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Here’s how fast each bank issues points and miles to your account

Aug. 04, 2022
11 min read
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


There’s nothing better than a welcome bonus on your travel credit card that gets you closer to your next award flight or hotel stay. However, it can be quite agonizing waiting for the points or miles to post to your account after meeting the minimum spend requirement — especially if you've got your eye on a trip and are worried that seats or hotel rooms will disappear while waiting for your points to show up. Unfortunately, each bank is different when it comes to how fast they post points or miles to your account.

Today, we’ll show you how long you can expect to wait before rewards post, broken down by issuer. We’ll cover both cobranded and transferable points cards. In general, you’ll receive points from programs like Amex Membership Rewards, Capital One miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards and Citi ThankYou Rewards quicker than from an airline or hotel loyalty program.

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American Express

(Photo courtesy of American Express)

How long does it take for a welcome bonus from American Express to post?

Officially, American Express pays welcome bonuses “8-12 weeks” after meeting the minimum spending requirements. But in most cases, we see the bank pay out welcome bonuses within a few days of completing the spending requirements on both its Membership Rewards cards and cobranded cards. So you shouldn’t have to wait long.

Warning: American Express will withhold a welcome bonus when it suspects cardholders of “gaming” its cards. In most cases, this means buying large amounts of gift cards or other cash equivalents when you first get your shiny new Amex. At the very least, your bonus could take several months to post if your account is flagged for review.

How long does it take for points and miles from American Express to post?

With everyday spending, we have found no rhyme or reason to exactly when points from spending post to your Amex Membership Rewards account. According to Amex, points are added up and posted based on transactions by calendar month and become available once you've satisfied that individual card's monthly payment requirements. You can view a breakdown of how many points you earned for each transaction (including pending points) by clicking “Points Summary” via the rewards page.

For cobranded cards, airline miles and hotel points from standard spending are paid out at the statement closing date. The points first go into a “pending” state for a month and then post to your account when the following statement closes. So if your statement closes on Jan. 30, you can expect points to be “pending” immediately and in your account at the end of February. If you don’t pay your credit card bill on time, you’ll forfeit the points (or pay $35 to reinstate them). Keep in mind that changing your statement closing date can push back your points' arrival for another billing cycle.

If you’re in urgent need of some Amex points, you might be able to “borrow” from your pending points. However, I wouldn’t expect to be able to do this unless you’ve established a relationship with Amex, as the issuer is getting more and more concerned about “gamers.”

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Related: What to do if you have a negative points balance

Bank of America

(Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

How long does it take for a sign-up bonus from Bank of America to post?

Bank of America says it pays out welcome bonuses “8-12 weeks” after you meet the minimum spending requirement. In practice, however, we see points from Bank of America bonuses right after the statement closes, usually within two to three days. This is true for cash back cards, cards that earn Bank of America Premium Rewards and cobranded credit cards.

How long does it take for points and miles from Bank of America to post?

Rewards from daily spending should show up as “pending” immediately but will be available the next billing cycle, after your statement closes. This applies to all card types.

Related: The best Bank of America credit cards

Capital One

(Photo by The Points Guy)

How long does it take for a sign-up bonus from Capital One to post?

Capital One notes that it pays out its welcome bonuses “within two billing cycles” of meeting the required credit card spend. Generally, though, we’ve seen bonus rewards post to accounts the day after the statement closes or soon after that.

How long does it take for points and miles from Capital One to post?

Based on our experiences, Capital One miles post to your account within days of the transaction. This means that you can get your rewards before your statement even closes. Cash-back earnings sometimes post early but usually not until after your statement closes.

Related: The best Capital One credit cards

Chase

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

How long does it take for a sign-up bonus from Chase to post?

Chase asks that you “please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to your account” after meeting the spend requirement. The issuer waits to post your welcome bonus until the statement closes that contains the end of your spending requirements.

However, from personal experience, we’ve found that Chase may delay posting your bonus points if you meet the minimum spending requirement too close to the statement closing date. This is true even if all of the transactions for the minimum spending fully post and appear on your statement. So, don’t cut your spending too close to the deadline if you’re counting on those points.

How long does it take for points and miles from Chase to post?

For Ultimate Rewards points-earning cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the points will usually post to your account the day after your statement closes. For cobranded credit cards, such as United Airlines or Hyatt credit cards, you will usually receive points within two days after your statement closes.

Chase makes it quite easy to track your Ultimate Rewards earnings. Each purchase will show up in the Ultimate Rewards Activity Dashboard with the category and points earnings for each transaction. There are even metrics to show you how many points you earned from each category.

Pro tip: When you meet the minimum spend on an Ultimate Rewards card, the bonus will be added to the “Points Earned on Next Statement” box in the Ultimate Rewards portal.

Related: The best Chase credit cards

Citi

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

How long does it take for a sign-up bonus from Citibank to post?

Officially, Citi states that it pays welcome bonuses “8-10 weeks after you have met the purchase requirements.” But in our experience, you can expect Citi to pay out bonuses on both cobranded and Citi ThankYou cards within a couple of days of your statement closing.

How long does it take for points and miles from Citibank to post?

Points you've earned typically post to your ThankYou Rewards account the day after your statement closes. Rewards earned with cobranded cards like the Citi AAdvantage cards also tend to post shortly after statement closing.

Citi breaks out your earnings by card and bonus category — making it a little easier to double-check the math.

Related: The best Citi credit cards

Discover

How long does it take for a sign-up bonus or referral bonus from Discover to post?

Discover cards typically don’t offer a welcome bonus. However, cardholders do get all of their earnings matched at the end of the first year. This bonus will post within one or two billing cycles after your account anniversary.

Discover also runs a refer-a-friend promotion where both the person referrer and the referee receive a $50 to $100 statement credit, depending on the card. The company awards this bonus “within the first three months” of a new account opening.

How long does it take for points and miles from Discover to post?

As for the cash back and miles you earn from Discover cards, the issuer says it will be added to your account at the end of each billing period.

Synchrony Bank

(Photo by Smith Collection/Gado / Getty Images)

How long does it take for a sign-up bonus from Synchrony to post?

Synchrony Bank issues the Cathay Pacific Visa® card, as well as credit cards for numerous stores in the U.S. The bank says that the bonus will post “1-2 billing after the net qualifying purchase(s) are made.” In our experience, Synchrony pays out miles when your monthly statement closes.

The information for the Cathay Pacific Visa Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

How long does it take for miles from Synchrony to post?

Miles from daily spending on your card post a day or two after your statement closes. Thus, if your statement closes on April 1, expect the miles to appear in your Asia Miles account by April 3.

Related: A review of the Cathay Pacific Visa Signature card

U.S. Bank

(Photo by George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

How long does it take for a sign-up bonus from U.S. Bank to post?

U.S. Bank says to “allow 6-8 weeks for your bonus points to be credited to your account” after meeting the minimum spend. Most of the time, however, we’ve found that bonuses are paid out when your monthly statement closes.

How long does it take for miles from U.S. Bank to post?

As with the welcome bonus, points and cash back earnings should arrive after your statement closes. Thus, expect your rewards within a day or two of statement closing.

Related: The best U.S. Bank credit cards

Wells Fargo

(Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket for Getty Images)

How long does it take for a sign-up bonus from Wells Fargo to post?

Wells Fargo promises that welcome bonuses are “redeemable within 1-2 billing periods after they are earned.” In our experience, however, they typically come within a few days of the closing date of the statement where you've finished your minimum spending requirements.

How long does it take for miles from Wells Fargo to post?

Wells Fargo shows rewards as “pending” in your account until the day after your billing cycle ends. For example, rewards earned on a purchase made on March 15 for a billing cycle ending March 27 should be available on March 28. A key difference is for the Bilt Mastercard® and Bilt Rewards, as these points tend to post immediately.

Bottom Line

When planning out your next credit card application, it’s important to be aware of when all the major credit card issuers pay out points for both welcome bonuses and spending.

If you need to book a ticket quickly, you may want to consider opting for an Amex card, since the bonuses tend to post quickly. If you have time or don't have an immediate redemption in mind, apply for the best travel credit card that best fits your plans or aligns with bonus categories where you spend money regularly.

Additional reporting by Ryan Smith, Benji Stawski and JT Genter.

Featured image by POIKE/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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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.

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    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
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Why We Chose It

Build your loyalty to Delta by applying for the carrier's mid-tier card option, the Delta SkyMiles Platinum card. The annual fee is quickly recouped by the card's travel perks, such as an application credit to Global Entry or TSA Precheck, annual companion certificate and so much more. Plus you can fast-track to elite status simply through card spend.

Pros

  • Earn bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) and an Medallion Qualifying Dollar (MQD) waiver when you hit specific spending thresholds with your card within a calendar year
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year
  • Statement credit for TSA PreCheck/Global Entry fee (up to $100)
  • First checked bag free

Cons

  • Doesn't make sense if you don't fly Delta
  • SkyMiles aren't the most valuable airline currency
  • Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
  • 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 $80 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. Plus enjoy Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding and settle into your seat sooner.
  • New: Card Members get 15% off when using miles to book Award Travel on Delta flights through delta.com and the Fly Delta app. Discount not applicable to partner-operated flights or to taxes and fees.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
  • Enjoy a per-visit rate of $50 per person for Card Members and up to two guests to enter the Delta Sky Club when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • 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 up to 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.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees