Update: This offer for Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® is expired, but there’s currently an opportunity to earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 within first 90 days of having the card. Learn more about the special offer here.
While there are plenty of credit cards worth acquiring for the long term benefits they provide (be it points on everyday spend or an annual bonus), there are also some cards that are worth getting exclusively for the sign-up bonus. After all, most of us aren’t huge credit card spenders, so if we’re going to rack up hundreds of thousands of points a year from credit cards, it needs to be mostly from sign-up bonuses and not everyday spend.
There’s no doubt that credit card sign-up bonuses have been on the decline the past year or two. There are still some stellar offers out there, though it’s no longer the days where just about every card comes with a 50,000+ point sign-up bonus, and anything less is laughable
So I’m curious to hear what you guys think — how much of a bonus do you have to be offered to apply for a credit card exclusively for the sign-up bonus? I guess the “cost” of applying for a card is the temporary loss of (at most) a couple of points on your credit score, reaching the minimum spend, and the effort it takes to apply for the card and cancel it.
Admittedly the answer probably depends on which credit bureau your score is pulled from and how much the minimum spend is on the card, though I think we all have a general threshold, which is subject to change based on circumstances.
Right now I think my threshold is the equivalent of $400 in “value.” This can come in the form of $400+ cash back (as the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite Mastercard® is offering), or miles I value at a similar amount. Of course if there’s an annual fee on a credit card for the first year that would have to be subtracted from the “value” you’re getting out of the card.
The reason I’m posing this question is because I’ve been going back and forth on applying for the Alaska Signature Visa card. The card offers a 25,000 mile sign-up bonus, and I value Alaska miles at 1.5 cents each. That’s $375 of “value,” though there’s a $75 annual fee, bringing it down to $300. That being said the card comes with a $99 coach companion certificate, which I surely value at around $100 or so, putting the card right around my threshold. Even though the Alaska card is churnable (meaning you can sign-up for it multiple times), I still haven’t actually picked it up, which is why I’ve been pondering the question.
So I’m curious, what’s your threshold for applying for a credit card exclusively for the sign-up bonus?