Things can get confusing when applying for multiple credit cards. Let alone we have our other ‘non-points’ lives to lead. The last thing you want to do is forget to meet a minimum spend on a credit card offer that you were looking forward to using for free travel.

Hopefully you never forget to meet the minimum spend on a new card that offers a lucrative sign-up bonus, but if you do for whatever reason, there is potentially a way to recover the bonus.

I only have my first hand experience dealing with Chase about this matter, so these steps are specific to Chase, but they may be applicable to other banks as well. In most cases it is up to the supervisor’s discretion to allow an ‘extension’ on your minimum spend.

If you are within a hundred or so dollars of meeting the minimum spend, there is a good chance that Chase will allow you to go out and spend the amount needed to reach it. Afterwards the representative will submit a claim to approve the bonus to the marketing department.

What to do when you come close, but do not meet the minimum spend with a Chase credit card

1. Call the customer service number listed on the back of your credit card.

2. Use the automated menu to get a representative on the phone

3. As soon as you are connected to a representative, say that you would like to speak to a supervising manager. If they ask what it concerns, just mention that it is about a past issue with your card.

The first representative you speak with generally has no authority to help you in this situation, and you need to speak to a supervisor that can override the system to allow you to still qualify for your sign-up bonus.

4. With the supervising manager on the phone, explain your situation of why you did not meet the minimum spend–be sure to mention how you are a loyal customer and look forward to continue doing business with Chase for years to come. It wouldn’t hurt to mention how you would hate to let such a small matter end your relationship with Chase.

If all goes well, the manager will allow you to spend the remaining amount needed to reach the minimum spend required for the sign-up bonus. After that is met, they will submit a claim to approve the bonus to the marketing department.

The manager I spoke with said that he has never had a claim declined, and that he was positive that my bonus would be approved. All I needed to do was spend the remaining amount needed (only $17), and he would check back in a few days and submit the claim.

Of course I wrote down his name, position, and extension in case the points do not post in the next month.

Eventually, I will call the general customer service line and ask if my bonus will post soon just to confirm that the process was completed. It should show in their system once it is approved by the marketing department. If not, I always have the supervisor’s extension in case I need to speak with him again.

Since I only have experience dealing with Chase on this matter, other banks may not offer such an ‘extension’ to allow you to still receive the bonus, but what do you have to lose. It is sure worth a call or two in order to recoup a large bonus.

Update: After a week the first 50,000 points were deposited to my Rapid Rewards account, but the second 50,000 had not posted. I decided to call Chase and confirm that the second 50,000 points were also going to be credited. The representative was very helpful and told me that the additional 50,000 points were scheduled to post at the end of the next statement. Success in recovering a lucrative sign-up bonus after not meeting the min spend by only a few dollars.

About the author

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.