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Best Sign-Up Bonus Credit Cards in September 2023

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Updated September 22, 2023

Credit card sign-up bonuses offer a relatively quick way to earn a big stash of rewards right off the bat. All you have to do is meet a minimum spending requirement within a specified amount of time to qualify. These bonuses are often worth up to $1,000 or more, a few free flights, or several nights of accommodation. It all depends on the type of rewards you decide to earn and how you ultimately redeem them.

To help you start your rewards journey, we compared more than 80 of the best credit cards available to find bonus offers that truly stand out. The bonuses we include below are worth anywhere from $200 to $1,250. They feature reasonable requirements and offer some flexibility when it comes time to redeem.

Read on to find out which credit card sign-up bonuses we recommend, the other benefits and features each card has, and everything to consider before you sign up.

Limited Time Offer
card_name
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Annual fees
annual_fees
Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Welcome bonus details : bonus_miles_full
Act Fast : The end date for the limited-time offer on the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card welcome bonus is unknown

Best credit card sign-up bonus comparison chart

CardBest forBonus rewardsAnnual feesCredit score
Flexible rewards
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Flat-rate rewards card
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Small businesses
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Luxury travel
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Everyday spending
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Cash back
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Premium perks
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Groceries and gas
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Food spending
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Flights
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
Small businesses
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed

Our recommendations for the the best credit card sign-up bonus

Best for flexible rewards: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full
Pros:
  • Generous flat rewards rate on all purchases.
  • Rewards can be used for travel and non-travel options.
  • Comes with several travel benefits.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

Cons:

  • High APR for purchases.
  • Fairly steep spending requirement to earn welcome bonus.
  • annual_fees annual fee is not waived the first year.

Welcome bonus: The card_name paves the way for you to bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: This card earns rewards that fall within the flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which lets you redeem for options like cash back, gift cards, merchandise travel through Chase, and 1:1 transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners. 

Notable perks include a $50 annual hotel credit through Chase, a range of complimentary travel insurance benefits, and 25% more value for points when you redeem for airfare, hotels, rental cars, and more through the Chase travel portal.

Best flat-rate rewards card: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: Sign up for the card_name to bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: This card lets you earn 2x miles on regular spending and bills, and 5x miles on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One. Rewards are also extremely flexible since you can redeem for gift cards, merchandise, travel through Capital One Travel, or transfers to Capital One airline and hotel partners.

Several travel perks are even thrown in to sweeten the pot, including two visits to Capital One airport lounges, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® membership, and Hertz Five Star status.

Best for businesses that spend big: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: With the card_name, individuals who own a business can bonus_miles_full

Other reasons we like it: Like the card_name for consumers, the card_name comes with a simple earning rate that can help small business owners accrue travel rewards with ease. Cardholders earn a flat 2x miles on regular purchases, plus 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One and 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through the portal.

A annual_fees annual fee applies, but benefits like a $300 annual travel credit, a fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® membership, and a broad airport lounge membership program (Priority Pass Select, plus Capital One lounges) more than make up for it. This card also offers flexible rewards that can be used for gift cards, statement credits, travel through Capital One, or transfers to Capital One airline and hotel partners.

Best for luxury travel: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: The card_name will let you bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: This luxury travel credit card earns flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be used for cash back, gift cards, merchandise, travel through Chase, and transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners like British Airways, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, and World of Hyatt.

Cardholders also get 50% more value when redeeming points for travel through the Chase portal, plus luxury travel benefits like Priority Pass Select airport lounge membership, a $300 annual travel credit, a fee credit toward Global Entry, NEXUS or TSA PreCheck® membership, and more. Cardmembers can also benefit from a range of included travel insurance perks, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary auto rental coverage, lost luggage reimbursement, and baggage delay insurance.

Best for everyday spending: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: The card_name will bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: We like this card's generous sign-up bonus and the fact that rewards are flexible. You can redeem 60,000 points for $600 in travel, gift cards, eligible bill payments, and more. You can even transfer your points to airline and hotel partners associated with the Citi ThankYou Rewards program.

This card also offers 3x points per dollar in a range of everyday spending categories, including hotels, air travel, restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations. Cardholders can even enjoy a $100 discount on eligible hotel stays of $500 or more booked through ThankYou.com.

Best for cash back: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: The card_name will bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: We like the card_name because its welcome bonus is easy to earn, and because it features a better-than-average rewards rate. Cardholders earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and a flat rate of 1.5% back on all other purchases.

Rewards are flexible as well, with options like cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and travel through Chase available. This card also comes with an introductory APR offer for purchases and balance transfers, making it a solid option for debt consolidation or paying down large purchases.

Best for premium perks: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: card_name will bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: While this luxury travel credit card does require a annual_fees annual fee (Rates & Fees), cardholders get more than $1,500 in statement credit offers toward airline incidentals, Uber and Uber Eats purchases, digital entertainment, eligible hotel stays, and more. The card also comes with the broadest airport lounge access available, which includes a Priority Pass Select membership, Amex Centurion lounge entry, and access to Delta Sky Clubs when flying with Delta.

Other travel benefits include $189 toward CLEAR Plus membership, a fee credit toward Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® , and automatic Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy, to name a few. This card earns flexible Membership Rewards points as well, which can be used for non-travel options as well as travel through AmexTravel.com or point transfers to Amex airline and hotel partners.

Best for groceries and gas: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: Sign up for the card_name to bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: The card_name makes it possible to earn 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets annually (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other purchases.

The annual fee is also waived the first year (Rates & Fees), and the card comes with an introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers. Consumer benefits include return protection and purchase protection against damage or theft.

Best for food spending: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: The card_name will bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: In addition to its lucrative welcome bonus, you will earn 4x points on dining worldwide, 4x points on up to $25,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1x points), 3x points on airfare booked through airlines or AmexTravel.com, and 1x points on other purchases.

This card also earns flexible rewards points in the Amex Membership Rewards program, and cardholders get up to $120 in Uber Cash per year plus up to $120 in dining statement credits.

Best for flights: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: The card_name will bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: Beyond the card's generous welcome offer, you earn 2x miles on American Airlines purchases, gas station purchases, and restaurant purchases, plus 1x points per dollar on other spending. Cardholders also get a free checked bag for themselves and up to four travelers on the same reservation, and a $125 American Airlines flight credit after spending $20,000 or more on purchases during a cardmember year.

American AAdvantage miles can be redeemed for flights to more than 1,000 destinations around the world, seat upgrades to a premium cabin, an Admirals Club airport lounge membership, and a handful of other options.

Best for small business: card_name

card_name
Credit score
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees
Bonus rewards
bonus_miles
Full bonus details : bonus_miles_full

Welcome bonus: With the card_name, small business owners will bonus_miles_full.

Other reasons we like it: This card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points that transfer to airline and hotel partners. It also offers 25% more value for points when you redeem for travel through Chase. Other redemption options include cash back, statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and more.

The spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus is definitely steep, yet the card also doles out 3X points in a range of popular business spending categories (on up to $150,000 in spending per year). Other benefits include primary auto rental coverage when renting a car for business purchases, purchase protection against damage or theft, extended warranties, and free employee cards.

Methodology

To find the best credit card sign-up bonuses, we compared more than 80 of the top rewards credit cards on the market today. We included cash back credit cards in our comparison, as well as travel credit cards and small business credit cards. 

Factors we considered include annual fees, welcome bonus spending requirements, overall earning rates, and cardholder perks. While we gave cards with no annual fee consideration in our ranking, we compared signup bonuses and their value after taking applicable fees into account. Ultimately, we included the best credit cards in our ranking with respect to their welcome offers, spending requirements, and overall rewards potential.

Understanding sign-up bonuses: Requirements and limitations

As you compare the best credit card sign-up bonuses in our ranking, there are several important details to keep in mind.

Minimum spending requirements are not flexible. Whether a rewards credit card says you need to spend $3,000 or $6,000 within a specific number of months, it's crucial to hit that spending requirement with purchases and bill payments. Also be aware that some purchases may not count toward the requirement. For example, the welcome bonus fine print on the card_name says the following:

"Eligible purchases do not include: fees or interest charges; purchases of travelers checks; purchases or reloading of prepaid cards; purchases of gift cards; person-to-person payments; or purchases of other cash equivalents.”

The timeline starts on the date of account opening. Also be aware that the countdown on your bonus offer starts on the day you open your account—even if you haven't received your new credit card in the mail. To make sure you meet the minimum spending requirement for your welcome offer, it can help to write the day you signed up—and the final date to meet the requirement—on your calendar.

You can easily miss out on a bonus offer. If you fail to spend the required amount on your card within the timeline specified, you'll miss out on your credit card sign-up bonus altogether. Also be aware that, in this type of situation, card issuers will not grant you the bonus if you call and ask.

How to calculate the value of your sign-up bonus

The value of your sign-up bonus depends on the value of the points or miles you take time to earn. Obviously, this can vary widely, so you'll want to do some research ahead of time to know for sure.

As an example, most cash back credit cards offer bonuses that are easy to understand. If a card says you earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 within three months of account opening, the offer is clearly spelled out.

That said, rewards points earned with travel credit cards can be much more complex. For example, flexible rewards points from programs like Amex Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards that are transferred to airlines for premium travel redemptions can easily be worth 2 cents each or more. However, you may only get one cent per point (or even less) for non-travel redemptions like statement credits, merchandise or gift cards.

TIME Stamp: Sign-up bonuses help you earn outsized rewards

While rewards credit cards promise cash back, miles, or points for each dollar you spend, earning a sign-up bonus can boost your rewards haul considerably the first year. That said, you'll want to compare bonus offers to make sure you're earning the type of rewards you want, and that you can easily meet the minimum spending requirement through regular spending and bills.

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

For rates and fees of the card_name, please visit this URL.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Can I receive the sign-up bonus more than once?

Some rewards credit cards let you earn the sign-up bonus more than once, but you typically have to wait for a while before you do. For example, many Chase credit cards limit your ability to earn sign-up bonuses to once every 48 months. Meanwhile, Amex credit cards come with an unwritten "once-per-lifetime rule" for their welcome bonuses, yet the clock usually starts over after seven years.

Will the sign-up bonus affect my credit score?

Earning a credit card sign-up bonus will not impact your credit score in any way. However, signing up for a new credit card can result in a hard inquiry on your credit reports that temporarily causes your score to drop.

Are there any annual fees associated with credit cards with sign-up bonuses?

Some credit cards with the best bonus offers have an annual fee, whereas others do not. If you don't want to pay an annual fee for a credit card, you'll want to focus on cash back credit cards over travel credit cards

Can I cancel the credit card after receiving the sign-up bonus?

You can cancel a credit card after you get the sign-up bonus, but you're better off waiting until 12 months are over and the card is ready to be renewed for another year. 

Some rewards credit cards have wording in their welcome offers that can lead to them clawing back the bonus if you earn it and close your account within a few months. For example, many Amex credit cards with welcome bonuses say they can close your account and take back your rewards if you "cancel or downgrade your account within 12 months after acquiring it."

Do I need excellent credit to qualify for credit cards with sign-up bonuses?

The best credit card sign-up bonuses are geared to individuals with good to excellent credit. If your credit isn't in that range yet, you may want to take steps to improve your credit score before you apply.


The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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