Do NOT Make These 4 Mistakes With Minimum Spending Requirements!

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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.

Do NOT Make These 4 Mistakes With Minimum Spending Requirements
Don’t Make These 4 Mistakes and Say “Bye Bye” to Your Sign-Up Bonus

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.

Do NOT Make These 4 Mistakes With Minimum Spending Requirements
The Annual Fee Doesn’t Count Towards the Minimum Spending Requirement on Credit Cards So Joe Should Not Include it In His Spending

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.

Do NOT Make These 4 Mistakes With Minimum Spending Requirements
If She Says “No,” Returning the Ring Does NOT Count Towards Your Spending

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:

Do NOT Make These 4 Mistakes With Minimum Spending Requirements
Gift Cards Could Be Part of Your Plan to Meet Your Minimum Spending Requirements

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.

Do NOT Make These 4 Mistakes With Minimum Spending Requirements
Your Minimum Spending Clock Starts the Day You’re Approved

Bottom Line

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.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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