The best thing about a travel rewards credit card is their big welcome bonus that gets you closer to your next award travels. However, be warned, you might need some patience to do so. The time it takes for points or miles to hit your account will depend on the bank you’re with.
Check out our list of the best credit card bonuses here.
There are some issuers that will pay out your bonus the day after your statement closes. Others will wait until the next billing cycle. Read below for more information on how long points and miles take to post onto your account.
Welcome Bonus. Chase says that they will pay out your welcome bonus in 6-8 weeks after you’ve met the minimum spending requirement. However, the bank will delay posting to your account if you meet the spend requirement too close to your statement closing date.
If you’re counting on these bonus points, don’t wait until the last minute to meet the spending requirements.
Regular Spend. You can track all of your points on your Ultimate Rewards Activity Dashboard. Your rewards are “pending” points until the statement closes. They will go into your Chase Ultimate Rewards account the day after the statement closes.
Editor’s Pick for Best Chase Credit Card:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
You'll earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases.. And when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, you'll get 25% more value!
You get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee & reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
This card carries a $95 annual fee.
Welcome Bonus. Amex states that they will pay your welcome bonus 8-12 weeks after you’ve met their minimum spending requirement. However, from what we’ve seen, the bank pays out bonuses on all their cards – both American Express Membership Rewards cards and cobranded ones in a few days.
If Amex thinks you’re “gaming” their cards, they will withhold your welcome bonus for a few months. Gaming refers to getting large amounts of gift cards or other cash equivalents to get the minimum purchase requirement.
Regular Spend. For Membership Rewards cards, your points will go into a “pending” state for a month before they post to your account when the statement closes. In other words, the points you earned before the statement closing on January 30 won’t go into your account until the end of February.
Additionally, if you don’t pay your bill on time, you’ll forfeit the points you’ve earned. It will cost you $35 to reinstate them. Furthermore, you can push back your statement close date as well.
If you have a co-branded card, airline miles, or hotel points are paid out at the statement close date.
Editor’s Pick for Best AMEX card:
The The Platinum Card® from American Express offers 75,000 Membership Rewards(R) Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
• 10X points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That's an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
• 5X Membership Rewards(R) Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
• 5X Membership Rewards(R) Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
This card comes with an annual fee of $550 (See Rates & Fees), but you cardholders can enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
Plus, up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card® & receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts.
Welcome Bonus & Regular Spend. Officially, Capital One pays out their welcome bonuses in 2 billing cycles of meeting the minimum spending requirement. Usually, in most cases, the bonus and your regular spending rewards are paid out the day after the statement closes, or soon after.
Editor’s Pick for Best Capital One Card:
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
You're able to earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
This card does come with a $95 annual fee. Enjoy no foreign transaction fees and receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®.
Welcome Bonus. Citi states that they will pay the welcome bonus 8-10 weeks after you meet purchase requirements. But, many people get their bonuses for both Citi ThankYou Rewards Cards and cobranded ones about 2 days after statement closing.
Regular Spend. The points you earn will hit your ThankYou account the day after your statement closes.
Editor’s Pick for Best Citi Credit Card:
The Citi Prestige® Card has a 50,000 bonus points offer. Spend $4,000 within 3 months of account opening to qualify. These 50k bonus points are worth $500 in travel.
For the most value out of your points, redeem for flights through Citi, where your bonus will be worth 1.33 cents per point. This is another card that competes in the premium travel category, and the annual fee will signify that at $495.
In effect, this card is only a good option for frequent travelers who can take advantage of the premium benefits : 5X points on air travel & restaurants, 3X points on hotels & cruise lines, $250 Air Travel Credit annually, and free access to 1,300+ airport lounges with Priority Pass Select. For those in this niche market, this card will provide high perceived value.
Welcome Bonus. Bank of America states welcome bonuses are paid out in around 6-8 weeks after you meet the minimum spending requirement. But, most people see their bonuses posted right after the statement close date.
Regular Spend. Your points or miles will immediately show up as “pending” and will hit your account in the next billing cycle.
Editor’s Pick for Best Bank of America Card:
Check out the Premium Rewards Card
Welcome Bonus & Regular Spend. According to the U.S. Bank, your points will go into your account in around 6-8 weeks. However, rewards are paid out when the monthly statement closes.
Welcome Bonus. Wells Fargo will pay out your welcome bonuses in 1-2 billing periods after you meet the spending requirement.
Regular Spend. Your rewards will appear as “pending” in your account until the day after your billing cycle ends. So points earned before January 15 for a billing cycle ending January 30 will be available on January 31.
Overall, you know what type of cards to get to earn these rewards for your account. Additionally, you can plan your earning and burning rate much better with this guide. So, the next time you sign up for a new credit card with a welcome bonus, make sure you remember this post for reference.
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