Advertisement

The Top Credit Card Bonuses With Low Minimum Spending Requirements ($1,000 or Under)

by on May 2, 2014 · 9 comments

in Credit Cards

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some of the offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here:Gold Delta SkyMiles,Platinum Delta SkyMiles,Delta Reserve Credit Card.

During my last round of credit card applications, I netted 230,000 bonus points and miles with four new credit cards, but I had to spend a total of $28,000 on my new credit cards within 6 months to earn the full bonuses. I have a lot of great strategies to meet minimum spending requirements, including paying some of my taxes using my new cards, but I realize that a lot of people don’t want to take on these spending requirements, even with great bonuses out there – especially now that Vanilla Reload cards are not available for purchase with credit cards at most retailers. There are still ways to increase your spend cheaply, but it is getting harder and harder.

For those who are finding it harder to hit spend requirements, there are some good basic cards for first-time cardholders, but also several great sign-up offers with lucrative bonuses that don’t require you to spend a huge amount of cash in order to earn the bonuses. So if you’re in the market for some new cards but don’t want to shell out a lot of cash or have to strategize about your spending, here are the best current credit card offers out there with the lowest minimum spending requirements (which I’ve kept to $1,000 or under).

1I have arranged them by the minimum spending requirement – Approval/First Purchase, $500-$999, and $1,000 and under.  If I’ve made any glaring omissions, please feel free to comment and if any of these offers have better versions publicly available, please let me know and I’ll also update the post. Many of these are not my affiliate links and some may require a little extra research to ensure they’re right for you.

Upon Approval or First Purchase – $0 Spending Requirement

Get 250 bonus miles when using your MasterCard.

The US Airways Mastercard’s bonus of 35,000 is pretty decent- especially since it is after first purchase

US Airways Premier World MasterCard
Current Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 miles after first purchase or balance transfer in the first 90 days
Other Benefits: Receive an annual companion certificate good for up to 2 companion tickets upon approval and every year on cardmember anniversary and 10,000 Anniversary Miles. Also receive 1 complimentary US Airways Club day pass and get first class check in and Zone 2 boarding.
Annual Fee: $89

Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature
Current Sign-up Bonus: 30,000 miles total. 25,000 standard Bonus Miles and an additional 5,000 Bonus Miles as a “Thank you” from Bank of America for being a customer
Other Benefits: Earn 3 miles for every qualifying dollar in purchases of Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacation packages and Cargo purchases. Earn 3 miles for every qualifying dollar in purchases of Alaska Airlines tickets, Vacation packages and Cargo purchases, 1 mile per $1 on everything else. No mileage cap. There’s no limit to the number of miles you can earn with the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card. Coach Companion Fare every year from $118 (USD) ($99, plus taxes and fees from $19). Note: There is also currently an offer on this card with a 40,000-mile sign-up bonus, but you must spend $10,000 in 6 months in order to earn the full bonus.
Annual Fee: $75

United MileagePlus Club Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: $100 statement credit after first purchase
Other Benefits: Full United Club membership. Get the first and second checked bags free as well as priority check in and boarding on United-operated flights. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $395 waived the first year when you sign up in a Chase branch or get targeted by United/Chase (login to United.com to see if any offer exists).

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 12.24.27 PM

Delta Reserve
Current Sign-up Bonus: 10,000 Medallion Qualifying Miles and 10,000 bonus miles upon your first purchase.
Other Benefits: With this card you will also earn 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases. This card as well as the Delta Platinum personal and business cards offer Companion passes which you can read about here. No foreign transaction fees after May 1. Spend $30,000 for 15,000 MQMs, or $60,000 for 30,000 MQMs; in either case, these MQMs are earned for eligible purchases in a calendar year. There is also the Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card which offers the same Miles Boost as the personal card. Also, spending $25,000 in a calendar year on this card will waive Delta’s new Medallion Qualifying Dollars requirements for elite status at any elite level.
Annual Fee: $450

LANPass Visa Signature
Current Sign-up Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus miles after first purchase.
Other Benefits: Earn an additional 4,000 miles with your annual credit card renewal. You will earn 1 mile for every $1 in net purchases and 2 miles for every $1 spend on LAN ticket purchases. There is no cap on the amount of miles you can earn. Every year you will receive a 20% discount on LAN purchases (up to $1,000), a 25% flight miles bonus and 3 one-way upgrade coupons.
Annual Fee: $75 annual fee waived for the first year.

Blue for Business from American Express
Current Sign-up Bonus:
Earn 10,000 bonus points after your first purchase on the card in the first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn a 30% annual Relationship Bonus. This card has no annual fee for the primary user as well as no annual fee for additional cards for employees. You can choose rewards from over 500 leading brands in travel, gift cards, merchandise or entertainment and use points to reinvest in your business and reward your employees and clients. Enjoy 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 9 months then 11.24%-19.24% Variable.
Annual Fee: $0

$500-$999 Minimum Spending

Chase Sapphire
Current Sign-up Bonus: 10,000 points after you spend $500 in the first 3 months
Other Benefits: Earn 2 points per dollar on all dining. Redeem points for 1 cent each towards travel.
Annual Fee: $0

Chase Freedom
Current Sign-up Bonus: 10,000 points after you spend $500 in the first 3 months
Other Benefits: Earn 1% cash back on everything you buy. Another benefit of this card is that each quarter you can activate your Freedom card.
Annual Free: $0

Frontier Airlines World Mastercard
Current Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 miles on qualifying transactions, 40,000 miles will be earned after spending $500 in the first 90 days and up to 10,000 miles will be earned with initial balance transfers in the first 90 days.
Other Benefits: You will earn 2 miles per dollar on Frontier purchases and 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases, companion tickets can be redeemed for 5,000 fewer miles than normal.
Annual Fee: $69

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 3.10.27 PM

Bank Americard Travel Rewards Card
Current Sign-up Bonus:
10,000 bonus points if you make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days – that can be $100 towards travel purchases.
Other Benefits: You will also earn 1.5 points per $1 on every purchase. Points can be redeemed to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees with no black out dates. This card comes with a 0% introductory APR for the first 12 billing cycles for purchases, then 14.99%-22.99% Variable. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $0

BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Current Sign-up Bonus: 10,000 bonus points if you make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days – that can be $100 towards travel purchases.
Other Benefits: 2% at grocery stores and 3% on gas for the first $1,500 in combined grocery store and gas purchases each quarter, 1% cash back on purchases everywhere, every time.
Annual Fee: $0

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: Earn $100 cash back after spending $500 within the first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn an additional unlimited 1.5% cash back on every single purchase with no rotating categories or sign ups needed. Enjoy a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers until January 2015 which will increase to 12.9% – 22.9% (V) thereafter.
Annual Fee: $0

Citi Dividend Platinum Select
Sign-up Bonus:
Earn $100 cash back after you spend $500 in the first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn 5% cash back on rotating categories and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Currently the bonus categories include The Home Depot®, home furnishing and home and garden stores from 4/1/14 through 6/30/14. Enrollment each quarter is quick and easy. You may earn up to $300 per calendar year, excluding the $100 cash back with this offer. There is a 0% intro APR on pruchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months then 12.99%-22.99% variable based on your creditworthiness.
Annual Fee: $0

Hilton HHonors Card from American Express
Current Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 points when you spend $750 within 3 months.
Other Benefits: You will earn 7 points per dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton HHonors portfolio of brands, 5 points per dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, and 3 points for all other eligible purchases. Although there was a recent devaluation in the Hilton HHonors program, American and Hilton confirmed that AXON awards will remain.
Annual Fee: $0

$1,000 Minimum Spending

Business Gold feat

Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express OPEN
Current Sign-up Bonus:
25,000 points with $1,000 spend in the first 3 months
Other Benefits: Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare, 2 points per dollar on US purchases for advertising in select media, shipping and at gas stations, and one point per dollar on all other transactions. Receive Purchase Protection, Return Protection, Extended Warranty, Travel Accident Insurance, and Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance.
Annual Fee: $175 waived the first year

American Express EveryDay Preferred
Current Sign-up Bonus: 15,000 points when you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months
Other Benefits: Earn 3x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (not including warehouse stores like Costco), on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1x); 2x on US standalone gas stations; and 1x points on all other purchases. Use the Card to make 30 or more purchases in a billing period and earn 50% extra points on all those purchases less returns and credits. The Card will also come with smart chip technology and a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
Annual Fee: $95

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 10.36.22 AMAmerican Express EveryDay
Current Sign-up Bonus: 10,000 points when you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months
Other Benefits: Earn 2x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (not including warehouse stores like Costco), on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1x); and 1x points on all other purchases. Use the Card to make 20 or more purchases in a billing period and earn 20% extra points on all those purchases less returns and credits. The Card will also come with smart chip technology and a 0% introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
Annual Fee: None

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 3.06.55 PM

Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard
Current Sign-up Bonus: 20,000 miles with $1,000 spend in the first 90 days
Other Benefits: Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on travel and dining purchases, 1 mile per dollar on all other purchases, and receive 10% of your miles back when you redeem on travel. 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening – after that, a variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%,based on your creditworthiness. Receive a complimentary membership to TripIt Pro. No foreign transaction fees. For more information on this card, read my review here, and then check out this post for details on its Travel Bonus Category and Redemption Options, and this one for ideas on the Top 10 Ways To Maximize Barclaycard Arrival Miles.
Annual Fee: $0

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
Current Sign-up Bonus:
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 3% at US gas stations and select US dept stores and 1% on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then 12.99%-21.99% Variable.
Annual Fee: $75

Blue Cash Everyday from American Express
Current Sign-up Bonus:
Earn a $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new card in your first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn 3% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% at US gas stations and select US dept stores and 1% on other purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then 12.99%-21.99% Variable.
Annual Fee: $0

Airline Cards

United MileagePlus Explorer Business Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: Earn 50,000 miles when you spend $1,000 in 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn 10,000 bonus miles when you spend $25,000 in a calendar year. Earn 2 miles for each $1 spent at restaurants, gas stations, and office supply stores and on tickets purchased from United. First checked bag free. No foreign exchange fees.
Annual Fee: $95 annual fee waived the first year.

Gold Delta SkyMiles Business Card from American Express
Current Sign-up Bonus: 30,000 miles after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Also earn 2 miles for each dollar spent on qualifying Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else. Aside from earning 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else, you’ll also receive your first checked bag free and priority boarding. No foreign transaction fees after May 1.
Annual Fee: $95 waived the first year

Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 4.43.04 PM

Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card From American Express
Current Sign-up Bonus: Up to 5,000 MQMs and 25,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Additionally you will earn 2 miles per dollar spent on Delta purchases and 1 mile per dollar spent on everything else. You can get 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles after you spend $25,000 in a calendar year. Then, get another 10,000 MQMs and 10,000 bonus miles after you reach $50,000 in that same calendar year. Check out this post to see why I decided to get the Business Platinum Delta SkyMiles card. No foreign transaction fees after May 1. The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card offers the same Miles Boost as the personal card.
Annual Fee: $150, $195 after May 1

Barclaycard Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard

Barclaycard Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard

The New Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard
Current Sign-up Bonus: Earn 35,000 bonus miles when you make $1,000 in eligible purchases in the first 90 days.
Other Benefits: Enjoy a Complimentary Checked Bag for the primary cardholder when you use your card to purchase tickets directly from Hawaiian Airlines; receive a one-time 50% Off Companion Discount for roundtrip coach travel between Hawaii & North America on Hawaiian Airlines; discounted award travel (5,000 miles off roundtrip award fares from North America to Hawaii); 2X miles per $1 on direct purchases from Hawaiian Airlines, 1X miles on everything else; earn up to 10X miles per $1 with participating partners; every membership year you spend $10,000 or more on the card, you get 5,000 bonus miles;  Hawaiian Airlines World Elite MasterCard cardholders can receive HawaiianMiles from friends and family online at HawaiianAirlines.com up to 10 times per calendar year; no foreign transaction fees, SmartChip technology. Primary Cardholders are eligible to earn a $100 discount off one coach companion ticket for roundtrip travel between Hawaii and North America on each credit card account anniversary.
Annual Fee: $89

Your travel possibilities are greatly expanded with the help of credit card bonuses. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Your travel possibilities are greatly expanded with the help of credit card bonuses. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Hotel Cards

Hyatt Credit Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: Earn 2 free nights at Hyatt properties worldwide after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn 2 free nights at Hyatt properties worldwide as well as 3 points per dollar spent at Hyatt, 2 points per dollar spent on all dining, airfare and car rental purchases and 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else. Anniversary free night at a category 1-4 property each year. Read this post for details on other Hyatt Visa Perks.
Annual Fee: $75

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 3.32.37 PM

Fairmont Visa Signature
Current Sign-up Bonus: 2 complimentary nights including breakfast after spending $1,000 within the first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn 5 points per dollar spent on Fairmont stays, 2 points per dollar spent on airfare, car rentals and transit and commuting and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Every year you make $7,500 in net purchases, you will receive 1 stay credit towards the next Fairmont President’s Club status level up to 2 stay credits per calendar year. Read my full review of the card here.
Annual Fee: $95

IHG Rewards Club Mastercard
Current Sign-up Bonus: Unverified Offer 80,000 points with $1,000 spend in the first 3 months. See this FlyerTalk thread for more information
Other Benefits: Annual Status Earning Potential: Automatic Platinum status. Earn 5X points per dollar spent at participating hotels, earn 2X points per dollar spent on purchases at gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, earn 1X point per dollar spent spent on all other purchases. Automatic 10% point rebate. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $49 waived the first year

Citi Hilton HHonors Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: 40,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points after spending $1,000 within 4 months.
Other Benefits: In addition you will earn 6 points per dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a participating hotel or resort within the Hilton HHonors portfolio of brands, 3 points per dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations, and 2 points for all other eligible purchases. Read this post to learn how to maximize Hilton HHonors points for room and suite upgrades.
Annual Fee: $0

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 3.31.45 PM

Marriott Rewards Premier Credit Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 points with $1,000 spend in the first 3 months (Note: some readers have reported offers of 60,000-70,000 points)
Other Benefits: Earn 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott locations, 2 points per dollar spent on airfare, car rentals and dining and 1 point per dollar on everything else. Receive 1 free night upon approval and every year on cardmember anniversary. Receive 1 credit toward elite status for every $3,000 spent. No foreign transaction fees.
Annual Fee: $85 waived the first year

Marriott Rewards Credit Card
Current Sign-up Bonus: 30,000 points with $1,000 spend in the first 3 months.
Other Benefits: Earn 2 free night stays at a category 1-4 hotel after account approval. Receive 10 credits after your account opening and every year after your account anniversary, giving you guaranteed Silver Elite status every year. Receive 1 credit toward Elite status for every $3,000 spent on purchases.
Annual Fee: $45 waived the first year

shutterstock_113793016

Where will you travel with the bonus from your card? Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Previous post:

Next post:

  • JN

    I think the “other benefits” for the Blue Cash Everyday/Preferred are reversed in the summaries.

  • aarjee

    The benefits listed under the BoA TravelRewards card are actually for the BoA CashRewards card. The Travel Rewards card gives 1.5x points against every transaction, which can be redeemed for travel credit, and has no foreign transaction fee.

  • Michael

    The Korean Air Skypass credit card from US Bank is currently offering 30,000 miles after first purchase.

  • ffejym

    Great posting! One small correction: The benefits listed for the Blue Cash Everyday Amex are actually for the Blue Cash Preferred Amex. BC Everyday gets 3% back at grocery stores, 2% and gas stations and select dept. stores (no annual fee) vs. BC Preferred which gets the mentioned 6% on groceries/3% on gas and select dept. stores (but carries a $75 annual fee).

  • Elizabeth

    The link for the Fairmont Visa says it’s $3,000 spend, not $1,000.

  • Anina

    I went to a Chase bank today and signed up for the United Club card with no annual fee for the first year. (I wasn’t getting a targeted offer when I signed in to United) I was approved in less than 10 minutes. Thanks for the great tip!

  • Sherif

    When I click the link for the Business Gold Rewards Amex, it takes me to an offer for 25K points for 5K spend in three months. I haven’t seen a recent offer that has been any different.

  • fgfgfgfgfgfh

    There are two lanpass cards available. You can sign up for both and get 35000 miles total. this coverts to 50k kilometers. Great for trips within south america.

  • PJ

    BLUE CASH EVERYDAY is good/great to keep all MR points AS IS when you are trying to dodge annual fees to keep points from transferring around

Print This Page