Credit Card Offers – Cash Bonus Comparison

July 10, 2011

Credit card offers can be tough to compare because the terms of the bonus vary from card to card. While the cash bonus is probably what catches your eye there are other factors to consider, like what you have to spend in order to earn the bonus and whether the card has an annual fee or not.

Something else that can be tricky is that the credit card offers usually change over time.  It’s not typically in a matter of days but they can change relatively quickly – just a week after I wrote about comparing the credit card bonus offers available several of them had changed.

Comparing Card Offers

I put together the table below that shows the bonus amount, minimum required spend, and annual fee of all the current cash bonus offers.  You can click any of the columns to sort the offers – so you can check out the ones with the highest cash bonus values, then sort again to find the lowest annual fees. As you compare credit card offers you can click the card image for all the details about the card or you can click any of the fields for more info about the bonus offers. If you’re reading this in a reader or email you’ll need to visit the site to see the charts.

[chart_edge id=”card_bonus_dollars_table” chart_type=”table” chart_title=”Cash Bonuses” chart_width=”automatic” chart_height=”automatic” chart_col=”Card” chart_col_type=”string” chart_col_2=”Cash Bonus” chart_col_2_type=”number” chart_col_3=”Req Spend” chart_col_3_type=”number” chart_col_4=”Annual Fee” chart_col_4_type=”number” height=”400px” width=”550px” chart_col_2_format=”dollar” chart_col_3_format=”dollar” chart_col_4_format=”dollar” chart_sort_col=”1″ ]

Changing Card Offers

As an example of the changing terms I mentioned earlier, the Chase Freedom card cash bonus offer updated its terms for the minimum spend and the timeframe you have to earn the bonus after opening a card.  The dollar amount of the offer stayed the same but the minimum spend amount required was cut by a third.  Although the amount of time you had to hit the bonus limit was cut in half, the amount you had to spend per month was cut by about $100.

[chart_edge id=”card_bonus_dollars” align=”right” chart_title=”Cash Bonuses”]

The third card with changes, the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards actually offered a rewards points bonus and a cash bonus.  It’s a good example of how offers have multiple criteria you should examine. 

As part of the changes the cash bonus was removed and the annual fee went up by $30. However, the total amount of the rewards points bonus more than doubled.  If you looked at only the removal of the cash bonus or the increase in fee you might think the offer became less attractive.  However, if take into consideration the big jump in bonus rewards points and you’re looking to buy a plane ticket then maybe the offer improved.

The chart on this page is only for cash bonus offers but I’ll put together more charts in the future that compare rewards points bonuses and airline miles offers.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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