Best Cashback Sign-Up Bonus Offers of July 2018
Posted May 14, 2018 11:00 a.m. EDT
Updated July 4, 2018 6:00 p.m. EDT
You’re always looking for the best deals when it comes to credit card bonuses. A popular lure credit cards are using to bring in new customers is cashback sign-up bonuses.
In a recent study, we found that the average introductory bonus in the travel rewards credit card category in 2018 is now 40,556 points, more than double the average bonus in 2008 (16,050 points) and up from 34,327 points five years ago. But these bonuses also come at a steep cost to consumers, with the average annual fee on a card with a bonus offer is $120, up 62% from $74 in 2008, according to the report.
After looking at the available cards, we found three we felt offered the best benefits for those looking specifically for ones with cashback sign-up bonuses. All three cards offer the cashback bonus without having to spend large amounts of money to get it. And they all offer ongoing cashback options and perks once the cashback intro bonus is gone, all with no annual fees.
In this review, we will cover:
Best sign-up bonuses
- Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months
- Uber Visa Card
- TruWest Visa Signature Card
Alternatives to these cards
The bottom line
Cards with the best sign-up bonuses
on Capital One’s secure website
Read Full ReviewRegular Purchase APR14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)Intro Purchase APR0% intro on purchases for 15 monthsAnnual fee$0Rewards Rate1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every dayCredit requiredgood-creditExcellent/GoodThe Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months starts with One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, the highest among the three cards highlighted in this review. Once you spend $500 in three months to get the cashback bonus, it’s applied to your rewards balance within two billing cycles.
Cardmembers get a flat 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day, and you don’t have to register every quarter to get it. You’re also not limited to select categories to get the cash back and there’s a None foreign transaction fee.
Let’s say you spend $2,000 a month on the card. At unlimited 1.5% cash back, you’ll get $360 at the end of the year. Your rewards don’t expire during the life of the account, and you can redeem cash back for any amount.
The perks with the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months are pretty good considering it’s a no-fee credit card. There’s the usual benefits that come with Visa Signature®, including free upgrades and special savings at hotels, resorts and spas, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and fine wine and food events, free 24-hour concierge service, shopping and savings and special offers from retailers. There are also popular benefits like purchase security, roadside dispatch, travel and emergency assistance, auto rental collision damage waiver, lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance.
Other cards may offer more bonus points or miles — for a higher spend — than the Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months. They may also more in cashback awards, especially in targeted categories like travel and dining, than what’s offered with this card.
Uber Visa CardRegular Purchase APR16.49%-25.24%
variableAnnual fee$0 For First Year$0 OngoingRewards4% back on dining, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, and 1% on everything elseRewards4% back on dining, 3% back on hotel and airfare, 2% back for online purchases, and 1% on everything elseNew Uber Visa Card members can Earn $100 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days. The cashback bonus is applied to your card as soon as you make the required purchases within the first 90 days after you open your account. You don’t pay foreign transaction fees on the card.
If you spend around $800 a month on dining, you’ll earn $384 a year in cash back. The cash back in the travel category includes airfare, hotels and home share services like Airbnb. Spend $1,500 a month with the Uber Visa Card on these categories and get $540 back after a year.
After your bonus is credited, there are more perks that come with the Uber Visa Card. Music lovers who spend at least $5,000 a year on it can get up to a $50 credit for online digital subscription services. You get up to $600 for mobile phone damage or theft when you pay your mobile phone bill with your card. The card also gives you access to invitations to exclusive events and offers in select U.S. cities.
You can redeem your Uber Visa Card points for Uber credits, gift cards or cash back, all via the Uber app once your balance hits $5 or 500 points. You must add your Uber Visa Card to your Uber account to take advantage of this feature. As long as the account is active and in good standing, your points never expire.
There are other cards that offer higher cash back for popular categories like airfares, hotels and dining. The cashback balance on your Uber Visa Card must reach $25 before you can use it for gift cards, statement credit or direct deposit. Your cash back redemption is capped at $500 a day. And the card doesn’t have an intro balance transfer rate.
The information related to the Uber Visa Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
on TruWest Credit Union’s secure website
VariableAnnual fee$0 For First Year$0 OngoingWith the TruWest Visa Signature Card, you get a $100 introductory bonus when you spend $100 in the first 90 days after being approved. It’s not the most lucrative bonus out there, but we like it for a different reason: This is by far the lowest spend requirement among the three cards in this review.
The best feature of the TruWest Visa Signature Card is that it starts with a generous 0% intro APR for 18 months on all purchases and balance transfers. After 18 months, there’s a very reasonable variable APR.
You automatically earn 1.5% cash back under the card’s TruRewards program, plus you get up to 1 point for every $1 spent. If you spend $1,000 a month on the card, you’ll get $180 back after a year of spending.
The fine print: You must be a member of the TruWest Credit Union, with a minimum deposit of $5 to qualify, before you can apply for the TruWest Visa Signature Card. To become a member, you must either: live, work or own a business in Maricopa, Pinal, Pima or Yavapai counties in Arizona, or Travis or Williamson counties in Texas; attend school in Travis or Williamson, Texas; or be related to a member or be the surviving spouse of a deceased member.
How to use points
You can earn 5,000 bonus points when you add a cardholder to your account, which gives you more ways to boost your point totals. You also earn up to 10 extra points per $1 spent when you use them to make qualifying purchases on the TruRewards website.
You can use your points and cash back in the Get Extra Points program, where you can apply your cash back to your credit card account, buy gift cards from TruWest or retailers, book a flight, hotel or cruise, buy more than 300 different items ranging from electronics to jewelry and donate points to your favorite charities. You can choose the split-pay option, where you can redeem points and pay for items using your TruWest Visa Signature Card.
Like the, Capital One® Quicksilver® Card - 0% Intro APR for 15 Months, the TruWest Visa Signature Card gives you access to all the benefits of the Visa Signature program.
Alternatives to these cards
If these cashback bonus offers aren’t quite showing you the money, you may want to consider cards that offer double cashback benefits — with no annual fee, but also no cashback sign-up bonus — as an alternative.
on Citibank’s secure website
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer doesn’t force you to register in order to get cash back. Unlike cards with higher cashback options, almost all of your purchases are covered.
There are no caps on the total amount of cash back you can earn. So if you spend $1,000 a month on the card, that means you’ll get $120 in cashback rewards in a year. And you can get another $30 a year back if you make payments of $250 a month.
Once your cash rewards balance hits $25 or more, you can redeem your cash rewards as a check, a statement credit to your account, a gift card or as credit to a linked Citi savings or checking account or to a checking account where you have paid a Citi credit card bill at least twice.
Benefits that come with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer aren’t as robust as other cards in this category. And don’t use this card when you travel outside the U.S., since it charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.
If your account is closed, you won’t be able to earn or redeem your cash rewards, and you forfeit any accumulated cash rewards. Your cash rewards balance will expire if you have not earned any cash back from purchases or payments for 12 months.
on Discover Bank’s secure website
Each quarter, you can earn 5% cash on specific categories up to the quarterly maximum. It’s stand-alone grocery stores in the second quarter, restaurants in the third quarter and Amazon.com and wholesale clubs in the fourth quarter.
You must register for the categories each quarter in order to get the cashback reward. The cashback quarterly maximum is $1,500 for the Discover it® Cash Back, but there’s no limit on the overall amount of cash back you can earn.
If you do a balance transfer, you can save money if you pay off the balance before the end of the card’s 14-month term. But you will pay a 3% balance transfer fee.
The Discover it® Cash Back gives you free access to your FICO® Score on monthly statements, online and on the mobile app, and allows you to use the Freeze it® on/off switch feature that stops purchases, cash advances and balance transfers if you misplace your card.
If you want to spend some of your Discover it® Cash Back cashback rewards or go shopping, you can do it on the Discover Deals website. Here you can earn more cashback bonuses when you shop for deals from top brands or get discounts at the Discover Travel Deals site for flights, hotels, rental cars and cruises.
After the first year, the Discover it® Cash Back’s cashback match rewards goes away, and you don’t get the more robust travel and purchase benefits of other cards.
The bottom line
The introductory cashback bonuses for these credit cards can seem appealing when you first sign up. But you need to ask which benefits remain once you spend that initial bonus. And you need to balance whether the card is just as appealing once the more attractive intro purchase and balance transfer rates expire.
Since you don’t have to worry about annual fees, focus on a card with benefits that go beyond the initial intro cashback bonus. You want to get unlimited rewards with at least 1% cash back at a bare minimum.
It’s even better if you get a card that goes above the usual 1% on items in selected categories. You also want to have access to a website that will let you maximize your cashback rewards and get discounts for shopping. And you want a card that offers secondary perks like travel discounts, purchase and travel insurance and car rental collision coverage.
Keep your balances low and pay your card on time because you may end up paying your credit card company for the privilege of getting cashback rewards.