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  • Writer's picturePoints By J

Applying for a Credit Card in December: A Smart Strategy

Updated: Apr 7

Why December is the smartest month to apply for certain credit cards

Credit cards that offer benefits and credits are usually based on either the calendar year or the cardmember year (begins on the account open date).


Applying for a credit card in December is a smart move for any card that offers calendar year benefits or credits. That way, you can use the benefits for the current year in December. Then, within a month, the benefits will be refreshed with the start of the new calendar year.


If you already have one of these cards, use this as your end of year check list to confirm you've maximized your benefits!


If you're considering opening a card with calendar year-based annual benefits, this post outlines all the available credits.


Important note: If you are going to apply for a credit card, I'd highly recommend doing so via the CardMatch tool. It matches you with credit card welcome bonus offers that can sometimes be better than what's publicly available. Currently, there are 125-150k point welcome bonus offers for The Platinum Card® from American Express, and 90k for American Express® Gold Card. Offers may not be available to all users. Using the tool to explore what offers are availble to you will not require a hard pull on your credit, so it will not impact your credit score. Plus, applying through CardMatch or any of the below affiliate links supports my small business so I can keep making free content like this.


Cards that are available for application in December 2023 that offer annual credit benefits:


The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Statement Credits

    • Up to $200 for airline fees*

    • Up to a $200 statement credit for prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings through American Express travel (note: The Hotel Collection requires a two-night minimum stay)*

    • Up to $189 for a Clear Plus membership*

  • Plus, there are other monthly and bi-annually-available credits, see below.

  • Annual fee for this card: $695 (see rates and fees)


The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Statement credits

    • Up to $200 for airline fees*

    • Up to $189 for a Clear Plus membership*

  • Plus, there are other monthly and bi-annually-available credits, see below.

  • Annual fee: $695 (see rates and fees)


  • Experience credit at a hotel

    • Up to a $100 experience credit to use during your stay when you book at least two nights with The Hotel Collection through American Express travel*

  • Plus, there are other monthly-available credits, see below.

  • Annual fee: $250 (rates and fees)



  • Up to $100 statement credit for airline incidental fees

  • Annual fee: $95


  • Up to $300 statement credit for airline incidental fees

  • Up to $150 in statement credits for "lifestyle" charges (e.g., ride sharing, streaming services, fitness memberships)

  • Annual fee: $550


Bi-annual, quarterly, and monthly credit card benefits (based on calendar year)

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Up to $50 in Saks Fifth Avenue statement credits, available twice each year (one $50 credit for purchases between January and June; a second $50 credit available between July and December)*

  • $15 monthly Uber Cash credit, and a special $35 Uber Cash credit in December - remember this can be used on U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats!*

  • Monthly statement credit for Walmart+ (which includes Paramount + subscription!)*


The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Statement credits

    • Up to $200 for Dell Technologies, available twice each year*

    • Up to $150 for Adobe prepaid business plan purchases (with Adobe on Creative Cloud for teams or Acrobat Pro DC)*

    • Up to $10 per month in wireless credits*

    • Up to $90 per quarter for Indeed purchases*


  • $10 montly Uber Cash credit for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S.*

  • Up to $10 monthly dining credit for Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations*


Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant® American Express® Card

  • Up to $25 statement credit per month for dining*

  • Up to a $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card*

  • Annual fee: $650 (rates and fees)


Cards with annual calendar benefits that are no longer available to new applicants:

  • Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card:

    • Up to $400 Hilton Resort credit with purchases made directly with participating properties and up to $200 in flight credits.

    • Up to $189 for a Clear Plus membership.*

    • Enrollment is required in advance for select benefits

    • No longer accepting new applicants

  • Citi Prestige® Card

    • Up to $250 in statement credits for travel purchases annually

    • No longer accepting new applicants



Credit cards to get in December
Don't forget about all the great perks that come with your cards!

*Each Benefit requires enrollment via their website, terms apply to American Express Benefits and offers. visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired.

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