Sign-up bonus credit cards are intriguing for many reasons. Above all else, this type of credit card provides you with a bonus – such as cash back, miles or points – for signing up for an account and meeting a minimum requirement (more on this below).
With sign-up bonus credit cards growing in popularity, there is no shortage of options. All the most popular credit card issuers offer at least one sign-up bonus credit card, with many having several for you to choose from.
As you compare sign-up bonus credit cards, you’ll come to find that each one is unique in a variety of ways. To find the best one, you’ll want to focus on the following details:
1. The Bonus
This is what it’s all about, so you want to compare each bonus to see which one sits best with you.
For example, if you like to travel, a sign-up bonus credit card with free miles may be just what you’re looking for.
However, if you’re more of the “cash back” type, there are also credit cards that provide a cash bonus.
The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards credit card is a popular choice, thanks to the opportunity to earn a one-time $500 cash bonus if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of opening your account.
If you’re sure that you’ll spend $3,000 within three months, this is like earning $500 for doing nothing!
2. The Bonus Requirements
For many consumers, this is a reasonable requirement that they’ll have no problem meeting.
However, not all sign-up bonus credit cards have such simple requirements, so make sure you check on this before opening an account.
3. The Other Details
It’s easy to get so caught up in the sign-up bonus that you overlook the other details of the credit card. This includes but is not limited to:
- Rewards rate
- Interest rate
- Fee schedule (such as annual fee and foreign transaction fee)
- Online account access
- Customer service
4. Credit Requirements
Just because you’re interested in a particular sign-up bonus credit card doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll qualify.
Before getting too excited, do two things:
- Review your credit report and credit score
- Learn more about the credit requirements for each offer you’re considering
If you have excellent credit, you may find that you qualify for almost every offer you come across. However, if your score is hovering in the “very poor” or “fair” range, you’ll have to be more selective.
Your search for a sign-up bonus credit card should be enjoyable. With each step you take, you’re inching closer to securing a credit card that will provide you with immediate benefits.
Once you find the perfect offer, complete an application and wait on a final decision. From there, if you’re approved, it won’t be long before you’re taking full advantage of everything available to you.