15 Best Bank Bonus Credit Cards (2018)

15 Best Bank Bonus Credit Cards (2018)

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Updated: November 13, 2018
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.

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • 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
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

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® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.99% - 24.99% 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 it® Cash Back 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

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • 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
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

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 Google 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 (fees apply), then a 15.99%-26.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
15.99%-26.99% (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

★★★★★
4.7

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
  • 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 15 months; 14.74%-24.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 14.74%-24.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
14.74% - 24.74% (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 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
14.74% - 24.74% (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 Credit Card 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

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

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • 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 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 13.74%-23.74% 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
13.74% - 23.74% (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 Credit 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
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 30,000 Miles, you get 60,000 Miles. That's $600 towards travel!
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases all 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
13.99% - 24.99% 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.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

With a good-sized signup bonus, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card can get you the most rewards when you redeem for travel through the Ultimate Rewards® portal or transfer to an eligible hotel or airline partner.

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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50K bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named "Best Premium Travel Credit Card" for 2018 by MONEY® Magazine
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
$450
Good/Excellent

Both the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® cards earn the popular Ultimate Rewards. And while you may get top dollar when you use your  for travel purchases, that’s not the only way to redeem your points. Your Ultimate Rewards® points can also be used for things like gift cards, or even be redeemed for cash.

POINTS & GIFTS RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card card not only earns Ultimate Rewards® points, but the card also offers a significant signup bonus for those who can meet the spending requirement.

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
15.49% to 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Good/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

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

4.3/5.0
  • 3% Earnings on purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and office supply stores; 1% Earnings on all other purchases; plus, 5% Earnings on purchases of GM parts, accessories and service at authorized GM dealers - all of which can be exclusively redeemed toward the purchase or lease of an eligible, new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle
  • No annual fee, no limit to how much you can earn and redeem, and your Earnings don't expire on an open Account; plus, a 0% Intro APR on purchases for the first 12 months and a variable APR of 18.99% after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% intro on purchases for 12 months
N/A
18.99% Variable APR
$0.00
Excellent

While flexible rewards are well and good, sometimes you know exactly what you want — such as a brand new General Motors vehicle. The GM BuyPower Business Card from Capital One® -Get The Card That Helps You Get The Car offers bonus rewards on GM parts and accessories, as well as bonus points for gas station, restaurant, and office supply purchases. Plus, get unlimited earnings on all other purchases. Rewards can be redeemed toward a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, or Cadillac at your favorite dealer.

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.