Finance Globe

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Four Tips for Earning Your Credit Card Signup Bonus

Four Tips for Earning Your Credit Card Signup Bonus

Nearly every credit card issuer has at least one credit card with a signup bonus. Spend a certain amount of money in the first few months of your account opening and you can earn points, miles, or even cash. To be sure you earn your points, be a little more meticulous about your spending and payments in those first few months. The last thing you want to do is sign up for a credit card hoping to get the bonus only to end up with nothing but a new card and a big balance. 

Know what you have to do. Earning a signup bonus usually requires you to make a certain amount of purchases in a certain amount of time. For example, you may have to spend $4,000 within the first four months of opening your account. Balance transfers, cash advances, and finance charges typically don’t count toward the spending amount, but can reduce the amount of available credit you can use for purchases that do count.

Read the fine print. Some signup bonuses may not be available if you already have a card with that credit card issuer or you’ve earned a signup bonus from that card issuer within the past several months.

Get your spending in before the time runs out. The clock typically starts ticking when your account is opened, which could be a few days before you receive your card. Count forward from the day your application is approved to estimate the deadline for earning your signup bonus. Try to get your spending in early to be sure you make the cutoff and to speed up the amount of time it takes to receive your bonus. 

Manage your credit limit. The required spending for your signup bonus may be higher than your credit limit, which can make it tough to meet the spending requirement. In this case, you’ll to periodically free up additional credit by paying some or all of your. For example, if you have to spend $1,500 in three months, but you only have a $750 credit limit, you can charge $500 each month for three months making sure to pay your balance in full each time.

Check your billing statement or rewards center. It can take one or two billing cycles for your signup bonus to credit to your account. If the bonus isn’t added within two billing cycles after the initial period ends, contact your card issuer to check the status of your rewards. Call the number on the back of your credit card or login to your online account and initiate a chat.

It’s not uncommon for credit card issuers to change the terms of the signup bonus or to discontinue the bonus altogether. If you see a bonus you like and can qualify for, jump on it before it goes away. Finally, be careful about the number of credit cards you’re signing up for. The more credit cards you have, the higher the risk of getting into debt.

 

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Comments 1

Frank on Tuesday, 11 August 2015 10:36

I would also like to add 3 ways to spend to get your credit card bonus that you may not think of:
(1) Rent: Always ask if you can pay your rent with a credit card. Some places accept, though most charge a fee
(2) Utilities: If you set up automatic pay, a lot of utility companies will accept credit cards
(3) Gift Cards: If you are really in a bind to hit your limit, you can always buy Amex gift cards. Although I would not recommend this approach long-term.

I would also like to add 3 ways to spend to get your credit card bonus that you may not think of: (1) Rent: Always ask if you can pay your rent with a credit card. Some places accept, though most charge a fee (2) Utilities: If you set up automatic pay, a lot of utility companies will accept credit cards (3) Gift Cards: If you are really in a bind to hit your limit, you can always buy Amex gift cards. Although I would not recommend this approach long-term.
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Friday, 06 December 2019

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