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Best credit card signup bonuses of January 2020

Last Updated, January 27, 2020

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The credit card bonus offer. It’s flashy, exciting, enticing… and possibly fleeting.

That’s right, credit card bonuses can and do rise and fall, which means that applying for a new card at the right time could mean a substantially higher bonus for you. Likewise, missing the window of a limited time offer could mean your bonus opportunity is half of what it could be. This is why we are bringing you the best credit card offers from our partners, so you never miss a beat.

And excellent bonuses aren't just for personal/consumer cards; small business owners can get in on the bonus offer situation as well.

These offers are the best of the best, but that doesn't mean they all come with annual fees. Don't overlook the best signup bonuses for no-annual-fee credit cards that we've listed here as well.

Let's get started.

BEST CREDIT CARD SIGNUP BONUSES

NO-ANNUAL-FEE TRAVEL CARDS | NO-ANNUAL-FEE CASH-BACK REWARDS | GENERAL TRAVEL REWARDS | CASH-BACK REWARDS |
HOTEL REWARDSNO-ANNUAL-FEE BUSINESS CARDS  | BUSINESS CARDS

BEST BONUSES FOR NO-ANNUAL-FEE TRAVEL CARDS

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Why We Like It: Simple rewards earning, excellent and flexible redemption options and a solid bonus offer for a no-annual-fee card make this a winner.

The Welcome Offer: Earn 20,000 bonus miles – that's worth $200 in travel – after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership.

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards Rate: Earn a nice 1.25 miles for every $1 you spend on every purchase. No categories or caps to keep up with and the redemption options are excellent: Redeem your miles to cover travel expenses on your statement or transfer your rewards to over 10 popular airline loyalty programs. Read our full Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card review.

Discover it® Miles

Why We Like It: The amazing thing about this card's bonus offer is that it can be as lucrative as you choose to make it. We'll explain below.

The Welcome Offer: Discover will MATCH all the miles you earn during your first year as a cardholder. That means that the bonus is entirely dependent on how much you choose to spend during your first year as a cardholder. For example, if you earn 35,000 miles in your first year, Discover will match that amount so you will have effectively earned 70,000 miles in that first year – that's $700 toward travel.

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards Rate: Earn a flat 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all your purchases. Read our full Discover it® Miles review.

BEST BONUSES AMONG NO-ANNUAL-FEE CASH-BACK REWARDS CARDS

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why We Like It: In terms of rewards, the jump from the annual fee version of this card to the no-annual-fee version is pretty minimal, meaning that this no-annual-fee version might be just perfect for you. Plus, the bar to earn the welcome bonus is quite low, which is always a plus.

The Welcome Offer: Earn a one-time cash-back bonus of $150 after you spend just $500 on purchases within the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards Rate: Earn an unlimited 3% back on dining and entertainment purchases; 2% back at grocery stores; and 1% back on all other purchases. Read our full review of the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card review

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Why We Like It: This card offers a TON of flexibility in terms of your ability to adjust its rewards earning to fit your lifestyle and spending. It also offers a nice new card member bonus opportunity to get you started on the right foot AND Preferred Rewards clients of Bank of America earn a bonus percentage back on every purchase on an ongoing basis.

The Welcome Offer: Receive a $200 online cash-back bonus after you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of card membership.

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards Rate: With this card you get to choose where you'll earn top cash back – 3% back on purchases – from among the following list: gas, online purchases, travel, dining, drugstores or home improvement/furnishings; earn 2% back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases up to $2,500 spent in choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter; earn 1% back on your other purchases. If you're a Preferred Rewards client with Bank of America, you'll earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase depending on your Preferred Rewards tier. Read our full review of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card.

BEST BONUSES AMONG TRAVEL REWARDS CARDS

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Why We Like It: In case you haven't noticed by now, let us be blunt: Flexibility when it comes to your rewards does matter and being able to earn rewards quickly and easily is pretty important, too. This card checks both those boxes.

The Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership.

Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Rewards Rate: It doesn't get any simpler than this: Earn two miles per $1 spent on all your purchases with no caps or categories to worry about.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Why We Like It: This was already a top card among travel rewards credit card seekers, but then Chase raised the signup bonus to make it worth as much as $750 in travel! Furthermore, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card's ongoing value includes high rewards rates, no blackout dates, restrictions, or expiration date on rewards. Cardholders can even use their points to book a flight for someone else.

The Signup Bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. That is a stellar signup bonus opportunity, especially given the modest annual fee with this card and its excellent ongoing value.

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards Rate:  Earn two points on travel and dining purchases and one point per $1 spent on everything else. Plus earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Why We Like It: A luxury card that functions on one of the most popular rewards platforms out there? Sure, we're intrigued. Add in a solid signup bonus worth up to $750 in travel and we're giving this card more than a second look.

The Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on your new card in the first three months. That amount of points is worth $750 in travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® or transfer them to a number of hotel or airline loyalty programs for even more value.

Annual Fee: $550

Rewards Rate: Earn three points per $1 spent on travel (after earning your annual $300 travel credit); three points per $1 on dining at restaurants and one point per $1 on everything else. You rewards are worth 50 percent more when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® for travel. Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve® review.

Additional Features: This card is designed for the avid traveler who appreciates a few luxury touches. That said, it's not hard to see how just about anyone can offset the annual fee. That's because cardholders are eligible for up to $300 each account anniversary year in statement credit to cover travel costs; that could include airline tickets, hotel stays, baggage fees and more. Cardholders also enjoy a complimentary Lyft Pink membership, a value of at least $199. Those benefits alone effectively drops the annual fee to just $51. Furthermore, cardholders enjoy complimentary access to airport lounges around the globe and a statement credit of up to $100 every four years to cover your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® application fees.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

Why We Like It: If traveling is your thing, you are sure to appreciate saving up to $100 with an airline incidental statement credit each year, as well as up to $100 in statement credit for your TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry application fee. Plus, you don't have to worry about foreign transaction fees with this card.

The Welcome Offer: Receive 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days of opening an account.

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards Rate: Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases, and 1.5 points per dollar spent on all other purchases.

BEST BONUSES AMONG CASH-BACK REWARDS CARDS

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why We Like It: So many credit cards these days are targeted toward traveling in general — hotel discounts, airfare discounts, rental car discounts — but what's the one thing everyone has to do every day to survive? Eat! With the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, cardholders are rewarded for enjoying a night out on the town with four percent back on restaurant and entertainment purchases. Those dining in are also rewarded with two percent back on grocery purchases.

The Welcome Offer: Earn a one-time cash bonus of $300 after spending $3,000 within the first three months the account is open.

Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Rewards Rate: Earn unlimited four percent back on dining and entertainment; two percent at grocery stores; and one percent on all other purchases. Read our full review of the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

BEST BONUSES AMONG HOTEL REWARDS CARDS

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

Why We Like It: This is a hotel rewards card that offers you bonus points for everyday purchases as well as some complimentary airport lounge access. And then there's that impressive welcome offer... Terms apply

The Welcome Offer: Earn 125,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. Plus, you'll receive a weekend night stay reward after you spend at least $15,000 on the card in a calendar year, a feature that should more than offset your annual fee.

Annual Fee: $95.

Rewards Rate: Earn 12 points per $1 spent directly with Hilton portfolio hotels and resorts; earn six points per $1 spent at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets; and earn three points per $1 spent on your other purchases. Read our full Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card review.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

Why We Like It: For a limited time new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card holders can earn 100,000 bonus points once spending $5,000 within the first three months of opening an account. Points can be redeemed for stays at more than 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels around the world.

The Welcome Offer: For a limited time earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $5,000 within your first three months as a cardholder.

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards Rate:  Earn six points for every dollar you spend at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and two points on everything else.

BEST BONUSES AMONG NO-ANNUAL-FEE BUSINESS CARDS

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Why We Like It: Small business credit cards are supposed to make your life easier as a business owner – but there's certainly no harm in them also positively impacting your bottom line as well.

The Welcome Offer: Earn a $500 cash-back bonus after you spend $3,000 within the first three months as a cardholder. Additionally, you can take advantage of an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months (then, 14.74% - 20.74% Variable).

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards Rate: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend each account anniversary year combined at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services. Earn 2% back on the first $25,000 combined spending each account year on gas station and restaurant purchases. Earn an unlimited 1% back on everything else. Read our full Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card review.

BEST BONUSES AMONG BUSINESS CARDS

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Why We Like It: In addition to the generous rewards structure, business owners are sure to appreciate the included cell phone insurance that provides up to $600 per claim in cell phone protection against covered theft or damage for all phones listed on the monthly cell phone bill that's paid with the card.

The Welcome Offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 within three months of opening an account.

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards Rate: Earn three points per dollar on the first $150,000 spent annually in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines. Earn one point per dollar on all other purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn. Read our full Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card review.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

Why We Like It: Well, you don't have to look past the limited time bonus to see why we like this card – but if you do look past it you'll find a solid rewards card for many types of small businesses.

The Welcome Offer: For a limited time, earn up to $2,000 in cash back bonuses. Earn $500 when you spend $5,000 in the first three months and earn $1,500 when you spend $50,000 within the first six months.

Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that

Rewards Rate: Earn an easy-to-remember 2% cash back on every purchase with no limits, caps or categories to worry about. Read our full Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business review.

PRO TIP

There's also a "miles" version of this card that's offering a sky-high limited time bonus. The Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business (This card is not currently available on CardRatings) rewards cardholders with two miles for every $1 spent on purchases and, for a limited time, new cardholders can earn up to 200,000 miles as a bonus. Earn 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months and earn another 150,000 miles after you spend $50,000 in the first six months. This card also has an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.

The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card

Why We Like It: Besides the healthy welcome offer, this card offers solid bonus points on your hotel stays as well as on some common business and travel purchases. Plus, what business traveler wouldn't appreciate 10 complimentary airport lounge visits each year? Terms apply. 

The Welcome Offer: Earn 125,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Terms apply.

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards Rate: Earn 12 points per $1 spent directly with Hilton portfolio hotels and resorts; earn six points per $1 spent on select business and travel purchases; and earn three points per $1 spent on everything else. Terms apply. Read our full The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card review.

Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card

Why We Like It: Who doesn't like a free hotel stay? With this card rceive one Free Night Award every year after your card account anniversary. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points) at a participating hotel. Certain hotels have resort fees. Terms apply. 

The Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first three months. Terms apply. 

Annual Fee: $125

Rewards Rate:  Earn six points on purchases made at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, four points at U.S. restaurants and gas stations, and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping, and two points on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply. 

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Why We Like It: With this card, your bonus points don't end with the welcome bonus - each year after your card member anniversary you'll receive 6,000 bonus points.

The Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months your account is open.

Annual Fee: $99

Rewards Rate:  Earn two points per dollar spent on Southwest® and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases, and one point per dollar spent on everything else.

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Why We Like It: This is an airline-branded business card and, given the sweet perks and features, any regular business traveler on American Airlines should take notice.

The Welcome Offer: Earn 65,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first four months of card membership.

Annual Fee: $99, waived for first 12 months

Rewards Rate: Earn two miles per $1 spent on American Airlines purchases as well as one telecommunications purchases, at car rental merchants and at gas stations. You'll earn one mile per $1 on everything else. Read our full CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® review

HOW TO EARN A CREDIT CARD BONUS

At the surface, earning a signup bonus is pretty straightforward: Spend X number of dollars before the deadline and see your reward roll in.

But what if spending $3,000 or more dollars in a three-month time span isn't in your typical budget? Should you just give up on earning the bonus?Worse, should you go into debt just to earn it? Even if the that spending is in your budget, what do you need to think about?

Before you give up on earning a bonus or start spending wildly just to earn it, consider our tips below.

1. Before applying for a card, consider your spending plans for the next several months. If you really want a spending bonus, applying for a card right before you plan to go on a "spend as little money as I can" diet for a few months is not a good idea. Take a look several months out and make sure that you aren't anticipating any sort of major events or circumstances that would require you to drastically reduce the spending you'll be able to do on a credit card. For example, if you're in "save up to buy a car" mode, now might not be the right time (However, be sure and check out the best credit cards for gas rewards once you're in your new ride).

2. Think about your expenses in bulk. Most people have at least a few regular big-ticket expenses that they pay on a few times a year or maybe even monthly. If you can swing it, consider paying a full year of your car, renters or home insurance on your card. Or perhaps you can pay for an annual subscription to your favorite streaming service or wholesale club rather than paying monthly. Do you or your kids have a tuition bill coming up? Pay for it with your card. Depending on the bill, one payment might be enough to meet your bonus spending threshold, or consider combining several of these to meet the mark.

3. Make a contribution to a favorite charity. These days, many charities offer the opportunity to make contributions via your credit card. Perhaps now is the time for you to give. Remember, it does cost charities (and every merchant) a percentage to accept credit cards; if you're giving to a charity with your card, consider upping the amount you give by a few percentage points to cover that processing cost.

4. Don't, we repeat, DON'T go into debt. The fastest way to make a credit card bonus decrease in value is to pay interest on the amount you spent just trying to earn the bonus. If you can't pay for what you're putting on the card, no amount of rewards or bonuses is going to be worth it. Ensure whatever you're spending on the way to earning that bonus is something you can pay off each billing cycle (or is covered by an intro 0% APR period, in which case ensure you can pay off the charges before that intro period ends).


To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured in this post, please visit the following links: Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card (See Rates and Fees); Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card (See Rates and Fees); The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card (See Rates and Fees);

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