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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. These offers are subject to change at any time, but are worth checking for when you’re considering applying for a new credit card.
Some 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.
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
For example, targeted offers can appear on CardMatch for the Platinum Card from American Express that offer 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 $2,000 based on 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 $800 based on the value of Membership Rewards points — so it’s clearly worth checking to see if you’re targeted for the higher offer.
We’ve also recently seen a 50,000-point welcome offer for the American Express® Gold Card — after you spend $2,000 in the first three months — using the CardMatch tool. The publicly available offer for the Amex Gold is currently 35,000 points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
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 need 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 “Send me information” box.
If you’re concerned about incurring an extra inquiry on your credit report, don’t worry — the site only 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.
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 didn’t get an offer for The Platinum Card® from American Express or the American Express® Gold Card on my most recent visit to the CardMatch Tool. But I did get offers for the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One Platinum Credit Card. The Chase cards all featured offers that matched the currently available best offers; the Capital One cards don’t currently offer welcome bonuses.
The quality and quantity of offers you see on CardMatch will vary over time and from person to person — don’t expect to get impressive offers that are better than what is publicly available each time you check.
If you want to apply for any 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, whether you’re eligible for the welcome bonus and whether you can hit the minimum spending requirements without harming your finances. Just because a card offer is listed on the CardMatch Tool doesn’t mean you’ll get approved or that you’re currently eligible to receive the bonus.
But if you’ve been waiting for the right time to apply for a specific credit card and you come across an offer on the CardMatch Tool that’s better than you’ve seen elsewhere, it’s certainly something to consider.
Check the CardMatch Tool periodically to see what new offers pop up, since they change frequently.
Check the CardMatch Tool to see if you’re targeted for any special offers. These offers are subject to change at anytime.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
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WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points Terms Apply.
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Delta Sky Club and Centurion lounge access, $200 annual airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits annually
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
- 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
- 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.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees