Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
There are many reasons why the end of the year can be a great time to open a new premium rewards credit card. Some of them offer statement credits that reset with the calendar year, while others are offering limited-time bonuses or promotions on holiday purchases or travel.
Additionally, increased spending around the holidays — for gifts, vacations or decorations — can help you meet the spending requirements for a big sign-up bonus.
Here are a few of the reasons you might want to open a new premium card before the end of the year — and how to maximize the card’s benefits if you do.
Double dip on End-of-year spending credits
Many premium credit cards have perks that reset each calendar year. If you open a new credit card in December, you might be able to double dip on savings within a short period by taking advantage of your card’s benefits at the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023. Examples include:
- Up to $100 in annual statement credits toward Saks Fifth Avenue purchases with The Platinum Card® from American Express. This is available as up to $50 in credits in each half of the year (enrollment is required in advance).
- Up to $400 in annual statement credits toward Dell purchases in the U.S. with The Business Platinum Card® from American Express. This is available as up to $200 in credits semi-annually (enrollment is required in advance).
Some other examples of annual travel credits you might be able to double dip with using this strategy include:
- Up to $250 in statement credits toward airline incidental fees via the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card (enrollment is required in advance).
- Up to $100 in statement credits for airline incidentals with the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card.
- Up to $200 in statement credits for airline incidentals with your preferred airline on the Amex Platinum Card and Amex Business Platinum Card (enrollment is required in advance).
- Up to $200 in statement credits for prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings (minimum two-night stay required) with the Amex Platinum Card.
The information for the Hilton Aspire has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Leverage opportunities to use your points and miles
Whether it’s the sign-up bonus or the earnings from your everyday spending, options for using your points and miles are increasing. A perfect example is the expanded partnership between Emirates and Air Canada, the latter of which offers an excellent stopover policy requiring just 5,000 Aeroplan points.
In addition to new and expanded partnerships, more awards becoming available online (rather than previously-required phone calls) and website glitches are going away. This means now is a great time for finding and booking award travel online. For some redemption inspiration, check out the following:
- Current Flying Blue promo awards for discounted award bookings
- Current Singapore Airlines “Spontaneous Escapes” for discounted awards on short-notice bookings
- Get more from your points with these transfer bonuses
- Redeeming American Express Membership Rewards for maximum value
- Redeeming Capital One miles for maximum value
- Redeeming Citi ThankYou points for maximum value
- Redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards for maximum value
Moreover, you’ll be able to use points from new card to cover your family’s travel into next year. Travel isn’t cheap, and offsetting these expenses with points and miles is a great reason for adding a premium credit card to your wallet.
Gift perks to others for the holidays
Premium credit cards come with great benefits that you can gift to others. Consider these when deciding on gifts for friends and family during the upcoming holidays.
For example, you can make qualifying purchases from Saks Fifth Avenue with your Amex Platinum Card or from Dell using your Amex Business Platinum Card. Since you receive statement credits for qualifying purchases (after enrolling for the benefit), these gifts may have no out-of-pocket costs to you.
You also could gift lounge access to a traveler in your life. This could come from adding a family member to your Amex Platinum Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card or Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard®, for example. Remember that you’re responsible for all spending by authorized users on your account, but free access to lounges before upcoming flights would be an appreciated gift for many frequent travelers.
For more ideas, see our guide to credit card perks you can gift for the holidays.
Receive a generous welcome offer
Let’s start with what might be the biggest reason to apply for a credit card: welcome offers. The ability to qualify for a windfall of points or miles in a short period is always appealing, and your holiday shopping can help you meet the spending requirements for earning these bonuses.
At present, there are some valuable increased welcome offers available for credit card applicants. Here are the personal and business cards with great bonuses you should consider this month.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card
This is the most premium card in the Marriott credit card family. New applicants can earn 150,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership. This offer runs through Jan. 11, 2023, and TPG values this bonus at $1,260.
In September 2022, this card underwent some big changes. The three most prominent include automatic Platinum Elite status for cardmembers (up from Gold Elite status), an increase in the annual free night award‘s value (now worth up to 85,000 points rather than the previous 50,000 points) and an increase in the card’s annual fee; this jumped from $450 up to the current $650 (see rates and fees).
Platinum Elite benefits include bonus points on paid stays, a welcome gift at check-in (typically a snack or bonus points), room upgrades (including suites) when available at check-in and late checkout.
Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card with a 150,000-point welcome bonus after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months of cardmembership. This offer ends on Jan. 11, 2023.
Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card
Launched in September, the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card currently has a bonus that TPG values at $1,050. New applicants can receive 125,000 bonus Marriott Bonvoy points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of cardmembership. The card has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees).
Other cardmember perks include automatic Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, 1,000 bonus points on each paid stay at a hotel or resort participating in Marriott Bonvoy and the ability to earn a free night award (worth up to 50,000 points) each year after spending $15,000 on the card. Gold Elite benefits include late checkout, a welcome gift (typically points or a snack) and room upgrades (though not to suites) when available at check-in.
Official application link: Marriott Bonvoy Bevy™ American Express® Card with a 125,000-point welcome bonus after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of cardmembership. This offer ends on Jan. 11, 2023.
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
New applicants can earn 150,000 bonus Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months of cardmembership, thanks to an offer available exclusively to TPG readers through Dec. 22, 2022. TPG values Membership Reward points at 2 cents each, making this welcome offer worth $3,000.
The Business Platinum Card offers nearly $1,500 in annual credits, many of which reset on Jan. 1. Thus, you could apply for the Business Platinum Card now, use your spending credits in December and then use them again in January (for those that are based on the calendar year). This would go a long way toward offsetting the card’s $695 annual fee (see rates and fees).
A great example of this is the ability to receive up to $200 in airline incidental credits each calendar year and the ability to receive up to $400 in credits for Dell purchases in the U.S. each year (available as up to $200 in statement credits each half of the year). Enrollment is required in advance for select benefits.
With a few strategic purchases, you could earn a lot of money back using this card in the final few days of the year — whether that’s on a gift for yourself or someone else.
Official application link: The Business Platinum® Card from American Express with a 150,000-point welcome bonus after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of cardmembership. This offer ends on Dec. 22.
Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
The Ink Business Unlimited has its best-ever welcome bonus at present, through which new applicants can earn a $900 bonus after spending $6,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
The real value of this bonus comes from pairing the Ink Business Unlimited card with another Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points — whether that’s the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card or a personal credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Being able to combine your cash-back earnings with Ultimate Rewards will double the value of your bonus and your everyday earnings, according to TPG’s latest valuations.
With the Ink Business Unlimited, there are no bonus categories to track. Instead, you’ll earn a flat 1.5% back (or 1.5 Ultimate Rewards points) on all purchases. There’s also an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases for the first 12 months (then a variable APR of 16.99%-22.99%).
Official application link: Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card with a $900 bonus after spending $6,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card
The Ink Business Cash card is offering the same bonus as the Ink Business Unlimited: new applicants can receive a $900 bonus after spending $6,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. This is the best bonus we’ve ever seen on these cards.
With the Ink Business Cash card, you can earn 5% back on the first $25,000 of combined spending each account anniversary year in the following categories: office supply stores, internet services, cable services and phone services. You also can earn 2% back on the first $25,000 of combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each cardmember year. You’ll earn 1% back on all other purchases and 1% back on purchases in these bonus categories after passing the $25,000 spending limit.
As with the Ink Business Unlimited, you can combine your earnings with another Chase credit card to turn your cash back into Ultimate Rewards. You’ll also enjoy benefits like auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection and extended warranty protection. Best of all, the card has no annual fee.
Related: Review of the Ink Business Cash card
Official application link: Ink Business Cash Credit Card with a $900 bonus after spending $6,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
You can earn 3 points per dollar on the first $150,000 of combined spending in these categories each account anniversary year: shipping, advertising with social media and search engines, internet services, cable services, phone services and travel. You’ll earn 1 point per dollar after passing the $150,000 spending threshold with these bonus categories and earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. The card has a $95 annual fee.
With the Ink Business Preferred card, you can transfer your points directly to Chase’s airline and hotel partners, redeem points at 1.25 cents apiece in the Chase travel portal or redeem at 1.25 cents each with Pay Yourself Back. In addition to the travel and shopping protections on the Ink Unlimited and Ink Cash mentioned above, the Ink Business Preferred also offers trip cancellation/interruption insurance and cellphone protection.
Official application link: Ink Business Preferred Credit Card with a 100,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $15,000 on purchases within three months from account opening.
The end of the year is a great time to consider adding a premium credit to your wallet.
Between the elevated bonuses we covered above and the ability to double dip on spending credits, you could treat yourself this holiday season by applying for a premium credit card and reaping its many benefits.
If you’re really in the holiday spirit, you could even share some of those benefits as outlined above.
Additional reporting by Michelle Lambright Black.
For rates and fees of the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Marriott Bonvoy Bevy card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum Card, click here.