the year. You can also redeem on any airline or with any hotel chain, giving you tons of travel flexibility.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® Review

at Barclaycard'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.4/5.0
  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 12 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)
16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99% Variable
$89 - Waived first year
Excellent

With a good-sized signup bonus, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® can get you the most rewards when you redeem for travel. And while its 5% redemption bonus sweetens the pot, the card’s larger spending requirement may not be for everyone.

Top “Points & Rewards” Bank Signup Bonuses

Don’t want to be limited to cash back rewards, but not really into travel? Don’t fret, you still have tons of options for quality signup offers, including cards offering flexible points and unique bonuses.

Points and Rewards Credit Cards Photo

Points and rewards cards offer flexibility in what you redeem your rewards for, with options from cash and gift cards to merchandise from the issuer.

Points and rewards cards offer greater versatility in the types of goodies you can redeem your rewards for, with options ranging from gift cards to your favorite stores and restaurants to brand-name merchandise direct from the issuer.

As always, keep an eye on minimum spending requirements and potential annual fees that can cut into your bonus. You’ll also want to make sure the individual rewards program offers the type of redemption options for which you’re looking.

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Excellent Credit

You may get top dollar when you use your Chase Sapphire Preferred card for travel purchases, but that’s not the only way to redeem your points. Your Ulitmate Rewards points can also be used for things like gift cards, or even be redeemed for cash.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn 3X points at U.S. gas stations, 2X points at U.S. restaurants, 1X point on other purchases
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, cash redemption options or merchandise through Go Far® Rewards
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
  • Earn an annual relationship bonus of 10% on non-bonus rewards points if you maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo account
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

When it comes to the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® credit card, the low spending requirement makes the already decent signup bonus even better. You’ll also get incredible flexibility when you redeem your points, with the option to use them for travel, gift cards, cash, and even merchandise.

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR on purchases for 15 months from date of account opening and 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer*
  • Points are redeemable for gift cards to popular retailers, restaurants and department and home stores. 2,500 ThankYou® Points can be redeemed for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
  • Earn 2X Points on dining out and entertainment
  • Earn 1X Points on all other purchases
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No annual fee*
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent

Another incredibly flexible rewards program, the signup bonus you get from meeting the moderate spending requirement on the Citi ThankYou® Preferred card can be redeemed for travel, entertainment, or retail purchases. You can even make a contribution to your favorite charity using ThankYou points.

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • 5% Earnings on your first $5,000 in purchases every year. Unlimited 2% Earnings on every purchase after that. Redeem Earnings toward the purchase or lease of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle.
  • No annual fee, no redemption limits, no Earnings expiration, no foreign transaction fees. Save even more when you combine your available Earnings with most current GM offers and incentives.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then a 13.90% – 23.90% variable APR on purchases will apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
N/A
13.90% - 23.90% (V)
$0.00
Excellent/Good

While flexible rewards are well and good, sometimes you know exactly what you want — such as a brand new General Motors vehicle. The Cadillac BuyPower Card from Capital One® offers huge rewards on your first $5,000, and unlimited earnings on all other purchases. Rewards can be redeemed toward a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac at your favorite dealer.

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn a $50 Statement Credit after your first card purchase within 90 days from account opening
  • 5 Sony Rewards points per $1 spent on select entertainment purchases including digital streaming and subscription services, concert and sporting events, music and video downloads and movie and theater tickets
  • 5 points per $1 spent on Sony® products at authorized retailers with purchase confirmation
  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Redeem for Sony products, movies, music, exclusive experiences & more
  • 0% intro APR on purchases until May 2018, 14.99% - 24.99% variable APR after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% until May 2018
N/A
14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent

For those who are Sony® fans, but not so into PlayStation® products, the Sony® Card from Capital One® will net you a signup bonus you can redeem for a range of sweet Sony® stuff, including games and movies. The Sony® Card from Capital One® has the same easy spending requirement of making your first purchase within 90 days.

The Best Way to Earn While You Spend

In today’s world, many of us would rather use plastic than paper — at least when it comes to how we make our purchases. And while rewards programs and signup bonus offers aren’t the only reasons we like to swipe when we buy, they certainly seem to be the effective incentive the issuers intended them to be.

Regardless of how sweet the deal may appear, however, remember that interest payments can add up quickly, so never spend more than you can afford to pay back in a timely manner. Signup bonuses are little good if you spend more than they’re worth trying to pay off your credit card.