Best credit cards with sign up bonus points

Boost your rewards points account by applying for a credit card with a sign up bonus, available from most banks and often linked with KrisFlyer.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 8 Feb 2024

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Comparing credit cards with a sign up bonus

American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card

On website

FeaturedApply by 28 February 2024

American Express Singapore Airlines Business Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

57,200 points

Highlights

  • Enjoy a welcome offer of your choice and travel rewards worth over S$1,200: Earn up to 68,000 HighFlyer points or a Samsonite luggage, a complimentary Accor Plus membership worth S$418 offering a free night’s stay every year, and up to 20,000 HighFlyer points worth S$190 when you spend with the Singapore Airlines Group. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Earn up to 8.5 HighFlyer points per S$1 spent on eligible Singapore Airlines Group flights.
  • Earn 1.8 HighFlyer points per S$1 spent on all other eligible spend.

Pros

  • Earn generous welcome offers.
  • Enjoy Priority Pass membership with two complimentary visits per year for you and a guest.
  • Fast-track to KrisFlyer Elite Gold status with S$15,000 spent with the Singapore Airlines Group within the first 12 months.
  • Offers 51 interest-free days.
  • Flexible payment with Pay Small.

Cons

  • The annual fee of S$301.79 p.a (inclusive of 8% GST).
HSBC Advance Credit Card

On website

HSBC Advance Credit Card

Cashback

3.50% on any spend

Cashback cap

$70.00 on any spend

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get a S$150 cashback or a Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale when you apply now. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Highlights

  • Get up to 3.5% Base Cashback on local and overseas spend (Terms and Conditions apply).
  • Get an additional 1% Bonus Cashback with HSBC Everyday+ Rewards Programme.
  • 1-year annual credit card fee waiver.

Pros

  • Earn up to 3.5% cashback when you meet the criteria.
  • No minimum spend is required.
  • Split your purchases into installments at 0% interest over 3 to 24 months.
  • Comes with complimentary travel insurance.
  • Enjoy shopping, dining, and travel deals.

Cons

  • The annual fee reverts to S$194.40 p.a. after the initial year (waived if you spend S$12,500 per year).
  • The ongoing interest rate of 26.90% p.a.
HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

On website

HSBC Visa Platinum Credit Card

Cashback

Up to 5.00% on dining spend

Cashback cap

$1000.00 on dining spend

Minimum spend

S$600.00 per month, every quarter

Sign up bonus

Get a S$150 cashback or a Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale when you apply now. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Highlights

  • 5% cash rebate on dining, groceries and fuel.
  • 1 reward point per dollar spent.
  • 2-year annual credit card fee waiver.

Pros

  • Earn up to 5% cashback.
  • Additional 17% instant discount when you fuel up at Caltex or Shell.
  • No annual fee for the first 2 years.
  • Enjoy Visa Platinum credit card privileges.

Cons

  • Cashback is capped at $1,000 per year.
HSBC Revolution Credit Card

On website

HSBC Revolution Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get a S$150 cashback or a Samsonite ZELTUS 69cm Spinner Exp with built-in scale when you apply now. Terms and Conditions Apply.

Highlights

  • Up to 10X Reward points on online purchases and contactless payments (equivalent to 4 miles per S$1 spend).
  • 1X Reward point per S$1 spend on other purchases.
  • No minimum spend is required.
  • $0 annual credit card fee.

Pros

  • Earn 10x rewards points on online and contactless spending.
  • Get an additional 1% Bonus Cashback with HSBC Everyday Global Account
  • S$0 p.a. annual fee.
  • Includes travel insurance coverage against flight inconvenience and personal accidents.
  • Get instant discounts of up to 14% off at Shell stations and 16% off petrol at Caltex stations.

Cons

  • There is a 10,000 monthly cap on rewards points earned (online and contactless spending only).
American Express Platinum Charge Card

Apply by 28 February 2024

American Express Platinum Charge Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Receive up to 135,000 Membership Rewards points. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Receive up to 135,000 Membership Rewards points. Get a welcome offer of 87,500 Membership Rewards points with a minimum spending of S$6,000 within the first 2 months of Card approval, receive 40,000 Membership Rewards points upon Annual Fee payment, and 7,500 Membership Rewards points based on the S$6,000 spent. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Receive up to S$2,247 credits in a calendar year to spend across a selection of travel and premium lifestyle brands.
  • Enjoy unlimited complimentary access to over 1,400 airport lounges around the world.

Pros

  • Receive up to 135,000 Membership Reward points when you meet the criteria.
  • Get complimentary upgrades for global hotels and lifestyle loyalty programs
  • Receive complimentary upgrades to Hotel Loyalty Programmes.
  • Earn 5 Amex Points for every S$1.60 spent with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir, and Scoot.
  • Earn 2 Amex points for every S$1.60 spent on another qualified spending.

Cons

  • The annual fee is S$1,728 p.a. (inclusive of 8% GST)
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Ascend Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Receive up to 34,000 KrisFlyer miles when you meet the criteria. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Receive up to 34,000 KrisFlyer miles points. Get 5,000 KrisFlyer miles for the very first charge on card, receive a welcome offer of 25,400 KrisFlyer miles points upon annual fee payment and a minimum spend of S$3,000 within the first 3 months of card approval, and 3,600 KrisFlyer miles based on the S$3,000 spent. Terms and Conditions apply.
  • Get a complimentary one-night stay at Hilton Properties in the Asia Pacific and 4 complimentary lounge access passes each year with exclusive Hertz privileges worldwide.
  • Accelerated upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold Membership with a minimum spend of $15,000 on singaporeair.com within the first 12 months of card approval. This comes with an additional 20kg baggage allowance and other priority privileges.

Pros

  • Enjoy an accelerated upgrade to KrisFlyer Elite Gold membership with a minimum spend of $15,000 on SIA within 12 months of getting your card.
  • Enjoy Double KrisFlyer Miles Accrual Voucher (capped at 5,000 bonus KrisFlyer Miles) with min. spend of S$15,000 on Singapore Airlines from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.
  • On top of 1.2 KrisFlyer Miles per 1$ on local spend, you can earn KrisFlyer Miles at accelerated rates when spending overseas, for transactions with Grab, Singapore Airlines, and KrisShop.
  • Includes travel inconvenience and travel accident benefits.
  • Annual supplementary card fee is waived in the first year.

Cons

  • Min annual income of $50,000 for citizens/PRs and $60,000 for foreigners.
  • The annual fee is $340.20 (inclusive of 8% GST)
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.
  • Supplementary cards have a fee of $81 p.a. second year onwards.
  • Late payment fee is $100.

American Express Platinum Credit Card

Apply by 28 February 2024

American Express Platinum Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Receive S$200 Statement Credits with annual fee payment and when you spend at least S$3,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Applicable if you are new to American Express.

Highlights

  • Receive S$200 eCapitaVouchers with annual fee payment and when you spend at least S$1,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Applicable if you are new to American Express.
  • Receive S$100 eCapitaVouchers with annual fee payment and when you spend at least S$1,000 within the first 3 months of card approval. Applicable if you are an existing card member.
  • Enjoy up to 50% savings at select 5-star hotels and restaurants with Love Dining by Platinum.
  • Enjoy Platinum Lifestyle benefits including deals and discounts at spas, golf, and bars, and the membership Rewards Catalogue.

Pros

  • Receive up to S$200 Statement Credits when you meet the criteria.
  • Get up to 50% savings at 5-star hotels, spa vouchers and discounts, and complimentary green fees at premier golf and country clubs in Singapore and overseas with Platinum Lifestyle.
  • The first 2 Supplementary Cards fees are permanently waived.
  • Redeem points at the Membership Rewards Catalogue or pay with points to downsize your card bills.

Cons

  • Minimum income requirement of $80,000 p.a.
  • The annual fee is $324 p.a. (inclusive of 8% GST).
American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

American Express Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get a welcome offer of 5,000 KrisFlyer miles the very first time you charge to your Card. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • First-year fee waiver for main cardholder and supplementary card.
  • Welcome offer of 5,000 KrisFlyer miles. Earn up to 3.1 KrisFlyer miles per $1 spent.
  • Get $150 cashback for use on your next purchase on singaporeair.com when you spend $12,000 on eligible purchases with your Card from 1 July 2023 to 30 June 2024.
  • Get 500 Bonus KrisFlyer miles on paying the first telco recurring bill.

Pros

  • First year fee waiver
  • Earn 3.1 miles per $1 spend on Grab rides, up to $200 each month.
  • All other purchases earn you 1.1 miles per $1 spend.
  • All miles are auto-credited to your KrisFlyer account, sparing you the hassle.

Cons

  • Min annual income of $30,000 for citizens/PRs and $45,000 for foreigners.
  • Annual fee waived the 1st year, but $176.55 for principal card and $54 for each supplementary card thereafter.
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.

Citi Rewards Credit Card

Citi Rewards Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get 40,000 bonus Citi ThankYou Points when you apply, get approved, and spend S$800 or more in the first 2 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 10X Reward on online purchases and shopping purchases.
  • Earn 10X Reward on rides with Grab, Gojek, and more.
  • Earn 10X Reward on online food delivery.
  • Earn 10X Reward on online groceries.

Pros

  • All other purchases still earn you a 1X Reward.
  • The first-year annual fee is waived.
  • Enjoy complimentary travel insurance when you use your card to purchase an airline ticket.
  • Get deals and discounts with Citi World Privileges.

Cons

  • Annual fee is waived for the 1st year, but $194.40 for the principal card and $97.20 for the supplementary card after.
  • There is a 3.25% foreign conversion fee.
  • Sign-up promo is only applicable to new Citi cardholders.
  • A rewards cap applies.
Citi Prestige Credit Card

Citi Prestige Credit Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get 177,500 bonus Citi ThankYou Points when you apply, get approved, and spend S$1,000 or more in the first 2 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 5 ThankYou points (2 miles) per $1 overseas spend and 3.25 ThankYou points (1.3 miles) per $1 local spend.
  • Get a complimentary 4th-night stay at any hotel or resort.
  • Enjoy six complimentary golf games in Singapore, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
  • A concierge team to support your lifestyle at home and abroad

Pros

  • Earn 2 miles per $1 overseas spend and 1.3 miles per $1 local spend, miles won't expire on you.
  • No cap on ThankYou points.
  • Access to over 1,000 airport lounges with Priority Pass membership.
  • Up to $1 million travel insurance coverage is awesome.
  • Travel like a boss! Complimentary one-way Airport Limousine transfers to or from Changi International Airport.
  • Fly and stay with no blackout dates all year round.

Cons

  • The high annual fee of S$540 p.a.
  • A minimum income of S$120,000 a year is required to be eligible for this card.
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.
Citi PremierMiles Card

Citi PremierMiles Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

N/A

Sign up bonus

Get 30,000 bonus Citi ThankYou Points when you apply, get approved, and spend S$800 or more in the first 2 months. Terms and Conditions apply.

Highlights

  • Earn 2 Citi Miles per S$1 on foreign currency spend and 1.2 Citi Miles per S$1 on local spend. Renewal bonus of 10,000 Citi Miles on your card anniversary.
  • Access to over 1,000 airport lounges with Priority Pass membership.
  • Up to $$1 million travel insurance coverage is awesome.

Pros

  • No expiry on miles earned.
  • Redeem miles at over 60 airlines and 8,000 hotels.
  • Convert 1,200 miles to a $10 rebate.
  • Supplementary card is complimentary.

Cons

  • Annual fee of $194.40 p.a. for the principal card.
  • Priority Pass membership is free for the principal cardholder only, expect to apply for it, and is limited to 2 free lounge visits each year.
  • Free travel insurance only when your air ticket is charged to your card.
DBS Altitude Card

DBS Altitude Card

Cashback

N/A

Cashback cap

N/A

Minimum spend

S$600.00 per month

Sign up bonus

40,000 points

Highlights

  • Get up to 40,000 Miles when you apply online, get approved, and spend at least $2,000 within 30 days of your card approval date. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • The first-year annual fee is waived (worth $S194.40).
  • Earned rewards on your DBS Altitude Card do not expire.

Pros

  • You can earn up to 40,000 Miles when you meet the criteria.
  • Earn up to 1.3 miles per S$1 spent on retail transactions.
  • Earn up to 10 miles per S$1 spent on travel spend at selected online travel agencies.
  • Receive 10,000 bonus miles when you pay for your annual fee. Conditions apply.

Cons

  • After the initial year, there is a S$194.40 annual fee.

If you've ever read a travel blog or watched a travel vlog, then you'll know what you can do with credit card sign up points. Read on for more information on how they work.

What is a credit card sign up bonus?

A credit card sign up bonus is an incentive offered by card issuers to new cardholders, in an effort to gain new business by attracting those who have never held a card before, or by wooing others away from their existing card.

In the case of rewards points and air miles cards, the bonus normally takes the form of tens of thousands of points, which would normally take years of card spending to acquire.

Since points can usually be redeemed for account credits (effectively cash), retail spending vouchers and airline flights or seat upgrades, they are a very alluring incentive.

How do credit card promo bonuses work?

It's a simple process, but there are caveats to be aware of when making your decision.

1. Filter out cards you can't get

  • Check for income required. If you do not earn enough — or don't have proof of it — then do not risk applying and being declined.
  • Don't apply for a card you already have. Existing card customers are not generally eligible for a sign up bonus.
  • Check terms for churning. If you had a card and cancelled it after triggering its bonus, you may need to wait a certain period of time before you can apply again and be eligible for the bonus. Rules vary between banks.

2. Choose the card with the best offer

There are a few things to consider at this stage.

  • Co-brand or bank rewards? For example, do you want to earn directly into Singapore Airlines or would you prefer the flexibility of earning points with a program that has multiple transfer partners?
  • Not all points are valued equally. KrisFlyer miles are valued from about 2 cents each or more depending on the redemption, Membership Rewards points are valued at around 1.5 cents each, and so on. There are trade-offs though to further complicate things. For example, Amex points are much more flexible and can be transferred to airline and hotel rewards programs.
  • Factor in the trigger. Larger bonuses may require more spending. Be clear on the terms before you commit — and know you can hit the target.

3. Apply

Once you've chosen a card, it's time to apply. You'll usually need to provide some basic financial information and identification documents.

4. Hit the spending target

You'll need to hit a specific spending target within a set timeframe, usually the first few months. The clock typically starts ticking from the date of approval or activation.

  • Plan your spending wisely. If you can hold off on any large purchases, try to do so until you've been approved.
  • Avoid spending unnecessarily. Ideally you should spend what you were planning to spend anyway.
  • Stack your rewards. If you can buy online, click through from your preferred rewards program's online shopping portal to bag more points in addition to those earned with the card.

5. Bank the points

Once you hit the spending target, the bonus — be that points, air miles, or cash — will be credited to your account and you can redeem them as you please.

Sign up vs first purchase vs welcome bonus

These terms are in fact used more or less interchangeably. Some banks also call these offers their welcome bonus.

  • Sign up bonus. While the term 'sign up bonus' implies that all that is required is for the new cardholder to apply and be approved in order to earn the bonus, the fact is that most offers of this kind demand that the new cardholder spends a qualifying amount within a short period after card account approval.
  • First purchase bonus. A typical condition would be for the cardholder to spend $3,000 using the card within 90 days of account approval.
  • Welcome bonus. A generic term that describes any kind of credit card sign up or first purchase bonus points offer.

These targets are rarely difficult to achieve, and are ranked according to card level, with the more expensive, black and premium cards offering larger bonuses and usually having higher spending targets, in line with the likely income profile of the cardholder.

Who credit card sign bonuses are suitable for

  • High spenders. If you plann on spending a lot of money — or that's just how you roll — triggering the welcome bonus should not require any additional effort or buying things you don't need.
  • Points hackers. Welcome bonus offers are often travel-focused, offering rewards points, air miles such as KrisFlyer miles, or other travel-related perks that can be valuable for frequent flyers and points accumulators. This is the fastest way to boost your points balance noticeably.
  • Luxury travellers with a budget. Whether you enjoy flying flat but don't like paying for it or want to travel with family, the points earned with a welcome bonus for signing up can go a long way to achieving your goal.
  • Strategic planners. Those of us who are good at planning their finances can time planned large purchases or expenses to trigger the bonus faster.

Who credit card sign bonuses are not suitable for

  • Low spenders. If you don't spend much, you may struggle to spend enough to trigger the bonus without buying things you don't want or need. You may also cut it fine in terms of meeting the minimum spending requirements on an ongoing basis.
  • Low earners. Although there are credit cards designed for low earners, the most competitive sign up bonuses tend to come with higher minimum criteria in terms of earnings. Do not apply if you do not earn enough since it's highly likely you'll be declined.
  • Infrequent flyers. If you just like the idea of banking a pile of points but don't have any plans to use them, you might get caught out by a devaluation (an annoying feature of travel hacking when a rewards program arbitrarily decides everything costs more points). As the saying goes, use them or lose them.
  • Balance carriers. If you carry a balance from month to month, chasing sign up bonuses can exacerbate your financial situation.
  • People with bad credit. If your credit score isn't great, you are less likely to be approved for the best credit card bonuses. Work on improving your score before applying.

How to compare sign up bonus offers

While some people are only interested in whatever card has the biggest sign up bonus, this is what to look for when comparing deals.

  1. Firstly you should compare the various interest rates and also find a deal that offers you the biggest savings if there are promotional interest rates on offer.
  2. You must also take into consideration how long the introductory deal lasts, and how it changes when the honeymoon period expires. Sign up bonuses look great in the short term, but you also need to plan ahead to make sure you get the best deal for the long term.
  3. Most sign up bonuses involve a single bonus of points added to your account. So when you are comparing this type of bonus, consider how many points are on offer, what they can be redeemed for and how many points you need to redeem for something you actually want, e.g. flights, hotels, electronics, etc.
  4. Check if there are any birthday bonuses. In addition to the welcome bonus, some cards have a birthday bonus every year on the anniversary of your card opening as an incentive to keep using it.

Credit card bonus eligibility

In order to qualify for the sign up bonus by meeting the minimum spend criteria, only certain types of spending will count. Typically, the same conditions apply to bonus points as those applied to ongoing points earning. This means that cash and cash equivalent transactions are excluded from both points earning and sign up bonus points minimum spend targets. The types of transactions almost certain to be excluded are:

  • Balances transferred from another card or loan
  • Cash advances
  • Purchases of traveller's cheques or foreign currency banknotes
  • Credit card fees (including annual fees) and interest charges

Other types of payment which may be excluded by some (but not all) card issuers are:

  • Payments made from a credit card using GrabPay
  • Government charges such as payments for car registration or to Singapore Post (although there are cards that earn points on government spend)
  • Purchases of gift cards
  • Gambling transactions

Churning credit card points offers

Credit card 'churning' is a strategy used by some people to maximise the benefit derived from sign up bonus point offers. Churning can take two forms: applying for multiple sign up bonus cards at the same time, or applying for cards in rapid succession, waiting only until the bonus points have been received before cancelling the card account and applying for another card. But these procedures are fraught with risk. Here's why.

  • There are limitations on who can qualify. Firstly, most card issuers will not grant the sign up bonus to 'new' cardholders who currently hold another of their rewards points cards, or who have held one of their rewards cards in the previous 12-18 months. So taking a scattergun approach to sign up bonuses could end up severely limiting your future rewards card choices.
  • It may impact your credit score. Secondly, applying for many cards at the same time, or in quick succession, can seriously damage your credit score. Each credit card application results in a 'hard' credit enquiry by the prospective lender being recorded in your credit history file. These hard enquiries have a negative effect on your credit score, and could make it more difficult for you to be approved for credit in the future. Anecdotally, many churners report little impact on their score because they manage their accounts well.
  • You may spend more than you should. Finally, striving to meet too many spending targets on separate cards could see you committing to spending more than you can really afford, leading to credit card account balances you cannot pay off in full by the due date. The resulting interest charges will seriously reduce the benefit of any sign up bonuses you might earn.

Are credit card bonus offers worth it?

There's no denying that there are lots of points to be earned if you're prepared to spend time chasing sign up bonuses, making card applications, monitoring your card usage and cancelling cards. But should you? Consider these questions before applying.

  • Will you be able to meet the spending target? If you will be buying things that you don't need just to hit a welcome bonus spending target, then it's probably not a great value proposition. It would be better if you can divert your normal spend onto the new card and hit the target without having to spend more than usual. Note that Amex cards are not as widely accepted as Mastercard and Visa, which may complicate matters.
  • Will you use the points? If you have plans to travel and would be able to redeem the points for upgrades, then the sign up bonus could be very useful. Remember that rewards programs can devalue without warning, meaning your points may be worth less in future. Furthermore, some rewards points expire if not used. Although it's easy to avoid, some rewards programs have points that expire after a period of inactivity.
  • Are there other benefits you can use included with the card? It's not unusual for credit cards with a sign up bonus to come with other perks and benefits like airport lounge access and travel insurance. Will having these available be useful?
  • Do you mind paying the annual fee? Assuming you plan on holding on to the card, pay attention to the annual fee. If it has been waived for the first year, check what it will revert to. Will it make sense to keep the card if you have to pay the annual fee?

Pros and cons of credit card points offers

If you are someone who regularly travels either domestically or internationally, then a sign up bonus offering frequent flyer points may be exactly what you are looking for. However, before deciding on the card you want to apply for you should carefully consider which airline you fly with most, which airlines fly the routes you travel most and even what airlines fly from your local airport.

Compare your credit card options before settling. You'll thank yourself later.

Pros

  • Boost your rewards account. A single credit card bonus can make a big difference in a relatively short space of time.
  • Make a dream trip a reality. If you want to fly at the pointy end but can't justify spending cash for business or first class seats, bonus points can make it happen.
  • Offset the annual fee. If you find a credit card that suits you but the high annual fee is more than a little unpleasant, a sign up bonus can go a long way to offsetting the annual fee in the first year, if not obliterating it altogether. Just make sure that you will still be getting enough value to make the card worthwhile once you hit the second year.

Cons

  • They don't come free. Banks will not transfer your sign up bonus until you've met the spending target, which means you have to spend with the card.
  • Not every purchase is eligible for the spending target. For example, balance transfers and cash advances will not count.
  • You could be tempted to spend more. It's not a great idea to spend more than you can really afford, just to meet a sign up bonus spending requirement. If you end up with a balance you can't repay, and resulting interest charges, you may wipe out all the benefit of those bonus points.