I’ll be the first to tell you I have many irrational fears.
First: Roaches. I get shivers just typing that word.
Second: Heights — like anything higher than six feet off the ground.
Third: Credit cards.
I didn’t get my first credit card until I was 21 — and only for emergencies.
I garnered zero joy from signing up and using it. The thought of having to pay it off — or not having the money to pay it off — made me uneasy. And those collections people really scared me.
But after starting my job at The Penny Hoarder, I realized credit cards can be kind of fun, especially with a stable salary to pay them off at the end of each month.
How? Sign-up bonuses and cash rewards — lots of ’em. Free money can always ease some fear, right?
6 Awesome Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses With No Annual Fees
One thing that always made me uneasy about credit cards were those annual fees.
I never had the money to pay any of those fees to begin with. Second, I didn’t really want to pay to use my own money — even if rewards were involved.
Luckily, plenty of cards don’t have annual fees — and still offer awesome sign-up bonuses and cash rewards.
1. Earn $100 with Barclaycard.
There’s also the Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®, which is fun to say.
You’ll get a $100 bonus when you sign up and spend $500 within 90 days. When you think about it, $500 isn’t really that much — groceries can add up pretty fast.
Plus, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase. Each time you redeem those rewards, you also get a 5% redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption.
And what do you know: There’s still no annual fee.
You can find all the details — and sign up — online.
2. Earn $150 With Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Right now, I have a Chase card I use religiously. And the Chase Freedom Unlimited is an excellent card option.
You’ll have to spend $500 within three months to score the sign-up bonus, but it’s $150. Just use it for your regular spending (and be sure to pay it off completely each month) and you should pretty easily earn the bonus.
You’ll also get 1.5% cash back on each purchase, with no category restrictions. It all adds up pretty quickly!
Again — no annual fee.
3. Earn $100 with Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express.
I can dig this card — and I think other Amazon fans will, too.
Similar to the other offers, you’ll have to spend $1,000 in the first three months to get $100 back.
But in terms of rewards, you’ll get 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (basically where I’m at every night) and 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations. This could be your errand-only credit card.
But what really sets the Blue Cash Everyday Card from the others is you’ll earn 10% back on Amazon purchases made within the first six months of having the card — up to $200. Pretty cool, right?
Again, there’s no annual fee, but you must apply by Jan. 11, 2017.
4. Earn $150 with Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card.
Scandals aside, Wells Fargo offers a pretty good deal with its Cash Wise Visa Card.
Sign up, spend $1,000 in the first three months and get rewarded $150. You’ll also earn cash rewards: 1.5% for every $1 spent.
Since there’s no annual fee, the rewards will add up faster than you think!
5. Earn $100 with BankAmericard Cash Rewards.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards is the first credit card I had — the one I didn’t get any pleasure from. But if you actually use it, I imagine you can accumulate a good chunk of cash.
If you purchase at least $500 worth of whatever your heart so desires or needs, you’ll get a $100 bonus.
In the meantime, you’ll also collect cash back — 1% on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores (and wholesale stores) and 3% on gas with no annual fee.
6. Earn $100 with the TD Cash Credit Card.
Eat out a lot? The TD Cash Credit Card might be a perfect fit for those cravings.
Spend $500 within the first 90 days of opening the account and you’ll get $150 back.
Plus, you’ll score 2% cash back for any dining purchases, including local stores, fast food, coffee shops and restaurants. You get 1% back on all other eligible purchases.
Again, no annual fees. Eat up this offer by Jan. 14, 2017, foodies!
So if you’re like me and wary of credit cards, don’t be — as long as you can pay those bills off.
If credit cards don’t intimidate you, why not make some free cash? ¯\_(?)_/¯
Your Turn: What’s your favorite credit card?
Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which ThePennyHoarder.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). We do not feature all available credit card offers or all credit card issuers.
Carson Kohler (@CarsonKohler) is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder. After recently completing graduate school, she focuses on saving money — and surviving the move back in with her parents.