Here’s What NOT to Do When You Get a New Card With a Big Sign-Up Bonus (Ever!)
Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Reader Amanda asked:
Are you aware of any ways to extend the window for meeting a minimum spending requirement? I literally missed it by a day.
I’m sorry to hear that Amanda, but unfortunately there is no sure way to get the bank to extend the minimum spending deadline. But you should definitely call and ask!
If you find yourself in a similar situation, call the bank right away, and plead your case. If they say no, ask to speak with a supervisor. Or call back and ask a different representative.
Team member Joseph’s mother got an AMEX bonus after she missed the deadline by 1 day. But, this is NOT normal! So don’t expect the same results.
It’s best not to cut it close. I like to complete the spending requirements as soon as possible, just to be safe.
How to Avoid Missing Your Minimum Spending Requirement
Know your travel goals and plan ahead to have big purchases or expenses (computers, quarterly taxes, or insurance premiums) coincide with your credit card applications.
But you shouldn’t make large purchases only to meet your minimum spending requirement. If you have a balance you can’t pay off, the interest will negate any value from the sign-up bonus.
And make sure you do NOT apply for a credit card with minimum spending requirements that are too high for you to meet. As always, do what makes you feel comfortable.
Remember, there are many ways to meet minimum spending requirements. Here’s my post with 40+ ideas! Team member Harlan recommends using Plastiq to meet the requirements in a minute flat! Or if you have a lot of work-related expenses, see if your employer will let you put them on your credit card, and then reimburse you.
It’s important to know the deadline for meeting your spending requirement. The clock starts on the day you were approved for the card, NOT the day you activate it!
Be sure to add the approval date to a calendar. Or set a reminder on your phone if you need to.
Know the Rules (And Follow Them)
Not all purchases will count towards your minimum spending requirement. Some purchases (like travelers checks, certain gift cards, or prepaid cards) might be treated as a cash advances. And will NOT count towards your minimum spending. 🙁
And DO NOT make large purchases and return them after the bonus posts to your account. If you do, you could have your account frozen, and have the sign-up bonus revoked.
If you miss the deadline to meet your minimum spending requirement you will usually NOT be able to get an extension. But it won’t hurt to give the bank a call to plead your case.
It’s best to plan ahead. And make sure you can meet a minimum spending requirement before you apply for a card. I suggest not leaving all your spending until the last minute to avoid any issues getting your points.
Sorry to hear about your predicament, Amanda. Best of luck getting this worked out!
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express CardAPPLY NOW
Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
Earn 60,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months, Offer Expires 10/28/2020.
New! Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card.*Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
New! With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
New! Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta Flights.
New! Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
No Foreign Transaction Fees.
$250 Annual Fee.
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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! :)