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Now may seem like a strange time to apply for a new credit card. Many of us only apply for a new credit card when we can meet the signup bonus spending requirements. Because circumstances are not normal, however, several banks are extending signup bonus offers by three months to buy you more time. These card issuers are extending signup bonus requirements that might be appealing to you.
American Express was the first bank to start extending the welcome bonuses. They also have one of the most flexible extension policies. Here is the current Amex policy:
“Due to the impact of COVID-19, for eligible Card accounts approved from December 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020 for which you are eligible for a welcome offer, the period to make eligible purchases to earn your welcome bonus will be extended for an additional 3 months. Eligible Cards are U.S. Consumer and Business Cards issued by American Express National Bank to a Basic Card Member.”
You have an automatic 3-month extension for all personal and business American Express credit cards you open between December 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020. Amex states the 3-month extension applies to accounts opened in June 2020, as long as you apply by May 31, 2020.
For instance, you now have six months instead of having three months to meet the minimum spend. If you have a 6-month bonus on an eligible card, it’s now nine months.
Of course, the American Express “once in a lifetime” policy still applies. If you earned an Amex Platinum signup bonus before, you won’t be able to qualify for a repeat bonus.
Chase is currently extending signup bonuses for new accounts opened between January 1, 2020, and March 31, 2020, by three months. It appears this extension applies to personal and business credit cards. As most Chase credit cards have a 3-month spending window, you now have up to 6 months.
Like the infamous “5/24 application rule,” Chase isn’t publishing its extension policy.
Instead, various data points from other credible sites and testimonies from recent applicants confirm the policy. Chase is sending private emails to people with qualifying accounts.
If you’re not sure if you qualify for an extension, try sending a secure message to Chase. Most customer service phone lines have above-average wait times during this pandemic, so sending a message online or through the Chase app may be better.
As we don’t know if Chase will extend bonus offers for April and May applications yet, you might consider getting an American Express credit card first. If applying for a Chase credit card, apply with the anticipation of meeting the signup bonus spending window listed in the offer details when you apply.
Bank of America
Bank of America has a 3-month extension policy similar to Chase. You have six months to meet the spending requirement for credit cards you open between January 1, 2020, and March 31, 2020. It remains unclear if this bonus extension applies to new accounts you open on April 1, 2020, or later.
Capital One is reportedly extending signup bonuses on a case-by-case basis. You will need to contact Capital One customer service to request an extension. It can be best to call two weeks before your bonus period ends as you and Cap One will have a better prediction on how much of an extension you may need.
Keep in mind that Capital One doesn’t guarantee an extension for any applicant. You should do everything possible to make a good faith effort to earn the bonus.
While the Capital One policy isn’t as generous as American Express, it’s possible to get an extension. Just note that most banks are not currently offering a signup bonus extension to the general public.
Best Credit Card Signup Bonus Extensions
Here are some of the cards you may focus on first thanks to the extended bonus period. Additionally, you may want to check some of the best limited-time credit card offers available.
The Platinum Card from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express has one of the most valuable welcome bonuses but also one of the highest spending requirements. You will need to spend $5,000 in the first six months if you apply by May 31, 2020. It’s possible to earn 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards if you apply and qualify with the CardMatch™ tool. The 100,000 Membership Rewards are worth $1,000 in award flights.
This card comes with many travel benefits you can enjoy when the skies re-open to air travel:
- $200 airline fee credit
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit
- Airport lounge access
- FINE Hotels and Resorts credit ~average total value of $550
- Automatic Hilton Honors Gold and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
- 1:1 airline point transfers
- Earn 5x Membership Rewards on most airline and hotel bookings
The annual fee is $550 (See Rates & Fees), but these benefits can easily be worth a lot more.
Learn more: Johnny Jet Recommended Credit Cards
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the best credit cards for grocery purchases and daily spend. As these are frequent purchases, especially in times like this, you will earn cash rewards.
The welcome offer is $250 back when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of account opening. You will earn up to 6% back on purchases with the Blue Cash Preferred Card:
- 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $6,000 per year then 1% back)
- 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
- 3% back on transit and U.S. gas stations
- 1% back on everything else
The annual fee is $95 (See Rates & Fees), but the 6% bonus categories make it easy to maximize your spending power. Cash back comes in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Additionally, Plan It gives cardholders the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest.
Learn more: Rewards Credit Cards
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card
One of the best small business credit cards to consider right now is the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. You have the chance to earn 100,000 bonus Chase Ultimate Rewards, but you must spend $15,000 in the first three months. This bonus is worth $1,250 in award travel you book on the Chase travel portal.
You will earn 3x Ultimate Rewards on the first $150,000 in combined annual purchases:
- Shipping purchases
- Internet, cable and phone services
- Social media and search engine advertising
Your points are worth 25% more when booking award travel on the Chase travel portal. You can also transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to airline and hotel partners, including United, Southwest, Avianca, British Airways, and Hyatt.
The annual fee is $95 for the primary card and $0 for each additional employee card.
Related: Best small business credit cards
Some banks are extending signup bonus requirements this spring, so you can still earn a signup bonus. We don’t know if banks will continue to offer extensions. Now can be an excellent time to get a bonus so you’re ready to book award travel again soon.
Is American Express extending welcome offer spending requirements?
Yes, American Express is currently extending the spending requirements for new personal and small business credit card welcome offers. Any approved application you submit on a qualifying card between December 1, 2019, and May 31, 2020, gets an extra three months.
For example, you have six months to spend $1,000 instead of the usual three months. Despite the spending extension, all Amex welcome offers can only be earned once for each card.
Read the offer terms and conditions to make sure you qualify before you apply.
Is Chase extending the credit card signup bonus requirements?
Chase is currently allowing new personal and business credit cards opened between January 1, 2020, and March 31, 2020, an additional three months to meet the sign-up bonus spending requirements. If you qualify for this extension, Chase will send you an email with the revised bonus offer requirements.
How often can you apply for Amex cards?
You can apply for up to two new American Express credit cards within 90 days. American Express will most likely decline your 3rd application.
This restriction only applies to credit cards that have a preset spending limit. Charge cards like the Platinum Card from American Express don’t have a preset card limit and don’t count toward the “2 in 90 rule.”
One final rule to watch out for is having up to 5 American Express cards. You can have a combined amount of 5 personal and business credit cards at one time. This restriction includes charge cards and credit cards.
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For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.