We Have Selected the Credit Cards with the Best Welcome Bonuses
Credit Cards

Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses (May 2020 Version)

Posted: May 28,2020
by Bryce Burchfield
Last updated: September 25,2020

Points Panda has partnered with a variety of financial companies including CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points Panda and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. For more information please read our full Advertiser Disclosure.

We Have Selected the Credit Cards with the Best Welcome Bonuses
We Have Selected the Credit Cards with the Best Welcome Bonuses

Not sure what the best credit card welcome bonuses are? Have no fear, Points Panda is here! Here are some of the cards that we’ll discuss below.

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card
Citi Premier Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card offers 150,000 Bonus Points - the best of all of our hand-picked credit card welcome bonuses
The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has a 150,000 Bonus Point Welcome Bonus

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card has a current welcome bonus of 150,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points.

If approved for the card, you can earn the 150,000 point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 on the Card in the first three (3) months of card membership.

Rewards

Earning Rewards

The Hilton Aspire card earns up to 14 Hilton Honors bonus points for every dollar you spend:

  • 14x at Hilton Hotels & Resorts
  • 7x at flights booked through amextravel.com
  • 7x on car rentals booked through select partners
  • 7x at US restaurants
  • 3x on all other eligible purchases

Redeeming Rewards

Hilton Honors points can be redeemed for stays at Hilton Hotels including Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Embassy Suites, and Homewood Suites:

Hilton Honors Points Can Be Redeemed at Hilton Hotel Brands including Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Embassy Suites, and Homewood Suites
Hilton Honors Points Can Be Redeemed at These Hilton Hotel Brands

Hilton Benefits

Free Weekend Night Reward

Hilton rewards Honors Surpass card members who spend $15,000 in a year with a Free Weekend Night reward.

This reward can be redeemed for one weekend night standard accommodation at eligible Hilton properties. Keep in mind, there are some hotels excluded from the Free Weekend Reward night.

Hilton Honors Diamond Status

Hilton Aspire Cardmembers can Benefit from Hilton Diamond Status Perks like Free Breakfast

The Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card comes with complimentary Hilton Diamond status.

Hilton Diamond status benefits include complimentary continental breakfast, premium wi-fi, 100% bonus on points earned during HIltion stays, as well as guaranteed executive lounge access and upgrades up to a one-bedroom suite (where available).

Hilton Property Credit

When you book a stay of two (2) or more nights at HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard, you can get up for $100 in credits toward qualifying charges. This benefit is available at participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, as well as Conrad Hotels & Resorts.

Additional Travel Benefits

Airline Fee Credit

The Honors Aspire Card comes with a whopping $250 Airline Fee Credit. When you select a qualifying airline, you can receive up to $250 in statement credits per calendar year for eligible fees, like checked bags and in-flight refreshments.

Priority Pass Select

The Hilton Aspire Card Provides Access to Priority Pass Airport Lounges, Like the Primeclass Lounge at New York-JFK Airport

The Honors Aspire Card also comes with Priority Pass Select, providing access to over 1,300 airport lounges around the world. Furthermore, there a number of airport restaurants where Priority Pass members can receive a credit toward their final bill.

This benefit allows up to 10 free Priority Pass airport lounge visits each year, once enrolled.

Global Assist Hotline

The card also comes with a 24/7 Global Assist Hotline to provide medical, legal, financial and other services. This hotline, available if you are traveling over 100 miles from home, can assist with medical emergencies, passport replacement, and missing luggage.

Fees

The Honors Aspire Card has no foreign transaction fees, but it does have an annual fee of $450.

Card Summary

The Honors Aspire Card matches a 150,000 point welcome bonus – the best of all of our hand-picked credit card welcome bonuses, with great travel benefits include Hilton Diamond status and Priority Pass Select membership.

IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card matches one of the best credit card welcome bonuses, with fantastic rewards and benefits for IHG hotel stays
The Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Card Has a Welcome Bonus of 125,000 Points

You can view the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card offer from card ratings here.

The Chase IHG Rewards Club Premier Card offers an incredible welcome bonus of 125,000 IHG Rewards points, which you can earn when you spend $3,000 in the first three (3) months from opening the account.

Furthermore, you can earn an additional 10,000 IHG Rewards bonus points on your account anniversary each year in which you spend at least $20,000 on your Rewards Club Premier Card.

You may be ineligible for this offer if you have received five (5) or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months. This general rule, known as the “Chase 5/24 Rule,” applies to credit cards issued by any bank which may appear on your credit report.

Rewards

Earning Rewards

You can earn up to 25 points per dollar with the IHG Rewards Club Premier Card:

  • 25x points at IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • 2x points at gas stations
  • 2x points at grocery stores
  • 2x points at restaurants
  • 1x points on all other purchases

Redeeming Rewards

IHG Rewards Club is the rewards program for IHG Hotels & Resorts, which includes KImpton, Holiday Inn, InterContinental, and Candlewood Suites:

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Can Book Reward Stays at IHG Hotels & Resorts incluiding KImpton, Holiday Inn, InterContinental, and Candlewood Suites
The IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card Can Book Reward Stays at IHG Hotels & Resorts

Extra Rewards Nights

Each year following your anniversary of becoming a card member, you will receive an Anniversary Reward Night. This reward can be redeemed for a free night at IHG Hotels with award nights available for 40,000 Rewards points or less.

Also, when IHG Rewards Club Premier card holders book a stay of four (4) or more nights, the 4th night is free. With this benefit, card holders using IHG Rewards points will be charged points for the Reward Night redemption rate for the first three (3) nights, and zero (0) points for the 4th night.

IHG Benefits

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card comes with IHG Platinum Elite status.

IHG Platinume Elite Status

IHG Platinume Elite status benefits include room upgrades, extended check-out (subject to availability), and either a “Raid the Bar” or “Raid the Mini Bar” credit.

Additional Benefits

TSA Pre-Check/Global Entry

In addition, card members can receive a credit of up to $100 towards applications for either Global Entry (expedited customs for international flights) or TSA Pre-Check (expedited airport security). As air travel returns to normal, either benefit could save you time at the airport.

This fee credit is available once every four (4) years.

Fees

While the Reward Club Premier Card does have an annual fee of $89, it has no foreign transaction fee.

Card Summary

The IHG Rewards Club Premier Card matches one of the best credit card welcome bonuses, with fantastic rewards and benefits for IHG hotel stays and a statement credit for either TSA Pre-Check or Global Entry.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers one of the best credit card welcome bonuses - a 75,000 point bonus
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card offers a 100,000 Bonus Point Welcome Bonus

You can check out the cardratings offer for the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card here.

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card has a welcome bonus of 100,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 on the card in the first three (3) months of opening the account.

Rewards

Earning Rewards

The Bonvoy Boundless Card earns up to 6 points per dollar on purchases:

  • 6x at Marriott Hotels
  • 2x on other travel purchases
  • 2x on all other purchases

Redeeming Rewards

Marriott Bonvoy is the rewards program for Marriott Hotels, and hotel brands include Marriott, JW Marriott, Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, Renaissance Hotels, Westin and Fairfield Inn & Suites:

Marriott Hotels include Marriott, JW Marriott, Ritz Carlton, St. Regis, Renaissance Hotels, Westin and Fairfield Inn & Suites
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card can Book Reward Stays at These Marriott Hotel Brands

Each year following your anniversary of becoming a card member, you will receive a Free Night Award. This reward can be redeemed for a free night at Marriott Hotels with award nights available for 40,000 Rewards points or less.

Marriott Benefits

Elite Status

As a cardmember benefit, you will receive 15 Elite Night credits upon opening your credit card account. Each subsequent year your card remains open, you will continue to receive the 15 Elite Night credits on or before March 1.

With 15 Elite Night credits each year, you will also automatically qualify for Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status. Silver Elite benefits include free wi-fi, late checkout, and a 10% bonus points during each stay.

Furthermore, each year that you are able to spend $35,000 on the Boundless Card, you will receive Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status. Gold Elite benefits include welcome bonus points at check-in, room upgrade (if available), and 2 P.M. late checkout.

The Bonvoy Boundless Card can Help You Earn Marriott Gold Elite Bnefits Like Room Upgrades
The Bonvoy Boundless Card can Help You Earn Marriott Gold Elite Bnefits Like Room Upgrades
Ram Suite/Elizabeth Hotel, Ft. Collins, CO

The Bonvoy Boundless Card also comes with Premium in-room wi-fi when staying at Marriott Hotels.

Additional Benefits

The card comes with Visa Signature Concierge Service, which offers assistance with making reservations for travel, dining, and entertainment.

Fees

The Bonvoy Boundless Card has a $95 annual fee, but it has no foreign transaction fees.

Card Summary

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card combines an awesome 100,000 point welcome bonus with Marriott status and a Free Night Award with the ability to earn 6x points on groceries through July 31, 2020.

Citi Premier Card

You Can Earn 60,000 Thank You Points with the Citi Premier Card

With the Citi Premier Card, you can earn 60,000 Citi Thank You points.

You can earn 60,000 Citi Premier points after you spend $4,000 in the first three (3) months of account opening.

Rewards

Earning Rewards

Now through August 22, 2020 the Citi Premier Card earns 3 (three) points per dollar:

  • 3 points per dollar on travel including gas stations, airfare, hotels, and car rentals
  • 2 points points per dollar spent at restaurants and on entertainment
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

However, the number of points per dollar card members can earn will improve August 23, 2020:

  • 3 points per dollar at restaurants
  • 3 points per dollar at supermarkets
  • 3 points per dollar for air travel and hotels
  • 3 points per dollar at gas stations
  • 1 point per dollar for all other purchases

Redeeming Rewards for Purchases

You can use your Citi ThankYou Points to Shop with Points in two different ways:

Points for The Citi Premier Welcome Bonus Can Be Used to Shop with Points
Points for The Citi Premier Welcome Bonus Can Be Used to Shop with Points

Points can be used when you checkout to pay for purchases with Amazon and PayPal.

You can also use points for statement credits at 1-800-flowers.com and BestBuy. Your card will be charged for the full purchase amount, the selected amount of points will be deducted, then you will receive a statement credit in 2-3 days.

While the redemption rate to use Thank You points for purchases may vary, at most you can get 1 cent per point redeemed.

Redeeming Rewards for Gift Cards

Another way to redeem Thank You points with marginally more value is redeem for Gift Cards from dozens of restaurants and retailers. Points redeemed for gift cards are redeemed at a rate of 1 cent per point.

Redeeming Rewards for Cash Back or Statement Credited

Citi Thank You Points can be redeemed as cash back or a statement credit.

Thank You points used for statement credits will post in one to two billing cycles.

If you choose to redeem your points for cash back, Citi will make a check payable to you in denominations of either $50 or $100. Checks will be sent via USPS First-Class Mail and arrive within one (1) to three (3) weeks of redemption.

Both statement credits and cash back are redeemed at a rate of 1 cent per point.

You can also use points to pay for all of or part of a bill through Online Bill Pay with Points, but you will only get 0.75 cents per point.

Redeeming Rewards for Travel through the Citi Thank You Travel Portal

A better way to redeem Citi Thank You points to book travel through the Citi Thank You Travel Portal.

Through this portal you can book flight, hotels, rental cars and cruises. Points redeemed through this portal are currently redeemed for 1.25 cents each now through April 10, 2021. After that, points redeemed through Thank You Travel portal will be worth 1 cent each.

Transferring Rewards to Arline and Hotel Transfer Partners

Citi Thank You Points can be Transferred to Over a Dozen Airlines

Your best option for using Citi Thank You points is likely going to be to transfer them 1:1 to the following Citi Thank You’s airline transfer partners:

  • Aeromexico
  • Asia Miles (Cathay Pacific/Cathay Dragon)
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • EVA Air
  • Flying Blue (AirFrance/KLM)
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Jet Airways InterMiles (Formerly JetPrivilege)
  • Malaysia Airlines Enrich
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Qatar Privilege Club
  • Singapore Airlines
  • Thai Royal Orchid Plus
  • Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Additional Benefits

Annual Hotel Savings Opportunity

With the Citi Annual Hotel Saving Opportunity, you can enjoy $100 off of a single hotel stay of $500 or more. Just book through Citi Thank You Rewards Portal and pre-pay for your complete stay.

Fees

The card does have an annual fee of $95, but it does not have foreign transaction fees.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card has a Welcome Bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards Points

You can view the Chase Sapphire Preferred offer from cardratings here.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred features a welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points upon spending $4,000 in the first three (3) months from account opening.

You may be ineligible for this offer if you have received five (5) or more personal credit cards in the past 24 months. This general rule, known as the “Chase 5/24 Rule,” applies to credit cards issued by any bank which may appear on your credit report.

Rewards

Earning Rewards

When using the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for purchases, for each dollar you spend you earn:

  • 2x on travel
  • 2x at restaurants
  • 1x on all other purchases

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card also earns 5x on Lyft rides

Redeeming Rewards for Cash Back

Points earned from the welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed in the form of cashback via the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Welcome Bonus Could be Used for Cash Back
You Could Use the 80,000 Point Welcome Bonus for Cash Back

When you do so, you can receive cash back as either a credit card statement credit, or in the form of a deposit to your bank account.

Redeeming Rewards for Purchases

Chase Ultimate rewards points can used for purchases with Amazon, Apple, and gift cards.

Ultimate Rewards points used for Amazon purchases are redeemed at a rate of 0.8 cents each, while points used for Apple and gift card purchases are redeemed at a rate of 1 cent per point.

Redeeming Rewards for Travel through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal

One of the better ways to use Ultimate Rewards points is to book travel through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal. Through this portal, You can book flights, hotels, vacation rentals, cars, cruises, and even experiences like tours and museums.

Travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal is redeemed at a rate of 1.25 cents of value per point.

Redeeming Rewards for Ultimate Rewards Transfer Partners

The best way to redeem Ultimate Rewards points in many cases is to transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to airline and hotel transfer partners.

Airline transfer partners including British Airways, Jet Blue, United, Singapore, Southwest, and United:

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline partners like British Airways, Jet Blue, United, Singapore, Southwest, and United
Ultimate Rewards Airlines Transfer Partners

And the hotel transfer partners are IHG, Marriott, and Hyatt:

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points for hotel stays with IHG, Marriott, and World of Hyatt
Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners

Additional Benefits

The Chase Freedom Card also comes with DoorDash benefits.

A complimentary 3-month subscription to DashPass is included. Dash Pass is DoorDash’s subscription service and provides an unlimited $0 delivery fee on DoorDash orders of $12 or more.

DashPass normally costs $9.99 per month. Once the 3-month subscription period ends, it will automatically be renewed at a 50% discount for the each month of the remaining year.

Fees

The Sapphire Preferred Card has a $95 annual fee, but it does not have foreign transaction fees.

Card Summary

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card pairs a great welcome bonus of 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points with the possibilities of the Ultimate Rewards Transfer partners.

Points Panda’s Thoughts on the Best Credit Card Welcome Bonuses

There are a lot of great credit card welcome welcome bonuses, so we encourage you to understand what each card offers. and match the minimum spending requirements to your spending habits.

Responses 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.

Leave a Reply

Leave a comment