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Credit Card Bonuses for the Creditworthy

By Sheryl Nance-Nash, DailyFinance

NEW YORK (DailyFinance) -- Sometimes, it really does pay to do the right thing. Those who kept their credit profiles squeaky clean during the Great Recession and its aftermath can now dance with the best credit card issuers.

Credit card companies are tripping over themselves to attract big spending, timely payers. The credit industry mavens at CardHub.com report that there are more credit cards offering higher initial rewards bonuses -- for people with credit scores above 700.

CardHub looked at more than 800 credit card offers and found 338 cards with initial rewards bonuses. While the perks varied, they all had initial bonuses that kick in once you charge a certain amount within a designated introductory period. Out of 338 products CardHub examined, the following cards stood out:

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Southwest Airlines Credit Card (LUV): Get 50,000 bonus points (worth over $800 in Wanna Get Away fares) after your first purchase; $99 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (JPM): Get $625 worth of airfare or hotel accommodations or $500 cash back when you spend $3,000 during the first three months; no first-year annual fee.

Capital One Venture Rewards (COF): Score $250 in travel expenses when you spend $1,000 in the first three months; no first-year annual fee.

New Ink Cash Business Card: Also from Chase, this card offers $250 cash back to business owners who spend $5,000 in the first three months; no annual fee.

Chase Freedom Visa: Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first three months; no annual fee.

British Airways Credit Card (BAIRY): Earn 50,000 miles, enough for a free trans-Atlantic flight, when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days; $95 annual fee.

The goodies don't stop with the cards on that list. In addition, reports CardHub, there are numerous credit card offers currently on the market with initial bonuses worth at least $100. Among them are the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express (AXP) the Citi Dividend Platinum Select (C) and the BankAmericard Cash Rewards (BAC).

Take Two Credit Cards -- Or More
If you're tempted to go after several of these offers, your money instincts may be setting off warning signals: Personal finance gurus have told us repeatedly it's a bad idea to have too many inquiries into your credit, and to not apply for too many cards at once. But in this case, there's no need to worry about long-term consequences from seeking these deals, says Card Hub CEO Odysseas Papadimitriou.

"The fear of a credit score hit shouldn't cause consumers to shy away from these offers either," said Papadimitriou in a prepared statement. "While it is true that your credit score will take a dip for about six months each time you apply for a new credit card, this shouldn't be of concern unless you plan on applying for a loan, taking out a mortgage or otherwise actually needing the best credit score possible within that time frame."

"The hit you take as a result of opening a new card will not be permanent and will truthfully be irrelevant unless you need your credit score," he said. "On the other hand, the benefit of a lucrative rewards credit card offer is plain to see."

Credit cards don't have to be a tolerated evil. If you can get rewarded for the everyday purchases you make, and the bills you have to pay anyway, how can it be a bad thing to get cash back or perks that might make that dream vacation a bit more possible? A win-win, especially if you pay off your balances monthly.

-- Sheryl Nance-Nash writes for AOL's DailyFinance.

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