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How long until bonus miles post for a credit card?

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This article was last updated Jul 12, 2013, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

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How 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 the first statement when the spending requirement is crossed. Sometimes if the spending requirement is met very close to the statement closing 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: Sometimes just a few days after meeting the spending requirement for Membership Rewards based cards and sometimes the Delta cards.

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 the statement when the 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.

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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