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TPG reader Aaman sent me a message on Facebook to ask about credit card sign-up bonuses:

“I recently got the Sapphire Preferred Card and met the spending requirement for the sign-up bonus. Do I have to wait until the end of the promotional period (three months) to receive that bonus in my account?”

In an ideal world, credit card sign-up bonuses would be deposited into your account immediately after you meet the spending requirements. After all, the sooner you have those points and miles in hand, the sooner you can redeem them. Unfortunately, the mechanics of travel rewards aren’t quite that efficient and there is some delay, but it’s generally not as long as what’s advertised.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card currently offers a bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of cardmembership. In the offer details, Chase specifies that you should allow six to eight weeks after qualifying for bonus points to post to your account. You could interpret that to mean you won’t get your bonus until the end of the promotional period, but in practice you should almost never have to wait that long.

Once you’ve met the spending requirements, you’ll generally receive the bonus within a few business days of when that card statement closes. Chase indicates a longer wait time because, in some cases, qualifying purchases don’t appear on your account until the next statement. For example, if you reach the threshold on March 12 and your statement closes on March 14, that spending might end up on your April statement, which means the bonus won’t be sent to your account until after April 14.

Ultimate Rewards points from the Sapphire Preferred card should reach your account soon after your statement closes.

This timeline applies to most travel rewards cards — I’m not aware of any that make you wait until the end of the promotional period to earn your bonus, though I have seen some retention bonuses structured that way. Programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards, Amex Membership Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards tend to process bonuses slightly faster since your loyalty account is managed by the card issuer. You can expect to wait a few extra days for sign-up bonuses that go to a third party (like an airline or hotel affiliate).

If you’re on a tight schedule to earn rewards for an upcoming redemption, I recommend completing your qualifying transactions at least one week before your statement closes so you don’t end up waiting an extra month. If your bonus does get pushed back, you can try asking for those points to be sent to your account early once all the qualifying purchases have actually cleared. Depending on how far over the threshold you are, you may find an agent willing to help.

Check out these posts for more information on meeting spending requirements and earning sign-up bonuses:

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

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.99% - 24.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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.