Last updated 9am 11/17/14. Here is a current list of what we think the top 5 credit card signup bonus offers are. Consider any of these “highly recommended.” If you’re new, we realize that it can be scary to apply for any credit card, much less many at the same time. Dip your toe in the water. It is worth it. These will be updated regularly as offers come and go. Please comment at bottom with news, questions or issues.
1. 50,000 US Airways miles after your first purchase with the US Airways MasterCard. Your first checked bag will always be free, and you'll also receive Zone 2 Priority boarding. Value: $1,200 or approximately 2¢ each.
2. 50,000 Avios Miles with the Chase British Airways Visa, after spending $2,000 in 3 months. You earn 2.5 miles per $1 on British Airways, and 1.25 miles per dollar on everything else. Value: $1,100 or 2.2¢ each for the 50,000 point offer. See our post on how to utilize Avios miles efficiently here.
3. $200 Cash Back with the Chase Freedom card, after spending $500 in 3 months. You will earn up to a 45% return on your first $500 spent on the card, especially if the money is spent in their 5% bonus category of the quarter. This holiday season, you'll earn an extra 5% cash back on Amazon.com, Zappos.com, and select department stores. Value: $225 or 45% cash back when money is spent in bonus categories. Read more about the card here.
4. 50,000 American Express Membership Rewards points with $1,000 in spending on an American Express Platinum Mercedes-Benz; there is a $475 annual fee but you get standard Amex Platinum benefits including $200 towards airline fees (or gift cards in some cases) plus a bunch of Mercedes discounts Value: $1,275 or 2.5¢ each. Points can transfer 1:1 into Air Canada, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Delta, Air France, Hawaiian, Jet Blue, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America.
5. $150 Cash Back with the Discover it Credit Card with $750 in spending within the first 3 months. There's no annual fee, and you get benefits like no foreign transaction fees, 5% cash back in special categories each quarter, and free FICO scores on every monthly statement. Value: $150 in cash.
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