How to Get an Extension on Your Minimum Spending Deadline

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If you don’t complete the minimum spending requirement on your new credit card in time, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on Big Travel!  Because even if your deadline has passed, it may be possible to earn the sign-up bonus!

Lots of folks (including Million Mile Secrets team member Joseph!) have had success getting their deadline extended simply by calling the bank and asking!

Extending Minimum Spending Requirement Deadline
Missed Your Minimum Spending Deadline? There’s No Harm in Asking for an Extension. It’s Better Than Losing a Sign-Up Bonus!

Here’s what to consider if you find yourself in this situation!

Should You Try for a Minimum Spending Deadline Extension?

Sign-up bonuses are the best way to get Big Travel with Small Money!  So you’re potentially losing hundreds of dollars in travel if you fail to complete your minimum spending requirement.

Here are 2 common reasons why folks might miss minimum spending by a few bucks.

1.   Not All Purchases Count Toward the Required Spending

Your balance might show you’ve spent above the minimum spending requirement, but you shouldn’t trust that number!  Things like refunded purchases, annual fees, and cash advances will NOT count towards your minimum spending.

Extending Minimum Spending Requirement Deadline
Refunded Items Do NOT Count Towards Your Minimum Spending

Because not all purchases count towards the spending requirement, it’s good to spend a little more than the minimum.  Just to be sure you’ve spent enough qualifying dollars to earn the sign-up bonus.

2.   Your Spending Window Begins When You’re Approved

Some folks might not realize the clock for your minimum spending begins immediately upon approval for your credit card.  So if you have 90 days to reach the minimum spending requirement, you may only have 75 or 80 days by the time you receive your card!

Extending Minimum Spending Requirement Deadline

The first thing to know is every situation is different.  Because each customer service representative you talk with is different!  In my experience, banks don’t have an exact policy for reconsideration.  So your results may vary.

If the deadline for your minimum spending was a month ago and you still haven’t spent the required amount, the bank probably won’t have much pity on you.  But if you’ve recently missed the deadline, and you’re close to meeting the required spending, you have a much better chance.

Here’s how to request an extension!

1.   Complete the Minimum Spending Requirement Before You Ask for an Extension

The best-case scenario is reaching your minimum spend before calling the bank.  That way, you’ve done everything you can do, and the rest is up to the customer service representative.  They’ll either award you the points, or decline your request.

2.   Contact the Bank and Explain Your Situation

Be truthful!  Tell the representative what happened.  Be sincere and polite.  That’ll give you the best chance to get them on your side.

You can contact the banks by:

  • Phone – Recommended for all banks
  • Secure Messaging – Recommended for Chase and Barclaycard
  • Online Chat – Recommended for AMEX

If your reason is one of the points above (you didn’t realize some purchases don’t count, or thought you had more time), tell the customer service representative!

I called for Citi for a friend who missed her minimum spending requirement by nearly 2 weeks.  The representative told me they have a grace period for folks who miss their deadline, but didn’t specify what it was. 

Some folks believe calling is always the best option.  Because they figure it’s more difficult for a representative to decline you over a personal phone call than through an online message.  But as always, do what you’re most comfortable with.

3.   Be Polite!

A minimum spending deadline extension is not a decision made by a computer.  The folks on the other end decide the outcome!

Extending Minimum Spending Requirement Deadline
Smile! It Will Work in Your Favor to Be the Bright Spot in Your Customer Service Agent’s Day

Team member Joseph used online chat to speak with an American Express agent when his friend missed her minimum spending requirement by a couple of days.  The agent said his supervisor “decided” to award the points, because it was so close to the deadline.

Your sign-up bonus is in the hands of the agent.  So be friendly and upbeat!

Bottom Line

Everybody makes mistakes.  If you miss your minimum spending deadline, there’s no harm in calling the bank and asking for an extension.

For the best chance, I recommend:

  • Meeting the minimum spend as close to the deadline as possible
  • Contacting the bank by phone
  • Being friendly and polite (and truthful!)

Folks on the team have received extensions with this simple method.  And I’d love to hear your stories!

Million Mile Secrets features a team of points and miles experts who have traveled to over 80 countries and have used 60+ credit cards responsibly to accumulate loyalty points and travel the world on the cheap! The Million Mile Secrets team has been featured on The Points Guy, TIME, Yahoo Finance and many other leading points & miles media outlets.

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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