Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Do Charges Offset by Credits Count Toward a Sign-Up Bonus?

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TPG reader Colin sent me a message on Facebook to ask about earning a sign-up bonus:

“I recently got the Citi Prestige card, and want to redeem the $250 statement credit on airfare. Will the full purchase amount count toward earning the sign-up bonus, or do I have to meet the minimum spending requirement on top of any credit I receive?”

Rewards credit cards offer statement credits for a wide variety of charges, ranging from baggage fees and Global Entry applications to Gogo Wi-Fi passes and new cell phones. The Citi Prestige Card offers one of the most valuable and versatile of these benefits: a $250 Air Travel Credit that you can redeem for just about any airline purchase, including airfare.

Colin is planning to redeem his statement credit soon, but he wants to make sure it won’t count against him as he tries to earn the sign-up bonus. It’s always a good idea to verify the terms and conditions of a bonus offer, since you don’t want to make the mistake of not spending enough and miss out entirely. While there are some charges that don’t count toward the minimum spending requirement, Colin has nothing to worry about in this case.

Citi Prestige currently offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 ThankYou points after you make $3,000 in purchases within three months of opening your account. The landing page clearly specifies that balance transfers don’t qualify as purchases, and neither do cash advances, annual fees or items that are later refunded. However, statement credits aren’t mentioned. Airfare is clearly a legitimate purchase, and getting the charges offset by the Air Travel Credit has no bearing on that. Ultimately, what matters is the total amount you spend, not the net amount you owe the card issuer.

Citi
Redeeming the Citi Prestige’s Air Travel Credit won’t make it more difficult to earn a sign-up bonus.

The answer should be the same for all rewards cards — I’m not aware of any that factor statement credits on qualifying purchases into the minimum spending requirement. That makes it easier to earn sign-up bonuses, since your total expense is effectively reduced by any credits you receive.

For further info on statement credits, Citi Prestige benefits and sign-up bonus offers, check out these posts:

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook or send me an email at info@thepointsguy.com.

Citi Prestige® Card

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  • $250 Air Travel Credit each year, and receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre √®
  • 4th night hotel benefit for any hotel stay at hotels booked through the Citi Prestige® Concierge.
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points after $4,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.
  • Points are redeemable for a $532 flight on any airline or $400 in gift cards.
  • Transfer points to a variety of travel loyalty programs from airlines to hotels.
  • Earn 3x points on Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 2x points on Dining at Restaurants and Entertainment
  • 1 ThankYou® Point per $1 spent on other purchases
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
N/A 15.49%* (Variable) $450 0% Excellent Credit