december is a good time to apply for the platinum credit card

December, a Great Time to Open a Credit Card

The month of December is a great time of the year for opening credit cards with calendar year benefits. If you’re looking at a credit card in particular that has calendar year benefits, look no further than December as to when it likely is the best time to apply for the card.

Card member year versus calendar year

An important distinction lies in the difference between calendar-year benefits and card member year benefits. Some credit cards offer benefits that only repeat on your anniversary, which means the benefits refresh when you renew your card (pay your annual fee). Some benefits are based on the calendar year, these calendar year benefits are the ones that make applying in December so enticing.

If you open a card with calendar year benefits in December, you get the chance to use the credits in 2022, 2023 and possible in 2024 before the annual fee is due. American Express will refund the annual fee on a card if you cancel it within 30 days of the closing date of the billing statement on which the fee appears. This 30 day period makes “triple dipping” on credits possible if your only looking to have the card for 1 year.

My experience opening the Amex Platinum

In my case, I opened a American Express Platinum towards the end of 2021, in part due to a 15X point offer that American Express was offering on all dining and small business purchases* for 6 months. Since it was near the end of 2021, I took advantage of the American Express Platinum calendar based credits.

2021 Credits

  • $200 credit for Fine Hotel and resorts
  • $200 airline incidentals
  • $50 credit for Sax’s Fifth Avenue
  • $35 off uber eats
  • several others

As 2022 rolled around only a few weeks after, I used the credits above, super sizing my credits from one card

*I was surprised what American Express counted as small businesses and coded as 15X, when I viewed their online small business finder. For example, a New England automotive/tire chain which had 30+ locations showed as a small business. This was great as I needed 2 sets of new tires and auto repair. A local bigger co-op showed, several big online stores, etc. Due to so many places we already frequent, I was able to maximize the 15X points backs for 6 months promo.


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