The Best Chase Credit Card Signup Bonuses

Estimated read time: 9 minutes

If you're looking for the best signup bonuses for the various credit cards on the market, Chase is a strong contender. Not only do they offer many different types of cards with signup bonuses, they also have a long and reputable history as one of the largest credit card issuers in the U.S. So, how can you get the most bonus when signing up for a Chase credit card and how can you make that bonus work best for you? Start by taking a closer look at some of the best signup bonuses exclusively for Chase credit cards to help you select a card that fits within your budget and lifestyle.

Signup Bonuses for Each Card

As you might expect from one of the largest credit card issuers on the market today, Chase has no shortage of credit cards and bonuses available. Understanding the different types, as well as the best time to use them, is vital to getting the most out of your bonus. Here are the different types:

Want a premium travel credit card with signup bonus? Get Chase Sapphire Reserve.

If you're a frequent traveler and want to earn the most possible bonus points, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is a solid choice. With this travel credit card, you can earn 50000 bonus points after you spend $4000 in purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. If redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards program, that's enough to book a round trip! When you redeem points for travel and dining, you get more points per dollar spent. This works out to a premium percentage rate of exchange on points used for travel.

This card gives you a fixed annual reimbursement amount on your travel expenses, but you'd need to spend thousands of dollars on the card each year to make it worth the steep annual fee which is currently $450. If you enjoy the modern conveniences of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, having the Chase Sapphire Reserve reimburses your application fee for these programs.

You also get a complimentary membership to Priority Pass Select, which lets you access over 900 airport lounges around the world.

Get the best Chase standard travel card with signup bonus! Chase Sapphire Preferred.

If you travel regularly, but not frequently enough to balance out the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred could be a better choice for you. With this card, you get 2X points per $1 on dining at restaurants and 2X points per $1 on travel.. Don't worry, you also get 1X point spent on all other purchases.. Like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred signup bonus gets you 60000 bonus points after you spend $4000 on travel/dining purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.

This is a practical travel card, for those who can't stomach the huge annual fee of the Reserve card, but want to satisfy their wanderlust.

Looking for an airline points or miles card with signup bonus? Chase has you covered.

If you're not loyal to a particular airline, both the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred are good options. If you'd rather fly a specific airline, however, and maximize the signup points you get with a new Chase credit card, the following options may be better for your specific needs:

Chase UA Explorer Card

The Chase UA Explorer offers a comparable signup bonus to the other cards on this list, making it a strong competitor. However, the annual fee is not waived for the first year, and like all the competition on this list you have to spend a minimum of a few thousand dollars to unlock the bonus. If you are in it to win the bonus points, this card is comparable to the Sapphire Preferred in terms of bonuses but is more valuable to people who fly United.

Chase Southwest Plus Card

After you subtract the small annual fee, the above average bonus of Southwest Airlines miles that you get with the Chase Southwest Plus card works out great for travelers looking to book a trip fast. You'll only need to spend modestly within the first few months of opening your account in order to qualify for this signup bonus. That makes this card a great choice for Southwest flyers.

Chase Southwest Premier

Like the Plus, if you spend at least to a modest minimum within the early months of opening your account, the Chase Southwest Premier card lets you earn above average miles that convert with Southwest Airlines. You can apply for this card and the Chase Southwest Plus card together to access both bonuses which will double your points. This strategy could unlock a companion traveler certificate for you, but you will pay a moderate annual fee to own this card. It's also worth noting that if you have opened five or more credit card accounts (not just Chase accounts) within the last 24 months, Chase will reject your card application.

Chase British Airways Card

If you fly often on British Airways, the Chase British Airways Card's signup bonus miles may be right for you. This works out to be comparable in value with the other cards on this list, even after you deduct the annual fee. The annual fee is not waived for the first year, so it needs to be accounted for. Also, you'll need to spend to receive this bonus.

Find yourself a frequent hotel guest? Perhaps a card with hotel points and a great signup bonus is for you!

If you'd like to maximize your stays wherever you travel, you'll be glad to know that there are Chase credit cards with sign on bonuses specifically geared around hotels worldwide. These include:

Chase IHG

IHG spans a number of hotels and resorts, including Holiday Inn, Staybridge, Candlewood, Crowne Plaza, and Intercontinental. If your travels find you staying often at these hotels or any others that fall under the IHG umbrella of companies, the Chase IGH Rewards Club card could be right for you. You'll get a substantial amount of IHG points plus a small cashback bonus.

Are you excited about a card for everyday purchases that also offers a great signup bonus? Chase Freedom is for you!

If you're all about maximizing the amount of cash back you get with your credit cards, but you still want a lucrative signup bonus, the Chase Freedom is a card that's flexible and has easy to meet requirements. Not only does the Chase Freedom card give you 5% cash back on on various bonus categories each quarter, but you also earn unlimited smaller cashback rewards on all other purchases automatically. Cashback rewards from Chase do not expire as long as your account is open. With Chase Freedom, once you spend the modest minimum on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account, you get a $150 bonus.

When do you receive the bonus? Right away? After a certain time?

The details of when you receive your Chase sign on bonus will depend on the card you choose, as each one has their own specific requirements and timeframe in order to qualify. For example, all the cards discussed above, require that you make a certain amount on purchases within a certain timeframe to be eligible to receive the bonus. Once you meet those criteria, the bonus is applied to your account. Regardless of how many bonus points each card offers, when you take into account the annual fee, most of these cards end up with roughly the same amount of value, within about $100 or so.

Does each bonus have an expiration date (when applicable)?

Provided you meet the requirements to get the sign up bonus, these bonuses do not typically expire unless specifically stated in the terms of the application. In some cases, particularly with the travel cards, you may be subject to blackout dates or restrictions on when you can fly. You'll want to read the terms carefully during the application process to see if this applies to the card you're interested in.

What are the pros and cons for each reward offered?

Since there's no one right Chase card for everyone, one person's pro could be another person's con when deciding on the right credit card and the sign up rewards you get for it. For example, in the case of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, a highly popular and respectable card, many people would see the minimum spending level of $3,333 per year in order to cover the $450 fee as a con unless you travel frequently enough to make it worth your while. As most signup bonuses are geared around travel, if you don't fly frequently, it can be a challenge to take advantage of the bonus offered. With that being said, however, it's worth noting that Chase boasts one of the most flexible rewards programs currently available—the Ultimate Rewards program. Many credit card customers look for ways to maximize their points value, since Chase offers numerous ways to get points, as well as bonuses depending on the card you choose.

No matter whether you want a solid cashback card, a card for business travel, or a card that gives you miles toward a family vacation, you'll find a lot of reasons to consider Chase's comprehensive rewards program. In addition, if you do travel often and rack up considerable points on a regular basis, you'll be glad to know that many (but not all) Chase cards allow you to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points at a 1:1 ratio to select travel partners, including:

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Marriott Rewards
  • Hyatt Gold Passport
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • United Mileage Plus
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Ritz Carlton Rewards

So depending on your specific needs, you may be able to get even more value out of your Chase credit card than its signup bonus alone.

Are there costs associated with the credit card even though there is a bonus?

Oftentimes, there are annual fees associated with the card. These fee-based cards generally have more lucrative rewards or bonuses than their counterparts with no annual fees, so it can very well be worth choosing a fee-based card over a non-fee card if you can. In some cases, the annual fee is waived for the first year, but for many of the Chase signup bonus cards, it is not, so keep that in mind when choosing the right card for your needs.

The Bottom Line

Every credit card is different, and Chase is no stranger when it comes to offering rewards that are designed to entice customers, but their expansive reward program and lucrative signup bonuses are designed purely to help the company make money. Customers who benefit the most from signup bonuses are those who are astutely aware of other factors involved in the selection of a credit card, including:

  • Interest rate
  • Cashback rewards categories
  • Expiration dates or limitations on points
  • Convenience and ease of use

There is some calculating involved in determining, for example, if it's worth it to you to pay an annual fee versus racking up frequent flyer miles. Knowing how much you need to spend in a given timeframe to help offset that cost isn't just crunching number—it's being a smart credit card consumer. While signup bonuses are particularly targeted toward those who travel frequently, if you're not that into flying, there are plenty of cards such as a cashback card or rewards card, which may be better suited to your specific needs.

How to Spend Your Points Wisely

It's also important to note that how you spend your credit card rewards is just as important as accumulating them. For example, although donating your accumulated points or miles to charity is commendable, there are tax laws in place that make this a bit of a grey area. Since you didn't pay for your points, the IRS doesn't consider them tax deductible. Instead, use your points for the most valuable rewards you can get and then donate the money you have saved to a charity of your choice. This way, you get both the tax deduction and savings while still working with a cause you care about. Overall, the most important tip you can come away with as a result of researching the best signup bonuses with Chase credit cards is to look beyond the signup bonus to see just how much you'll actually be paying in things like interest, annual fees, foreign transaction fees, and transfer fees to determine if applying for the card truly makes sense for your specific situation.

Which Chase Credit Card Is Right for You?

Everyone has different priorities—whether they'd like more in the way of points versus miles versus cash back, but Chase is one of the larger and more accommodating cards in this area so, chances are, they have one or more cards available to suit your needs. Consider your current lifestyle or your work and whether or not things like traveling on certain airlines or staying at certain hotels will be truly beneficial to you in the long run. If they are, and the value offsets the cost to you, then applying for a Chase credit card and enjoying the added benefits of a signup bonus can be a lucrative way to build upon your credit history while enjoying some of life's best perks—including travel, dining, entertainment and leisure.

Smart credit card use is all about maximizing value over cost. Just remember that, like all credit cards, smart financial management is important to not only keep your account in good standing (and get the maximum rewards possible), but also to pave the way for future offers from Chase (or their co-branded partners) with even better signup rewards and benefits. The sooner you apply, the sooner you can start earning points toward the things you love!