Best Credit Card Signup Offers

Below is my ranking of the best credit cards based on signup offers.

I recommend viewing the below table in its original form here: Best Credit Card Signup Offers Google SheetIt is easier to navigate, the appropriate rows and columns are frozen, etc. Plus, you can filter and sort according to your preferences. That said, I’m including it here so that you can get a quick view:

A couple of notes:

  • Before signing up for credit cards, please read this post on signing up for credit cards and this post on the affect of credit card applications on one’s credit score, where I provide some cautions.
  • I always display the absolute best offer that I am aware of for a card, regardless of whether I receive a commission if you apply for it using my link.
  • Please comment below if you find any errors in the information I provide, if a link no longer works, if you find a better offer, if there is another card you’d like me to feature, etc. I will update the list based on those comments. I will then comment back to let everyone know that I’ve made the change.
  • If you want to be notified of those comments, you can subscribe to the comment thread by clicking here.

I’m grateful to FrequentMiler, Doctor of Credit, and The Points Guy, whose posts on miles, points, and credit cards have influenced my thinking in these areas and aided me in my valuation of miles, points, and credit card signup bonuses.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “Best Credit Card Signup Offers

  1. Thanks for compiling all of this info Brian! It is super helpful! Two questions:
    1: Does it affect my credit score to be an authorized user for one of my husbands credit cards?
    2: Can you explain the difference between business vs personal cards. Ie. What requirements must be met to get a business card, and can you only use them on business expenses?

    Thanks!

    • Great questions, Jennifer.

      1) It *can* affect your credit score to be an authorized user, but it doesn’t always. The way in which it can do so is if the bank reports the account on which you are an AU to Experian, Equifax, and/or Transunion. In such cases, you absorb the primary cardholder’s account history for the card to which you’re added. To understand the complexities of the issue as and to get a feel for which card issuers are likely to report your AU card to a credit bureau, check out this post: http://www.doctorofcredit.com/how-does-being-an-authorized-user-affect-your-credit/

      I no longer recommend that spouses add each other as authorized users. That’s because Chase won’t approve you for most of their best cards if it appears you have opened 5 or more cards in the past 24 months (the “5/24 Rule”), and being added as an AU usually counts toward that tally.

      2) Personal cards usually provide more protections than business cards. Business cards can be gotten even if you just have a “sole proprietorship,” in which case you can apply for the business card using your SSN instead of a business EIN. One thing to pay attention to, however, are the terms of the business card. Some cards state something to the effect of the need for you to use the card for business expenses. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me that as long as you have some business expenses and charge them to the card, you shouldn’t have a problem abiding by that term. But other business cards’ terms state that you must use the card *only* for business expenses. In that case, you wouldn’t be able both to abide by the terms and to meet the minimum spend unless you have substantial business expenses.

  2. Dr. McAdam,

    Great Blog! Question: If your intent is to travel, would you rather have travel points rewarded you or straight cash. My thought is that with cash I have more freedom; to search the cheapest flight, at the right time, going to the right place (aka Mexico). Do you think this is a true assumption?

  3. Dr. McAdam,

    Another question if I may: Given the fact that closing credit cards can hurt your credit score, these deals that have annual fees attached to them are huge deterrents for me given that in a few years the initial deal that’s offered is almost entirely eaten up by the ongoing annual fee. How do you avoid this? or is it not that big of a ding on credit scores to close credit cards?

    Thanks,

    Blake

    • I’d like to know the answer to Blake’s question about closing credit cards and impact on credit score, too. Please send a link to the blog post if you have answered it some where.

      • Steve,

        Thanks for your comments on the blog tonight. While approving them, I actually noticed that two from Blake, include the one above, were in the comment section’s trash can. I approved the above comment (from July 10) minutes before you commented on it! Ha.

        Ok, it’s a great question. But there’s a good answer to it.

        Closing a credit card does hurt one’s credit score but only a little. Moreover, that little bit of hurt occurs 10 years after closing the card. That’s because the card stays on your credit report for 10 years after you close it, only falling off thereafter. Read more here: http://www.brianmcadam.com/how-to-travel-for-free-part-3

        But the second piece of the puzzle is that closing the card is not the only way to avoid the big annual fee. In many cases, it is possible to “downgrade” to a no-annual-fee card before the card’s big annual fee comes due at the start of the card’s second year of card membership. As examples, you can downgrade the Citi Prestige ($450 annual fee) to the Citi ThankYou Preferred (no annual fee) or the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($450 annual fee) to the Chase Sapphire (no annual fee). [Note that the Chase Sapphire is a different card from the Chase Sapphire *Preferred*.] Downgrading does not count as a closed card, thereby avoiding the small ding your credit will suffer 10 years down the road.

        Thanks for the great question. Let me know if either of you have follow-up questions.