5 reasons why signing up for a rewards credit card ahead of the holidays can help you save money and travel better

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Signing up for a new credit card probably isn’t on your holiday to-do list, but it should be.
If you sign up for a credit card now, you can earn a sign-up bonus of points or miles in time for the holidays, and those rewards can help offset holiday travel expenses.
Credit cards like the Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve also offer statement credits that can cover some of your travel purchases.
Benefits like TSA PreCheck and Global Entry can make your holiday travels more convenient.

When you think about preparing for the holidays, applying for a credit card probably isn’t at the top of your to do list — but it should be. Here are a few reasons why signing up for a new credit card now could be a great step in your holiday planning.

Earn points and miles to offset holiday travel

According to travel website The Points Guy, the best time to book travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas is three to four weeks in advance — which means if you want to use credit card rewards to offset your holiday travel, now’s the time to get started.

Credit card rewards can make a major dent in your holiday travel spending. For example, the 50,000-point sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve (which you can earn after spending $4,000 in the first three months) is worth up to $750 in travel booked through the Chase website – and if you use that on airfare, you’ll also earn miles on your tickets.

Or you can transfer those points to an airline or hotel partner – for example, 50,000 points could get you two round-trip tickets within the United States on United Airlines, or if you already have Southwest Airlines points it could make sense to transfer points to Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program to get enough for an award ticket with no blackout dates.

Some credit cards also offer companion certificates, which allow you to bring a second person along for just the cost of taxes and fees – an incredible deal, especially when airfares are high. The Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card offers this benefit, as do the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Delta Reserve® Credit Card from American Express.

Read more: The best credit card sign-up offers available now

Use holiday purchases to meet minimum spend requirements

Nearly all credit cards that offer a welcome bonus or signup offer require that you spend a certain amount of money on purchases within the first three months of opening the card — typically between $3,000 and $5,000.

Between holiday travel, gifts, and parties, many people find that the holiday season comes with higher-than-usual expenses – so combined with your usual spending, that minimum spend requirement may be less daunting during the holidays.

Read more: You should apply for a new credit card before booking your vacation — but not for the reason you think

Take advantage of annual credits

Some credit cards like the …read more

Source:: Business Insider – Finance

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