Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses Right Now

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Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses Right Now
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Rewards credit cards don’t just offer you valuable points, miles and cash back when you make new purchases — these cards can also give you welcome bonuses that can be worth hundreds of dollars in points, miles or cash back.

To receive these one-time bonuses, you must open a new account and meet a minimum spending requirement. Sometimes, there are multiple spending requirements to receive the complete amount of points or miles.

Card issuers offer these attractive welcome bonuses as an incentive to get you to try their products, with the hope that you’ll decide to be a long-term customer.

RELATED: Clark Howard’s credit card philosophy

Top Credit Card Welcome Bonuses: Team Clark’s Picks

I’ve looked at all of the cards offered by the major card issuers and narrowed them down to the best welcome bonus offers available now:

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  1. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
  2. Chase Sapphire Preferred
  3. Delta Skymiles Platinum Card
  4. Citi Premier Card
  5. United Explorer Card
  6.  AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

Remember, rewards credit cards are for people who avoid interest charges by always paying their statement balance in full.

If you ever need to carry a balance, then you shouldn’t worry about earning rewards and should instead focus on finding a low-interest credit card. This aligns with Clark’s credit card philosophy.

You should also avoid using a credit card to make unnecessary purchases or incur debt, especially in pursuit of a bonus.

Some of the credit cards with the best welcome offers also have annual fees, which may be waived for the first year. I recommend giving these cards a fair chance to earn your business.

When the annual fee comes due, decide whether the card should be a long-term part of your wallet.

If you decide not to keep it, card issuers will always waive the annual fee if you close your account within 30 days of it being billed, and they may even offer to waive it if you agree to keep your account open.

Read on to compare our picks for best credit card welcome bonuses and let us know your favorite in the comments below…

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

A great card for those who spend enough on dining and entertainment to justify the annual fee.
Welcome bonus $300 after spending $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening
Rewards
  • 4% cash back or dining and entertainment
  • 2% at grocery stores
  • 1% elsewhere
Annual fee $95, waived the first year
Advantages
  • Huge welcome bonus
  • High rates of cash back on dining and at grocery stores
Drawbacks
  • High annual fee
  • 1% cash back outside of bonus categories

Learn More: Capital One Savor Cash Rewards


Chase Sapphire Preferred

A popular travel rewards card that offers you valuable rewards that can be transferred to airline miles and hotel points. 
Welcome bonus 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases within three months of account opening; points are worth $750 in travel reservations
Rewards
  • 2x points for all travel and dining purchases, 1x elsewhere
  • Points can be redeemed for 1.25 cents each for travel booked through Chase, or transferred to airline and hotel partners
Annual fee $95
Advantages Chase’s Ultimate Rewards points offers excellent value when used for travel and dining; great flexibility to realize plenty of value from airline and hotel partners
Drawbacks $95 annual fee

Learn More: Chase Sapphire Preferred


Delta Skymiles Platinum

Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card

Delta flyers can earn plenty of bonus miles, and receive a valuable companion certificate each year.  
Welcome bonus Up to 100,000 bonus miles. Earn 80,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening and another 20,000 upon your card’s one-year renewal rate.
Rewards
  • 3x miles on all Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels
  • 2x miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets
  • 1x points on all other purchases
Annual fee $250
Advantages
  • Receive a Companion Certificate every year on your account anniversary
  • Get a $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Enjoy priority boarding and a free checked bag
Drawbacks
  • $250 annual fee is expensive, and only worth it if you use the Companion Certificate
  • Delta SkyMiles aren’t as valuable as other airline miles

Learn More: Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card


Citi ThankYou(R) Premier Card - One of Citi's Top Credit Cards to earn ThankYou Points on Travel

Citi Premier Card

A versatile travel rewards card with points that can be redeemed for airfare or transferred to airline miles. 
Welcome bonus 60,000 ThankYou Points after spending $4,000 within three months of account opening; points are worth $750 in airfare on any airline when booked through the ThankYou Travel Center
Rewards
  • Earn 3x on travel including gas
  • Earn 2x on dining out and entertainment purchases
  • 1x elsewhere
  • Points can be redeemed for travel reservations or transferred to miles with airline partners
Annual fee $95
Advantages
  • Valuable welcome bonus
  • Strong rewards for spending on travel, gas, dining and entertainment
  • Points can be transferred to airline miles.
Drawbacks Annual fee

Learn More: Citi Premier Card


United Explorer Card

United Explorer Card

A card that not only gives you miles and benefits, but also makes it easier to use your rewards. 
Welcome bonus Earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening
Rewards
  • Earn 2x miles at restaurants, hotels and on United charges
  • 1x elsewhere
Annual fee $95, waived the first year
Advantages
  • Very valuable welcome bonus
  • Strong benefits that make it easier to redeem your miles
  • Cardholders receive expanded access to mileage awards at the lowest prices
Drawbacks Annual fee after first year

Learn More: United Explorer Card


AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

This is a great sign-up bonus, which you earn after your first purchase and payment of the annual fee. 
Welcome bonus Earn 60,000 miles after making your first purchase in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee
Rewards
  • Earn 2x miles on American Airlines purchases
  • 1x elsewhere
Annual fee $99
Advantages Free checked bag and preferred boarding
Drawbacks
  • $99 annual fee
  • Double miles only on airline purchases

Learn More: AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

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