Updated October 17th, 2017.

We’ve vetted some of the most popular offers on the market and narrowed down the list to a select number that fit with what we value in a credit card – namely, balancing rewards with Swiss Army knife-style perks that help Fools beat their financial goals.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®
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Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Best for: Travel and points transfers

Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers one of the largest sign-up bonuses we know of for a card with a low annual fee. New cardholders earn 50,000 bonus points after spending at least $4,000 on purchases in the first three months. All points redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® are worth 25% more than redeeming for cash back, leaving qualifying cardholders with a bonus worth up to $625 for travel. What’s more, travel and restaurant purchases earn 2x points per $1, all other purchases earn 1 point per $1, and points can be transferred to a long list of Chase’s participating transfer partners, all with a low annual fee of $95 (waived the first year). These are just a few reasons we consider Chase Sapphire Preferred® a must-have sign-up bonus. We also picked it as one of the best travel credit cards. Read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® review to learn more.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
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Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Best for: Travel

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card strikes a nice balance of high rewards and a big sign-up bonus with low fees. The sign-up bonus comes in at 50,000 miles -- worth $500 for travel statement credits -- after spending $3,000 within three months of account opening and all purchases earn 2x miles per $1. Large sign-up bonuses and rewards typically beget high annual fees but the card charges a justifiable $95 annual fee (waived the first year). Read our full Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review to learn more.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
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Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for: Bonus cash back and $0 annual fee

Cardholders looking for a solid sign-up bonus and cash-back credit card should expect a card packed with valuable features, such as Bank of America® Cash Rewards. This card dishes out a lucrative $150 new cardholder cash-rewards bonus offer after spending at least $500 on new purchases in the first 90 days. Tons of other perks are available as well, including bonus-category cash back of 3% on gas and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 in combined bonus category purchases each quarter), a 0% intro APR offer, and your FICO® Score for free. Qualifying Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients also receive anywhere from a 25% to 75% rewards bonus. On the high end, that's a cash back rate of 5.25% on qualifying gas purchases, albeit cappedRead our full Bank of America® Cash Rewards review to learn more.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card
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Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card

Best for: Travel and $0 annual fee

Flexible rewards are a must-have for many busy travelers and the Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card brings value with the simplicity of a flat-rate rewards. All purchases earn 1.5x points per $1 and can be redeemed for travel-related statement credits, making this a powerful travel credit card for cardholders searching for cheap deals using their preferred booking portal. Qualifying new cardholders can also look forward to an offer of 20,000 points bonus -- redeemable for $200 in travel-related statement credits -- after spending at least $1,000 on new purchases in the first 90 days, plus a $0 annual fee. This is one of the best travel bonuses we know of with a low spending hurdle for qualification. Read our full Bank of America® Travel Rewards review.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard®
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Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard®

Best for: Travel

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® credit card carries a big new cardholder bonus worth $400 in travel-related statement credits (that’s 40,000 bonus miles) when spending at least $3,000 on new purchases within the first 90 days. Members also lock in 2x miles per dollar $1 on all purchases and redeem miles via our preferred method -- statement credits -- which give cardholders much-needed flexibility to land the cheapest travel deals. The card also doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and it includes a valuable 0% intro APR offer on qualifying balance transfers. Read our full Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite MasterCard® review.

Discover it® - Cashback Match™
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Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Best for: Bonus cash back and $0 annual fee

Discover it® - Cashback Match™ earns 5% cash back (on up to $1,500 in spending quarterly) in rotating categories you activate such as gas, restaurants, Amazon.com purchases, and wholesale clubs, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases. Perhaps most relevant to sign-up bonus offers, Discover automatically matches all the cash back earned, dollar for dollar, at the end of the first year for new cardholders. Maxing out bonus categories quarterly will result in a total of $600 cash back in the first year. For the number crunchers among us, that’s $1,500 of quarterly spending in bonus categories (or $6,000 per year), which earns 5% cash back. Cardholders receive $300 cash back plus another $300 bonus that Discover throws on top in your first year. That match also doesn’t count all other purchases earning 1% cash back. Combine these lucrative rewards with cutting out-of-pocket costs by nixing the annual fee and foreign transaction fees, and it’s easy to see why the card landed a spot on our list. Read our full Discover it® -Cashback Match™ review to learn more.

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®
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Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

Best for: Cash back and 0% intro APR

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® has one of the deepest bench of valuable perks we've come across for a $0 annual-fee credit card. Qualifying new cardholders earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on new purchases in the first 90 days, every purchase earns 1.5% cash back, plus the card offers a promotional 0% APR spanning 15 billing cycles for both new purchases and qualifying balance transfers. If you've secured an excellent credit history, there may not be a better $0 annual-fee cash-back card. Read our full Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® review to learn more.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Best for: Cash back and 0% intro APR

Chase® credit cards tend to pack a powerful punch, and Chase Freedom UnlimitedSM is no exception. Cardholders score a $150 new-cardholder bonus when spending at least $500 on new purchases in the first three months. This is one of the bigger bonuses we’ve come across for a card with a $0 annual fee and a $500 spending hurdle to qualify. Cardholders can also look forward to both 1.5% cash back on all purchases and a 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for balance transfers and purchases. Chase Freedom UnlimitedSM also landed a spot on our short list of the best cash-back credit cards. Read our full Chase Freedom UnlimitedSM review to learn more.


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