Best Credit Card Bonus Offers For New Cardholders

It has never been a better time to get a new credit card with so many credit card sign-up bonuses on offer right now.

Not only is it an excellent way to boost your credit score if used responsibly, but issuers are hungry to attract new customers.

That means you can earn hundreds of dollars worth of rewards just for signing up and using your new card.

What’s more, the regular credit card rewards programs keep getting better.

From free airport lounge access, bonus rewards on your account anniversary to excellent loyalty programs, there’s something for everyone.

This article will be looking at the best credit card sign-up bonuses available right now. We focused on cards that are available to anyone and that are highly rated, helping you land a fantastic reward that you’ll love.

In This Article

25 Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses for January 2022

Here are the 25 current best credit card bonus offers that you can earn right now:

  1. Aspiration Zero: $300 bonus
  2. Ink Business Unlimited®: $750 bonus
  3. Ink Business Cash®: $750 bonus
  4. Blue Cash Preferred®: up to $400 bonus
  5. Blue Cash Everyday®: up to $300 bonus
  6. Citi Custom Cash℠: $200 bonus
  7. Customized Cash Rewards: $200 bonus
  8. Quicksilver Cash Rewards: $200 bonus
  9. Cash+® Visa Signature® Card: $200 bonus
  10. Chase Freedom Unlimited®: $200 bonus
  11. Chase Freedom Flex℠: $200 bonus
  12. Slate Edge℠: $100 bonus
  13. PNC Cash Rewards®: $100 bonus
  14. PNC Core®: $100 bonus
  15. Chase Freedom® Student: $50 bonus
  16. Chase Sapphire Reserve®: 50,000 bonus points
  17. Citi Premier® Card: 80,000 bonus points
  18. Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®: 50,000 bonus miles
  19. IHG® Rewards Club Premier: 125,000 bonus points
  20. American Express® Gold Card: 75,000 bonus points
  21. Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express: 40,000 bonus miles
  22. Hilton Honors Card: 130,000 bonus points
  23. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass®: 180,000 bonus points
  24. Amex EveryDay® Preferred: 15,000 bonus points
  25. Discover it® Credit Card: Cash Back Match bonus

Aspiration Logo1. Aspiration Zero

Aspiration recently launched their "carbon-neutral" credit card, coined Aspiration Zero, which aims to fight climate change with every swipe.

To further motivate customers to adopt the card, Aspiration is offering a $300 welcome bonus when you spend $3,000 on your new card within the first 3 months.

This is in addition to their typical rewards structure, which gives you 1% cash back each month you get to carbon zero.

Aspiration Zero - $300 bonus

Expires: March 31, 2022

The Aspiration Zero sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $300 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Open a new Aspiration Zero credit card.
  2. Within the first 3 months, spend $3,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be applied as a statement credit on the next billing cycle after meeting the requirement.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $300 bonus

Chase Bank Logo2. Ink Business Unlimited®

In addition to the other card perks like cash back, a 0% intro APR for 12 months, and no annual fee, Chase is offering a $750 bonus to new Ink Business Unlimited® cardholders.

Ink Business Unlimited® - $750 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Ink Business Unlimited® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $750 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Ink Business Unlimited® credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $7,500 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of 75,000 points, which can be redeemed for $750.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $750 bonus

Chase Bank Logo3. Ink Business Cash®

In addition to the other card perks like cash back, a 0% intro APR for 12 months, and no annual fee, Chase is offering a $750 bonus to new Ink Business Cash® cardholders.

Ink Business Cash® - $750 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Ink Business Cash® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $750 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Ink Business Cash® credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $7,500 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of 75,000 points, which can be redeemed for $750.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $750 bonus

American Express Logo4. Blue Cash Preferred®

American Express has quite a few bonus offers on their credit cards, starting with their Blue Cash Preferred Card. Here you can get up to $400 back, which is split into two parts.

First, you'll get 20% cash back (one of the best cashback offers up for grabs right now) on Amazon purchases done within the first six months of card membership, up to $200.

Second, you can get up to $200 back after making $3,000 worth of purchases within the same period.

This is in addition to the 0% intro APR, the tremendous cash back categories, and the first year's waiver of the $95 annual fee.

Blue Cash Preferred® - $400 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Blue Cash Preferred® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $400 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Blue Cash Preferred® Card using the link below.
  2. Within 6 months, spend $3,000 using your new card to earn $200.
  3. Within the same 6 months, earn 20% cash back on Amazon purchases made using your new card, up to an additional $200.
  4. Bonus(es) will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements in the form of statement credits.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $400 bonus

American Express Logo5. Blue Cash Everyday®

Blue Cash Everyday® Card is another personal credit card from American Express, offering up to $300 back to new members. The $300 bonus is split into two parts, each totaling $150.

The first $150 is earned as 20% cashback on Amazon purchases in the first six months, while the second $150 can be earned as cashback when spending $2,000 in the first six months.

This is in addition to the 0% intro APR and standard cash back categories.

Blue Cash Everyday® - $300 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Blue Cash Everyday® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $300 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Blue Cash Everyday® Card using the link below.
  2. Within 6 months, spend $2,000 using your new card to earn $150.
  3. Within the same 6 months, earn 20% cash back on Amazon purchases made using your new card, up to an additional $150.
  4. Bonus(es) will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements in the form of statement credits.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $300 bonus

Citi Logo6. Citi Custom Cash℠

Citi is offering new Custom Cash℠ Card cardmembers a welcome bonus of $200 when spending $750 in the first three months of ownership.

This is in addition to the 5% cash back each month and the introductory 0% APR that the card offers for the first 15 months.

Citi Custom Cash℠ - $200 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Citi Custom Cash℠ sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Citi Custom Cash℠ Card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $750 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited as $200 cash back.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $200 bonus

Bank of America Logo7. Customized Cash Rewards

Bank of America's Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with an introductory bonus of $200 in online cash rewards after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening.

This is in addition to the 0% intro APR that you'll enjoy for the first 15 months.

Customized Cash Rewards - $200 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Customized Cash Rewards sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card using the link below.
  2. Within 30 days, spend $1,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited to your rewards balance within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $200 bonus

Capital One Logo8. Quicksilver Cash Rewards

The Quicksilver from Capital One credit card comes with a $200 welcome bonus. All you need to do to qualify is make $500 worth of purchases within three months of opening the account.

The card has no annual fee, and cardholders also enjoy experiences such as VIP ticklers and 5-star meals, among other perks.

Quicksilver Cash Rewards - $200 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Quicksilver Cash Rewards sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $500 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited to your rewards balance within 2 billing cycles.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $200 bonus

U.S. Bank Logo9. Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank's Cash+ Visa Signature Card offers new cardholders a welcome bonus of $200 after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days of opening the account.

This is up from their old offer of $150, but the spend requirement is also higher (the old offer required $500 within 90 days).

The Cash+ Visa Signature Card offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months, a customizable cashback scheme, and no annual fee.

Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - $200 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Cash+® Visa Signature® Card sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card using the link below.
  2. Within 120 days, spend $1,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited to your rewards account within 6 to 8 weeks of meeting the requirement.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $200 bonus

Chase Bank Logo10. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

In addition to the other card perks like cash back, a 0% intro APR for 15 months, and no annual fee, Chase is offering a $200 bonus to new Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders.

Plus, you also get 5% cash back on the first $12,000 spent on groceries within the first year, excluding Walmart and Target purchases.

Tip: Want to earn even more? You can earn an additional $500 cash back each year by referring friends, with each successful referral earning you $100.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® - $200 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $500 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of 20,000 points, which can be redeemed for $200.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $200 bonus

Chase Bank Logo11. Chase Freedom Flex℠

In addition to the other card perks like cash back, a 0% intro APR for 15 months, and no annual fee, Chase is offering a $200 bonus to new Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders.

For the first year, you will also get 5% cashback on the first $12,000 spent on groceries, excluding Target and Walmart.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ - $200 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Chase Freedom Flex℠ credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $500 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of 20,000 points, which can be redeemed for $200.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $200 bonus

Chase Bank Logo12. Slate Edge℠

Chase is trying to attract customers to its new Slate Edge℠ credit card, offering a $100 bonus after you've spent $500 in the first 6 months.

Assuming you make payments on time, by fulfilling the requirements for the bonus you'll also be eligible for a credit limit increase at the end of that 6 month period.

If you have strong credit, there are certainly more rewarding credit cards out there, but this card is uniquely positioned for those with average scores looking to build their credit. It comes with a 0% intro APR for the first 12 months, and an annual 2% interest rate reduction for cardholders who pay on time and spend at least $1,000 on the card each year.

Slate Edge℠ - $100 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Slate Edge℠ sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $100 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Chase Slate Edge℠ credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 6 months, spend $500 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of a $100 statement credit.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $100 bonus

PNC Bank Logo13. PNC Cash Rewards®

PNC is offering a $100 welcome bonus to new PNC Cash Rewards® cardholders. To earn the bonus, you'll need to make $1,000 worth of purchases within 3 statement cycles.

The card also comes with a 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles, and has no annual fee.

PNC Cash Rewards® - $100 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The PNC Cash Rewards® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $100 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new PNC Cash Rewards® credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $1,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 90 days in the form of a statement credit.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $100 bonus

PNC Bank Logo14. PNC Core®

PNC is offering a $100 welcome bonus to new PNC Core® cardholders. To earn the bonus, you'll need to make $1,000 worth of purchases within 3 statement cycles.

This is in addition to the introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.

PNC Core® - $100 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The PNC Core® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $100 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new PNC Core® credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $1,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 90 days in the form of a statement credit.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $100 bonus

Chase Bank Logo15. Chase Freedom® Student

In addition to the other card perks like cash back and no annual fee, Chase is offering a $50 bonus to new Chase Freedom® Student cardholders.

Chase Freedom® Student - $50 bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Chase Freedom® Student sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $50 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Chase Freedom® Student credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, make a purchase using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of 5,000 points, which can be redeemed for $50.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the $50 bonus

Chase Bank Logo16. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase is offering 50,000 bonus points to new Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders. Those points can be redeemed for $500 cash, or they can be stretched to $750 if put them toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Keep in mind that not too long ago, Chase was offering 60,000 points as the incentive for this card, so you may want to hold out to see if that offer returns.

The card also comes with $300 in annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases each year.

Chase Sapphire Reserve® - 50,000 bonus points

Expires: Limited Time

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 50,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Chase Sapphire Reserve ® credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $4,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of 50,000 points, which can be redeemed for $500 cash or $750 in travel rewards.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the 50,000 bonus points

Citi Logo17. Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier® Card offers new cardholders a welcome bonus of 80,000 bonus ThankYou Points, which you can get after making purchases worth $4,000 in the first three months.

You can exchange these bonus points for $800 worth of gift cards from a large variety of retailers.

Citi Premier® Card - 80,000 bonus points

Expires: Limited Time

The Citi Premier® Card sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 80,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Citi Premier® Card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $4,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited in the form of 80,000 points, which can be redeemed for $800 in gift cards.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the 80,000 bonus points

Citi Logo18. Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® offers new cardholders 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $2,500 in the first three months.

Bonus Tip: You also get a $125 flight discount if you spend $20,000 in a single year and renew your card.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® - 50,000 bonus miles

Expires: Limited Time

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 50,000 bonus miles. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard® credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $2,500 using your new card.
  3. Bonus miles will be credited in your AAdvantage® account in 8-10 weeks.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the 50,000 bonus miles

Chase Bank Logo19. IHG® Rewards Club Premier

Chase is offering 125,000 bonus points + a free night to new IHG® Rewards Club Premier cardholders. That's nearly 4 free nights at an IHG property, which includes hotels and resorts under the brands Six Senses, Regent, InterContinental, Kimpton, Hotel Indigo, Voco, Hualuxe, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites, and more.

Additionally, you can get an extra 10,000 bonus points every year by making $20,000 worth of purchases plus one additional purchase each calendar year.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier - 125,000 bonus points

Expires: Limited Time

The IHG® Rewards Club Premier sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 125,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new IHG® Rewards Club Premier credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $3,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus points will be credited to your IHG® Rewards Club account within 6 to 8 weeks.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the 125,000 bonus points

American Express Logo20. American Express® Gold Card

The American Express® Gold Card comes with a new cardmember offer that can see you earn a whopping 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $4,000 within the first six months.

You also get 12 months of Uber Eats Pass for free and $10 in Uber Cash each month for the first 12 months, which you can use to ride or dine.

This is in addition to the 0% intro APR, which you'll have for the first 12 months.

American Express® Gold Card - 75,000 bonus points

Expires: Limited Time

The American Express® Gold Card sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 75,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new American Express® Gold Card using the link below.
  2. Within 6 months, spend $4,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements in the form of Membership Rewards points.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the 75,000 bonus points

American Express Logo21. Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is designed for frequent flyers, offering a welcome bonus of 40,000 miles when spending $1,000 within the first three months of getting the card. This is down from their latest 70,000 offer and their typical 60,000 offer, so you may want to hold out to see if the bigger rewards come back.

You also get additional perks with the card such as free first checked bag when flying with Delta, $100 in Delta flight credit when making $10,000 worth of purchases in a calendar year, and $50 off the cost of a flight with every 5,000 miles you redeem.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express - 40,000 bonus miles

Expires: Limited Time

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 40,000 bonus miles. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $1,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements in the form of Delta SkyMiles frequent flyer miles.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the 40,000 bonus miles

American Express Logo22. Hilton Honors Card

The Hilton Honors American Express® Card comes with a new cardmember offer that can see you earn 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months.

This is in addition to the $0 annual fee, the solid reward categories, and the card's other perks.

Hilton Honors Card - 130,000 bonus points

Expires: Limited Time

The Hilton Honors Card sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 130,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Hilton Honors Card from American Express using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $1,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements in the form of Hilton Honors points.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the 130,000 bonus points

American Express Logo23. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass®

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card comes with a new cardmember offer that can see you earn up to 180,000 Hilton Honors bonus points. This breaks down to 130,000 points after spending $2,000, and an additional 50,000 points after spending $10,000.

Keep in mind this is the public offer, but you may see an even higher offer on their website if you fall into one of their targeted groups.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® - 180,000 bonus points

Expires: Limited Time

The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 180,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $2,000 using your new card to earn 130,000 bonus points.
  3. Within 6 months of opening the card, spend a total of $10,000 to earn an additional 50,000 bonus points.
  4. Bonus(es) will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements in the form of Hilton Honors points.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the 180,000 bonus points

American Express Logo24. Amex EveryDay® Preferred

The Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card comes with an introductory bonus that offers 15,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $1,000 in qualifying purchases over the first three months.

Keep in mind that American Express limits the welcome bonuses of its credit cards to once per lifetime. So if you've earned a bonus on this card before, you won't be able to get it again.

In addition to this intro bonus, an ongoing perk of this card is that by using it 30 times in a single billing period, you'll earn an extra 50% on those purchases.

Amex EveryDay® Preferred - 15,000 bonus points

Expires: Limited Time

The Amex EveryDay® Preferred sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 15,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Amex EveryDay® Preferred credit card using the link below.
  2. Within 3 months, spend $1,000 using your new card.
  3. Bonus will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements in the form of Membership Rewards® Points.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the 15,000 bonus points

Discover Bank Logo25. Discover it® Credit Card

The Discover it® Cash Back and Chrome credit cards offer new cardholders a bonus 2X "Cashback Match" on all cash back earned in the first year. This means that if you earned $150 in cash back, they'll give you an additional $150, automatically.

This is in addition to the 0% intro APR that both cards offer for the first 14 months.

Discover it® Credit Card - Cash Back Match bonus

Expires: Limited Time

The Discover it® Credit Card sign up offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the Cash Back Match bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:

  1. Apply for a new Discover it® Cash Back or Discover it® Chrome credit card using the link below.
  2. For the first year, use your credit card to earn cash back: for Discover it® Cash Back, you'll earn 5% in rotating categories, 1% on everything else; for Discover it® Chrome, you'll earn 2% at gas stations and restaurants, 1% on everything else.
  3. After 12 consecutive billing cycles, bonus cash will be credited to your rewards account within 2 billing cycles.

read the full terms

Apply now to earn the Cash Back Match bonus

Restrictions on Credit Card Bonus Offers

Each credit card issuer has its own rules for how often a consumer can earn a welcome bonus. This is to keep customers from “churning” bonus offers or, in other words, from signing up multiple times for a card strictly to earn the bonus, with no intention of actually using it long-term.

Generally speaking, the restrictions are reasonable. If you’re an average consumer looking for a great new credit card (that also happens to pay you to sign up…), then you’re likely just fine.

For clarity, however, here are some of the rules from the major banks:

  • Chase: Chase is well known for its 5/24 rule, which says cardholders cannot get a new Chase credit card if they have 5 credit card inquiries in the last 24 months. This is why many will advise you to sign up for any Chase credit cards first, before moving onto other issuers. Beyond the 5/24 rule, Chase limits the bonus per card to once every 2 years.
  • Amex: American Express has a lifetime limit stating that you can only earn a bonus on each of their cards once. To make that clearer: you can earn a bonus from multiple cards, but never multiple bonuses for the same card.
  • Capital One: Capital One limits you to two personal credit cards, and you can only get a new credit card from them once every six months.
  • Citibank: Like Chase, Citi limits you to a sign-up bonus once every 2 years per card. For some card categories, this 2-year restriction crosses multiple cards. For example, the fine print on the Citi Rewards+® bonus says that you’re excluded if you’ve already earned a welcome bonus for Citi ThankYou® Preferred, Citi Premier® or Citi Prestige® cards.
  • Bank of America: Bank of America has a 2/3/4 rule, which limits you to two new cards in a 30-day period, three in a 12-month period, and four in a 24-month period. They’ve also added a 24-month rule similar to Chase and Citi, that says you can’t sign up for a card that you’ve have or had in the past 2 years.
  • Wells Fargo: Once you get any welcome offer from a Wells Fargo credit card, you can no longer get another for 15 months. Unlike the other banks, this is across the board, not on a per-card basis.

How To Pick The Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus

With so many credit card offers out there, how do you decide which to apply for first?

Picking the highest reward isn’t always the answer – and, in fact, when you’re comparing point or mile offers, it can be hard to know which bonus even is the most valuable. Here are some tips:

  • Issuer Limitations. If you’re planning to open more than one credit card, you should start here first. Like we mentioned above, many banks have rules around how many cards you can open in a given timeframe. Knowing these rules upfront can help you strategize about which sign-up bonus to go after first. For example, many will apply for a Chase credit card first to avoid being denied because of the infamous 5/24 rule.
  • Spending Requirement. Compare the spending requirement for each offer against your normal budget. If you’d need to make otherwise unplanned purchases, the sign-up bonus isn’t worth it. Go for bonuses that fit into your normal spending, or time them for when you have big purchases planned.
  • Annual Fee. Often, the highest credit card bonuses are for cards with annual fees. If the card offers perks and benefits that are worthwhile to you, then great! But don’t pay for a premium travel card if you don’t travel regularly just because of a seemingly killer welcome bonus.
  • Reward Value. This is where credit card welcome bonuses get tricky, compared to regular checking account bonus offers or savings account bonuses. While cash-back cards often offer a cash reward, travel and reward credit cards typically offer bonus points or miles. Sometimes you can redeem these for cash, but not always. If you’re comparing credit cards, be mindful that you’re earning useful rewards. For example, pick cards that offer rewards for hotels or airlines that you’re already loyal to. If you want flexibility, then opt for programs that have robust redemption options and partner networks. That way, when you’re ready to cash in, you can choose between travel, gift cards, or transfers to airline and hotel partners. Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express Membership Rewards are among the best.

Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses FAQs

What is a credit card sign-up bonus?

A sign-up bonus is a promotion that banks use to attract new customers. They’re designed to get you using the card (which is why the requirements are so often tied to spending a certain amount) so that the card takes a permanent seat in your wallet.

In exchange for opening a new card and meeting the spend requirement, the credit card issuer gives you a bonus. This can be in miles, points, or cash.

How do I earn a credit card bonus?

Each bonus comes with some form of qualification criteria. In most cases, you need to spend a certain amount of money within a given time period to qualify.

How do I redeem a credit card welcome offer?

After meeting the requirements, the credit card issuer will deposit the bonus miles or points into your reward account. You can then redeem these the same way you would any other points or miles you earn: flights, upgrades, transfer to partner programs, etc.

For cash offers, these are typically seen as credits into your rewards account. You can then redeem these for statement credits (which reduce what you owe), gift cards, or checks/withdrawals straight to your checking account.

Each program is slightly different, so be sure to check the terms to find the full details.

Which issuer has the best credit card sign-up bonuses?

Credit card issuers are constantly changing their offers, and therefore the “best” bonus is too.

Generally speaking, however, travel, business, and cards with annual fees will typically have the highest bonuses.

Cash back or entry level cards will have smaller welcome offers, but the spend requirements are often lower, as well.

You should also consider what you value – you can often squeeze more value from miles or points if you redeem them for travel, but if you prefer cash value, you’ll want a credit card that rewards you with statement credits or checks.

How can I spend enough for my credit card bonus?

When deciding how or if you can spend enough to meet the requirement, consider regular purchases you make – groceries, gas, memberships, services, etc. Or, time the reward to coincide with when you need to make a larger purchase anyway – a new laptop, furniture, equipment.

Either way, make sure you understand what constitutes an eligible purchase. These will be detailed in the fine print. Generally speaking, any standard purchase of goods or services will count.

Fees, interest, cash advances, traveler’s checks, prepaid cards or gift cards, or any other purchase of cash equivalents will not.

Also, be mindful about whether you would have bought these things or services anyway. Spending money you otherwise would have saved makes a bonus much less valuable.

Which credit cards have the best rewards?

Ultimately, the best rewards are the ones that you are going to use.

If you do not travel a lot, earning free airline credits or lounge passes might not be the best reward for you. But if you’re something of a jet setter, then saving on your airfare might be a blessing.

Rewards can vary a lot from one credit card to the next. As such, you should pick the card that offers rewards you will actually find helpful (versus picking a card simply for the welcome bonus) and apply now so you can start reaping the rewards right away.

Are credit card rewards taxable?

Unlike regular bank bonuses, credit card rewards are typically treated as a rebate or discount by the IRS, rather than income. So no, earning a welcome bonus for opening a new credit card is not usually taxable.