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Best credit card offers

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Earn cash back, points or miles, or get a long 0% intro APR period.

Many credit cards come with a signup bonus after you meet specific spending requirements. Depending on the card, you can earn cash back, points or miles, or you can get a long intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases. But if you’re looking for the best welcome offer from a single card, be ready to pay an annual fee.

Best credit card offers

Premium travel credit card

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

General travel credit card

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®

Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard®

  • Earn 70,000 bonus miles when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.

Balance transfer credit card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn $250 in statement credit when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Cashback credit card

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

  • Earn a cashback match, effectively doubling the cash back you earn during your first year of card membership — without limits.

Rewards credit card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

  • Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Gas credit card

Citi Premier℠ Card

Citi Premier℠ Card

  • Earn 50,000 ThankYou points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Airline credit card

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after making your first purchase within 90 days from account opening and after paying the annual fee.

Hotel credit card

Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card

Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card

  • Earn 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Business credit card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

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How we selected our top cards

We looked at several factors when choosing the credit cards with the best introductory offers, including the total reward, how much you need to spend to earn the offer, how long you have to reach the spending requirements, the rewards category of the card and unique or unusual welcome offers. The cards that performed exceptionally well in certain categories, or filled a specific niche, were chosen for highlight below.

What’s changed in 2019

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card and Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card joined our list this year. These cards both brought a great combination of consistent rewards and strong welcome offers —enough for us to take notice.

Types of introductory credit card offers

  • 0% balance transfer credit card offers
  • Credit cards that offer 0% interest on purchases
  • No annual fee credit card offers
  • Bonus reward point credit card offers
  • Credit cards that offer bonus frequent flyer points
  • Cashback credit card offers

0% balance transfer credit card offers

A 0% balance transfer credit card can be a useful tool to consolidate and repay debt without paying interest. Once the promotional offer ends, a standard revert rate applies and any remaining debts will begin to collect interest, often at the higher cash advance rate.

Interest-free balance transfers are only available for a limited time, so you’ll be required to apply and receive approval before the offer end date to take advantage of the promotional 0% interest rate. You can usually request the balance transfer and provide the details of your existing account when you apply.

Also, there are limitations to the amount you can transfer. For example, you can make a balance transfer up to $15,000 or up to the size of your credit line, whichever is lower. Make sure you read the card’s terms to avoid any surprises.

Credit cards that offer 0% interest on purchases

Purchase rate offers help you save on your spending by giving you a low or 0% introductory interest rate for a limited time. At the end of the introductory period, the promotional rate reverts to a standard interest rate that applies to any balance carried from these purchases.

Purchase rate offers can be useful if you have a lot of planned expenses coming up and want a flexible and affordable way to pay them off over time. To get the most out of low or 0% purchase rate deals, you should aim to pay off the new charges before the end of the introductory period.

NOTE: For 0% intro APR credit cards, make sure you pay your balance on time. Otherwise, you may lose the intro APR and incur a penalty APR of up to 32%.

No annual fee credit card offers

This type of introductory offer waives the credit card’s annual fee for the first year. After the introductory period, the standard annual fee will be applied to the account. Pay attention to the standard annual fee when comparing credit cards because that’s what you’ll be paying from the second year onward.

Bonus reward point credit card offers

Many rewards credit cards include bonus points when you apply and are approved for the card. Depending on the offer, you could be able to get up to 100,000 bonus points.

Bonus points offers are usually only available when you meet the spend criteria. For example, spend $3,000 in the first three months to earn 50,000 bonus points. As long as the spend requirement fits within your budget and doesn’t outweigh the value of your bonus points, it can be an easy way to boost your points balance as soon as you apply for the card.

Credit cards that offer bonus frequent flyer miles

Similar to bonus reward point promotions, many frequent flyer credit cards offer bonus points on sign up. Most cards offer specific airline miles, but many rewards cards also let you transfer points to miles to other airlines. Again, you’re usually required to spend a minimum amount within a set period to qualify for the bonus points offer.

Make sure you know what these terms and conditions are before you apply so that you can decide if the offer is worth it. It’s also important to look at how many miles you’ll usually earn for your spending, as well as any rates, fees and extra features that come with the card.

Cashback credit card offers

This type of introductory offer gives you cash back when you get a new credit card. Like bonus point promotions, you usually need to spend a specific amount of money on the card before you can enjoy the cashback offer. For example, an offer might give you $200 cash bonus if you spend $500 in the first three months you have the card.

Cash, points or miles. Can’t decide which one?

If you’re not sure which type of card could suit you best, check out our rewards guide.

Compare credit cards

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
2x points on travel and dining. 1x points on all other purchases
18.24% to 25.24% variable
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
5x points on flights booked directly or flights and hotels booked through American Express Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
None (Charge Card)
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
N/A
14.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% variable
$0
An 15 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases
15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Intro Balance Transfer APR Balance Transfer Fee Recommended Minimum Credit Score
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% variable)
$10 or 4% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
An 15 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
680
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
0% for the first 15 months (then 17.24% to 25.99% variable)
$5 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater
670
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores and 1% on all other purchases
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent, then unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
17.24% to 25.99% variable
$0
Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases
15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable
$0
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases. See Rates and Fees.
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$0
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
17.24% to 25.99% variable
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Filter values Purchase APR Annual Fee Recommended Minimum Credit Score
19.64% variable
$35
300
A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
26.74% variable
$0
300
No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval.
14.74% variable
$39
580
No minimum credit score and no credit history required.
20.74% variable
$29
300
Build your credit with all three major credit bureaus.
9.99% fixed
$48
300
This secured card can help you rebuild your credit with an initial deposit of $200 to $1,000.

Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Filter values Annual Fee Purchase APR Recommended Minimum Credit Score
$0
24.9% variable
580
A no-annual-fee credit card and discounts when you shop at Target.
See terms
See issuer's website
300
Build your credit history with low monthly payments.
See terms
See issuer's website
300
Get access to purchase items in the Fingerhut store with no overlimit fees.
$299
300
Get a $500 credit limit to make purchases on the Horizon Outlet website.
$299
300
Build your credit history with an unsecured line of credit.

Compare up to 4 providers

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How to compare credit card introductory offers

While introductory offers can sweeten the deal when you sign up for a credit card, you should also look at the card’s ongoing features. Thinking about the following factors will help you find an introductory offer that suits your needs in the short-term and a credit card that fits your circumstances in the long-term.

Interest rates

  • The promotional interest rate. Depending on the card, the promotional offer may have a low or 0% interest rate. Usually, the lower the interest rate, the more savings you’ll make.
  • The length of the introductory period. With low purchase rate or balance transfer rate offers, it’s important that you calculate how much you’ll need to pay each month to repay the entire balance before the promotional period ends. Otherwise, any remaining balance will collect the standard interest and begin to counteract your savings.
  • The promotional offer end date. Some offers are only available for a limited time, so you will need to apply before the end date to take advantage of them. Check the terms and conditions to make sure any offers you want are still available before you apply.
  • The standard interest rates. If you have a card with a low or 0% purchase or balance transfer deal, the standard interest rates will apply to any balances remaining at the end of the introductory period.

Fees

  • Standard annual fees. If you get an annual fee waiver, make sure you check the standard annual fee so that you know how much you will have to pay after the first 12 months.
  • Other fees and charges. As well as the annual fee, the card may come with other rates and fees such as balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, foreign transaction fees and late payment fees.
  • Interest charges. If you have to meet a minimum spend to earn bonus points or redeem your introductory offer, remember that these purchases will collect interest unless paid in full.

Rewards and extras

  • Spending requirements. Some cash back and bonus point offers require you to spend a minimum amount in an introductory period of a few months. It could be as little as $100 or as much as $5,000 depending on the card, so it’s important to check before you apply to make sure you can afford to take advantage of the offer.
  • Standard rewards points. As well as the bonus points, make sure the regular rewards program suits your spending behaviors and rewards goals.
  • Complimentary extras. Additional, ongoing perks such as international travel insurance, extended warranties and concierge services can bring more value to the card that you choose. However, they can also mean higher annual fees, so make sure these are features you’d take advantage of before you apply.

Mistakes to avoid with credit card offers

While credit card introductory offers can help you get more value from your card, there are some mistakes to avoid to ensure the card costs don’t outweigh the offer’s benefits. Here are some of the common mistakes cardholders make and how you can avoid them:

    • Ignoring the offer terms and conditions. Introductory offers have specific eligibility requirements you have to meet, so make sure you understand the fine print before you apply.
    • Wasting the promotional offer time period. With a balance transfer or purchase rate offer, the promotional period will begin as soon as your application is approved. To avoid wasting the valuable offer, make sure you start consolidating your debt or paying off your purchases as soon as possible to take advantage of the full offer.
    • Not looking at the card’s ongoing features. While introductory offers can give you short-term benefits, the standard features of a credit card determine its ongoing value. Always check these features before you apply for a credit card to decide if it’s worth it for you.
    • Not checking the offer’s end date. For some offers, you must apply before the end of the promotional period. Regularly comparing credit cards can help you stay up-to-date with all the offers available when you’re considering a new card.
    • Not using the card after the introductory period. If you decide you don’t want the card you applied for after getting an introductory offer, you could end up paying more credit card fees and adding to your debt. Make sure you consider this before you apply, choose an appropriate card, or cancel the account if you no longer want to use it.

Bottom line

Introductory offers have the potential to provide you with more value when you get a new credit card. While almost anyone can benefit from these deals, the value they provide really depends on your individual circumstances.

It’s also important to remember that card benefits only last for a set amount of time before reverting to the standard features. So being aware of how credit card offers work and considering both the introductory offer and the ongoing card features means you can choose a card that offers you value now and in the future.

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