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How long until bonus miles post for a credit card?

by on Fri July 12, 2013 • 13 Comments
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bonusmilesgraphicHow quickly can you earn bonus miles from a credit card after an introductory offer? It’s a question we get a lot.

Formally, the answer you will get from the banks is quite a while.  Like “after qualifying, please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus miles to post to your account.”

But the reality is you can often get the intro bonus miles into your account much faster. The banks list the long weeks of time to cover themselves off in case of processing delays.

We dug into our experiences with cards, looking at old statements for the cards and mileage programs. And checked we around forums to see if others had similar results. Your experience may vary, but here is what we found:

Chase

  • Official line: “After qualifying, please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus miles to post to your account.”
  • Experience: Posts after first statement when spending requirement is crossed. For example if on July 3rd you hit the $1,000 requirement for an offer and your statement closes July 17, you could get the miles shortly after July 17. Sometimes if the spending requirement is met very close to the statement close date (10 days or less) you will have to wait until the next statement.

American Express

  • Official line: “Points will be credited to your Program account within 6–8 weeks after you have met the spending requirement.”
  • Experience: Just a few days after meeting spending requirement, doesn’t wait for the statement to close.

Citibank

  • Official line: “American Airlines AAdvantage® miles will appear as a bonus in your AAdvantage® account 8-10 weeks after you have met the purchase requirements.”
  • Experience: Closing date of statement when spending threshold is crossed.

Barclaycard

  • Official line: “Bonus miles will be sent to US Airways at the close of your billing statement after qualifying transaction(s) have been posted.”
  • Experience: Exactly that. They posted right after closing date of statement when spending threshold is crossed. Additionally, bonus points for the Barclaycard Arrival post instantly when the spending requirement is met.

Can you change your statement close date?

Directly, no. Indirectly, it’s possible by changing your due date. The statements are generally issued about 25 days before your due date. It usually takes 1-2 statements before a new due date takes effect, though sometimes you can call immediately after applying to set a due date. That’s helpful if you think you’ll hit your spending requirement quickly and want an earlier statement close.

So…again…your experience can vary, and remember…your account must be in good standing – no late payments – for miles to post. If you have the same experiences we did, you could get bonus miles ready to book a vacation in just 1-2 months. And if you want them  fast, consider American Express cards, but again no guarantees.

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13 thoughts on How long until bonus miles post for a credit card?

  1. JSM81

    Do the miles actually post after you spend the money and hit the limit or when you pay off the money on your credit card?

    Reply
    1. MileCards.com

      @JSM81 – They usually post around when the statement with the purchases closes, and don’t require waiting for you to submit your payment.

      Reply
  2. allie

    Amex question- I met the minimum spend on my Amex Delta credit card and the points posted midstatement, just a few days after the spending threshold was met. however, amex claims my points from regular spend will take 2 statements to post! does it really take that long? whats ppls actual experience?

    Reply
      1. allie

        thank you for your response! statement just closed today, hoping the points will post ASAP! The trip i was looking at was 50,000 skymiles when i first applied to the amex card a month ago, was 60,000 skymiles this evening and within a few hours it went up to 67,500 skymiles. just outrageous, if my points dont post soon i may be SOL!

        Reply
          1. allie

            trying to travel to cancun, still waiting for points to post. im just scared delta may raise the points prices again at any time. note to self- dont fly award tickets with delta again!

          2. MileCards.com

            @allie – You might want to also check the ‘Pay with miles’ option. That might require fewer miles than a regular award ticket. To check it, log into your SkyMiles account on Delta.com.

            Then shop for a flight with ‘Money’ selected (yes this is counter intuitive).

            You will see ‘Pay with miles eligible’ below each fare.

            Then when you get to the final page where it asks you to pay for the flight, you’ll have an option at the bottom to pay for some or all of it with miles.

            Your 60k miles are worth up to $600 off a flight.

    1. MileCards.com

      @Sara – United miles are generally the most reliable – either via their nonstop from Newark or their partner Lufthansa via Europe. It will run 45,000 miles one way for a ticket.

      You can earn them via the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card which earns miles you can transfer directly to your United mileage account any time.

      Or if you’re willing to pay some surcharges, Air France miles have the lowest price of 25,000 miles one way plus about $130 in fees each way, though the options are mostly flights that connect in Paris on Air France.

      You can earn Air France miles via the Citi Premier and Citi Prestige, which earn points you can transfer to Air France any time.

      Reply
    1. MileCards

      @JL100 – Good point. In our cases, had crossed the threshold a couple months in, so had already made a payment on the prior statement. But hadn’t yet paid the full amount when the threshold was crossed. Maybe a difference between their charge and credit cards?

      Reply

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