Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Million Mile Secrets reader Joe commented:
Well, don’t mess up like I did. I received a 70,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point bonus offer from Chase Ink Plus for spending $5,000 in 3 months. I spent a little over $5,000, but didn’t realize the annual fee does NOT count toward the minimum spending so I am just under it.
Now, I am outside of the 3 months so I may not receive the bonus points or be able to spend a little more to get them. I have talked to Chase and they are considering my situation, but it will be a week or more before I hear from them.
Sorry to hear that, Joe. Hope Chase can help out.
Have you made the same mistake? Here’s how to avoid minimum spending mistakes.
4 Mistakes With Minimum Spending Requirements
1. Adding in the Annual Fee
As Joe realized, paying the annual fee does NOT count towards meeting the minimum spending requirements on credit cards.
So with Joe’s Chase Ink Plus, he had to spend $5,000 in purchases.
2. Forgetting About Returns
Some folks spend the exact amount requirement and return items.
However, returned items usually count against your minimum spending requirements. So you should spend a bit more than the minimum required. Emily and I usually spend $500 over so we have a little cushion.
3. Not Making a Plan
You should have a plan to meet all the spending before you apply for many cards at once. You’ll lose out on big sign-up bonuses if you can’t meet the spending requirement.
Here are some ways to meet your minimum spending:
- 40 powerful ways
- Load gift cards to Bluebird
- Use gift cards to top off your Serve account
- Pay bills with Evolve Money
- Making loans through Kiva
- Using ChargeSmart to pay bills
4. Not Knowing When You Have to Complete Your Spending
If you don’t know the actual end date to complete your spending, you could miss out on getting your sign-up bonus.
The minimum spending clock starts on your approval date NOT your activation date. So if you’re approved on January 5 and have 3 months to complete your spending, your completion date is April 5.
There are 4 common mistakes that folks make when meeting credit card minimum spending requirements:
- Thinking the annual fee counts
- Returned items don’t count
- Not having a plan
- Not knowing when the minimum spending clock begins
By avoiding these mistakes, you can meet the spending to get your sign-up bonuses.
Thanks for sharing your story, Joe. Your experience will help prevent other readers from making the same mistakes.
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 20,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!