When Does Citi Card Sign Up Bonus Period Begin and End?

I made a huge gigantic oops recently that I think might help many of you out there. In February my wife signed up for the Citi AAdvantage Executive Visa Card. The card included a huge 100,000 mile sign up bonus if you spent $10,000 within “3 months of becoming a cardmember.”  We were consumed by buying a home, and I put off monitoring the spend on her card until after we closed on our home. Yesterday, I calculated all the spend on the card and found out we were less than $1,000 from hitting the magical $10,000 spending requirement to earn the sign up bonus. I immediately went back to check on when we applied. This is what I found out:

  • Application and approval date was February 4
  • Expiration of bonus period May 5
  • Citi account opening date February 4 (exactly 90 days before May 5th)

We had missed the minimum spending expiration date by just 2 days! No 100,000 miles. Ouch! I guess we went in knowing that the minimum spending requirement was high, and the spending period was relatively short (3 months), but it does hurt to fall short of our goal.

When Does Citi Sign Up Bonus Period End?

From my data above the sign up bonus period to complete your minimum spend will be exactly 90 days from your application date. This seems a little unfair because Citi doesn’t actually open your account for a day or two after approving your application, and even more frustrating is the fact that you don’t actually receive your card for at least 3-5 business days after your application, which are valuable days you could put purchases on the card.

I had mistakenly assumed that Citi would start the minimum spending period from the date the account was actually opened, which might be when you receive the card, but more likely the day the account is officially opened in their system. I was wrong. They start your spending period on the day that you apply, or possibly if your account is not approved until later it could potentially be the date that you call their reconsideration line and get approved.

Either way next time I am certainly not going to take any chances and complete the minimum spending well ahead of the 90 day requirement.


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