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There are few things as rewarding as a generous sign-up bonus. Credit card issuers offering you hundreds of dollars worth of points, miles, or just plain cash back can seem irresistible. But at the same time, earning these bonuses may not be as easy as it appears. There’s plenty of room for error along the way. (See also: Best Credit Cards That Offer Cash Bonuses)
The next time you are looking to score big on a credit card bonus, be careful to avoid these six mistakes.
1. Failing to Reach the Minimum Spending Amount
When it comes to sign-up bonuses, credit card issuers advertise the rewards in big bold print, but describe the minimum spending requirements in tiny type. Most credit cards require you to spend a certain amount within 90 days of account opening in order to earn the bonus. Calculate how much you’ll need to spend each billing period and whether you are confident that your regular budget and spending can accommodate it. You’ll have to plan ahead and make a list of all the places you’ll need to change your payment method (recurring subscriptions and other payment accounts). Do it as soon as possible so you don’t miss a charge.
2. Missing the Minimum Spending Deadline
When credit card issuers offer bonuses that must be earned within 90 days, it’s easy to misunderstand when the clock starts on the offer. The 90 days is based on when the account was opened, which is when your application was approved. Considering that it can take up to a week from issuing you a card to actually getting it in the mail, you may already be down 10 days by the time you have the card in hand. To be extra careful, you…