A large part of what makes travel rewards credit cards so lucrative is their welcome bonuses. Missing out on one is the biggest mistake you could make when you open a new credit card.
As TPG’s 10 commandments of credit card rewards states: “Thou shalt not miss out on a welcome bonus.” Resources like spreadsheets, calendar reminders and money management tools can help track your progress but can also be very convoluted.
Thankfully, some (but not all) issuers offer easier ways to keep track of your spending goal, so let’s dive into them.
Unfortunately, American Express no longer offers a way to track your progress toward earning your welcome bonus. Thankfully, they have a user-friendly chat functionality that makes it easy to reach someone quickly. Here, customer service agents can tell you how much spending you have left in the remaining time frame of your welcome offer.
Another workaround, specifically for The Platinum Card® by American Express (see rates and fees), is the spend tracker for Centurion lounge guest access. This tool keeps track of your spending, so once you reach $75,000 within a calendar year, you can bring up to two guests at any Centurion lounge. Although the tracker was not designed to keep track of spending for a welcome bonus, it’s a useful tool. It’s important to note that eligible purchases may take up to 12 weeks before being reflected on the tracker.
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 offers a “spend analyzer” to get the job done. The feature is 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.
Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletter
Join over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts.
The information for the Aviator Red World Elite and JetBlue Plus has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Capital One no longer informs cardholders of 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 the website. Users have reported finding the tracker on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® and the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. The progress tracker conveniently also shows up on the Chase mobile app, making it easy to check on the go.
Citi’s bonus spend tracker is called the “New Cardmember Bonus Tracker,” and it can be found on both the website and Citi mobile app after clicking on “New Cardmember Bonus Tracker” or “Learn more” in the ThankYou Points preview box.
Discover doesn’t offer any tracker, so you’ll need to track your progress yourself.
Wells Fargo allows new cardholders to track their minimum spending 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 business cards.
Important: Keep an eye on the clock and your purchases
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, the $250 annual fee (see rates and fees) will not count toward the minimum spending threshold. Some banks also won’t count “cash equivalent” purchases like gift cards toward minimum spending requirements.
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. Remember that purchases must post to your account by the end date, so pending transactions won’t count toward your total.
If you need help reaching a minimum spending requirement, check out our guide on 11 ways to meet credit card bonus minimum spending requirements.
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.
Additional reporting by Danyal Ahmed and Stella Shon.
For rates and fees of the Delta SkyMiles Platinum Amex card, click here.