The best credit card signup bonuses of 2020

Earn rewards within your first months of card membership.

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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 some credit cards where you can earn between 50,000 and 100,000 points bonuses after you meet their spend requirements:

  • Citi Prestige® Credit Card — 50,000 bonus points.
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® — 50,000 bonus points.
  • Citi Premier℠ Card — 60,000 bonus points.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card — 60,000 bonus points.
  • United℠ Explorer Card — 60,000 bonus points.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card — 75,000 bonus points.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Card — 75,000 bonus points.
  • Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card — 80,000 bonus points.

And if you want to go further, the cards in the list below let you earn 100,000 points bonuses or more if you meet the spend requirements:

  • British Airways Visa Signature® Card — 100,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirements for both 50,000-point signup bonuses.
  • Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Credit Card — 100,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirements for both 50,000-point signup bonuses.
  • Iberia Visa Signature® card — 100,000 bonus points when you meet the spend requirements for both 50,000-point signup bonuses.
  • Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card — 125,000 bonus points.
  • Hilton Honors™ Aspire Card — 150,000 bonus points.

Compare signup bonus credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
British Airways Visa Signature® Card
50,000 Avios after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus 50,000 Avios after spending $20,000 in the first year
3x Avios on British Airways, 2x on hotels and 1x on all other purchases
$95
50,000 Avios after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus 50,000 Avios after spending $20,000 in the first year
United Club℠ Infinite Card
100,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
4x miles on United purchases, 2x miles on travel and dining and 1x miles on all other purchases
$525
Get United Club membership with access for you and two guests at any United Club or Star Alliance lounge -- a value of up to $650 annually.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card
75,000 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 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
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.
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®
50,000 miles after spending $2,500 in the first 3 months
2x miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, at gas stations and restaurants and 1x miles on all other purchases
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months.

Compare up to 4 providers

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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.

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