One of the questions that beginner travel hackers ask the most is, “When is the best time to get a new credit card?” I really wish I had a magic ball that could foresee when a bonus is going to go higher so I could answer that question. Recently, I finally got under Chase 5/24. I was able to get the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. My joy was palpable. I was able to refer my husband for the card so I got extra points for that too!
Yes, at times we will be disappointed that we miss out on an all-time high bonus offer. We have to be grateful we get as much free travel as we do! That is why it is important to take advantage of the high bonus offers when they are available! Each month we publish a post that talks about the best limited-time offers – check it out when you are thinking about a new card!
A great time to apply for a new card is before you have a big purchase coming up. My husband needed new tires on his truck and wanted a cover for the truck bed so we made sure to get a new credit card for him so we could get a huge start on making his minimum spend.
My sister has some major dental expenses coming up so she is opening up the Citi Premier card for herself, and then for her husband. She will have a ton of Citi ThankYou points for a purchase she has to make anyway! We plan to travel to several locations in Europe next year so she will almost have a roundtrip business trip just for putting those expenses on new credit cards! This is what travel hacking is all about. You earn miles for free travel while making everyday purchases you have to make. This is the best time to get a credit card (or two) for my sister!
We are huge proponents of having a stockpile of points. That way, when you feel like traveling, you go for it. Once when I was at Alex’s we were looking at the snow and wishing we were in Hawaii. I mentioned that we had stockpiles of points and should just go. We were in Maui a week later!
If you want to grow a stockpile, the best time to get a new card is when you are close to meeting the minimum spend on your current card. We are almost always getting new cards and growing our stockpiles. Here’s a peek at my current stockpile (remember these are my husband and mine’s and hotels, airline, and transferable points):
Remember, four years ago, I was a beginner too. The secret is to keep applying and keep learning. Here is a summary of some of the places I’ve been able to travel to with points. That post was written a couple of years ago so we have a ton more places traveled and money saved. With our help, you too can grow a hefty stockpile of points/miles! I don’t really worry much about category spending, preferring to work on new minimum spending for new cards. That is how you get a LOT of points and miles.
Another time to apply for a new card is when you first start planning your own dream trip. Where do you want to go? What credit cards do you need to make that trip happen? How can you save money with points/miles? We are here to help you.
Don’t hesitate to apply when you see a high offer for a credit card that you are interested in. Don’t try to second guess when that best time to get a credit card occurs. We get some high offers, we get some lower offers. Rest assured, we will let you know when a good offer comes up you can also reach out to us about an offer you see and we can let you know if it is a good offer. But honestly, we just feel so lucky that we get any offers and are able to save so much on travel because we travel hack!
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