As we enter summer we have seen a stabilization of credit card sign up bonuses. While they are slightly below the lofty peaks seen in recent years ($200 on cash back credit cards & as much as $625 on general rewards cards), credit card rewards bonuses still represent an outstanding value for customers who currently have mediocre credit cards and can benefit from switching cards in the first place.
Best General Rewards Credit Card Bonuses
Among general reward cards, Chase and Citi are leading the way. Chase offers its Sapphire Preferred card with 40,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 is spent in the first three months. The 40,000 Chase Ultimate Reward points can be worth $400 in gift cards as well as for a cash back statement credit or $500 towards travel rewards booked through their Ultimate Rewards travel web site.
Citi continues to offer its ThankYou Preferred Rewards card with an offer of 25,000 points, worth $250 in gift cards. This offer is valid when cardholders make $2,000 in purchases within four months of opening an account. Alternatively, the same card can be applied for with an offer of 15,000 points after spending $1,000 within three months of opening an account. On the latter card, new applicants also get 5 points per dollar spent on major spending categories, a perk that can easily out earn the $250 bonus offer.
Best Airline Credit Card Reward Bonuses
In the ever-popular airline rewards card market, the United Explorer card and the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards cards are currently leading the market. The Explorer card offers 40,000 miles in the MileagePlus program and a waived first year annual fee. The Southwest Airlines card from Chase continues to offer 25,000 points, worth just over $400 in tickets at their “Wanna Get Away” fare class. Finally, Chase has recently announced that it will extend its phenomenal 100,000 point offer for British Airways card. This offer was originally set to expire in early June, and it represents the greatest amount of travel rewards currently on the market.
Best Cash Back Credit Card Bonuses
The Freedom Visa card from Chase continues to offer $100 in bonus cash after cardholders spend $500 within the first three months of opening an account. The Citi Dividend Platinum Select has much the same offer. Both cards feature no annual fee and bonus 5% cash back rewards in categories of spending that change each quarter. Likewise, both cards offer 1% cash back on most purchases and have promotional financing offers. The Citi card features 12 months of interest free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers while the Chase Freedom offers 15 months of the same.
Ultimately, the key to getting the most out of sign up bonus is to not only select a credit card with a good upfront bonus, but also one that offers better rewards than your current card and the best credit card rewards earning opportunity down the road.