Signup bonus credit cards

Earn rewards within your first months of card membership.

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Most credit cards come with a signup bonus to entice you to apply for the card. Often you must meet certain spend requirements to earn the offer, but some cards make it especially easy — they just require you to make a purchase with your new card. Then you can enjoy your reward.

These offers are mostly in the form of a statement credit, points or miles. But they can also come as an airfare discount or a balance transfer fee waiver.

Compare signup bonus credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
$150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1.5% cash back on all purchases
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
$150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1.5% cash back on all purchases
Earn a $150 signup bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening.
20,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
1.25x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at
Earn 20,000 bonus miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
$150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
Earn $150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months.
$150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months

5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
Earn $150 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening.

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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.
  • 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.

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. 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 signup bonus.

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.

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.

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