Posted by William Charles on May 14, 2015
Questions & Answers

Published on May 14th, 2015 | by William Charles


I Didn’t Complete My Minimum Spend Requirement, Is There Anything I Can Do?

I recently signed up for the Citi Prestige card and didn’t complete the minimum spend requirement in time. I thought I had longer than I did. Is there anything I can do? I really want that sign up bonus.


The first and most important thing you can do is make sure you keep proper records and have a plan for meeting each minimum spend requirement before applying. Also give yourself a lot of leeway in getting the minimum spend completed in case something happens.

Remember that the annual fee never counts towards minimum spending requirements. Some people will see that they owe over $5,000 and their minimum spend requirement is $5,000 and automatically assume they’ve met it. But if you owed $5,100 and the annual fee is $450 you’d be $350 short on getting the bonus. This is why it’s always good to remember that annual fees don’t count and also to give yourself a little buffer in case of a return or exchange or other issue.

[Read: How Long Do I Have To Reach My Minimum Spend Requirement With Each Card Issuer]

The second thing you can do is simply call Citi and explain the situation and see what they say, you’ll improve your chances if you’ve now hit the minimum spend requirement and there isn’t a long time between when you reached it and how long you had to reach. Below are data points of different card issuers and whether they did or didn’t give people the sign up bonus when they missed it. Each of the numbers represent a different data point, click them to get more information about why they were or weren’t given the bonus.

  • American Express
    • Yes: 1
    • No:
  • Chase
    • Yes: 1
    • No: 1
  • Citi
    • Yes: 1, 2 (well worth reading this data point)
    • No: 1, 2, 3

Calling usually works better than sending a secured message or using chat. It’s much easier to say no to somebody (and use a form letter) when asking via text. It’s much harder to say no to somebody on the phone, use this to your advantage and call.

If you have any data points, please share them in the comments below so we can add to it.

15 Responses to I Didn’t Complete My Minimum Spend Requirement, Is There Anything I Can Do?

  1. Fiby says:

    “give yourself a little buffer in case of a return or exchange or other issue”

    This totally makes sense, but at least in the case of Barclay’s own cards (and perhaps their partnerscards as well, haven’t tested that myself) returns do not count as a negative purchase towards a minimum spend requirement. I found this out for myself with the Arrival+.
    I don’t know why a return doesn’t count as a negative purchase – you would think it should.

    Then again Barclays allows you to redeem your Arrival miles against a returned travel purchase also….

    • BeyondtheWrap says:

      Similarly, when I was trying to meet my $1000 spend for Amex PRG, I ended up getting a refund for a $400 purchase, but it still counted toward the minimum spend. (OK, the refund was for $375 due to a $25 “refund fee” by the seller, but still.)

  2. Greg Z says:

    Missed Chase Ink min spend by $100-200 a year or so ago, freaked out and emailed Chase, an hour later they game me 50,000!!

  3. Paul says:

    Good time to post this with the Amex $20k minimum spend for the Platinum card. I am sure there will be some people on the fence about whether or not they can meet the requirement.
    That gamble could cost you $450.00, though you could use the 60 day grace period to back out if you wanted to reduce your time limit from 90 days to 60 days.

  4. Bryan says:

    Last year this happened to me with Commenity Bank on the Virgin America points card. They didn’t budge at all. Thought I’d let you know.


  5. Mi says:

    Amex BCE data point: my husband forgot entirely about the minimum spending requirement (1K) within three months for $250 back (targeted). It’s $150 short and one month past the due date. I tried two calls and asked for the supervisor, both a definite no. Asked for a lower amount or more spending requirement, still didn’t work.

  6. dson says:

    Missed $1000 by $70. Just called Amex, the rep offered me another 18 days on top of the 90 days. Awesome!

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  9. eric mason says:

    missed my mileageplus card bonus by $20, had to be spent by the 13th of this month and i oops’d and used the wrong card.

    person 1: “i’m so so sorry, you can close and re-open and you’ll be fine for the bonus! but there’s literally nothing i can do”
    end call
    person 2: tell rep i’m freaking out because i think i missed my bonus by $20 *7 minute hold* “sir it looks like you’ve spent $1982.02. just spend the remaining $20 before the end of this month and you’ll get the 50,000.”

    *big sigh of relief*

  10. Elias says:

    Missed $200 on the chase hyatt card ($1000 needed) by 10 days. I remembered my card was hacked and chase sent me a new one. I just asked chase to give me more time because of this. They gave me the 2 nights 🙂

  11. Tom says:

    I understand that AE only offer bonus once per life time but if you miss the bonus, can you close the account and apply again after a year or two?

    • Chuck says:

      I vaguely recall seeing a data point on reddit indicating that they had a problem getting the bonus in such a scenario.

    • Fiby says:

      As Chuck alluded to, this shouldn’t work if Amex is properly enforcing the terms of their offer.

      “Welcome bonus offer not available to applicants who have or have had this product.”

      It doesn’t say if you’ve gotten the bonus before. It’s if you’ve had the card before, unlike Chase.

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