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How long does it take for rewards to post to your account?

Some rewards post immediately, while others can take up to 12 weeks

Summary

How long it takes for rewards to post your account can vary by issuer, and by the category of points you earned for spending.

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Using rewards credit cards for purchases can help you earn points or miles for each dollar you spend, but that doesn’t mean you’ll get your rewards immediately. How long it takes for rewards to post your account can vary by issuer, and by the category of points you earned for spending. For example, rewards earned on a per dollar basis typically post to your account when your next credit card statement closes, yet credit card sign-up bonuses can take weeks or even months to show up.

That said, there are some general rules of thumb that apply with card issuers like American Express, Chase and Discover. Each of the major card issuers also offers some guidance in terms of when rewards points will post to your account in the fine print.

This guide explains the rewards posting process for major card issuers, including American Express, Bank of America, Discover and more.

Major card issuers’ timelines on posting rewards

See how long major card issuers take to post rewards below:

American Express

Welcome bonuses

New American Express cardholders can expect to wait anywhere from eight to 12 weeks to get their hands on a welcome bonus once they meet the spend requirements. If you trust online word of mouth, though, your pile of Membership Rewards points should arrive much faster — typically within just a few days of hitting that minimum spend threshold.

Card spend

The timeline for American Express rewards earned via everyday swiping is less ambiguous. According to Amex customer service, Membership Rewards points show up on your billing statement as “pending” and become available for redemption no later than 72 hours after your minimum payment is received, provided you pay your bill on time.

Bank of America

Welcome bonuses

When it comes to sign-up bonuses on Bank of America credit cards like the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, cardholders can expect to receive sign-up bonuses within the same eight- to 12-week timeline after meeting applicable minimum spend requirements.

Card spend

Though consumer cardholders will see pending rewards online right away, they’ll have to wait for their statement to close before they can use them. For small-business accounts from Bank of America, however, rewards are issued after daily transaction posting and aren’t dependent on the cardholder’s billing cycle.

Capital One

Welcome bonuses

When it comes to credit card sign-up bonuses for Capital One credit cards, cardholders can expect to see their bonus applied to their account within one to two billing cycles after reaching the applicable minimum spend threshold.

The same applies to annual rewards bonuses, per the fine print on the Capital One website. Regarding the 10,000 anniversary bonus points you can earn on the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, for example, the card issuer says you will “receive 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 toward travel) after your first account holder anniversary, within 1-2 billing cycles of when your Annual Membership Fee (AMF) is paid.”

Card spend

Rewards are usually visible online within 10 days of when they’re earned, but they could take up to two statement cycles to post to your account and become available for redemption. The same rule applies to Capital One business credit cards, such as the Capital One Spark Miles for Business.

Chase

Welcome bonuses

Chase credit card sign-up bonuses almost always show up in your account when the next statement closes after meeting a minimum spend requirement. However, the card issuer does have fine print on its website that shows they actually have a longer timeline to issue your rewards points.

Here’s what the card issuer has to say in the fine print of the offer details on the Chase Freedom Flex℠: “After qualifying, please allow 6 to 8 weeks for bonus points to post to your account.”

Card spend

Points or cash back earned in a Chase credit card transaction are available to redeem at the end of the billing cycle in which the purchase was made. (That timeline applies to the issuer’s most popular cards, including the Chase Sapphire and Chase Freedom suites.) In the meantime, you can track your earnings via your Ultimate Rewards activity dashboard. They’ll show up as pending until your statement closing date.

Citi

Welcome bonuses

Citi’s timeline for posting welcome bonuses to your ThankYou Rewards account is from eight to 10 weeks after you meet the minimum purchase requirements. Once again, though, anecdotal evidence indicates that your points could show up as soon as a couple of days after your billing cycle ends.

Card spend

ThankYou points earned via everyday card spend will be posted to your account within days after your statement closes. Bonus points accrued through special offers, however, could take an additional billing cycle or two to show up.

Unfortunately, you may have to wait a bit longer to receive all of the points you earn with the Citi® Double Cash Card, which has a somewhat unconventional rewards program: You get 1 percent cash back when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay off that purchase. So, cardholders who don’t pay their bill in full every month will experience delays in getting that second 1 percent.

Discover

Welcome bonuses

Though it doesn’t offer a traditional welcome bonus, Discover provides an even match of all the cash back or miles you earn at the end of your first year — which can be even more lucrative for new Discover it® Cash Back and Discover it® Miles cardholders.

In fact, Discover’s Cashback Match applies from the day your account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods (or 365 days, whichever is longer). Once that much time has passed, your matched rewards will show up in your rewards account within two billing periods. Sure, that’s a long time to wait, but with no limit to how much the issuer will match, it could be well worth it.

Card spend

According to the fine print on Discover credit cards, rewards you earn via spending are added to your account within two billing periods. However, the reality is quite different — most cardholders seeing their cash back or miles added to their Discover account when their credit card statement closes after each billing cycle.

U.S. Bank

Welcome bonuses

U.S. Bank credit card customers should allow one to two billing cycles for welcome bonuses to be credited to their rewards balance once they meet the minimum spend, depending on the card. That said, those points could show up shortly after your statement closing date as well, and it’s commonly the case.

Card spend

Pending points accumulate in your U.S. Bank rewards account as you earn them, but they won’t become available for redemption until your statement generates. And in some cases (as with FlexPoints, for instance), it could take one to two billing cycles for bonus FlexPoints to show up in your rewards account. That said, redemption requirements vary by card, so you may not be able to use those rewards until you accrue the minimum.

Wells Fargo

Welcome bonuses

Like other card issuers, Wells Fargo has some fine print that explains its process when it comes to posting a welcome bonus to your account. For the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, for example, Wells Fargo says the $200 in welcome cash rewards “will show as redeemable within 1-2 billing periods after they are earned.”

Card spend

Points earned in the Wells Fargo Rewards program show up in your account after your statement closes, per details released by the issuer.

What if my points aren’t showing up?

It’s easy to get frustrated if your credit card rewards aren’t in your account when you think they should be. If you want to find out when your points will arrive, calling your card issuer is the easiest thing to do. You can also send an email through your account or use the live chat feature. Before you do, double-check your statements to make sure you’ve spent enough on eligible purchases — certain items, such as gift cards, may not count toward the minimum spend.

Most card issuers also have their own mobile apps that let you seamlessly track rewards earned on specific purchases. The Chase mobile banking app is a good example since it lets you see and track your Chase Ultimate Rewards points all in one place. Other apps to log into to check your rewards include the Amex mobile app and the Discover app, to name a few.

If your rewards are slower than normal after you check, you might even be able to speed things up a bit. Here’s how:

  • Ask to expedite the process. In some cases, asking your issuer if you can access your points earlier than usual might do the trick, especially if it’s a time-sensitive situation, like when you need to book a flight or hotel stay at the last minute. There’s no guarantee this will work, but there’s no harm in asking.
  • Hit the minimum spend as quickly as possible. This one’s pretty self-explanatory — the sooner you reach the spend requirement on a welcome bonus, the sooner those points will hit your account. Planning your qualifying purchases ahead of time makes this easier.
  • Switch your statement’s closing date. Most banks issue rewards at the end of a billing cycle. Moving up your statement closing date as a new cardholder could help you get your hands on that welcome bonus faster if you meet all other requirements.
  • Pay your bill as soon as it arrives. Some issuers, including American Express, don’t make your rewards available for redemption until they receive your minimum payment.

Bottom line

While most people would probably enjoy having instant access to their credit card rewards, the vast majority of banks and issuers just don’t operate that way. That said, our research found that in many cases, cash back, miles and points will be posted to your account faster than what’s outlined in your card’s terms and conditions.

If you know you’ll need a welcome bonus or a certain number of points for a planned redemption, it helps to get ahead of the game: Apply early, meet the spend requirement as quickly as you can and always make your payments on time.

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.

Credit Card Rate Report
Reward
18.00%
Student
18.66%
Airline
17.81%
Business
16.07%
Cash Back
17.95%

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