United States of Bonuses: 2 in 3 Americans Expect a Bonus at Work

Survey reveals 55% would leave their job if offered a sign-on bonus

Bonuses: whether a little extra help around the holidays or a nice incentive to open a new bank account, they certainly feel like an extra treat in the financial landscape of Americans. But how many American workers actually receive bonuses, and how good are they as a commercial incentive? How many Americans depend on credit rewards points, and how many are in credit debt? With sportsbooks sweeping the nation, how are bonuses of all types – from casino bonuses to sign-on bonuses, persuading Americans?

We surveyed 1,000 American workers with jobs and a credit card to see how bonuses stacked up – or didn’t.

Bonuses in the Workplace

Top workplace bonuses among U.S. workers graphic - new survey by Bonus.com

Bonuses are common in the workplace, with the majority of Americans (86%) having received a bonus at their jobs. Seven in 10 currently work in jobs where bonuses are available. There’s a huge variety of bonuses out there, but the most popular types of bonuses include performance bonuses (53%), annual bonuses (46%), and holiday bonuses (42%). Other top bonuses include sales (11%), professional development bonus (8%), and 1% even reported a weight loss bonus.

When it comes to payout methods, workers predominantly receive more money on their paycheck (68%), followed by receiving money separately from their paycheck (39%). Interestingly, some workers also receive bonuses in the form of gift cards (24%), pizza parties (14%), and more PTO (10%).

Some bonuses start before day one of work: sign-on bonuses. Over 1 in 6 Americans got a sign-on bonus at their jobs, receiving an average sum of $6,267. Gen Z had the highest percentage of sign-on bonus recipients with over 1 in 4 receiving a sign-on (26%), and over 1 in 5 salaried workers generally received a sign-on bonus.

Of those surveyed, 51% report being paid hourly. Broken down by generation, 57% of Gen Z, 52% of Millennials, 49% of Gen X, and 44% of Baby Boomers are hourly.

Top Workplace Expectations Around Bonuses

Top expectations around bonuses | New survey by Bonus.com

Bonuses are a spectrum in the American workplace: 62% of workers expect a bonus, and on average, they receive $3,946 per year in assorted bonuses. Over half of Americans believe a fair and reasonable bonus is 10% or less, while 20% are comfortable with 20% or more. Among salaried individuals, 1 in 4 believe there should be a limit to how many bonuses one can receive, while 3 in 4 believe there shouldn’t be a limit.

Nearly 1 in 4 workers have received a bonus in lieu of a raise, though 71% would prefer a paycheck raise equivalent to a bonus. Americans use their bonuses in a variety of ways, but the most popular ways are adding to savings (72%), paying bills (54%), paying off debt (46%), treating themselves (38%), traveling (26%), and making a big purchase (23%).

More than one in five workers received a smaller bonus in the last year than in previous years, and only 20% of workers were promoted in the last year. In fact, over half of Americans, 55%, would consider leaving their current job for one that offers a sign-on bonus.

Bonuses Beyond the Workplace

Top credit, bank, and betting bonuses | New survey by Bonus.com

Bonuses aren’t just in the workplace: banks, credit cards, and even sports betting sites offer different bonuses as incentives.

More than 1 in 3 Americans have received a credit card sign-on bonus, and over 4 in 5 have credit cards with rewards points. Among them, 79% use points for cash back, 24% for travel, 26% for purchases, and 14% use rewards points for gift cards. Rewards points are a huge incentive for many people as 69% report points being a deciding factor in choosing a credit card.

It’s not all easy for credit card owners, however: over half (52%) of Americans have credit card debt. Broken down by generation, Gen X has the most credit debt, with 58%; Millennials and Baby Boomers come next at 51% and 50% respectively, but only 39% of Gen Z have debt. It’s interesting to see the gender gap in credit debt, with 14% more Baby Boomer women having debt than men.

When it comes to putting away money, 35% of Americans have transferred bank accounts or opened a new account for a bonus.

Additionally, among Americans who participate in online sports betting, 4 in 5 received a bonus on their first bet, and 3 in 4 say that a bonus kept them betting on the same platform after losing. Three in 4 also say that bonuses are an incentive for placing a bet.

How the Economy Impacts Bonuses

Top ways the economy is impacting bonuses | New survey by Bonus.com

For some Americans, bonuses are more than just an appreciated extra… they’re essential. In fact, 15% depend on bonuses to make ends meet, with 53% paying more attention to bonuses when the economy is struggling. By generation, 13% of Baby Boomers, 18% of Gen X, 14% of Millennials, and 16% of Gen Z depend on bonuses to make ends meet.

Additionally, 42% of Americans are using credit card rewards points more to manage the high cost of living, including 42% of those with credit card debt.

It’s no secret many Americans are fans of bonuses in the workplace and beyond, here at Bonus.com, we hope you receive many bonuses in 2023!


In April 2023, we surveyed 1,000 people from across the U.S. who are employed and have a credit card about bonuses at work and elsewhere. Respondents were 50% men, 49% women, and 1% nonbinary. Ages ranged from 18-79 with an average age of 41.

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When using this data and research, please attribute by linking to this study and citing bonus.com.

About the Author

Bonus.com Staff

Bonus.com Staff

Bonus.com Staff consists of a team of online casino and gambling experts based in the US and Canada. The team stays on the cutting edge of the casino industry with breaking news, developing innovations, and Q&A’s with industry leaders and innovators. We also hold a strong commitment to Responsible Gambling.
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