Sign-up bonuses are very common in the world of credit cards. They’re a great way for credit card companies to convince people to sign up for a new credit card, because the sign-up bonus can be a great way to front-load value onto a specific card. If you’re thinking about signing up for a new credit card because of the sign-up bonus, here are four things to do so you can get the most out of it.
- Make Sure You Can Meet the Requirement
First and foremost, it’s crucial that you can meet the requirement for the credit card sign-up bonus. The Capital One Quicksilver sign up bonus, for example, requires you to spend $500 within the first three months, which is a pretty accessible requirement. There are some cards that may have much higher requirements, requiring you to spend $5,000 or more within the first three months, which may not be accessible for everyone.
- Find out How You’ll Receive Your Bonus
Next, determine how you’ll receive your bonus. Is your bonus going to be a flat-rate dollar amount added as a statement credit? Will you receive points that correspond to a rewards program? Will you get your bonus as a gift card sent to your physical address? Although all of these things may be worth the same amount of money, knowing how you’re going to get that bonus can prepare you for using it.
- See How the Bonus Matches Up to the Annual Fee
Comparing the sign-up bonus of a card and the annual fee can be an effective way to understand more of the value of your sign-up bonus. A credit card bonus can be a great way to essentially offset an annual fee; if your annual fee is $100, for example, and you have a sign-up bonus that’s worth $500, it’s a bit like getting a credit for the first five years of your annual fee.
- Look at the General Cash Back Bonuses From the Credit Card
Lastly, it’s also important to look at how you’ll get cash back bonuses from your credit card in general. General cash back bonuses are how you’ll get benefits from your credit card in general, with benefits that last far beyond the front-loaded benefits that will come from your sign-up bonus. No matter how good the sign-on bonus is, a credit card that has extremely poor general bonuses probably shouldn’t become your main credit card.
A credit card sign-up bonus will definitely give you more benefits near the beginning of having your credit card, but you should never make your choice of credit card based solely on how good the sign-up bonus is. Credit cards have a variety of benefits that you may be able to use when you have them, and you want to make sure that all of your benefits are as good as possible. These four things will help you ensure that you’re doing exactly that.