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Although the sign-up offers that credit card issuers display to the general public are usually the best deals available at any given time, sometimes banks target specific consumers with even better options.
Issuers like American Express send mailers to potential customers with limited-time offers for which they have been pre-selected. Others, like Chase, make certain sign-up bonuses available only in their physical branches for banking customers, such as when Chase pulled online offers for the Chase Sapphire Reserve 100,000-point sign-up bonus, but kept it available for a while longer for customers who applied in a branch location.
Another great way to look for higher sign-up bonuses is the CardMatch Tool from CreditCards.com. The site takes some simple personal information like your name, address and part of your social security number, and then matches you with current credit card offers for which you might be eligible. These offers can sometimes be higher — sometimes even much higher — than those available through other public channels.
An Example of an Impressive CardMatch Bonus
As of this writing, we’re currently seeing a bonus offer on the Platinum Card from American Express for up to 100,000 bonus points when you make $5,000 in purchases in your first three months.
100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points are worth about $1,900 in TPG’s most recent valuations. Compare that to the current public offer on the card of just 60,000 points when you spend the same $5,000 in three months. That’s a 40,000-point difference — or $760 based on the value of Membership Rewards points — so it’s clearly a difference worth taking advantage of.
In the past, we’ve also seen elevated offers for the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express and the Delta family of American Express cards. So if you want to see if you’re eligible for any increased bonus offers out there, here’s how it works…
How to Use the CardMatch Tool
First, go to the CardMatch Tool homepage. It should look like this:
As you can see, CardMatch works with the following credit card issuers:
You’ll have to enter some personal information, including your first and last name, home address and last four digits of your social security number. If you don’t want to be contacted by CardMatch in the future, uncheck the “Contact Me” box.
If you’re concerned about incurring an extra inquiry on your credit report, don’t worry — the site just performs a so-called “soft inquiry” on your credit to match you with potential offers. Although the pull will show up on your credit report, it has no impact on your credit score.
You’ll then have to agree to the terms and conditions, which basically state that you willingly gave your personal information to the site.
And then in less than a minute, the credit card offers available to you should show up. As you can see, you can filter them by several choices, including issuer and card features:
Unfortunately, I personally did not get the Platinum Card offer myself, but that might be because I already had the card and would not be eligible for the sign-up bonus anyway, given Amex’s standard limitation of one of each card per consumer per lifetime.
Surprisingly though, I did get an offer for the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. It matches the current best public offer out there:
I also received offers on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card…
And the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card, both of which match the best public offers out there.
If you do want to apply for one of the offers you see, just click the “Apply Now” button next to the offer, and you’ll be taken to the bank’s site where you can complete the rest of the process.
Should You Apply?
As always, whether you apply for a credit card offer depends entirely on your own travel goals, your credit history, and whether you can hit the minimum spending requirements without harming your finances. But if you’ve been waiting for the right time to apply for a specific credit card and you do come across an offer on the CardMatch Tool that’s better than you might have seen elsewhere, then it’s certainly something to consider. You should also check the site periodically to see what new offers pop up, since they do change all the time.
The American Express Platinum card has some of the best perks out there: cardholders enjoy the best domestic lounge access (Delta SkyClubs, Centurion Lounges, and Priority Pass), a $200 annual airline fee credit as well as up to $200 in Uber credits, and mid-tier elite status at SPG, Marriott, and Hilton. Combined with the 60,000 point welcome offer -- worth $1,140 based on TPG's valuations -- this card is a no-brainer for frequent travelers. Here are 5 reasons you should consider this card, as well as how you can figure out if the $550 annual fee makes sense for you.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Up to $200 for Uber rides annually. Credit and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- As a Platinum Card Member, you can enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
- Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
- $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees