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Earn Cash On These 5 Credit Card Bonuses

These signup bonuses pay as much as $625.The summer of 2011: Bad for the economy, but with a bit of an upside for the consumer.

Many credit card issuers looking to increase their customer base offered limited-time promotional cash bonuses just for signing up and spending a few bucks.

Here are the five best bonuses out there (While these bonuses have no expiration date, I expect none of them to last through 2011.):

$500 Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers the highest cash back bonus at $500, but also includes a steep spend requirement of $3,000 in the first three months.

The $500 cash bonus also can be used as a $625 travel bonus (because there is a 25% increase in bonus point value when you book for travel).

You’ll also earn points points on each purchase (1 point per dollar), which can be redeemed for cash. Redemptions start at 2,000 points for a $20 credit.

This card carries a $95 annual fee, waived during the first year.

APR: 15.24% APR (that’s the prime rate of 3.25% plus 11.99%).

$300 Citi ThankYou Premier Card: Spending $1,500 in the first three months will get you a nice $300 gift card bonus on the Citi ThankYou Premier Card.

The 30,000 ThankYou point bonus also can be redeemed for $399 in travel rewards (points are 33% more valuable when redeemed for travel).

You’ll also earn 1.2 ThankYou points for every dollar spent at gas stations, drug stores, supermarkets, on commuter transportation or for parking.

Every other dollar spent will earn one ThankYou point, and every year you renew the Citi ThankYou Premier Card, you’ll receive an anniversary bonus of up to 5%.

Cash redemptions start at 8,000 points for a $50 credit.

This card has the highest annual fee of any on our list: $125. That fee is waived during the first year.

APR: 13.99%, 17.99% or 21.99% based on creditworthiness.

$200 Chase Freedom Visa: The card which has been around the longest (a few months), the Chase Freedom Visa has a $200 cash bonus for spending just $500 in the first three months.

This card also offers 5% cash back on select purchases every month and 1% cash back on everything else without charging an annual fee.

In terms of annual fee and spend requirement, this is your best card.

APR: 15.99% to 21.99% based on creditworthiness.

$100 Blue Cash Preferred from American Express: The perfect card for a big spender, Blue Cash Preferred from Amex offers $100 cash back after spending $500 during the first 90 days.

This card has a 6% cash back feature on groceries, 3% on gas and department store purchases and 1% cash back on everything else with a $75 annual fee.

APR: 17.24% to 22.24% based on creditworthiness.

$100 Capital One Cash Card: Introduced just last month, the Capital One Cash Card is the simplest of cash back cards, offering $100 after spending $500 in the first three months.

The card has a 1% cash back rate on everything with a 50% cash bonus earned at the end of the year, effectively making this card a 1.5% overall cash back credit card.

This card also has no annual fee.

APR: 11.9% to 21.9% based on creditworthiness.

Compare these deals with the credit card offers in our extensive database.

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