What Is The Actual Minimum Spending Requirement Time Frame For A Credit Card Sign-Up Bonus?

Oct 27, 2013

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Our first reader question today comes from Ben, who tweeted me @thepointsguy with a question about minimum spending requirement time frames:

“Two customer service representatives told me Chase gives you 103 days to meet a 3 month spend. Any experience with this? 90 days vs. 103 is a big difference.”

This is actually true! Chase starts the clock at the time you get approved for that new card, but everyone knows you don’t actually get the card for the several days it takes Chase to actually create your account and mail it out to you, so the bank gives you a 13-day grace period on top of the advertised 90 days.

However, I would not push your spending requirement window to the limit, especially when there’s a large bonus involved. I always try to hit my minimum spending requirement as soon as possible. Sometimes it is difficult to gauge your actual limit since most credit card companies start the clock the minute you’re approved and it’s often hard to tell what exact day you were approved – especially if your account is put into pending.

So my advice if you’re having an issue with spend is always to call up the bank and ask them what the due date to hit your minimum spending requirement is. The last thing you want is to think you have a certain amount of time to hit your spending requirement and to miss out on a big bonus like the Ink Bold or Ink Plus’s 50,000-point bonus or the Sapphire Preferred’s 40,000-point bonus but miss out entirely. Most credit cards are sticklers about that and won’t give you the bonus unless you hit the spending requirement unequivocably before the due date, so always try to hit it as soon as possible and if in doubt, don’t be afraid to call up and verify.

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