The ultimate guide to tracking your progress toward a credit card sign-up bonus
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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.
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.
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 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 no longer informs cardholders their sign-up bonus progress, so your best bet is to call customer service to get the most accurate update.
Related: The best Capital One credit cards
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.
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 doesn’t offer any tracker, so as with Bank of America, you’ll need to track progress yourself.
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.
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, plus 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases and up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants within the first three 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 photo by Guido Mieth/Getty Images.
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