Compare Credit Cards Offering Sign-Up Bonuses | Finder Canada

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Sign-Up Bonus Credit Cards

Sign-up bonus credit cards come with attractive offers like bonus points, complimentary flights, $0 annual fees, promotional interest rates and other perks.

Cash back credit cards header

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.

American Express Cobalt Card

American Express Cobalt Card

19.99 % APR

Purchase interest rate

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

American Express Cobalt Card

Apply today and earn up to 45,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year.

  • Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
  • Cash advance rate: 21.99%
  • Annual fee: $120
  • Credit rating: 700
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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

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
American Express Cobalt Card
45,000 points
Up to 5 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 45,000 bonus Membership Rewards points in your first year as a new Cobalt Cardmember. Apply by May 5, 2021.
Choice Card from American Express
12,500 points
1 point per $1 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn 12,500 Bonus Membership Rewards points within the first 3 months as a new Cardmember. Apply by May 5, 2021.
HSBC +Rewards™ Mastercard®
30,000 points
2x points per $1 spent
11.9%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($25 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 680
Earn 30,000 Points ($150 travel value), plus get a full annual fee rebate for the Primary Cardholder for the first year ($25 value). Apply by April 19, 2021. Conditions Apply. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
BMO Rewards Mastercard
10,000 points
Up to 2 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 725
Get a bonus of 10,000 BMO Rewards points when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Apply by October 31, 2021 . Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 1% fee applies to transferred balances.
BMO World Elite Mastercard
30,000 points
Up to 3 points per $1 spent
19.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 760
Get up to 30,000 points and the $150 annual fee waived in the first year. Apply by October 31, 2021
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Cards to consider with cash back offers

Name Product Welcome Offer Cash Back Rate Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Reward Description
Tangerine World Mastercard
Balance transfer offer
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 680
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Earn 3% cash back on groceries, 1% on recurring bill payments and 0.5% on all other eligible purchases.
SimplyCash Card from American Express
1.25% cash back
Up to 2.5% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn 1.25% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
Balance transfer offer
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 680
Earn 2% cash back in two categories of your choice (or three categories if you open a Tangerine Savings Account and directly deposit your cash back into the account), and 0.5% cash back on everything else.
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
10% cash back
2% cash back
19.99%
$99
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
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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.

Bottom line

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.

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