Credit cards now offer cash promotions for new card members. We’ve assembled the best credit card signup bonuses for 2018. One pays up to $625!
Credit card signup bonuses. There’s no greater allure to owning a credit card than the free things you can get right away.
When I signed up for my first credit card, I was promised a T-shirt and duffel bag. After completing my application outside the University of Miami library, I walked away Mr. Big Shot with my new swag. Today, I know better than to sign up for a credit card because of a free T-shirt. But what if I were offered $100? What if I was offered $500? What if I was offered more?
Dishing out a big bonus is one of the best ways a credit card company can acquire your business. Offering you a few hundred dollars for decades of credit card transaction is an easy sacrifice to make. As a result, more and more issuers are bumping up their bonuses. Which bonuses to take advantage of and which ones to avoid can be tricky based on personal preference. But I’m confident the below credit card signup bonuses are all great cards. They provide consumers with excellent credit a great way to quickly add a touch of wealth to their portfolio.
The Best Credit Card Signup Bonuses of 2018
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: What I consider to be the one of the best overall credit cards on the market today (top 2) is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. The initial selling point is it’s 50,000 bonus point offer, which is actually worth $625 in travel if you book through Ultimate Rewards. The 50,000 bonus points can be acquired after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card ownership. An additional 5,000 bonus points can be acquired after adding an authorized cardholder and they make a purchase inside of the first three months.
All travel and restaurant purchases receive double points and everything else receives single points per dollar spent. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card does not charge foreign transaction fees and does not charge an annual fee for the first year. After the first year, the annual fee becomes $95. If you’re a big spender and don’t mind a big annual fee, the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is also an option with the same intro bonus offer; but the annual fee is $450 (and it’s not waived for year #1).
- Signup Bonus: 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months + 5,000 bonus points after adding an authorized cardholder that makes a purchase within 3 months
- Annual Fee: $95 (waived for the first year)
Learn more about this card HERE.
The Platinum Card® from American Express: 60,000 Membership Rewards Points are yours after spending $5,000 in the first three months with your Platinum Card® from American Express. It might be strange to say, but those 60,000 points are one of the lowest reasons on the totem pole that makes this card fantastic. When you book through AMEX, airline and hotel purchases earn 5 Membership Points per dollar spent. Every year, you’ll also earn a $200 airline fee credit. This credit is applied toward things like baggage fees, meals and other airline costs.
You’ll also receive a $100 fee credit every five years for your application into Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. One additional big benefit to mention; the Platinum Card® from American Express allows you access to over 1,000 airport lounges spanning 120 countries. For everything you see above (and more), the annual fee hits hard at $550.
Remember, the Platinum Card® from American Express is not a credit card. It’s a charge card which means all of the purchases made the previous cycle must be paid off in full. No interest rate, no grace period. American Express might let you slide one month if you’re behind but if you’re not consistently making on time, full card payments, the account will be closed.
- Signup Bonus: 60,000 bonus Membership Points after spending $5,000 in the first three months
- Annual Fee: $550
Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card: We’re continuing to climb the bonus ladder, as the Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card offers 75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months. Five points per $1 spent is earned when you use your card to pay for Starwood and Marriott hotels. Two points per $1 spent is earned when you use your card to purchase airline tickets directly from the airline, at car rental agencies and at restaurants. One point per $1 spent is earned on all other purchases.
When you sign up for the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card, you’ll immediately earn 15 Elite credits which automatically gives you Silver Elite Status. Every $3,000 you spend earns you 1 additional Elite credit toward Gold or Platinum. A big added benefit of this card is that every anniversary, you’ll earn a free night stay at any category 1-5 hotel. There is no introductory annual fee, but after year one, the fee becomes $85.
- Signup Bonus: 75,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first three months
- Annual Fee: $85 (waived for the first year)
Learn more about this card HERE.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: 50,000 bonus miles are earned after spending $3,000 in the first three months with the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card. Those miles are good for $500 in travel, or $500 in cash. All purchases earn double miles per dollar spent, with no category or tier level to consider. Take the amount you spend annually on this card, double it, and that is the total miles you’ll earn. There is no limit to the amount of miles you can earn, and no expiration of those miles.
For a limited time, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is offering a promotion tied to Hotels.com. When you visit Hotels.com/Venture, search for and pay for a hotel stay, you’ll earn 10x miles for every dollar spent. There are no foreign transaction fees associated with this card and the $95 annual fee is waived for all first year cardholders. As this card is a Visa, you’ll be provided all of the Visa Signature benefits.
- Signup Bonus: 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months
- Annual Fee: $95 (waived for the first year)
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Admittedly, the bonus on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express doesn’t really compare to the others on this list, but a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 in three months is strong for two reasons. First, it’s the lowest spend hurdle of any card on our list, so it’s likely open to more consumers. Second and perhaps more importantly, it’s the best bonus offer from any cashback credit card. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a card I use more than any other in my wallet and the $200 up front bonus was a nice touch to get me started.
This card offers a tremendous cashback opportunity in the following amounts:
- 6% cash back on all US Supermarket purchases (on up to $6,000 in purchases each year).
- 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
Also included with this card is a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. Not only do they offer a little cash up front, but a year’s worth of interest free purchases. The one detraction the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has is that the $95 annual fee is not waived for year number one.
- Signup Bonus: $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months
- Annual Fee: $95
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® : 40,000 bonus miles are awarded after spending $3,000 in the first three months. Those miles can be used for a $400 travel statement credit. All purchases with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® earn double miles and when you redeem your miles, you’ll earn a 5% bonus. For example, if you cashed in 20,000 miles, an additional 1,000 bonus miles would be added to your account. Miles don’t expire so long as your account remains open, and in good standing.
There are no foreign transaction fees when you use your Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® and there’s also a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months (but not for purchases). Barclaycard will share with you a monthly FICO score which gives you a big picture look at your credit and this card includes all MasterCard benefits. The $89 annual fee is waived the first year.
- Signup Bonus: 40,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months
- Annual Fee: $89 (waived for the first year)
Published or updated February 12, 2018.
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