Although sign-up bonuses may draw you towards applying for a credit card, sometimes these cards charge higher interest rates and fees compared to cards that don’t offer sign-up bonuses. Some credit cards temporarily waive the fees as part of a welcome offer but may not offer very good rewards, while others offer low APRs on balance transfers plus higher cash back rates or extra travel miles for a limited time.
If a sign-up offer can help you pay down debt faster or chunk down on your everyday expenses, then it could be a great option. But you need to weigh your options carefully before applying, because you could end up paying more in interest and other fees than yo do with your current credit card.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
Purchase interest rate
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Apply today and earn up to 20,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points when you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months.
- Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
- Cash advance rate: 22.99%
- Balance transfer rate: 22.99%
- Annual fee: $120
- Credit rating: 650+
- Minimum age: Age of majority in province/territory of residence
- Minimum income: $12,000
Do American Express cards have a sign-up bonus?
In a sense, yes. Except you don’t get a bonus for signing up. You get a welcome offer for joining the Amex family. However, you still have to earn the offer by meeting minimum spend requirements.
Compare credit cards with bonus points on sign-up
Cards to consider with cash back offers
Things to consider with sign-up bonus credit cards
Is a sign-up bonus credit card right for you?
If you plan to pay off a $5,000 high interest credit card in less than a year, then you could save by switching to a card offering a 1.99% promotional balance transfer APR for 6 months. If you spend a lot and repay your balance faithfully, then a card offering a high promotional cash back rate or bonus travel miles with a minimum spending requirement might be a good for you. On the other hand, if you already have a low interest card with low fees, then you might not gain much by switching to another card.
What is the size of the offer?
If you’re looking to get the highest value, check out general travel rewards cards, hotel cards or airline cards. These cards often come with a sign-up bonus worth $500 or more.
Can you clear the spending requirement?
Some credit cards have a high spend ceiling to clear the sign-up bonus. For example, some require you to spend $5,000 in the first three months of card membership to be eligible. There are ways to earn the offer, but if you find it hard to meet the spending requirement, don’t force it – you could end up paying more than it’s worth.
What is the interest rate?
If you struggle to make payments on time, then late payment fees and penalty APRs could quickly eat up your rewards. And a card with an impressive introductory APR may revert to a higher-than-average rate when the introductory period is over. When comparing credit cards, make sure you always consider sign-up rates, revert rates and interest charges that apply to other types of transactions like cash withdrawals.
Are there any additional features?
Some credit cards come with a low introductory APR period on balance transfers and purchases. If you’re looking to make a balance transfer or make a large purchase and carry the balance interest-free, this could be a solid option.
How and where can I apply for my sign-up bonus credit card?
The simplest way to obtain a sign-up bonus credit card is to look at the existing options available in the comparison table above. After comparing the credit cards and identifying the best one for you, click on the Apply now button and continue to complete the form. One thing to keep in mind: if you’ve signed up for the same card once before, you’re unlikely to get approved for the same card once again, or at least enjoy the same sign-up bonus.
Once approved, how long does it take before I can receive the sign-up bonus credit card?
After approval, the specific bank will post your new credit card and you should receive it in 5-10 business days. For security purposes, the credit cards are not activated until they are safely received. As soon as you activate it you will be able to immediately use your credit card and earn reward points.
A sign-up bonus credit card can be a great way to use your purchasing power to your benefit, as it can get you great rewards or save you from high interest rates. If you look at an offer and feel that you can utilize the card effectively, a credit card with a sign-up bonus can be great. But make sure you don’t sign up without weighing in all the pros and cons, or you could be paying more at the end of the day.
Check out our guide to rewards credit cards to learn more about getting bonuses, travel perks, cash back and more by making your everyday purchases.Back to top