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The ultimate guide to tracking your progress toward a credit card sign-up bonus

April 23, 2021
6 min read
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


A large part of what makes travel rewards credit cards so lucrative is their sign-up bonuses. Missing out on one is the biggest mistake you could make when you open a new credit card. As TPG's 10 Commandments for Travel Rewards Credit Cards states: "Thou shalt not miss out on a sign-up bonus."

Resources like spreadsheets, calendar reminders and money management tools can be helpful in tracking your progress, but they can also be very convoluted. Thankfully, many issuers offer easier ways to keep track of your spending goal.

Related: The best limited-time credit card offers currently available

American Express

American Express no longer offers a way to track your progress toward earning your sign-up bonus. Thankfully, Amex has a user-friendly chat functionality that makes it easy to reach someone within seconds. Here, customer service agents can tell you how much spending you have left in the remaining timeframe of your welcome offer.

Related: Choosing the best American Express credit card for you

Bank of America

Bank of America doesn't offer a spending tracker, so you'll need to track your progress yourself. Contacting customer service and asking them to check is also an option.

Barclays

Barclays doesn't offer a tool specifically for tracking your progress toward sign-up bonuses, but it does offer a "spend analyzer" that gets the job done. You'll find the feature under the "Activity & Statements" part of the navigation bar. Once you're on it, you can filter your spending to show just the last three months. This is available to all Barclays cardholders, including those with cobranded cards such as the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard and the JetBlue Plus Card.

Capital One

Capital One no longer informs cardholders their sign-up bonus progress, so your best bet is to call customer service to get the most accurate update.

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Related: The best Capital One credit cards

Chase

Chase makes it convenient with its very own sign-up bonus progress tracker that shows exactly how much additional spending you need and the date you need to complete it by.

If you’re eligible, you’ll find the tool under the Ultimate Rewards section of both the desktop and the mobile app. Users have reported finding the tracker on the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card.

Related: Maximize your wallet with the perfect quartet of Chase credit cards

Citi

Citi has offered an online bonus spend tracker for some cards in the past. It was available under "your rewards details" and showed both how much more you had to spend and how many days you had left. However, reports suggest that the tool is no longer offered, so you'll likely need to contact customer service for more support.

Discover

Discover doesn't offer any tracker, so as with Bank of America, you'll need to track progress yourself.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo allows cardholders to track their minimum spend progress online under "Go Far Rewards." The tool shows how much more you have to spend and how many days you have left. It also confirms the details of the bonus attached to your card. The tool is available on all personal Wells Fargo cards, but not any business cards.

Related: Don’t overlook Wells Fargo credit cards

(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)
(Photo by Isabelle Raphael/The Points Guy)

Bottom line

Although a few issuers are out of step, several do provide tools that make it easier for cardholders to track their progress toward meeting spending requirements. Given the simplicity of these tools, you can avoid tabulating your progress using convoluted spreadsheets in many cases.

As a reminder, the clock for a bonus period usually starts ticking as soon as your application is approved, and not all charges count toward the spending requirement. So if, for example, you got the welcome offer for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card (Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first six months of account opening.) The $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) will not count towards the minimum spending threshold. Some banks also won't count "cash equivalent" purchases like gift cards toward minimum spending.

When activating a new card, it might be helpful to speak with a customer service representative to verify the exact date when the bonus period ends, as some are timed by calendar days, while others are by months. Just remember that purchases have to post to your account by the end date, so pending transactions won’t count toward your total. If you need help reaching a minimum spend requirement, make sure to check out our guide on 11 ways to meet credit card bonus minimum spending requirements.

Aside from Barclay's spend analyzer, issuers haven't published any information about these tools, so your experience may vary.

Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex card, please click here.

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

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TPG featured card

Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees