Credit card companies compete hard for your business.
The credit cards tied to a travel program, like an airline or a hotel, offer the best bonuses. (use them if you plan on making a big purchase soon!)
They all work the same – new cardholders can earn hundreds of dollars in cashback or reward points if they spend a specified amount, usually a few thousand dollars, within the first few months – most often 90 days. The cards set it up this way because they are trying to entice you to make their new card your “everyday credit card.”
There's no catch, credit cards are just very lucrative and very competitive. I've compiled some the richest bonuses available for your earning pleasure. 🙂
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card – $200Wells Fargo is getting into the bonus game with a low entry point – spend $1,000 in your first 3 months and get $200 cash. They will also give you 1.5% cash rewards on purchases with a slightly higher 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases (think Apple Pay) in the first 12 months.
If 0% APY on purchases tickles your fancy, you have that for the first 12 months too. Super simple, no annual fee, no games.
Chase Sapphire Reserve – 50,000 Bonus Points
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the perk-laden cards available. They will give you 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. That is worth $750 towards travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
They also give you $300 in annual travel credit reimbursed to the card each anniversary year. Plus 3X points on travel and dining, 1X everywhere else. No foreign transaction fees and a $450 annual fee. Full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Chase Sapphire Preferred – $500 Cash / $625 Travel Rewards
Until the Chase Sapphire Reserve, THIS card was the richest of the promotions! The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card will give you 60,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's valued at $600 cash or $750 in travel if you redeem those points through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
You can also transfer those points on a 1:1 ratio to 10 other travel reward programs including United Airlines MileagePlus, Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, Marriott Rewards, Hyatt Gold Passport, IHG Rewards Club, and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards.
Using the card will reward you with 2X points on travel, 2X points on dining worldwide, and 1 point per each $1 spent. It was named the “Best Credit Card” for Travel Rewards by MONEY Magazine. The card has an annual fee of $95.
Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card – 40,000 Rapid Reward Points
The Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card is a great travel rewards card if you fly Southwest.
Valued at 1.66 cents per point, 40,000 points is worth over $600 in airfare and gets you that much sloer to Companion Pass, which lets someone fly with you for fee (after September 11th fees).
Chase Freedom Unlimited – $150
The Chase Freedom unlimited card is a no annual fee cash back card where you get 1.5% cash back on every single purchase. They don't give you points, it's straight cash and it's 1.5% standard across all merchants.
If you're in the market for a balance transfer, they have a 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening (on purchases too) with a 5% balance transfer fee.
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless – 75,000 points
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Card from Chase has a great bonus of 75,000 bonus points when you spend just $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. You can use these points for nights at a Marriott Bonvoy hotel, gift cards, etc. The points are worth roughly a penny each so it's nearly $750 in value.
You get 6X points on spending at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2X on all purchases, and you even get a free night award each year. The annual fee is $95.