Why the end of the year is the perfect time to open a premium credit card

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 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.

Related: The best premium credit cards: A side-by-side comparison

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 2023 and the beginning of 2024. Examples include:

Related: Don’t let credits go to waste: Your end-of-year credit card checklist

Some other examples of annual travel credits you might be able to double dip with using this strategy include:

  • 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 Business Platinum (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

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Related: Amex Platinum and Amex Business Platinum shopping credits reset soon — why you should use them now

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.

An example is Air France-KLM Flying Blue expanding its free stopover policy to all partner airlines, not just when flying Air France or KLM. (You still have to book over the phone, though.)


For some redemption inspiration, check out the following:

Moreover, you’ll be able to use points from your new card to cover your loved ones’ travel into next year. Travel isn’t cheap, and offsetting these expenses with points and miles is a great reason to add 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 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 loved one to your Amex Platinum Card, Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card or Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® (see rates and fees), 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.

The American Express Centurion Lounge at LaGuardia Airport (LGA). ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Related: Battle of the authorized users: Comparing benefits on three premium travel credit cards

For more ideas, see our guide to credit card perks you can gift for the holidays.

Receive a generous welcome offer

Let’s end 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 quickly 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. The Capital One Venture X Business Card, for example, is offering 150,000 bonus miles after spending $30,000 in the first three months from account opening, worth a sky-high $2,775 per TPG valuations.

There’s also the current offer on the aforementioned Amex Business Platinum: 120,000 points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership. That one’s worth approximately $2,400, per our valuations.

Additionally, the Chase Freedom Unlimited has a welcome offer with basically unlimited potential: Chase will match all your cash back earned at the end of your first year, effectively doubling the card’s earnings rates for the first 12 months.

These offers and more will help you get your new year off on the right financial foot.

Bottom line

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. And if you’re really in the holiday spirit, you could even share some of those benefits with others, as outlined above.

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