Posted by Chuck on November 20, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on November 20th, 2017 | by Chuck

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Reminder: Give Yourself Extra Time for Online Purchases to Post

There are lots of deals and credits we use which are time-limited deals with an expiration date. Examples include credit card signup bonus, Amex Offer deals, credit card travel credits, and credit card quarterly bonus categories. We wrote about this some time ago in the post Online Credit Card Purchases – Transaction Date and Post Date which is worth a read.

With year-end coming this begins to matter more, and a reader asked for a review. In this post, we’ll try to rehash the details briefly for people with limited time or attention spans.

The most important distinction is between swiped transactions and online transactions. Swiped transactions should show the transaction date being the day of the swipe. That’s the date that should count for most things. There have been examples of banks/merchants who don’t show swiped transactions on the same date so it’s not a guarantee – always worth going an extra day or two when possible. (Credit card travel credits are also an exception, as discussed below.)

Online transactions are trickier: even when you see an instant pending charge, for some reason that’s not always the purchase date shown on the card. For example, if you make an online order on 12/31/17 and you see a charge pending instantly, it might show up on the card statement as a transaction date of 1/1/18 and a posting date of 1/2/17. (See real-world examples here.) Even worse, sometimes the merchant won’t run the card immediately at all, especially if it’s a smaller merchant or it’s done on non-business days. Always leave yourself a few days to spare.

Let’s run a brief review of various deals:



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Jeremy
Jeremy

Sometimes swiping in-store can cause problems as well. I used a US Bank Cash+ in a Burlington store on Sept. 29th, but on my statement and for rewards purposes, it is listed as occurring on Oct. 2nd. And since I only had Department Stores listed as one of my 5% categories for July-Sept, I missed out on the 5%. (And I’ve confirmed that I did not get the 5%.)

Rena
Rena

Very good info. I almost missed finishing an MSR because an amazon gc reload decided to stay pending for a while, then disappeared altogether for quite a few days, then reappeared later – which would have been too late. (Chat support was of no help.) Thankfully I was able to get something else charged just in time.

ppsh
ppsh

I had an in-store AT&T purchase that posted two days after the purchase (transaction) date, causing me to miss a BankAmeriDeal by one day. This was contrary to what one of the articles here suggests, that CCs always use transaction date as posting date for in-store purchases. It seems true for Citi (MasterCard) CC, but not so for BOA VISA CCs (and Amex, because of their explicit warning in the verbiage; Comcast looks like an angel compared to them). Or maybe it’s just AT&T (two bad experiences with AT&T corporate stores AND one with AT&T HQ). Luckily, BOA promo depet decided to credit me the bonus anyway, after calling in.

So even for in-store purchases, one may need to allow plenty of time in advance for the transaction to post in time.

mommafrica
mommafrica

I made an AMEX Offer purchase for the Universal Hollywood Studios tickets about 10 mins before the deadline (site problems). The Chase app shows it being made at 11:52:15 PM before the deadline. On the website it posted as the following day, pending and under Google Svcs. No tickets/confirmation showing or sent.
I quickly called AMEX Offers who saw everything. They couldn’t figure it out, and they even called back the following day to see if there was any change. Nada. And still nothing.

sid
sid

Google express totally messed me up. I had ordered $52 and change total stuff from goog express/walmart. Then Goog express adjusted the total amount to $48 and my $20 off $50 never kicked in.

Mike
Mike

I had a jet.com order last year where jet ended up crediting me for one of the items due to late shipping, which then brought the order total under the amex offer target. Called amex and they manually credited the offer. Explained to amex that the refund was for a customer service issue, not a return.

Wash
Wash

Great post! Wish I had given myself extra time for a recent promo. I was attempting to spend the $10k for the recent SPG spend promotion… With 2 days to spare, I tried purchasing from LampsPlus.com. The online purchase didn’t post until about a week later when the item finally shipped. I missed 10K SPG points as a result. Amex support wasn’t able to assist — no courtesy creidt, no nothin’…

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