Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.

The best credit card signup bonuses of 2020

Earn rewards within your first months of card membership.

Updated

Fact checked

Our pick for a valuable signup bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card logo

Up to $1,000

In signup bonus value

  • Signup bonus worth $1,000 with Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1:1 point transfer to partner hotels and airlines
  • Low annual fee for a travel card
Apply now
Looking for the best credit card signup bonus of 2020? Here are our findings across reward, cash back, travel cards and more courtesy of Finder’s rigorous research and comparisons.

What are the biggest welcome offers of 2020?

Sometimes you’ll find 50,000 points credit card bonuses or 100,000 points credit card bonuses. But this mostly applies for travel credit cards that have an annual fee.

Here’s a list of the top 20 most valuable welcome offers of 2020:

Credit cardBonus pointsEstimated value
British Airways Visa Signature® Card50,000$1,500
Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card50,000$1,500
Iberia Visa Signature® card50,000$1,500
The Platinum Card® from American Express60,000$1,200
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card80,000$1,000
United MileagePlus® Club card50,000$975
Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card150,000$900
Citi Prestige® Credit Card50,000$850
AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®60,000$840
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card75,000$800
United℠ Explorer Card60,000$780
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®50,000$750
Chase Sapphire Reserve®50,000$750
Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card130,000$650
Citi Premier℠ Card60,000$750
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card50,000$700
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®50,000$700
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card100,000$700
IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card125,000$625

The information about Citi Prestige® Credit Card, Citi Premier℠ Card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® and Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® has been collected independently by Finder and and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

Compare signup bonus credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, a value of up to $1,000 through Chase Ultimate Rewards
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $$1,000 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
United℠ Explorer Card
60,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles at restaurants, hotels and United and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $12,000 in the first year
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
$0
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
100,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

Back to top

Do American Express cards have a signup 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 the spend requirements.

Factors to consider with signup bonus credit cards

When choosing a credit card based on its signup bonus, be sure to consider the following:

  • 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 signup bonus worth $500 or more.
  • Point values.
    Not all reward points are created equal. While many points are worth about 1 cent each, some are worth more or less depending on how you redeem them.
  • Can you clear the spending requirement?
    Some credit cards have a high spend ceiling to clear the signup 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 spend requirement, don’t force it. You could end up paying more than it’s worth.
  • Interest rates.
    If you don’t pay your balance on time, the interest can quickly eat up your rewards. Make sure you always consider this when comparing credit cards.
  • Additional features. Some credit cards come with a 0% intro 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.
  • Travel perks.
    For some cards, a lower signup bonus might be worth it if the card offers great additional perks. This is most common on travel cards, which can offer benefits like flight upgrades, airline lounge access, free night stays at hotels and more.

How do signup bonuses work?

Most signup bonuses work similarly in what they offer and how you obtain them. In short, you’ll receive some sort of bonus for meeting a spending requirement set by the issuer within a specific period of time. These bonuses are most often cash back or bonus points and miles.

Spending requirements on a card’s signup bonus are often commensurate with the value of the bonus. So the higher the bonus you can receive, the more you’ll need to spend to nab that reward. In some cases, you might only need to make a single purchase on your card to earn a bonus.

Most signup bonus offers require you to meet this spending bonus within 90 days of account opening, though you might find a few bonuses with more or less allotted time.

How and where can I apply for my signup bonus credit card?

The simplest way to obtain a signup bonus credit card is to look at the existing options available in the comparison table above. Other tools can help aggregate and find such offers, such as CardMatch™ from creditcards.com. After comparing the credit cards and identifying the best one for you, click on the Apply now button and continue to complete the form.

Take note: most issuers won’t let you sign up for the same card twice. And even if you can, you likely won’t enjoy the same signup bonus on your second card.

Once approved, how long does it take before I can receive the signup bonus credit card?

After approval, the specific bank will post your new credit card and you should receive it in up to 10 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.

How often should I apply for a new credit card bonus?

Generally, so long as you can meet the card’s spend requirements with your normal level of spending, you could consider opening a new card every 8-12 months depending on your needs.

One thing to keep in mind is that some issuers have limitations on the number of cards you can open or how often you can receive a signup bonus. Otherwise, new cards can prove beneficial by increasing your overall credit limit and giving you additional reward opportunities.

Bottom line

If you look at an offer and feel that you can utilize the card effectively, a credit card with a signup 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. Take a look at all available credit cards to find one that best suits your needs.

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on finder.com:

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site