Best Personal Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Best Personal Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

This is a somewhat comprehensive list of the major personal credit cards out there. This list has been completely updated as of 12/24/2015. I have tried to list the cards by the approximate value of their cards. The cards where also grouped with versions that where similar to it. Again, the ones with the best values are found above the ones with less value. I calculated the value of each bonus by multiplying the number of points you get from sign-up bonuses with the multipliers mentioned here.

Here are some of other “best” cards that I have wrote about as well:

Best Business Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Best Airline Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Best Hotel Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses

Best Cards to Manufacture Spending

Credit Card Information

Sapphire Preferred by Chase

Notes: I recommend everyone get this credit card first if they have the credit score for it. First of all, Chase cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points are very valuable because you can transfer them to many of their other partners for a 1:1 value. I value these points at 1.5 cents per point (rather than the 2.1 given by TPG). Secondly, Chase has recently implemented a limit where they deny you credit cards if you applied to too many in the last few years. You also get 0 foreign transaction fees!

Bonus: 50,000 points after $4,000 spend in 3 months, 5,000 points when adding an authorized user 

Approx. Value: $550 ($825 if redeemed at United Airlines)

Annual Fee:     $0 first year, then $95

Earning Points: 2x at restaurants, and travel, 1x at everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS:  VGC, Buxx

Freedom by Chase

Notes: This card goes hand in hand with the Sapphire Preferred. As this card also earns Ultimate Rewards points if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Ink to transfer points to. It also has no annual fee, a great sign-up bonus, 0% APR for 15 months, and 5% in select categories every quarter. Wow!

Bonus: $150 after $500 spend in 3 months, $25 when adding an authorized user

Approx. Value: $175

Annual Fee:       No annual fee

Earning Points: 5x at select categories each quarter, 1x at everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

AARP Card by Chase

Notes: This card isn’t as impressive as the two Chase cards that came before it. However, it does have a nice sign-up bonus along with no annual fee.

Bonus: $200 after $500 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $200

 

Annual Fee:       No annual fee

Earning Points: 3x at restaurants and gas stations

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

ThankYou Premier by Citi

Notes: These points are pretty valuable if you redeem them for flights. They are value at 1.6 cents per points according to TPG. The points are valued at 1.0 cents or less if redeemed elsewhere.

Bonus: 50,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $500 ($800 if redeemed for flights)

 

Annual Fee:     $0 first year, then $95

Earning Points: 3x at gas stations, 2x at dining out and entertainment, 1x at everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

ThankYou Prestige by Citi

Notes: This card contains benefits such as $250 air travel credit each year, access to American Airlines Admiral Club lounges and a complimentary 4th night for any hotel stay worldwide. Points are valued at 1.6 cents per point if redeemed for flights according to TPG.

Bonus: 50,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $500 ($800 if  redeemed for flights)

 

Annual Fee:     $450 annual fee

Earning Points: 3x at air travel and hotels, 2x at dining and entertainment, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx, 

ThankYou Preferred by Citi

Notes: This is basically the cheaper version of the prestige and premier. It has no annual fee and earning points differs a little. Points are valued at 1.6 cents per point if redeemed for flights according to TPG.

Bonus: 20,000 points after $1,500 spend in 3 months, 

Approx. Value: $200 ($320 if redeemed for flights)

 

Annual Fee:     No annual fee

Earning Points: 2x at dining and entertainment

Recommended Method of MS: VGC,Buxx

Double Cash by Citi

Notes: This is a great cashback card to get. As you get a whopping 2% on all purchases. You get 1% when you make the purchase and 1% when you pay off the balance.

Bonus: N/A

Approx. Value: N/A

Annual Fee:     No annual fee

Earning Points: 2x at all purchases

Recommended Method of MS: VGC,Buxx

The Platinum Card by Amex

Notes: Perks include $200 airline fee credit, $100 free credit for global entry, Hilton HHonors Gold Status, airport lounge access SPG gold status, and complimentary access to Wifi with Boingo. Check TPG to see best redemption values.

Bonus: 40,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value:  $400 ($760 if redeemed for flights)

Annual Fee:     $450 annual fee

Earning Points: 2x at Amex travel website, 1x at everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

Premier Rewards Gold by Amex

Notes: Contains a $100 airline fee credit. Check TPG to see best redemption values.

Bonus: 25,000 points after $2,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $250 ($475 if redeemed for flights)

 

Annual Fee:     $0 first year, then $195

Earning Points: 3x at airlines, 2x at gas stations and supermarkets, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

Gold Card by Amex

Notes: Check TPG to see best redemption values.

Bonus: 25,000 points after $1,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $250 ($475 if redeemed for flights)

 

Annual Fee:    $0 first year, then $160

Earning Points: 2x at airlines and restaurants, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

Green Card by Amex

Notes: Check TPG to see best redemption values.

Bonus: 25,000 points after $1,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $250 ($475 if redeemed for flights)

 

Annual Fee:   $99 annual fee

Earning Points: 2x at Amex travel website

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

The Amex Everyday Preferred by Amex

Notes: Earn 50% more points when you make 30 or more transactions in a billing period. I.e. 1x everywhere becomes 1.5x. Check TPG to see best redemption values.

Bonus: 15,000 points after $1,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $150 ($285 if redeemed for flights)

Annual Fee:     $95 annual fee

Earning Points: 3x at US supermarkets up to $6k, 2x at gas stations, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

The Amex Everyday by Amex

Notes: Earn 20% more points when you make 20 or more transactions in a billing period. I.e. 1x everywhere becomes 1.2x. Check TPG to see best redemption values.

Bonus: 10,000 points after $1,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $100 ($190 if redeemed for flights)

 

Annual Fee:     No annual fee

Earning Points: 2x at US supermarkets up to $6k, 1x at everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

Blue Cash Preferred by Amex

Notes: A great card for those who shop at supermarkets a lot.

Bonus: $150 after $1,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $150

 

Annual Fee:   $75 annual fee

Earning Points: 6x at US supermarkets up to 6k, 3x at gas stations, select department stores, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

Blue Cash Everyday by Amex

Notes: Includes 0% APR for 15 months. This card also has no annual fee. It also gains less points than the Preferred when buying at supermarkets, gas stations, department stores.

Bonus: $100 after $1,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $100

 

Annual Fee:   No annual fee

Earning Points: 3x at US supermarkets up to 6k, 2x at gas stations, select department stores, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: Serve

Investment Rewards by Fidelity/Amex

Notes: One of the few cards that offer a straight 2% on all purchases. Although you have to have an account with Fidelity to redeem those points. This can easily be done (for free) in a few minutes. A minimum of $2,500 must be spent (earning $50 cash back) must be spent before you can redeem your points.

Bonus: $0

Approx. Value:  $0

 

Annual Fee:     No annual fee

Earning Points: 2x on all purchases

Recommended Method of MS:  VGC, Buxx

 

Arrival Plus World Elite by Barclaycard

Notes: I highly recommend this card to everyone! You get 2x the points on all purchases not just specific categories. You also get 5% miles back on your next redemption. Essentially you redeem your points by applying for a statement credit on travel purchases. You’re not getting the full value if you apply the statement credit to something other than travel purchases.

Bonus: 40,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $200 ($400 when redeemed for travel credit)

 

 

Annual Fee:     $0 first year, then $89

Earning Points: 2x at travel and dining, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

Barclay Arrival World Mastercard by Barclaycard

Notes: Basically the little brother to the Arrival Plus. This card differs because the bonus is cut in half, earning points differ, and there is no annual fee.

Bonus: 20,000 points after $1,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $100 ($200 when redeemed for travel credit)

 

Annual Fee:     No annual fee

Earning Points: 2x at travel and dining, 1x everywhere else

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

 

Venture Rewards by Capital One

Notes: This card is similar to the Arrival Plus card.Although this card application tends to pull from all 3 of the credit agencies. Also the Arrival Plus wins out because it has the extra 5% bonus at redemption.

Bonus: 40,000 points after $3,000 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $200 ($400 when redeemed for travel credit)

 

Annual Fee:       $0 first year, then $59

Earning Points: 2x at all purchases

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

It by Discover

Notes: This card is similar to the Chase Freedom. It offers 5% cash back in select categories. It also has a new promotion where new members can sign up to have their cashback doubled at the end of 13 statements. 5x becomes 10x and 1x purchases becomes 2x. It also has 0% APR for 12 months. 

Bonus: $0

Approx. Value: $0

 

Annual Fee:     No annual fee

Earning Points: 5x at select categories up to $1,500 each quarter, 1x everywhere else 

Recommended Method of MS: N/A

 

Miles by Discover

Notes: This card is also part of the double cash back promotion as well. You’ll be essentially earning 3x the points per dollar. The card also has 0% APR for 12 months as well. 

Bonus: $0

Approx. Value: $0

 

Annual Fee:  No annual fee

Earning Points: 1.5x at everything else

Recommended Method of MS: N/A

 

Easy Rewards Visa by TD

Notes: An awesome 5x card that allows you to earn 5x the rewards point for 6 months or 45,000 points, whichever comes first.

Bonus: $200 after $1,500 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $200

 

Annual Fee:       No annual fee

Earning Points: 5x at dining, groceries, gas, cable, phone, and utility bills

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

Cash Rewards Visa by TD

Notes: An awesome 5x card that allows you to earn 5x the rewards point for 6 months or $450, whichever comes first.

Bonus: $200 after $1,500 spend in 3 months

Approx. Value: $200

 

Annual Fee:   No annual fee

Earning Points: 5x at dining, groceries, gas, cable, phone, and utility bills

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

Visa Signature by Wells Fargo

Notes: An awesome 5x card that allows you to earn 5x the rewards point for 6 months. A great card to own if your local gas/drugstore has Visa Gift cards.

Bonus: $0

Approx. Value: $0

Annual Fee:   No annual fee

Earning Points: 5x at gas grocery, and drugstores

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

Cash Back Card by Wells Fargo

Notes: An awesome 5x card that allows you to earn 5x the rewards point for 6 months. A great card to own if your local gas/drugstore has Visa Gift cards.

Bonus: $0

Approx. Value: $0

Annual Fee:   No annual fee

Earning Points: 5x at gas grocery, and drugstores

Recommended Method of MS: VGC, Buxx

Note 1: There may have been some phrases/words below that many people are not familiar with. I will explain them in this section below.

MS stands for manufactured spending. Manufactured spending, as the name suggests, is a way of manufacturing spending using credit cards so that you can earn the rewards. This is often done through buying gift cards, Serve, or Visa Buxx. You can often spend a net of $0 or close to $0 and get hundreds of dollars of free sign-up bonuses. Here’s a post where I give a small summary of each of the most popular manufactured spending methods!

Serve refers to a company based off of American Express. They offer prepaid cards that can be loaded with only American Express cards. You’ll be able to put money into the prepaid card to get your credit sign-up bonus. Afterwords you can use the billpay option on Serve to pay back the same credit card. You essentially spend $0 in this case. Here’s my Serve post that shows you how you can manufactured spending with Serve.

VGC refers to Visa Gift Cards. The idea is to buy these visa gift cards using your credit card. Then you liquidate/load them onto Bluebird or Serve at participating stores. Once you do that, you can again use the billpay option to pay off your credit card.

Visa Buxx refers to another prepaid card. You can only load Visa Buxx with Visa and Mastercards. The process is somewhat similar to Serve. You load the prepaid card using a credit card. This can be done online. You’ll also points from this as well. Let’s say your card offers 1% cash back. Using Serve will earn you the 1% cash back as well the sign-up bonus. Although Visa Buxx does contain fees. Lastly, there’s no billpay option, you have to withdraw the money via an Allpoint ATM. You can find more information at my Visa Buxx post.

Note 2: It should also be noted that not all of these are the best offer out there. These are merely public offers that are available for everyone else to apply to online. I merely gathered all of the information in one spot and placed it in a neat table. These offers are subject to change. I will update them ASAP when I find that they have changed.

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