Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses of 2019

Credit card companies are offering better and better sign-up bonuses. There are a lot of lucrative sign-up bonuses to choose from in the form of cash back, points or miles. Whether you’re looking for miles to for your next vacation, cash back to fund a new purchase, or a wealth of points to give your rewards cache a head start, you can be confident you’ll find some of the biggest deals on our list. Most importantly, these are some of the best cards on the market, meaning you’ll want to keep them in your wallet long past the initial welcome period.

Here are the best credit card sign-up bonuses for March 2019:

  • Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card – Best for foodies
  • Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® – Best for serious travelers
  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – Best for hotel spending
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Best for travelers
  • Capital One Quicksilver Card – Best for everyday spenders
  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® – Best for American Airlines loyalists
  • Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card – Best for grocery shoppers
  • Citi Premier℠ Card – Best for road-warriors
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® – Best for flat-rate cash rewards

Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which Bankrate.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they may appear within listing categories. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and the likelihood of applicants' credit approval also impact how and where products appear on this site. Bankrate.com does not include the entire universe of available financial or credit offers.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

Best for foodies

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment Earn 2% at grocery stores Earn 1% on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
$500 after you spend $3000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for serious travelers

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Barclays's secure website

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
Welcome Offer:
Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
Annual Fee:
$89 (waived first year)
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro for first 12 billing cycles following each BT that posts within 45 days of account opening
Regular APR:
18.24%, 22.24% or 25.24% variable based on your creditworthiness

Card Details

  • Enjoy 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase
  • New - Control Your Card - Instantly secure your accounts by locking your cards with Barclays SecurHold™, plus set transaction limits and block certain purchase categories for you or your authorized users. Available only on the Barclays mobile app.
  • Book travel your way—no airline, seat or hotel restrictions—and redeem your miles for travel statement credits
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • International Chip and PIN for use at self-service chip terminals around the world
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing

Best for hotel spending

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day
Welcome Offer:
50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
17.99% - 25.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels, through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for travelers

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Chase's secure website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Rewards Rate:
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Annual Fee:
$95
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
18.24% - 25.24% Variable

Card Details

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 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
Terms and Restrictions Apply
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Capital One's secure website

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
Welcome Offer:
$150 after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months
Regular APR:
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)

Card Details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 16.24%-26.24% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for American Airlines loyalists

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Citi's secure website

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®

Rewards Rate:
2 AAdvantage® miles on eligible American Airlines purchases* 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations* 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
Welcome Offer:
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
Annual Fee:
$99, waived for first 12 months*
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
18.24% - 26.24%* (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at gas stations*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent at restaurants*
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases*
  • Earn a $100 American Airlines Flight Discount after you spend $20,000 or more in purchases during your cardmembership year and renew your card*
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees*
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to four companions traveling with you on the same reservation*
  • Enjoy preferred boarding on American Airlines flights*
  • Receive 25% savings on inflight food and beverage purchases when you use your card on American Airlines flights*
Terms and Restrictions Apply
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Bank of America's secure website

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 3% cash back in your choice category (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) Earn 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
$150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Regular APR:
16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Card Details

  • No annual fee
  • $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • New Offer: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement /furnishings
  • Now earn 3% cash back in your choice category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the Mobile banking app or Online banking, or do nothing and it stays the same.
  • No expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can get a 25% - 75% rewards bonus on every purchase
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for road-warriors

Citi Premier℠ Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Citi's secure website

Citi Premier℠ Card

Rewards Rate:
Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
Welcome Offer:
Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
Annual Fee:
$95, waived for first 12 months
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)

Card Details

  • Earn 50,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel including gas stations
  • Earn 2 points per $1 spent at restaurants and on entertainment
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 50,000 Points are redeemable for $625 in airfare on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center, or $500 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • Points Transfer allows you to transfer points to participating airline loyalty programs
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Best for flat-rate cash rewards

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Image

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 - 850)

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Chase's secure website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Rewards Rate:
Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic!
Welcome Offer:
Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase Intro APR:
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Regular APR:
17.24% - 25.99% Variable

Card Details

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase - it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.


Author: Bankrate Staff | Last Updated: March 19, 2019

Have questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email, find us on Facebook, or Tweet us @Bankrate.


In this article

Quick comparison: Bankrate’s top picks for the best sign up bonus cards

Card Name Best for Sign-up Bonus
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card Foodies $500 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 within 3 months
Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® Serious travelers 70,000 miles when you spend $5,000 in the first 90 days of account opening
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Hotel spending 75,000 points after you spend $5,000 on purchases within first 3 months
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Travelers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 within first 3 months
Capital One Quicksilver Card Everyday spenders $150 cash bonus if you spend $500 in purchases within the first 3 months
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® American Airlines loyalists 50,000 AAdvantage bonus miles after $2,500 in purchases within the first 3 months
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card Grocery shoppers $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days
Citi Premier℠ Card Road-warriors 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 within first 3 months of account opening
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Flat-rate cash rewards $150 Bonus after you spend $500 in purchases in your first 3 months of account opening

Why you can trust Bankrate

Any financial decision you make, from buying a home to making investments, to getting a credit card, no matter how big or small, Bankrate is here to offer guidance. With over a decade of experience our team is well versed in providing useful, actionable advice for every stage of your financial journey. A sign-up bonus can be a great way to help you make the most of your everyday spending and help you to afford something you have been saving for, whether that be a vacation, flights over the holidays, or a new purchase like furniture.

Review criteria:

The card with the highest sign-up bonus value may not necessarily be the best card for you, a great sign-up bonus card should be one that suits your normal spending patterns – to avoid overspending to hit the target – and one that offers rewards that will continue to benefit you long after the initial bonus has been spent. The 100-point Bankrate scoring methodology factors in the value of the sign-up bonus but also the usability and value of the ongoing rewards.

  • Sign-up bonus: We factor in the value of the welcome offer in conjunction with the spending target.
  • Annual fee: A lot of high-end hotel rewards cards charge fees, they also include a lot of luxury benefits, we weigh the pros and cons.
  • Extras and Discounts: Free room upgrades and trip insurance are useful benefits for travelers. High-rate cash back categories on things like gas and groceries can be a boon for commuters and families.

Recap of the top sign up bonus credit cards

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card – Best for foodies

The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card got a face lift in 2018 and came back better than ever with serious dining rewards. The card offers foodies the chance to earn 4% back on dining and entertainment, if you consistently run up heavy restaurant bills you should consider this card. The sign-up bonus could fund your next culinary adventure.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® – Best for serious travelers

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard is more than its 70,000-mile sign-up bonus – which you’ll receive after spending $5,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. The Arrival Plus offers 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, and each time you redeem, you’ll get 5% miles back to use towards your next redemption. Book travel wherever and however you want with no airline or hotel restrictions and enjoy a waived annual fee for your first year ($89 per year thereafter).

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – Best for hotel spending

The Capital One Venture Rewards card is a great travel card that offers all the perks we’ve come to expect from higher-tier travel card (such as credit toward Global Entry and TSA PreCheck fee) but it offers a lot of flexibility: You can book travel on any website, through any airline, or hotel chain and using Venture’s “travel eraser” tool use your points to erase expenses from your statement. But, you can also transfer points to airline partners with some really favorable rewards rates. This card is great for any traveler but the reason we particularly mention frequent hotel stayers is because the card offers 10x points on hotel stays booked and paid for through Hotels.com.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Best for travelers

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or CSP as it’s lovingly referred to by fans, has a well-deserved reputation as one of the best travel rewards cards on the market. The card is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program and redeeming through the Chase portal boosts the redemption value of your rewards by 25%.

Capital One Quicksilver Card – Best for everyday spenders

For anyone looking for a straightforward rewards card with an easily achievable sign-up bonus, then the Quicksilver card is a good choice for you. If you travel often outside of the U.S., the card charges no foreign transaction fees which is a useful perk that could save you plenty. With 1.5% back on all spending, if you charge $2,500 to your card monthly, that would give you $450 in cash back annually – not bad for a no annual fee card.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® – Best for American Airlines loyalists

Paging all American Airline’s flyers. If you travel frequently with the airline you may want to consider giving your AAdvantage account a turbocharge with the Citi /AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite. The rewards rates on high-spend categories such as gas and dining add to the cards appeal. And, if you’re regularly booking flights, you could be earning double the number of miles with 2x AAdvantage miles on American Airline purchases.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card – Best for grocery shoppers

For a very low spend target you can earn a solid sign-up bonus with this no annual fee card. The rewards structure is perfect for anyone who spends heavily on gas and groceries as it offers 3% cash back in your choice category (which can include gas), 2% on grocery stores and wholesale clubs up to a combined $2,500 per quarter, 1% on everything else after that.

Citi Premier℠ Card – Best for road-warriors

Your 50,000 bonus points will help you fly farther with the Citi Premier. Your sign-up bonus is redeemable for $625 on any airline, anytime with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou® Travel Center. With a host of travel-oriented benefits like great transfer partners and more, the Citi Premier is a great choice for a travel rewards card. Its offering is particularly valuable for road warriors as you can earn 3x rewards points on gas station spending. That could take the edge off your daily commute if you know you’re racking up points for your next vacation.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® – Best for flat-rate cash rewards

With a long introductory period with no interest and 1.5% back on all spending, this is a great card to charge a large purchase to and pay off over time. If you’re planning a big expense – say, you just moved to a new house and you need furniture – you can pay off the expense in installments making the purchase or purchases more manageable. You’ll also earn 1.5% cash back on that expense and $150 cash back introductory bonus (after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months), that makes this no annual fee card very rewarding.


How to choose the best sign up bonus card

It’s easy to be seduced by a high-value sign-up bonus but the best offer is the card that you works best with your existing spending patterns, your budget, and your credit score.

Know your spending patterns

The best combination will be a card that offers a generous welcome offer and great rewards on your spending. This shouldn’t be too difficult to find from the list above. Knowing your own spending habits well will aid you in choosing a great credit card, and stop you from being swayed by an offer that might sound great for the first few months, but will ultimately be left unused. For instance, if you don’t spend much on airline tickets then a co-branded airline card that offers a chunk of miles as a welcome offer and high rewards rates on spending with the airline, isn’t that valuable. You may make use of the introductory offer but after that, you’ll find it hard to accrue substantial points just through your everyday spending. If you still want to earn travel rewards on your regular monthly expenditures like gas and groceries, you might want to consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.

Don’t overspend – know your budget

This one is crucial. All cards that offer a welcome offer require you to spend a certain amount within a given time period. For instance, $2,000 in the first three months after you open the account. If this amount is more than you would normally spend in the same time window then you may feel pressured to overspend. If you end up carrying a balance on your card, the interest you accrue will entirely negate any benefit from the sign-up bonus. So, make sure that the spend amount is within your normal spending range or use the card to make a planned expenditure (that you have a plan or have saved to pay off) that will help you reach the goal.

Consider your credit score

It’s not worth applying for a card that you may not qualify for if your credit score is too low, as each application results in a “hard pull” on your credit score which will temporarily suppress your credit score. Some cards allow you to do prequalification, this does not necessarily guarantee that you will qualify for the card you want, it can avoid the unwanted “hard pull” if you’re not 100% sure.

How to maximize your sign-up bonus

When considering the best card for you it’s worth factoring in if you can boost the value of your sign-up bonus. Some credit card companies’ rewards are improved when you redeem through their shopping or travel portals, and some reward customers for loyalty if they use the company for other elements of their banking.

How to know if the annual fee is worth it?

Many of the cards in our list charge annual fees, some are waived for the first year. These range from the $95 a year range, to the high-end luxury card charge of $450. Usually it only requires some quick math to see how much your average monthly spending will accrue in rewards, and then if those rewards are significantly more valuable to you that the annual fee. When you do this calculation, make sure to add in the value of the extras and discounts offered by the card and your likelihood of making use of them, perks lie extended warranties and rental car insurances can be high-value additions, but only if you make use of them.

There’s a degree of sticker shock with high-end fees but it’s worth reading the card details to see if you would make use of the, often, luxury benefits that come with this type of card. Travel benefits such as longue access and Global Entry reimbursement will be valuable perks for some.

For most, however, these are nice-to-have but not necessary benefits. Once the first year has come and gone and you’ve used up the points from the lucrative sign-up bonus, you will still have to make that high annual fee payment each year. Although it may be tempting to close your account, this reduce the open account history and total available credit, two important factors for your credit score. So, take the decision to close an account very seriously and be aware of the implications on your credit. If you’re doubtful that you will get the most use out of the cards perks – for instance, if you don’t fly very often then longue access won’t be helpful for you – then be honest with yourself, and save yourself the headache of signing up with that high annual fee.

Need to do more research?

If you haven’t quite decided yet on which credit card is right for you, check out our latest reviews of every single major credit card with a sign-up bonus.

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.