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By Jason Steele
April 1, 2021
Credit Card With A Crown
Money; Getty Images

The best reward credit card deals of 2021 include generous initial bonuses within the first few months of opening an account. These bonuses can easily be worth $1,000 or more, depending on how you redeem your rewards, and they’re not difficult to obtain if you use your card on a regular basis to pay for things like groceries, gas, or utility bills.

Keep in mind, however, that not all credit card deals work the same, nor do they have the same points or value system. Whereas some rewards credit cards let you earn points that are only good for cash back and statement credits, others let you redeem rewards for travel, merchandise and entertainment. Some of the most flexible credit cards on the market even let you transfer points to popular hotel and airline loyalty programs, which could help you receive a nice return on those points.

If your credit is in great shape and you want to earn rewards just by spending money on your everyday expenses, the best credit card deals can help you do just that. In order to come up with our top picks, we compared some of the most popular cards in the market today, based on their rewards, annual fees and flexibility, among other factors.

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Important Things to Know About the Best Credit Card Deals

  • Many of the most valuable credit card sign-up bonus offers require you to meet a minimum spending requirement within the first few months. Before you sign up for a credit card, make sure you can comfortably reach the spending threshold.
  • Some of the top rewards credit cards available come with higher than average interest rates (APRs), which means they’re less than ideal if you plan to carry a balance. If you tend to carry some credit card debt from month to month, then you’ll want to look for a low interest credit card instead.
  • Keep in mind that rewards credit cards only let you earn ongoing rewards and bonus points on purchases you make, and not on balance transfers or cash advances. If you have a big balance with a high interest rate, you should check out the best balance transfer credit cards instead.
  • Many of the top rewards credit cards charge an annual fee. While the first year rewards and cardholder perks can make paying these fees worth it, you should still keep the annual fee in mind when choosing a rewards card.
  • Finally, the best credit card deals are only available to consumers with good or excellent credit. This typically requires a FICO score of 740 or above, although it’s possible to qualify with a lower credit score.

Best Credit Card Deals of 2021

These cards let you rack up rewards worth $1,000 or more in a hurry. Consider signing up for one of these credit cards if you have excellent credit and want to take advantage of your daily spending.

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for Flexible Points
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for Flexible Travel Credits
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred®: Best Travel sign-up Bonus
  • Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for Flexible Rewards for Business
  • Capital One Spark Cash: Best for Big Business Spenders

Best Credit Card Deals: Reviews

Before you sign up for a new credit card deal or bonus offer, make sure you understand all the fees involved. For starters, you’ll need to meet a minimum spending requirement to get any welcome bonus, and you’ll want to fully understand any fees involved as well as other cardholder benefits. The following reviews include the most important details you should know about each of the below credit cards.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for Flexible Points

It’s easy to see why the Chase Sapphire Reserve is considered one of the most flexible rewards credit cards available today. Currently you can earn up to 60,000 bonus points when you sign up and spend $4,000 on your card within the first three months. You’ll also earn 3x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases. Current promotions include a complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash and $60 in statement credits toward meal pickup or delivery in 2021). You will also earn 10x points on Lyft rides through March of 2022.

A $550 annual fee applies, but you’ll receive lucrative cardholder benefits such as a $300 annual travel credit, which is also valid for gas and grocery store purchases through the end of 2021, a credit of up to $100 for an application to Global Entry or TSA Precheck, and Priority Pass Select airport lounge access. Rewards can be redeemed for 1.5 cents each toward travel if you book through the Chase Ultimate Rewards, or you can transfer them at a rate of 1:1 to participating airline and hotel partners like Southwest Rapid Rewards, JetBlue, Emirates, and World of Hyatt. You can also redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, entertainment, and more.

Summary of benefits:

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points worth $900 in travel when you spend $4,000 on your card within three months of opening the account
  • Earn 3x points on travel and dining and 1x points on other purchases
  • $300 annual travel credit that’s also valid for gas and grocery store purchases in 2021
  • Free DoorDash DashPass subscription and $60 in statement credits towards meal pickup or delivery
  • $550 annual fee

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for Flexible Travel Credit

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is currently offering an outstanding welcome bonus on new accounts. Starting March 31, 2021, new Venture cardholders can earn a limited-time sign-up bonus of up to 100,000 miles. You’ll earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 on purchases within the first 12 months of account opening, or you can still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. This will leave you with 140,000 Venture miles if you were to spend $20,000 in your account’s first year, since you earn double miles on all purchases.

Points can be redeemed for travel at a rate of one cent per point, or you can use your rewards for shopping when you check out with PayPal. This card also lets you transfer miles to airline partners like Air France, Flying Blue and Cathay Pacific. You’ll receive a $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck and there’s a $95 annual fee for this card.

Summary of benefits:

  • Earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within three months of account opening, and another 50,000 miles after spending a total of $20,000 within 12 months of account opening
  • Redeem your miles for statement credits towards travel, dining in or pickup, delivery and entertainment streaming, or transfer rewards to participating airline and hotel partners
  • $95 annual fee
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Chase Sapphire Preferred®: Best Travel Sign-Up Bonus

The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers rewards in the same program as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, except that the annual fee on this card is much lower. At the same time, the Preferred card’s sign-up bonus is actually worth more. One trade-off for the lower annual fee is that you’ll receive considerably fewer travel perks.

Sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred to earn 80,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 within first three months of account opening. The introductory bonus points are worth $1,000 towards travel or other rewards. You’ll also earn 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases. You can redeem rewards for gift cards, statement credits, experiences, or travel. Points are worth 1.25 cents each when you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, and you can also transfer points at a rate of 1:1 for participating Chase airline and hotel partners. And now, points are also worth 25% more towards your purchases from everyday categories (for example, grocery, dining, and home improvement). This card has a $95 annual fee, but there are no foreign transaction fees.

Summary of benefits:

  • Earn 2x points on travel (including parking and tolls) and dining, and 5x points on qualifying Lyft. rides through 2/2022; Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Earn 80,000 points when you spend $4,000 or more on your card within three months of opening the account
  • Redeem rewards for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 1:1 transfers to hotel and airline partners, gift cards, and more
  • $95 annual fee

Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: Best for Flexible Rewards for Business

If you’re looking for an excellent credit card deal for your business, look no further than the Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. This card gives you 100,000 points as a welcome bonus when you sign up and spend $15,000 within three months of account opening. These points are worth $1,250 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or $1,000 cash back. You’ll also earn 3x points on travel, shipping, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, and internet, cable, and phone services, plus 1x points on other purchases.

A $95 annual fee applies on this offer, but you won’t pay foreign transaction fees on purchases. Note that all the Chase Ultimate Rewards redemption opportunities are possible on this card, including getting 25% more travel when you use points to book airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can also transfer points 1:1 to airline and hotel partners or redeem for statement credits, gift cards, or Apple® Ultimate Rewards Store purchases.

Summary of benefits:

  • Earn 100,000 bonus points worth $1,250 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards, or $1,000 cash back when you spend $15,000 within first three months of account opening
  • Earn 3x points on travel, shipping, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines, and internet, cable and phone services, plus 1x points on other purchases
  • $95 annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Capital One Spark Cash: Best for Big Business Spenders

If you have a ton of business spending coming up and really want to maximize your rewards, consider signing up for the Capital One Spark Cash. This card offers a valuable welcome bonus worth $500 when you use your card to make $4,500 in purchases within three months of account opening.

On top of the bonus cash back, you’ll get 2% cash back on everything you buy with the card. Also note that this card’s $95 annual fee is waived the first year, comes with free employee cards and has no foreign transaction fees.

Summary of benefits:

  • Earn $500 cash back when you use your card to make $4,500 in purchases within first three months of account opening
  • Earn 2% back on everything you buy
  • $0 annual fee the first year, $95 thereafter
  • Free employee cards and no foreign transaction fees
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How We Found the Best Credit Card Deals of 2021

You can get a bonus offer with any rewards or cash back credit card these days, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the best. Some may offer inferior welcome bonuses, while others make their bonus offers extremely difficult to earn. Here’s everything we considered to come up with our list of the best credit card deals available today.

Generous Bonus Rewards

One of the first things you should look for before applying for a credit card is the number of rewards offered and how much they’re worth. With that in mind, we looked for credit card deals that could be worth several hundred dollars or more, giving precedence to offers that let you earn even more rewards over time.

Flexible Points

We also looked for credit cards that let you redeem rewards in more ways than one, or at the very least, could be redeemed for statement credits to cover purchases. Keep in mind there are a lot of excellent airline and hotel credit cards available too, which you should consider if you prefer to earn points in a specific loyalty program.

Reasonable Spending Requirements

While sign-up bonuses were the main factor we considered, we also made sure cards on this list came with a reasonable minimum spending requirement. For cards with higher requirements, we made sure that the bonus earned would be well worth it.

Understandable Annual Fees

Finally, we took a close look at annual fees and what cardholders could expect in return in terms of benefits and perks. Most of the credit cards that offer the best bonus deals charge an annual fee, so we didn’t count them out. Instead, we made sure the annual fees made sense in terms of the value you could receive in return.

Callout: One factor we didn’t consider in this ranking is each credit card’s annual percentage rate, or APR. Since rewards credit cards that offer bonus deals charge high interest rates, you shouldn’t pursue rewards or bonus deals if you plan to carry a balance. The credit card deals explained on this page only make sense to pursue if you have a plan to pay your credit card bill in full each month.

How to Make the Most of the Best Credit Card Deals

Avoid Credit Card Interest if You Can

Make sure you’re only signing up for bonus offers if you can pay your credit card bill in full each month. Some of the top travel and rewards credit cards come with APRs as high as 27.49%, meaning you’ll wind up woefully in the red if you rack up any debt in order to earn some points or rewards.

You can make the most of credit card bonus deals if you commit to only making purchases you planned to make anyway, and you pay your bill in full every single month.

Make Sure You Can Meet the Minimum Spending Requirements

Many of the cards with the best bonus offers require you to spend several thousand dollars within a few months. While it may be possible to reach the spending threshold on any given offer by using your credit card for groceries, gas, and regular bills, you should double check to make sure before you sign up.

If you can’t spend enough on normal purchases after you sign up for a welcome bonus deal, you’ll be stuck in a situation where you need to overspend to earn the bonus offer you’re after. You can avoid this type of mishap by assessing your regular spending and figuring out how much you can charge to a credit card each month ahead of time.

Remember that Credit Card Bonus Deals Change All the Time

Finally, remember that credit card bonus offers go up and down all the time. The best offer available today may be eclipsed by a better deal tomorrow or the next day, and you may not know unless you check.

Before you sign up for a credit card, make sure the card you’re considering is offering the highest bonus rewards available within the last 12 to 18 months. If the bonus is lower than what has been available in the recent past, you may want to wait it out or choose a different card.

Summary: Best Reward Credit Card Deals of 2021

Best Credit Card Deals of 2021 Best For
Chase Sapphire Reserve® Flexible Points
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Flexible Travel Credit
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Travel Sign-up Bonus
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card Flexible Rewards for Business
Capital One Spark Cash Big Business Spenders
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