September is a big month. The summer heat is cooling, football season is picking up, and parents are enjoying some peace and quiet in the house after the kids return to school.
This is also the perfect time to apply for credit cards. Here’s why.
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Why Timing of Credit Card Applications Matters
Good reasons to apply for a credit card anytime include earning a big sign-up bonus, pursuing elite status with a hotel or airline, and enjoying perks like extended warranty protection or even reimbursement of your Global Entry application fee. However, when you apply for a credit card is also important.
If you have a large purchase coming up, you can easily make the required expenses for a sign-up bonus. You could, for example, pay to remodel your kitchen or cover that semester’s tuition for your student. If you know you have something with a big prize coming up, then now is a great time to apply for a credit card. Conversely, for people who don’t have those big expenses coming up, it can be hard to know when they’ll spend enough money to earn a big welcome bonus without spending too much or going into debt.
Why you should apply for a new credit card in September
Think about what’s to come in the next three months. Many families will shop during Black Friday and Cyber Monday in late November. There are holiday shopping in December. You probably have things to pay for with your child who is back in school now, such as extracurricular activities or clubs. And you may be shopping for Halloween costumes in the second half of October.
These future expenses are part of the natural cycle of our lives each year, so you might as well use them to earn a big stash of points and miles. Most bonus offers for new credit card applicants require you to spend a certain amount of money “within three months” or “within 90 days” of opening the account. Once you’ve met the minimum spend requirement, you can then use those points and miles to travel for free or at a massive discount next year.
A great option to consider is the Citi Premier® Card, which is currently offering its highest ever welcome bonus. With a low annual fee of $95, you’ll earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, you’ll earn 3 points per going dollar on air travel, hotels, gas stations, supermarkets, and restaurants (including takeout), which are categories people tend to spend a lot on vacation.
Related: How My Family of 4 Uses Points and Miles to Maximize Our Travel Experiences
At the end of the line
There are several reasons why I love early fall. It might surprise you that I put “a great time to apply for a new credit card” on the list of things to love in September, but it’s true. You’re probably in a window of time where you have a lot of spending coming up for holiday gifts. You can use them to earn a welcome bonus on a new credit card, if you apply now and put those purchases on your new card.
For inspiration on which cards to ask for, check out: