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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

TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 5X points
5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Earn 150,000 points120,000 points
The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$695

Recommended Credit

670-850
Good, Excellent
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

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Apply for The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Exclusive Offer
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

5XGet 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com
1.5XEarn 1.5X points on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year
1X1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.

    Earn 150,000 points
    120,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $695
  • 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.

    670-850
    Good, Excellent

Why We Chose It

It's hard to find a card that competes with the mile-long list of benefits that come with the Amex Business Platinum. While it's certainly not the card for the average consumer, a business owner with tons of expenses -- especially related to travel -- will find this card incredibly valuable. This card is similar to the consumer version that Amex offers, but with more business-oriented perks around statement credits and earning rates that are a better fit for business owners.

Pros

  • An up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four to five years
  • Up to $400 annual credit for eligible U.S. Dell purchases (enrollment required)
  • Gold status at Marriott and Hilton hotels (enrollment required)
  • Access to the Fine Hotels & Resorts program and Hotel Collection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • International Airline Program and Cruise Privileges Program

Cons

  • Steep annual fee
  • Difficulty meeting $15,000 welcome offer for smaller businesses
  • Limited high-bonus categories outside of travel
  • The Points Guy Exclusive Offer: Earn 150,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Platinum Card® within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases.
  • Earn 1.5X points (that’s an extra half point per dollar) on eligible purchases at US construction material & hardware suppliers, electronic goods retailers and software & cloud system providers, and shipping providers, as well as on purchases of $5,000 or more everywhere else, on up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year.
  • Unlock over $1,000 in annual statement credits on a curation of business purchases, including select purchases made with Dell Technologies, Indeed, Adobe, and U.S. wireless service providers.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year for checked baggage fees, lounge day passes, and more at one selected airline.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at more than 50 U.S. airports and stadiums.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more lounge location options than any other credit card on the market as of 9/2021.
  • $695 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.