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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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Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
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

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
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

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • 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.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023