Home > Credit Cards > 4 Sign-Up Bonuses You Can Earn in Time for the Holidays

Comments 0 Comments

[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

How many companies can you think of that will pay you to become a customer? Credit cards are one of the few products that will offer you a valuable reward just for opening a new account and meeting its minimum spending requirements.

If you act soon, you can still apply for a new credit card and receive a sign-up bonus in time for the holidays this year. To do so, you need to find a credit card that features the most valuable offer, but one that still has a relatively low minimum spending requirement.

When Will You Receive Your Sign-Up Bonus?

Although many credit card agreements specify that cardholders must allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to their accounts, most will actually receive their bonus sooner than that. The vast majority of credit card issuers will post any points, miles or cash back you are entitled to soon after your next statement period ends, once you have met the minimum spending requirements. The exception is when necessary charges are listed as pending when your monthly statement closes. Since some charges take a day or two to post to your account, there are cases where you might have to wait until the following statement closes until you receive your points. So if you are in a hurry to receive your rewards, just be careful not to wait until the last minute to meet those minimum spending requirements. (And before you apply, check your credit to make sure your score is well into the “good” range — these cards require good credit scores or higher. One way to get your credit scores for free is through Credit.com.)

Also, carefully consider whether the credit card you want to apply for will match with your needs and your typical spending patterns. You can maximize the rewards you earn by paying your balance in full each month to avoid finance charges. Here’s an expert guide to picking a rewards credit card.

4 Cards That Offer Bonuses You Can Earn Before the Holidays

IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card from Chase

Looking for hotel award nights for your holiday getaway? IHG hotels, which include Holiday Inn, Intercontinental, Crowne Plaza and other brands, is offering a sign-up bonus of 60,000 points on its Rewards Club Select card from Chase. To earn this bonus, new applicants need to spend $1,000 within the first three months of account opening. Once earned, points can be redeemed for free night awards at IHG properties starting at just 5,000 points for their Points Break offers and standard award nights starting at just 10,000 points per night. In addition, you can use the IHG Rewards Club Concierge to redeem your points for tickets to games, book tours or buy one-of-a-kind items. Cardholders earn five points per dollar spent at IHG properties, double points for purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. There is a $49 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

United MileagePlus Explorer Card from Chase

This card offers new applicants 30,000 bonus miles after after spending $1,000 on new purchases within three months of account opening. In addition, you can also receive another 5,000 bonus miles by adding an authorized user that makes at least one purchase within the same time period. Cardholders earn double miles on all United purchases, and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. Other benefits include two free United Club passes each year, priority boarding, and a free checked bag for the cardholder and a companion traveling on the same ticket. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year.

CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard from Citi

Here is another way to earn some frequent flier miles fast, as new cardholders earn 70,000 bonus miles after making just $7,000 in new purchases within four months of account opening. Travelers earn double miles on eligible American airlines purchases, telecommunications merchants, cable and satellite providers, car rental merchants, and gas stations, and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. Other benefits include a priority boarding, a 10% rebate on redeemed miles, and a free checked bag for the cardholder and up to four others traveling on the same reservation. There is a $99 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

Capital One VentureOne

Capital One’s VentureOne card offers 20,000 bonus miles, worth $200 in travel statement credits, after new cardholders spent $1,000 within three months. This card offers 1.25X miles per dollar spent on all purchases, with no limits. Once earned, miles can be redeemed for a penny each as statement credits toward travel purchases such as flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises. There is no annual fee for this card.

At publishing time, the IHG Rewards Club SelectUnited MileagePlus ExplorerAmerican Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Select and VentureOne credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

More on Credit Cards:

Image: iStock

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team