So you just got approved for that new credit card, you wait in anticipation for 5 to 7 days for that shiny piece of plastic to arrive. Finally the day comes and you quickly meet the minimum spend in a matter of hours. Then you wait, and wait for your statement to close, and then wait a couple of more days for your bonus to post. All that time, hoping the award space you found when you signed up for the card is still there.
This is my biggest frustration in signing up for co-branded cards. Generally, your bonus will not post until a few days after your statement close date in which you meet the minimum spend. A couple of months back, I waited 40 days from meeting the minimum spend on an Alaska Airlines card for the points to hit my account. I don’t know about you, but I tend to have immediate booking plans for my bonus. In my frustration, I think I may have found a way to get sign-up bonuses faster on co-branded cards, but please be aware this is YMMV.
In my latest round of apps, I was approved on June 28th for the Chase Hyatt card under the old sign-up bonus for 2 free nights at any hotel. I received the card on July 2nd and met the $2,000 minimum spend by July 3rd. Being the impatient person that I am, I was determined to get my 2 free nights credited to my account ASAP so I could tack them on to my Park Hyatt Maldives reservation coming up in March. So I thought, “Duh, why not just move up my statement date?”
Hello, Chase? Yes, I’d Like My Bonus Please
So I called Chase and asked if I could change my statement close date, to which they graciously replied, “sure, when would you like it to be.” I said, “how about the 5th of each month” (knowing this would give any pending transactions about 36 hours to settle. The rep was more than willing to do this for me, but then he mentioned that it takes their systems 7-10 days to catch up on new statement close dates, so it may not pick-up until my next billing cycle. Avoiding a close call, I changed my requested date to the 13th (giving myself 10 days) and hoped for the best. I also took this approach with the Alaska Business card I got from Bank of America on the same day. They too had no problem moving up the day.
After 10 days had past, I checked to make sure my Chase and B of A statements had in fact closed, but nothing had posted to by Hyatt or Alaska accounts. Then I checked again the next day and both bonuses had posted. In total, from the day I received the card in the mail, to the day I had my points/certs in hand was 12 days. Not bad for co-branded cards!
It’s worth noting that I tried this with Barclay and it seems their system is hardcoded to prevent their associates from changing the close date prior to the first statement. Two different reps told me this. So I tried to change it online and received the message below. It doesn’t seem like Barclay allows this at all.
Again, I must stress that this may not work for every card issuer, but if Chase or B of A tell you it can’t be done, hang up and call again. I’m definitely going to continue using this process going forward, because hey, who doesn’t like to have their miles sooner rather than later.
Have you tried this before? How did it work out?
[…] Tip: How to get your sign-up bonus faster. – Great tip. Super easy to do and is actually one of the 11 immediate steps to take when activating a new credit card. […]
Great idea. Changing the statement date is one of the first things I recommend people do when they activate the card. However, my thoughts were based on when you’re best able to pay vs. accelerating the bonus.
Thanks for the share, Lee. I read your “11 things to do” post, great stuff.
Thanks Dakota. So many ways to maximize points and your finances, you don’t want to miss out.