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Snag Up To $500 In Cash: The Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offers Of March 2019

You can trust the integrity of our balanced, independent financial advice. We may, however, receive compensation from the issuers of some products mentioned in this article. Opinions are the author's alone, and this content has not been provided by, reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser.

How do travel hackers fly around the world for almost nothing? Credit card sign-up bonuses. Get up to $700 in travel or $500 cash with the following competitive offers.

Best Sign-Up Bonus Credit Cards

To take advantage of the best credit card signup bonus offers, you need to have very good credit and the ability to meet a card’s minimum spend requirement within the defined time period—usually within three months of opening the account.

Overview: Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offers

Credit CardBest For

Editor's Choice, March, 2019

Capital One(R) Savor(R) Cash Rewards Credit Card
Frequent Diners
Wells Fargo Propel American Express(R) CardAll Around Value
Chase Sapphire Preferred(R) CardFlexible Travel Rewards
Bank of America(R) Travel Rewards credit cardLow Spending Requirement
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa(R) CardGeneral Cash Back
Capital One(R) Spark(R) Cash For BusinessSmall Business Owners
Capital One(R) Venture(R) Rewards Credit CardPremium Travelers
Chase Freedom(R)Diligent Cash Rewards Seekers

Best $500 Credit Card Cash Bonus Offer

Editor’s Choice, March 2019

Capital One(R) Savor(R) Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One(R) Savor(R) Cash Rewards Credit Card

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • 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
  • Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/AN/AN/A16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

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The Capital One(R) Savor(R) Cash Rewards Credit Card is a fine diner’s dream. It offers a $500 sign-up bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.

Plus, it offers an incredible 4 percent back on dining and entertainment purchases! Customers also earn 2 percent at grocery stores and 1 percent on all other purchases.

The Capital One(R) Savor(R) Cash Rewards Credit Card does have an annual fee of $95, which is waived the first year.

Apply here or read our full review of the Capital One(R) Savor(R) Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offer With No Annual Fee

Wells Fargo Propel American Express(R) Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • Earn 30K bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value
  • Earn 3X points for eating out and ordering in
  • Earn 3X points for gas stations, rideshares and transit
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
0%12 months0%12 months14.74%-27.24% (Variable)$0

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The Wells Fargo Propel American Express(R) Card comes with no annual fee and offers a hefty signup bonus that’s worth $300. Get 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in the first three months of getting the card.

In addition to a nice welcome bonus, the no annual fee Wells Fargo Propel American Express(R) Card comes with one of the most attractive rewards programs out there. You’ll earn 3x points per dollar spent on some of the most frequently used categories including gas station purchases, restaurants, travel expenses, and more. You’ll also earn 3x points on the biggest streaming services around like Netflix and Spotify Premium.

Apply here or read our full review of the Wells Fargo Propel American Express(R) Card

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offer With Flexible Travel Rewards

Chase Sapphire Preferred(R) Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Credit Needed: Excellent Credit
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 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.
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/AN/AN/A18.24% - 25.24% Variable$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95

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If you’re willing and able to spend $4,000 in three months, the Chase Sapphire Preferred(R) Card offers a significant travel signup bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening—that’s $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Points are also redeemable at face value (1:1) at certain airline and hotel and loyalty programs. After that, the Sapphire Preferred card lets you earn 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. The Chase Sapphire Preferred card has an introductory annual fee of $0 the first year, then $95.

Apply herevbaasfveevbxsrdrusvrfqsdutvdxtbuvcw or read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred(R) Card

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offer With Low Spending Requirement

Bank of America(R) Travel Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want – you’re not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
0% Introductory APR on purchases12 billing cyclesN/AN/A17.24% - 25.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers$0

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The no annual fee Bank of America(R) Travel Rewards credit card is the perfect choice if you don’t want an annual fee and want a lower spend requirement. This card will award you with 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days from approval. That’s worth $250 as a statement credit toward any travel purchases, making this sign up bonus one of the best you can get from a card with no annual fee.

The Bank of America(R) Travel Rewards Credit Card pays unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases which you can redeem for travel anytime without blackout dates or restrictions. Existing Bank of America(R) banking customers can earn additional points.

Apply here or read our full review of the Bank of America(R) Travel Rewards credit card

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offer With General Cash Back

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa(R) Card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
0%12 months0%12 months16.24%-28.24% (Variable)$0

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The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa(R) Card is one of the best all around cash back credit cards on the market, and the cherry on top is that it provides an easy way to snag $200. Just spend $1,000 in the first three months to earn a $200 cash rewards bonus.

With this no annual fee card, you will earn unlimited 1.5 percent cash rewards on virtually every purchase (you don’t have to worry about complicated rotating categories). You’ll also get 1.8 percent cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay(R) or Android PayTM, during your first 12 months from account opening.

Plus, if you’re looking for a balance transfer, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa(R) Card gives you a very healthy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.

One of the most unique perks is a $600 insurance protection on your cell phone against theft or damage (subject to a small deductible) if you pay your cell phone bill with the card.

Apply here or read our full review of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa(R) Card

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offer For Small Business Owners

Capital One Spark Cash For Business

Capital One(R) Spark(R) Cash for Business

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • Earning unlimited 2% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Use Spark Cash across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/AN/AN/A19.24% (Variable)$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

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The Capital One Spark Cash For Business Card has the biggest pure-cash sign-up bonus we’ve seen—$2,000!

If you’re self-employed or own a small business, you could snag a $500 cash bonus. You’ll earn $500 after you spend $4,500 on purchases in the first three months. You’ll also earn an unlimited 2 percent cash back on every purchase, every day. Rewards don’t expire. There’s no annual fee the first year, after that a $95 annual fee applies.

Apply here or read our full review of the Capital One Spark Cash For Business

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offer For Premium Travelers

Capital One(R) Venture(R) Rewards Credit Card

Capital One(R) Venture(R) Rewards Credit Card

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • 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
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/AN/AN/A17.99% - 25.24% (Variable)$0 intro for first year; $95 after that

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The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card will give you a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles—worth up to $500 in free travel—if you spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of approval. After that you’ll earn unlimited double miles on every purchase, every day. Points are redeemable for flights on any airline or stays at any hotel.

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee for the first year. After that, the card has a $95 annual fee. The Venture Card has been one of our top picks for international travel for years thanks to no foreign transaction fees and worldwide acceptance.

Apply here or read our full review of the Capital One(R) Venture(R) Rewards Credit Card

Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus Offer For Diligent Cash Rewards Seekers

Chase Freedom credit card

Chase Freedom®

Credit Needed: Excellent/Good
  • 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
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
0%15 months0%15 months17.24 - 25.99% Variable$0

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The Chase Freedom card offers a quick cash bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening. After the sign-up bonus, you’ll continue to earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate, plus unlimited 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. The no annual fee Chase Freedom also comes with a 0 percent intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.

Apply here or read our full review of the Chase Freedom credit card

Summary of the Best Sign-Up Bonus Credit Cards

Credit CardSignup Bonus ValueSpend RequiredAnnual Fee

Editor's Choice, March, 2019:

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
$500 (Cash)$3,000 within 3 mos.$95 (waived your first year)
Wells Fargo Propel American Express(R) Card$300 (Cash)$3,000 within 3 mos.$0
Chase Sapphire Preferred$625 (Travel)$4,000 within 3 mos.$95 (waived your first year)
Bank of America(R) Travel Rewards credit card$250 (Travel)$1,000 within 90 days$0

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa(R) Card
$200 (Cash)$1,000 within 3 mos.$0
Capital One Spark Cash For Business$500 (Cash)$4,500 in the first three months$95 (waived your first year)
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card50,000 Miles; worth $500 (Travel)$3,000 within 3 mos.$95 (waived your first year)
Chase Freedom$150 (Cash)$500 within 3 mos.$0

How we came up with our list of best sign-up bonus credit cards

We took several factors into consideration when determining the best sign-up bonus credit cards for this year.

The quality of a sign-up bonus depends on how much you can get out of the credit card. Benefits vary from cash back, bonus points, airline miles, bonus match, statement credits, and more, and each of these perks gave points to the credit cards that offered them.

Additionally, we took other factors into consideration such as interest rates, overall fees, flexibility of use, terms and policies, and reward program details like earn rates and redemption policies. We’ll dig deep into each of these categories later. And without further ado, here are the best sign-up bonus credit cards currently on the market.

How to calculate the value of a sign-up bonus

After analyzing the various offers from the many sign-up bonus credit cards available, the real question becomes how to determine whether or not the sign-up bonus is worthwhile for you.

In fact, you can do the math pretty simply by calculating how much you generally spend per month/year and factoring in the various bonuses.

Of course, the various benefits received can get a little tricky to quantify. For example, you can’t put a dollar amount on the convenience of having express check-in or the comfort of upgrading your hotel room to a suite.

In general, you can determine how valuable a sign-up bonus is by asking yourself these questions before you sign up:

How much are you required to spend before the sign-up bonus is activated?

If the required amount is within the range that you generally spend each month anyway then you’re essentially getting a free sign-up bonus. All you’ll need to do is transfer your monthly bills onto the card.

On the other hand, the minimum spend requirement for the card is significantly more than the amount you normally spend then the sign-up bonus card might not be right for you.

Do you have good enough credit to get approval for a sign-up bonus card?

To take advantage of the best credit card sign-up bonuses, you need to have very good credit. Remember, each time you apply for a new credit card, the issuer will make a hard pull on your credit score, which will cause it to dip. You want to make sure you’re being approved for whichever card you’re applying for so that you don’t cause this dip more than once.

Sign-up bonus credit cards are some of the best on the market, and the ones on our list therefore require credit scores of 700 or higher. If you don’t know your score, check out our free credit score estimator tool. If your score is lower, there are plenty of other great cards on the market for you—take a look at this list and find the right card for you:

Best Credit Cards If Your FICO Score Is Between 650 And 699

Best Credit Cards If Your FICO Score Is Between 600 And 649

Best Credit Cards If Your FICO Score Is Under 599

What is the bonus offering and is this something you can take advantage of?

What is the actual bonus? Are you getting airline miles, cash back, or bonus points? Make sure the offer is something that appeals to you.

For example, if you’re looking at a card that offers a big package of travel rewards but you’re a bit of a homebody, that card might not be the right one for you.

What fees will you need to pay?

When making your calculations, be sure to include whatever fees come along with the credit card. For example, if you earn a $150 cash bonus but have to pay a $99 annual fee then you’re really only earning $51 as a cash bonus. This seriously reduces the value of the sign-up bonus.

Look at fees like annual, foreign transaction, and late payment fees before signing up. It’s also a good idea to review the APR offered. If your interest payments are exceedingly higher than on other cards, the sign-up bonus might not be worth your while.

That said, at Money Under 36 we always recommend paying off your balance in full and on time, and if you’re responsibly following our advice then even a high APR won’t matter much because you won’t ever be paying it!

Which categories count towards your spending?

This is a common pitfall for credit cardholders, who don’t realize that they’re spending out side the rotating categories. You can earn a tremendous 50,000 bonus points as a sign-up bonus for the Chase Sapphire Preferred(R) Card after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. You’ll also earn 2x points for your spending. However, that 2x points offer only applies to travel and restaurant purchases. If you don’t eat out or travel, then you won’t be able to maximize value for this card.

More importantly, many cards have specific areas or categories where your spending will count towards the spend requirement. If you don’t spend money in these categories, your purchases won’t contribute to the minimum spend requirement and you won’t reach your limit in order to activate the sign-up bonus.

This is possibly the biggest issue people run into when signing up for a bonus card, so pay attention to spend requirements.

Top features of a sign-up bonus

Now that you know how lucrative sign-up bonus credit cards can be, it’s time to learn how to determine which ones are worth your application. There are hundreds of credit cards out there and they all claim to have to best offer for you. So, how do you know what to watch out for? Here are the most important features when shopping around for the best sign-up bonus credit cards:

Sign-up bonus

Obviously, this is the most important aspect of a sign-up bonus card. Without a good sign-up offer, it might be a lucrative card, but it won’t fall into this category.

Cash rewards

This is likely the most appealing benefit for cardholders. You just can’t beat getting cash back. With this bonus, you can use your rewards in any way that you want, and you receive the cash back by using your card for expenses that you have anyway, so it’s really like free money.

Travel rewards

Often, travel credit cards will offer you a sign-up bonus in the form of travel rewards. For example, the Capital One(R) Venture(R) Rewards Credit Card offers a whopping 50,000 miles when you sign up and spend $3,000 within the first three months.

If you travel a lot this can be a lucrative offer. If you don’t travel a lot, you’re probably better off looking for another type of credit card in the first place since these cards are geared towards travel spenders.

However, if you want a free flight or an upgraded ticket, this kind of sign-up bonus/travel credit card can be really useful.

Other travel perks

As mentioned, great travel credit cards come with great travel rewards. For those who travel frequently, these types of rewards are a godsend, and a sign-up bonus credit card that bundles travel rewards into its package is truly top notch.

Some of the best travel rewards include no foreign transaction fee, extra earn rates for travel purchases, upgrades on hotels, flights, or car rentals, auto and luggage insurance, emergency assistance, trip interruption or cancellation insurance, VIP airport lounge access, and more.

APR

How much interest you pay on your credit card balance is a major consideration for most people. A high APR can totally cancel out any savings or bonuses you receive, even a hefty sign-up bonus.

Of course, you can negate this factor altogether by paying off your balance in full each month. This is the most responsible way to spend, but if it’s not financially feasible for you, only consider credit cards with competitive APRs.

Annual fees

Annual fees vary dramatically in this category. You can find cards charging anywhere from $0 to $450. Sometimes, the annual fee is a reflection of what you are getting from the credit card, but not always.

On the other hand, some credit cards will give you a lot of benefits without the annual fee. For example, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa(R) card offers a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending just $1,000 in the first three months, 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, $600 cell phone insurance, and 0 percent introductory APR for all purchase and balance transfers in the first year.

You get all of this without having to pay a dime in annual fees. That’s why we’ve ranked it as the top all around sign-up bonus credit card.

Frequently asked questions

Q: Is it worth getting a sign-up bonus credit card just for the sign-up bonus if I don’t plan on using the card?

A: In general, the answer is no. You can get enough value out of a sign-up bonus to make it attractive, but you also need to use the card to reach its minimum spend requirements. It won’t be worthwhile signing up for a bonus that you can’t access.

Q: Can I open multiple cards at once to take advantage of more sign-up bonuses?

A: You can sign up for one card only per offer. Meaning you can only sign up for one Discover it(R) Cash Back. However, you can sign up for multiple credit cards such as one Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa(R) Card, one Capital One(R) Venture(R) Rewards Credit Card, and one Bank of America(R) Travel Rewards credit card. However, we don’t recommend signing up for multiple cards simultaneously for a few reasons.

  1. You will need to meet the sign-up bonus requirements for each card you sign up for. It is unlikely you will spend enough within the given time frame to qualify for multiple sign-up bonuses, unless you’re a very big spender.
  2. It is difficult to manage multiple credit cards simultaneously, and you can quickly fall into debt by confusing payment dates, APRs, and other terms. Late or missed payments can seriously destroy your credit score.
  3. Closing credit cards shortly after applying (ex. one year after to just take advantage of the first year sign-up bonus) can also adversely affect your credit. This is because you won’t have a long credit history of maintaining a card, something that reflects positively on your credit report.
  4. Each time you apply for another credit card, your credit score is reduced slightly.

Q: What happens to my sign-up bonus if I cancel the card before I cash out?

A: Assuming the sign-up bonus requirements are met, you can utilize the sign-up bonus soon after. If you cancel your card before you take advantage of the bonus, however, most cards will not honor your bonus privileges.

Q: Who is eligible for the sign-up bonus?

A: Each credit card issuer will determine the eligibility terms for their sign-up bonus credit cards. Most will require that you are a US citizen and above the age of 18. What type of credit you have, your annual income, and your debt to income ratio can factor into the approval decision, but these requirements will vary from issuer to issuer.

Should you get a sign-up bonus credit card?

The best sign-up bonus credit cards are really the cream of the crop of the entire credit card industry. The right cards offer the most benefits, the biggest bonuses, and terms that are both reasonable and manageable.

So in a word, if your credit scores allows you access to this category, you should definitely consider applying for one of these cards. Just be sure to read the terms, understand what you are signing up for, and calculate the value of the offer before you jump in.

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About David Weliver

David Weliver is the founding editor of Money Under 36. He's a cited authority on personal finance and the unique money issues we face during our first two decades as adults. He lives in Maine with his wife and two children.

Comments

User Generated Content Disclosure: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  1. Joanne says:

    I already have a few credit cards, but some of these offers look too good to pass up. Is it a bad idea to sign up for a card just for the bonus and then cancel afterward? And how many cards is too many?

    • Money Under 36 Staff says:

      Cancelling your card after a short time isn’t good financial practice because the constant credit inquiries don’t look good on your report.

      Plus, not having a long-standing record of repayment with a single (or multiple) cards doesn’t bode well for your credit history. Instead, sign up for cards with great signup bonuses, and keep them around for the credit-building value. You can have as many as 5 or 6 without it being a problem.

      Just make sure that you can keep track of your cards and that you are making payments on time and responsibly for each one.

  2. Elena Adler says:

    Wow! This has been extremely informative. Thanks for breaking things down so clearly.

    I was considering opening another credit card because my credit score is doing well and I heard this could boost my credit report even more, but I had no idea where to start. This article has supplied me with a lot of information and details for comparison. Thanks a lot!

  3. Bob at The Frugal Fellow says:

    This is exactly what I needed right now as I am looking to start “travel hacking.” I usually see Chase being listed as best for travel but I am trying to get more opinions on that. Is that generally good advice?

  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQ3DQbom53k says:

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  5. Tiara Joseph says:

    I have a Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Visa which I think is an excellent card for earning free flights. I am using this since last 2 years. I got 50,000 point bonus for opening an account and meeting the minimum spending requirement which is worth about $850 in airfare. Altogether, it’s a Holy Grail card for the people like me who loves to travel.

  6. Dan says:

    So my wife and I have high 700s low 800s credit scores. We have 6 credit cards that we maintain with zero balance. The main three cards are BOA, Discover and USAA, The problem is that I have had these cards for 15+ years and so I know that I can qualify for a much better card with much better rewards however what I would prefer to do is close all these smaller accounts (some of them were zero interest promotional cards) and consolidate down to one or two cards then just get rid of all the others. I contacted BOA and they did offer me their rewards card but they did not want me to cancel or close the basic account with a 15+ year history. Is there a way to do this simplification without affecting my credit scores to much? Or should I just pick a better card and open another line of credit?

  7. Pablo says:

    I have a credit rating of around 690. Even though my company gives me a corporate credit card, I still very much need another card just in case, since I travel 90% of my time Internationally.
    Is it true by where you live it can also affect your approval?
    I live in Puerto Rico but my employer is based in the US.
    Am I even more limited for approval because of my rating and where I live?

    I feel that AMEX platinum would be perfect for my needs, but I am reluctant to apply since it will hurt my rating, and I am trying to improve it. Do they have consultants which can tell me before a hard inquiry if I am probable of approval?

  8. David Weliver says:

    Both good points.

    @Bishnu, I would only worry about the credit inquiry if I knew I was going to need a mortgage or other big loan in the next 6-12 months. Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry if your credit score takes a tiny hit. Even then, hard inquiries only really become a problem when there are more a couple.

    @Tim, I agree, it’s a balancing act.

    I’ve read about some people that literarally chase every single one of these offers…they apply, make the purchases, cash in the rewards, and cut up the card. As long as they manage their credit well otherwise, their credit scores are just fine. I would never recommend that, but it has been done.

    Personally, I totally get the “fewer cards the better” argument.

    I did a swap when I applied for the Chase card…I cancelled a card I rarely used, hadn’t been open very long, and didn’t report my credit limit. Now I have four open cards, but only carry and use two of them. The others I keep them open simply because I’ve had them forever and closing them would do more damage (in the form of shortening my credit history). So 2-3 open cards is probably optimal, but if you’ve got good credit and don’t need it for anything else anytime soon, there’s probably no harm in using it to take advantage of an offer like this.

    • Tim says:

      David,

      Thanks for the info. I always like to see how other “financially savvy” people manage the number of accounts they have. I like visiting the internet “deal” sites and the people there go crazy over these offers! To me, it’s just not worth it. If I was considering the account otherwise, it becomes a nice incentive to pull the trigger.

      Speaking of Rewards offers- I’d like to point out ING’s Black Friday Saving Sale…a pretty cool idea- reward those of us who save on Black Friday- not spend! I opened their checking last year and got $125. I’m excited to see what they have going this year!

      Cheers!

  9. Tim says:

    David,

    I’m just kind of wondering, how many credit cards is too many? I’ve got a Chase Freedom MC I like the rewards program for, and that is my main card I use. In addition to that I have a credit card through my credit union, a corporate card, and a line of credit. I also have a Home Depot Charge as interest-free offers are nice to have as projects come up around the house.

    I have toyed with the idea of getting a charge card (AmEx Zync) or another credit card (Discover More) but am hesitant- because do I really need it? I pay all my balances in full, besides the deferred interest balances, which are paid in full before the time is up.

    I’m just curious your thoughts, as the $100 offer from Discover sounds rather tempting.

    Thanks!

  10. Bishnu says:

    Is it worth the hard inquiry?

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