BEST OF

Best Credit Card Bonuses for New Cardholders of February 2023

Jan 26, 2023

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Credit card bonus offers are a quick way to earn hundreds of dollars' worth of rewards by using a new credit card, but the best deals don't always stick around. The largest bonuses typically come from travel credit cards. Bonuses on cash-back credit cards generally hover in the range of $200, but some cards go even higher. Cards are judged on the value of their bonuses, as well as their bonuses relative to their annual fees. Below are the best bonus offers currently available on NerdWallet.

NerdWallet's Best Credit Card Bonuses for New Cardholders of February 2023

Find the right credit card for you.

Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

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Best Credit Card Bonuses for New Cardholders From Our Partners

Our pick for

No-annual-fee travel points

Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

20,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Bonus categories

  • No reward caps

  • Cell phone insurance

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • No free checked bags

  • No free anniversary night

  • No luxury perks

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $200 cash redemption value

  • Earn unlimited 3X points on the things that really add up - like restaurants, travel, gas stations, transit, popular streaming services, and phone plans. Plus, earn 1X points on other purchases

  • $0 annual fee

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases. 19.24%, 24.24%, or 29.24% variable APR thereafter

  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).

  • Redeem your rewards points for travel, gift cards, or statement credits. Or shop at millions of online stores and redeem your rewards when you check out with PayPal.

  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge.

  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Capital One Miles

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

4.7

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

2x-5x

Miles

Intro offer

75,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Rewards have limited flexibility

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day

  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn

  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®

  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network

  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options

  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel

  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

Our pick for

$200 cash rewards bonus

Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Wells Fargo's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

2%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • No bonus categories

Read full review
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 19.24%, 24.24%, or 29.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5

  • $0 annual fee

  • No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open

  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge

  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card. (subject to a $25 deductible).

  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

$200 cash back

Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Flex℠

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Bonus categories

  • Cash rewards

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more

  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 19.24% - 27.99%.

  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card

  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Chase:

    Get Pre-Qualified
Apply now

on US Bank's website

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

4.3

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on US Bank's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Bonus categories

  • High rewards rate

Cons

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review
  • $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose

  • 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Center

  • 2% cash back on one everyday category, like Gas Stations/EV Charging Stations, Grocery Stores or Restaurants

  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 18.74% - 28.74%

  • No Annual Fee

  • Terms and conditions apply.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

4.7

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • 5% bonus categories

  • Intro APR Period

Cons

  • Low rate outside bonus categories

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 18.24% - 28.24%, based on your creditworthiness.

  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.

  • No Annual Fee

  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account per person.

Apply now

on Bank of America's website, or call (877) 754-6706

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Bank of America's website, or call (877) 754-6706

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-3%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Rotating bonus categories

  • Relationship rewards for customers

  • Intro APR period

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Complicated rewards

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards

  • Best rewards limited to certain customers

Read full review
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 3.75%-5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.

  • No annual fee and no expiration on rewards.

  • New longer intro period! 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers.

  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.

  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

$200

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • High rewards rate

  • Intro APR period

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • No bonus categories

Read full review
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees

  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024

  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply

  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.24%-29.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months

Our pick for

Chase Ultimate Rewards® points

Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

1x-5x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Pros

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Bonus categories

  • Primary rental car coverage

  • Flexible rewards redemption

  • Transfer partners

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.

  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

  • Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.

  • See if you qualify for a better offer with Chase:

    Get Pre-Qualified

Our pick for

General travel card

Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi Premier® Card

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • BONUS OFFER: Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets

  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels

  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit

  • 60,000 ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com

  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases

Read full review

Our pick for

$250 statement credit

Apply now

on American Express' website

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Rewards rate

1%-6%

Cashback

Intro offer

$250

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Bonus categories

  • Intro APR period

  • Cash rewards

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards

Read full review
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 intro plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each eligible purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.

  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 18.24% to 29.24%

  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).

  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.

  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).

  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

  • Thinking about getting The Disney Bundle which includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $13.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription with your Blue Cash Preferred Card. Enrollment required.

  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Cash back match

Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Discover it® Cash Back

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS 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. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • Bonus categories

  • Cash rewards

Cons

  • Complicated rewards

  • Spending caps on bonus rewards

  • Lower acceptance abroad

Read full review
  • 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. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

  • Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.

  • Every $1 you earn in cash back is $1 you can redeem.

  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 16.24% to 27.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.

  • No annual fee.

  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

American Express Membership Rewards

Apply now

on American Express' website

American Express® Gold Card

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$250

Rewards rate

1x-4x

Points

Intro offer

60,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Pros

  • Bonus categories

  • Transfer partners

  • Flexible rewards redemption

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Complicated rewards

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).

  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.

  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.

  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.

  • Annual Fee is $250.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

American Airlines

Apply now

on Citibank's application

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

4.9

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Citibank's application

Annual fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $99

Rewards rate

1x-2x

Miles

Intro offer

50,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Pros

  • Free checked bag

  • Early boarding

  • Bonus categories

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Rewards have limited flexibility

Read full review
  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations and restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases

  • Earn 1 Loyalty Point for every 1 eligible AAdvantage® mile earned from purchases

  • Earn a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your card membership year and renew your card

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees

  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation

  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights

Our pick for

Hilton Hotels

Apply now

on American Express' website

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

3x-12x

Points

Intro offer

130,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Automatic elite status

  • Luxury perks

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • No free anniversary night

Read full review
  • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.

  • Earn a Weekend Night Reward from Hilton Honors after you spend $15,000 on purchases on your Card in a calendar year.

  • Earn 12X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with hotels and resorts within the Hilton portfolio.

  • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.

  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

  • Spend $40,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.

  • $95 annual fee.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

Southwest Airlines

Apply now

on Chase's website

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

4.2

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$149

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Points

Intro offer

50,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Pros

  • Anniversary perk

  • No reward caps

Cons

  • High annual fee

  • Rewards have limited flexibility

Read full review
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

  • 7,500 anniversary points each year.

  • Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.

  • Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.

  • Earn 2X points on internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming.

  • $75 Southwest® travel credit each year.

  • 4 Upgraded Boardings per year when available.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

Our pick for

Marriott Bonvoy Hotels

Apply now

on Chase's website

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

2x-17x

Points

Intro offer

N/A

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Pros

  • Anniversary perk

  • High rewards rate

  • Automatic elite status

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Rewards have limited flexibility

Read full review
  • Earn 3 Free Night Awards (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases.

  • Earn 3X points per $1 on the first $6,000 spent in combined purchases each year on grocery stores, gas stations, and dining.

  • Earn 1 Elite Night Credit towards Elite Status for every $5,000 you spend.

  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.

  • Earn up to 17X total points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.

  • 2X points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year, and path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each calendar year.

  • No foreign transaction fees.

Our pick for

Delta Airlines

Apply now

on American Express' website

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on American Express' website

Annual fee

$550

Rewards rate

1x-3x

Miles

Intro offer

50,000

Miles

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months. Terms Apply.

Pros

  • High rewards rate

  • Free checked bag

  • Early boarding

  • Companion benefit

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review
  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

  • Earn up to 60,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) With Status Boost® per year. You can earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to four times per year getting you closer to Medallion® Status.

  • Receive a domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or domestic Main Cabin round trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.

  • Complimentary access into the Delta Sky Club® for you when travelling on a Delta flight.

  • Enjoy complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge when you book a Delta flight with your Reserve Card.

  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.

  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.

  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases.

  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.

  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.

  • $550 annual fee.

  • Terms Apply.

  • View Rates & Fees

Our pick for

World of Hyatt

Apply now

on Chase's website

World of Hyatt Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
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on Chase's website

Annual fee

$95

Rewards rate

1x-9x

Points

Intro offer

30,000

Points

Recommended Credit Score

BONUS OFFER: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.

Pros

  • New cardholder bonus offer

  • Automatic free night annually

  • Bonus categories

  • Luxury perks

Cons

  • Has annual fee

  • Complicated rewards

  • Limited redemptions

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  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent

  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.

  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort

  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open

  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year

  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card

  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays - 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member

  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships

How do credit card sign-up bonuses work?

Credit card issuers use sign-up bonuses to encourage people to apply for a card and then, once approved, get in the habit of using it. The term "sign-up bonus" is a bit of a misnomer because in most cases, you don't get a bonus simply for signing up. You earn it by putting a certain amount of spending on your card in the first few months. That's why some issuers use a term like "welcome offer" or "new cardholder offer" rather than "sign-up bonus."

With a typical sign-up bonus, the time frame for earning the bonus is usually three to six months. The clock starts when you're approved for the card. The more valuable the bonus, the more you'll usually have to spend during that time in order to earn it. For example, a cash back card might offer a bonus of $150 to $200; to earn it, you might have to spend $500 or $1,000. A travel or airline credit card might offer points or miles worth $750 or even $1,000 but will require spending of $3,000 or more. Sign-up bonuses are typically all or nothing — you either spend enough to earn the bonus, or you don't. You won't get half the bonus for spending half the required amount.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Discover cards are a notable exception to the "all or nothing" nature of credit card bonus offers. Instead of a set bonus amount, the size of your bonus depends on how much you use the card over the first 12 months your account is open. At the end of that period, the issuer matches all the rewards you've earned. For example, here's how Discover describes the bonus offer on the popular Discover it® Cash Back card: "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. You could turn $150 cash back into $300."

Once you hit the required spending amount, you'll get your bonus. With some cash-back cards, the bonus might immediately appear as a credit against purchases on your monthly statement. In most cases, though, the bonus shows up in your rewards balance, alongside the points, miles or cash back you earn from your spending. You can then redeem your bonus however and whenever you want.

Credit card companies usually set rules about what kind of spending counts toward earning the sign-up bonus. Purchases of goods and services will count. Balance transfers, cash advances and wire transfers will not, nor will purchases of cash equivalents like gift cards, money orders or casino chips. In other words, you can't earn a sign-up bonus by "buying money" and then paying off your balance with that money.

What credit card has the best sign-up bonus?

The "best" offer for new cardholders is a moving target for a couple of reasons.

First, bonuses are paid in different kinds of "currency" — cash, statement credits, frequent flyer miles, hotel points and more. That makes it hard to compare bonus values directly. Second, credit card issuers frequently roll out special offers. A card that usually dangles 50,000 points or miles as a bonus might kick that up to 75,000 or 100,000 for a limited time to try to entice people to apply. Targeted offers — that is, those sent out to select consumers rather than advertised to the public at large — can be even more lucrative.

That said, here are some things to keep in mind about bonus offers:

  • Travel credit cards tend to offer bigger bonuses than cash back credit cards. Bonus offers on most cash back cards top out at around $200. Travel cards can have bonuses worth $500 or more. However, travel card bonuses come as points or miles that might not be as easy to redeem as $200 in cash.

  • Cards with annual fees tend to offer bigger bonuses. When a card charges an annual fee, the issuer knows it needs to sweeten the offer to get you to choose that card over one that charges nothing. So annual-fee cards pay richer rewards, provide better perks — and carry bigger bonuses. For example, the popular Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card charges a $95 annual fee and has this offer: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel. The $0-annual-fee version of the card, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, has a much more modest offer: Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel.

  • Points and miles are not all created equal. A bonus of 40,000 miles on a Delta Air Lines credit card has a different value from a bonus of 40,000 miles on a Southwest Airlines card. And 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points are worth more (much more) than 50,000 Hilton Honors points. Apples-to-apples comparisons are difficult with points and miles because they aren't portable like cash — you can only use them in the ways allowed by the program that awarded them. See our page on point and mile values for more information.

At NerdWallet, we often say that there is no single "best" credit card — just the best card for you. It's the same with bonus offers. The best sign-up bonus is the one that is of greatest value to you.

How many credit card sign-up bonuses can I earn?

There's no overall limit to how many times you can earn credit card sign-up bonuses. However, individual card issuers may have rules in place to keep you from earning a bonus on a particular card or "family" of cards more than once. The idea behind such rules is to keep people from applying for the card, earning the bonus, canceling or downgrading the card, then applying anew and earning another bonus. Read the terms and conditions of any bonus offer to see what restrictions are in place.

What credit card sign-up bonuses are the easiest to get?

Generally speaking, cash back credit cards have lower spending requirements for earning their bonuses. Depending on the card, you might be able to snag a bonus of $150 or $200 by spending as little a $500.

Is a credit card bonus taxable income?

Legally speaking, credit card rewards — including bonuses — are not income. Instead, the IRS considers them a discount or rebate on purchases made with the card. Therefore, they're not taxable.

This tax treatment is an additional reason why credit card bonuses must be earned through spending, and why the required spending amount is larger than the bonus itself. If you spend $1,000 and get a bonus of $150 for doing so, you don't "come out ahead" — you've still made $850 in net purchases. You've saved some money, but you haven't made any money.

Contrast this with the bonuses you can sometimes earn for opening a checking or savings account at a particular bank. With these promotions, you do come out ahead. Follow the bank's rules (which usually involve depositing a certain amount and/or setting up direct deposit, among other things), and you get "free money." As such, it's usually taxable as interest.

• • •

To view rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, see this page.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page.

Last updated on January 26, 2023

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best credit cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen as among the "best" in multiple categories. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

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