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Coronavirus: Card issuers extending sign-up bonus periods

It may be challenging to hit the sign-up bonus if your credit card spending has decreased due to the pandemic. Luckily, these issuers are willing to give more time

Summary

Many credit card issuers are offering various relief options amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Many are making it easier to keep earning card rewards, with policies including extending introductory bonus time periods.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

As the COVID-19 pandemic is shifting cardholders’ spending habits, credit card issuers are adapting to assist consumers. One relief measure that has been getting traction is extending time periods to earn a sign-up bonus.

Currently, four credit card issuers offer introductory bonus extensions, including American Express, Bank of America, Chase and Citi, with Citi being the most recent issuer to join the trend. All four are offering an additional three months on qualifying bonuses. Capital One is also offering similar relief on a case-by-case basis.

Credit card issuers offering an intro bonus extension

American Express

American Express was the first issuer to announce leniency on introductory offers, giving cardholders an additional three months to earn a welcome bonus. Accounts eligible for the extension include personal and business cards offering a welcome bonus approved between Dec. 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020.

As you can see in the table below, the standard time period to earn a welcome bonus with American Express is three months. With the additional three months, cardholders will have six months in total to hit the spending requirements.

American Express card welcome bonuses

CardWelcome bonus
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express$250 after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
American Express® Green Card30,000 points after you spend $2,000 in first 3 months
Business Green Rewards Card from American Express15,000 points after you spend $3,000 in first 3 months
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express$150 after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
American Express Cash Magnet® Card$150 after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
The Platinum Card® from American Express60,000 points after you spend $5,000 in first 3 months
The Business Platinum® Card from American Express75,000 points after you spend $15,000 in first 3 months
American Express® Gold Card35,000 points after you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
American Express® Business Gold Card35,000 points after you spend $5,000 in first 3 months

Bank of America

Bank of America announced to cardholders that it would be offering an additional 90 days to earn a sign-up bonus on eligible accounts. New card accounts opened between Jan. 1, 2020, and March 31, 2020, are eligible for the extension. Both personal and small business card account holders can take advantage of the offer.

As you can see below, Bank of America typically gives its cardholders 90 days to earn an intro bonus. This means that with the extension, they have 180 days in total to meet the spend requirements.

Bank of America introductory bonuses

CardIntroductory bonus
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card*$200 online cash rewards if you spend $1,000 in first 90 days
Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card*25,000 online points after spending $1,000 in first 90 days
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card*50,000 points when you spend $3,000 in first 90 days
Bank of America® Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card*$300 if you spend $3,000 in first 90 days

 

Bank of America® Platinum Plus® Mastercard® Business card*$300 statement credit if you spend $3,000 in first 90 days
Bank of America® Business Advantage Travel Rewards World Mastercard® credit card*30,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in the card’s first 90 days
Bank of America Asiana Airlines American Express card30,000 miles if you spend $3,000 in first 90 days
WorldPoints Rewards for Business Visa card from Bank of America$200 statement credit if you spend $500 in first 60 days
Bank of America Spirit Airlines World Mastercard15,000 miles after first purchase and 15,000 additional miles if you spend $500 in first 90 days

Chase

Chase is giving its cardholders an additional three months to earn a sign-up bonus. You can take advantage of this offer if you’ve opened an eligible account between Jan. 1, 2020, and March 31, 2020.

In the table below, you can find Chase credit cards with their respective sign-up bonus spend requirements. As you can see, Chase normally offers three months to hit the bonus. With the extension, cardholders are getting six months in total.

Chase card introductory bonuses

CardIntroductory bonus
Chase Sapphire Preferred60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in first 3 months
Chase Sapphire Reserve50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Credit Card40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier Credit Card40,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
United Explorer Card40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in first 3 months
Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card30,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card75,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in first 3 months

Capital One

Capital One is offering similar relief to cardholders impacted by the coronavirus on a case-by-case basis. To discuss your options, contact the issuer directly.

“Our offerings vary based on customer need and we encourage customers who may be impacted to reach out so we can discuss and help find a solution,” Capital One said in a statement.

Citi

Citi announced that new cardholders who applied for a Citi credit card between Dec. 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, will get an additional three months to meet the sign-up bonus spend requirements.

As you can see in the table below, Citi typically gives new cardholders three months from the time of approval to earn the bonus. With the new offer, that timeframe is extended to six months.

Citi card introductory bonuses

CardIntroductory bonus
Citi Rewards+℠ Card15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
Citi Premier℠ Card60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months
Citi Prestige® Card50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 within the first 3 months
Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 within the first 3 months
Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®50,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,500 in the first 3 months
American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card10,000 miles and $50 statement credit after you spend $500 in first 3 months
Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®50,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 within the first 3 months

Bottom line

A sign-up bonus is one of the best opportunities for a credit card user to rack up a large amount of rewards in a short time frame. Since many cardholders might not be spending as much as they were before the outbreak, an extension can help them to still use that opportunity.

Getting a sign-up bonus is essential to maximizing your credit card’s value. If you’re worried that the pandemic may prevent you from earning it, your issuer can help you.

Even if your credit card company isn’t on this list, it may help to contact the issuer directly. While some issuers have announced their move to extend sign-up bonus periods, others might be willing to extend a similar offer to you personally.

In these challenging times, it’s a good idea to stay in touch with your financial institutions and voice your concerns – most of the time, your creditors will be willing to work with you on a solution.

*Information about Bank of America Cash Rewards, Travel Rewards and Premium Rewards cards, as well as Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard, Business Advantage Cash Rewards Mastercard credit card and Platinum Plus Mastercard Business card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy. 

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: May 27th, 2020
Business
14.03%
Airline
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Cash Back
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Reward
15.82%
Student
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