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How Can You Expedite the Process of Receiving Credit Card Points from a Sign-up Bonus?

by on September 29, 2013 · 18 comments

in Credit Cards, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

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TPG reader Matthew asks:

“Most airline credit cards I see say, “Please allow 6 to 8 weeks for Credits to post to your account” for their sign-up bonuses. If I want to travel within those 6-8 weeks (i.e. go home for Thanksgiving), is there any way to expedite that process, or specific cards that don’t have that mandatory hold period?”

Most credit card bonuses post when your statement closes after you have hit the minimum spending threshold required to earn that bonus. In order to get the sign-up bonus as quickly as possible, hit that minimum spending threshold as quickly as possible to get your points sooner. Banks also tend to be pretty flexible if you call them up to ask them to switch your statement closing date because a lot of people do this to synchronize their statements all coming in at once. You can ask them to bump it up sooner, and that way the points hit your account faster.

In order to get the sign-up bonus as quickly as possible, hit that minimum spending ASAP.

In order to get the sign-up bonus as quickly as possible, hit that minimum spending ASAP.

Some issuers are better about this than others. American Express, for instance, imposes a one-month pending phase between earning the bonus and receiving the points in your account, but you can always call them up and say that you’ve hit your minimum spend, you’ve paid off your statement and you’d like the points immediately because you need them, and they might be willing to work with you.

Above all, be proactive and polite, and remember, it never hurts to ask!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • BatSheva

    I recently got an AMEX Starwood Business card with 10,000 Starwood points after the first spend. The points showed up two days after the spend and before a statement had been issued still less paid!

  • OnScholarship

    Good comment Brian and BatSheva. I also received the initial 10,000 on my 1st SPG Amex immediately, but Amex will not credit (Honor) the additional 15,000 points after I completed $5000. total spend. They are actually denying the additional 15,000 points. They made me initiate what the call an “Investigation”. It has been 4 weeks since the “investigation” started and they say it takes 6 weeks. The initial application was from a popular blogger link and the 10,000/15,000 was all over the place and even went up to 10,000/20,000 after my application and it appears they will not honor that either. I would be happy just to get the second installment of 15,000 SPG points. I have been doing this for abour 3 years and have never had this problem before.

  • Beeweegee

    Those initial points weren’t for hitting a threshold, they were just for using the card. This post refers to those who need to spend a certain amount of money before the points point. In the case of the SPG, you get 10,000 for just using the card, and an additional 15,000 (currently) for spending $5000. So the question would be, how soon after you hit $5000 will the additional 15,000 points post.
    I have found that most banks will work with you and post your points earlier than they say, if you just ask. There have even been times where they said no, and they posted early anyway.

  • lady gray

    Newbie here ..How do you know when you’ve hit the minimum? Do you keep track yourself or can you find it on AMEX or Chase statements?

  • Dee

    The same thing happened to me with the 25,000 MRs for the personal Gold Amex. I signed up through a blog referral link and never got my points. When I called they said I didn’t sign up with a bonus, just fee waiver for a year. They “investigated” and denied me the 25,000 even though I met the minimum spend within the mandatory time frame.

    Also been doing this for 3 years and never had this happen before. Between Hubby and me, we have 20+ cards at any given time.

  • Dee

    You can do both. I track in Quicken and watch my account activity on-line even before the statement posts. Do you have log-ins set up for your credit card accounts?

  • Stephen

    Great and timely post I was wondering the same thing but not for point award cards I was specifically wondering about the Hyatt 2 free night card. Does anyone know if they certificate that needs is mailed out or are they just linked to your Hyatt account?

  • thepointsguy

    Linked to your account

  • Lantean

    “In order to get the sign-up bonus as quickly as possible, hit that minimum spending threshold as quickly as possible”
    so to get the points faster we need to spend faster? shocking!!! who would have ever thought?
    LMAO

  • AV

    Barclaycard rewards hit immediately after you reach your $1,000 spend which was a nice surprise.

  • Carter29072

    I had a great experience with Amex last month. I was expecting 20,000 points to post on my next statement from my SPG card but I needed the points immediately so I could book a room for the coming up weekend. I called Amex. They told me that they usually will advance 2000 points. I needed 8000 more points in my account to make my reservation work. After putting me on a short hold, they came back and told me “no problem, you have been a long time Amex customer with a good record (other Amex accts). ” They advanced me the points so I could make my award reservation. The points were taken back out of my acct after I earned them a couple of weeks later. Love Amex!

  • Kioly

    My experience for the Delta Gold 45K offer from cardmatch:

    I got the first 25K after the first statement closing, but I got the last 20K miles as soon as the charges reaching the minimum spend posted to the account, before that statement closed.

  • AYL

    Anybody have any advice on how to get the sign up bonus on Chase Sapphire faster? Hit the $3,000 limit already, called them up and they said it’ll be at least a month until the 40,000 points kick in.

  • MileyKardashian

    Hmm, mine were posted ( 60k chase ink Plus) like 4 days after I met my 5k mp. Maybe I lucked out.

  • stratosg

    I hit the minimum spend on my AA Gold card ($750 for 30k miles) on July 1 – statement closed on July 18 and the statement showed that the miles were reported to AA. American does say 8-10 weeks for the miles to post and apparently they mean it: it was 10 weeks last Friday, on September 26 and the miles still havent posted…

  • Martin

    If you met your spend requirement on the first week you may have to wait longer to get your bonus miles posted compared to if you hit your spend requirement on the last week. Why is that? Can anyone explain?

  • http://donnielaw.com/ Donnie Law

    Awesome awesome awesome. That’s a really good tip about bumping up the statement date. I plan to hit 5 credit card minimum spends this week. I’ll call immediately and have them bump up the statement date. Good simple trick!

  • John Beeler

    I’ve gotten my 25,000 PRG and 50,000 MB Platinum AMEX bonuses expedited over the last two years. Phone agent says they’re “pending” even though I can’t see them online, and two days later they’re in my account.

    Now to badger Chase…

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