Hear from our editors: The 12 best credit card sign-up bonuses of April 2020

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These offers are no longer available on our site: Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card

Hear from our editors: The 12 best credit card sign-up bonuses of April 2020

Updated March 6, 2020

We update credit card details (e.g., APR, sign-up bonus) as we receive new information from our marketing partners.

Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about our team.

Written by: Tim Devaney

Here are our picks for the best credit card sign-up bonuses and welcome offers of March 2020, which can be worth hundreds — or even thousands — of dollars.

We found the best bonuses by calculating a dollar value for card offers using our estimated value of what those points and miles are really worth.

Here are Credit Karma’s picks for the best credit card bonuses.



AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®: $1,446 estimated value

Here’s why: The AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® features a sign-up bonus that could be worth about $1,446 when redeemed for flights, based on our estimated value of 2.41 cents per mile.

  • Sign-up bonus: 60,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles
  • Spending requirement: One purchase, plus the $99 annual fee
  • How long you have to earn it: 90 days from account opening

Along with the sign-up bonus, the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard® also comes with an introductory Companion Certificate after you make your first purchase (and pay the $99 annual fee) within 90 days of account opening.

This allows you to take one guest along on a round-trip domestic flight for only $99, plus no more than $43.20 in taxes and fees. But keep in mind: After your first year, you’ll have to spend at least $20,000 a year on purchases to retain the anniversary Companion Certificate.

See our picks for the best American Airlines credit cards to learn more about the AAdvantage® Aviator® Red World Elite Mastercard®.

Platinum Card® from American Express: $1,308 estimated value

Here’s why: The Platinum Card® from American Express features a welcome bonus that could be worth more than $1,300, depending on how you redeem the points.

  • Welcome bonus: 60,000 Membership Rewards® points
  • Spending requirement: $5,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months from account opening

When redeemed for travel through American Express Membership Rewards®, this welcome bonus is worth only $600. But you could get a much better value by redeeming your points through a transfer partner (instead of the Membership Rewards® program).

For example, if you transfer your points to Delta SkyMiles®, we estimate your welcome bonus could be worth about $1,308.

Of course, you’ll have to weigh the one-time welcome bonus against the recurring $550 annual fee.

Check out our review of the Platinum Card® from American Express to learn more.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®: $1,205 estimated value

Here’s why: The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® features a sign-up bonus that could be worth about $1,205 when redeemed for flights, based on our estimated value of 2.41 cents per mile.

  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 American AirlinesAAdvantage® bonus miles
  • Spending requirement: $2,500 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months of account opening

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® carries a $0 intro, then $99 after first year annual fee. If you spend at least $20,000 on purchases each year, you’ll receive a $125 American Airlines Flight Discount, which could help you offset the annual fee.

Check out our review of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® to learn more.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: $1,205 estimated value

Here’s why: The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® features a sign-up bonus that could be worth about $1,205 when redeemed toward flights, based on our estimated value of 2.41 cents per mile. But you have to spend twice as much to earn it than you’d have to with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®.

  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles
  • Spending requirement: $5,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months of account opening

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® carries a hefty $450 annual fee. But if you appreciate luxury, you’ll enjoy the complimentary Admirals Club® membership and VIP airport experience, which includes access to priority check-in and screening lanes.

Check out our review of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® to learn more.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: $1,026 estimated value

Here’s why: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card features a sign-up bonus that could be worth more than $1,026, depending on how you redeem the points.

  • Sign-up bonus: 60,000 bonus points
  • Spending requirement: $4,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months from account opening

When redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, this bonus is worth $750, according to Chase.

But here’s the trick: You could get a better value for your points if you redeem them through a transfer partner (instead of through Chase’s own rewards program). According to our estimated point valuations, some transfer partners offer better redemption rates than Chase does. So if you can take advantage of a better redemption rate, the sign-up bonus becomes more valuable.

For example, if you redeem the points through United MileagePlus®, we estimate a value of $1,026 for your sign-up bonus.

That’s pretty good for a relatively affordable $95 annual fee. Take a look at our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to learn more.

United℠ Explorer Card: $1,026 estimated value

Here’s why: The United℠ Explorer Card features a sign-up bonus that could be worth about $1,026 when redeemed for flights, based on our estimated value of 1.71 cents per mile.

  • Sign-up bonus: 60,000 bonus miles
  • Spending requirement: $3,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months from account opening

The United℠ Explorer Card charges an annual fee of $0 intro, then $95 after first year. You’ll also receive two United Club℠ passes each year.

Check out our review of the United℠ Explorer Card to learn more.

Citi Premier℠ Card: $918 estimated value

Here’s why: This card’s sign-up bonus is worth $750 when redeemed for airfare through the ThankYou® Travel Center. But you might get more bang for your buck if you redeem through a Citi transfer partner.

If you transfer to Citi partner JetBlue True Blue, your sign-up bonus could be worth an estimated $918. But depending on which transfer partner you choose and how you redeem, your points could be worth more or less.

  • Sign-up bonus: 60,000 points
  • Spending requirement: $4,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months from account opening

The Citi Premier℠ Card has a reasonable $95 annual fee, but there are no freebies like travel credits or free hotel nights to offset it.

Take a look at our review of the Citi Premier℠ Card to learn more.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card: $872 estimated value

Here’s why: For a limited time, the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card features a welcome bonus that could be worth about $872 when redeemed for flights, based on our estimated value of 2.18 cents per mile.

  • Welcome bonus: 40,000 bonus miles (plus 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles®)
  • Spending requirement: $2,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months

You’ll also get a $100 statement credit when you make a Delta purchase with your card in your first three months. The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card also comes with a companion certificate each year after your account anniversary, which could help make up for the $250 annual fee. This allows you to bring a guest on a domestic round-trip flight for no more than $75 in taxes and fees.

Check out our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card to learn more.

Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card: $872 estimated value

Here’s why: The luxurious Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card features welcome bonus that could be worth about $872 when redeemed toward flights, based on our estimated value of 2.18 cents per mile.

  • Welcome bonus: 40,000 bonus miles (plus 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles®)
  • Spending requirement: $3,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months

The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card charges a heart-stopping $550 annual fee, but it can be offset by the companion certificate. This allows you to bring one guest along on a first-class, domestic, round-trip flight for no more than $75 in taxes and fees.

Check out our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card to learn more.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: $855 estimated value

Here’s why: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® features a sign-up bonus worth $750 when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, according to Chase. But you could get a better value if you redeem through a Chase transfer partner. Your bonus could be worth about $855 if you transfer your points to Chase partner United Airlines.

  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 bonus points
  • Spending requirement: $4,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months from account opening

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with a $550 annual fee, but this is partially offset by its $300 annual travel credit that’s given to you as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.

Check out our review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to see why we believe it’s the “Michael Jordan of credit cards.”

Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card: $763 estimated value

Here’s why: The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card features a welcome bonus that could be worth about $763 when redeemed for flights, based on our estimated value of 2.18 cents per mile.

  • Welcome bonus: 35,000 bonus miles
  • Spending requirement: $1,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months

The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card comes with an annual fee of $0 intro, $99 after first year. But each year you spend at least $10,000, you’ll receive a $100 flight credit, which could help offset the annual fee.

Check out our review of the Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card to learn more.

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card: $705 estimated value

Here’s why: The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card features a sign-up bonus worth about $705 when redeemed for hotel stays, based on our estimated value of 0.94 cents per point.

  • Sign-up bonus: 75,000 points
  • Spending requirement: $3,000 on purchases
  • How long you have to earn it: 3 months from account opening

The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card comes with one free-night award each year after your account anniversary, which can help you offset the card’s $95 annual fee.

Check out our review of the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card to learn more.


How to make the most of your credit card sign-up bonus or welcome offer

Ultimately, how much your points are worth depends on how you redeem the points. For example, you could theoretically get a higher point value if you use your hotel program points to redeem for hotel nights than for, say, cash back. But we can help you with an idea about how much you could earn from each bonus, based on a specified redemption option.

To take advantage of a credit card’s sign-up bonus or welcome offer, it’s important that you have a plan for how to earn it before you apply for the card.

Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Don’t spend more than you can comfortably afford to pay back. If earning bonus points is important to you, make sure you apply only for credit cards that offer a sign-up bonus or welcome offer with a spending requirement you can afford as part of your regular spending habits.

Plan big purchases. If you have a big purchase coming up — one that you’d planned to make anyway — you may want to put it on your new credit card, so it can help you meet the requirements of the bonus-points offer.

Keep track of time. Be mindful of the time frame in which you have to earn the sign-up bonus or welcome offer. Most credit cards on this list give you about three months to hit the spending requirement.

Remember, a credit card’s sign-up bonus or welcome offer is often a one-time thing, so before you apply, make sure there are other features that make the card worth using afterward.