Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses Right Now

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Welcome bonuses can be a great way to boost the value of a credit card.
Image Credit: Clark.com

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, you may be hoping to cash in on the hundreds of dollars in welcome bonuses offered to new customers.

Welcome bonuses are a marketing tool that credit card issuers use to lure new customers: They offer the chance to score extra rewards points or get cash back for a limited time. Some are easy to get if you spend a relatively small amount on your new card. Others offer a greater cash reward but may carry an annual fee and require that you spend heavily right away.

Top Welcome Bonus Credit Cards Right Now

Money expert Clark Howard cautions against making a long-term decision for a short-term reward.

“I never want people to be so enamored with the sign-up bonus that they end up with a card that over time will ultimately under-reward,” Clark says. “The credit card issuers are making an assumption that you’re going to be really profitable over time for them. So often the bonus will be really generous, but the card itself will be pretty rotten.”

In this article, I’ll identify some of the top credit card welcome bonuses available right now. This list of cards is updated frequently as offers change:

There are some caveats to shopping for welcome bonus cards. Here are four things to consider before picking your favorite from the list below:

  1. I considered only those cards that carry an annual fee of $100 or less. While there are some great welcome bonuses for credit cards with annual fees that can be as high as $500, Clark believes most consumers are best served by avoiding large annual fees.
  2. The welcome bonus offers will be listed from most valuable to least. In the case of rewards points bonuses, note that there sometimes is no cash value. And the cash-equivalent value of those points can fluctuate based on how you redeem them.
  3. You may get a welcome bonus offer for a card that’s different from the offer listed in this article. Welcome bonuses can vary based on a number of factors, such as date and location. I checked these offers in various web browsers over multiple days to get the most recent and accurate information possible, but please note that your results may vary.
  4. Clark’s philosophy is that you should never carry a balance on a rewards credit card. All welcome bonus advice issued here is given with the assumption that you’ll pay your bill in full each month as part of following Clark’s 7 rules for using credit cards.

Chase Sapphire Preferred®

The Chase Sapphire card has a welcome bonus that can be worth up to $750.

Welcome Bonus Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within your first three months of card membership. Reward points can equate to $600 in cash back or $750 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

What to Know About This Card

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • 2x points bonus on travel and restaurant dining
  • Chase offers 25% more value on points when redeemed for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises
  • You can transfer rewards points to travel partners’ rewards programs at a point-for-point exchange rate
  • No foreign transaction fees

Why We Like It: This welcome bonus can be a big win, especially if you are a frequent traveler. For example, that $750 applied to travel could be enough to cover expenses for a weekend getaway!


Citi Premier Credit Card

Citi Premier has a welcome bonus valued at $600.

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Welcome Bonus Offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. 60,000 of Citi’s ThankYou® Points are redeemable for $600 in gift cards.

What to Know About This Card

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • 3x points on travel, which includes gas stations
  • 2x points on restaurants and entertainment
  • Use points to shop virtually at retailers like Amazon and Best Buy
  • No foreign transaction fees

Why We Like It: While you do have to spend $4,000 in three months to get there, the ability to snag $600 worth of rewards is a nice welcome bonus win. This card also carries good points multipliers on frequently-used spending categories.


Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

Bank of America has a $500 welcome bonus for this credit card.

Welcome Bonus Offer: Earn 50,000 online bonus points, which is a $500 value, if you spend at least $3,000 within the first 90 days of card membership.

What to Know About This Card

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Unlimited 2x points on every dollar spent on dining and travel
  • Get a $100 Airport Security Statement Credit towards TSA PreCheck or Global Entry Application fee every four years
  • Get up to a $100 Airline Incidental Statement Credit each year for qualifying purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

Why We Like It: If you’re a frequent traveler, the airport security and incidentals credits are a nice perk. You’ll also get double rewards points each time you use the card to travel.


Venture® Rewards from Capital One®

The Capital One card offers $500 worth of miles in this welcome bonus.

Welcome Bonus Offer: Earn 50,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $3,000 within the first 3 months of card membership.

What to Know About This Card

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  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Unlimited 2x miles per dollar on all purchases
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • You can transfer miles to partner loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

Why We Like It: This is another card with rewards geared toward serious travel. Recouping money for airport security purchases is nice, and there is no category limit on the double miles promotion.


Savor® Rewards from Capital One®

The Savor card offers a $300 welcome bonus.

Welcome Bonus Offer: Earn $300 cash back when you spend $3,000 within your first three months of card membership.

What to Know About This Card

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No expiration dates or redemption minimums on cash back rewards

Why We Like It: The $300 cash back reward is very strong. And with 4% cash back rewards on dining and entertainment, you’ll want to have this card near the front of your wallet when you leave the house for a bite to eat or a night on the town. You can read Team Clark’s full review of this card here.


Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Amex has a good welcome bonus on this grocery shopping credit card.

Welcome Bonus Offer: Earn $250 cash back when you spend $1,000 within your first three months of card membership.

What to Know About This Card

  • Annual Fee: $95
  • 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets and streaming services
  • 3% cash back on U.S. gas station and transit purchases
  • 0% APR on new purchases for the first 12 months
  • Access to premium services from ShopRunner is included

Why We Like It: This is one of the top cards on the market for grocery shopping. You’ll be able to save 6% on purchases at most supermarkets, and that welcome bonus can help foot the bill on that annual fee for your first few years. You can read Team Clark’s full review of this card here.


Quicksilver® from Capital One®

The Quicksilver card requires just $500 in spending for its welcome bonus.

Welcome Bonus Offer: Earn $150 cash back when you spend $500 within your first three months of card membership.

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What to Know About This Card

  • Annual Fee: None
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • 0% APR on new purchases for the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No expiration dates or redemption minimums on cash back rewards

Why We Like It: This welcome bonus is extremely easy to clear and delivers an effective 30% cash back rate on your first $500 in spending. The 1.5% cash back on all purchases is not nearly as good as some 2% cash back cards on the market, but it’s competitive for a no-annual-fee card. You can read Team Clark’s full review of this card here.


Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

Discover it offers unlimited cash back match as a welcome bonus.

Welcome Bonus Offer: Earn a dollar-for-dollar match on your cash back earned during the first year of card membership.

What to Know About This Card

  • Annual Fee: None
  • Rotating 5% cash back category that change every three months
  • Cash back rewards never expire and can be used for purchases or bill credits
  • Can use cash back rewards as cash with select online retailers such as Amazon
  • 14-month 0% APR period for new purchases and balance transfers

Why We Like It: The welcome bonus window for this card lasts for a full year, and can grow to a pretty large sum if you use it as an everyday spender. The rotating 5% cash back categories can be a real benefit, too. You can read Team Clark’s full review of this card here.


Final Thoughts

Money expert Clark Howard acknowledges that shrewd credit card customers can “game the system” by jumping from one welcome bonus offer to another, but he believes that most consumers are going to find themselves unable to keep up.

“If you’re the kind of person who will get hooked by a signing bonus but won’t do anything about switching credit cards later — you’ve got to make sure that moving forward the card is still a good deal for you,” Clark says.

Bottom Line: A welcome bonus can be a great way to pocket a few hundred bucks during your honeymoon period with a new card. But it’s important to remember there are many other factors that determine whether a credit card is the right long-term fit for you. Clark believes you should focus on long-term factors like your APR, annual fees and rewards programs.

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