Which Cash-Back Credit Cards Offer a Good Welcome Bonus?

Many highly rated cards offer new customers bonuses of $150 or more for meeting a spending requirement.

Gregory KarpSeptember 16, 2020

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Cash-back credit cards aren’t known for huge new cardholder sign-up bonuses like travel credit cards. But a bonus promotion, which some issuers call a welcome offer, can be valuable because it amps up your cash rewards in the first year of ownership if you can meet the spending requirement.

Among cash-back cards, some offer no sign-up bonuses while others are modest, in the range of $25 to $100. But some cards, especially those with an annual fee, offer bonuses worth $150, $200, $250 or more.

In the long run, a better rewards rate is more important than a one-time welcome offer. But if you’re looking for a new cash-back credit card with potential for a cash freebie, here are highly rated cash-back cards with sizable new-cardholder promotions.

Upfront bonuses with annual fee

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Welcome offer: Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Cash-back rewards: 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, 1% on all other purchases. Annual fee: $95.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Welcome offer: $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.  Cash-back rewards: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending per year, 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% back on transit including U.S. gas stations, plus 1% cash back on everything else. Terms apply. Annual fee: $95.

Upfront bonuses, no annual fee

Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card

Welcome offer: Open a Navy Federal More Rewards American Express® Card, and you’ll earn 25,000 bonus points (a $250 value) when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of account opening. Cash-back rewards: 3 points per $1 spent on groceries, gas, dining and transit. 1 point per dollar spent on everything else. Annual fee: $0.

Nerd tip: Some cards technically earn points that can be used as cash back. We generally consider them to be cash-back cards if you can redeem points for 1 cent each.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Welcome offer: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Cash-back rewards: 3% back on a category of your choice (chosen from a list), 2% back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 of combined bonus category/ grocery store/wholesale club spending per quarter; then 1% back on these purchases. 1% back on all other purchases. Annual fee: $0.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Welcome offer: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. (Also, new cardholders earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases — not including Target or Walmart purchases — on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.) Cash-back rewards: 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% back at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other non-bonus-category purchases. Annual fee: $0.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

American Express Cash Magnet℠ Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Welcome offer: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply. Cash-back rewards: 1.5% cash back on purchases. Annual fee: $0.

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Welcome offer: Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Cash-back rewards: 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back on all other purchases. Annual fee: $0.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Welcome offer: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. Cash-back rewards: 3% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year (then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% back on all other purchases. Terms apply. Annual fee: $0.

Spending-dependent bonuses

These bonuses depend on how much you spend on the card, and some are paid out at the end of your first year. They can be among the most valuable welcome offers.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Welcome offer: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match. Cash-back rewards: 5% cash back in rotating categories that you activate (on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Previous bonus categories have included things like restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations and more. Annual fee: $0.

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

Welcome offer: Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card in Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval. Cash-back rewards: 5% back on purchases at Walmart.com and items purchased through the Walmart app; 2% back for in-store purchases, including those made at Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations; 2% back on travel and at restaurants; and 1% back on all other purchases. Annual fee: $0.

Discover it® chrome

Discover it® chrome
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Welcome offer: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match. Cash-back rewards: Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Annual fee: $0.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.