Should I Sign Up for a New Credit Card Offer Right Away?

Jun 14, 2015

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TPG reader Sarah tweeted me to ask a question about sign-up bonuses:

@thepointsguy– “Is there any benefit to signing up for a credit card offer as soon as it goes live vs. waiting a few weeks?”

This year has been an exciting one for travel rewards credit card bonuses. It seems like every other week there’s a big new promotion, and it can be difficult to keep track of which ones are available. For this very reason, we update our Hot Deals page daily to keep readers informed of the best deals.

When a great offer pops up, I suggest signing up right away so you don’t miss out! Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Every day you wait to sign up for a card, there’s a risk that you’ll miss out. Credit card companies can pull a deal at a snap of the fingers. We work with card issuers to try and get a sense of when promotions will end, and generally the offers do linger, but you never know. The credit card companies are getting better and better at tracking targeted promotions and eligibility, and they can pull a link any time they want.

You also should think about the fact that you’re losing valuable time to earn and use your points. If you’ve got a trip coming up (maybe even one you didn’t expect) and you’ve delayed getting the card, you may not be able to meet the spending requirement and earn the bonus in time to use your points. I generally think it’s better to get the points as soon as possible so you’ve got a diversified travel rewards portfolio. That way you’ll have plenty of resources at your disposal when a surprise trip or emergency situation arises.

It’s always better to plan ahead, and that’s coming from a procrastinator, so if I’m telling you to plan ahead, then do it! If the offer improves after you apply, generally within 90 days most credit card issuers will match you to the better offer — at least, it never hurts to ask. So, the real risk to consider is missing it altogether by waiting. Apply soon, because all good deals must come to an end.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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