For people who pay their balance in full every month, credit cards with welcome bonuses are a great way to leverage the convenience of credit to your advantage. The welcome bonus alone can be enough to earn a night’s stay at a hotel or an airline flight right away – or you can choose to have cold hard cash deposited into your bank account. But how much weight should you give the bonus when selecting the right credit card for you? Here are some of the best bonus offers and a few things to consider when making your decision. [This article was first published on The Simple Dollar in 2020. It was updated in January 2022.] Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a good option for those who dine out and travel frequently but don’t want to use a travel rewards card exclusively. You earn 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, and you can maximize your rewards when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. How to use it The best way to optimize the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is to use it primarily for travel and dining out. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card gives you new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more. Consider this

Annual fee of $95There is a 16.24% - 23.24% Variable variable APR, so you should not carry a balance on this card.You aren’t eligible for the welcome bonus if you have another Sapphire card or received a welcome bonus for any Sapphire in the last 24 months

Why you’ll love it The welcome bonus alone is worth $1,000 when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards (80,000 points after a $4,000 spend within the first 3 months of card membership). You’ll also love the ease of accumulating points with this laid back card – there are no rotating categories and nothing to finagle. Just use the card and collect your points. Pro tip: If you’re ineligible for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card welcome bonus, you can still get bonus points by inviting your friends to Chase. You’ll get 15,000 bonus points for each friend who is approved, up to a total of 75,000 bonus points. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a top-tier travel card offered by Chase. It carries a high annual fee ($550) but provides a slew of travel benefits and perks to help mitigate that. It comes with an impressive reward program and a lucrative welcome bonus. Due to the high fee, it should only be considered by consumers who travel frequently each year and are able to take full advantage of the card’s suite of benefits.How to use itNote cardholders will need to spend $300 on travel annually to unlock the high rewards, but that shouldn’t be too hard for consumers who are considering this card. That said, the card comes equipped with an annual $300 travel credit that’s automatically added to your account as a statement credit for eligible travel purchases, covering that requirement. It also includes an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. Use the card for all of your travel and dining needs, sign up for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, book through Chase Ultimate Rewards when you can, and utilize point transfers to get a higher per-point value for your rewards. Consider this

$550 annual fee$300 annual travel creditGreat selection of travel protectionsFlexible redemption and point transfer options

Why you’ll love it First off, the welcome bonus: 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first three months with the card. That’s a $750 value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Aside from that, the Sapphire Reserve can be very rewarding for frequent travelers. It offers high rewards through Chase Ultimate Rewards and includes an impressive array of travel protections that could save cardholders a lot of money in certain situations. It also provides time and money saving perks like a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit and an annual $300 travel credit. Additionally, its flexible redemption program provides a 50% point bonus for travel redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards as well as a 1:1 point transfer rate to Chase’s travel partners.  Pro tip: By transferring points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners, cardholders could find a greater per-point value. What’s great about Chase Freedom Unlimited is there are no rotating categories to sign up for and no annual fee. You just rack up unlimited rewards every time you use the card, making it an ideal go-to option for your daily purchases. As a nice touch, the intro offer includes 5% cashback (on up to $6,000 spent) on gas for the first year with the card. How to use it Chase Freedom Unlimited is a straightforward credit card that earns 5% cashback for travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cashback for restaurants and drug stores, and 1.5% cashback for everything else. Rewards don’t expire, and you can be extremely flexible in how you redeem them. Consider this

Once the introductory 0% APR is over after 15 months for purchases and balance transfers, the rate converts to a variable APR of 15.24% to 23.99%Chase Freedom Unlimited has a foreign transaction fee

Why you’ll love it Chase Freedom Unlimited is all about simplicity. You can redeem cashback rewards whenever you want, and there’s no cap on how much cashback you can get. Pro tip: This card allows you to transfer your points to other Chase cards for more valuable redemption offers or use them to book travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Venture Rewards card is a good choice for consumers looking for an uncomplicated yet rewarding card who travel enough times per year to justify the $95 fee. It offers a high welcome bonus of 60,000 miles for $3,000 spent in the first three months. It earns 5x miles per dollar for hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and an unlimited 2x miles for everything else. How to use it Use the card for everyday purchases like gas and groceries, so long as you don’t have a dedicated gas/grocery card that earns more. Book your rental card and hotels through Capital One if you can, and take advantage of the Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) application fee credit. Consider looking into point transfers to Capital One’s travel partners. You might be able to find a good deal that increases your per-point value beyond the typical 1 cent. Consider this

$95 annual feeLucrative welcome bonusFlat 2x miles for most purchasesGlobal Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee creditRental car insurance and Travel Accident Insurance

Why you’ll love it The Venture Rewards card is simple, rewarding and can save you time and money. The welcome bonus is pretty high for a card like this, and provides plenty of value. The card offers rental car insurance and Travel Accident Insurance which could save you from a headache and a lower bank account balance. And, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck is a must-have for anyone who visits airports on a regular basis, and having the fee covered is a nice touch. It’s a good value for the $95 annual fee. Pro tip: Use the card for any planned upcoming trips to help reach the welcome bonus spending requirement, but don’t spend money on anything you normally wouldn’t have just to reach it. Cashback cards offer cold hard cash that can be transferred into your bank account or used to pay down the statement balance. Keep in mind you shouldn’t choose a credit card based solely on its welcome bonus. Rather, look at your spending and choose a card that best suits your needs, and consider the other card features such as rewards, fees and benefits.