• Aditya Bagaria

What is a sign-on bonus?

Sign-on bonuses are typically offered by credit card companies to lure customers in. When you checkout from Macy’s, you often hear the associate ask if you want a Macy’s card in exchange for an extra discount. It’s the same concept but in rewards. A cashback card will offer extra cashback. For instance, a typical offer on the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card is $200 after spending $1,000 within the first 90 days. A points card will offer points. For instance, an amazing offer is 100,000 points with the American Express Platinum Credit Card after spending $5,000 within the first 90 days.

Sign-on bonuses are a great way to get a head start on your journey; however, it’s not easy. To get the best bonuses (ex. 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points), you have to spend a lot, fast. Usually, American Express will ask you to spend $5,000 within 90 days. This may not be feasible for many; however, there is a workaround. See if you can pay your rent through a credit card. Determine if you have any major purchases coming up where you can use the credit card. Another great option is to buy gift cards. Staples usually runs a promotion that removes all fees on the Visa gift card, so you may be able to reach the spending goal without spending any “money.” Most banks will allow you to cash in the gift card for cash.

It’s best to sign up for a credit card ONLY when you know you can meet the requirements of the sign-up bonus. Banks want you to miss the 90-day deadline or spend requirement so they don’t have to award your duly earned rewards.