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The best credit card sign up bonuses

Many credit cards offer generous sign up bonuses to new cardmembers. These bonuses frequently can be worth several hundred dollars and are easy to get if you do a normal amount of spending on credit cards. I am frequently asked to recommend cards with the best sign up bonuses. In fact, which credit card to sign up for is probably the question I am most often asked.

Each month, I put together a list of credit card sign up bonuses that I recommend most frequently. All of these cards offer a great welcome bonus that most people can use. Here are my picks for June, 2023.

This month’s best credit card sign up bonuses

Citi Premier Card – 75,000 ThankYou points

Citi Premier® Card card art
Citi Premier® Card

The Citi Premier card currently has a welcome offer for 75,000 ThankYou points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. You can redeem those points for $750 in cash back rewards on transfer them to airline and hotel partners if you find a redemption that offers more than $750 in cash value. The card has a $95 annual fee.

The Citi Premier card offers bonus cash back earnings on air travel, supermarkets, restaurants, and gas stations and it synergizes well with the other cards in Citi’s portfolio of credit cards. See our Guide to ThankYou Points for more on how to make the most of this card’s rewards.

Get the Citi Premier® Card welcome bonus

Citi Premier® Card: bonus_miles_full

Our take on the welcome bonus: Citi occasionally offers larger welcome bonuses on the Citi Premier card. If you don’t have an urgent need for this card, you might want to wait to apply.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Citi Premier® Card card art

Card highlights:
Annual fee: $95
Rewards: 10x on hotel and car rentals booked through the Citi travel portal through 6/30/2024. 3x on other hotel purchases, air travel, restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations. 1x on all other purchases.

Chase Sapphire Preferred – 90,000 in-branch offer

Card art - Chase Sapphire Preferred

Doctor of Credit reports that the 90,000 point in-branch offer is still available. If you live near a Chase bank and can get this offer, this is one of the best offers available on this card. The online 60,000 point offer is a reasonable welcome bonus, but not terribly exciting because it recently got cut by 60,000 points.

The in-branch offer gives you 80,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months from account opening, plus an additional 10,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 in total purchases in your first six months. But you won’t see this offer being promoted on most blogs, because it is only available in a Chase branch.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred has an annual fee of $95.

Get the card_name: Welcome bonus

card_name: bonus_miles_full

Our take on the welcome bonuses: This is the standard bonus offered on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. Chase occasionally increases this offer, so it might be worthwhile to wait if you don’t need this card immediately. An offer with slightly more points is often available in-branch and some people are seeing an additional targeted offer via mail.

The link above is our affiliate link. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card card art

Card highlights:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% travel through Chase; 3% dining; 3% drugstore; 1.5% all other purchases

U.S. Bank Altitude Connect – Easy $500 bonus

U.S. Bank Altitude Connect credit card
U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature Card

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect doesn’t get a lot of coverage… likely because it doesn’t pay bloggers commissions for credit card sign-ups. But I think that offers a great welcome bonus for relatively little spending.

The U.S. Bank Altitude Connect offers the most generous credit card sign up bonus I found at the $500/month spending level. You earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $2,000 in the first 120 days. U.S. Bank promises that you can redeem those points for $500 of rewards, including cash back. The card has a $0 intro annual fee in its first year, but a $95 annual fee in subsequent years.

The card makes sense to keep if you spend a lot on travel, at gas stations and at EV charging stations. In fact, if you spend more than $10,000 a year in these categories, the card’s annual fee will pay for itself, versus a no-annual-fee gas card or travel card. (I mention this when I picked this card in my review of the best gas credit cards for The Wall Street Journal.) The card offers 2 points per dollar in a handful of categories and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card: Earn 50,000 bonus points. Just spend $2,000 in the first 120 days. That’s $500 value redeemable toward cash back. $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, $95/year thereafter.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Since the 50,000 points can be redeemed directly for $500 cash back, this is an excellent offer considering that the card has a $0 introductory annual fee in the first year. We know of no previous better offers on this card.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Card image of the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature card

Card highlights:
Annual fee: $0 intro fee in the first year / $95 thereafter
Rewards: 5x on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked in bank portal. 4x on travel, gas stations, EV charging, 2x on grocery stores, grocery delivery, dining and streaming services. 1x all other eligible purchases
Perks: 4 Priority Pass lounge visits, Global Entry/PreCheck Credit, Cell phone protection.

Chase Ink – $750 for moderate spending

Chase Ink Business Cash credit card.
The Chase Ink Business Cash

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited and the Chase Ink Business Cash continue to offer an excellent 75,000 point bonus. These cards offer you a bonus, marketed as $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first three months after account opening.

There are a handful of cards that offer large welcome bonuses for new cardmembers. These cards typically come with steep annual fees that reduce the value of the cards in their first year. Not so with the Chase Ink Business Unlimited and Chase Ink Business Cash. Both of these cards carry no annual fee.

Both cards offer a similar welcome bonus. So pick the one that is best for you. The Ink Business Unlimited offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchases, with no limits on the amount you can earn. If you spend a lot of money at office supply stores or on internet, cable and phone services, pick the Ink Business Cash for its 5% cash back earnings on your first $25,000 of combined purchases. You also earn 2% cash back on $25,000 of spending at gas stations and restaurants, but there are many 2% rewards cards that offer uncapped earnings. And you can get no-annual fee cards that offer 3% or greater earnings at restaurants and at gas stations.

Can I get a small business card?

These cards are small business cards, so you might think you won’t qualify to get one. But, even if you have a very small business, you can get a small business credit card. If you are an independent contractor, you have a business. Sell things on eBay or Facebook Marketplace? Occasionally dog sit? You have a business. If you do anything outside of your salaried job to earn money, you have a business and can get an Ink card. We recently covered the question of if you can get a small business card.

Capital One Venture X – $750 toward travel plus lounge access

Capital One Venture X
The Capital One Venture X card offers a generous welcome bonus, plus airport lounge access.

If you are planning to travel a few times in the next year, you should consider the Capital One Venture X. This card has been my go-to travel credit card since it launch and it has a good welcome bonus. You can earn 75,000 bonus miles as an early spend bonus once you spend $4,000 on the card within the first three months from opening the account.

One quirk of Capital One miles is that they can only be redeemed for cash back at half a cent per mile. But you can redeem them offset travel purchases charged to the card at one cent per mile. To get the full cash value out of your Capital One miles, redeem them against travel charges. Just charge your travel to your Capital One Venture X card and redeem miles against those charges. More details are in our Guide to Capital One Miles.

The card does come with a $395 annual fee, but it provides plenty of value for that annual fee. Here are the most valuable perks that are included:

  • A $300 annual travel credit, good toward bookings with Capital One Travel. I simply book one or two flights through Capital One’s portal each year to use the credit. Easy enough.
  • 10,000 bonus miles, good toward travel, every year when you renew the card. I think of this as an extra $100 toward travel.
  • Priority Pass lounge access and access to Capital One airport lounges.

Airport lounge access

The biggest benefit to the Capital One Venture X card is its airport lounge access benefit. The card includes access to both Capital One lounges and Priority Pass lounges. Most airport lounges offers some complimentary food and beverage options. If I have access to an airport lounge, that means I’m not spending money on food at an airport. For most trips, this means I’m saving $25-$50. The Venture X allows you and two guests lounge access for free. And you can get an authorized. Two adults could bring two children each into the lounge. If you are traveling with a large family, the card might pay for itself in food alone in one trip. Before applying for the card, it’s a good idea to check if there are PriorityPass lounges where you travel.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card card art

Apply for the Capital One Venture X Card and earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

The Venture Rewards Card from Capital One also offers a generous early spend bonus, with fewer perks and a lower annual fee.

If you don’t travel often, the Venture Rewards from Capital One might be a better choice. It offers the same 75,000 bonus miles after $4,000 in purchases on a card with a $95 annual fee. The card gives you two single-person lounge visits to Capital One lounges or Plaza Premium Lounges each year. But this card doesn’t comes with a travel credit, bonus points each year or unlimited lounge visits with guest access.

Apply for Venture Rewards from Capital One. Earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

How do I pick these cards?

I write my best sign up bonus list with the average consumer in mind. Generally, I look for cards offering a cash back rewards option with a welcome bonus that is easy to get. I bias away from airline and hotel credit cards. And if I recommend a card with an annual fee, you can be sure that the value you are getting from the welcome bonus is well in excess of the annual fee.

What about other cards?

Most bloggers publish their take on the best welcome bonuses during the month. Here are a few other common cards that I chose not to include on this list and the, “why” behind them.

  • American Airlines and Delta Cards – For most people, it simply doesn’t make sense to collect miles in all of the domestic airline programs. I’ll put out an article later this month on the “why” behind this.
  • Ink Business Preferred – The Ink Business Preferred is offering a 100,000 point bonus after $15,000 in spending. The card has a $95 annual fee. For the same amount of spending, you can open both no-annual-fee Ink cards and earn a total of 150,000 points after a total of $6,000 in spending
  • The Platinum Card from American Express – I enjoy Amex Membership Rewards points. But it is really hard to get cash-back awards out of American Express Membership Rewards. If you’re considering a premium American Express card, consider that you can usually get a better offer through Amex targeted bonuses.