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Credit Cards With Sign-Up Bonuses

This article was written by in Credit. 10 comments.


Editor’s Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available.

If you’re a responsible user of credit cards — someone who pays their balance off each month — or if you use credit cards for business purposes, then you may be able to benefit from some of the offers from credit card companies. I wouldn’t suggest these cards for anyone who pays interest on their balance every month, because those interest charges may not be completely offset by bonuses. Also, in many cases, these cards are only good for their sign-up bonuses; once you cash in, cancel the cards.

In addition, your credit score may be affected if you open new lines of credit, so if you’re looking to get a good deal on a mortgage interest rates any time soon, hold off on applying for these cards.

American Express Business Gold Rewards Card

Sign-Up Bonus: $50 $250

This is a business card, but you do not have to be a business owner to qualify. Any individual can apply and be accepted — as they qualify — for a credit card that bills itself as a “business credit card.” This business card offers an immediate reward of 5,000 bonus points, redeemable for a $50 gift certificate. Update: This card has been upgraded as of June 19 to offer 25,000 bonus points — a $250 gift card!

Be sure to cancel this card before your first year is up; there is a $125 annual fee, but it is waived for the first year.

Starwood Preferred Guest Business Card from American Express

Sign-Up Bonus: $100

This is similar to the Business Gold Rewards Card for a few reasons. Your first purchase with this card earns you immediate rewards. In this case, you’ll earn 10,000 points right away, good for a $100 gift card. There’s a $30 annual fee to be a card member, but that fee is again waived for the first year.

Citi PremierPass Elite Level Card

Sign-Up Bonus: $150

Citibank gives you 20,000 bonus points after $600 in purchases made within 3 months of account opening. The points can be claimed for a $150 reward. You’ll have to be careful to avoid the annual fee.

If you go ahead with any one of these cards, don’t fall into any of the traps. If you end up paying an annual fee or substantial interest, you’ll end up losing money even after the initial bonus.

Updated October 10, 2014 and originally published June 10, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Anca

Along with new credit lowering your credit score, closing a credit line can lower it too. For me it’s not worth it for a $50 to $150 gift card. Also, at least some annual fee credit cards you can call before the fee kicks in and ask to convert it to a no-fee card (you’ll get fewer points/miles/whatever in exchange).

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avatar J2R

I agree with the comments above. The risk of lowering my credit score for $150 just isn’t enough for me.

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avatar Credit Card Cashback Reward Enthusiast

Yeah, it’s not worth the time and the ~7 point FICO hit for a $50 sign-up bonus. However, I would apply for a new credit card or two if it meant an opportunity to sustainably earn a few hundred extra bucks a year in rewards.

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avatar Nancy

In clicking on the American Express. I don’t see the $250 bonus at all. Is this still active?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,505 (Platinum)

Nancy,

It is still available, but only for another few days. The points can be redeemed for a gift card or an airline ticket. Here’s the fine print, at the bottom of the page when you click on the link for the Business Gold Rewards Card.

Apply for the Business Gold Rewards Card and make a purchase by 12/31/07. Upon the Basic Cardmember’s first purchase, a one time bonus of 25,000 points can be earned toward the Basic Business Gold Rewards Cardmember’s Membership Rewards® account and may appear as separate credits of 5,000 and 20,000 bonus points. The maximum 25,000 bonus points are available to first-time Basic Business Gold Rewards Cardmembers only; they are not available if you transfer an existing account. Welcome bonus points will be credited to your Membership Rewards account 6 to 8 weeks after your first purchase appears on your monthly billing statement. The bonus 25,000 Membership Rewards points may be redeemed for one domestic round-trip airline ticket. Cardmembers transferring points to participating domestic airlines will be charged a fee of $.0004 per point, up to $50. This charge is to offset the excise taxes American Express currently pays to the government on such transactions. Bonus ID: 2329

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