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Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses for October 2020

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses for October 2020

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It 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 Oct 01, 2020. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Credit card issuers continue to compete with each other to secure a spot in your wallet by offering generous sign-up bonuses. Sign-up bonuses give cardholders the opportunity to earn a large amount of rewards in a short period of time, which can later be redeemed for cash back, travel, merchandise and more.

We’ll break down eight credit cards that offer some of the most valuable sign-up bonuses currently available on our site.

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

What we like. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers one of the most lucrative sign-up bonuses available for a travel rewards card. Cardholders Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Each point is valued at 1 cent — making the sign-up bonus worth $800. But when you redeem those points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, they’re worth 1.25 cents each — boosting the value of the sign-up bonus to $1,000.

In addition to redeeming rewards for travel, cash, gift cards and merchandise, you can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to 10 airline partners and three hotel partners at a rate of 1:1. The travel partners are as follows: Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, Emirates Skywards, Flying Blue Air France KLM, Iberia Plus, JetBlue TrueBlue, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, United MileagePlus, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, IHG Rewards Club, Marriott Bonvoy and World of Hyatt.

What to look out for. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with an annual fee of $95. However, the value of the sign-up bonus more than makes up for the annual fee in the first year.

Best airline rewards sign-up bonus: Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

What we like. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card is ideal if you frequently fly to destinations serviced by Southwest Airlines. Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. The generous sign-up bonus can get you that much closer to the 125,000 points required to earn a Southwest Airlines companion pass.

Cardholders also earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. You can also earn 3,000 bonus points each year after your card member anniversary.

What to look out for. The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card does not offer a higher rewards rate in the same popular spending categories as many other travel rewards cards, such as dining, gas and hotel stays. Instead, cardholders earn 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest® purchases and Rapid Rewards® hotel and car rental partner purchases. 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Best sign-up bonus for hotel rewards: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card

What we like. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card has a generous sign-up bonus: For the first time, earn 5 Free Nights after spending $5,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card! Plus, the card offers the following rewards rate: Earn 6X points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™ and 2X points on all other purchases.

Other hotel benefits include 15 elite night credits per calendar year, automatic Silver Elite status each account anniversary year, one free night award each anniversary year, free premium Wi-Fi and more.

What to look out for. The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card’s premium benefits come at a cost. For example, to earn the sign-up bonus, you must spend $3,000 in the first three months. Also, you must spend $35,000 each account year to earn Gold Elite status. The card also comes with an annual fee of $95.

Best cash back sign-up bonus: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

What we like. The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card currently has the highest cashback sign-up bonus available among cash back rewards cards. Cardholders earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Additionally, the card offers 4% Cash Back on dining; 4% Cash Back on entertainment; 2% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through Jan 2022. Also earn 4% cash back on select streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, through Dec. 31, 2020.

What to look out for. If you spend a large amount on dining, entertainment and groceries each month, you’ll come out on top with the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card — thanks to the card’s generous cashback rate on those purchases.

However, if the majority of your spending goes towards gas, travel, transit or other purchases, you may be better off with a card that offers an elevated rewards rate in those categories.

Best cash back sign-up bonus with no spending requirement: Discover it® Cash Back

  • 0% for 14 months on purchases and Balance Transfers, then 11.99% - 22.99% Variable.

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. *

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

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in 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.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Cash Back

More Info

What we like. The Discover it® Cash Back card offers a unique sign-up bonus for new card members only: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

By contrast, most rewards credit cards require you to charge a certain amount on your new card within a specified time frame ⁠— typically $3,000 in the first three months of card membership.

The $0-annual-fee Discover it® Cash Back card offers the following rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. If you max out the spending cap by making $1,500 in purchases in the 5% bonus category each quarter, you’ll earn $300 cash back in one year. Once you factor in the cash back match sign-up bonus, that amount will jump to $600 in the first year of card membership.

See Discover’s cashback calendar for 2020:

Jan.-March April-June July-Sept. Oct.-Dec.
Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS Gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs Restaurants and PayPal Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com

What to look out for. Although you can earn unlimited cash back with the Discover it® Cash Back card, you can only earn the 5% rate on the first $1,500 spent in the bonus categories each quarter you activate. All other purchases will earn 1% back.

Read our Discover it® Cash Back review.

Best cash back bonus with low spend requirement: Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom® card offers a generous cashback bonus with a very low spend requirement. Cardholders earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Similar to the Discover it® Cash Back card, the Chase Freedom® also has a 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.

If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, you can squeeze even more value from the Chase Freedom® card’s sign-up bonus when you transfer your rewards to those cards and redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (25% more value with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and 50% more value with the Chase Sapphire Reserve®).

View Chase’s cashback calendar for 2020 (note, Chase only reveals its bonus categories on a quarter-by-quarter basis).

What to look out for. Like the Discover it® Cash Back card, the Chase Freedom® card limits the amount of bonus cash back you can earn each quarter. You can only earn the 5% cashback rate the first $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter you activate; all other purchases will earn 1% back. Still, if you max out the $1,500 quarterly spend, you can earn $75 cash back per quarter.

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

  • 0% intro for 6 Months*

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

  • 12.99% - 21.99% Variable*

Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when 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.
  • 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.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99% applies.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Student Cash Back

More Info

What we like. It can be rare to find a student credit card that offers both a generous sign-up bonus and rewards rate, but the Discover it® Student Cash Back card does just that. The card lets you earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically

Plus, for new card members only, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match. . This gives you the ability to earn as little or as much cash back as you want. For example, if you spend $800 at Amazon.com and $200 at Target.com and Walmart.com between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, you’ll earn $50 cash back for that quarter. Once you factor in the cashback match bonus, that amount jumps to $100 cash back for those purchases at the end of your first year.

What to look out for. Keep in mind that you are required to activate the bonus categories each quarter in order to earn the 5% cash back rate ⁠— which could be an issue for students who may not remember to activate. Otherwise, cardholders will earn the 1% cashback rate on every purchase (including purchases made in bonus spend categories).

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

The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card lets cardholders earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.

The points you earn from the sign-up bonus can be used in a variety of ways to suit your business’s unique spending. For example, if you and your employees travel often, you can increase the value of your points by 25% by redeeming them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. That means points are worth 1.25 cents each instead of 1 cent each. Or, if you often make purchases 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 to help incentivize employees.

What to look out for. With the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, you are limited to earning the higher rewards rate on the first $150,000 in combined travel, shipping, Internet, cable and phone services and advertising purchases each year. You will only earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

The bottom line

Sign-up bonuses offer a great opportunity to earn a large influx of points, miles or cash back in a short period of time. When choosing a card ⁠— in addition to the size of the sign-up bonus ⁠— it’s important to look at the value of the bonus, as well as the amount you have to spend to obtain the bonus.

Also, keep in mind that issuers can change a card’s sign-up bonus at any time. So if you come across a bonus that you simply can’t resist, you’ll want to apply as soon as possible, as the bonus may not be available the next day.

The information related to Chase Freedom® and Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card has been independently collected by CompareCards and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.


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