Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers

Reward yourself with a signup bonus worth up to $1000.

In the market for a new credit card? Many cards offer a lucrative signup bonus for new customers — but some are better than others! The best credit card signup bonus offers are worth hundreds in points or cash back. The best fit for you will depend on your spending habits and goals.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is our top pick for most people. Its signup bonus is robust, and its rewards program offers plenty of flexibility when it’s time to redeem your points. Options include travel, gift cards, and 1:1 points transfer to travel loyalty programs.

Apply Now on Chase's secure website

Card Highlights
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

With the number of credit card — and awesome signup bonus offers — out there, finding the right fit can feel overwhelming. But we’re here to help! We’ve researched the top signup bonuses across each category of rewards cards to make finding your ideal rewards card quick and easy.

The Simple Dollar’s Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers of 2017

Best Overall

Start here! These cards are our top picks for most people. We’ve chosen them based on their signup bonus offers, rewards structure, and redemption options. Any of them would be an excellent addition to your wallet — and will make it easy to start earning rewards right away.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gets top marks for its huge signup bonus, flexible rewards program (complete with redemption bonus!), and low annual fee. Because points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, the signup bonus is worth a cool $625. Many rewards cards charge a hefty annual fee for that level of rewards potential, but with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, it’s just $95/year (waived for your first year).

With this card, you’ll earn unlimited 2X points per dollar on travel and dining worldwide, plus 1X points on everything else. And the points you’ll earn are very flexible. In addition to travel booking through Chase Ultimate Rewards® — where you’ll find exclusive, member-only deals — points are redeemable for account statement, gift cards, and 1:1 transfer to 11 frequent travel programs.

A note on that last point — 1:1 points transfer is a big deal! While hotel and airline credit cards often offer significant signup bonuses, those rewards are typically specific to a given property or airline. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card gives you the freedom to book with your choice of 7 airlines and 4 hotel programs. If you choose to book through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you’ll score a 25% points bonus — and there are no blackout dates or travel restrictions to contend with, either.

Related: The Simple Dollar’s Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review

How To Use It

Best Use

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Our Verdict

Our Verdict

  • Charge dining and travel purchases to earn 2X points. (Enjoy Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Baggage Delay Insurance, and other perks for travel booked on the card!)
  • Spend $4,000 in your first 3 months to earn the 50,000 point signup bonus.
  • Consider redeeming points for travel! They’re worth 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Traveling abroad? Bring this card. It has no foreign transaction fees.
This card charges a $95 annual fee (waived the first year). If you travel often, the rewards potential should more than cover the fee. If you don’t travel often, or if you prefer a card with no annual fee, check out the Chase Freedom®.
Choose the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and you’ll get a serious signup bonus, high-rate rewards and premium perks. Use your Chase Ultimate Rewards® points to book your next trip your way, with a 25% points bonus and 1:1 points transfer to 11 travel loyalty programs.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Apply Now on American Express's secure website

Not much of a traveler? Then an everyday rewards card may be just what you’re looking for. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers an easy-to-earn $150 signup bonus — but its long-term rewards potential is the real headline.

As a cardmember, you’ll earn an incredible 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year (then 1%); 3% at U.S. gas stations; and 1% on all other purchases. Such an impressive rewards rate is usually reserved for travel rewards cards and is very rare among flat-rate rewards cards in particular. While cards like the Chase Freedom® do offer 5% cash back in rotating categories, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers consistent, high-rate rewards on the types of purchases many families make most often — no special categories to track or enrollment required.

While other cards on our list boast larger signup bonuses, it’s important to consider the rewards potential as a whole to find a card that will yield consistent rewards over time. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an excellent long-term choice for frugal spenders who don’t put much emphasis on travel — but want to maximize rewards on everyday purchases.

Related: The Simple Dollar’s Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review

How To Use It

Best Use

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Our Verdict

Our Verdict

  • Spend $1,000 in your first 3 months to earn the $150 signup bonus.
  • Charge purchases at U.S. supermarkets and gas stations to earn 6% and 3% cash back respectively.
  • Planning a large purchase? Make it soon after opening your account, and pay it off during the 0% intro APR period to avoid interest payments.
There’s a $95 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year. If an annual fee is a dealbreaker, check out the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express®. It offers the same cash back categories with no annual fee — though the cash back percentage is lower. It’s also worth noting that the cash back you earn with this card is only redeemable as a statement credit. For redemption options like travel, gift cards, and more, refer back to the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a good choice for anyone looking to maximize rewards on everyday purchases. Its signup bonus is easy to earn, and the consistent, high-rate rewards you’ll earn with it are well worth the small annual fee. For long-term value, this card is tough to beat.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

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If you travel often and are looking for a premium travel rewards card, look no further. The Platinum Card® from American Express boasts one of the largest signup bonuses on this year’s list. But that’s not all: it also has an impressive travel rewards rate and a suite of perks that are dressed to impress. With this card, you’ll earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible flights and hotels (terms apply). For business travelers and jet-setters alike, that can mean explosive rewards potential over time. (Book through amextravel.com for members-only offers like deals on airfare, hotel upgrades at check-in, and more.)

As a cardmember, you’ll enjoy Platinum Travel Service, with dedicated counselors who will assist you in creating custom itineraries. And once you book your trip, The Platinum Card® from American Express really shines. Cardmembers get the royal treatment with access to exclusive airline lounges, complimentary benefits with Fine Hotels & Resorts, and included Starwood Preferred Guest Gold Status. If you need anything at home or abroad, simply call for a Platinum Concierge (a complimentary service, available day or night!) for assistance making reservations, securing tickets, or purchasing the perfect gift.

The card also comes equipped with several money-saving benefits, like a $200 airline fee credit and up to $200 in annual Uber savings, that will help to offset the annual fee.

Related: The Simple Dollar’s The Platinum Card® from American Express review

How To Use It

Best Use

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Our Verdict

Our Verdict

  • Use the card to purchase airfare from an airline or through AmexTravel.com to earn 5x points.
  • Redeem points for travel, gift cards, and more, or transfer your points to Membership Rewards airline and hotel partners.
  • Use cardmember benefits like Platinum Travel Service, airline fee credits, and access to the American Express Global Lounge CollectionSM when you travel.
Luxury comes at a price: in this case, there’s a $550 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year. Additionally, because The Platinum Card® from American Express is a charge card, you must pay your balance in full every month; you won’t have the option to keep a running balance.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is aptly named: its many cardmember perks give it a level of prestige that, for frequent travelers looking to travel in style, will justify the annual fee. Overall, if you’re willing to pay more for a more upscale experience, this card is just the ticket.

Best Hotel Credit Cards

The best hotel credit cards stand out for their huge signup bonuses and lucrative rewards structure, with the opportunity to earn free nights, upgrades, and other perks. Here are the top two on the market in 2017.

Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express

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The Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is our top hotel credit card for 2017. While other hotel cards may offer even more generous signup bonuses, we believe this card gives the best long-term value when accounting for both signup bonus and rewards potential over time. Starpoints® are worth more than the points you’d earn with virtually any other hotel card when you redeem for stays at SPG® & Marriott Rewards® properties.

Cardmembers earn 2X Starpoints® per dollar on purchases at SPG® & Marriott Rewards® properties, plus 1X points on everything else. And Starpoints® are incredibly valuable when you redeem them for stays at SPG® & Marriott Rewards® properties — each point is worth about 2.3 cents per point. That’s an unusually high per point value among both hotel credit cards and more general rewards credit cards.

The redemption flexibility you’ll enjoy with the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express is also unusual for a hotel credit card. Not only are Starpoints® redeemable for stays at 1,300+ properties in 100+ countries ranging from Residence Inn to the Ritz-Carlton — they’re also transferrable to over 30 frequent flyer programs! Traveler-friendly cardmember benefits include a Roadside Assistance Hotline and complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi at more than 1,000,000 Boingo hotspots worldwide.

Related: The Simple Dollar’s Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express review

How To Use It

Best Use

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Our Verdict

Our Verdict

  • When you travel, book with an SPG® or Marriott Rewards® property to earn 2X Starpoints® per dollar.
  • Redeem Starpoints® for hotel stays or flights, or transfer points to one of 30 airline partners.
  • Take advantage of complimentary, unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi on the go.
With 1X points on everyday purchases, points will accumulate slowly if you don’t travel often. The rewards structure, travel-centric perks, and redemption options offer the greatest benefit for frequent travelers. Additionally, there’s a $95 annual fee after the first year.
With the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express, frequent travelers score high-value rewards, traveler-approved perks, and a generous signup bonus — all for a relatively small annual fee. Because Starpoints® are good for both hotel stays and flights, you’ll have plenty of options when it’s time to redeem your rewards for free travel.

IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card

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If you love staying at IHG® properties, check out the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card. It deserves consideration for its large signup bonus and unique rewards structure. With this card, you’ll earn 5X points per dollar on purchases at IHG® Rewards Club hotels like Holiday Inn, Candlewood Suites, and Hotel Indigo. You’ll also get 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants — and 1X points on everything else. The 2X points category addresses a common weakness among hotel credit cards: they typically offer 1X points or lower on non-hotel purchases. This will help you accrue points faster than you would with many similar cards.

The IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card is a solid choice for travelers interested in a variety of property options from budget-friendly (Holiday Inn) to luxe (Hotel Indigo). Notable perks include a free night after each account anniversary year and a 10% points rebate on each redemption. Its $49 annual fee (waived first year) is lower than average, too.

How To Use It

Best Use

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Our Verdict

Our Verdict

  • When you travel, book at IHG® hotels to earn 5X points per dollar.
  • Use the card for gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases for 2X points per dollar.
  • Redeem points for stays at IHG® properties worldwide.
  • Traveling abroad? Bring this card — it has $0 foreign transaction fees.
This card is a great fit for frequent travelers who prefer staying at IHG® hotels. But redemption options outside the IHG® umbrella are limited — you can cash in your points for merchandise and other perks, but the exchange rate for these options isn’t great. For a travel credit card with more flexible redemption options, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
With the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card, you can cash in your points for high-end hotels, small town motels, and all-inclusive properties in tropical climates. As an added bonus, having this credit card gives you automatic Platinum status with IHG and a free night at any IHG property each year on your cardmember anniversary.

Most Flexible Rewards Credit Cards

Not sure what you want to do with your rewards? These cards do it all, offering plenty of flexibility with redemption options from cash back to travel — and a nice signup bonus to get you started.

Chase Freedom®

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The Chase Freedom® is a smart choice for anyone looking for a full-featured cash back card with an easy-to-earn signup bonus. It’s true that other cards on our list offer larger signup bonuses, but those larger bonuses come with higher spending thresholds. Even modest spenders should have no trouble spending $500 in 3 months — and that’s all it takes to earn the Chase Freedom®’s $150 signup bonus.

There are many reasons the Chase Freedom® is such a popular cash back card. With this card, you’ll earn 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, plus 1% cash back on all other purchases. The cash back you earn is very flexible — redeem it for statement credit, gift cards, travel, and more. (Pro tip: if you also own the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, points are transferrable between the two cards so you can earn rewards even more quickly.) All with no annual fee. If your spending aligns with Chase’s rotating 5% categories, it offers great rewards potential over time.

Related:
The Simple Dollar’s Chase Freedom® review
Chase Freedom categories for 2017

How To Use It

Best Use

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Our Verdict

Our Verdict

  • Keep an eye on the rotating 5% categories to maximize rewards. (Don’t forget to sign up for the bonus category quarterly to earn 5%!)
  • Consider pairing with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to pool Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.
  • Spend $500 in your first three months to earn the $150 signup bonus.
5% is an excellent cash back rate — but you’ll only earn 5% on your first $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter. (After you hit $1,500, you’ll earn the standard 1% cash back for the rest of the quarter.) Additionally, activation is required quarterly — each time the bonus category changes — to earn 5% cash back.
The Chase Freedom® is a versatile cash back card with an attainable signup bonus and no annual fee. Use it to earn 5% cash back in categories like gas and groceries — then redeem your points for gift cards, cash back, and more.

Capital One® Venture℠ Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Venture℠ Rewards Credit Card has earned a place on our list for its large signup bonus, rewards structure, and flexibility. With this card, you can use your signup bonus (worth $400!) to fly any airline or stay at any hotel with no blackout dates. Yes, really!

Its rewards structure is simple: you’ll earn 2X miles per dollar on every purchase you make on the card. There are no quarterly or even yearly limits on how many miles you can earn. Since there are no rewards caps, big spenders will see the largest rewards benefit over time. But its low annual fee ($59, waived for your first year) makes the card accessible to frugal spenders too. Uncapped, flat-rate rewards make the Capital One® Venture℠ Rewards Credit Card extremely convenient to own. There’s no need to track spending in certain categories or watch for rewards caps; just use the card and watch your miles stack up.

Redeeming miles is as easy as earning them. You have two options: reimburse yourself for travel purchases you’ve already made with Purchase Eraser®, or make reservations through the Rewards Center on capitalone.com. The big benefit of using Purchase Eraser® is that you can use it in tandem with your favorite discount travel site to make your miles stretch even further. If you don’t have enough miles to cover the entire cost of your trip, partial redemptions are available too.

How To Use It

Best Use

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Our Verdict

Our Verdict

  • Spend $3,000 in your first 3 months earn the signup bonus.
  • Earn 2X miles per dollar on every purchase. (Tip: if you have more than one rewards card, use the Capital One® Venture℠ Rewards Credit Card for any purchases that aren’t eligible for 2% rewards or greater on your other card.)
  • When it’s time to redeem, consider booking through a discount travel site and using Purchase Eraser® to reimburse yourself for travel expenses.
There’s a $59 annual fee after your first year. Also, while you can redeem your points for any type of travel, you won’t be able to transfer points to a frequent traveler program. If the ability to transfer points is important to you, we recommend the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
The Capital One® Venture℠ Rewards Credit Card makes earning and redeeming miles look easy. The ability to reimburse yourself for travel with Purchase Eraser® allows you to comparison shop for the best deal with the hotel or airline of your choice — and make each mile count.

Best Business Credit Cards

Business credit cards help small business owners and sole proprietors earn rewards while keeping their business and personal expenses separate. With the right business credit card, small business owners can also secure popular consumer protections as well. Check out these exceptional signup bonuses from the top business cards on the market.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

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The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card made a big splash when it debuted in 2016. Its giant signup bonus, worth $1,000 toward travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, has a lot to do with that — but its high-rate rewards should not be underestimated. Cardmembers earn 3X points per dollar on up to $150,000 per year in combined purchases within the following categories:

  • Travel, including airfare, hotels, rental cars, train tickets, and taxis
  • Shipping purchases
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines

…plus 1X points on everything else.

With a signup bonus of that size and such a lucrative rewards program, you might expect this card to come with a hefty annual fee. Surprise: it’s only $95/year! This card’s outstanding value makes it an excellent choice for small businesses that spend $150k/year or less in the rewards categories. Add those strengths to a 25% points redemption bonus on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs, and it’s easy to see why the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is a perennial favorite.

How To Use It

Best Use

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Our Verdict

Our Verdict

  • Spend $5,000 in your first 3 months to earn the signup bonus.
  • Use this card for all purchases within the 3X points categories.
  • Make use of valuable cardmember perks like Trip Cancellation Insurance and Cell Phone Protection.
This card comes with a $95 annual fee, which is not waived for the first year. 3X points in categories like travel and advertising will mean excellent long-term rewards potential for many small businesses — but 3X points are capped at $150,000/year in combined purchases.
The Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card offers many of the perks we love about our top pick, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — with a higher rewards rate and many additional business-friendly benefits. Points are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, but you can also transfer them 1:1 to select travel loyalty programs or redeem for cash. Use it to keep your business and personal expenses separate and earn big-time rewards, too.

SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express

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Last but not least on this year’s list: the SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express. New cardmembers can earn up to $400 cash back. Spend $5,000 in your first 6 months to earn $200. If you can spend an additional $10,000 in your first year, you’ll get an additional $200 statement credit. To recap: spend $15k in your first year ($5k in your first 6 months), and you’ll get $400 back.

The spending threshold for the signup bonus is on the high side. But for some, the extreme rewards potential will offset that. With this card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on wireless telephone service and at U.S. office supply stores, plus 3% on your choice of one of the following categories:

  • Airfare purchased directly from airlines
  • Hotel rooms purchased directly from hotels
  • Car rentals purchased from select car rental companies
  • U.S. gas stations
  • U.S. restaurants
  • U.S. purchases for advertising on select media
  • U.S. purchases for shipping
  • U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers

You’ll also earn 1% back on other purchases. (Note: there’s a $50,000 cap on combined 5% and 3% rewards; after that, you’ll earn a flat 1% on everything.) And, unlike many business credit cards, this gem has no annual fee.

How To Use It

Best Use

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Our Verdict

Our Verdict

  • Analyze your monthly spending and choose your 3% cash back category carefully to maximize rewards.
  • Use this card on cell phone service, at office supply stores, and on any purchases that fall within your chosen 3% category.
  • Take advantage of card membership benefits like Purchase Protection, the Roadside Assistance Hotline, and a Baggage Insurance Plan for when you travel.
The ability to choose your 3% cash back category is a major selling point — but note that 5% and 3% rewards only apply to your first $50,000 in combined purchases each calendar year. Also, the spending threshold is high for a smaller signup bonus. Compare with our top business card pick, the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, which offers a bonus worth $1,000 toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (and only a $5,000 threshold).
The SimplyCash® Plus Business Credit Card from American Express makes it easy to rack up rewards through its versatile bonus categories. The fact you can select your own 3% bonus category can also be valuable if your business spending is high in certain areas. And unlike most business credit cards, there’s no an annual fee.

The Simple Dollar’s Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Offers of 2017: Summed Up

Making Sense of Sign Up Offers

Although signup bonus offers aren’t all created equal, many work similarly. As you search for the best credit card signup bonus offers out there, here are a few things you should know:

  • Scoring a signup bonus usually requires hitting a minimum spending requirement. Although some credit card signup bonus offers award you with the bonus after you make a purchase or simply sign up for the card, the vast majority require you to hit a minimum spending requirement within a certain length of time (e.g., spend $3,000 within 90 days).
  • You may have to pay an annual fee. While some cards offer a huge signup bonus, many of them charge an annual fee just for being a cardholder. In some cases, this fee may be waived the first year. As you consider a new rewards card and signup bonus offer, you should consider how paying that annual fee will impact the amount of rewards you earn.
  • Other requirements may apply. In addition to meeting a minimum spending requirement, you may have to perform other tasks to earn your signup bonus. For example, if you’re trying to earn a signup bonus for a co-branded hotel loyalty credit card, earning the bonus will mean signing up for that loyalty program if you haven’t already.

How to Navigate Credit Card Bonuses

Although many of the top offers are lucrative in their own right, it’s important to understand how to make the most of these offers without hurting yourself financially. Here are some basic tips that can help you do just that:

Do consider how meeting a minimum spending requirement will affect your finances. Since most credit card signup bonus offers require you to spend a certain amount of money on the card within a limited time, it’s important to make sure that the spending goal is attainable before you sign up. If your spending is relatively low, steer clear of bonus offers that ask you to spend more than you would otherwise.

Do keep your overall credit health in mind. Since opening new credit cards (and closing old ones) can have a negative effect on your credit, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of either action. In other words, sign up for cards when it’s to your benefit, but stop once you’ve reached a point where your credit score might feel a negative impact.

Do pay your bill in full every month to avoid paying interest. Paying interest on your purchases while simultaneously pursuing rewards is never a good idea. If you expect you’ll need to carry a balance, you should nix the idea of trying to earn a signup bonus altogether, and opt for a low-interest credit card instead.

Do use your credit card as part of a comprehensive financial plan. Without a plan, a new credit card could wreak havoc on your finances. Before you sign up for a new credit card, you should put a plan in place to make sure your new line of credit is working in your favor.

Do pursue signup bonuses with a strategy in mind. A hefty signup bonus won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use it. Before you pick one bonus over another, make sure to explore each loyalty program so you know what your points will be worth. These posts can help:

Don’t open too many cards just for the signup bonus. As we’ve written before, getting a new card will result in a hard inquiry with at least one of the three credit reporting agencies. While one hard inquiry might have minimum impact on your credit score, having several could cause your score to tumble substantially. So while you may earn more rewards by signing up for a handful of offers at once, you could potentially hurt your credit.

Don’t commit to a minimum spending requirement you can’t handle. When choosing among credit card signup bonus offers, it’s important to consider how meeting any applicable minimum spending requirement will work with your “real-life” finances.

For example, if you don’t normally spend $3,000 on regular bills and expenses during a three-month period, what makes you think you can do it safely to earn a signup bonus? If the minimum spending requirement on a card puts it out of your comfort zone, you’ll be better off if you opt out instead of signing up.

Don’t carry a balance or pay interest. For some people, credit cards are a tool of mass destruction. And no matter how hard they try not to, they always manage to rack up a credit card balance that is bigger than they anticipated. If you’re one of those people – or if you just plan to carry a balance in general – you’ll be a lot better off if you steer clear of rewards cards and opt for a card with no annual fee or the lowest interest rate possible instead.

Don’t forget to factor in annual fees. While some cards offer crazy-huge signup bonus offers, many offer correspondingly large annual fees. In order to extract the most value out of any offer, it’s important to understand your card’s annual fee, when it’s due, and how it related to the overall value you receive from the card.

Don’t use rewards as an excuse to overspend. If you’re someone who tends to get carried away with credit, it’s easy to see a shiny, new credit line as an excuse to overspend. You’re not doing yourself any favors if you go this route, however. By overspending to earn more rewards, you’re actually putting yourself in a worse financial position than where you started.

The Bottom Line

Credit cards can be a valuable tool if used wisely, and signup bonus offers can be extremely lucrative if pursued with a thoughtful strategy in mind. However, it’s important to fully understand how these offers work if you truly want to maximize them.

The most important thing to remember is to use credit cards to your advantage, but don’t let them use you. If you find yourself spending more just to get a bonus, or worse, getting into debt, you’ll probably be better off avoiding credit cards and signup bonus offers altogether.