The 10 Biggest Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses for February 2018

Disclaimer: This post contains references to products from our advertisers. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. To learn more, visit our advertising policy page.

Editor's note: Some of the offers on this page may no longer be available through our site.

Once upon a time, the majority of loyalty-rewards points were earned for traveling. No more.



Today, more points are earned for credit-card purchases than for flying or staying in hotels or, well, for anything. Which explains why today's frequent-flyer programs are more accurately referred to as frequent-buyer programs.

When it comes to racking up credit-card points, the single largest trove of points is likely to be the sign-up bonus offered by the card issuer to new cardholders who meet certain requirements, typically by meeting a spending target within a set period.

In recent years, such sign-up bonuses have occasionally topped 100,000 miles, and anything less than 50,000 miles is generally considered a yawner by consumers who zealously monitor bonus levels in pursuit of the most generous payouts. The offers are in constant flux, rising and falling as market conditions change and card issuers' goals evolve.

With that in mind, the following is our monthly roundup of sign-up bonuses currently on offer for popular travel-rewards charge and credit cards. Bear in mind that these offers could be reduced or eliminated at any time.

 

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard

Welcome offer: 40,000 miles after spending $3,000 within the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $89, waived the first 12 months.

Comment: Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days.  


 

Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Welcome offer: 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first 12 months.

Comment: This is the mid-priced AAdvantage card, which comes bundled with several travel perks, including a free first checked bag.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Card from American Express

Welcome offer:
30,000 miles after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening, plus a $50 statement credit after the first Delta purchase within 3 months. Terms Apply.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first 12 months.

Comment: Card benefits include free first checked bag and priority boarding.

 

IHG Rewards Club World MasterCard

Welcome offer: 60,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Annual fee: $49, waived the first 12 months.

Comment: In addition to the generous bonus, the card features a low annual fee, waived the first year, and a free night after cardholder's anniversary.

 

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card

Welcome offer: 40,000 points after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Annual fee:
$99.

Comment: There's also a 6,000-point bonus every year, on the cardholder's account anniversary.

 

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card from Chase

Welcome offer:
75,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening. Cardholders also receive a free night at a Category 1-5 hotel after each account anniversary.

Annual fee: $85, waived the first 12 months.

Comment: Good program, solid card, big bonus.

 

The Platinum Card from American Express

Welcome offer:
60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Annual fee: $550.

Comment: While the card's annual fee is among the very highest, it also comes bundled with a robust set of travel perks, including lounge access, $200 statement credit for bag fees, and 5 points per $1 for flights booked direct with American Express.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card


Welcome offer: 50,000 points after spending $4,000 within the first three months of account opening, plus an additional 5,000 points for adding an authorized user who uses the card within three months.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first 12 months.

Comment:
Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred into a number of airline and hotel programs, as well as redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal. In the latter case, 50,000 points are worth $625.

 

Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express

Welcome offer
: 25,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first 12 months.

Comment: While the bonus itself is comparatively modest, Starwood points are among the most valuable loyalty currencies, as they're transferable to 30-plus airline frequent flyer programs, mostly on a 1:1 basis, and there's a 5,000-point bonus when transferring 20,000 points to a participating airline program.

 

Many of the above-listed consumer cards are also available as business cards, sometimes featuring the same sign-up bonuses. That means it's possible to double up on the bonuses if you're eligible for a business as well as a consumer card.

Comments
Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.