If you have a good credit score and the discipline not to get into consumer debt, you can profit from your responsibility by participating in various credit card sign-up incentives. The bonuses are not subject to tax, and by applying for only the best offers, you can add thousands of dollars to your income a year.
$500 in Gift Cards or $500 towards Student Loans, your Mortgage, Airfare or Hotel
The Citi ThankYou Premier Card is competing with a 50,000 ThankYou Point bonus. You get 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $2,500 in purchases within 3 months of account opening. 50,000 points is worth $500 in gift cards, airfare, or a check towards your student loan or mortgage. No annual fee. See this post for details.
$400 in Cash or $500 towards Airfare or Hotel
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a rewards credit card offering new cardholders 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. 50,000 points can be redeemed for $400 cash or airplane tickets worth up to $250 each since they offer a 25% boost towards airfare and hotels. No annual fee for the first year, $95 in future years. They also offer 2 points per dollar spent on dining & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Additional details here.
(This card is the “big brother” of the regular Chase Sapphire Card, where you can get 10,000 points ($100 cash) after you spend $500 in purchases within the first 3 months, and there is no annual fee in the first year or subsequent years.
This is their new travel-oriented card, with no foreign transaction fee on purchases and you can also earn points based on the amount of miles you actually fly. The annual fee is free the first year, $95 in later years if you keep it. Alternatively, if you want a card with no annual fee period, the Citi ThankYouSM Preferred Card is offering 25,000 bonus points after $2,000 in purchases within 4 months.