The Highest Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses in July

A photo to accompany a story about the best credit card sign-up bonuses Getty Images
We want to help you make more informed decisions. Some links on this page — clearly marked — may take you to a partner website and may result in us earning a referral commission. For more information, see How We Make Money.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for some American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to earn a lot of credit card points quickly is through a card’s sign-up bonus, or welcome offer — and there are a few good ones you can take advantage of in July, including one that can net you a huge 100,000-point haul from Chase (after meeting minimum spend requirements). Those points will be very useful as travel returns

A sign-up bonus simply means that if you spend a certain amount of money in a certain amount of time on a particular credit card, you’ll earn a given amount of bonus points. That’s on top of the points you would earn anyway on that spending. 

While the amount varies from card to card, and not all credit cards offer sign-up bonuses, it’s a great strategy for earning a solid chunk of points in a short time. You’ll get the most value from those points by redeeming them for free travel, either via the card issuer’s travel booking portal or by transferring them to airlines or hotels.

Pro Tip

Before applying for a card, consider whether it has an attractive welcome offer — and whether you are able to meet the spending requirements for getting the bonus, without carrying a balance.  

While the amount varies from card to card, and not all credit cards offer sign-up bonuses, it’s a great strategy for earning a solid chunk of points in a short time. You’ll get the most value from those points by redeeming them for free travel, either via the card issuer’s travel booking portal or by transferring them to airlines or hotels. 

The Centers for Disease Control has relaxed its guidelines around travel for vaccinated people, who can now travel freely within the United States. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at some of the most lucrative sign-up bonuses on the market in July.

The Best Credit Card Offers in July

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Now is the best time to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It’s currently offering, as of July 9, an elevated sign-up bonus of 100,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in your first three months of account opening — the highest publicly available offer ever for the card. Typically, the standard bonus is 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points with the same spending requirements, although Chase had recently raised the welcome bonus to 80,000 points. This gives you an opportunity to earn an extra 40,000 points at the same conditions as the standard offer.

You can later redeem these Chase Ultimate Rewards points for travel via the Chase Travel Portal or by transferring to partners such as Hyatt, Southwest and United. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card carries a $95 annual fee.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Amex Platinum card got a major overhaul on July 1 — the annual fee increased to $695, (See rates & fees) and the card now comes with new perks like a $200 hotel credit, $300 Equinox credit and a $179 Clear membership credit. It’s also offering a pretty appealing welcome offer: 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months of account opening. The card also earns 5 points per dollar on airfare booked directly with airlines or through Amex Travel, and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

The welcome offer is certainly a larger spending threshold than the Chase Sapphire Preferred card for the same amount of points, but for a premium travel rewards card, the offer and other perks can be really valuable to frequent and luxury travelers.

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

You can earn 70,000 bonus Delta SkyMiles after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. Offer expires 11/10/2021. This offer is 30,000 miles higher than the standard 40,000-mile offer after you spend $1,000 in the first three months, plus a $50 dining statement credit. Although the elevated offer has a higher spend, there’s an opportunity to earn even more bonus points than usual. We consider Delta SkyMiles to be worth 1.2 cents apiece when redeemed, so these 70,000 miles are worth $840 in our book.

With this card, you’ll earn 2 miles per dollar on eligible Delta purchases, as well as on dining and groceries at U.S. supermarkets, plus 1 mile per dollar on everything else. Other notable perks include a free first checked bag on Delta flights and a 20% discount on in-flight purchases aboard flights operated by Delta.

The Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express card has a $99 annual fee, but it is waived for the first year. (See rates & fees).

  • Intro bonus:
    60,000 points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.
  • Intro bonus:
    70,000 Miles
  • Annual fee:
    $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99
  • Regular APR:
    15.74% to 24.74% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
  • Intro bonus:
    125,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual fee:
    $95
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% – 22.99% Variable
  • Recommended credit:
    670-850 (Good to Excellent)
  • Learn more externa link icon at our partner’s secure site.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless

If you’re a Marrriot hotels loyalist, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless credit card could be a nice addition to your wallet. Even if you’re not, it could come in handy to book hotels this year. 

The card is currently offering a unique welcome offer, too: for a limited time, earn 125,000 bonus points plus 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 50,000 points) after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. That’s a value of up to 175,000 Marriott Bonvoy points.

With the free night certificate, you could book a standard night (50,000 points per night) at the JW Marriott in New Orleans, just as an example.

The card earns 6 points per dollar at Marriott hotels and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases. You’ll also get 15 elite night credits, which can put you one step closer to earning elite status with the chain, as well as automatic Silver elite status and an annual free night certificate, separate from the welcome offer, worth 35,000 points. With this certificate, you can book a free night at any Marriott hotel charging a room rate of 35,000 points or less.

For example, the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino is a Category 5 property, meaning award rates using points range from 30,000 points for off-peak, 35,000 points for standard, and 40,000 for peak award rates. If you can find availability for off peak or standard award rates, you can use this certificate to claim a free night at the hotel.

The card carries a $95 annual fee.

Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card

If you’re more of a Hilton fan than Marriott, the co-branded Surpass credit card might be a better fit for you. It carries a $95 annual fee (See rates & fees) and comes with perks like complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status, a free weekend night reward after you spend $15,000 in a calendar year, and 10 Priority Pass lounge visits per year.

The card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 130,000 Hilton Honors points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of card membership. You can earn an additional 50,000 points after you spend $10,000 in the first six months, as well, netting you a potential 180,000 Hilton Honors points from the welcome offer alone. You’ll also earn 12 points per dollar on eligible purchases at Hilton stays, 6 points per dollar at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, as well as 3 points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. 130,000 Hilton Honors points will get you just about three nights at the Hilton Checkers Los Angeles, for example, where rates start at 44,000 Hilton Honors points per night. Or, you could redeem 95,000 points for one swanky night at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills.

IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

With this co-branded card from hotel chain IHG, you’ll earn 150,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. You can also earn up to 25 points per dollar on IHG purchases: 10x at IHG hotels as a cardmember, another 10x for being an IHG Rewards Club member, and another 5x from holding Platinum elite status, which is a benefit of the card.

Those 150,000 IHG points can stretch pretty far, too. For example, rates at the Holiday Inn Times Square in New York City start at 24,000 points per night — that means you could book six nights at the hotel and still have a few thousand points left over.

You’ll also get a free award night every cardmember anniversary. The card carries a $0 introductory annual fee, and then $89 thereafter.

United QuestSM Card

This co-branded card from United is also offering a solid welcome offer: 80,000 United MilagePlus miles after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. You can also earn an additional 20,000 miles after you spend $10,000 in the first six months, netting you a possible 100,000 United miles. You can later redeem these miles on United Airlines flights or with its partners, such as Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines.

With 80,000 United MileagePlus miles, you can book a round-trip economy flight between New York and either San Francisco or Los Angeles (plus taxes and fees) or a one-way business class flight between the coasts.

In addition, you’ll get a $125 annual United purchase credit each account anniversary, as well as two 5,000-mile anniversary award flight credits. The card earns 3 miles per dollar on United Airlines purchases, plus 2 miles per dollar on all other travel, as well as dining and streaming, and 1 mile per dollar on everything else. It carries a $250 annual fee, which can be easily offset by the value of a flight on United. 

How Sign-Up Bonuses Work

As mentioned, a sign-up bonus or welcome offer is an opportunity to earn a lot of points in a given timeframe. If you spend a certain amount of money in a set amount of time on that credit card, you’ll earn the bonus.

This is also in addition to the points you might earn from spending on the card, including in categories that earn bonus points. For example, if your card earns bonus points on dining, you’ll earn bonus points on all of your dining purchases in addition to the points you’ll earn from the bonus or welcome offer.

What’s the Catch?

When applying for a new credit card, considering what (if any) the sign-up bonus is can be a solid selling point. It’s important to consider, though, if that bonus aligns with your spending habits. If it’s a high bonus and you don’t think you can meet the minimum spending threshold, it’s worth considering if you will still get value out of the card from the other perks and benefits.

It’s also important to note that you should not spend more than you can afford just to earn the sign-up bonus. If you are unable to pay your credit card bills on time and in full every month, it can negate the value of the points you’ll earn due to the high APR you will have to pay on the balance. If you can’t meet the minimum spending threshold to earn the sign-up bonus, there is no penalty or downside; you just would not earn the bonus points. 

Signing Up for Multiple Offers

You can certainly apply for more than one travel rewards credit card. In fact, diversifying your points portfolio — as in, earn points from different credit card issuers so you have a range of points currencies to later redeem for travel — could be a worthwhile strategy.

That said, the same caveat applies: If you cannot afford to spend the minimum amount required to earn the sign-up bonus, it’s not worth it. And with this in mind, you might want to consider staggering applications p for different credit cards to earn high sign-up bonuses.

If earning multiple sign-up bonuses is part of your financial and travel strategy, we recommend signing up for one card at a time, earning the sign-up bonus or welcome offer and then signing up for the next. That way, you won’t be trying to earn multiple bonuses at once, which can put a strain on your finances. 

Keep also in mind that opening many credit card accounts in a short time will have a negative effect on your credit score, so don’t go overboard just because you can.  

Bottom Line

A sign-up bonus or welcome offer can be a lucrative way to earn a good stash of points or miles for future travel, when it’s safe to do so again. They can vary from card to card, so it’s an important perk to factor into your considerations when deciding whether to apply for a card. That said, you shouldn’t spend more than you can afford just to hit the minimum spending threshold to earn the bonus. 

And always do your research before applying for a card. There are plenty of travel rewards cards on the market that offer various types of sign-up bonuses, so devote the time to finding one that fits your budget and your travel goals.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the The Platinum Card® from American Express click here.

On this page