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Best Credit Card Welcome Offers for New Cardholders

  • Some of the credit cards with the best welcome offers are The Platinum Card? from American Express(offer worth up to $1,600), the Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card (offer worth over $900 when redeemed toward travel through Chase Travel?), and the Chase Freedom Unlimited?(offer worth up to $300), among others.?
  • Credit card sign-up bonuses make it possible to earn hundreds of dollars in rewards quickly with a new card. You typically need to spend a certain amount with your card in the first few months to earn a welcome bonus.
  • Smaller welcome offers are often easier to earn, as they typically require less spending. For example, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card only requires cardholders to spend $500 within 3 months of account opening to earn a $200 welcome bonus.
  • Sometimes you can earn a higher welcome offer than a card advertises by using CardMatch! Using this tool will not impact your credit score.

Credit card sign-up bonuses can help you earn hundreds in cash back or travel rewards points you can redeem on flights and hotel stays. Here’s how much the welcome offers are worth on these popular cards:

Our top picks for credit cards with the best sign-up bonuses

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Best for Premium Travel: Amex

The Platinum Card? from American Express

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X Membership Rewards? points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 per calendar year), 5X points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$695
Welcome Offer
80,000 points
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth over $1,000. The welcome offer itself is worth over $1K (depending on how you redeem your points), but if you factor in the other benefits of this card (namely, over $1,500 worth of statement credits), its potential value exceeds $2,500 in the first year.
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Card Details

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  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts? or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card?. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card? on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection? can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card? to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card?.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR? Plus Credit: CLEAR? Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck? application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck? official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card?. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card?. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card? to your Resy profile.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards rate for travel purchases
  • Qualify for $1,500+ in statement credits
  • Very generous welcome offer
Cons
  • High annual fee of $695
  • Many statement credit offers are too specific and hard to use
  • Non-travel-perks aren’t spectacular
Bottom Line

This is quite a spectacular card with incredibly valuable benefits, but the annual fee is objectively very high.

Best for Travel: Flexible Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn 5X points on Chase Travel purchases, 3X points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services, and 1X points on other purchases.

Annual Fee
$95
Welcome Offer
75,000 points
Regular APR
21.49% to 28.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth over $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel?. There’s a reason the Chase Sapphire Preferred is such a popular travel credit card option — it’s packed with top-tier benefits, earns generously, and has a comparatively low annual fee. A few of its many perks include travel insurance benefits, an annual hotel credit, and various partner benefits. Additionally, this card earns points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which allows cardholders added flexibility when earning and redeeming points. Through this program, you can redeem your rewards for cash back, statement credits, gift cards, travel, and more. If you’re searching for a flexible travel credit card, the Sapphire Preferred may be exactly what you need.

Best for Premium Travel: Chase

Chase Sapphire Reserve?

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Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn 10X points on hotels and car rentals booked through Chase Travel, 10X points on Chase Dining purchases, 5X points on flights booked through Chase Travel, 3X points on non-Chase travel and dining, and 1X points on all non-bonus spending.

Annual Fee
$550
Welcome Offer
75,000 points
Regular APR
22.49% to 29.49% variable
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth $1,125 when redeemed toward travel through Chase Travel?. If you’re in the market for a high-end travel credit card with a lucrative welcome offer, consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve. This card also offers a great travel reward rate, with up to 10X points on eligible purchases (Note: You won’t start earning points until the $300 annual travel statement credit is fully spent. The first $300 spent on travel each year will automatically go towards the statement credit). The points you earn are extra flexible to redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards and have 50% more value on travel bookings made through the Chase Travel portal. Additionally, cardholders can benefit from complimentary airport lounge access, travel insurance perks, valuable partner benefits, and more.

Best for Everyday Rewards: Flexible Cash Back

Chase Freedom Unlimited?

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Up to 6.5% Reward Rate

Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
Up to $300 cash back
Regular APR
20.49%-29.24% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth up to $300. Looking for a credit card that provides added flexibility with earning and redeeming rewards? The Chase Freedom Unlimited? card is a great choice. It offers a solid flat cash-back rate on all purchases, as well as various bonus categories that earn even more rewards. To sweeten the deal, it has no annual fee and a generous welcome offer. Although it’s marketed as a cash-back card, Freedom Unlimited takes it a step further. The rewards you earn are part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards? program, which provides even more flexibility in redeeming them. In a world with so many credit cards, Freedom Unlimited still stands out as one of the best options available.

Best for Premium Travel: Capital One

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn 10X miles on hotel and rental car purchases made through Capital One Travel, 5X miles on airfare purchased through the portal, and 2X miles per dollar spent on all other purchases.

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Annual Fee
$395
Welcome Offer
75,000 miles
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth $750 when redeemed toward travel. This is Capital One’s most premium travel credit card, packed with benefits such as airport lounge access, Priority Pass Select membership, yearly bonus miles, an annual travel credit, and an elevated rewards-earning rate on travel booked through Capital One’s portal.
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Card Details

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  • Receive a $300 annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Elevate every hotel stay from the Premier or Lifestyle Collections with a suite of cardholder benefits, like an experience credit, room upgrades, and more
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck?
Pros
  • Miles can be redeemed for travel purchases, transfers to international airlines, and more
  • Can qualify for hundreds of dollars in credits each year
  • Huge welcome offer
Cons
  • $395 annual fee
  • Large spending requirement to earn the welcome bonus
  • Excellent credit required
Bottom Line

With a lower annual fee than some premium cards and extremely valuable benefits, this card can easily be worth the annual fee for the frequent traveler.

Best for Travel: Dining

American Express? Gold Card

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Up to 4X Reward Rate

Earn 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X) and restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1X points on other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$250
Welcome Offer
60,000 points
Regular APR
See Pay Over Time APR
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth up to $1,200. The American Express? Gold Card is a top-notch option for travelers who frequently dine out. With an enhanced rewards rate for eligible purchases, a substantial welcome offer, and an annual fee that can easily be offset by the card’s statement credits and benefits, this card is a must-have for self-proclaimed “foodies.”
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Card Details

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  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express? Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Get a $100 experience credit with a minimum two-night stay when you book The Hotel Collection through American Express Travel. Experience credit varies by property.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Generous welcome offer
  • High rewards potential
  • Many transfer partners available
Cons
  • High annual fee
  • Complicated statement credits
  • Good or excellent credit recommended
Bottom Line

If you like to dine out frequently, the $200+ worth of dining-related annual statement credits can easily help justify the yearly fee.

Best for Everyday Rewards: Dining & Entertainment

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 3% Reward Rate

Earn 3% cash back on dining purchases, entertainment, and popular streaming services. Earn 3% cash back at grocery stores, and earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth $200. This credit card offers easy-to-earn rewards in everyday categories, including dining, entertainment, streaming services, and even grocery stores. It’s one of the highest-earning cards for dining and entertainment on the market today.
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Card Details

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  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (then 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR).
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% for the first 15 months; 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
Pros
  • No rotating categories that you need to sign up for
  • No spending cap
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • High APR
  • Good or excellent credit recommended
  • Low sign-up bonus
Bottom Line

The cash-back categories and welcome bonus are pretty solid, especially for a card without an annual fee.

Best for Everyday Rewards: Groceries & Gas

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express

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Up to 6% Reward Rate

Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0 the first year, then $95
Welcome Offer
$250
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth $250. With fantastic cash-back rewards on U.S. supermarket and U.S. gas station purchases, the Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express is a no-brainer for families and savvy shoppers. While it does have an annual fee, the benefits it offers can easily outweigh the cost.
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Card Details

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  • 0% Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers during the first 12 months (then 19.24% to 29.99% variable)
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an auto-renewing subscription to Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred? Card. That’s $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred? Card. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • Excellent rewards on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, transit and more
  • 0% APR on purchases for a limited time
  • Don’t need to activate categories
Cons
  • Rewards can only be redeemed for a statement credit or at Amazon.com
  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • Has an annual fee
Bottom Line

Although this card has an annual fee, most families will be able to easily get enough value out of the everyday categories to make it worth it.

Best for Business Travel: Flexible Rewards

Ink Business Preferred? Credit Card

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Up to 3X Reward Rate

Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases in select categories each year, and earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$95
Welcome Offer
100,000 points
Regular APR
21.24% to 26.24% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Travel?. Yes, you read that right. This $95 annual fee business card has a welcome offer worth up to $1,250. The Ink Business Preferred offers generous rewards on travel and certain business purchases, and the points earned on this card are part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program. Through this program, you can redeem your points for things like gift cards, cash back, travel, and more. This card also boasts various additional perks like travel insurance and cell phone protection. If you can take advantage of what this card has to offer, it’s an insanely good deal.

Best for Business Travel: Premium Rewards

Capital One Venture X Business

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Up to 10X Reward Rate

Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases.

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Annual Fee
$395
Welcome Offer
150,000 miles
Regular APR
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent (740 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth $1,500 when redeemed toward travel. The premium travel benefits available on the Capital One Venture X Business card (like airport lounge access and an annual travel credit), along with easy-to-earn rewards can easily make up for the $395 annual fee.
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Card Details

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  • This card has no preset spending limit, so you get purchasing power that adapts to your spending needs.
  • Redeem your miles on flights, hotels and more. Plus, transfer your miles to any of the 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Every year, you’ll get 10,000 bonus miles after your account anniversary date. Plus, receive an annual $300 credit for bookings through Capital One Travel
  • Empower your teams to make business purchases while earning rewards on their transactions, with free employee and virtual cards. Plus, automatically sync your transaction data with your accounting software and pay your vendors with ease
  • Skip the lines with up to a $100 statement credit on TSA PreCheck? or Global Entry. Then enjoy unlimited complimentary access to Capital One Lounges and a network of 1,300+ lounges worldwide, including Priority Pass? and Plaza Premium Group lounges
  • This is a pay-in-full card, so your balance is due in full every month
  • Elevate your stay at luxury hotels and resorts from the Premier Collection with a $100 experience credit and other premium benefits on every booking
Pros
  • Can qualify for hundreds of dollars in credits each year
  • Unlimited access to Capital One Lounges
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit
Cons
  • High annual fee
  • Can’t carry a balance from month to month
  • Excellent credit required
Bottom Line

Although it comes with a steep price tag, this card boasts plenty of perks to make it worth it for the avid business traveler.

Best for Everyday Rewards: Flat Rate Cash Back

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 5% Reward Rate

Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel platform.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
Welcome offer worth $200. For a card with a simple, straightforward reward structure, look no further than the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back reward on all purchases and an upgraded rewards rate on eligible Capital One Travel purchases, meaning there are no confusing categories to keep track of.
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Card Details

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  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 19.99%-29.99% variable APR
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% for the first 15 months; 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • No foreign transaction fees
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • No cap on cash back
  • Intro APR offer
Cons
  • Lower welcome bonus than some cards
  • Lower rewards rate than some cards with specific categories
  • Requires good or excellent credit
Bottom Line

This is a solid, straightforward cash-back card for people who don’t want to pay an annual fee or activate categories, but other cards may earn more.

Comparing the best credit card sign up bonuses

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More info on the best credit card sign-up bonuses

The Platinum Card? from American Express

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The American Express Platinum Card lets you earn 80,000 bonus points if you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases within your first 6 months of membership. This welcome offer alone is worth over $1,000 (potentially up to $1,600, depending on how you redeem your points!), but the annual statement credits you can access with this card provide an additional $1,500+ in value. If you can look past the high annual fee, this card has plenty of value to offer in return.

Chase Sapphire Preferred? Card

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If you get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This welcome bonus is worth over $900 if you redeem for travel through the Chase Travel? portal and $750 if you redeem for gift cards, statement credits, etc., a fantastic offer for a card with such a low annual fee. Cardholders can also benefit from over $150 worth of value in partner benefits, travel insurance benefits, and more, easily enhancing the card’s value to over $1,000 in the first year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve?

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On the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can earn 75,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening. This welcome bonus is worth up to $1,125 ($1,125 if you redeem for travel in the Chase Travel? portal, $750 if you redeem toward statement credits, gift cards, etc.). Factor in the annual $300 travel credit, the Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit, lounge access, and more, and the starting value of this card skyrockets to well over $1,500.

Chase Freedom Unlimited?

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The welcome bonus on the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a bit different than most credit cards. With this card, you can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year), worth up to $300 in cash back. That’s 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel?, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services), and 3% on all other purchases (Note: this offer is available through the LA Times Compare site and may not be available through Chase or another website). While the welcome offer on most cards requires you to spend a certain amount in a set time to earn them, this card’s bonus lets you earn as you go. On top of that, it has no annual fee, so there’s no yearly cost to “make up for.”

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

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On the Capital One Venture X card, you can earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This welcome bonus is equal to $750 in travel! Cardholders can also take advantage of an annual $300 travel credit and complimentary lounge access, among other perks, essentially boosting the value of the welcome offer to over $1,000.

American Express? Gold Card

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With the American Express Gold Card, you can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases during your first six months of membership. This welcome offer is worth up to $1,200, depending on how you redeem your points. Avid diners can also take advantage of over $200 worth of dining-related statement credits, boosting the potential value of this card to over $1,400 in the first year.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

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It’s easy to earn the welcome offer on the Capital One SavorOne Rewards card. You can earn a one-time welcome bonus of $200 after spending just $500 on purchases within three months of account opening. Especially for a card with no annual fee, this is a solid bonus. The reward-earning categories of this card are also very useful for many people, and it boasts a variety of additional benefits, making this a great option all around.

Blue Cash Preferred? Card from American Express

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The Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express lets you earn $250 after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within the first six months of card membership. It’s not quite as easy to earn as some bonuses on this list, but if you use it as your primary spending card, it shouldn’t be too difficult. This card also has great long-term value, with high reward-earning potential in various everyday categories.

Ink Business Preferred? Credit Card

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With the Ink Business Preferred card, you can earn an extremely generous welcome offer of 100,000 points after spending $8,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. For many businesses, it would be easy to meet that spending requirement, and the offer is worth up to $1,250 in value ($1,250 when redeemed toward travel through Chase Travel?, $1,000 when redeemed toward cash back, gift cards, etc.)! Employee cards are free, the reward categories are practical, and rewards are through Chase Ultimate Rewards, meaning they’re super flexible. Plus, this card only has a $95 annual fee, which is a far lower cost than many business credit cards charge.

Capital One Venture X Business

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It takes quite a bit of spending to earn the welcome bonus on the Capital One Venture X Business card, but if you can manage to spend $30,000 in the first 3 months from account opening, you can earn 150,000 miles. The spending requirement isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s worth over $1,500 (potentially up to $2,700!), and the card itself is solid on the perks it packs. Cardholders can take advantage of an annual $300 travel credit and 10,000 anniversary miles every year, among other benefits. If your business spends quite a lot on travel, this card could make a valuable addition to your wallet.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

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While some cards require a large amount of spending to earn their welcome bonuses, with the Quicksilver Cash Rewards card you can earn a $200 cash bonus after you spend just $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.

What are credit card sign-up bonuses?

Credit card sign-up bonuses, also called welcome bonuses, are part of marketing campaigns that credit card companies use to attract new cardholders. These campaigns can have a big benefit for card members who know how to maximize bonuses.

The structure of the bonus depends on the type of card.?Cash-back cards provide bonuses in the form of cash back, while travel rewards cards provide bonuses in the form of points or miles that work with a specific program.

If you sign up for a new credit card and are eligible for a welcome bonus, you can earn hundreds of dollars in value, making these offers attractive. You may be able to earn enough of a sign-up bonus, for example, to cover a flight or a few nights in a hotel.

How does a credit card bonus work?

You don’t automatically earn a welcome bonus simply by being approved for a credit card and opening an account. These bonuses come with spending requirements that must be completed first.

Typically, welcome bonuses require you to spend a certain amount within an initial timeline after opening the new credit card account. How much you have to spend, and how quickly, often correlates to the value of the bonus or the type of card.?

For instance, business cards and luxury travel cards tend to require higher spending amounts, but there isn’t a hard and fast rule.

To understand how welcome offers work, consider some real-life examples.??

In most cases, you’re only eligible for a sign-up bonus if you’re a new cardholder or haven’t had a card in that specific product line. For example, if you already have a United Airlines credit card, upgrading to another United Airlines credit card with the same bank may mean you’re not eligible for any sign-up bonus.

What is the best credit card sign-up bonus?

There isn’t a single best credit card welcome bonus on the market, in part because these offers constantly change.?

What’s best for you also depends on your spending habits and goals. A travel rewards card offering an 80,000-point welcome bonus sounds great, but if you never travel or don’t spend enough to earn the offer, it’s not the best credit card option for you.

A good bonus is one that:

For example, the Capital One Quicksilver card’s $200 cash-back bonus only requires you to spend $500 in the first three months. Most people can easily accomplish that just using the card to cover groceries or gas. Because the card has no annual fee, that $200 value is pure “profit” as long as you pay your statement off every month and don’t incur interest expense. That’s a pretty solid welcome bonus.

The same considerations apply with points and miles cards. Look for welcome bonuses that offer 50,000 or more in miles or points for the best value.

Are credit card sign-up bonuses easy to get?

To earn a credit card sign-up bonus, you must be approved for the card and then meet the minimum spending thresholds within the allotted time. These requirements make the degree of difficulty associated with earning welcome bonuses variable.

Most cards that offer a welcome bonus do require at least a good credit score — or a score in the mid-600s or higher.?

Welcome bonuses with higher spending requirements tend to align with the following:

How to choose the right credit card sign-up bonus for you

To get the best sign-up bonus for you, consider the big picture. Not all credit cards with a welcome bonus are a good fit for every person.

Let’s take a look at what you should think about.

Think about the rewards you want

Start by considering the type of rewards you can get the most value out of.?

Options can include:

Consider the minimum spending requirements and annual fees

Choose a card that matches your budget. If you can meet the spending requirements without maxing out your card and not paying off your balances, it’s not a good option for you. Rewards cards work best when you can earn value on spending you already planned.

Pay attention to the annual fee, too. If you won’t get more in rewards each year than the fee costs, the card probably isn’t worth it.

Look at the drawbacks of each card

Consider any potential negatives, such as high APR, blackout dates for redeeming rewards, or limited cash-back categories that might impact your ability to maximize earnings.

Try CardMatch to see if you get offered an even higher bonus

CardMatch is a free online tool that recommends credit cards that match your preferences and qualifications. Sometimes you can get targeted offers with this tool, meaning there’s a chance you’ll be offered an even higher welcome bonus than the credit card issuer advertises on their site. Using this tool won’t even affect your credit score, so there’s no harm in seeing your matches. Learn more in our helpful guide to how CardMatch works.

Are credit card bonus offers worth it?

Credit card welcome offers are certainly worth it in many cases, especially if you can meet the spending requirement without changing any of your financial habits. Consider whether you can earn the bonus by using your card to buy gas, groceries, and business supplies or make other planned purchases.

FAQ: Best credit card sign-up bonuses

How do I earn a credit card sign-up bonus?

You earn a credit card welcome bonus by getting approved for the card and using it to make purchases to meet the required spending requirements for the offer. For example, if the card requires you to spend $1,000 in the first six months, you could use it to buy $167 per month in groceries to hit the threshold and earn the bonus.

Are credit card sign-up bonuses taxable?

Rewards you earn based on how much you spend, such as welcome bonuses and regular miles, points, and cash back, are typically not taxable. This is because they are considered a rebate on your spending.

Do any credit cards give you money?

Cash-back credit cards reward you with a certain percentage of cash back when you spend. For example, some cash-back credit cards offer 5% back on certain categories, such as groceries. If you spend $1,000 in groceries, you receive $50 in cash-back rewards.

How you receive those rewards depends on the credit card company. Cash back may be rewarded as a statement credit. In some cases, you may be able to request a check.

Can I receive the sign-up bonus more than once?

Because these bonuses are meant to attract new customers, it’s not easy to receive them more than once. Some card companies allow you to earn a new welcome bonus if you haven’t had a new card from them in two years or more. Always read the fine print of a credit card offer to understand if you are eligible for the welcome bonus.

Sarah Stasik
Sarah Stasik Personal Finance

Sarah Stasik is well versed in personal finance thanks to her previous role as a Revenue Cycle Manager for a Fortune 500 healthcare company. Using her inside knowledge and expertise, Sarah often covers topics ranging from insurance and the economics of private healthcare to personal finance and small business management.

With more than a dozen years of writing experience, Sarah has tackled niches that range from technical advances in fintech to personal budgeting challenges. She has covered topics such as insurance and the economics of private healthcare, small business management and accounting, and credit and savings. Her writing focuses on making complex or seemingly daunting financial topics more accessible and providing helpful and relevant resources for readers.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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