The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, April 1, 2020

15 Best Signup Bonus Credit Cards

15 Best Signup Bonus Credit Cards

credit card advice

Adam West
By: Adam West
Posted: March 2, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

For many years, credit card issuers piled on their profits by charging cardholders annual fees to use their card, but times have changed. Today, the best signup bonus credit cards pay you for your loyalty — not the other way around.

The cards below can offer hundreds of dollars’ worth — sometimes even $1,000 or more — of cash back, travel bonuses, or other perks. If you’re not taking advantage of credit card signup bonuses, then you’re not maximizing your overall earning potential. But it’s not too late to start racking up the rewards.

Best Overall
Travel | Cash Back | Business

Best Overall Signup Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® card can turn your everyday spending into a vacation very quickly. The card currently offers 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you charge $4,000 in purchases during your first three months with the card. That’s equal to $750 in travel rewards.

  • Earn 60,000 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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

You can likely reach that threshold simply by using the card to pay your monthly bills and then paying the balance as soon as it posts to your account. If you’re not into travel, you can redeem the 60,000 bonus points for $600 in cash back — which is still one of the top signup bonuses on the market.

Best Travel Card Signup Bonuses

The cards below can help you take a much-needed vacation thanks to their top-tier signup bonuses. These cards not only help pay for your trip, but they’ll reward you handsomely for your everyday purchases.

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 on every purchase, every day.
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ leading travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card pays out a 50,000-mile bonus — equal to $500 in travel rewards — when you spend at least $3,000 in purchases during your first three months with the card. You’ll always earn 2X miles on every purchase and you’ll never find yourself stuck with blackout dates or carrier restrictions when redeeming your miles.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.7

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 $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 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
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.49% - 25.49% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

You’ll earn 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points when you charge at least $4,000 to your Chase Sapphire Reserve® card during your first three months of membership. That’s worth as much as $750 in travel credits.

All cardholders also receive an annual $300 travel credit and can earn up to 3X points on travel-related purchases. That’s a lot of perks earned while you’re seeing the world.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a 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 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 15+ leading travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Unlike the cards listed above on this list, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee — but that doesn’t mean it skimps on the signup bonus. Once you spend a very achievable $1,000 during your first three months with the card, Capital One will pay out a 20,000-mile bonus worth $200 in travel credits.

Meanwhile, you’ll continue to earn 1.25X miles for every dollar charged to your card.

Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Discover will match ALL the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That’s $700 towards travel! The more you earn, the more you get.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Miles Pay You Back. Easily redeem Miles as a statement credit for travel purchases. Or get cash.
  • 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
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

It may take a year to receive your signup bonus with the Discover it® Miles card, but all good things are worth waiting for. All cardholders earn 1.5X miles for every dollar charged to the card. After your first-year anniversary, Discover will match all the miles you’ve earned up to that point.

This is one of the only cards in this space that essentially lets you determine how large your bonus is.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days — that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want — you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles
N/A
17.24% - 25.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card not only pays out 1.5X points for every dollar spent, but you can also earn 25,000 bonus points — good for a $200 statement credit toward travel expenses — when you spend at least $1,000 during your first 90 days with the card.

Best Cash Back Card Signup Bonuses

Travel is always a popular reward category. But, as with most things in life, cash is still king in the credit card world. With the cards below, you can bank your signup bonus in the form of cash back that you can redeem as statement credits, direct deposit, or a check.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • 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
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a foodie’s dream. The card starts with 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.

If you manage to spend at least $3,000 on purchases within your first three months with the card, you’ll earn a one-time $300 cash back bonus.

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 on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when 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.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Discover’s CashBack Match program is among the most popular signup bonuses in the credit card industry, and the Discover it® Cash Back leverages the bonus perfectly. After your first year with the card, Discover will match all of the cash back you’ve earned — with no limit to how much is matched — which can add up to a lot of money!

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

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 unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
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
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a $150 cash signup bonus after you spend $500 in purchases during your first three months with the card. Along the way, you’ll earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases while taking advantage of a 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for a period after opening your account. Plus, there’s no annual fee.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.5

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!
  • 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 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
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
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom® offers a $150 cash bonus when you spend at least $500 on new purchases during your first three months of card ownership. Your everyday purchases will earn up to 5% cash back in select rotating quarterly categories, all other purchases earn 1% cash back.

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; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% 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
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

If you spend at least $500 on new purchases during your first three months, Capital One will chip in a $150 cash bonus for new cardholders of the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. It is one of the most popular cash back cards on the market thanks to its unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. Cardholders also enjoy interest-free charges — 0% for 15 months — after you open your account.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • 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; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers many of the perks of its Savor® sibling, but without the annual fee. You can earn a $150 cash bonus when you spend at least $500 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

You’ll also earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on all other purchases. New cardholders also receive a promotional APR — 0% for 15 months — on new purchases.

Best Business Card Signup Bonuses

As an entrepreneur, you need every advantage you can get. The cards below not only help you build business credit, but they can also provide a healthy signup bonus that can change your bottom line from red to green.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed 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
17.49% - 22.49% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card pays out a solid 80,000 bonus points after you spend at least $5,000 on purchases during your first three months with the card. That’s worth $1,000 in travel credits when you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

You’ll also earn up to 3X points on purchases made with your card or any of the employee cards you can obtain at no extra charge.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A 12 months
14.74% - 20.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card lives up to its name with the ability to put cash directly into your business’ pocket. New cardholders can earn a $500 cash bonus after they spend at least $3,000 on purchases during their first three months with the card.

You can also earn up to 5% cash back on your everyday purchases, and won’t be charged an annual fee.

Discover it® Business Card Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically. And no limit to how much we’ll match. So you could turn $350 cash back into $700 with Cashback Match™.
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent on all purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Your rewards never expire.
  • Track business expenses. Download transactions easily into Quicken, QuickBooks, and Excel.
  • Add up to 50 free employee cards.
  • No annual fee.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 Months
N/A
14.49% to 22.49% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

Like the other Discover cards on this list, the Discover it® Business Card provides a full match of the cash back you earn during your first year with the card. That amount can add up quickly when you factor the 1.5% cash back you earn on every dollar charged to the card.

How Do Credit Card Signup Bonuses Work?

Signup bonuses were created by banks to entice consumers to sign up for their cards. The more valuable the bonus, the more you’ll be required to spend to reach the bonus.

Most signup bonuses are achieved by spending a specified amount within a certain period after opening the account, most commonly three months. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card pays out 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points as soon as you charge $4,000 or more to the card during your first three months after card activation.

How to Earn a Signup Bonus

Some cards payout signup bonuses when you charge as little as $500 to your card within a specified time. Other entry-level cards offer a signup bonus just for making your first purchase with the card.

Other signup bonuses — such as Discover’s CashBack Match program — essentially allow you to choose the amount of your bonus. These cards pay out a percentage of cash back or air miles on every transaction. After your first year with the card, Discover will match all the cash back or miles you’ve accrued over the year, and there’s no limit to the amount you can earn.

Signup bonuses can be paid in points — which usually provides the most redemption options — cash, or statement credits, which reimburse the charges on your account.

The key to maximizing your signup bonus (and rewards in general) is to pay off your balance every month. Interest charges can accumulate quickly on large balances and devalue any bonus you may earn.

Which Credit Card Has the Best Signup Bonus?

Signup bonuses change frequently. A card issuer may change its current promotion monthly or quarterly, or even make small tweaks on the fly to keep the card competitive with industry standards.

Currently, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers one of the richest bonuses in the credit card landscape, worth $750 when redeemed for travel accommodations through the Chase Ultimate Rewards website. You can attain the bonus after you spend at least $4,000 in new purchases during your first three months with the card.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 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®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.49% - 24.49% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

This is the same signup bonus offered on the premium Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, but without the $550 annual fee.

Just keep in mind that your point values vary based on how you redeem them. For example, the 60,000 bonus points you earn with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® is worth $750 if redeemed for travel, but only $600 if redeemed for cash back.

How Often Can You Get a Chase Signup Bonus?

Chase used to limit its signup bonuses to one every 24 months on the same card, however, it has recently doubled the time frame to 48 months, at least for its Sapphire cards. That means if you had a Chase Sapphire Preferred® or Reserve® card, you do not qualify to earn either card’s bonus again for four whole years since you closed the account.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Screenshot of Terms

Chase recently lengthened the amount of time before an applicant can receive a second signup bonus for certain cards from 24 months to 48 months.

The bank also has an unwritten 5/24 rule that limits how often you can apply for new cards.

This rule states that you’ll likely receive a rejection on your application — regardless of your financial qualifications — if you have five or more new bank card accounts (credit or charge cards) opened within the last 24 months.

While it’s an informal rule that the issuer doesn’t promote, it seems to be a pretty big sticking point the bank rarely, if ever, budges from.

If you’ve opened five or more accounts within the last two years, you can simply wait it out until one of your older cards ages out of the 24-month window. If you choose not to wait, you can look at a non-Chase card, like the many listed above, that offers a tempting signup bonus.

Ranking Methodology

This list of the best signup bonus credit cards evaluates general-purpose cards on the Mastercard, Visa, and Discover networks. We assessed the value of each card’s current welcome offer compared to the required spending threshold to attain the bonus — minus annual fees — to determine the rankings.

Hotel and airline co-branded cards are omitted from the rankings, but if you have a preferred hotel chain and/or airline, it may be worth evaluating their individual card offers. CardRates’ reviews undergo a thorough editorial integrity process to ensure that content is not compromised by advertiser influence.