Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers

Consider the bonus and the long-term use of the card

Whether you’re pursuing airline miles, hotel loyalty points, flexible rewards, or simple-to-redeem cash back, the biggest bang for your buck is almost always found in a credit card’s signup bonus. These signup bonus offers, which are normally doled out after you meet a set of predefined requirements, are often worth $500 or more.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our favorite rewards credit card (with a great sign up bonus).

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You can earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The Simple Dollar’s Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers

  1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  2. The Platinum Card® from American Express
  3. BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card
  4. Capital One® Venture℠ Rewards Credit Card
  5. Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
  6. Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express
  7. U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Making Sense of Sign Up Offers

Although signup bonus offers aren’t all created equal, many work similarly. As you search for the best credit card signup bonus offers out there, here are a few things you should know:

  • Scoring a signup bonus usually requires hitting a minimum spending requirement. Although some credit card signup bonus offers award you with the bonus after you make a purchase or simply sign up for the card, the vast majority require you to hit a minimum spending requirement within a certain length of time (e.g., spend $3,000 within 90 days).
  • You may have to pay an annual fee. While some cards offer a huge signup bonus, many of them charge an annual fee just for being a cardholder. In some cases, this fee may be waived the first year. As you consider a new rewards card and signup bonus offer, you should consider how paying that annual fee will impact the amount of rewards you earn.
  • Other requirements may apply. In addition to meeting a minimum spending requirement, you may have to perform other tasks to earn your signup bonus. For example, if you’re trying to earn a signup bonus for a co-branded hotel loyalty credit card, earning the bonus will mean signing up for that loyalty program if you haven’t already.

A Full Review of the Best Offers in 2017

While securing a hefty signup bonus is fairly easy if you know what you’re looking for, it can be hard to find the winners among the hundreds of offers that are available. That’s why we created this complete list of all of the best signup bonus offers available in 2017:

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers: Flexible Rewards

While some cards offer airline or hotel-chain points that can only redeemed with a specific brand, others offer flexible rewards that can be used to book all types of travel – either by booking through an online travel portal, by booking with your card and redeeming for travel credit, or by transferring your points to a number of popular hotel or airline loyalty programs. Here are our top credit card signup bonus offers for flexible rewards:

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

We recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card because it has a great sign up bonus and it’s our favorite rewards credit card. Even after you collect your bonus, the long-term viability of this card makes it a no-brainer. On top of that, the Chase Ultimate Rewards® platform is the best in the industry, making it easy to transfer partner miles and book travel.

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • New! Up to $200 Uber Savings Annually.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More. Terms Apply.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline. Terms Apply.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Capital One® Venture℠ Rewards Credit Card


  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles don't expire and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that

Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express

  • Earn 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
  • $0 Intro Annual Fee for the 1st year, then $195.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card


  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days - that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
  • Comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 15.74% - 23.74% Variable APR
  • Get an additional 10% customer points bonus on every purchase when you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers: Airline Cards

Airline cards offer points that can be redeemed for airfare, seat upgrades, and other travel perks. Planning a trip soon? A good signup bonus in this category can score you a free roundtrip ticket or more. Here are the best co-branded airline signup bonus offers currently on the market:

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card


  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • Earn unlimited points that don't expire as long as your account is open
  • 3,000 points after your Cardmember anniversary every year
  • 2 points/$1 spent on Southwest® and participating Rapid Rewards® Hotel and Car Rental partners purchases
  • 1 point/$1 spent on all other purchases
  • No blackout dates or seat restrictions
  • Bags fly free®
  • No change fees

Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express


  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
  • Enjoy a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms and Conditions apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers: Hotel Cards

Like airline credit cards, co-branded hotel credit cards offer points that can be redeemed for free hotel stays, room upgrades, and more. The following offers represent the best of all of the hotel card signup bonus offers currently on the market:

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express


  • Earn 25,000 bonus Starpoints® after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 Starpoints® for each dollar of eligible purchases spent on the Card at participating SPG® & Marriott Rewards® hotels. Earn 1 Starpoint for all other purchases.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on International purchases.
  • Redeem Starpoints® at over 1,300 participating hotels and resorts in over 100 countries and for flights on more than 150 airlines with SPG flights, all with no blackout dates.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card


  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Enjoy an Anniversary Free Night each year of card membership at over 5,000 hotels worldwide
  • Earn 5 points for each $1 spent at our hotels
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants
  • IHG Rewards Club Bonus points are redeemable at hotels such as InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn®
  • Automatic platinum elite status, as long as you remain a cardmember
  • Automatic 10% points rebate on redemptions
  • $0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $49

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers: Cash Back Cards

If you don’t like to travel, earning straight-up cash back might be more your style. These signup offers are some of the best among the true cash back cards currently on the market:

Chase Freedom®


  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.74-24.49%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Limited Time Offer: Apply by 5/3/17 – Earn 10% cash back on purchases at U.S. Restaurants in the first 6 months, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • Everyday Cash Back: 6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 3% at U.S. gas stations; 1% on other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No rotating reward categories. No enrollment required.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. You can only earn cash back on eligible purchases.
  • $95 Annual Fee. 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.74% to 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers: Business Cards

Credit card signup bonus offers aren’t just for individuals; they’re for businesses too. If you own a small business, have a side hustle, or are self-employed, you could qualify for any of these lucrative business card signup bonus offers:

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in select categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

Capital One® Spark Miles for Business


  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. Plus, the opportunity to earn a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles—equal to $500 in travel—once you spend $4,500 on purchases within the first 3 months.*
  • Receive 5,000 bonus miles by signing up for one or more employee cards
  • Enjoy exclusive, award-winning customer service
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
  • There's no limit to the amount of miles you can earn and miles don't expire
  • Redeem miles for travel, cash back, gift cards, merchandise, and more
  • Fly on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

  • Special Offer: Earn up to $400 cash back
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $5,000 in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn an additional $200 statement credit after you spend an additional $10,000 or more in qualifying purchases on your Card within the first year of Card Membership.
  • No Annual Fee. Plus, more buying power and more cash back.
  • 5% cash back on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • 3% on the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • 5% and 3% apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year, then 1% thereafter. Cash back received is automatically credited to your statement.
  • Terms and limitations apply
  • See Rates & Fees

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers: Summed Up

Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers Card Type
1 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Flexible Reward Card
2 The Platinum Card® from American Express Flexible Reward Card
3 Capital One® Venture℠ Rewards Credit Card Flexible Reward Card
4 Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express Flexible Reward Card
5 BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card Flexible Reward Card
6 Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card Airline Card
7 U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® Card Airline Card
8 Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card Hotel Card
9 Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express Hotel Card
10 IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card Hotel Card
11 Chase Freedom® Cash Back Card
12 Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Cash Back Card
13 Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card Business Card
14 Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Business Card
15 Capital One® Spark Miles for Business Business Card
16 SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express Business Card

How to Navigate Credit Card Bonuses

Although many of the top offers are lucrative in their own right, it’s important to understand how to make the most of these offers without hurting yourself financially. Here are some basic tips that can help you do just that:

Do consider how meeting a minimum spending requirement will affect your finances. Since most credit card signup bonus offers require you to spend a certain amount of money on the card within a limited time, it’s important to make sure that the spending goal is attainable before you sign up. If your spending is relatively low, steer clear of bonus offers that ask you to spend more than you would otherwise.

Do keep your overall credit health in mind. Since opening new credit cards (and closing old ones) can have a negative effect on your credit, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of either action. In other words, sign up for cards when it’s to your benefit, but stop once you’ve reached a point where your credit score might feel a negative impact.

Do pay your bill in full every month to avoid paying interest. Paying interest on your purchases while simultaneously pursuing rewards is never a good idea. If you expect you’ll need to carry a balance, you should nix the idea of trying to earn a signup bonus altogether, and opt for a low-interest credit card instead.

Do use your credit card as part of a comprehensive financial plan. Without a plan, a new credit card could wreak havoc on your finances. Before you sign up for a new credit card, you should put a plan in place to make sure your new line of credit is working in your favor.

Do pursue signup bonuses with a strategy in mind. A hefty signup bonus won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use it. Before you pick one bonus over another, make sure to explore each loyalty program so you know what your points will be worth. These posts can help:

Don’t open too many cards just for the signup bonus. As we’ve written before, getting a new card will result in a hard inquiry with at least one of the three credit reporting agencies. While one hard inquiry might have minimum impact on your credit score, having several could cause your score to tumble substantially. So while you may earn more rewards by signing up for a handful of offers at once, you could potentially hurt your credit.

Don’t commit to a minimum spending requirement you can’t handle. When choosing among credit card signup bonus offers, it’s important to consider how meeting any applicable minimum spending requirement will work with your “real-life” finances.

For example, if you don’t normally spend $3,000 on regular bills and expenses during a three-month period, what makes you think you can do it safely to earn a signup bonus? If the minimum spending requirement on a card puts it out of your comfort zone, you’ll be better off if you opt out instead of signing up.

Don’t carry a balance or pay interest. For some people, credit cards are a tool of mass destruction. And no matter how hard they try not to, they always manage to rack up a credit card balance that is bigger than they anticipated. If you’re one of those people – or if you just plan to carry a balance in general – you’ll be a lot better off if you steer clear of rewards cards and opt for a card with no annual fee or the lowest interest rate possible instead.

Don’t forget to factor in annual fees. While some cards offer crazy-huge signup bonus offers, many offer correspondingly large annual fees. In order to extract the most value out of any offer, it’s important to understand your card’s annual fee, when it’s due, and how it related to the overall value you receive from the card.

Don’t use rewards as an excuse to overspend. If you’re someone who tends to get carried away with credit, it’s easy to see a shiny, new credit line as an excuse to overspend. You’re not doing yourself any favors if you go this route, however. By overspending to earn more rewards, you’re actually putting yourself in a worse financial position than where you started.

The Bottom Line

Credit cards can be a valuable tool if used wisely, and signup bonus offers can be extremely lucrative if pursued with a thoughtful strategy in mind. However, it’s important to fully understand how these offers work if you truly want to maximize them.

The most important thing to remember is to use credit cards to your advantage, but don’t let them use you. If you find yourself spending more just to get a bonus, or worse, getting into debt, you’ll probably be better off avoiding credit cards and signup bonus offers altogether.