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Things are changing fast thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has impacted everyone’s life in a significant way. It’s understandable that travel credit card rewards aren’t at the top of everyone’s mind right now, however we have some good news to share.
If you recently opened a rewards credit card and are uncertain if you’ll be able to meet the minimum spending requirement I suggest reaching out to the card issuer and asking for an extension. There have been reports of deadlines being extended, although it has been a case by case basis and nothing official has been announced, until now.
If you were approved for a U.S. issued personal American Express card or business American Express card this year your spending window is being extended for an additional three months. Here is exactly what Amex has announced:
Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible Card accounts approved from December 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020 for which you are eligible for a welcome offer, the period to make eligible purchases to earn your welcome bonus will be extended for an additional 3 months. Eligible Cards are U.S. Consumer and Business Cards issued by American Express National Bank to a Basic Card Member. Learn More.
While Amex has officially announced this policy they have also said that “marketing bullets will remain the same.” So when you’re reviewing a card’s details on the application page the terms or marketing copy may not reference the extended minimum spending timeframe, but rest assured that it is in effect.
What does the Amex bonus spending period extension mean for you?
Having an extra three months to meeting a spending requirement can effectively half the amount of spending you will need per month to earn the welcome bonus (for most cards). This opens up opportunities for deals that may have otherwise have been out of reach for some of you. For example, I’ve long skipped on applying for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express because of it’s bigger minimum spending requirement. The card currently has a 75,000-point bonus that requires $15,000 in spending within the first three months to earn, having an additional three months drops the amount you’d need to average in monthly spending from $5,000 to $2,500.
Offers with smaller spending requirements are now reasonable for almost anyone that can get approved. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express comes with a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of account opening, with the additional three months you’d only need to spend ~$167 on the card per month to qualify for the bonus.
But, before you apply for a card you’ll want to take your own personal situation into account. You don’t want to end up with a credit card bill that you are unable to pay off in full each month. The nice thing is you have until May 31 to take advantage of this unique offer, so you’ve got some time to see how things pan out before making a decision.
Right now Amex is the only card issuer that has made an official bonus deadline extension, but we’ll let you know if any others follow suit. To stay on top of any changes subscribe to our daily email newsletter.
Featured photo by First Class Photography/Shutterstock.com.