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I made the wrong request for my spending – the reader’s false story

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information. It was originally published on February 28, 2020.

It seems that a lot of things can happen wrong during the move. And while visitors can easily avoid some of these unfortunate situations with a bit of preparation, others are puzzled by the opportunity.

No matter what range your challenge falls to, exchanging wary stories with companions will yield plenty of information, guidance, and often fun.

I got my spending requirement wrong — reader mistake story
I got my spending requirement wrong — reader mistake story

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This week’s readers’ false story comes from Joshua, who pursues credit card registration rewards using bad information:

“In October last year, I was excited to sign up for an IHG Rewards Premier Credit Card with a reward of 125,000 points when I signed up. I’ve signed up for many credit cards before, so I know the general game plan to meet spending requirements for a specific period of time. I quickly used my card to prepay my $1,000 mobile phone bill and $1,000 internet bill, and to make a few other purchases. I’m glad I reached the $2,000 threshold in just a few days, and I waited patiently six to eight weeks assigned after my report ended to post my score.

“I kept waiting, but in January, I was a little nervous and decided to email Chase to see what the detention was. I explained that I spent $2,953 within three months and met the $2,000 spending requirement. The answer I got from Chase the next day showed me that I made a big mistake: the actual spending requirement was $3,000 rather than the $2,000 I originally thought. Worse, the last day to meet the spending requirement was the day I emailed them. Chase said it was too late to meet the spending requirement and that I was no longer eligible for 125,000 bonus points. I can’t believe I missed something like that.

“I decided to email Chase again to beg them and see if they could extend politeness as a reward. I know it’s a long shot, but the answer is something I didn’t expect at all.

Chase offered to extend my spending term by two weeks, so all I had to do was spend the remaining $47 for two weeks to qualify for my bonus. I quickly made a $50 purchase and a few weeks later, 125,000 bonus points were deposited into my IHG account. The moral of the story for me is to make sure that I remember the spending requirements by taking a screenshot of the offer page so that I can refer back to it.”

It’s great that Joshua has engaged Chase enthusiastically through this swagger. And Chase was also very benevolent when he opened the window to meet the minimum spend to get Joshua. Credit card companies like Chase and American Express are sometimes known to sometimes license challenges like this — but that’s not a sure thing. The bank is under no obligation to come to your rescue.

Related: When does the minimum spending clock start for credit card subscription rewards?

If you find yourself in this position, take Joshua’s wise approach when begging the bank to let you quit (I myself did this once with the Amex and achieved the same success as Joshua).

If you’ve previously opened other cards from the same bank, you can understand their personal habits when it comes to rewards posted to your account. Example:

Chase posts your subscription reward after the billing cycle that you have achieved the minimum spend level ends. If you enter a new two-week billing cycle and you haven’t yet received your Chase reward, then there may have been a problem.

American Express tends to post welcome bonus points within a few days of you meeting your spending requirements. If you don’t see them after a week or two, you can chat with Amex via your online account or in the Amex app.
Whatever the case, be sure to contact the issuing bank before your spending deadline closes. You might think that something counts towards minimum spending when in fact it doesn’t. Example:

The annual fee of the credit card is not included in the minimum expenditure.
Any refunds deposited into your card will be deducted from the spending you have achieved
Cash advance and balance transfer are not counted as purchases
Buying some gift cards may not count as a purchase
For all these reasons, you should spend a reasonable amount that exceeds the minimum spending requirement – just to be safe.

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