Although sign-up bonuses may initially draw you to a credit card, it’s apparent that the interest rates on additional purchases and card fees are higher compared to other credit cards that don’t offer sign-up bonuses. Some credit cards will waive card fees as a sign-up bonus for a specific period of time, but then may not offer as many rewards, while others offer 0% interest for a specific period on balance transfers.
If you’ve found a sign-up bonus offer and feel that you can utilize that offer effectively while saving money or gaining rewards that you will use, a sign-up bonus can be a great option. However, you should spend a fair amount of time researching and weighing up the pros and cons of the sign-up bonus card, as you could end up paying fees and interest rates that are higher than 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 receive a bonus of 30,000 Scotia Rewards points in the first of card membership.
- Purchase interest rate: 19.99%
- Cash advance rate: 22.99%
- Balance transfer rate: 22.99%
- Annual fee: $120
- Credit rating: 650+ recommended credit score
- Minimum age: Age of majority in province/territory of residence
- Minimum income: $12,000
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What factors should be considered with sign-up bonus credit cards?
Interest rates are always one of the most important factors to consider since lower rates over the long run could save you a considerable amount of money. Therefore, you’ll need to be sure that you understand the interest rate offered, and if low interest is only charged during specific time periods (as is the case with promo interest rate credit cards).
Where cards are concentrating on frequent purchase rewards as the main special offer, be sure that the purchase rate is sustainable or that you pay your credit card in full every month so as not to pay interest. Looking at the long-term impact of acquiring a new credit card is far safer than only going for the immediate short-term rewards.
Is a sign-up bonus credit card right for you?
The answer to this question will depend on your individual circumstances. For example, if you have a high interest credit card with over $10,000 owing currently which you plan on paying off in less than a year, then a 0% transfer balance card for 9 months would be an ideal option.
If you spend large and/or frequent amounts of money every month on your credit card and pay the balance off every month on time, then frequent purchase specials will give you additional benefits for something you do anyway. Some people may already have a great card that has low interest and low fees, and simply switching cards for a sign-up bonus may not be worth it.
How and where can I apply for my sign-up bonus credit card?
The easiest way to apply for a sign-up bonus credit card is to look at the existing options available in the lists above. After comparing the credit cards and identifying the best sign-up bonus credit card for you, apply online for the card and complete the application process. Ensure that you meet the eligibility requirements and have the necessary information available in order to apply. If you have any questions regarding the card, you should contact the credit card provider before you apply, in case the card is not right for you.
Once approved, how long does it take before I can receive the sign-up bonus credit card?
After approval, the specific bank or credit card provider will mail your new sign-up bonus credit card, which you should receive within a week. For security purposes, the credit card will not be activated until it has been safely received by you. You can call the number on the back of the card to activate your new credit card. As soon as your credit card has been activated, you will be able to use it immediately and earn rewards.
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. Credit card companies will always make money so, no matter how good a deal looks, be sure you understand all of the fine print, fees, terms and conditions. It should always be your goal to eliminate or reduce credit card debt, so don’t be tempted to get in further debt for the sake of a sign-up bonus unless it truly serves your financial needs.Back to topPicture: Getty Images