11 Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses of January 2022

11 Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses of January 2022

The Platinum Card® from American Express's current welcome offer is worth approximately $2,000 when transfered to an airline partner like Delta Air Lines.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Best credit card sign-up bonuses January 2022

Best travel card welcome offer

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Offer value: 100,000 points

100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

Best hotel credit card sign-up bonus

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Bonus value: 170,000 points (estimated)

Earn 3 Free Nights after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening + 10X total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores within 6 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

On Chase's Secure Website

Best airline credit card sign-up bonus

United Quest℠ Card

Offer value: 80,000 miles

Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Best travel credit card welcome offer: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Bonus value: 100,000 points

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

Best hotel credit card sign-up bonus: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

Bonus value: 170,000 points (estimated)

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 3 Free Nights after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening + 10X total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores within 6 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

Best airline credit card sign-up bonus: United Quest℠ Card

Offer value: 80,000 miles

Earn 80,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

Numerous rewards credit cards offer lucrative sign-up bonuses you can earn if you're eligible, but you do have to jump through a few hoops. Not only do you have to get approved for a new credit card in the first place, but you also have to meet a minimum spending requirement within a few months of opening your account.

Still, the best credit card info offers are typically worth it, and that's especially true of the bonuses that are worth $500 or more. Before you sign up for a new offer, however, you should read over the fine print and rules to make sure you can meet the spending threshold in time.

Best travel credit card welcome offer

The Platinum Card® from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

$695

See Pay Over Time APR

660 - 850

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on eligible Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

ValuePenguin's verdict

If you haven't heard the news, The Platinum Card® from American Express recently upped its annual fee to a dizzying $695, but has introduced a host of new benefits and travel credits to cover that annual fee, including a stellar welcome offer: 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

100,000 Amex points can take you a long way, since you can transfer them to Amex loyalty program partners like Delta Air Lines and Singapore KrisFlyer. We estimate that this offer is worth around $2,000 in travel when transferred to a valuable airline partner. If you've been considering applying for the The Platinum Card® from American Express and haven't previously owned the card, now's a great time to apply.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

  • Best way to redeem it: Airline partners like Aeroplan, Delta Air Lines and Singapore KrisFlyer can help you stretch your bonus points further. We've found values up to 4 cents per point for some redemptions (making your offer worth $4,000 in travel).
  • What it's worth: $1,000 in travel through Amex Travel, or around $2,000 in travel through a loyalty program partner
  • Who’s eligible to earn the offer: According to the offer terms, the welcome offer is not available to applicants who own or have owned this card or previous versions of the Platinum Card. Amex may also consider the number of American Express Cards you have opened and closed as well as other factors.
  • Other rewards you'll earn: 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply.
  • Terms apply


Runner-up travel credit card sign-up bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 03/31/22.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is easily one of the top travel credit cards on the market today, and that's especially true if you want flexibility when it comes to cashing in your miles. While the card has long offered one of the most valuable sign-up bonuses around, Chase recently sweetened the deal by increasing the bonus to the highest it's ever been. The points you can earn with the bonus offer on this card are worth at least $750 on their own, since you can redeem your rewards through Chase's Ultimate Rewards portal for an array of travel purchases — including airfare, hotel stays and car rentals — at a value of 1.25 cents per point. However, you can also transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to Chase's airline and hotel partners, to get an average value of 2 cents per point, making this bonus worth around $1,200 by our estimates. You can also redeem your points for statement credits at a value of 1 cent per point.

Once you sign up, you'll earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases. You'll also enjoy Chase's top-notch travel protections for trips purchased with the card, including primary car rental insurance.

  • Best way to redeem it: Transfer your points 1:1 to one of Chase's travel partners to take advantage of the high value of some of their rewards.
  • What it's worth: $750 in Ultimate Rewards travel or around $1,200 if you transfer your points to one of Chase's travel partners.
  • Who’s eligible to earn the bonus: The Chase 5/24 rule applies to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which means you should only apply if you’ve had fewer than five new credit card inquiries within the last 24 months. Note, too, that the offer isn't available to Sapphire credit card holders who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 48 months. Current Chase Sapphire Reserve members aren't eligible to apply for the Chase Sapphire Preferred card (you may request a product change, but you won't earn the sign-up bonus).
  • Other rewards you'll earn: 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases


Best hotel credit card sign-up bonus

Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 3 Free Nights after spending $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening + 10X total points per $1 spent on up to $2,500 in combined purchases at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores within 6 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card!

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 3 Free Nights (each night valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases + 10X total points on eligible purchases in select categories.
  • 1 Free Night Award (valued up to 35,000 points) every year after account anniversary.
  • Earn up to 17X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Card.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Automatic Silver Elite Status each account anniversary year. Path to Gold Status when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
  • 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.

In lieu of its usual point-based bonus, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card has taken a slightly different spin this month: Cardholders can earn a free night certificates in addition to bonus points in several high-earning categories. According to the offers terms and conditions, the certificate is redeemable for a hotel of 50,000 points or less. If you redeem your certificates for a top-tier hotel, you could get up to 150,000 worth of points out of this offer — around $1,350 in value by our estimates. That’s a lot of value!

The card doesn't come with a lot of luxury perks, but it does come with decent travel benefits, like Silver Elite status with Marriott and no foreign transaction fees.

  • Best way to redeem it: You could redeem your Award nights for three off-peak nights at a Category 7 hotel.
  • What it's worth: Around $1,525 — $1,350 in Marriott hotel nights + around $175 in additional points earned for an average spender (assuming an $18,000 annual spend)
  • Who’s eligible to earn the bonus: The card's terms and conditions state that the offer is not available to current or previous cardholders or those who have had the Starwood Preferred Guest® American Express® Luxury Card. The terms and conditions also exclude applicants who have had various Marriott co-branded cards within the past 30 days to 24 months, depending on the card (visit Chase’s site for more details.)
  • Other rewards you'll earn: Earn up to 17X total points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® and 2X points on all other purchases. .


Runner-up best hotel credit card sign-up bonus

World of Hyatt Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn up to 60,000 Bonus Points - Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent
  • Enjoy complimentary World of Hyatt Discoverist status for as long as your account is open.
  • Get 1 free night each year after your Cardmember anniversary at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort
  • Receive 5 tier qualifying night credits towards status after account opening, and each year after that for as long as your account is open
  • Earn an extra free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel if you spend $15,000 in a calendar year
  • Earn 2 qualifying night credits towards tier status every time you spend $5,000 on your card
  • Earn up to 9 points total for Hyatt stays – 4 Bonus Points per $1 spent at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member
  • Earn 2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants, on airline tickets purchased directly from the airlines, on local transit and commuting and on fitness club and gym memberships

ValuePenguin's verdict

The generous bonus offered by the World of Hyatt Credit Card is enough for 12 free nights at a Category 1 property or two free nights at a Category 6 property, both for standard rooms. You could even use the bonus on this card for two free nights (with double occupancy) in a standard room at an all-inclusive resort like the Hyatt Zilara in Cancun, Mexico or Rose Hall, Jamaica. Since we value Hyatt points at 1.7 cents each, the bonus on this card is worth around $765, depending on the property you stay in and when. This card also rewards you when you stay with Hyatt. You'll Earn up to 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member.

You'll also get a free night in a Category 1-4 property each year on your cardmember anniversary. A $95 annual fee applies.

  • Best way to redeem it: Use your rewards for stays in high value Hyatt properties around the globe, including hotels, resorts and even all-inclusive properties.
  • What it's worth: About $765 in Hyatt hotel stays (30,000 points + 15,000 points on top of the points you would normally earn = 45,000 points multiplied by our valuation of 1.7 cents for Hyatt points)
  • Who's eligible to earn the bonus: The Chase 5/24 rule applies to the World of Hyatt Credit Card, so you should only apply if you have had fewer than five new credit card inquiries within the last 24 months.
  • Other rewards you'll earn: This card lets you Earn up to 9 points total per $1 spent at Hyatt - 4 Bonus Points per $1 when you use your card at Hyatt hotels & 5 Base Points per $1 from Hyatt as a World of Hyatt member. You'll also earn 2x points on transit and commuting, dining out, flights booked with airlines and fitness club and gym memberships, along with 1x points on other purchases.


Best airline credit card sign-up bonus

United Quest℠ Card

ValuePenguin's verdict

Don't be deterred by the United Quest℠ Card's $250 annual fee. The card currently features a generous sign-up bonus, worth around $960 in United airfare, plus many other valuable features that help offset the annual fee. Cardholders get up to $125 in statement credits toward United purchases, a 5,000-mile anniversary bonus each year and up to a $100 credit toward Global Entry/TSA Precheck.

If you're aiming for United elite status, this is also a great card to get: Cardholders earn 500 Premier Qualifying points for every $12,000 in purchases on the card, for up to 3,000 PQPs each year.

  • Best way to redeem it: Saver awards are the way to go with United, and, if you're flexible with your travel dates, you can get a lot of mileage with this bonus. For example, a transcontinental flight in economy class can cost as little as 12,500 miles one-way.
  • What it's worth: Around $960 in United airfare
  • Who's eligible to earn the bonus: The Chase 5/24 rule applies to this card, so only apply if you've had less than five new credit card inquiries in the last 24 months.
  • Other rewards you'll earn: 3 miles per $1 spent on United® purchases. 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants, on select streaming services & on all other travel. 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases. Plus, each year, receive a $125 credit on United® purchases and two 5k-mile anniversary award flight credits. Terms apply.
  • Terms apply.


Runner-up best airline credit card sign-up bonus

Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.

$99

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open. Plus, now enjoy more benefits and more ways to earn.
  • 6,000 anniversary points each year.
  • NEW! Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare.
  • NEW! Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming.
  • NEW! 2 EarlyBird Check-In® each year.
  • All points earned count towards Companion Pass®.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

ValuePenguin's verdict

For fans of Southwest trying to collect a lot of points for their winter travels (or aiming to earn the Southwest Companion Pass) the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card is offering a bonus worth around $560 by our estimates. And don’t forget to check out the other benefits on this card, including 9,000 points every year on your card anniversary and no foreign transaction fees. Note, this offer is available on all the Southwest consumer credit cards — check out the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card to decide which is right for you.

  • Best way to redeem it: Use it on a Wanna Get Away fare to get the best value.
  • What it's worth: Around $560 in Southwest airfare
  • Who's eligible to earn the bonus: As with other Chase consumer cards, the 5/24 rule applies to this card.
  • Other rewards you'll earn: Earn 3X points on Southwest® purchases. Earn 2X points on Rapid Rewards® hotel and car partners. Earn 2X points on local transit and commuting, including rideshare. Earn 2X points on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. Earn 1X points on all other purchases.


Best cashback credit card welcome offer

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

13.99%-23.99% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.

Earn $300 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is another good option when it comes to earning a welcome offer, as well as ongoing rewards. This card grants you a solid welcome offer when you meet the spending requirement within three months of account opening. You'll also earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. The rewards you earn can be used for statement credits.

While a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee applies to this card, the welcome offer and potential for ongoing rewards could make it well worth it. After all, maxing out this card in the grocery category alone would net you $360 in rewards, and that's not even including the welcome offer.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

  • Best way to redeem it: Cash back can be redeemed for a statement credit to your account.
  • What it's worth: $300 worth of statement credits
  • Who's eligible to earn the offer: American Express has a once-per-lifetime rule for their credit card welcome offers. This means you cannot earn this offer if you have earned one with the same card before.
  • Other rewards you'll earn: Cardholders earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply.
  • Terms apply.


Runner-up best cashback credit card sign-up bonus

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card makes it easy to earn a large bonus with a reasonable minimum spending requirement within three months. However, this card is also ideal for regular spending, since you can Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment & popular streaming services, plus 3% at grocery stores and 1% on other purchases. (The 2% earn rate excludes superstores like Walmart® and Target®.)

A $95 annual fee applies, but you won't pay any foreign transaction fees.

  • Best way to redeem it: Redeem your rewards for cash back or purchases made through Amazon.com or Paypal.
  • What it’s worth: $300 in cash back
  • Who's eligible to earn the bonus: You can only have two personal Capital One credit cards, and you can only get approved for one new credit card from this issuer every six months.
  • Other rewards you'll earn: Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment & popular streaming services, plus 3% at grocery stores and 1% on other purchases.


Best no-annual-fee credit card welcome offer

Hilton Honors American Express Card

See Rates & Fees. Terms Apply. On American Express' Secure Website

80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.

$0

15.74%-24.74% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.
  • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio.
  • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, at U.S. supermarkets, and at U.S. gas stations.
  • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.

ValuePenguin's verdict

If you're searching one of the most valuable offers you can earn without having to pay an annual fee, take a look at the latest offer from the Hilton Honors American Express Card. You can earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Hilton Honors American Express Card in the first 3 months of Card Membership. Plus, you can earn an additional 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend a total of $5,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months.

While Hilton points are a bit inflated, this is still an incredibly valuable offer, worth around $650 by our estimates. The Hilton Honors American Express Card comes with amazingly generous benefits for a $0 annual fee card, including plentiful points on your regular purchases and automatic Hilton Silver elite status with a chance to earn Gold status after $20,000 in purchases in a year (enrollment required).

For rates and fees of Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.

  • Best way to redeem it: As mentioned, you can take your points a long way with hotels in the 20,000-30,000 point range, and tack on an extra night with Hilton's fifth night free benefit.
  • What it’s worth: Around $650
  • Who's eligible to earn the offer: The offer is not available to applicants who own or have previously owned the Hilton Honors American Express Card.
  • Other rewards you'll earn: Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio, 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations AND 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
  • Terms apply.


Runner-up no-annual-fee credit card sign-up bonus

Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after spending $1,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card.

$0

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

660 - 850

  • Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Pay no annual fee with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card from Chase®!
  • Earn up to 14X total Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® with the Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Card.
  • 2X Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).
  • 1X point for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Receive 15 Elite Night Credits annually, qualifying you for Silver Elite Status. Restrictions apply.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Earn unlimited Marriott Bonvoy points and get Free Night Stays faster.

ValuePenguin's verdict

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold® Credit Card currently features a 30,000-point offer that's worth more than $200 in Marriott hotel stays. The card also awards you 15 elite night credits each year, automatically qualifying you for Silver elite status, which includes a few frills like late checkout. It's a decent alternative for dipping your toes into Marriott Bonvoy rewards, while also scoring a lot of points.

  • Best way to redeem it: Use it off-peak for a weekend getaway at a category 3 hotel, or use it for four off-peak nights at a category 1 hotel, and get a fifth night free as a Marriott Bonvoy member.
  • What it’s worth: Around $270 by our estimates
  • Who's eligible to earn the bonus: As with other Chase consumer cards, the 5/24 rule applies to this card. Also, current holders of certain Marriott cards and previous cardolders who received a new cardmember bonus within the last 24 months may not be eligible (see the card's terms for the full list of excluded cards).
  • Other rewards you'll earn: Earn up to 14X total points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy® and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).


Best business credit card sign-up bonus

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

On Chase's Secure Website

Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

$95

15.99%-20.99% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
  • With Fraud Protection your card transactions will be monitored for possible signs of fraudulent activity using real-time fraud monitoring
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards, travel and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Purchase Protection covers your new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account

ValuePenguin's verdict

There are many good reasons to own the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, but one of the most compelling is that it has one of the most valuable sign-up bonuses around. If you can reach the $15,000 spending threshold, you'll earn a plentitude of points, worth $1,250 in travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal — and possibly much more if you transfer points to an outside loyalty program, like United, Southwest or Hyatt. You'll also earn bonus points on common business purchases and enjoy great travel benefits like no foreign transaction fees and primary car rental insurance.

  • Best way to redeem it: While you get a 50% boost on the value of your points with Chase Ultimate Rewards travel, you can squeeze more value out of your points by transferring them to one of Chase's loyalty program partners.
  • What it’s worth: $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Who's eligible to earn the bonus: The Chase 5/24 rule applies to this card (though it doesn't count toward your 5/24 total since it's a business card), which means you can't apply if you've opened more than five new cards in the past 24 months. Also, you need to own a qualifying business (though you don't need an EIN to apply).
  • Other rewards you'll earn: Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn.

Current bonuses for popular cards

The best credit card sign-up bonuses we profiled above are just some of the top options, but there are plenty of others. Make sure to compare credit card offers based on the type of rewards you want to earn, whether you prefer to rack up cash back, travel rewards points, hotel points or airline miles.

We highlight below the best credit card bonus offers from top card issuers:

Chase sign-up bonus

Card
Welcome bonus
Estimated value
Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve®Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.$750 in Ultimate Rewards travel$550
Show All Rows

American Express welcome offer

Card
Welcome offer
Estimated value
Annual fee
The Platinum Card® from American ExpressEarn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.$1,000 in Membership Rewards travel$695
Show All Rows

Citibank sign-up bonus

Card
Sign-up bonus
Estimated value
Annual fee
Citi Premier® CardEarn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening$600$95
Show All Rows

Capital One sign-up bonus

Card
Sign-up bonus
Estimated value
Annual fee
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardEnjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel$600 in travel statement credits$95
Show All Rows

Bank of America sign-up bonus

Card
Sign-up bonus
Estimated value
Annual fee
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening$200$0
Show All Rows

Wells Fargo welcome bonus

Card
Welcome bonus
Estimated value
Annual fee
Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ CardEarn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months$200$0
Show All Rows

How to choose the right sign-up bonus

As you compare credit card sign-up bonuses, it's crucial to make sure you know the type of rewards you're earning. While some kinds of rewards can be redeemed for statement credits only, others let you cash in your points for gift cards, merchandise, travel and more. Some rewards programs even let you turn your points into airline miles or points with a hotel loyalty program.

In addition to researching rewards programs to find the right fit, you should also make sure you can meet the card's minimum spending requirement with normal, organic spending.

If a card requires you to spend $3,000 within three months to earn a sign-up bonus, you should make sure you can charge at least $1,000 per month to your card in groceries, gas and regular bills.

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You should also consider whether paying a credit card's annual fee is worth it, keeping in mind that the best credit card sign-up bonuses are typically offered by cards with annual fees. In addition, be aware that some cards offer a no-annual-fee version you can apply for if you're against paying an annual fee for a credit card.

Take the Capital One Savor credit cards, for example:

With the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, if you're willing to pay a $95 annual fee, you can Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.


If you’re fee-averse, however, you may consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card instead. There's a $0 annual fee, and you'll still Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

We already mentioned how you should know the type of rewards you're earning, but this is one area where you'll definitely want to do some research. This is particularly true if you plan to earn airline miles or hotel points that may be difficult to use. We suggest spending some time comparing frequent flyer programs and hotel loyalty points before you begin collecting points with a specific travel brand.

And, if you’re in doubt, you can also consider earning flexible points with a program like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards. All of these programs let you earn points you can redeem for travel, gift cards, merchandise or even transfers to airline and hotel partners. With these options, you could avoid getting stuck with points you can't use.

If you’re earning a bonus on a cashback credit card, then the bonus offer will be fairly cut and dry.

For example:

A rewards credit card that offers a $300 bonus that can only be redeemed for statement credits is obviously worth $300.

But a bonus can become increasingly more difficult to decipher when you're earning airline miles or hotel points. In either case, your rewards may be worth more or less depending on how you redeem them.

Here are the basic formulas you can use to find out how much your rewards are worth:

Hotel points formula

Cash price* ÷ Number of points needed for hotel stay

= Points value for that specific reservation

*including taxes and fees

{"backgroundColor":"butter","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EHotel points formula\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodePullquote--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodePullquote--text ShortcodePullquote--black\"\u003E\n Cash price* ÷ Number of points needed for hotel stay\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodePullquote--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodePullquote--text ShortcodePullquote--black\"\u003E\n = Points value for that specific reservation\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeDisclaimer--root ShortcodeDisclaimer--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ContextualDisclaimer--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ContextualDisclaimer--copy\"\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E*including taxes and fees\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n \n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n","padding":"normal"}

Airline miles formula

Cash price* ÷ Number of miles needed for fare

= Miles value for that specific fare

*minus taxes and fees

{"backgroundColor":"butter","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EAirline miles formula\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodePullquote--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodePullquote--text ShortcodePullquote--black\"\u003E\n Cash price* ÷ Number of miles needed for fare\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodePullquote--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ShortcodePullquote--text ShortcodePullquote--black\"\u003E\n = Miles value for that specific fare\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeDisclaimer--root ShortcodeDisclaimer--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ContextualDisclaimer--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ContextualDisclaimer--copy\"\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003E*minus taxes and fees\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n \n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n","padding":"normal"}

For example:

Let's say you find an international flight on United Airlines with a cash price of $1,234 or an award price of 60,000 miles plus $78.55 in airline taxes and fees. In that case, you would subtract the taxes and fees and wind up with $1,155 (the cash price of the fare with rounding). When you divide that figure by 60,000 miles, you get a value of 1.9 cents per mile.


{"backgroundColor":"blue","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003ELearn more about rewards programs\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--plain\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"Chase Ultimate Rewards: We Break Down How They Work\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/chase-ultimate-rewards\"\u003EChase Ultimate Rewards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"American Express Membership Rewards: Your Guide to Earning and Redeeming Points for Max Value\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/american-express-membership-rewards-guide-earning-redeeming\"\u003EAmerican Express Membership Rewards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"The Ultimate Guide to United Airlines' MileagePlus Program\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/united-airlines-mileageplus-program-guide\"\u003EUnited MileagePlus\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"Everything You Need to Know About American Airlines AAdvantage\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/american-airlines-aadvantage\"\u003EAmerican Airlines AAdvantage\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"Delta SkyMiles - Program Guide & Overview 2021\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/delta-skymiles-frequent-flyer-program-guide\"\u003EDelta SkyMiles\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--plain\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"Southwest Rapid Rewards: 2021 Program Overview\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/southwest-rapid-rewards\"\u003ESouthwest Rapid Rewards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"Marriott Bonvoy Rewards Program: Everything You Need to Know\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/marriott-bonvoy-rewards-program\"\u003EMarriott Bonvoy\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"Hilton Honors Rewards Program: Maximizing the Value of Honors Points\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/hilton-hhonors-rewards-program\"\u003EHilton Honors\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"The World of Hyatt Program: A Highly Valuable Program for All Travelers\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/hyatt-gold-passport\"\u003EThe World of Hyatt\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--white\" title=\"IHG Rewards Program: Get Maximum Value from Your Points\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/ihg-rewards-club-loyalty-program\"\u003EIHG Rewards Club\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n","padding":"double"}

Issuer's restrictions on welcome offers

Most of the major credit card issuers set limits on how often consumers can earn a welcome offer on their cards. The purpose of these limits is to cut down on customers who might "churn" bonus offers — that is, sign up for new cards over and over again without any intention to use a card for the long haul.

Fortunately, issuer restrictions on credit card welcome bonuses tend to be reasonable. The following chart highlights the rules from each of the major card issuers.

The Chase 5/24 rule says cardholders cannot get a new Chase credit card if they have five or more credit card inquiries on their credit report within the last 24 months. With consumer credit cards, you can only earn the bonus once every 24 to 48 months.

American Express only lets you earn a bonus on each of their cards once per lifetime.

Capital One only lets you have two personal credit cards with them, and you can only get approved for a new credit card offer every six months.

You can earn a sign-up bonus on Citi credit cards every 24 to 48 months, depending on the family of cards you select from.

Bank of America only lets you get approved for two new cards in a 30-day period, three new cards in a 12-month period or four new cards in a 24-month period.
Wells Fargo limits sign-up bonuses to cardholders who have opened the same card and earned the bonus already within the last 15 months.

Are sign-up bonuses taxable?

Credit card sign-up bonuses are considered rebates on your spending, so they're usually not counted as taxable income. The same is true with ongoing rewards you earn with a rewards credit card.

However, you may owe taxes on a sign-up bonus in certain cases (if you earned a bonus without making a purchase or reaching a spending requirement), in which case you'll receive a Form 1099-INT or Form 1099-MISC in the mail.

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Tips for earning a sign-up bonus

As you decide which new credit card offer to sign up for, you should conduct due diligence and learn all you can. These tips can help you earn a credit card sign-up bonus without any problems:

Before you set out to earn a bonus based on your spending, make sure you know how much you normally charge to a credit card each month. You can do this by getting out your past credit card statements from other issuers and tallying up your charges.

If you need to spend more to earn a particular sign-up bonus, see if you can add some of your regular monthly bills to your credit card. For example, you may be able to use the card to pay for your health insurance, homeowners insurance, car insurance, utility bills or daycare expenses — but you should also make sure you don't incur processing fees that exceed the value of the bonus on these charges.

Make sure you read the offer you're considering to the end, including all of the fine print. If you fail to reach the spending threshold or meet other requirements for a sign-up bonus in time, you could easily miss out.

Finally, remember that pursuing credit card rewards is only worth it if you never pay interest on your purchases. Have a plan to pay off all your purchases each month, or else the interest you pay could wipe out your rewards.

Expert Insights to Help You Make Smarter Financial Decisions

ValuePenguin has curated an exclusive panel of professionals, spanning various areas of expertise, to help dissect difficult subjects and empower you to make smarter financial decisions. Read on for more credit card insights.

  1. How do words like "bonus" or "rewards" impact consumers’ buying decisions?
  2. Do rewards and loyalty programs overcome customer service issues? Why or why not?
  3. Do you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., "gold elite status") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?

headshot of expert
  • Carey K. Morewedge
  • Professor of Marketing
  • Read Answer

headshot of expert
  • Christine A. Vogt, Ph.D.
  • Emeritus Professor, Former Director
  • Read Answer

headshot of expert
  • Victor Ricciardi
  • Visiting Assistant Professor
  • Read Answer

headshot of expert

headshot of expert
  • Genevieve O'Connor, Ph.D.
  • Associate Professor of Marketing
  • Read Answer

The commentary provided by these industry experts represent their viewpoints and opinions alone.

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Why or why not?\u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListOrdered--list-item\"\u003EDo you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., \"gold elite status\") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?\u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ol\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Chr\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"full pad-none align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"third pad-half align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 80px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_80\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--plain\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cstrong\u003ECarey K. Morewedge\u003C\/strong\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Professor of Marketing\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Read Answer\" href=\"#expert-carey-morewedge\"\u003ERead Answer\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeVisibility--show-small\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Chr\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"third pad-half align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 80px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/christine-vogt_hdifce\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_80\/v1\/christine-vogt_hdifce\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/christine-vogt_hdifce 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/christine-vogt_hdifce 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--plain\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cstrong\u003EChristine A. Vogt, Ph.D.\u003C\/strong\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Emeritus Professor, Former Director\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Read Answer\" href=\"#expert-christine-vogt\"\u003ERead Answer\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeVisibility--show-small\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Chr\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"third pad-half align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 80px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_80\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--plain\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cstrong\u003EVictor Ricciardi\u003C\/strong\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Visiting Assistant Professor\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Read Answer\" href=\"#expert-victor-ricciardi\"\u003ERead Answer\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Chr\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"third pad-half align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 80px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/megan-hunter_ighvjs\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_80\/v1\/megan-hunter_ighvjs\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/megan-hunter_ighvjs 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/megan-hunter_ighvjs 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--plain\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cstrong\u003EMegan Hunter\u003C\/strong\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Assistant Professor\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Read Answer\" href=\"#expert-meghan-hunter\"\u003ERead Answer\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeVisibility--show-small\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Chr\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"third pad-half align-left clearfix\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 80px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/genevieve-oconnor_yo7typ\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_80\/v1\/genevieve-oconnor_yo7typ\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/genevieve-oconnor_yo7typ 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_80\/v1\/genevieve-oconnor_yo7typ 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--plain\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cstrong\u003EGenevieve O'Connor, Ph.D.\u003C\/strong\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Associate Professor of Marketing\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Read Answer\" href=\"#expert-genevieve-oconnor\"\u003ERead Answer\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeDisclaimer--root ShortcodeDisclaimer--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ContextualDisclaimer--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cp class=\"ContextualDisclaimer--copy\"\u003E\n \u003Cp\u003EThe commentary provided by these industry experts represent their viewpoints and opinions alone.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n \n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n","padding":"double"}
headshot of expert

Carey K. Morewedge

Professor of Marketing and Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Questrom School of Business, Boston University

How do words like "bonus" or "rewards" impact consumers’ buying decisions?

Consumers respond differently to promotions if those words lead consumers to see them as a gain (e.g., "bonus" and "rewards") or as the reduction of a loss (e.g., "savings" and "rebates"). Money coded as a gain feels like a windfall and is more likely to be used to make hedonic purchases, like a watch or a massage. These are goods and services whose purpose is to make the buyer feel good. Money coded as the reduction of a loss, by contrast, doesn't feel like extra money and is typically used for utilitarian purchases, like paying off debt or bills.

Do rewards and loyalty programs overcome customer service issues? Why or why not?

Rewards can help close the deal for price-sensitive consumers. They can attract new consumers to your products and services, and help make competing products and services less attractive to your current customers. They're also useful for countering service failures that weren't personal in nature. Retailers could offer consumers a discount for late delivery of a product, for example, but a discount is unlikely to appease a customer who felt insulted or discriminated against by a salesperson. In that case, a personal apology would be better.

Loyalty programs are useful for locking in customers in contexts where they make repeated purchases from a firm, particularly for firms susceptible to commodification, like airlines. Consumers are sensitive to the future benefits of points (e.g., a free flight) but also seem to enjoy earning points immediately, even if they can't cash them in right away.

That said, the real benefits of loyalty programs are hard to evaluate. The results are mixed. Loyalty programs seem to be ineffective in domains where it is cheap for consumers to belong to and benefit from many loyalty programs (e.g., grocers), but they seem to be effective where loyalty programs make more demanding requirements of consumers (e.g., airlines).

Do you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., "gold elite status") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?

These kinds of status levels are likely to work well for high-identity products where consumers feel like they are in a relationship with the brand or use it to express to themselves and others important facets of their identity, but they are unlikely to work in cases where the consumer views the good as a commodity.

These kinds of names can strengthen the bond with the brand or make the consumer feel like they are in a more exclusive group than typical consumers ("insiders" versus "brand tourists"). One can predict these at a general level by product category (e.g., most people identify more with clothes than their paper products), but there can be substantial variation between segments and individual consumers.

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 60px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_60\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3 id=\"expert-carey-morewedge\"\u003ECarey K. Morewedge\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EProfessor of Marketing and Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Questrom School of Business, Boston University\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--root ShortcodeToggle--article \" id=\u003E\n \u003Cbutton class=\"ShortcodeToggle--toggle\" onclick=\"this.parentNode.classList.toggle('ShortcodeToggle--open');\"\u003E\u003Cp class=\"ShortcodeToggle--label\"\u003ESee their advice\u003C\/p\u003E\u003C\/button\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents-wrapper\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents\"\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EHow do words like \"bonus\" or \"rewards\" impact consumers\u2019 buying decisions?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EConsumers respond differently to promotions if those words lead consumers to see them as a gain (e.g., \"bonus\" and \"rewards\") or as the reduction of a loss (e.g., \"savings\" and \"rebates\"). Money coded as a gain feels like a windfall and is more likely to be used to make hedonic purchases, like a watch or a massage. These are goods and services whose purpose is to make the buyer feel good. Money coded as the reduction of a loss, by contrast, doesn't feel like extra money and is typically used for utilitarian purchases, like paying off debt or bills.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EDo rewards and loyalty programs overcome customer service issues? Why or why not?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ERewards can help close the deal for price-sensitive consumers. They can attract new consumers to your products and services, and help make competing products and services less attractive to your current customers. They're also useful for countering service failures that weren't personal in nature. Retailers could offer consumers a discount for late delivery of a product, for example, but a discount is unlikely to appease a customer who felt insulted or discriminated against by a salesperson. In that case, a personal apology would be better.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ELoyalty programs are useful for locking in customers in contexts where they make repeated purchases from a firm, particularly for firms susceptible to commodification, like airlines. Consumers are sensitive to the future benefits of points (e.g., a free flight) but also seem to enjoy earning points immediately, even if they can't cash them in right away.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThat said, the real benefits of loyalty programs are hard to evaluate. The results are mixed. Loyalty programs seem to be ineffective in domains where it is cheap for consumers to belong to and benefit from many loyalty programs (e.g., grocers), but they seem to be effective where loyalty programs make more demanding requirements of consumers (e.g., airlines).\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EDo you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., \"gold elite status\") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThese kinds of status levels are likely to work well for high-identity products where consumers feel like they are in a relationship with the brand or use it to express to themselves and others important facets of their identity, but they are unlikely to work in cases where the consumer views the good as a commodity.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThese kinds of names can strengthen the bond with the brand or make the consumer feel like they are in a more exclusive group than typical consumers (\"insiders\" versus \"brand tourists\"). One can predict these at a general level by product category (e.g., most people identify more with clothes than their paper products), but there can be substantial variation between segments and individual consumers.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--primary Button--auto-width\" title=\"Back to all experts\" href=\"#expertadvice\"\u003EBack to all experts\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n","padding":"double"}
headshot of expert

Christine A. Vogt, Ph.D.

Emeritus Professor, Former Director, Center of Sustainable Tourism, School of Community Resources and Development, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University

Are loyalty programs and rewards enough to keep customers loyal to a brand? Why or why not?

Branding is intended to create and sustain loyalty. The best branding is the existence of lifetime commitment by a consumer to a brand (or company). Examples of enduring brand loyalty are achieved with companies such as Nike, McDonald's, Disney or Trek bikes. The corporations attempt to attract consumers as a child and then retain their purchasing behaviors through to senior years (either for themselves or their families as multigenerational).

Loyalty programs and rewards are one tool that brand marketers use to retain and incentivize purchasing. Many loyalty programs started with a loyalty card (I still have my Hilton and Marriott cards and account numbers), and today these programs are managed on websites or smartphone apps. Smartphones can cluster loyalty programs in wallet settings. If these programs are easy to use and convenient (which can vary by age and experience with technology), then they can prevent consumers from "wandering" off-brand.

Brand managers need to consider the number of communications they are sending to consumers. With email capture, marketers have a direct link to loyal and potentially new customers. But inappropriate e-communications can lead to consumer fatigue and backfire with "unsubscribing" behaviors. I personally see some e-brand loyalty programs returning to print direct mail and print advertising, which suggests that marketers need more than one channel to reach and be effective with consumers.

What role can social media engagement and advertising play in helping hotels expand their loyal customer base?

Brand marketers need to understand, via marketing research and data analytics on digital platforms, the channels that consumers use to learn about and purchase products. Social media engagement and advertising in a wide variety of placement options can help hotels expand their loyal customer base.

I just finished a doctoral student who conducted her dissertation on digital content that is effective with increasing purchase intent. With a proxy Instagram account for a fictitious hotel brand, the student found that leisure travelers engage more with an informational message than with an emotional message when they have limited information about a hotel. My own dissertation completed in 1993 found that functional information is more useful to travel decision-making than aesthetic (pictures) information.

Often social media or advertising is an initial channel of being exposed as a form of awareness of a brand and also linking a consumer with like social groups. A marketer needs to think about the next channels (after social media) to motivate a consumer to acquire more information that then leads to increased desire and interest, and eventually action or purchase. For social media and advertising to be effective as a sales channel, the inclusion of websites, booking platforms or e-commerce functions is critical.

A ValuePenguin study revealed that during the pandemic, 48% of millennials have booked multiple stays at Airbnbs, while only 24% have booked multiple stays at hotels. In your opinion, what can hotels do to appeal more to younger generations?

There are many choices in the accommodations industry. Airbnb is offering something different — something authentic. A person’s house in a neighborhood is considered more unique and genuine than a standard hotel room to many millennials.

Many hotel chains have prioritized travel convenience over authenticity by locating their properties along interstates and suburban commercial districts. Also, hospitality services were prioritized over tourism experiences by many hotel corporations. Millennials are recognizing this difference and are choosing Airbnb because of the product experience difference, sometimes pricing and more.

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 60px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/christine-vogt_hdifce\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_60\/v1\/christine-vogt_hdifce\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/christine-vogt_hdifce 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/christine-vogt_hdifce 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3 id=\"expert-christine-vogt\"\u003EChristine A. Vogt, Ph.D.\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EEmeritus Professor, Former Director, Center of Sustainable Tourism, School of Community Resources and Development, Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions, Arizona State University\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--root ShortcodeToggle--article \" id=\u003E\n \u003Cbutton class=\"ShortcodeToggle--toggle\" onclick=\"this.parentNode.classList.toggle('ShortcodeToggle--open');\"\u003E\u003Cp class=\"ShortcodeToggle--label\"\u003ESee their advice\u003C\/p\u003E\u003C\/button\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents-wrapper\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents\"\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EAre loyalty programs and rewards enough to keep customers loyal to a brand? Why or why not?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EBranding is intended to create and sustain loyalty. The best branding is the existence of lifetime commitment by a consumer to a brand (or company). Examples of enduring brand loyalty are achieved with companies such as Nike, McDonald's, Disney or Trek bikes. The corporations attempt to attract consumers as a child and then retain their purchasing behaviors through to senior years (either for themselves or their families as multigenerational).\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ELoyalty programs and rewards are one tool that brand marketers use to retain and incentivize purchasing. Many loyalty programs started with a loyalty card (I still have my Hilton and Marriott cards and account numbers), and today these programs are managed on websites or smartphone apps. Smartphones can cluster loyalty programs in wallet settings. If these programs are easy to use and convenient (which can vary by age and experience with technology), then they can prevent consumers from \"wandering\" off-brand.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EBrand managers need to consider the number of communications they are sending to consumers. With email capture, marketers have a direct link to loyal and potentially new customers. But inappropriate e-communications can lead to consumer fatigue and backfire with \"unsubscribing\" behaviors. I personally see some e-brand loyalty programs returning to print direct mail and print advertising, which suggests that marketers need more than one channel to reach and be effective with consumers.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EWhat role can social media engagement and advertising play in helping hotels expand their loyal customer base?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EBrand marketers need to understand, via marketing research and data analytics on digital platforms, the channels that consumers use to learn about and purchase products. Social media engagement and advertising in a wide variety of placement options can help hotels expand their loyal customer base.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EI just finished a doctoral student who conducted her dissertation on digital content that is effective with increasing purchase intent. With a proxy Instagram account for a fictitious hotel brand, the student found that leisure travelers engage more with an informational message than with an emotional message when they have limited information about a hotel. My own dissertation completed in 1993 found that functional information is more useful to travel decision-making than aesthetic (pictures) information.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EOften social media or advertising is an initial channel of being exposed as a form of awareness of a brand and also linking a consumer with like social groups. A marketer needs to think about the next channels (after social media) to motivate a consumer to acquire more information that then leads to increased desire and interest, and eventually action or purchase. For social media and advertising to be effective as a sales channel, the inclusion of websites, booking platforms or e-commerce functions is critical.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EA ValuePenguin study revealed that during the pandemic, 48% of millennials have booked multiple stays at Airbnbs, while only 24% have booked multiple stays at hotels. In your opinion, what can hotels do to appeal more to younger generations?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThere are many choices in the accommodations industry. Airbnb is offering something different \u2014 something authentic. A person\u2019s house in a neighborhood is considered more unique and genuine than a standard hotel room to many millennials.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EMany hotel chains have prioritized travel convenience over authenticity by locating their properties along interstates and suburban commercial districts. Also, hospitality services were prioritized over tourism experiences by many hotel corporations. Millennials are recognizing this difference and are choosing Airbnb because of the product experience difference, sometimes pricing and more.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--primary Button--auto-width\" title=\"Back to all experts\" href=\"#expertadvice\"\u003EBack to all experts\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n","padding":"double"}
headshot of expert

Victor Ricciardi

Visiting Assistant Professor of Finance, Washington and Lee University

How do words like "bonus" or "rewards" impact consumers’ buying decisions?

A company communicates and structures words very carefully to influence the purchasing and buying decisions of consumers. Within the behavioral finance literature, this is known as the concept of framing. Framing is based on communicating words or phrases as a "positive frame" that results in positive outcomes.

For example, an advertisement for a new product or service will frame the positive attributes and avoid the potential disadvantages, resulting in a more positive impression and a lower perception of risk for a new item. This framing process will then result in more purchases by the consumer, in turn, producing higher sales and profits for the company.

Do rewards and loyalty programs overcome customer service issues? Why or why not?

The answer is maybe. If the rewards and loyalty programs provide substantial benefits to the consumer experience, minor customer service issues might be overlooked in the short term, especially if the customer is saving substantial money — for example, if they are saving hundreds of dollars for a hotel room.

However, over the long term, even the best rewards and loyalty programs will lose customers with closed accounts or lower usage if customer service issues are always a problem. For many individuals, if they feel high levels of stress or frustration several times because of poor customer service, even the most loyal customers will start using other rewards and loyalty programs.

Do you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., "gold elite status") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?

Yes, the branding of rewards, especially with a "positive frame," creates a positive influence on consumers. However, there are several factors that must prevail over the long term for this customer experience to be everlasting.

The consumer must believe that the rewards level (e.g., "gold elite status") provides great benefits and value after the purchase of an item or service. Also, the customer must have a positive experience and impression of the actual service or product.

Lastly, it is essential there are no customer service issues with the rewards program or the specific product or service. For companies, it is a long process to build client trust, and that loyalty or credibility can be lost very quickly if the consumer experience turns negative.

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 60px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_60\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/expert-advice-headshots_sfuxjr 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3 id=\"expert-victor-ricciardi\"\u003EVictor Ricciardi\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EVisiting Assistant Professor of Finance, Washington and Lee University\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--root ShortcodeToggle--article \" id=\u003E\n \u003Cbutton class=\"ShortcodeToggle--toggle\" onclick=\"this.parentNode.classList.toggle('ShortcodeToggle--open');\"\u003E\u003Cp class=\"ShortcodeToggle--label\"\u003ESee their advice\u003C\/p\u003E\u003C\/button\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents-wrapper\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents\"\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EHow do words like \"bonus\" or \"rewards\" impact consumers\u2019 buying decisions?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EA company communicates and structures words very carefully to influence the purchasing and buying decisions of consumers. Within the behavioral finance literature, this is known as the concept of framing. Framing is based on communicating words or phrases as a \"positive frame\" that results in positive outcomes.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EFor example, an advertisement for a new product or service will frame the positive attributes and avoid the potential disadvantages, resulting in a more positive impression and a lower perception of risk for a new item. This framing process will then result in more purchases by the consumer, in turn, producing higher sales and profits for the company.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EDo rewards and loyalty programs overcome customer service issues? Why or why not?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThe answer is maybe. If the rewards and loyalty programs provide substantial benefits to the consumer experience, minor customer service issues might be overlooked in the short term, especially if the customer is saving substantial money \u2014 for example, if they are saving hundreds of dollars for a hotel room.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EHowever, over the long term, even the best rewards and loyalty programs will lose customers with closed accounts or lower usage if customer service issues are always a problem. For many individuals, if they feel high levels of stress or frustration several times because of poor customer service, even the most loyal customers will start using other rewards and loyalty programs.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EDo you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., \"gold elite status\") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EYes, the branding of rewards, especially with a \"positive frame,\" creates a positive influence on consumers. However, there are several factors that must prevail over the long term for this customer experience to be everlasting.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThe consumer must believe that the rewards level (e.g., \"gold elite status\") provides great benefits and value after the purchase of an item or service. Also, the customer must have a positive experience and impression of the actual service or product.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ELastly, it is essential there are no customer service issues with the rewards program or the specific product or service. For companies, it is a long process to build client trust, and that loyalty or credibility can be lost very quickly if the consumer experience turns negative.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--primary Button--auto-width\" title=\"Back to all experts\" href=\"#expertadvice\"\u003EBack to all experts\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n","padding":"double"}
headshot of expert

Megan Hunter

Assistant Professor, Department of Marketing, Carroll School of Management, Boston College

How do words like "bonus" or "rewards" impact consumers’ buying decisions?

These types of words excite customers and make them feel more motivated to make additional purchases. Additionally, when redeeming "bonuses" or "rewards," consumers feel that they can "treat themselves" more. For example, it may be an excuse to get a sugary frappuccino rather than someone's traditional black coffee order. These words have the biggest influence on the marginal customer. It is unlikely to attract new consumers or influence very loyal consumers, but rather, it helps push those medium-usage consumers to make that one additional purchase.

Do rewards and loyalty programs overcome customer service issues? Why or why not?

Not much research has been done on this topic. If anything, if the reward or loyalty programs face customer service issues themselves, it might backfire. Those consumers who are involved in the reward and loyalty programs might be slightly more patient when facing service issues, as they have a greater sense of loyalty, but it is not enough to overcome them.

Do you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., "gold elite status") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?

Yes, it does create an emotional impact. Consumers feel appreciated and special. However, if the reward is too easy to obtain, it might not have the same emotional impact.

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 60px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/megan-hunter_ighvjs\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_60\/v1\/megan-hunter_ighvjs\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/megan-hunter_ighvjs 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/megan-hunter_ighvjs 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3 id=\"expert-meghan-hunter\"\u003EMegan Hunter\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EAssistant Professor, Department of Marketing, Carroll School of Management, Boston College\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--root ShortcodeToggle--article \" id=\u003E\n \u003Cbutton class=\"ShortcodeToggle--toggle\" onclick=\"this.parentNode.classList.toggle('ShortcodeToggle--open');\"\u003E\u003Cp class=\"ShortcodeToggle--label\"\u003ESee their advice\u003C\/p\u003E\u003C\/button\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents-wrapper\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents\"\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EHow do words like \"bonus\" or \"rewards\" impact consumers\u2019 buying decisions?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThese types of words excite customers and make them feel more motivated to make additional purchases. Additionally, when redeeming \"bonuses\" or \"rewards,\" consumers feel that they can \"treat themselves\" more. For example, it may be an excuse to get a sugary frappuccino rather than someone's traditional black coffee order. \nThese words have the biggest influence on the marginal customer. It is unlikely to attract new consumers or influence very loyal consumers, but rather, it helps push those medium-usage consumers to make that one additional purchase.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EDo rewards and loyalty programs overcome customer service issues? Why or why not?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ENot much research has been done on this topic. If anything, if the reward or loyalty programs face customer service issues themselves, it might backfire. Those consumers who are involved in the reward and loyalty programs might be slightly more patient when facing service issues, as they have a greater sense of loyalty, but it is not enough to overcome them.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EDo you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., \"gold elite status\") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EYes, it does create an emotional impact. Consumers feel appreciated and special. However, if the reward is too easy to obtain, it might not have the same emotional impact.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--primary Button--auto-width\" title=\"Back to all experts\" href=\"#expertadvice\"\u003EBack to all experts\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n","padding":"double"}
headshot of expert

Genevieve O'Connor, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Marketing, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University

How do words like "bonus" or "rewards" impact consumers’ buying decisions?

When customers hear the terms "bonus" and "rewards," they may instinctively be attracted to a program due to a choice heuristic. Heuristics, or mental shortcuts, help customers make a decision while reducing their cognitive load. In this case, a promotion rule heuristic may be applied where customers are attracted to a product or service that is incentivizing them.

Do rewards and loyalty programs overcome customer service issues? Why or why not?

Rewards and loyalty programs are far too commonplace to overcome customer service issues. Rewards and loyalty programs are used to attract and engage customers while also strengthening customer retention.

Companies must be cognizant that service issues will happen. Though service issues and failures can create blockades between a customer and provider, they also present a viable opportunity for the provider to strengthen their relationship with the customer. Rather than relying on "fringe benefits," when an issue or failure presents itself a company should first and foremost acknowledge the customer’s concern, apologize and find a way to ensure the customer’s concerns are being met.

Do you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., "gold elite status") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?

Perception is a powerful tool in marketing and has been shown to influence customers. The use of color — bronze, silver, gold and platinum — is a proven way to acknowledge status. When a customer attains the next level (i.e., moving from silver to gold), they are being rewarded, which could trigger an emotional response. Also, the term elite may make the customer feel special as well as important to the company. In terms of emotion, research shows that when consumers evaluate brands, they tend to be more receptive to ads that appeal to their emotions (e.g., personal feelings) rather than ads that appeal to their cognition (e.g., brand features and facts).

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root left\" \u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container \"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"headshot of expert\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image lazyload\" style=\"width: 60px;\" data-src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/genevieve-oconnor_yo7typ\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,e_blur:1000,f_auto,h_1600,q_1,w_60\/v1\/genevieve-oconnor_yo7typ\" data-srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/genevieve-oconnor_yo7typ 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/value-penguin\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_60\/v1\/genevieve-oconnor_yo7typ 2x\"\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3 id=\"expert-genevieve-oconnor\"\u003EGenevieve O'Connor, Ph.D.\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EAssociate Professor of Marketing, Gabelli School of Business, Fordham University\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--root ShortcodeToggle--article \" id=\u003E\n \u003Cbutton class=\"ShortcodeToggle--toggle\" onclick=\"this.parentNode.classList.toggle('ShortcodeToggle--open');\"\u003E\u003Cp class=\"ShortcodeToggle--label\"\u003ESee their advice\u003C\/p\u003E\u003C\/button\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents-wrapper\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeToggle--contents\"\u003E\n \u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EHow do words like \"bonus\" or \"rewards\" impact consumers\u2019 buying decisions?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EWhen customers hear the terms \"bonus\" and \"rewards,\" they may instinctively be attracted to a program due to a choice heuristic. Heuristics, or mental shortcuts, help customers make a decision while reducing their cognitive load. In this case, a promotion rule heuristic may be applied where customers are attracted to a product or service that is incentivizing them.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EDo rewards and loyalty programs overcome customer service issues? Why or why not?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ERewards and loyalty programs are far too commonplace to overcome customer service issues. Rewards and loyalty programs are used to attract and engage customers while also strengthening customer retention.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003ECompanies must be cognizant that service issues will happen. Though service issues and failures can create blockades between a customer and provider, they also present a viable opportunity for the provider to strengthen their relationship with the customer. Rather than relying on \"fringe benefits,\" when an issue or failure presents itself a company should first and foremost acknowledge the customer\u2019s concern, apologize and find a way to ensure the customer\u2019s concerns are being met.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch4\u003EDo you feel that the brand naming of rewards (e.g., \"gold elite status\") creates an emotional impact on shoppers? Why or why not?\u003C\/h4\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EPerception is a powerful tool in marketing and has been shown to influence customers. The use of color \u2014 bronze, silver, gold and platinum \u2014 is a proven way to acknowledge status. When a customer attains the next level (i.e., moving from silver to gold), they are being rewarded, which could trigger an emotional response. Also, the term elite may make the customer feel special as well as important to the company. In terms of emotion, research shows that when consumers evaluate brands, they tend to be more receptive to ads that appeal to their emotions (e.g., personal feelings) rather than ads that appeal to their cognition (e.g., brand features and facts).\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--root ShortcodeAlign--horizontal-center\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeAlign--container\"\u003E \n \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--primary Button--auto-width\" title=\"Back to all experts\" href=\"#expertadvice\"\u003EBack to all experts\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n","padding":"double"}

What is a credit card sign-up bonus?

A sign-up bonus (often also referred to as a "welcome offer" or "introductory offer") is an offer extended to credit card applicants — usually in the form of points, miles or cash back — to encourage them to apply for a card and use the card once their account is opened.

Which credit card has the best sign-up bonus offer?

We think the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has one of the best offers around, but the value of an offer varies by the needs of each cardholder, including the type of rewards (points, miles or cash back) they prefer, and how they plan to redeem the rewards.

What credit cards give you cash for signing up?

Cashback credit cards reward you with cash back for applying and typically meeting a spending requirement. It's important to note that cashback rewards can take many forms — e.g., a cashback certificate (see the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi), statement credits or points that you can redeem for a variety of rewards including cash back (see the Chase Freedom Unlimited®).

Are there any $500 credit card bonuses available now?

Actually you can find more valuable offers than $500, especially if you're willing to apply for a travel credit card, such as the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi. However, if you're searching in the $500 range, you should check out the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card and the Capital One Spark Cash for Business.

What steps are required to get a sign-up bonus on a credit card?

In order to earn a sign-up bonus, you'll need to meet the requirements to earn the bonus, which usually include spending a certain amount of money on a card within a certain time period. It's important to thoroughly read the terms and conditions of an offer before you apply for a card to make sure you understand all the requirements — cardholders sometimes open cards and receive a rude awakening a few months later when they learn they aren't qualified for the sign-up bonus.

Are there any restrictions when applying for a credit card sign-up bonus?

Many issuers have restrictions on the number of cards you can apply for and the number of times you can apply for a particular card. Furthermore, cards usually offer valuable ongoing benefits to their cardholders in addition to the sign-up bonus. You should look at the value of all a card's benefits as a whole before applying — not just the sign-up bonus.

When's the best time to apply for a credit card sign-up bonus offer?

While it's a great time to apply for many of the offers on this page, some cards frequently change their offer and sometimes offer elevated, limited time offers. It's worth researching the history of a bonus on a particular card before you apply — if a card has a history of boosting its offer on a regular basis, you might want to wait until an elevated offer swings around before applying.

What credit score do I need to apply for a sign-up bonus?

Requirements vary by the card. You'll need good to excellent credit to qualify for most offers on this page.

When should I avoid signing up for a credit card bonus?

You should avoid applying for a credit card sign-up bonus if you are ineligible for the offer (make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully), you can't qualify for the card (be sure your credit score is up to snuff and see if the issuer allows you to prequalify), you are incapable of meeting the spending requirements, or owning a rewards credit card would tempt you to spend more than you can afford to pay off. Afterall, the rewards aren't worth it if you end up in debt.

What happens if I sign up for a credit card and then don't use it?

If you don't use your card, you likely won't qualify for the sign-up bonus. Furthermore, if your card lies dormant for a long period, the issuer may choose to cancel your account.

Recap of the best credit card sign-up bonus for January 2022

Methodology

To make choosing the right card easier, we've looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of the best rewards credit cards available right now. Our recommendations are based on the additional value you can earn with the cards — including the rewards value, cost of ownership and value of benefits such as travel and purchase protections, lounge membership and airline companion passes. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of Hilton Honors American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of American Express® Gold Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card, please click here.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

The information related to Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card, Citi Prestige® Credit Card, Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®, Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card, Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card, Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card and Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card have been independently collected by ValuePenguin and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

The Capital One Spark Cash for Business card may no longer be available.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).