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Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses for May 2019

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses for May 2019

*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated May 01, 2019, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

As credit card issuers continue to compete with each other to try to earn a spot in your wallet, credit card sign-up bonuses just keep getting better. A recent MagnifyMoney* study found that the average sign-up bonus for a travel rewards card more than doubled from 16,050 points in 2008 to 40,556 points in 2018. That’s an astounding increase of 24,506 points, clearly indicating issuers’ desire to attract new customers.

By meeting the requirements of a sign-up bonus, you can earn increased rewards within the first several months of account opening. And, depending on the spending prerequisites, you may not need to up your spending by much or at all to earn the bonus. Plus, cards with great sign-up bonuses often provide added value with rewards and other perks.

Here are five credit cards that have some incredible sign-up bonuses and may change at any time:

Best sign-up bonuses

Best travel rewards sign-up bonus Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best sign-up bonus with no spending requirements Discover it® Cash Back
Best cashback sign-up bonus Chase Freedom®
Best student card sign-up bonus Discover it® Student Cash Back
Best business card sign-up bonus Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

1. Best travel rewards sign-up bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • 60,000 bonus points

  • 2X points on travel and dining

  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

More Info

The offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

This offer can be an even better deal if you redeem points for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Points redeemed this way are worth 25% more, meaning one point is worth $.0125 instead of the typical $.01 when redeemed outside the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for other options like gift cards and cash. The sign-up bonus is a great way to cover the cost of upcoming travel arrangements like hotel, airfare car rentals and more — just remember to book via Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Other card perks:

  • Increased value of points redeemed for travel: When you redeem points for travel like airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises via Chase Ultimate Rewards, points are worth 25% more. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • 1:1 points transfer: You can transfer your points to select frequent travel programs on a 1:1 basis. Current programs include: Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and World of Hyatt.
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance: You may be reimbursed up to $10,000 per trip for prepaid non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels if your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations.

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

2. Best sign-up bonus with no spending requirements: Discover it® Cash Back

  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically*

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • Any amount, any time. Cash back rewards never expire*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back

More Info


The offer: For new cardmembers Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.*

If you don’t want to be rushed to meet the requirements of a sign-up bonus, the new cardmember offer of the Discover it® Cash Back can be a good alternative to typical bonuses. You control how much money Discover matches, so if you earn $100 in cash back at the end of your first year as a cardholder, Discover will match that and give you an additional $100 in cash back. There’s no limit to the amount you can earn, so spend as much or as little as you want and Discover will match it.

Other card perks:

  • Simple cash back redemption: You can conveniently redeem cash back at any time and for any amount. That’s a plus compared with most other cards that require a minimum $25 to redeem.
  • No late fee on your first late payment: Discover won’t charge you a late fee on your first late payment. This is a great reminder to set up autopay or calendar alerts.

Read our review of the Discover it® Cash Back.

3. Best cashback signup bonus: Chase Freedom®

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

  • 17.24% - 25.99% Variable

Highlights
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee

See additional details for Chase Freedom®

More Info

The offer: Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

The Chase Freedom® offers one of the best sign-up bonuses around. The spending requirement is very low at $500 considering some cards require minimum spending upwards of $3,000. And, the return of $150 is great since that works out to an effective 30% cashback. This card also has a great cashback program with quarterly rotating categories — Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Other card perks:

  • No redemption minimum: Many cards require you to redeem rewards after hitting a specific minimum redemption amount, often $25. However, the Chase Freedom® doesn’t impose any redemption requirements, so you’re free to redeem rewards whenever you want.
  • Intro 0% APR periods: This card offers a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and a 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months (after, 17.24% - 25.99% Variable APR). This provides cardholders the opportunity to get out of debt and finance new purchases without incurring interest charges.

Read our review of the Chase Freedom®.

4. Best student card sign-up bonus: Discover it® Student Cash Back

  • 0% for 6 Months*

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you activate*

  • 15.24% - 24.24% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO®
  • Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 15.24% - 24.24%.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Student Cash Back

More Info

The offer: For new cardmembers Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically

This new cardmember offer is unique because there is no minimum spending requirement to earn the bonus cash back. You have the ability to spend as little or as much as you want and Discover will match the cash back you earn. So, if you earn $25 cash back at the  end of your first year, you’d receive a total of $50 cash back after the match. The Discover it® Student Cash Back also has a great cashback program — earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. The cash back you earn can help pay for a portion of typical student expenses like textbooks, laptops, meals or gas when redeemed for statement credit, gift cards, merchandise or cash back.

Other card perks:

  • Good Grade Reward: This card offers a unique benefit for students with Good Grade Rewards. When you maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA during the school year, you’ll receive a $20 statement credit for up to five consecutive years. Not only is this a nice bonus, but a great incentive to maintain good grades.
  • No late fee on your first late payment: As a student, you’re most likely new to credit and may make some mistakes as you begin using your credit card. If you happen to make a late payment, Discover will waive the late fee the first time, which acts as a warning to pay on-time. Setting up autopay can be a good way to ensure your bill is consistently paid by the due date.

Read our review of the Discover it® Student Cash Back.

5. Best business card sign-up bonus: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points

  • Earn 3 points per $1 in select business categories

  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards

Highlights
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

See additional details for Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

More Info


The offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The points you earn from the sign-up bonus can be used in a variety of ways that suit your business’s unique spending. If you and your employees travel often, increase the value of your points by 25% by redeeming for travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means points are worth $.0125 each instead of $.01. Or, if you often purchase from Amazon.com, points can conveniently be redeemed to cover all or part of your eligible Amazon.com order — including tax and shipping. You can also redeem points for cash back or gift cards that can be used to incentivize employees.

Other card perks:

  • Increased value of points redeemed for travel: Redeeming points for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards increases their value by 25%. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel. Travel purchases include airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises.
  • 1:1 Points transfer: Benefit from the flexibility to transfer points to select frequent travel programs on a 1:1 basis. Current programs include: Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Rewards, The Ritz-Carlton Rewards and World of Hyatt.
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption insurance: If your trip is canceled or cut short by sickness, severe weather and other covered situations, you may be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip for prepaid non-refundable travel expenses, including passenger fares, tours and hotels.
  • Cellphone protection: When you pay your monthly cellphone bill with your card, you can get up to $600 per claim with cellphone protection for you and your employees. *Maximum of three claims in a 12-month period with a $100 deductible per claim.

Read our review of the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. 

*Disclosure: MagnifyMoney is a subsidiary of LendingTree, which is also the parent company of CompareCards.


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