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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! :)

Here’s What NOT to Do When You Get a New Card With a Big Sign-Up Bonus (Ever!)

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Here’s What NOT to Do When You Get a New Card With a Big Sign-Up Bonus (Ever!)

Million Mile SecretsHere’s What NOT to Do When You Get a New Card With a Big Sign-Up Bonus (Ever!)Million Mile Secrets Team

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!

Heres What NOT To Do When You Get A New Card With A Big Sign Up Bonus Ever
Meet Your Minimum Spending Requirements as Early as Possible So You Don’t Miss Earning the Sign-up Bonus

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 a new cardmember bonus after she missed the deadline by a 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.

Heres What NOT To Do When You Get A New Card With A Big Sign Up Bonus Ever
Plan Your Credit Card Applications to Coincide With Large Purchases and Payments

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 Keith 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!

Heres What NOT To Do When You Get A New Card With A Big Sign Up Bonus Ever
Your Minimum Spending Deadline Is Calculated From the Date You Were Approved, NOT From When You Activate the Card

Be sure to add the approval date to a calendar.  Or set a reminder on your phone if you need to.

I recommend taking a screenshot because it’s time-stamped.  And you’ll have proof of the offer you applied for in case it changes.

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.

Also, it’s important to remember the credit card’s annual fee will NOT count toward your spending requirements.  You don’t want to end up short of that next big bonus!

Bottom Line

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.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees

More Info

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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Note that the date the charge is actually posted to your account is that date that counts. Most charges are immediately posted as pending. It takes a few days to actually post the charge to your account.

Million Mile Secrets

That’s right. Thanks for commenting with this important tip!

One important thing to record is the date one received the approval notice from the bank. That is when the clock starts ticking on the 90 days, not the date you receive the card.

Million Mile Secrets

That’s a very good reminder!

I would not recommend making large durable purchases on a card you I tend to cancel. You will lose any and all purchase protections or extended warranties associated with the card. I always make those purchases in Citi Prestige which extends the warranty by two years and rewinds the price up to I think $450.

Million Mile Secrets

Good point. Thanks for sharing!

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.

Here’s What NOT to Do When You Get a New Card With a Big Sign-Up Bonus (Ever!)

Jason StaufferHere’s What NOT to Do When You Get a New Card With a Big Sign-Up Bonus (Ever!)Million Mile Secrets Team

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!

Heres What NOT To Do When You Get A New Card With A Big Sign Up Bonus Ever
Meet Your Minimum Spending Requirements as Early as Possible So You Don’t Miss Earning the Sign-up Bonus

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.

Heres What NOT To Do When You Get A New Card With A Big Sign Up Bonus Ever
Plan Your Credit Card Applications to Coincide With Large Purchases and Payments

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!

Heres What NOT To Do When You Get A New Card With A Big Sign Up Bonus Ever
Your Minimum Spending Deadline Is Calculated From the Date You Were Approved, NOT From When You Activate the Card

Be sure to add the approval date to a calendar.  Or set a reminder on your phone if you need to.

I recommend taking a screenshot because it’s time-stamped.  And you’ll have proof of the offer you applied for in case it changes.

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.

Also, it’s important to remember the credit card’s annual fee will NOT count toward your spending requirements.  You don’t want to end up short of that next big bonus!

Bottom Line

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!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees

More Info

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

Platinum Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express

  • Earn 75,000 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 10/30/2019.
  • In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every eligible dollar spent on purchases. Miles don’t expire.
  • Check your first bag free on Delta flights – that’s a savings of up to $240.
  • Receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on your Delta flights, stow your carry-on bag and settle in sooner.
  • Enjoy 20% savings on eligible in-flight purchases in the form of a statement credit with the American Express Delta Card.
  • $195 Annual Fee ($250 if application is received on or after 1/30/2020).
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

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! :)