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

Mar 27, 2016

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

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

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.