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Credit Cards

Best Cashback Sign-Up Bonus Offers of July 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Searching for the best cashback sign-up bonus deals? Look no further. MagnifyMoney has compiled the best cashback card deals right here.

Take, for example, someone who spends approximately $1,800 per month during a two-year period. That person would earn on average nearly $750 in cashback rewards over the two years after taking into account any annual fees the cards assess.

After looking at the available cashback cards, we found five we felt offered the best sign-up bonuses. All five cards offer a cashback bonus without having to spend large amounts of money to get it. Plus, they all offer ongoing cashback options and benefits once the cashback intro bonus is gone — all with no annual fees.

Cards with the best sign-up bonuses

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The sign-up bonus for the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card lets you earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. It has solid rewards, where cardmembers can earn 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 May 2020.

Additionally, cardholders earn 4% Cash Back on select streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, through Sept. 30. 2020.

The card comes with broad cash-back earning categories. Dining includes restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains and bakeries. Entertainment covers tickets for movies, plays, concerts, sporting events, tourist attractions, theme parks, aquariums, zoos, dance clubs, pool halls and bowling alleys. It also covers purchases at record and video rental stores. However, the entertainment category does not include digital streaming and subscription services. Cash back won’t expire as long as the card is active and there are no limits on how much cash back you can earn.

Additional card benefits include travel assistance services, a concierge, extended warranty and price protection. As for foreign transaction fees? There are none.

This card is best for those who want to earn more cash back on dining and groceries. Outside of that, there are other cashback cards that offer better rewards in top spending categories. Just know, there is an annual fee after the first year — $0 intro for first year; $95 after that.

The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card starts with a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. Once you spend $500 in three months to get the cashback bonus, it’s applied to your rewards balance within two billing cycles. Cardmembers get a flat rate of 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day, and you don’t have to register every quarter to get it. You’re also not limited to select categories to get the cash back. And foreign transaction fees? There are none. Let’s say you spend $2,000 a month on the card. At unlimited 1.5% cash back, you’ll get $360 at the end of the year. Your rewards don’t expire during the life of the account, and you can redeem cash back for any amount.

The benefits with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card are pretty good considering it’s a no-fee credit card. There are the usual benefits that come with Visa Signature®, including access to once-in-a-lifetime experiences and food events, free 24-hour concierge service and special offers from retailers. There are also popular benefits like purchase security, roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance.

Other cards may offer more bonus points or miles — for a higher spend — than the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. They may also offer more in cashback rewards, especially in targeted categories like travel and dining, than what’s offered with this card.

Uber Visa Card

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The information related to Uber Visa Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Uber Visa Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.24% - 27.99% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% back in Uber Cash on Uber, Uber Eats, and JUMP, 3% back in Uber Cash on dining, hotels, and airfare and 1% back in Uber Cash on all other purchases
New Uber Visa Card members can earn $100 in uber cash after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. The cashback bonus is applied to your card as soon as you make the required purchases within the first 90 days after you open your account. As for foreign transaction fees? There are none for this card.If you spend around $800 a month on dining, you’ll earn $384 a year in cash back. The cash back in the travel category includes airfare, hotels and home share services like Airbnb. Spend $1,500 a month with the Uber Visa Card on these categories and get $540 back after a year.

Additionally, music lovers who spend at least $5,000 a year on it can get up to a $50 credit for online digital subscription services. Plus, you get up to $600 for mobile phone damage or theft when you pay your mobile phone bill with your card. The card also gives you access to invitations to exclusive events and offers in select U.S. cities.

You can redeem your Uber Visa Card points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back, all via the Uber app. As long as the account is active and in good standing, your points never expire. Redemptions for Uber Cash start at 500 points for $5. All other redemptions start at 2,500 points for $25.

There are other cards that offer higher cash back for popular categories like airfares, hotels and dining. Your cash back redemption is capped at $500 a day. And the card doesn’t have an intro balance transfer rate.

TruWest Visa® Signature Card

TruWest Visa® Signature Card

Regular Purchase APR
7.90%-8.90% Variable
Annual fee
$0
With the TruWest Visa® Signature Card, you earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first 90 days after being approved. It’s not the most lucrative bonus out there, but we like it for a different reason: This is by far the lowest spend requirement among the three cards in this review. The best feature of the TruWest Visa® Signature Card is that it starts with a generous 0% introductory APR for 18 months on all purchases and balance transfers. After 18 months, there’s a very reasonable 7.90%-8.90% Variable APR.

Earn up to 1.5% cash back with the TruRewards program, plus get up to 1 point for every $1 spent.

The fine print: You must be a member of TruWest Credit Union, with a minimum deposit of $5 to qualify, before you can apply for the TruWest Visa® Signature Card. To become a member, you must either: live, work or own a business in Maricopa, Pinal, Pima or Yavapai counties in Arizona, or Travis or Williamson counties in Texas; attend school in Travis or Williamson, Texas; or be related to a current member or be the surviving spouse of a deceased member.

How to use points

You can earn 5,000 bonus points when you add a cardholder to your account, which gives you more ways to boost your point totals. You also earn up to 10 extra points per $1 spent when you use them to make qualifying purchases on the TruRewards website.

You can use your points and cash back in the Get Extra Points program, where you can apply your cash back to your credit card account, buy gift cards from TruWest or retailers, book a flight, hotel or cruise, buy more than 300 different items ranging from electronics to jewelry and donate points to your favorite charities. You can choose the split-pay option, where you can redeem points and pay for items using your TruWest Visa® Signature Card. Points that aren’t used within 48 months of the date they were issued will expire annually on Dec. 31.

Like the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, the TruWest Visa® Signature Card gives you access to many of the benefits of the Visa Signature program.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card gives new cardmembers a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening, one of the highest in this category. Once you meet the spending requirement, the bonus will be applied to your rewards balance after eight to 10 weeks. This card offers 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, 1% on all other purchases. The choice category is automatically set to gas; however, you can select a new category one tie each calendar month in the Bank of America mobile banking app or via online banking. Also, you aren’t required to select a new category each month – the current category will remain in effect until you decide to update it.

While the ability to choose which categories you earn bonus rewards in is ideal, keep in mind that the 3% and 2% bonuses can only be earned on combined spending of $2,500 per quarter. After that, the rewards drop to 1% cash back per dollar spent. That said, there are competing cards that offer more rewards per dollar spent in popular categories.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The information related to Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Regular Purchase APR
14.99% to 23.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR for 15 months
Intro BT APR
N/A
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Credit required
good-credit

$150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. For cardholders who want simplicity, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a great option, since you won’t have the hassle of opting into bonus categories that rotate each quarter. Plus, if you transfer your Chase Freedom Unlimited® rewards to a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can get even more value from your card. After transferring your rewards to either card, you’ll get 25% or 50% more value on those rewards (depending on which card you use) when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
If you use this card outside of the country, be prepared to pay a foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars. Also, despite the convenience that the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers, there are cards that offer higher rewards rates in popular categories, such as travel or dining. The only benefits that come with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® are purchase protection, zero liability protection, fraud protection and extended warranty.

Alternatives to these cards

If these cashback bonus offers aren’t quite showing you the money, you may want to consider no annual fee cards that offer double cashback benefits as an alternative.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Regular Purchase APR
13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Credit required
good-credit

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer allows you to earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. There are no caps on the total amount of cash back you can earn. So if you charge $1,000 a month on the card, you’ll earn $120 cash back in a year. However, once you factor in the additional 1% cash back you earn when you pay your bill, that amount doubles to $240.

Once your cash rewards balance hits $25 or more, you can redeem your cash rewards for a check, a statement credit to your account or a credit to a linked Citi savings or checking account or to a checking account where you have paid a Citi credit card bill at least twice.

If your account is closed, you won’t be able to earn or redeem your cash rewards, and you forfeit any accumulated cash rewards. Your cash rewards balance will expire if you have not earned any cash back from purchases or payments for 12 months. Also, if you use this card when traveling outside of the U.S., you’ll be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Discover it® Cash Back

The great thing with the Discover it® Cash Back is that it matches all the cash back new card members earn at the end of their first year. So if you earned $1,200 in cash back in your first year, Discover will match that for a total of $2,400 after your first 12 consecutive billing periods. The cash back is then applied to your account in the following one or two billing periods. You can earn 5% cash back on categories that rotate quarterly on up to $1,500 in purchases. You must activate the bonus categories each quarter to earn the cashback reward. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. Although you can only earn the 5% rate on the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter in the bonus categories, there is no limit on the overall amount of cash back you can earn.

The Discover it® Cash Back gives you free access to your FICO® Score on monthly statements, online and on the mobile app, and allows you to use the Freeze it® on/off switch feature that stops purchases, cash advances and balance transfers if you misplace your card.

After the first year, the Discover it® Cash Back’s cashback match rewards goes away. It also does not offer the more robust travel and purchase benefits of some other cards.

The bottom line

The introductory cashback bonuses for these credit cards can seem appealing when you first sign up. But you need to ask which benefits remain once you spend that initial bonus. And you need to balance whether the card is just as appealing once the more attractive intro purchase and balance transfer rates expire.

Since you don’t have to worry about annual fees, focus on a card with benefits that go beyond the initial intro cashback bonus. You want to get unlimited rewards with at least 1% cash back at a bare minimum.

It’s even better if you get a card that goes above the usual 1% on items in selected categories. And you want a card that offers secondary benefits like travel discounts, purchase and travel insurance and car rental collision coverage.

Keep your balances low and pay your card on time because you may end up paying your credit card company for the privilege of getting cashback rewards.

The information related to Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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Credit Cards

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus For July 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Lured into applying for a new rewards credit card with a generous sign-up bonus? Make sure you’re making the right choice.

Typical sign-up bonuses require you to spend a given amount (usually ranging from $500 – $5,000) within the first few months of account opening (on average the first three months) before you can reap your reward. The type of bonus you earn can differ by credit card and may come in the form of points, miles or cash back.

In this post, we list the best sign-up bonuses you can earn, organized by credit cards for personal or business use and by category (travel, airline, cash back and more).

Personal

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

 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide

The bonus offer: 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®

What the points are really worth: 1 point is worth 1 cent, and when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards, 1 point is worth 1.25 cents.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 25% more in redemption value: When you redeem points for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, your points get 25% more value. For example, 60,000 points are typically worth $600. However, when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, those same points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer: Points can be transferred at a 1:1 rate to participating frequent travel programs currently including: Aer Lingus AerClub, British Airways Executive Club, 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.

Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a good fit for people who frequently travel and would like 25% more value when they redeem their points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Best airline credit card sign-up bonus: Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Regular Purchase APR
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Annual fee
$99, waived for first 12 months
Rewards Rate
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and on eligible American Airlines purchases

The bonus offer: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

What the points are really worth: The value of AAdvantage® miles varies by redemption method, and there is no set monetary value.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • Preferred boarding: You can board the plane faster when flying with American Airlines*.
  • First checked bag free: On domestic American Airlines flights, your first checked bag is free for you and up to four companions.
  • 25% inflight savings: Receive 25% in savings on eligible inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*.

Bottom Line: The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® is a great choice for American Airlines flyers who want to enjoy extra benefits on their flights such as preferred boarding and inflight savings.

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

The sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • Good rewards: Earn 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 May 2020. Additionally, cardholders earn 4% Cash Back on select streaming services, including Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, through Sept. 30. 2020.
  • Broad category definitions. Dining includes restaurants, cafes, bars, lounges, fast-food chains and bakeries. Entertainment covers tickets for movies, plays, concerts, sporting events, tourist attractions, theme parks, aquariums, zoos, dance clubs, pool halls and bowling alleys. It also covers purchases at record and video rental stores.
  • No rotating cashback bonuses: No quarterly sign-ups are required to earn cash rewards. Cash back won’t expire as long as the card remains active and there are no limits on how much cash back you can earn.
  • Fair benefits. The card comes with travel assistance services, a concierge, extended warranty, and price protection. As for foreign transaction fees — there are none.

Bottom Line: This card is best for those who want to earn more cash back on dining, groceries and entertainment purchases. Plus, you won’t be responsible for paying an annual fee the first year (the annual fee is $0 intro for first year; $95 after that). Just keep in mind that the entertainment category does not include digital streaming or membership services.

Outside of that, there are other cashback cards that offer better rewards in top spending categories, such as gas, home improvement stores and travel.

Best luxury card sign-up bonus: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

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The information related to Chase Sapphire Reserve® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Regular Purchase APR
16.99%-23.99% Variable
Annual fee
$550
Rewards Rate
3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

The bonus offer: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

What the points are really worth: 1 point is worth 1 cent, and when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards, 1 point is worth 1.5 cents.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 50% more in redemption: Points redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards earn 50% more in redemption value. For example, 50,000 points are typically worth $500. However, when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they are worth $750.
  • $300 annual travel credit: Automatically receive up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each anniversary year.
  • 1:1 point transfer: Easily transfer points at a 1:1 rate to participating frequent travel programs currently including: 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.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit: Receive a statement credit of up to $100 for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application every four years.
  • Airport lounge access: You can access over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide with a complimentary, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select.

Bottom Line: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers a fantastic sign-up bonus that can benefit from 50% more value in rewards value when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Business

Best cash back sign-up bonus for businesses: Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

The information related to Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
14.74% - 20.74% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.

The bonus offer: Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 0% Intro period: This card offers an introductory rate of 0% for 12 Months on purchases allowing your business time to pay off any large purchases made during this period. After the intro period ends, a 14.74% - 20.74% Variable APR applies.
  • Higher rewards rate for select business purchases: Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year. Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn.
  • Free employee cards: You can add employee credit cards at no additional charge.

Bottom Line: The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is great for business owners who want to earn a generous rewards rate in the spending categories of their choosing.

Best travel points sign-up bonus for businesses: Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card

The information related to Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Ink Business PreferredSM Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.49% - 22.49% Variable
Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
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 bonus offer: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening

What the points are really worth: 1 point is worth 1 cent, and when you redeem for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards, 1 point is worth 1.25 cents.

Other reasons to like this card:

  • 25% more in redemption: When you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they are worth 25% more. For example, 80,000 points are normally worth $800. However, when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards for travel, they are worth $1,000.
  • 1:1 point transfer: If you’re a part of participating frequent travel programs, you can transfer points at a 1:1 rate. Partners currently include: 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.
  • Higher rewards rate for select business purchases: 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. This is a great way for you to earn bonus points on purchases your business makes the most.
  • Free employee cards: You can add employee credit cards at no additional charge.

Bottom Line: The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a great option for business owners who travel frequently and who want to maximize their rewards earning potential. Along with receiving 25% more value when you redeem points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can also choose which categories you want to earn bonus points in.

Learn More

How to maximize your sign-up bonus

Below we list some tips to help you choose the best sign-up bonus for you, including how to make sure you actually earn the bonus. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Understand how the minimum spend requirement and time period works. Nearly all sign-up bonuses require a minimum spend for you to earn the bonus. Take, for example, a card may require you to spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening to earn 5,000 bonus points. If you open your account on January 1, you’ll have until March 30 to spend $1,000. Each sign-up bonus differs, so make sure to check the terms and conditions.
  • What qualifies as spending on purchases? Sign-up bonuses have clear terms that require you to spend a specific amount on certain purchases in order to receive the bonus. That means that certain transactions don’t count toward the spending requirement. Transactions that aren’t eligible often include: balance transfers, cash advances, travelers checks, foreign currency, money orders, wire transfers, interest and fees of any kind.
  • Make a large purchase upfront to secure the bonus. If you plan on making a large purchase, such as a laptop or television, try to make it as early as possible in order to meet the required spend threshold for the bonus. But only do this if it’s feasible to pay it off soon after. If you make a large purchase upfront and are unable to pay it off before your statement is due, you will be stuck paying interest — unless your card has a 0% intro APR period. Still, you don’t want to fall into debt just to get the sign-up bonus.
  • Check other terms and conditions. A good rule of thumb is to look at the terms and conditions before you apply for any card. This allows you to see if and when the points, miles or cash back expire, as well as how they can be redeemed. You can also find out which purchases qualify towards earning the bonus.
  • Don’t be too greedy. To thwart people from nabbing sign-up bonuses and closing cards repeatedly, issuers may have rules that prevent customers from signing up for several cards from the same issuer over the course of a specific time period.
  • Take note: offers are time sensitive. Sign-up bonuses can change at any time, meaning an offer you click on may not be there later if you refresh or close the window.

How we picked the best sign-up bonus offers

We formulated this list by looking at cards from all major issuers as well as some credit unions. From there, we divided cards into two categories — travel rewards and cash back rewards. When comparing cards in the travel category, we considered the rewards value, spending requirements and rewards bonuses. For cash back cards, we simply looked at the amount of the bonus and spending requirements. If there were cards with similar sign-up bonuses, we considered other features, such as introductory APR periods, APRs and annual fees.

Let’s take, for example, where two rewards cards that require you to spend $3,000 in the first three months of card membership to earn the bonus:

  • Card A offers 50,000 bonus points
  • Card B offers 60,000 bonus points

Now, someone may only look at the sign-up bonus for Card B and think, “Wow, I can earn 10,000 more points compared to Card A. I want Card B.”

But a closer look at the terms and conditions reveal that the point values differ for each card:

  • Card A’s points are worth 1.25 cents each when redeemed through the issuer’s portal
  • Card B’s points are worth 1 cent each

Here’s the monetary value of the sign-up bonus for each card:

  • Card A: $625
  • Card B: $600

So the sign-up bonus for Card A is better when considering rewards value and redemption methods. Therefore, it’s always important to look at various aspects of a card, and not solely the sign-up bonus.

Now let’s look at a cash back example:

  • Card A requires you to spend $1,000 in the first three months of card opening to earn $150 cash back
  • Card B requires you to spend $500 in the first three months of card opening to earn $150 cash back
  • Card C matches your cash back at the end of 12 months, and doesn’t require a minimum spending amount

It’s pretty clear that Card A is the worst value. Card B is better since you have to spend half the amount to earn the same sign-up bonus as Card A. However, if you spend over $15,000 in the first 12 months of card opening, Card C is the best option with unlimited cash back matching and no required spend.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Best of

The Best Airline Credit Cards — July 2020

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners. This site may be compensated through a credit card partnership.

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best airline credit cards
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For those who travel regularly, the chance to earn more loyalty miles with an airline rewards credit card can be tempting. Airline cards offering a generous sign-up bonus and more miles per dollar spent on certain purchases can add miles to your account, resulting in free flights or seat upgrades. And if you choose the right card, you can also get sweet travel perks, such as priority boarding and free checked luggage.

Most airline credit cards reward frequent flyers for their loyalty, along with enticing others who might not yet favor any particular airline. Below are our picks for the best credit cards for the top six U.S. airlines.

In this guide, we’ll cover:

Best credit card for United Airlines

United ClubSM Card from Chase Bank

United ClubSM Card from Chase Bank

The information related to United ClubSM Card from Chase Bank has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

United ClubSM Card from Chase Bank

Regular Purchase APR
18.24% to 25.24% Variable
Annual fee
$450
Rewards Rate
Earn rewards faster with 1.5 miles per $1 spent on purchases.

What we like about it:

  • Earn 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. But don’t get too excited about this offer if you’ve nabbed a bonus from this card before — this offer is not available to either current cardmembers of this credit card, or previous cardmembers of this credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this credit card within the last 24 months.
  • The United ClubSM Card from Chase Bank is the only one that gives you a full membership into the United ClubSM. This means you can visit any United lounge at the airport regardless of what airline you are flying, and some Star Alliance® lounges when you fly on those airlines.
  • Earn rewards faster with 1.5 miles per $1 spent on purchases.
  • You also get great perks when flying aboard United, including Premier Access® travel services and free first and second checked bags — that can easily shave a couple hundred bucks off your cost of flying.

Who is the card best for?

If United is your primary airline and you plan to take more than one international trip every year, the United MileagePlus® Club Card is your best bet. Getting United ClubSM membership from the card is $100 cheaper than buying membership without top tier status. And getting two checked bags on United and some lounge benefits when flying Star Alliance airlines can add up to good long-term value.

Best credit cards for American Airlines

CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

The information related to CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

CitiBusiness®/ AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®

Regular Purchase APR
15.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
Annual fee
$99, waived for first 12 months
Rewards Rate
Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations

What we like about it:

  • Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening..
  • In addition to offering a first checked bag free on domestic American Airlines® itineraries and preferred boarding on American Airlines® flights, this is the only American Airlines co-branded offer from Citi that offers bonus points on everyday spending.
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases. Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles per $1 spent on purchases at telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants and at gas stations. Terms apply.

Who the card is best for?

If you have a small business and American is your primary airline, this card could earn you the most AAdvantage® miles over time. Earning 2 AAdvantage® miles on telecommunications, car rental merchants, and gas stations are among the most generous categories for airline cards, granting many opportunities to earn bonus miles at the places you spend money weekly.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® from Barclays

The information related to AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® from Barclays has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® from Barclays

Regular Purchase APR
17.49% - 26.49% Variable
Annual fee
$99
Rewards Rate
Earn 2X AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases, 1X AAdvantage® miles on all other purchases.

What we like about it:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus miles after making your first purchase in the first 90 days and paying the annual fee.
  • A free checked bag free for the primary cardholder and up to four companions on domestic flights operated by American Airlines.
  • Preferred boarding for the primary cardholder and up to four companions on the reservation for all American Airlines-operated flights.
  • Earn $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) after spending $25,000 on the card during a calendar year — but only if you signed up for the card after Jan. 1, 2018. You’ll have until Dec. 31, 2019, to earn EQDs — then the benefit goes away permanently.
  • Receive a 25% statement credit on in-flight food and beverages when using the card.

Who the card is best for?

If you are loyal to American Airlines, the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® is a good fit. With the bonus miles, free checked luggage and the in-flight discount, using this as your primary credit card could yield good value over time if you fly American Airlines regularly.

Best credit cards for Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card

What we like about it:

  • $100 statement credit, 40,000 bonus miles and Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ from $121 ($99 fare plus taxes and fees from just $22) after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account.
  • Earn unlimited 3 miles for every $1 spent on eligible Alaska Airlines purchases and unlimited 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Every account anniversary date, earn Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare™. Buy one ticket and get a second one for just taxes and fees ($99 base fare plus applicable taxes and fees from $22 depending on your flight itinerary) after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening.
  • Alaska Airlines® Mileage Plan™ miles are among the most flexible available since they can be used on more than a dozen different airlines.

Who the card is best for?

Even if you don’t live in a city served by Alaska Airlines, this card is good for flexible rewards across carriers. Use your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan awards to more than 900 destinations around the world on Alaska Airlines and 17 global carriers including American Airlines, British Airways, Emirates, Japan Airlines, Qantas and Singapore Airlines. This card’s combination of a lower annual fee and award availability across multiple airlines makes it a good option for those who might not have considered Alaska Airlines previously.

Best credit card for JetBlue

JetBlue Card

JetBlue Card from Barclays

The information related to JetBlue Card from Barclays has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

JetBlue Card from Barclays

Regular Purchase APR
17.49%, 21.49% or 26.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
3X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X points at restaurants & grocery stores, 1X points on all other purchases.

What we like about it:

  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.
  • 3X points on JetBlue purchases, 2X points at restaurants & grocery stores, 1X points on all other purchases.
  • 50% discount on in-flight cocktail and food purchases.
  • Earn 3 TrueBlue points per dollar spent at Amazon.com when you shop onboard your JetBlue flight using Fly-Fi® and the card.
  • Pool points together as a family, which means all miles earned by your household can go toward JetBlue award flights faster.

Who the card is best for

If you travel regularly on JetBlue, this card, with its $0 annual fee is a good option because it helps you earn real miles towards discounted travel. If you are just entering the world of airline miles and live near a JetBlue airport, the JetBlue Card is a great beginner option. With a $0 annual fee and 2X points at restaurants and grocery stores, this card can help you earn real miles towards discounted travel. This card is also great for those who use JetBlue as a secondary airline. Because there is a $0 annual fee, you won’t have to worry about justifying rewards by holding this card.

Best credit card for Delta

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

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Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Annual fee
$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.
Rewards Rate
Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Regular Purchase APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable

What we like about it:

  • Earn 35,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • This card also offers a generous checked luggage fee waiver for cardholders: The fee waiver is available to those traveling on the same reservation as the primary card member, with a maximum of nine waivers per reservation.
  • Earn 2X Miles on Delta purchases, at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • The card also offers priority boarding for cardholders.

Who the card is best for?

If you fly Delta regularly with a family or business colleagues, this is the best card you can hold that balances the annual fee with good benefits. The checked luggage fee waiver covers more companions on the same itinerary than any other card, while the priority boarding allows you to get access to overhead bin space before other flyers. Plus, you can try out the card without a large financial commitment, since there’s a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $99.

But if Delta is the only airline you fly, you may consider getting a credit card with a higher annual fee that offers more benefits and opportunities to earn Medallion Qualifying Miles.

To see rates & fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

Best credit card for Southwest Airlines

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

The information related to Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
Annual fee
$149
Rewards Rate
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.
Credit required
excellent-credit

What we like about it:

  • Earn 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
  • 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.
  • The chance to earn 1,500 tier qualifying points that help you earn A-List elite status every time you spend $10,000 on the card.
  • Annual $75 statement credit
  • 7,500 bonus points every card anniversary
  • 20% statement credit when you use the card for in-flight drinks, messaging, movies and Wi-Fi.
  • Four passes for upgraded boarding every year.

Who the card is best for

For loyal Southwest Airlines customers who want a co-branded airline credit card that comes with the best perks, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, unveiled in July 2018, is a popular one to consider. You’ve got to love a card that helps you earn elite status. While anyone flying on this airline gets two free checked bags, this card gives you four priority boarding passes a year, along with an in-flight credit every time you use the card to pay for drinks and Wi-Fi.

There’s also the chance to earn Southwest’s popular Companion Pass. Once you fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year, you can bring a companion — for free — on every one of your flights for the following full calendar year, plus the remainder of the year in which you earned the pass.

Best credit union airline card

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from American Airlines CU

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from American Airlines CU

Visa® Platinum Rewards Credit Card from American Airlines CU

Regular Purchase APR
10.75% - 16.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn one Connection Point for every dollar spent on signature based purchases!

What we like about it:

  • Earn one Connection Point for every dollar spent on signature based purchases!
  • Redeem the card’s Connection Points for gift cards, travel on any airline, hotels, rental cars, cruises and brand–name merchandise.
  • If you also have an American Airlines Credit Union Visa debit card, you’ll also earn Connection Points when making purchases on it.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.

Who the card is best for:

You must be a professional in the air transportation industry or related to someone who is in order to become a member of the AACU. That includes those who work for the Transportation Security Administration, the FAA, cargo carriers, air courier services, airport baggage handling, commercial airport janitorial, aircraft cleaning, maintenance, servicing, and repair services, airport runway maintenance services and on-board airline food services.

Once approved, you’re eligible to apply for the card. If you’re looking for a card where you can use your points for multiple airlines instead of just one single airline, this card could be great for you. However, you can earn better rewards if you opt for an airline credit card tied to a single airline, such as American, as those typically offer better rewards and more travel-related perks.

Learn More

To find the best airline credit cards, we looked at several different features. First, we looked at which cards had specific airline partnerships, not just perks for specific airlines. From there, we narrowed down our picks to focus on non-premium cards, so this article could be more accessible. Finally, we looked for which cards had the best rewards programs, balancing it against annual fees and the APRs on balances.

As a secondary measure, we looked at all the other perks that come with a card, including free checked bags, no foreign transaction fees, and rental car and trip insurances. These benefits can help to offset the annual fee, or provide you even more value than a more stripped-down card.

Although earning airline miles sounds great for free travel, there are situations that can prevent you from flying. With all credit cards, you should watch out for these downsides:

  • Points devaluation: Miles aren’t a good long-term investment, because their value is constantly subject to change. If you aren’t planning to use your miles regularly, you could be better served with a cash-back credit card.
  • Hidden fees: Even when using credit card miles, hidden fees for redeeming miles, cancelling trips, or transferring miles to other people can cut your overall value quickly. Be sure to understand all the fees you may face before you decide if a card is right for you.
  • Blackout dates and reward restrictions: Airlines often place restrictions on the number of seats available on flights, while some dates are completely closed off for awards and companion passes. Unless you can use your airline miles on the dates you want, an airline credit card may not be your best option.
  • Partner carrier rules: Although you can book flights with miles on partner airlines, their prices are often higher and come with more restrictions on dates and routes. Before you commit to one airline program, be sure you understand how to use miles for partner flights — both the number required and special rules for using them.

Extra perks are all well and good, and airline credit cards can be rewarding for many frequent flyers, but they aren’t the best choice for everyone.

If you are thinking about applying, ask these four questions first:

  1. Am I loyal to one airline?
    If you primarily fly one airline and want to maximize your miles towards free flights, an airline credit card could make sense. If not, consider a card that earns bank points or cash back instead.
  2. Do I want miles specifically for flying?
    If your goal is to fly more often for a lower price, airline credit cards can help you achieve that plan by earning miles for your everyday spending. Most miles can’t be used for anything outside flying, however, so it’s important to carefully consider how many miles you need for a flight.
  3. Are frequent flyer perks right for me?
    Most credit cards offer a number of airport bonuses, including priority boarding, checked luggage fee waivers and lounge passes. If you find value in checking luggage for free or stopping at a lounge for a beverage, then an airline credit card is the right choice for your spending.
  4. Will I get the value of the credit card annual fee in return every year?
    Many airline credit cards come with annual fees. If your airline rewards (from perks and free flights) add up to more than the annual fee, then you’re getting a good value from your credit cards.

MagnifyMoney has plenty of options to help you find the right credit card for you. If you want to compare airline credit cards on your own, consider the following:

  • Point values: Not all miles are equal in value. It’s important to understand how many miles you need to take a flight, and if an airline credit card will help you get there.
  • Foreign transaction fees: While most airline credit cards offer no foreign transaction fees, many charge fees of 3%. If you plan on traveling abroad, a card with no foreign transaction fees is a must.
  • Free checked bags: Although most cards come with one free checked bag for cardholders, high-end cards may allow two free checked luggage pieces. Additionally, the number of available pieces varies between cards and airlines, with some offering up to nine people on the same itinerary.
  • Extra benefits: Annual free lounge passes and priority boarding are two of the luxuries offered to most airline credit card holders. In turn, these perks can help you justify the value of credit cards.
  • Point flexibility: Although you often can’t use miles for hotel rooms or rental cars, some programs allow more flexibility than others. If you want to use your miles for other rewards, be sure to understand how much those values would cost.

The information related to Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card has been independently collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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