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

Mar 27, 2016

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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Citi Prestige Card

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.

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

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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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.