Let’s face it, credit card companies lure us into signing up for their products by offering credit card signup offers. There’s no way I would carry as many credit cards as I do if the banks didn’t offer airline miles, hotel points and cash back! Sometimes it can be a little crazy keeping track of all the spending that is required on each credit card to qualify for the signup bonus. When does the clock start to meet the spending requirement?
Let’s say you apply for a Chase credit card on March 5 and you’re given 3 months to spend $3,000 to earn 40,000 points. The date your application is approved is the date your countdown clock starts! Your end date to meet the spending requirement would be June 5. This doesn’t necessarily seem fair because it takes time to receive your new card in the mail, but the date is calculated by the computer system and this is probably the easiest method for the banks to use.
How to calculate your date
I use this calculator to calculate my minimum spending end date. Type in the date your application was approved, and then add 3 months and press ‘Calculate new date’.
To be eligible to earn 15,000 bonus Starpoints, you must use The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card to complete $5,000 of eligible spending by the end of your first six months of Card Membership, based on the date of your Card approval.
What if the delivery date on the credit card is delayed?
Call your bank immediately and have them ship you a new card overnight. If your card is delayed and it’s past 7-10 business days, the bank should ship the card overnight at no cost to you. If they do try to charge you for this service, ask kindly to speak to a supervisor and explain your situation.
Just as an FYI, if you’re applying for an American Express card and you’re already an American Express customer, you’ll receive your new card within 24 – 72 hours! This is just one of the many reasons I love American Express 🙂
Don’t make the mistake of thinking your countdown starts the day your card is activated. This could cost you literally HUNDREDS of dollars.
You also don’t want to forget that if you miss the signup bonus, you may not qualify for it again for at least 2 years after the current card is closed. If you’re an American Express customer, you’ll never be able to receive the signup bonus again since they changed the rules to allow one bonus per card, per person, per lifetime.
If you love credit cards like I do and have a hard time keeping track of the bonuses and cancellation dates, then here’s what I recommend:
- Create a spreadsheet so you know exactly what credit credit card you signed up for. Include a column for the application date, minimum spending requirement, when the requirement has to be met by, and when to cancel the card by to avoid the annual fee for the following year.
- Add a reminder to your calendar’s smartphone. My reminders include a cancellation notice 1 year in advance (if I decide to cancel the card).
What recommendations do you have? Let me know in the comments below!