5 Common Mistakes Folks Make When Meeting Travel Credit Card Minimum Spending Requirements

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Each of the best travel credit cards has a generous intro bonus.  And to earn it, you need to meet the card’s minimum spending requirement.  Here are some of the best bonuses:

  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card – 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth at least $1,000 for travel (after spending $5,000 in the first three months)
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points worth at least $625 for travel (after spending $4,000 in the first three months)
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card – 60,000 Southwest points worth ~$900 on Southwest (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)
  • Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card – $500 cash back (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) worth $500 cash (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)
  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – 50,000 miles worth at least $500 for travel (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)
  • Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card – $300 cash bonus (after spending $3,000 in the first three months)

But there are some common misconceptions about how the minimum spending requirement really works.

Understand How Spending Requirements Work When Unlocking the Intro Bonus on Your New Travel Credit Card

  • The clock starts on the date you are approved — NOT when you activate the card.
  • Paying for the annual fee does NOT count.  Spending includes purchases only.
  • Returned items usually don’t count.  You must spend the full amount not counting refunds.
  • Make a spending plan so you’re certain to meet the requirement.  If you need some creative ideas, check our complete list of ways to meet the minimum spending requirement on your travel credit card.
  • Don’t buy stuff you don’t need and don’t get into debt!  Using miles and points to travel is awesome.  And it’s a great hobby for folks who feel comfortable with credit and pay their bills on time and in full.

Bottom Line

Right now there are some very lucrative intro bonuses!  To unlock them, just spend the required amount in the given timeframe.  Here are a handful of our favorite travel cards:

  • Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card – best small business credit card
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – I’ve had this card for 5+ years.  Love it.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card – Awesome for Southwest fans.
  • Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card – I use this card for business purchases.
  • Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card – this card offers unlimited 2x miles on every purchase
  • Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card – big 4% cash back on dining and entertainment.  Whoa.

Million Mile Secrets is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

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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