Updated on Oct 4, 2018

Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers for 2018

Reward yourself with a signup bonus worth up to $1,000.
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Independently researched content by us. Free financial advice for you. To do that, we may get compensation when you click on our partners’ products. Our lists consist of the best cards from our partners. Not all cards in the marketplace have been evaluated. View our full advertiser disclosure to learn more.

With the right credit card, you can earn a signup bonus worth hundreds’ without changing the way you spend your money. We’re talking about airfare, free nights at hotels, and more. Check out our list of 2018’s best credit card signup bonus offers to find the one that suits your lifestyle.

The best credit card signup bonus offers for 2018

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card LEARN MORE
    Best for general rewards Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
    Learn More on Capital One's secure website
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card APPLY NOW
    Best for travel rewards Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
    Apply Now On Chase's secure website
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best perks The Platinum Card® from American Express
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Best for groceries & gas Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website
  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card APPLY NOW
    Best business card Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card
    Apply Now on Chase's secure website
  • SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express APPLY NOW
    Partner Offer
    Flexible cash back business rewards SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express
    Apply Now on American Express's secure website
Learn More on Capital One's secure website

Best for general rewards

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Redeem for... Hotels, airfare, train tickets, and more
Reward details 2X miles on all purchases

Current Offer 50,000 miles
Annual Fee $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Highlights Provided by Capital One Show Highlights
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • Issuer: Capital One
  • Rewards Details: 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. 50000 Miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $0
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.74% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a mid-range card that’s great if you want to earn miles (2X miles per dollar, to be exact) on all purchases. It’s also a great fit if you’re into spontaneous travel deals because no matter when or how the right deal pops up, you can use the Capital One Purchase Eraser® to redeem miles and receive an account credit for the full or partial cost of your travel purchase.

How to use it
    • Use this card for all purchases to earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar.
    • Spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months to earn 50,000 bonus miles.
    • Redeem your miles for hotels, airfare, cash back, and more.
Consider this

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card has similar minimum spending requirements: unlimited 2X miles on all purchases, and $3,000 in the first three months of opening your account.

Why you'll love it

With the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, redeeming miles for travel is a breeze. Shop around for the best travel deals, then book with any airline or hotel chain. Since you’re not using miles specific to travel brands, you won’t have to worry about blackout dates or award availability.

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Best for travel rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Redeem for... Statement credit, airfare, hotels, cruises, and more
Reward details 2X points on travel & dining; 1X on everything else

Current Offer 50,000 points
Annual Fee $95 (Waived first year)
Highlights Provided by Chase Show Highlights
  • 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®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Rewards Details: 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
  • Annual Fee: $0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 17.99% - 24.99% Variable
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great choice for avid travelers and explorers because it earns unlimited rewards on dining and travel expenses worldwide, including a few travel types that aren’t usually covered by other cards, like timeshares, car rental agencies, and parking garages. If you’re looking for a great signup bonus, this card should also be one of your top considerations: Its 50,000-point bonus is one of the most valuable bonuses available.

How to use it
  • Earn 2X points per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases around the globe. Use this card for everything else and get 1X points per dollar you spend. And you don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees.
  • Spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months to cash in on one of the most valuable signup bonuses available: 50,000 bonus points worth $625 toward travel when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Transfer your points to 11 leading airline and hotel loyalty programs at a 1:1 ratio, including Hyatt, Marriott, and United.
Consider this

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the best credit cards for people who already travel a lot (and those who can handle a $4,000 spending requirement in the first 3 months to earn the signup bonus). If your travel is limited to your annual family vacation, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card might be a better pick. It earns 2X miles on all purchases — not just travel and dining like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — its bonus spending requirement is $1,000 less.

Why you'll love it

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns unlimited rewards on travel and dining worldwide — and you won’t have to worry about any foreign transaction fees. Plus, anytime you redeem your points for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you’ll get 25% more value. Let’s not forget the massive signup bonus either: 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months — that’s worth $625 toward travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

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Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Best perks

The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees
Redeem for... Statement credit, airfare, hotels, cruises, and more
Reward details 5X points for flights and hotels (Terms apply)

Current Offer 60,000 points
Annual Fee $550
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • 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.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $550 See Details
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A*
  • Cash Advance APR: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: See Details
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A*
  • Ongoing APR: N/A
  • Penalty APR: N/A

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you’re looking for a card with high rewards on travel, luxurious benefits (we’re talking about access to esteemed Centurion Lounges around the globe), and exceptional perks, The Platinum Card® from American Express is for you. Just remember the keys to earning 5X Membership Rewards® points: booking flights directly with airlines or with American Express Travel; and booking stays at prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.

How to use it
  • Book flights directly with airlines or American Express to earn 5X Membership Rewards® points. Prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com earn high rewards too.
  • Access and enjoy over 1,000 lounges in the American Express Global Lounge Collection℠. That includes the esteemed Centurion Lounges, which offer perks like semi-private workspaces, shower suites, signature cocktails, and more.
  • Redeem Membership Rewards® points for a variety of rewards, including airfare, hotels, and more.
Consider this

The Platinum Card® from American Express has incredible amenities, but you’ll pay a whopping $550 per year to get them. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a much more affordable alternative at only $95 per year (and the fee is waived for year one). Plus, it actually has a slightly more valuable signup bonus that’s worth $625 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® compared to the 60,000-point bonus from Amex that’s worth $600 toward travel.

Why you'll love it

Luxury is the name of the game with The Platinum Card® from American Express. You’ll enjoy some of the coolest travel perks and benefits around, like access to Amex Centurion lounges across the globe, while earning incredibly high rewards on prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com and flights booked directly with the airlines or American Express Travel. Cardholders receive automatic Hilton Honors Gold status (we’re talking about tons of perks at Hilton properties, like discounts and late check-outs), a yearly $200 Uber credit, and a yearly $200 airline credit fee, among other things.

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Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Best for groceries & gas

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees
Redeem for... Reward dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Terms Apply.
Reward details 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000, then 1%)

Current Offer $200
Annual Fee $95
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) - that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Rewards Details: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Terms Apply.
  • Annual Fee: $95 See Details
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 27.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 12 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 0%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 12 months
  • Ongoing APR: 14.99% - 25.99% Variable See Rates & Fees
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you find yourself cruising the grocery store multiple times a week, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an excellent choice — it earns incredibly high rewards at U.S. supermarkets. (You’ll also earn high rewards at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores.) Plus, the current offer is one of the most easy to attain on the market: $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months.

How to use it
  • Use this card at U.S. supermarkets, U.S gas stations, and select U.S. department stores to earn incredibly high-rate cash back rewards.
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Redeem your Rewards Dollars for statement credits that you can use to pay off your balance.
Consider this

If you don’t spend that much on gasoline or groceries or department store purchases, the Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® (currently unavailable) might have more to offer. It’s a flat-rate card that earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases — so you don’t have to worry about focusing on any categories. On top of that, it has no annual fee, and has a generous signup bonus: $200 cash back when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening your account.

Why you'll love it

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns super-high rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and select U.S. department stores — it’s a solid pick for most shoppers. Plus, you’ll receive a $200 statement credit if you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months.

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Best business card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Redeem for... Statement credit, airfare, hotels, cruises, and more
Reward details 3X points in select categories; 1X points on everything else (Terms apply)

Current Offer 80,000 points
Annual Fee $95
Highlights Provided by Chase Show Highlights
  • 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 on travel and select business 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
  • Issuer: Chase
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.99% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 17.99% - 22.99% Variable
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you run an online business of any kind, check out the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. You’ll earn 3x points per $1 spent on the first $150,000 on internet, phone, shipping, social media and search engine advertising, and travel each account anniversary year. You can also pool your points with those earned through other Chase credit cards for even more rewards over time, which makes this card ideal for existing Chase customers.

How to use it
      • Focus your spending on the bonus categories (which include shipping purchases, travel, and internet, cable, and phone services) to earn 3X points per dollar on up to $150,000. After that it drops to 1X point per dollar.
      • Use this card for all purchases to earn unlimited 1X points per dollar.
      • Redeem your points for a variety of rewards, including discounted travel booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
      • Add authorized users at no additional cost.
      • Earn 80,000 bonus points when you spend $5,000 or more in the first three months — that’s $1,000 toward travel booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Consider this

While earning 3x points is ideal, it’s important to note that the bonus points only apply to the first $150,000 in combined purchases in select categories each account anniversary year. This card also comes with a $95 annual fee, so plan accordingly.

Why you'll love it

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers a huge signup bonus and diverse points redemption options. Cash in your points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, and you’ll score a discount right away. Or you can transfer points to popular travel partners like Southwest Airlines, British Airways, Hyatt, and Marriott at a 1:1 ratio. As a final option, you can also redeem your points for a statement credit or gift cards.

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Partner Offer Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Flexible cash back business rewards

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees
Redeem for... Statement credits
Reward details 5% in select categories; 3% on category you choose (on the first $50,000); 1% on all other purchases (Terms apply)

Current Offer Save on interest
Annual Fee $0
Highlights Provided by American Express Show Highlights
  • Special offer: save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; after that your APR will be a variable rate, currently 14.24% - 21.24%
  • No annual fee
  • Reinvest in your business with automatic cash back in the form of a monthly statement credit. Plus take control by choosing the 3% category that best fits your business
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $50,000 spent at wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores.
  • Earn 3% cash back on the first $50,000 spent in the category of your choice from a list of eight and 1% cash back on other purchases
  • With Expanded Buying Power you can spend beyond your credit limit* to make bigger purchases for your business plus earn cash back on those purchases too
  • *The amount you can spend above your credit limit is not unlimited. It adjusts with your use of the Card, your payment history, credit record, financial resources known to us, and other factors
  • Terms apply
  • See Rates & Fees
  • Issuer: American Express
  • Annual Fee: $0 See Details
  • Cash Advance APR: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2.7%
  • Introductory APR: 0%
  • Introductory APR Period: 15 months
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 14.24% - 21.24% Variable See Rates & Fees
  • Penalty APR: 29.99% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express offers big-time rewards for those who spend a lot of money on business supplies each year. You’ll earn 5% cash back on wireless phone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. office supply stores, 3% on a category of your choosing (on the first $50,000), and 1% on all other purchases.

How to use it
      • Earn high-rate rewards (5% cash back) in select categories, 3% cash back in a category of your choice, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. (All bonus category rewards rates apply to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, then it drops to 1%.)
      • Special offer: save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; after that your APR will be a variable rate, currently 14.24% – 21.24%
Consider this

If you’re a big spender, you should be aware that the 5% and 3% bonus categories only apply to your first $50,000 in category purchases each year. And remember that you can only redeem your rewards in the form of a statement credit.

Why you'll love it

The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express makes it easy to rack up rewards through its versatile bonus categories. The fact you can select your own 3% bonus category can also be valuable if your business spending is high in certain areas. And unlike most business credit cards, there’s no an annual fee.

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How signup offers work

Credit card signup bonuses come in a variety of flavors, including cash back, statement credits (which you can apply to almost any purchase on your card, depending upon the terms and conditions), and travel rewards. But regardless of the type of reward, all signup bonuses work in a similar fashion.

Here are a few signup bonus fundamentals you should consider as you choose the one that benefits you the most:

  • Signup bonuses usually have a minimum spending requirement. The majority of credit card signup bonus offers require that you hit a minimum spending requirement within a fixed amount of time after opening the account (usually three months). For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card awards 50,000 bonus points to cardholders who spend at least $4,000 within the first three months.
  • You may have to pay an annual fee. A really generous signup bonus is often indicative of an annual fee — the fee you have to pay each year to maintain your account. These fees range anywhere from around $50 to $450, but they are oftentimes waived for the first year. If you’re considering a card with a fee, make sure to evaluate how paying the annual fee could impact the benefit of your signup bonus.
  • There may be additional terms and conditions. On top of the minimum spending requirement (and possible fee), you might have to perform other specific tasks to qualify for your signup bonus. For example, certain co-branded hotel loyalty credit cards might require that you sign up for the loyalty program before you can begin to earn your bonus.

Here’s how to maximize your signup bonus

Choose a card with a signup bonus that fits your lifestyle. Take a look at your budget and consider where, and how much, you plan to spend during the first three months with your new card. (90 days is the standard cutoff for earning a signup bonus.) Choose a credit card with a signup bonus that aligns with your spending so that you don’t risk overspending for the sake of the bonus.

Make sure you understand how to redeem your rewards. Both the Discover it® Miles and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earn travel rewards. But the Discover it® Miles allows you to redeem your rewards as cash back or as a statement credit towards travel purchases, whereas Chase Ultimate Rewards® lets you redeem rewards points for travel, gift cards, and more. Simply put, make sure that the card you get offers the type of rewards you want.

Watch out for fees. There are plenty of luxury cards with enticing rewards and perks. But depending on how much you plan to spend, the annual fee might cut into some or all of your bonus value. It’s also best to pay your card off in full each month to avoid late fees and interest payments.

Keep your eye out for new offers from different card issuers. Investigate new credit card offers every year to see whether you could improve your rewards rate or score a new signup bonus. Just remember: Applying for a new card will result in a hard inquiry, which can impact your credit score. (Closing accounts can also impact your score by elevating your debt utilization ratio.)

Signup bonus best practices

Bigger isn’t always better when it comes to credit card signup bonuses. Before you commit to a lucrative offer, consider the following best practices:

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, be careful about pursuing signup bonuses to the point where your credit score might feel a negative impact.

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 can’t pay your card off in full each month, avoid signup bonuses altogether and opt for a low-interest credit card instead.

Don’t open too many cards just for the signup bonus. Getting a new card will result in a hard inquiry with at least one of the three credit reporting agencies. So while you might be enticed to sign up for a handful of offers at once, multiple hard inquiries can temporarily lower your credit score.

How long should I wait before applying for another credit card?

If you have an excellent credit history, it’s possible you could be approved in two to three months after your last application. Six months is a good rule of thumb, but those with a FICO® score less than 669 should wait at least a year.

Hard inquiries show up on your credit report after you apply for credit, like an auto loan or credit card. Not only can they affect your credit score; they stick with your credit report for up to 2 years. As a best practice, you shouldn’t risk incurring a hard inquiry unless you have a high probability of being approved.

Best credit card signup bonus offers for 2018

  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card : Flexible travel rewards
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card : Best overall
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express : Best for luxury travelers
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express : Best for families
  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card : Best business card
  • SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express : Flexible cash back business rewards

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