Best Credit Card Intro Bonuses for Fall 2022
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When it comes to credit card rewards, one of the best ways to build up a portfolio of points or score some sizable cashback is with welcome bonuses — also sometimes referred to as intro bonuses or sign-up bonuses. In order to entice consumers into applying for a new credit card, issuers will often offer bonuses that can be unlocked by spending a certain amount on the new card within a certain timeframe (typically three to six months). What’s more, from time to time, these offers may be enhanced to further stoke interest.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best currently-available intro bonuses, including some limited-time enhanced offers and other favorites among both annual fee and no annual fee options.
Cards with Limited-Time Elevated Offers
Delta SkyMiles Cards from American Express
- Current intro bonus: Earn up to 95,000 Delta SkyMiles (bonuses and spending requirements vary by card)
For a limited time, Delta Airlines and American Express are offering increased welcome bonuses on their slate of co-branded cards. This includes the Delta SkyMiles Gold, Platinum, and Reserve cards, while the no-annual-fee Blue card retains its standard bonus. Here’s what the current offers look like for each:
- Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card: Earn 65,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases in your first six months
- Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card: Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases in your first six months
- Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card: Earn 95,000 bonus miles after you spend $6,000 in purchases in your first six months
All three of these offers are currently set to expire on November 9th, 2022, giving flyers a bit of time to consider their winter travel plans and which of these card options makes the most sense for them. On that note, there are pros and cons to each of these three options — with the annual fees also being a factor as the Gold card comes at a cost of $99 a year (although this is waived for the first year while the Platinum’s annual fee is $250 and the Reserve is $550 a year. Therefore, Delta loyalists should be sure to look over the perks that each option has to offer, make their pick, and apply for their choice of card before these increased bonuses expire.
Marriott Bonvoy Cards — Bevy and Bountiful
- Current intro bonuses: 125,000 bonus Bonvoy points after making $4,000 in purchases within the first three months
Earlier this month, Marriott Bonvoy announced the debut of two new cards: one from American Express and another from Chase. Those cards are the Marriott Bonvoy Bevy and Marriott Bonvoy Bountiful respectively. Despite being from different issuers, the pair of cards share several similarities — including in their launch welcome offer. Currently, new cardholders can earn 125,000 bonus Bonvoy points after they make $4,000 in purchases within their first three months. These bonuses are set to expire in January 2023. Also notable is that both cards have a $250 annual fee.
Looking at what the Bevy and Bountiful have to offer, each card earns 6x Marriott Bonvoy Points on purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties, 4x points on purchases at restaurants worldwide as well as at U.S. supermarkets (up to $15,000 in combined restaurant and supermarket spending per year), and 2x points on all other purchases. Additional benefits include complimentary Gold Elite status as well as 15 Elite Night Credits per calendar year, the ability for cardholders to earn 1,000 bonus points with each qualifying stay, and the opportunity for cardmembers to unlock a Free Night Award worth up to 50,000 points once they make $15,000 in purchases in a year. Regardless of whether you go with the Amex-issued Bevy or Chase-issued Bountiful, it may be worth turning in your application before these offers expire early next year.
No Annual Fee Cards
Capital One SavorOne
- Current intro bonus: $200 back when you spend $500 in your first three months
In my opinion, the Capital One SavorOne has one of the best standard welcome bonuses on the market. This isn’t because the amount you’ll score is huge but because the amount you get is sizable compared to what you’ll have to spend. New cardholders can earn $200 in cashback after spending just $500 in their first three months.
Not only does this card have a totally-achievable welcome bonus but also offers a bevy of rewards beyond your earliest days as a cardholder. With it, you’ll be able to earn 3% back on dining, 3% back on entertainment, 3% back on select streaming service purchases, and 3% back at grocery stores (all other purchases earn 1%). With that well-rounded line-up of elevated categories, the Capital One SavorOne is a great addition to any rewards card mix.
Chase Freedom Flex
- Current intro bonus: $200 back when you spend $500 in your first three months + 5% cashback on gas station purchases (up to $6,000 in spend) for the first year.
Like with the SavorOne, the Chase Freedom Flex also has an attainable welcome bonus with a solid spend-to-reward ratio. When you spend at least $500 on the Flex during your first three months, you’ll earn $200 in cashback. However, on top of that, Chase is currently offering a different type of bonus, allowing new cardholders to earn 5% back on gas station purchases they make in their first year (capped at $6,000 in spend).
Beyond those bonuses, the Freedom Flex keeps things fresh with some standard spending categories and a quarterly revolving one. First, cardholders can earn 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining, 3% on drugstore purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. On top of that, each quarter, cardholders can earn 5% back on a bonus spending category (up to $1,500 in spend). For example, the bonus category for October through December 2022 includes Walmart and PayPal. Between this rotating category, a bonus on gas, and the main intro bonus itself, the Chase Freedom Flex is one card that covers a lot of bases.
Cards with Annual Fees
The Platinum Card by American Express
- Current intro bonus: 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 on the card in your first six months.
- Annual fee: $695
When it comes to The Platinum Card by American Express, there’s a lot that’s “big.” For one, the intro bonus will net new customers six figures in points as they can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points when they spend at least $6,000 on their new card. While that’s a pretty high figure, they will have their first six months of card membership to hit that total. Of course, the other part of the Platinum card that’s big is the annual fee, which comes in at $695.
While that $695 pricetag may be intimidating, the Platinum Card makes up for it with too many perks to even list in this post. However, some examples include $200 a year ($15 per month + $35 in December) in Uber credits, $200 a year in airline incidental credits, $200 a year in credits for Fine Hotels and Resorts or Hotel Collection bookings, $240 ($20 a month) in Digital Entertainment credits, and much more. Plus, you’ll enjoy airport lounge access via Priority Pass as well as the Amex Centurion Lounge network and Delta SkyClub network (when flying Delta). Ultimately, despite the big annual fee, the Platinum Card can still allow you to live large and perhaps even save some money along the way.
Capital One Venture X
- Current intro bonus: 75,000 miles after making $4,000 in purchases on the card within the first 3 months
- Annual fee: $395
Since its debut earlier this year, the Capital One Venture X has been one of the most buzzed about cards on the market. And while the current intro bonus offer may not be quite as high as the one it launched with, the spending requirement is also significantly lower. Currently, new cardholders can earn 75,000 miles when they make $4,000 in purchases with their card within the first three months. Note that the card does have an annual fee of $395.
Offsetting that fee is the $300 in annual statement credits cardholders can earn on bookings made through Capital One Travel. In terms of rewards, the Venture X earns 10x miles on hotels & rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, and 2x miles on all other purchases. Plus, in addition to having access to the Priority Pass lounge, card members will also be able to check out the new Capital One Lounge at DFW along with future locations. Given these benefits and the current bonus, it’s easy to see why so many people are loving the Capital One Venture X.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve
- Current intro bonus: 50,000 points after spending $4,500 on the card in your first three months
- Annual fee: $400
Considering some of the other bonuses we’ve looked at, 50,000 points may not sound like a lot. However, with the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card, customers can redeem these 50,000 points for up to $750 in travel purchases. In order to earn these points, you will need to spend $4,500 on the card in your first three months. As for the annual fee, it’s a step down from the Platinum, coming in at $400.
That $400 annual fee is also heavily offset by the Altitude Reserve’s $325 annual credit, which can be triggered by eligible travel or dining purchases. Elsewhere, the card also provides customers with access to more than 1,300 airport lounges that are part of the Priority Pass network. The rewards of the Altitude Reserve are also unique as cardholders can earn 3x points on mobile wallet spending as well as 5x points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center and 3X points on other eligible travel purchases (plus 1x on all other purchases). Also notable is that U.S. Bank has seemingly dropped the previous requirement of customers having a U.S. Bank checking or savings account before applying. All of these suggest that now could be a great time to add this card to your wallet — especially your digital wallet.
While there are many different rewards credit cards to choose from and several factors that can go into choosing the right one for you, considering intro bonuses — including limited-time ones in particular — may also help sway your decision. Of course, in addition to enhanced bonuses that are currently available, there are plenty of great standard intro bonuses to discover as well. Ultimately, what’s important is finding a card that makes sense for your spending and rewards strategy. Happy card shopping!