Just about every American over the age of 21 has a credit card. Many of us have more than one. It is rare to meet someone that does not have any credit card debt. It is possible but can be incredibly challenging. We live in a world where it is expected that you buy things on credit and pay them back over time. There are some benefits to having a credit card.
There are also some negatives to having one. The credit card itself is not the problem. The problem comes in when people do not use them responsibly. Whether this is your first credit card, or you have had them for a long time, you should make sure you use them in a way the benefits you and does not hurt you. When looking for a new credit card, you want to find one that works for you. The best way to do this is with one that has a sign-up bonus. Continue reading to find out all the information you need to know.
Top Credit Cards With The Sign-Up Bonus
A credit card is a square piece of plastic that has information embedded in it. The numbers on the card used to be raised but on other cards, they are just printed on the card. It also has your name on the card. The cards have a chip on the front and a magnetic stripe on the back. When you want to use it, you can swipe the card, insert it in a card reader, or tap it on the top of the card reader. When you do that, the machine is reading the information on the card, which includes your name, account information, and PIN number. The machine sends a message to the bank that funds your credit card company including the amount of your purchase. The bank responds with an approval or denial based on the available credit you have.
Take your time and do research. There are many cards that offer a sign-up bonus. Compare credit cards and understand each of them and pick the best one for you. I am going to list 7 of the top credit cards that you should check out on your quest for a card with a sign-up bonus.
Card Option #1: Citibank Double Cash Card
The first one is the Citibank Double Cash Card. This card is backed by Citibank, a well-known bank. It gives you two percent cash back on all purchases. You get one percent when you make the purchase and the other percent when you pay for the purchase. This card gives you an incentive for paying off your credit card each month, so you can get your cash-back faster. This card does not have an annual fee, so you do not have to pay to keep it. There are no caps to how much money you can get back. Just like most credit cards, you must pay the minimum amount on time.
The Double Cash Card is available for balance transfers, but you will not receive cash-back on transfers. You must make any balance transfer within the first four months of having the card. There is a charge of $5 or 3 percent of the balance transfer, whichever is higher. In the first 18 months, you have the card, you do have 0 percent interest, so you do not have to pay interest on the money you borrow for a year and a half. Another the first 18 months, you will have an interest rate of anywhere between 15.49 and 25.49 percent.
Card Option #2: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The next sign-up bonus credit card that you should consider is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. This card is usually reserved for those with good to excellent credit. You earn 2 times the miles on every purchase you make. There is no limit on how many miles you can earn. The miles you earn will not expire. Every 10,000 miles you earn is equal to about $100 dollars. The bonus for this card is once you spend $3,000 in the first three months after you open this credit card, you receive 50,000 miles. That is the equivalent to $500 in money for travel. You also receive a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Pre-check.
You are able to use your miles for any airline or any hotel at any time. There are no black dates when you cannot use your miles. You can also transfer your miles in more than 15 travel loyalty programs. This card does not have a foreign transaction fee. This card does have an annual fee of $95, but it is waived for the first year. The interest rate on this card is 17.24 to 24.49 percent. This card does not allow balance transfers.
Card Option #3: Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card
The next credit card with a sign-up bonus that you want to consider is the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card. This card gives you a one time $200 online cash rewards bonus. You only receive that once you make purchases of $1,000 and they must be in the first 90 days of opening this credit card account. This card has a tiered rewards program. You receive two percent back on grocery store purchases and wholesale club purchases. There is a limit of $2,500 cash-back on these purchases quarterly. You then receive three percent cash back on any category that you choose. You then get one percent back on all other purchases. This is unlimited so there is no cap on how much you can earn.
This card does not have an annual fee. If you are a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn up to 25 to 75 percent back on every single purchase. The rewards never expire. There is an intro rate of 0 percent interest for 15 billing cycles. There is also an intro 0 percent interest on all balance transfers made within 60 days. You have 0 percent interest on the amount you transfer for 15 billing cycles. After the 15 months, your interest rate may be 15.49 to 25.49 percent. After the 60 days, there is a minimum fee of $10, or 3 percent, for all balance transfers.
Card Option #4: Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
The next credit card with a sign-up bonus that you should check out is the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card. This card offers a high tiered rewards system that includes earning 3 times the points on dining, no matter if it is eating out or eating in. You get 3 times the points for all travel, which include airline flights, hotels, and car rentals. You earn 3 times the points on gas stations, public transportation, and ride-sharing. Also, there are 3 times the points on streaming services. All other purchases receive 1 times the points. The point system works so that every 10,000 points you receive equals $100.
If you make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months after you opened your credit card, you will earn 20,000 bonus points. That equals $200 in cash. This card does not have an annual fee. It also does not have a foreign currency charge. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card gives you 0 percent interest for 12 months. After that, you can expect an interest rate of 15.49 to 27.49 percent. It also offers you 0 percent interest on balance transfers for the first 12 months.
Card Option #5: Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
The next credit card with a sign-up bonus to consider is the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. You can earn 5 times the points on all Lyft rides through March 2022. That is an additional 3 times the points added to the 2X points you already earn on travel. You also earn 2 times the points on dining out at restaurants worldwide. You receive 1 time the point on all other purchases. That means you get 1 point for every dollar you spend. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card gives you 60,000 bonus points once you have spent $4,000 on purchases. You must spend that within 3 months of opening the credit card account. That is up to $750 you can use for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
If you spend your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you get more value, up to 25 percent more. An example is 60,000 points equals $750 towards travel, whereas it would be $600 elsewhere. You can get $0 delivery charge when you make an order over $12 with DashPass, which is a subscription service with DoorDash. You must activate this by 12/31/21. This card does have an annual fee of $95. The interest rate is anywhere between 17.49 to 24.49 percent.
Card Option #6: Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card
The next card with a sign-up bonus that you should consider is Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card. It offers you 1.8 percent cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, with services such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, which is within the first 12 months from when you opened your account. You also earn 1.5 percent cash on all purchases. It is an unlimited 1.5 percent. There are no categories and you do not have to sign up for any rewards, it happens automatically. The rewards do not expire.
This card offers a bonus of $150 cash rewards if you spend $500 in the first 3 months of opening your credit card. You can also receive up to $600 cell phone protection against damage (subject to restrictions) or theft. You must pay your monthly cell phone bill with your Wells Fargo to qualify for this protection. There is no annual fee. This card offers 0 percent interest for the first 15 months. The interest rate ranges from 15.49 to 27.49 percent after that.
Card Option #7: Citi Rewards Credit Card
The last card with a sign-up bonus that you should consider is the Citi Rewards Credit Card. You receive 2 times the points at grocery stores and gas stations for $6,000 per year. After that, it goes to 1 point for every dollar spent. You earn 1 point for every dollar for every other purchase. This Citi card rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. There is no limit to the rounding up of your points. After you spend $1,000, you can earn 15,000 bonus points, as long as it is within 3 months of opening the credit card. You can use this for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com. This Citi card gives you 0 percent interest on all purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. The interest rate goes from 14.99 to 24.99 percent.
How To Pick A Credit Card?
There are many credit cards from which you can pick, so the key is finding one with the best sign-up bonus. You want a credit card that suits your needs. There is a credit card shopping trick or two that you should be aware of.
You should know the bank that is offering the credit card. Make sure it is a legitimate offer and not a scam. If you are not familiar with the bank that is offering you a credit card, you might want to look elsewhere. You should understand what you want in a credit card. Do you want one with rewards? Or perhaps one with a low-interest rate? Maybe you need one that will allow you to do balance transfers. You should be careful with how many credit cards you have. Too many with high balances will cause your credit score to decline.
You want to know what fees the bank may charge you. All of the fees must be listed in their documents. It is your responsibility to read and understand the fees. You must know when your payment is due and at what point the bank considers it late. Some cards have an annual fee, while many do not. Check to see if you want to have an annual fee. Then you have to decide if it is worth paying the fee. Some cards with an annual fee offer such good rewards that it might be worth it to you to pay the fee.
You have to understand that interest rates. You must know that if you do not have a 0 percent interest rate and you do not pay your balance every month, you will have to pay interest on your purchases. Be sure that you understand the rewards that come with any card you want. They are all different. Even each card that the bank offers are different from each other. You want to make sure that the rewards offered are ones that are meaningful to you. You also want to pick a credit card this is accepted anywhere you go.
Learn More About How Credit Cards Works
When you apply for a credit card, there is a bank that funds it. A credit card company gives you a revolving line of credit. The issue you a credit line of a certain amount of money. That is your credit limit. You can use as much of your credit limit as you want. You have to pay interest on the money you use. As you pay on the balance used, it becomes available to you. This is called recurring credit. If you pay the full amount you owe, you do not have to pay interest.
When you purchase something with your credit card, you have about 20 to 30 days to pay the full amount of your balance due. If you cannot pay the full amount, you should pay at least the minimum balance. If you do not pay the minimum balance, you will have to pay a fee on top of what you owe. Many cards offer a sign-up bonus, so you should look for that type of card. This is often the best first credit card you can find. You want a card that is going to work for you.
There are a number of credit cards that offer a sign-up bonus. The key is to find the right card for your situation. No matter which credit card you choose, you need to use it responsibly. You should work hard to pay off your credit card each month. If you cannot pay the full amount, you should pay as much as possible, and at least the minimum payment. It is important that you use your credit card so that it works for you and not against you.
Julia Peoples is a long-time business manager focused on providing decision making assistance to the public. She works with people at key points of their lives who are making important retirement and financial decisions. She has had many articles published that educate the public on sound financial decision making.
Julia writes for those who are working towards financial freedom or a better understanding of how finances work. She has shared her financial insights with individuals on a one on one basis for years.