Best cash back credit card welcome bonuses

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When it comes to credit cards, those that offer the opportunity for free travel and premium perks—such as credits toward airline fees and TSA Precheck membership, airport lounge access, hotel elite status and more—tend to get all the glory. But just because cash back credit cards are less flashy doesn’t mean they’re less valuable for the right cardholder.

Plus, cash back is typically a lot easier to redeem than points or miles: There’s no worrying about blackout dates or navigating a long list of complicated rules. When you’re ready (or when you reach the minimum redemption amount), simply redeem your cash back for a statement credit, direct deposit into your bank account or a check.

What’s more, many of these cards offer limited-time cash bonuses for new cardholders. So if you’re looking to cash in—pun intended—on a new card, here are some of the best cash back credit card sign-up bonuses available right now.

Best cards with a flat cash back bonus

Flat cash back bonuses are just that: A fixed amount of cash, often in the form of a statement credit, that you receive for meeting certain spending requirements within a specified time frame.

Annual fee cards

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Bonus: Earn $150 back (in the form of statement credits) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card within the first six months of card membership. Plus, get 20 percent back on Amazon.com purchases made with the card in the first six months (up to $200 back)
  • Rewards rate: 6 percent cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent); 6 percent on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3 percent on transit, including taxis, ride-shares, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more; 1 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: $95 annual fee (waived the first year); 0 percent intro APR for 12 months on purchases, then 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable; complimentary ShopRunner membership; earn bonus rewards through Amex Offers; pay your way with Pay It Plan It; redeem cash back for statement credits ($25 minimum)

Read our full review of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Bonus: $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within your first three months
  • Rewards rate: 8 percent cash back on tickets from Vivid Seats (through Jan. 31, 2022); 4 percent on entertainment and dining; 2 percent at grocery stores; 1 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: $95 annual fee; 15.99 percent to 24.99 percent variable APR; save money when you shop online with the Capital One Shopping browser extension; no minimum redemption; redeem cash back for statement credits, gift cards or a check, or to cover a recent purchase (can also PayPal Pay with Rewards or Shop with Points at Amazon.com)

Read our full review of the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card.

No annual fee cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Bonus: $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within your first three months
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022); 5 percent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3 percent on dining, including eligible takeout and delivery; 3 percent at drugstores; 1.5 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on purchases, then 14.99 percent to 23.74 percent variable; complimentary three-month DashPass subscription (after that, you are automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50 percent off for the next 9 months; must activate by Dec. 31, 2021); no minimum redemption; redeem cash back for statement credits, direct deposits, travel or gift cards (can also Shop with Points at Amazon.com); Pay Yourself Back provides a 25 percent to 50 percent bonus when you redeem rewards toward past purchases or charitable contributions; option to combine cash back with an Ultimate Rewards card and redeem for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (worth 25 percent to 50 percent more) or move to a Chase transfer partner at a 1:1 ratio

Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Bonus: $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within your first three months
  • Rewards rate: Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 15.49 percent to 25.49 percent variable; save money when you shop online with the Capital One Shopping browser extension; no minimum redemption; redeem cash back for statement credits, gift cards or a check, or to cover a recent purchase (can also Pay with Rewards at PayPal or Shop with Points at Amazon.com)

Read our full review of the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Bonus: $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within your first three months
  • Rewards rate: 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 15.49 percent to 25.49 percent variable; save money when you shop online with the Capital One Shopping browser extension; no minimum redemption; redeem cash back for statement credits, gift cards or a check, or to cover a recent purchase (can also Pay with Rewards at PayPal or Shop with Points at Amazon.com)

Read our full review of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

  • Bonus: $200 in online cash rewards after you spend $1,000 on purchases within your first 90 days
  • Rewards rate: 3 percent cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement/furnishings; 2 percent at grocery stores and wholesale clubs; 1 percent on everything else (3 percent and 2 percent cash back categories capped at $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases, then 1 percent)
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (on balance transfers made in the first 60 days; a 3 percent fee [min. $10] applies) for 15 billing cycles, then 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable; option to change 3 percent cash back category once a month; Preferred Rewards clients earn purchase bonuses between 25 percent and 75 percent, depending on program tier; no minimum redemption for statement credits, gift card purchases through Bank of America’s online shopping portal, direct deposits into a BofA checking or savings account or credit to an eligible Merrill account; $25 minimum redemption for a check or a contribution to a qualifying 529 account at Merrill; option to set up an automatic redemption preference

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card last updated on 05.03.21

Read our full review of the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

  • Bonus: Earn $100 back (in the form of statement credits) after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first six months of card membership; 20 percent back on Amazon.com purchases made with your card in the first six months (up to $150 back)
  • Rewards rate: 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarket (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1 percent); 2 percent at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores such as Macy’s and JCPenney; 1 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable; complimentary ShopRunner membership; earn bonus rewards through Amex Offers; pay your way with Pay It Plan It; redeem cash back for statement credits ($25 minimum)

Read our full review of the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Bonus: $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within your first three months
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on activated bonus-category purchases (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1 percent); 5 percent on Lyft purchases (through March 2022); 5 percent on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3 percent on dining, including eligible takeout and delivery; 3 percent at drugstores; 1 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 14.99 percent to 23.74 percent variable; complimentary three-month DashPass subscription (after that, you are automatically enrolled in DashPass at 50 percent off for the next nine months; must activate by Dec. 31, 2021); no minimum redemption; redeem cash back for statement credits, direct deposits, travel or gift cards (can also Shop with Points at Amazon.com); Pay Yourself Back provides a 25 percent to 50 percent bonus when you redeem rewards toward past purchases or charitable contributions; option to combine cash back with an Ultimate Rewards card and redeem for travel in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (worth 25 percent to 50 percent more) or move to a Chase transfer partner at a 1:1 ratio

Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

  • Bonus: $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in purchases within your first three months
  • Rewards rate: 1.5 percent cash rewards on all purchases (1.8 percent cash rewards on digital-wallet purchases, including Apple Pay and Google Pay, for the first 12 months)
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases from account opening and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months, then 14.49 percent to 24.99 percent variable (balance transfer fee of 3 percent or $5—whichever is greater—for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5 percent, with a minimum of $5); redeem cash back for Wells Fargo ATM withdrawals (in $20 increments), direct deposits into a Wells Fargo checking or savings account or a credit to your qualified Wells Fargo mortgage principal balance (can also redeem in Wells Fargo’s Go Far Rewards program for statement credits, travel, gift cards, merchandise and digital downloads); earn bonus rewards through the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall

Read our full review of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card.

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

  • Bonus: $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months
  • Rewards rate: 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases for 15 months, then 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable; complimentary ShopRunner membership; earn bonus rewards through Amex Offers; pay your way with Pay It Plan It; redeem cash back for statement credits ($25 minimum)

Read our full review of the American Express Cash Magnet Card.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

  • Bonus: $70 Amazon gift card upon approval
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back (tracked as points) at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2 percent at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: Amazon Prime subscription required ($119 per year or $12.99 per month); 14.24 percent to 22.24 percent variable APR; earn 10 percent to 25 percent back on certain items through limited-time “exclusive Prime card offers”; save up to 15 percent with Subscribe & Save orders; no minimum redemption; redeem points for travel, gift cards, qualifying Amazon purchases, statement credits or direct deposits into eligible checking or savings accounts

Read our full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.

Best cards with a higher bonus on more spend

The more you spend with these cash back cards, the bigger the bonus you can get. Factor in no annual fee and they can be particularly lucrative for new cardholders—especially if the earnings categories already align with your spending habits.

No annual fee cards

Discover it® Cash Back

  • Bonus: Cashback Match™ provides an automatic dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on activated bonus-category purchases (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1 percent); 1 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months, then 11.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable; free Identity Alerts (requires activation); no minimum redemption; redeem cash back for statement credits, direct deposits into eligible checking or savings accounts, gift cards (partner gift cards range from $5 to $200 in increments of $5) or donations to select charities (can also Pay with Rewards at PayPal or Shop with Points at Amazon.com)

Read our full review of the Discover it Cash Back.

Discover it® chrome

  • Bonus: Cashback Match provides an automatic dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year
  • Rewards rate: 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 in combined quarterly purchases, then 1 percent); 1 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months, then 11.99 percent to 22.99 percent variable; free Identity Alerts (requires activation); no minimum redemption; redeem cash back for statement credits, direct deposits into eligible checking or savings accounts, gift cards (partner gift cards range from $5 to $200 in increments of $5) or donations to select charities (can also pay with Cashback Bonus at Amazon.com and PayPal)

Read our full review of the Discover it® chrome.

Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®

  • Bonus: 5 percent total cash back on in-store Walmart purchases for your first 12 months when you use your card with Walmart Pay
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back (tracked as points) on delivery or pickup purchases made through Walmart.com or the Walmart mobile app; 2 percent on in-store Walmart purchases; 2 percent at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations; 2 percent at restaurants and travel; 1 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: 17.99 percent to 26.99 percent variable APR; if you’re denied for this card, Capital One automatically considers you for the Walmart Rewards® Card; no minimum redemption; redeem cash back for statement credits, purchases made in the Capital One travel portal, gift cards or a check, or to cover a recent purchase

Read our full review of the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

  • Bonus: Cashback Match provides an automatic dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year
  • Rewards rate: 5 percent cash back on activated bonus-category purchases (up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1 percent); 1 percent on everything else
  • Other things to know: 0 percent intro APR on purchases and 10.99 percent on balance transfers for six months, then 12.99 percent to 21.99 percent variable; $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher (for up to the next five years); no late fee for your first missed payment (After that, up to $40); free Identity Alerts (requires activation); no minimum redemption; redeem cash back for statement credits, direct deposits into eligible checking or savings accounts, gift cards (partner gift cards range from $5 to $200 in increments of $5) or donations to select charities (can also pay with Cashback Bonus at Amazon.com and PayPal)

Read our full review of the Discover it Student Cash Back.

The bottom line

Whether you choose a credit card with flat-rate cash back rewards for all purchases or one that offers rotating bonus categories every quarter, cash back is the most fungible rewards currency you can get. And if you’re able to kick-start your earnings with a sweet cash bonus right off the bat, that’s even better.

One piece of advice, though: Don’t let welcome offers entice you to spend more than you can afford to pay off in full by your payment due date. Otherwise, interest kicks in and can quickly erase the value of your bonus.

All information about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card, American Express Cash Magnet Card, Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.