While most people are focused on keeping cool at the beach or pool during those scorching days of summer, I’d like to note that now is the perfect time to sign up for a new health card. credit for vacation travel. Yes, there are still 142 days until Christmas, but it can take months to earn a sign-up bonus. You will also want to allow reservation time in advance. If anything, it’s actually a bit late in the game.
The best credit card bonuses usually require new cardholders to spend a few thousand dollars in their first three months with the new card. Rewards usually appear shortly after the customer reaches this threshold, often on the next statement date.
It is very important, of course, to avoid overspending. The best way to reach a credit card sign-up bonus spending threshold is with money you would have spent anyway. And be sure to pay in full and on time to avoid interest and protect your credit score.
Credit card registrations have exploded. Origins are up 26% over the past year, according to TransUnion. It’s a competitive market; you can use it to your advantage.
Here are some of my favorite travel card deals that are available right now:
The Citi Premier® Card offers 80,000 ThankYou points to new customers who spend $4,000 within three months of opening the card. These are worth $800 in travel booked through Citi and potentially much more if you use transfer partners such as Avianca, Emirates, Flying Blue (Air France/KLM), JetBlue, Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and many more . Our sister site The dot guy (TPG) values Citi ThankYou points at 1.8 cents each, meaning this welcome bonus is potentially worth $1,440. You might even be able to get past that with a little creativity and flexibility.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers new cardholders 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in three months. These are worth $750 in trips booked through Chase, maybe even more if you go the transfer partner route. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2.0 cents each due to lucrative partners such as Hyatt, IHG, Marriott, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and others.
The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card swings 75,000 miles ahead of new cardholders who spend $4,000 in their first three months with the card. These can offset $750 in travel or potentially expand even more through transfer partners that include Aeroplan (Air Canada), British Airways, Etihad, Qantas, Turkish Airlines and more. TPG rates Capital One miles at 1.85 cents each.
The Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® credit card has a different structure, offering new cardholders three free nights worth up to 50,000 points each, after spending $3,000 in three months. With each point worth around 0.84 cents per TPG, this bonus is potentially worth up to around $1,260 if you are able to max it out.
Other aspects to consider
Each of these cards charges an annual fee of $95. There are many other great travel cards on the market, some with higher annual fees and some with no fees. Don’t forget the cash back rewards either. Although our current focus is on vacation travel, cash back is a very popular credit card reward. Who couldn’t use more money, right?
Another key consideration is your living expenses. While a sign-up bonus is great, you should also look for a new card that emphasizes areas where you spend a lot of money (eg travel, restaurants, etc.).
Finally, consider the card’s other benefits as well. For example, the Bonvoy Boundless card gives a free night worth up to 35,000 points every year after your account anniversary. The Venture card has a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit. And Sapphire Preferred has a $50 annual resort credit for qualifying stays booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
The bottom line
As long as you’re spending money you would have spent anyway, and paying in full to avoid interest, signing up for a new credit card can get you a hefty sign-up bonus, as well as better rewards on your current expenses. Travel costs have skyrocketed along with the prices of almost everything else. Earning rewards with a new credit card could be another useful inflation-fighting strategy as we head into the always pricey holiday season.
Have a question about credit cards? Email me at [email protected] and I’d be happy to help.