Why is now really a good time to get a credit card with a sign-up bonus

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It pays to apply in November.

Key points

  • Sign-up bonuses are a way to get free money.
  • While it may be difficult to meet the spending requirements for them, you may have an easier time in the months ahead.
  • You can use your new card to pay for your vacation purchases to meet this spending requirement.

There’s a reason consumers tend to chase credit card sign-up bonus. Often, they are a great way to earn free money as part of your daily expenses.

But some sign-up bonuses are harder to get than others. It’s one thing if you’re looking for a sign-up bonus worth $250 that comes with a spending requirement of $1,500 during the three-month period after opening your new card. But chasing after a sign-up bonus of $250 with a spending limit of $3,000 during the same period may prove more difficult.

And to be clear, you don’t want to just spend money on things you don’t want or need to get a sign-up bonus. If you do this, you may not get out financially.

Let’s say you typically spend $600 a month on credit card purchases, but need to spend $3,000 in three months to walk away with a $250 bonus. If you force yourself to spend an extra $1,200 during those three months, you won’t earn $250, you’ll lose $950.

But if you’re going to be trying to land a credit card sign-up bonus, now is actually a good time to do it. Here’s why.

Take Advantage of All That Vacation Spending

Many people spend a lot more money during the period between late November and Christmas than during a typical month of the year. And if you expect to see a huge increase in your spending in the coming weeks, now could be a good time to capitalize on a sign-up bonus.

Going back to our example, you could normally charge $600 in credit card expenses per month. But if you have a long gift list and also need travel for vacationand you are considering a spending requirement of $3,000, you may have no problem meeting it.

Of course, this strategy only really works if you’ve saved up for your holiday gifts and are traveling in advance. You don’t want to carry over a balance to a new credit card and rack up costly interest in the process. But if you have the money to pay for those extra purchases, and you manage to get your credit card application approved quickly, then you might find yourself in a position where you can get a nice bonus – and use that extra cash for yourself. to help. offset some of your vacation expenses.

The right strategy is the key

The holiday season isn’t the only time of year when it’s worth chasing after a credit card sign-up bonus. You can also schedule these new credit card applications to align with periods when your spending is likely to increase for a specific reason – for example, you are making a home improvement project or update your bedroom furniture.

But all things considered, it’s important not to waste money on the pursuit of a sign-up bonus. And if you employ the right strategy, you could manage to walk away with a nice stack of money that you can feel good about.

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