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Which Cash-Back Credit Cards Offer a Sign-up Bonus?

Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards
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Cash Back Credit Cards Offer a Signup Bonus

Admit it: Getting a new credit card is a little more fun when it comes with a sign-up bonus. But if you’re looking for cash-back rewards, you might be struggling to find a credit card that offers this perk.

Luckily, the Nerds are here to help. We rounded up a few cash-back cards that come with that little something extra when you sign on the dotted line. Here are our top picks:

If you’re looking for 5% cash back: Chase Freedom®

Looking to seriously cash in every time you swipe? Then the Chase Freedom® should be on your radar. With it, you’ll earn 5% cash back in rotating quarterly bonus categories throughout the year, up to $1,500 spent per quarter. You’ll also earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The current bonus categories:

Chase Freedom® bonus rewards categories for 2017
Q1 (Jan. 1 - March 31)Gas stations and local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls or Amtrak)
Q2 (April 1 - June 30)Grocery stores and drugstores
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)Restaurants and movie theaters
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)Walmart and department stores

Also, if you’re interested in an introductory APR offer, the Chase Freedom® has it: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 24.74% Variable APR.

Now for the sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Finally, the Chase Freedom® charges an annual fee of $0, which makes it a great option for cost-conscious folks.

If you’re looking for simplicity: Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rotating 5% bonus categories aren’t for everyone; if you value simplicity, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is right up your alley. With this card, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases, all the time. There’s no limit to the rewards you can earn, and they can be redeemed at any time and in any amount. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card also provides an introductory APR deal: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 9 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. Just watch out for that 3% balance transfer fee.

However, unlike our other top picks, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee. This makes it a good choice if you spend a lot of time overseas.

And don’t forget about the sign-up bonus: One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Lastly, you’ll pay an annual fee of $0 with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which further contributes to its no-hassle appeal. In short, you really can’t go wrong with this great card.

If you mostly spend on gas and groceries: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Spending a lot on gas and groceries every month is commonplace for some people. If this sounds familiar, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a great card to consider. With it, you’ll earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent per year — then 1%), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. It’s hard to argue with a rewards rate that high.

Plus, like our other two top picks, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express comes with an introductory APR offer: See Rates & Fees. Again, just be aware of its 3% balance transfer fee.

The sign-up bonus that comes with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a little different from the cards discussed above, but it’s just as valuable: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. All these great perks come at an annual fee of $0, so you won’t have to spend money in order to rake in all that cash back.

If you’re OK with paying an annual fee: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

If you’re a big gas and grocery spender, you should think about getting the other version of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. It has an annual fee of $95.

In exchange for its annual fee, you’ll get 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent per year — then 1%), 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

In terms of a sign-up bonus, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express bests its cousin card: $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

So how do you know if you should choose the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express or the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express? The Nerds crunched the numbers, and as long as you’re consistently spending more than $61 per week on groceries, you’ll come out ahead with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express because of its higher rewards rate. Happy swiping!

Updated on Aug. 11, 2017.

Image via iStock.