Ask Credit Card Finder: When will I get bonus points?
If you’ve got a new credit card to earn bonus points, here’s how long you’ll have to wait before you can use them.
I just got the St.George Amplify Signature credit card, which offers 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 90 days. I’m thinking of spending over $4,000 in the first week of having the card so I can get the 80,000 points and then close the card. But I’m not sure when the points will be added to my account. Are they added as soon as I meet the spend requirements or do I have to wait 90 days?
Earner and burner
Credit card bonus point offers have different time frames for when you’ll receive the points. In the case of this particular St.George Amplify Signature Qantas offer (which runs between 1 August and 31 October 2018), you’ll get the bonus points within 12 weeks of meeting the spend requirement. So, regardless of whether you spend $4,000 in the first week or over the full 90-day period, you could still end up waiting around 3 months for those points to land in your Qantas Frequent Flyer account.
However, there is a possibility the points will be credited to your account at an earlier date that’s “within 12 weeks” of meeting the offer requirements. It’s at the discretion of St.George and Qantas Frequent Flyer though, so the only way you’ll really know is by checking your point balance regularly once you’ve spent $4,000 on eligible purchases (and met the repayment requirements for each statement). For other bonus point offers, you can check the fine print or call the credit card company to find out when points will be added to your account.
While it sounds like you already have an idea of how you’ll meet this requirement, it’s still worth double-checking that you’re spending will count towards this goal. Eligible purchases typically cover everyday spending – including travel bookings, groceries and petrol – but exclude transactions such as BPAY payments, fees, cash advances or cash-equivalent transactions (such as buying gift cards), ATO payments and government fees.
This means if you were planning on settling a tax debt or buying a whole bunch of prepaid gift cards to make up the $4,000 spend, you wouldn’t actually meet the offer’s requirements.
Another thing to be aware of is that refunds won’t count towards the spend requirement and, in the case of this particular offer, neither do balance transfers debited from the card. Put another way, if you make purchases then return them or if you transfer the card’s balance to another account, you won’t earn bonus Qantas Points.
Bonus point spending tip
You can log in to your account and track what transactions have earned points or call your credit card company (St.George in this case) to see if you’ve met the spend requirement.
Beyond these details, make sure you look at the potential costs of the card. In the case of this offer, you get a reduced $179 annual fee for the first year, which then reverts to $279 p.a. thereafter. There are also interest charges to consider if you don’t pay off your balance by the end of the statement period.
It’s also worth thinking about how your plan could impact your credit history. If you actually “earn and burn” – by getting a card, keeping it long enough to earn bonus points and then closing it – you’ll end up with a lot of inquiries on your credit history. This can negatively impact your credit score and make it harder to get approved for new cards or other loans.
So, instead of getting a card purely for bonus points, it may be wiser to look for one that offers both bonus Qantas Points and features you’d be happy with for a longer period of time.
Ask Credit Card Finder is a weekly column written by finder’s credit card experts Amy Bradney-George and Sally McMullen. All rates and fees are correct at time of publication and we only give general advice.
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