Best Credit Card Signup Bonuses

Signup bonuses can make or break the value of a prospective credit card. Great bonuses can help maximize cash back, earn extra miles or make it easier to build your credit score. Sub-par bonuses turn otherwise solid cards into also-rans because offers simply can’t compete with other choices on the market. But with so many options available, how do you find the best fit for your wallet and your finances?

Our team has compiled the list below of the credit cards with the best signup bonuses.

Best credit card bonus for travel rewards: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Why it’s the best

The Chase Sapphire Preferred rewards card makes it easy to start earning travel rewards points with a 60,000 point bonus after you spend $4,000 purchases in the first three months. Points can be transferred at a 1:1 ratio to popular travel partners such as Aer Lingus, Iberia Plus or the IHG Rewards Club, but you’ll often see better value redeeming through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program directly.

Plus, when you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards, they’re worth 25% more — making 60,000 points worth $750 when you book directly through Chase. The portal gives you redemption options for airfare, hotels, cruises and car rentals.

Bonus points:

  • Get bonus 2x bonus points for all travel spending and restaurant dining, along with one point per dollar for all other purchases.
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points for each friend referred (and approved) for a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, up to 75,000 points per year.

Best credit card bonus for instant cash back: The Capital One Savor Rewards Card

Why it’s the best

If you’re looking for cash back up front, the Capital One Savor Rewards card has you covered. When you spend $3,000 in purchases in the three months after account opening you get a one-time cash bonus of $300. Other signup options fall short — similar cards in this category offer significantly less with offers of $100-$200 cash back after the first three months. Combined with 4% unlimited cash back for dining and entertainment, this card can help you earn more faster.

Bonus points:

  • No expiration — Redeem your cash rewards for any amount, and rewards never expire.
  • Multiple cash back options — The Capital One Savor card also offers 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases to help maximize your earnings.

Best credit card bonus for secure credit building: The Discover it® Secured Card

Why it’s the best

Secured credit cards are designed to help build (or rebuild) your credit rating. As a result, most don’t offer any kind of signup or cash back bonus to entice new users. The Discover it Secured Card is different; while you won’t get any immediate cash back after activating this secured card, you will enjoy 2% cash back at all restaurants and gas stations — up to $1,000 each quarter — plus 1% on all other purchases.

Bonus points:

  • First-year cash back match — At the end of your first year, Discover will match any cash back amount earned.
  • Get your credit score — View your FICO credit score on your monthly statements, on Discover’s website or through their mobile application.

Best credit card bonus for business cash back: The Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card

Why it’s the best 

Your business runs on a budget — and the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit card makes that budget easier to follow with $500 bonus cash back after you spend at least $3,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. With the ability to redeem rewards for cash, gift cards or travel, this bonus can help boost your business impact.

Bonus points:

  • Extra cash back — Get 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at office supply stores along with Internet, cable and phone services each year.
  • Bonus cards for bonus cash — Add employee cards to your account at no additional cost and start earning more rewards, more quickly.

Best credit card bonus for student cash back: The Discover it® Student Cash Back Card

Why it’s the best

Student cards are a great way to build credit, but many don’t offer much beyond secure transactions to encourage student applications. The Discover it Student Cash Back card not only offers cash back rewards on every purchase but will match all cash back earned at the end of your first year.

Bonus points:

  • Rotating bonus cash — Get 5% cash back from different purchase categories every three months. Make sure to activate your card before the categories change and earn extra cash back on category spending up to $1,500 per quarter.
  • Good grade rewards — For five years after activating your card, get a yearly $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or above.

Best credit card bonus for business travel: The Chase Ink Business Preferred Card

Why it’s the best

Business travel is often necessary — and often expensive. The Chase Ink Business Preferred card helps defray these costs with a great signup bonus: 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening. Combined with an extra 25% value when you redeem directly through Chase Ultimate Rewards, these points are worth $1,000 toward business travel expenses, making it easier to take your work on the road, more often.

Bonus points:

  • Extra points earning — Spending on travel, shipping, Internet, cable and online advertising sites earns three points for every $1 spent, up to $150,000 per year. Plus, get one point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic protection — Fraud and purchase protection on your account quickly notify you about any suspicious behavior.

Doug Bonderud

An award-winning finance, technology and security writer, Doug has a knack for distilling complex concepts down into actionable, readable copy that generates interest and drives engagement