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Best credit card signup bonuses of October 2020

Bonus points, miles and cashback make these credit card offers some of the best cards for new cardholders. CardRatings editors compare the best credit card signup bonuses and promotions.
Brooklyn Lowery, CardRatings Senior Manager Last Updated, September 24, 2020

Our credit card articles, reviews and ratings maintain strict editorial integrity; however we may be compensated when you click on or are approved for offers (terms apply) from our partners. How we make money.

The credit card bonus offer is flashy, exciting, enticing… and quite 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.

LIST OF WINNERS

BEST BONUSES AMONG TRAVEL REWARDS CARDS

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card comes with plenty of luxury polish, but all the perks to justify the higher-than-average annual fee. And those perks start with a solid signup bonus

The Signup Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months of opening an account. Because your rewards are worth 50% more when redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards® portal, that means the bonus is worth $750.

Annual Fee: $550

Rewards Rate:  Earn three points on travel (after earning your $300 annual reimbursement) and on dining purchases worldwide and one point per $1 spent on everything else.

Extra perks: Earn a $300 travel reimbursement each year to cover things like airline tickets or baggage fees. Enjoy complimentary airport lounge access, trip interruption/cancellation insurance and numerous other perks and features.

PROS:

  • The time is perfect for this benefit: $0 delivery fee from GrubHub.
  • Earn 10x points per dollar when you use Lyft; 15% off all car rides.
  • This card includes access to your own personal concierge. Visa Infinite Concierge can help you with requests like dinner reservations, or Broadway, music and sporting event tickets.

CONS:

  • There is a significant annual fee of $550 that you may not be able to offset with the other perks the card offers.
  • When you spend your $300 travel credit, you won’t earn any points on that total, which almost negates the credit itself.

Read our full Chase Sapphire Reserve® review.

BEST BONUSES FOR NO-ANNUAL-FEE TRAVEL CARDS

Discover it® Miles

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

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: See Terms

Rewards Rate: Earn a flat 1.5 miles per $1 spent on all your purchases.

PROS:

  • No one likes to be told what to do and with this card, you're not. You can redeem points for travel or cash.
  • There's no better way to monitor your identity than to have Social Security number use alerts.
  • With miles that never expire, you won't be rushed into any purchases before you're ready.

CONS:

  • If you're not an Amazon user, the instant cash rewards on Amazon.com will not benefit you.
  • All of your miles earned the first year will be matched by Discover, but that's only good in the first year -- a temporary benefit.
  • Discover is not as widely accepted as other credit card brands.

Read our full Discover it® Miles review.

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

 

EDITOR'S NOTE

The biggest cash-back bonuses on no-annual-fee cards are typically offered with small business credit cards. For example, both the Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card and the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card are currently offering $500 bonus cash back once you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months you open an account. If you're a traditional small business owner, or even a non-traditional business owner such as a contractor, freelancer, Airbnb operator or rideshare driver, you could qualify for and benefit from a small business credit card. Even if a small business card isn't in your future, cash-back credit cards are often annual-fee-free and many feature simple to understand rewards structures. That means that just about anyone can benefit from a cash-back rewards card and the level of effort on your part is minimal.


5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card offers new cardholders a great bonus of $200 if you spend $500 with the card in the first three months of opening the account. This bonus can be worth 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. A bonus this valuable is rare for a card with no annual fee and the low spending requirement makes it easy to earn. Plus, earn 5% cash back at grocery stores up to $12,000 in purchases your first year.

The Welcome Offer:  New cardholders earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 within the first three months of account opening. This bonus can be worth 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards Rate: This card awards 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal and 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate quarterly (activation is required each quarter). You can also earn 3% cash back at restaurants, including takeout and delivery, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

PROS:

  • You can earn a bonus worth $200 just by spending $500 with the card in the first three months of opening the account. This is one of the easiest bonuses to earn because of the low spending requirement.
  • You can earn bonus cash back in many different categories so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to rack up cash back just with your everyday spending.
  • You also get cell phone insurance if you use the card to pay your phone bill, which isn’t a benefit you’ll find with a lot of credit cards.

CONS:

  • There are a lot of different spending categories you can earn with so it might become overwhelming. If you prefer a flat rate of rewards on your purchases, this card isn’t for you.
  • The 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars fee for foreign purchases makes it an expensive card to use if you travel abroad.

Read our full Chase Freedom Flex℠ review

Discover it® Cash Back

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Offering cash back in rotating popular everyday categories, this card has the potential to earn you a lot of cash back just for making purchases you'd need to make regardless. Plus, Discover's welcome bonus is unlike any other on the market.

The Welcome Offer: Discover will match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up and no limit to how much is matched. So say you earn $300 cash back your first year as a cardholder, you'll actually walk away with $600!

Annual Fee: See Terms

Rewards Rate: Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum each time you active. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases, automatically.

PROS:

  • Cardholder earn 5% back on rotating categories each quarter.
  • Stay current on your credit picture with free FICO score monitoring.
  • Cashback doesn't expire - Who would refuse that?

CONS:

  • Rotating cashback categories means you're not always getting the maximum rewards.
  • Free security alerts are based only on Experian credit report so you're only getting 1/3 of the picture.

Read our full Discover it® Cash Back review.


There are a number of other no-annual-fee cash-back credit cards offering welcome bonuses, but those bonuses often fall a bit lower– typically around $150. These cards often come with other valuable perks though, such a cell phone protection or an intro 0% APR period, which make them worthy options to consider. Some notable mentions include:

  • Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card (This card is not currently available on CardRatings): Offers a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first three months; unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases and 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening; and up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to a $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly bill with your card.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Offers a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months; 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) in your first year; unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases on an ongoing basis; and 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases (then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable).
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months; 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on all other purchases; and 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable). American Express is a CardRatings advertiser. See Rates and Fees.
  • U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card: Offers a $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account; earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose, 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category like gas stations or grocery stores, and 1% back on all other eligible net purchases; and 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles (then 13.99% - 23.99%* Variable).
  • American Express Cash Magnet® Card: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases within the first three months; unlimited 1.5% cash back on your purchases; and 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable). See Rates and Fees.

BEST BONUSES AMONG CASH-BACK REWARDS CARDS

4
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card offers a whopping 6% cash back in popular categories! That's a lot of cash back in your pocket. Plus, the welcome bonus is nice too: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in three months.

The Welcome Offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first three months. Plus, enjoy 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 13.99%-23.99% Variable).

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards Rate: Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 3% back on transit including taxis/rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more; 3% at U.S. gas stations; and 1% on all other purchases.

PROS:

  • You can lower your food budget by earning 6% at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 a year, as well as 6% on select streaming services.
  • Save money elsewhere with a 0% intro APR on new purchases for 12 months (then, 13.99%-23.99% Variable).
  • Earn a $250 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of account membership.

CONS:

  • The annual fee might not be worth it if you don't spend heavily at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Walmart and Target do not count as U.S. supermarkets, so if you do a lot of spending there, this card might not be the best fit.

Read our full Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

BEST BONUSES AMONG LOYALTY PROGRAM CARDS

Travel loyalty programs, that is hotel and airline rewards programs, often have their own branded credit cards, and those cards often come with eye-popping signup bonus opportunities. The catch, of course, is that you need to be a frequent guest of these particular airlines or hotel chains to take full advantage of all the benefits and rewards offered by these cards. Sometimes, these cards are excellent second cards to have around in addition to a more general travel rewards card.

HOTEL REWARDS CREDIT CARD BONUSES

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: For a limited time, new Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card members can earn 100,000 bonus points once spending $3,000 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 $3,000 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.

PROS:

  • In the new age of contactless purchasing, this card offers a tap payment method instead.
  • Get free in-room internet access when staying at a Marriott property.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.

CONS:

  • They put you on the path to gold status, but to earn gold status you need to spend $35,000 in a year.
  • You are limited to earning bonus points at Marriott properties. All other purchases earn two points per dollar spent.

Read our full Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card review.

4
About Our Ratings

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...

The Welcome Offer: Earn 130,000 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.

PROS:

  • For those who drive often, 6% back on gas stations in the U.S. will rack up quickly.
  • Cardholders only need to spend $2,000 in the first three months to earn 130,000 bonus points for travel.
  • If you are loyal to their brand, you can earn 12x Hilton honors bonus points when you spend and use the card at a Hilton hotel or affiliated resort.

CONS:

  • There is car rental coverage, but it does not cover every type of car or every country. A couple of the excluded countries: Italy and Australia.
  • If you like to have a choice when you travel, a Hilton card will not allow that.
  • The free weekend night reward is great except it is non-transferable and cannot be redeemed in another form, such as cashback rewards.

Read our full Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card review

BEST BONUSES AMONG NO-ANNUAL-FEE BUSINESS CARDS

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This cards screams simplicity— which let's be honest, we can all use when it comes to our business needs— with unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made.

The Welcome Offer: Enjoy a $500 cash-back bonus after you spend $3,000 within the first three months as a cardholder. You can also take advantage of introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months (then, 13.24% - 19.24% Variable).

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards Rate: Earn unlimited 1.5% back on all purchases.

PROS:

  • The free employee cards are great, but the huge benefit is that the primary cardholder can set spending limits on authorized user cards.
  • Allows you to import expenses into bookkeeping software as a separate business account making taxes easier.
  • The extended warranty protection adds one year to all US manufacturer warranties.

CONS:

  • The partnership with Apple to get extra rewards when you spend through them is great… unless you're not an Apple user.
  • Rewards can be booked on most major airlines, but not all.
  • In order to earn the welcome bonus, you need to spend $3,000 in your first three months as an account holder, which is not always an easy feat.

Read our full Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card review.

5
About Our Ratings

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, 13.24% - 19.24% 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.

PROS:

  • This card offers a 5% cashback reward in select business categories.
  • Earn 2% back on gas station and restaurant purchases up to $25,000 per year.
  • There is no annual fee.

CONS:

  • The 5% cash back reward is only in certain categories, taking control out of your hands.
  • There are not a ton of perks to entice new members.

Read our full Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card review.

Discover it® Business Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: How does a $700 welcome bonus sound for a card that has no annual fee? With this card, it's possible. Thanks to Discover's Cashback Match™, you can get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match on all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically, and there's no limit to the amount Discover will match. So you could turn $350 cash back into $700 with ease.

The Welcome Offer: Earn a dollar-for-dollar match on all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.

Annual Fee: See Terms

Rewards Rate: Earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent on all purchases.

PROS:

  • It's rare that a business card would offer cashback bonuses, including the first year match, but this one does.
  • Earn a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on your purchases without worrying about rotating categories.
  • Free employee cards allow benefits to be earned on each of them.

CONS:

  • Security alerts are only issued for the primary cardholder.
  • Cashback rewards can be redeemed for gift cards, but only starting at $20.

Read our full Discover it® Business Card review.

BEST BONUSES AMONG BUSINESS CARDS

5
About Our Ratings

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. Citi is a CardRatings advertiser.

The Welcome Offer: Earn 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening.

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.

PROS:

  • Great onboard perks such as 25% off in-flight food beverage, preferred boarding and one free checked bag.
  • There is no mileage cap, so no money will go unrewarded.
  • Cardholders can earn 2X the miles spent on American Airlines products.

CONS:

  • Travel rewards are earned only with American Airlines.
  • The annual fee could be expensive if you don't get enough out of the card's other benefits and rewards.

Read our full CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® review.

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: If your loyalty is with American Airlines, this is a solid choice to consider. In additional to a nice welcome bonus, this card offers Admirals Club® membership for you and access for up to two guests or immediate family members traveling with you; no foreign transaction fees; 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in a year; and first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation. 

The Welcome Offer: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 within three months of opening an account.

Annual Fee: $450

Rewards Rate: Earn two AAdvantage® miles for every dollar spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and one mile for every dollar spent on all other purchases.

PROS:

  • Membership in the Admirals Club for enhanced airport benefits is a huge perk, especially for those who travel often.
  • Double miles on American airline purchases can add up fast.
  • Global entry or TSA pre-check statement credits are offered yearly.

CONS:

  • Many of the perks are on-board based, so if you travel mostly via car or train, these won't help.
  • There's a seven-day timeframe that needs to be met to be able to take advantage of the travel benefits. Your account needs to be open for seven days before your trip and a trip has to be booked seven days before it happens to be able to receive points.
  • In-flight discounts will reflect as a statement credit, not as an immediate price deduction.

Read our full Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® review.

5
About Our Ratings

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 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 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.

PROS:

  • Choose your security alerts and also how you receive them, so you're not inundated with notifications.
  • Points redeemed through the ultimate rewards program are worth 25% more than face value.
  • Using this business card will also build your business credit.

CONS:

  • There are exclusions to purchases toward your 100,000 welcome bonus points.
  • There are not a lot of perks outside of travel benefits.
  • With this card, you are not rewarded for brand loyalty, which means fewer opportunities to earn extra points.

Read our full Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card review.

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: The annual fee is substantial, but if you travel enough to offset it, you'll be rolling in perks and rewards.

The Welcome Offer: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on qualifying purchases within your first three months of card membership. Plus, get 50% more points (that's an extra half point per dollar) on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.

Annual Fee: $595

Rewards Rate: Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com. Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year when you book on amextravel.com.

PROS:

  • Spend money with Dell technologies and receive up to $100 credit per month on your statement.
  • Get access to a premium global assist hotline that will help wherever you are with any emergency situation.
  • Choose one airline and receive up to $200 in credit on your statement per year for fees associated with it such as baggage.

CONS:

  • The rewards are small for high-cost items such as wireless and shipping.
  • Airline credit is only good for one airline that you choose. So if you shop around for better prices, you won't be rewarded for the services you use with them.
  • Purchase protection has exclusions and restrictions.

Read our full The Business Platinum Card® from American Express review.

5
About Our Ratings

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?

The Welcome Offer: Earn 130,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

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.

PROS:

  • Spend $40,000 in the calendar year and next year enjoy diamond status, which includes premium Wi-Fi, free breakfast, and a 100% bonus on base points earned.
  • The potential to earn two free weekend nights in one calendar year is something that makes this card stand out.
  • Get rewarded with six times the points when you order directly from an airline/car rental company or AMEX travel.

CONS:

  • Year-end summaries run calendar year only, so if you run a fiscal year with different months it wouldn't work for you.
  • Diamond status premium internet service is not available in meeting spaces or properties the charge a resort fee.
  • Purchases made via third-party vendors do not qualify to earn points.

Read our full The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card review..

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Who doesn't like a free hotel stay? With this card receive 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.

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.

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. 

PROS:

  • Priority late checkout is available with automatic silver rewards status.
  • Instead of a statement credit like some cards, services such as wireless, gas and shipping can earn four times the rewards points.
  • The annual fee is tax-deductible in some cases.

CONS:

  • Fees for supplemental users to use vendor pay add up and dissuade delegation of duties to coworkers.
  • Free nights aren't all free - service fees have to be paid by card holder at some locations.
  • Most hotels in this brand are higher end, so to get the reward you end up spending more on the travel partner.

Read our full Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card review.

5
About Our Ratings

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.

PROS:

  • No baggage fees to waste money on.
  • Every year on your anniversary you will receive 6,000 points.
  • Earn unlimited points so no dollar spent and wasted.

CONS:

  • There is no in-flight Wi-Fi credit.
  • Fees for global entry or TSA pre-check are not given as statement credit.
  • There are no specialized business categories to earn extra points.

Read our full Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card review.

WHAT IS THE BEST CREDIT CARD BONUS?

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® currently offers one of the most valuable bonuses, worth $750 if you redeem your points through Ultimate Rewards. Because it is at the higher end of signup bonuses, CardRatings experts consider it the best credit card bonus. However, this card also comes with several other valuable bonuses that make it well worth carrying.

Keep in mind though, that there is an annual fee of $550, so it has to offer a valuable bonus to help new cardholders offset the fee a little. If you don’t see yourself using the benefits the card offers or if for some reason you won’t be able to take advantage of the credit card bonus, this may not be the card for you.

The best credit card bonus for you might be lower in value and only worth $150, but on a card with a lower or no annual fee. Also, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month or the interest you pay could end up costing you more than any credit card bonus is worth.

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); Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees); American Express Cash Magnet® Card (See Rates and Fees); Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees); The Business Platinum Card® from American Express (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);

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

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