It's hard to think about the holidays when you're blasting the heater and shivering like crazy, but now is the time to start budgeting. If you're hoping to save money on travel at the end of the year with a little rewards hacking, you'll want to get started soon. Photo by MIKI Yoshihito
A recent NerdWallet study found that the best time to apply for a new travel rewards credit card is no later than five months before your trip. The rewards can vary from card to card (and depending on the travel), but it's a good overall rule of thumb to follow.
It ensures you'll earn the sign-up bonus most cards offer, as US News & World Report points out. They explain:
The five-month lead time applies if you plan on using your new credit card's points or miles to book a flight. That period includes:
- About two weeks to receive your card after applying
- Three months to spend enough on the card to earn the sign-up bonus
- Enough time to book your trip at least 47 days in advance — the ideal time to get the best deal
If you're planning on booking only a hotel room, the necessary lead time may be shorter. However, keep in mind that hotel rooms may fill up faster during the holiday season, so plan accordingly.
Travel hacking has become pretty popular because credit cards offer some pretty decent travel deals just for signing up: You can often squeeze a full free trip out of the deal. However, we should point out that this is only a good deal if you use your credit cards responsibly and pay them off in full and on time every month. For more detail, head to the full post at the link below.
Now's the Time to Apply for a New Credit Card for Your Holiday Travel [US News & World Report]