Best Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses for Your Buck

While everyone wants to land a great rewards rate, a big draw for new credit cardholders is the sign up bonus. If you’re looking for quick rewards to help you pay for a big expense or an upcoming trip, evaluating a card’s sign up bonus is a helpful way to set your top choices apart from the rest. Find the one with the incentive that best meets your needs, whether that’s a ton of cash back or bonus miles.

Best sign up bonus: Travel rewards
Chase Sapphire Preferred

Why it’s the best

Thanks to the flexibility of Chase Ultimate Rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is one of the best travel rewards credit cards on the market — and it comes with a fantastic sign up bonus. You’ll earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on your Sapphire Preferred within the first three months. You can use your points for travel purchases, transfer them to the loyalty programs of Chase’s travel partners, redeem for cash back or get gift cards.

Bonus points:

  • When you use your Ultimate Rewards points to make travel purchases through Chase’s online portal, they’re worth 25% more, making your 60,000-point sign up bonus worth $750. 
  • If ridesharing is how you get around, the Sapphire Preferred earns five points for every dollar your spend with Lyft until March 2022.

Best sign up bonus: Premium travel perks
The Platinum Card® from American Express

Why it’s the best

With an annual fee of $550, the Platinum Card® from American Express is expensive but packed with perks and bonuses. This premium travel rewards card earns 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. You can use your points to either book travel directly through American Express or transfer to one of Amex’s 22 travel partners.

Bonus points:

  • If you use your card to pay for Uber, you’ll receive $15 in Uber Cash each month plus a $20 bonus in December.
  • Offset much of Platinum’s annual fee with the airline fee credit, which reimburses you for things like checked bag fees and in-flight food and drink purchases when you use your card.
  • The Platinum Card grants you access to over 1,200 airport lounges around the world, including the luxurious Centurion Lounge.

Best sign up bonus: Airline miles
Delta SkyMiles® Gold Card from American Express

Why it’s the best

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold Card from American Express features one of the best sign up bonuses for co-branded airline credit cards. You’ll earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 within the first three months plus an additional 10,000 bonus miles after your first cardmember anniversary. When you pair that great perks like getting your first checked bag for free, you’ll be set for your next Delta excursion.

Bonus points:

  • Enjoy all the benefits without cost during your first year of card membership. After that, the annual fee is $99. 
  • Combine points with cash to book Delta flights. Take $50 off your total for every 5,000 points you redeem. 

Best sign up bonus: Free hotel nights
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card

Why it’s the best

If you’re looking for a credit card to earn free hotel nights, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card is where you need to be. Based on Marriott Bonvoy’s redemption chart, you’ll score up to 10 free nights at standard-rate category 1 hotels with the sign up bonus of 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 within the first three months. 

Bonus points:

  • After your cardmember anniversary each year, you’ll earn a free night award that you can use at properties with redemptions up to 35,000 points for a night.
  • Take your card with you no matter where you travel, as there are no additional fees for making purchases outside of the U.S.

Best sign up bonus: Cash back rewards
Savor Rewards from Capital One

Why it’s the best

Savor Rewards from Capital One is a cash back card designed for people who love eating out, but it also features an incredible sign up bonus. You’ll enjoy a $300 bonus when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Savor also earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases. If you spend a substantial amount in those two categories, you should definitely consider this card.

Bonus points:

  • The $95 annual fee is waived the first year. 
  • Earn 8% back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020. 

Best sign up bonus: No annual fee
Discover it® Cash Back 

Why it’s the best

 It’s hard to go wrong with any of the cards in the Discover it® family because they all feature no annual fee and the potential for an incredible sign up bonus after your first year. The cash back card features revolving 5% bonus categories that you can use to supercharge your rewards. At the end of your first year, Discover will match all the cash back you earned throughout the year for one great bonus. If you’re looking for an everyday card that you can use for a long time, this is the one for you.

Bonus points:

  • Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases then 13.49% to 24.49% standard variable APR. 
  • Even if you close your account, Discover will credit you the remaining amount of your rewards balance. 

Best sign up bonus: Travel rewards for small businesses
Chase Ink Business Preferred

Why it’s the best

If you’re a small business owner looking to boost your travel rewards, the Chase Ink Business Preferred is the card for you. This card earns a sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $5,000 in purchases within your first three months. If you use your points for travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, those 80,000 points are worth $1,000.

Bonus points:

  • Transfer your points to one of Chase’s travel partners 1:1 to take advantage of their rewards pricing.
  • If you work with a team, add additional cards to your account with no additional cost so you can take earn points from their spending as well.

Best sign up bonus: Cash back for small businesses
Spark Cash from Capital One

Why it’s the best

Spark Cash from Capital One rewards you with a $500 bonus when you spend $4,500 within the first three months. Combined with no annual fee first the first year ($95 each year after that), this card is a great value for your small business. If you need a no-frills cash back card to use for your everyday business expenses, this is the card for you.

Bonus points:

  • Every purchase earns you 2% back for your business. 
  • Store your rewards or use them as you earn them — your cash back rewards don’t expire as long as your account is open.

Trevor Wallis

Contributing Writer

Trevor Wallis is a St. Louis-based personal finance writer who teaches people how to achieve freedom through good money practices. He’s written for The Simple Dollar, Bankrate, NextAdvisor, Rewards Credit Cards and Online Loans. When he isn’t writing, he’s roasting specialty coffee and planning new ways to use credit card rewards to explore the world with his wife and newborn son.