Do you have a fairly large purchase requirement on the horizon? Consider applying for a new credit card that offers a generous signup bonus on which you can charge the purchase to soften the blow. If you have excellent credit and don’t plan on shopping for any loans in the next few months, then this might be exactly the right time!
The most lucrative benefit a credit card typically offers is its signup bonus. For many consumers, however, the biggest hurdle to earning the bonus is meeting the minimum spend requirement. But if you’re about to buy some new furniture, jewelry or appliance, or you just NEED to have that 70″ flat screen 4k Ultra HD LED Smart HDTV, the minimum spend may no longer be such an obstacle.
If you plan on taking out a large loan, like a home mortgage or auto lease, in the next few months, it’s probably best to avoid any new credit card applications for now. It’s not worth the potential risk of paying a higher interest rate on that loan for any signup bonus or other credit card benefit you might be receiving.
Here’s a rundown of some popular credit cards that offer generous signup bonuses with either no annual fee or have it waived the first year.
$500 Minimum Spend
Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited have the lowest spend requirement of the most popular credit cards. They offer a $150 signup bonus after only $500 spend within 3 months, so if your future purchase is modest, that bonus is easily within reach. With Freedom, you get 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. With Freedom Unlimited you earn 1.5% cash back on all spend.
$1000 Minimum Spend
The American Express Blue Cash Everyday card offers a $100 signup bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. For regular spending, you get 3% cash back at Supermarkets, 2% at gas stations and select department stores, and 1% everywhere else.
The BankAmericard Travel Rewards card gives you 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. Those 20,000 points can be redeemed for a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases. You also earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases.
$2,000 Minimum Spend
The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express offers 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. These points are best used by transferring to airline and hotel partner accounts, but there are also other non-travel redemption options. In addition, you earn 3x points on airfare purchases directly from airlines, 2x points at restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets, and 1 point per $ on all other purchases. The $195 annual fee is waived the first year. Keep an eye out for better signup bonus offers for this card before you apply.
$3,000 Minimum Spend
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard has a signup bonus of 40,000 Miles after $3,000 spend in the first 90 days. Your 40,000 miles can be redeemed for a $400 statement credit toward travel purchases and you get 5% of your miles back after you redeem. You earn 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases and the $89 annual fee is waived the first year.
$4,000 Minimum Spend
Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. You can redeem the bonus points for a $500 statement credit or use those points towards travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel site where they will be worth $625 instead. You can also transfer those points to frequent flier and hotel loyalty accounts for even more value. With this card, you earn 2 points on travel and at restaurants and 1 point everywhere else. The $95 annual fee is waived the first year.
Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months and includes a $300 annual travel credit. You can use your points towards travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel site where they will be worth $750. Like the Sapphire Preferred, you can also transfer those points to frequent flier and hotel loyalty accounts for even more value. With this card, you earn 3 points on travel and dining and 1 point everywhere else. The annual fee is $450.
If you have to spend money, you might as well take advantage of it. If you can buy what you need online, make sure you buy it through a shopping portal, and get the bonus you deserve for that spending by using a new card.