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HomeFinanceThe Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Intro Offers (November 2021)

The Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Intro Offers (November 2021)

What is the bonus offering and is this something you can take advantage of?

What is the actual bonus? Are you getting airline miles, cash back, or bonus points? Make sure the offer is something that appeals to you.

For example, if you’re looking at a card that offers a big package of travel rewards but you’re a bit of a homebody, that card might not be the right one for you.

What fees will you need to pay?

When making your calculations, be sure to include whatever fees come along with the credit card. For example, if you earn a $150 cash bonus but have to pay a $99 annual fee then you’re really only earning $51 as a cash bonus. This seriously reduces the value of the sign-up bonus.

Look at fees like annual, foreign transactions, and late payment fees before signing up. It’s also a good idea to review the APR offered. If your interest payments are exceedingly higher than on other cards, the sign-up bonus might not be worth your while.

That said, at Money Under 30 we always recommend paying off your balance in full and on time, and if you’re responsibly following our advice then even a high APR won’t matter much because you won’t ever be paying it!

Which categories count towards your spending?

This is a common pitfall for credit cardholders, who don’t realize that they’re spending outside the rotating categories. You can earn a tremendous 100,000 bonus points as a sign-up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. You’ll also earn 2x points for your spending. However, that 2x points offer only applies to travel and restaurant purchases. If you don’t eat out or travel, then you won’t be able to maximize value for this card.

More importantly, many cards have specific areas or categories where your spending will count towards the spend requirement. If you don’t spend money in these categories, your purchases won’t contribute to the minimum spend requirement and you won’t reach your limit in order to activate the sign-up bonus.

This is possibly the biggest issue people run into when signing up for a bonus card, so pay attention to spend requirements.

Top features of a sign-up bonus

Now that you know how lucrative sign-up bonus credit cards can be, it’s time to learn how to determine which ones are worth your application.

There are hundreds of credit cards out there and they all claim to have to best offer for you. So, how do you know what to watch out for?

Here are the most important features when shopping around for the best sign-up bonus credit cards:

Sign-up bonus

Obviously, this is the most important aspect of a sign-up bonus card. Without a good sign-up offer, it might be a lucrative card, but it won’t fall into this category.

Cash rewards

This is likely the most appealing benefit for cardholders. You just can’t beat getting cash back. With this bonus, you can use your rewards in any way that you want, and you receive the cash back by using your card for expenses that you have anyway, so it’s really like free money.

Travel rewards

Often, travel credit cards will offer you a sign-up bonus in the form of travel rewards. For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a whopping 60,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

If you travel a lot this can be a lucrative offer. If you don’t travel a lot, you’re probably better off looking for another type of credit card in the first place since these cards are geared towards travel spenders.

However, if you want a free flight or an upgraded ticket, this kind of sign-up bonus/travel credit card can be really useful.

Other travel perks

As mentioned, great travel credit cards come with great travel rewards. For those who travel frequently, these types of rewards are a godsend, and a sign-up bonus credit card that bundles travel rewards into its package is truly top-notch.

Some of the best travel rewards include no foreign transaction fee, extra earn rates for travel purchases, upgrades on hotels, flights, or car rentals, auto and luggage insurance, emergency assistance, trip interruption or cancellation insurance, VIP airport lounge access, and more.


How much interest you pay on your credit card balance is a major consideration for most people. A high APR can totally cancel out any savings or bonuses you receive, even a hefty sign-up bonus.

Of course, you can negate this factor altogether by paying off your balance in full each month. This is the most responsible way to spend, but if it’s not financially feasible for you, only consider credit cards with competitive APRs.

Annual fees

Annual fees vary dramatically in this category. You can find cards charging anywhere from $0 to $450. Sometimes, the annual fee is a reflection of what you are getting from the credit card, but not always.

Read more: Should You Ever Pay a Credit Card Annual Fee?

Should you get a sign-up bonus credit card?

The best sign-up bonus credit cards are really the cream of the crop of the entire credit card industry. The right cards offer the most benefits, the biggest bonuses, and terms that are both reasonable and manageable.

So in a word, if your credit scores allows you access to this category, you should definitely consider applying for one of these cards. Just be sure to read the terms, understand what you are signing up for, and calculate the value of the offer before you jump in.

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