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Watching Your Wallet: The best time to get travel reward cards

Published: Jul. 13, 2020 at 3:23 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Most of us are not flying anywhere for the next few months, but eventually, we’ll have somewhere we want to go.

Travel experts say now is the perfect time to apply for a travel rewards credit card. It takes months to earn those lucrative sign-on bonuses so if you’ve been considering one, this is the moment.

According to our partners at the financial website Nerdwallet, before this outbreak, travel was in high demand.

There wasn’t much incentive for airlines or hotels to release seats or rooms to award travelers, but now the experts believe that will dramatically shift when things reopen again. If you get a travel rewards credit card now, you’ll be earning those points or miles while you can’t travel. If you already have a stockpile of points or miles, you could get a much higher value for those points when you redeem them because flights and hotels need to fill their vacancies. It typically takes you anywhere from three to six months to accrue enough points to really see that deep discount.

Most sign-on bonuses give you tens of thousands of points when you meet a minimum spending requirement in a given time, usually about three months. With one card, you could earn thousands of dollars worth of flights or hotel stays just for doing your normal shopping.

To qualify for a premium rewards card, you’ll need excellent credit and a source of income. But be careful, premium cards usually have a higher interest rate, so make sure you pay the bill in full each month.

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