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Best Sign-Up Bonus Credit Cards for May 2022

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Credit card sign-up bonuses are a popular perk. That's good news for consumers because these are some of the best deals you can find. The card issuer is essentially paying you to open a new card and meet its bonus requirements. Many credit cards have sign-up bonuses worth several hundred dollars to $1,000 in either cash back or travel rewards.

With all the offers available, it may seem hard to pick the best credit card sign-up bonus. This doesn't need to be a decision that takes a long time, though. We've put together a list of the most lucrative bonuses on the market. All you need to do is figure out which type of rewards you want to earn and then choose the credit card with the bonus offer you like the most.

Great for: Easy-to-earn cash rewards bonus

Apply Now for Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

On Wells Fargo's Secure Website.

  • A standout cash back card with one of the highest unlimited rewards rates we've come across. The inclusion of a hefty sign-up bonus and versatile 0% intro APR offer are the cherries on top. Read Full Review

    • Unlimited 2% cash rewards
    • Long 0% intro APR offer
    • Generous cash rewards sign-up bonus
    • No annual fee
    • No bonus categories
    • Foreign transaction fees
    • 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 15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% 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 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
    • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
Travel bonus

Great for: Travel and points transfers

  • With a big sign-up bonus, the sky’s the limit for this top-rated travel rewards card. Plus, the premium points program for travel and dining make it a no brainer for travel enthusiasts everywhere. Read Full Review

    • Big sign-up bonus
    • Travel rewards
    • Dining rewards
    • Flexible travel points
    • Consumer and travel protections
    • Has an annual fee
    • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 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, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
    • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
    • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

Great for: Travel card with no annual fee

  • No-annual-fee travel cards typically skimp on the sign-up bonus, but this card delivers with its intro bonus offer, unlimited rewards on purchases, and other wallet-friendly perks. Read Full Review

    • Big sign-up bonus
    • No annual fee
    • Competitive rewards rate on purchases
    • Great intro APR
    • No bonus categories
    • Limited ways to use points
    • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire.
    • 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
    • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want - you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions.
    • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for travel or dining purchases, such as flights, hotel stays, car and vacation rentals, baggage fees, and also at restaurants including takeout.
    • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases. After the intro APR offer ends, 14.24% - 24.24% Variable APR will apply.
    • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more points on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 spent.
    • 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.

Great for: Restaurants and supermarkets

Apply Now for Citi Premier® Card

On Citi's Secure Website.

  • A solid pick with a big bonus and nice list of airlines transfer partners, plus it includes a robust rewards program beyond just travel Read Full Review

    • Big sign-up bonus
    • Annual hotel savings offer
    • Travel and dining rewards
    • Grocery and gas rewards
    • Flexible travel rewards points
    • Annual fee
    • Limited consumer and travel protections
    • 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 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

Great for: Premium travel

Apply Now for The Platinum Card® from American Express

On American Express' Secure Website.

Terms apply

  • The high annual fee is justifiable for frequent travelers who can take full advantage of a deep bench of valuable perks, including the big welcome bonus, robust rewards, and lucrative annual travel credits. Read Full Review

    • Big welcome bonus offer
    • Substantial spending credits
    • Airport lounge access
    • Hotel benefits
    • Flexible travel points
    • Annual fee
    • Limited bonus categories
    • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
    • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
    • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
    • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
    • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
    • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
    • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
    • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
    • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
    • $695 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
  • Dining and grocery spending will earn premium rewards, but that's not the only showstopper. The sign-up bonus, no annual fee, and a 0% intro APR offer can add a ton of value. Read Full Review

    • Sign-up bonus
    • Dining rewards
    • Entertainment rewards
    • No annual fee
    • Great intro APR for purchases
    • Balance transfer fee
    • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
    • 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
    • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats
    • 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; 15.24% - 25.24% variable APR after that
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • No annual fee

Great for: Saving and paying down debt

Apply Now for SoFi Credit Card

On SoFi's Secure Website.

  • Offers a unique welcome bonus, high cash back, and a unique perk to lower your APR after 12 months of on-time payments. But the rewards redemptions are restrictive. Read Full Review

    • Competitive purchase rewards
    • No annual fee
    • Can reduce APR with on-time payments
    • Mastercard benefits
    • Redeem rewards for crypto
    • No intro APR offers
    • Rewards redemption restrictions
    • Smart spending and budgeting tools. Set a budget for each month and get a notification when you are close to reaching your budget
    • 12.99% – 24.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
    • No annual fee
    • Get 2% unlimited cash back towards your financial goals
    • Get 2% cash back on all eligible purchases—and when you redeem it to pay down eligible debt, save, or invest with SoFi, Plus, redeem points toward crypto.
    • Get special discounts on popular brands like Lyft, Shoprunner, Boxed, and more
    • The SoFi app makes it easy to automatically redeem your cash back toward your eligible SoFi loans, saving, or investing each month
    • Make 12 on-time payments, and we’ll lower your APR by 1%
    • Complimentary cell phone insurance coverage up to $1,000
  • A solid pick for a one-card wallet with a nice sign-up bonus, simple rewards program, and competitive 0% intro APR offer. It's an even better pick for Bank of America customers in the Preferred Rewards program. Read Full Review

    • Unlimited cash back
    • Intro APR offer
    • Sign-up bonus
    • No annual fee
    • No bonus categories
    • Balance transfer fee
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
    • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 2.62% cash back on every purchase.
    • No annual fee.
    • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn and cash rewards don’t expire.
    • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 14.24% - 24.24% 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.

Great for: Hilton benefits

  • Automatic Hilton Gold status is one of the many lucrative perks, including sky-high points for Hilton stays and for restaurants, groceries, and gas.

    • Big welcome bonus
    • Automatic Gold elite status
    • Airport lounge access
    • Earn a free weekend night
    • Bonus rewards in several spending categories
    • U.S.-centric bonus categories
    • Earn 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card after you use your new Card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within 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 a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
    • Earn 6X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases on your Card at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and 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.
    • $0 introductory annual fee, $95 thereafter
    • Terms Apply.
The information for the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card has been collected independently by The Ascent. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
  • With a huge sign up bonus and massive on going rewards rate of 3x points per $1 on business essentials this card is a home run for businesses that spend a lot and want to maximize their rewards. Read Full Review

    • Huge sign-up bonus
    • Advertising rewards
    • Shipping rewards
    • Cell phone protection
    • Flexible travel points
    • Annual fee
    • No intro APR offer
    • Spending minimum for sign-up bonus
    • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
    • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring.
    • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
    • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
    • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Great for: United flyers

  • With a big sign up bonus and rewards for United and dining purchases, the miles will accumulate quickly if you're a frequent traveler.

    • Big sign-up bonus
    • United, restaurant, and hotel rewards
    • Free first checked bags
    • Travel statement credits
    • Annual fee
    • No access to Polaris lounges
    • Earn up to 70,000 bonus miles. Earn 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, earn an additional 10,000 miles after you spend $6,000 total on purchases in the first 6 months your account is open.
    • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining, hotel stays, and United® purchases
    • Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® fee Credit
    • 25% back on United® inflight purchases
    • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $140 per roundtrip) when you use your card to purchase your ticket
    • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
    • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on dining including eligible delivery services
The information related to United℠ Explorer Card has been collected by The Ascent and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

Great for: Southwest flyers

  • The sign-up bonus and premium earnings on Southwest travel make this a compelling offer, even with the modest annual fee.

    • Sign-up bonus
    • Earn travel rewards
    • Yearly points bonus
    • Consumer and travel protections
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • Annual fee
    • No luxury travel perks
    • Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
    • 6,000 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, phone services, and select streaming.
    • 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
    • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
    • No foreign transaction fees.
The information related to Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has been collected by The Ascent and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

Great for: Premium travel rewards

  • This is a strong new entrant to the premium travel card category with a big sign-up bonus, robust rewards program, and rich travel credits. Read Full Review

    • Big travel rewards bonus
    • High rewards rate
    • Travel credits
    • Airport lounge access
    • Easy-to-use miles
    • Annual fee
    • Small selection of travel partners
    • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
    • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
    • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
    • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
    • Escape the airport crowd and recharge before your flight with unlimited access to all-inclusive amenities at the Capital One Lounge and at 1,300+ Priority Pass lounges worldwide
    • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
    • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs

How to choose the best sign-up bonus credit card

The key to choosing the best sign-up bonus credit card is finding the one that fits you best. Here are the three steps that will help you pinpoint the perfect card:

  1. Decide which types of rewards work for you. Rewards are only valuable if you can use them. A 50,000-mile bonus doesn't help you if those bonus miles are with an airline you don't use. That's why the first step is figuring out which types of rewards are best for you. Maybe you only want cash rewards bonuses, or you'd rather earn travel points. It's usually smart to stick to cash back cards and travel cards. Their bonuses tend to be much more valuable than the bonuses offered by store credit cards.
  2. Look for realistic bonus requirements. Bonus amounts are what get your attention, but bonus requirements are more important. You should be able to spend enough to get the credit card bonus with your normal monthly bills. There are situations where you could shoot for a bonus with a bigger spending requirement, like if you have some sizable expenses coming up. But for the most part, it's best to avoid bonuses with hard-to-reach requirements.
  3. Choose a card with a competitive bonus amount. At this point, you've narrowed it down to the best credit card offers with rewards you like and bonus requirements you can handle. This is when bonus amounts take center stage. The credit card you choose should offer a competitive amount of bonus rewards. You'll probably take other features into consideration, too, including the perks each card offers and its annual fee. But it makes sense to go with as big a bonus as possible.

Most of the credit cards with the best sign-up bonus offers are only available if you have a good credit score. That means a FICO® Score of 670 or above. If yours isn't that high yet, then you're probably better off looking for ways to increase your credit score first.

What is a credit card sign-up bonus?

A credit card sign-up bonus is a special offer available to new cardholders. Bonuses are usually a set amount of rewards, such as $300 cash back or 50,000 points. However, there are cards that offer different types of sign-up bonuses. For example, some store credit cards offer a large discount on your first purchase.

How do you earn a sign-up bonus?

To earn a sign-up bonus, you just need to fulfill the bonus requirements. With most credit cards, the bonus requirement is reaching a spending minimum, such as $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new card within the first three months. After you do that, the card issuer will send you the bonus. This usually happens within one to two billing cycles.

Sign-up bonuses often have a few additional rules that can affect whether you qualify. You can find these on the credit card page or in its terms and conditions. Here are a few of the most common sign-up bonus rules to look for:

  • Certain types of purchases may not qualify for the spending requirement on a sign-up bonus. Some card issuers don't consider cash equivalents, such as gift cards or sending money through payment apps, to be eligible purchases.
  • You may not qualify for a sign-up bonus if you've recently gotten a bonus offer from the same card or a card in the same product line. For example, if you just got a United Airlines card and earned a bonus, you may not qualify for the bonus on another United Airlines card for a specific time period, such as 24 months.
  • A credit card may have multiple bonuses with separate requirements. You could find a card offering 50,000 points for spending $3,000 in three months, plus 50,000 more for spending $20,000 in the first year. In this case, you must qualify for each bonus separately by completing its requirements.

These rules vary depending on the card and the card issuer. That's why you should always review the rules for the card you want before applying.

TIP

How to maximize your sign-up bonus

Make the most of a sign-up bonus by planning in advance how you'll use it. If it's a travel rewards bonus, figure out how you can use it for a special trip. If it's a cash back bonus, consider using it to boost your savings, invest, or increase your emergency fund instead of just putting it in your checking account and spending it.

Which credit cards offer the biggest sign-up bonus?

Here are the consumer credit cards that charge an annual fee and don't with the biggest sign-up bonuses right now:

Can I open multiple credit cards just for the sign-up bonus?

You can open multiple credit cards to earn more sign-up bonuses. Keep in mind, however, that you'll have more payments to manage and potentially more annual fees. For the typical consumer, it's best to look for one card to use often and take it slow when adding more.

Alternatives to consider

The best credit card sign-up bonus can provide quite a bit of value. But there are other types of credit cards that may be worth even more, depending on your situation. While you're comparing credit cards, see if any of the following could save you more money than a sign-up bonus.

0% intro APR credit cards

A 0% intro APR credit card offers zero interest on purchases for an introductory period. If you have any major expenses that you can't pay in full, then one of these cards can save you quite a bit of money in interest. Many 0% intro APR cards don't charge interest for the first year or longer. You could pay for big purchases upfront and then gradually pay them off before the 0% intro APR ends.

Balance transfer credit cards

A balance transfer credit card offers zero interest on balance transfers for an introductory period. This can be a great deal if you have high-interest debt you're paying off. All balance transfer credit cards let you transfer balances from other credit cards, making them perfect for saving money as you eliminate credit card debt. Some also let you transfer over other types of debt.

Rewards credit cards

Rewards cards cover any credit cards that earn purchase rewards. That includes cash back credit cards, travel credit cards, and store credit cards. You can find plenty of rewards credit cards with sign-up bonuses, but there are also rewards cards without this type of intro offer. It's a good idea to check out rewards cards both with and without sign-up bonuses. You could find a rewards card that still packs a lot of value despite not having a bonus.

The Picks
Card Rating Great For
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Great For:

Easy-to-earn cash rewards bonus

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Great For:

Travel and points transfers

Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
Great For:

Travel card with no annual fee

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Great For:

Restaurants and supermarkets

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Great For:

Premium travel

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Great For:

Dining rewards

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Great For:

Saving and paying down debt

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Great For:

Unlimited cash back

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Great For:

Hilton benefits

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Great For:

Business travel

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Great For:

United flyers

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Great For:

Southwest flyers

Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Great For:

Premium travel rewards

FAQs

  • A credit card sign-up bonus is an introductory rewards offer for new cardholders. The most common type of sign-up bonus is a cash back or travel rewards bonus, such as a $250 cash bonus or 50,000 travel points. Store credit cards may offer a discount on the first purchase instead of bonus rewards.

  • Earn a sign-up bonus by fulfilling all the card issuer's bonus requirements. With most credit cards, you earn the sign-up bonus by reaching a spending minimum within a certain time frame. For example, a credit card may offer a $200 bonus when you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months.

  • The Platinum Card® from American Express offers one of the biggest sign-up bonuses. Cardholders earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months.

    The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card has one of the easiest to earn and biggest sign-up bonuses on a no-annual-fee credit card. Earn $200 after spending $500 within three months.

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