When you apply for a new credit card, you have a limited amount of time to meet the spending requirement to earn the sign-up bonus. A small hiccup that people often get caught up in is that the clock starts the day you’re approved and it can take several days to over a week to receive your card in the mail. Some banks will expedite the shipment of a new card, occasionally for an additional fee. Premium cards like the Sapphire Reserve or AMEX Platinum will arrive in just a day or two, often in a very fancy-looking box. I mean, you have to get something for your $500 annual fee, right?
On February 14th, after considering several other options (Note from Sharon: Not good ones), I applied and was instantly approved for the American Express Gold card. The following day I received an email from FedEx telling me that my card was on its way by Overnight Delivery and should be at my door the following evening.
My card made it as far as Memphis, TN. Where it sat. And sat. And sat. Until now.
I totally understand. There was a massive snowstorm that disrupted the system.
Winter weather has created hazardous conditions across the U.S. and caused substantial disruptions at the FedEx Express Hub in Memphis. Our top priority is the safety and well-being of our team members, as well as providing the highest level of service to our customers. Delays are possible for FedEx pickups and deliveries across the U.S. at this time. Scanning and tracking information may also be delayed. These potential service disruptions may result in different levels of impact depending on geographic area
At the moment of this writing, here’s what the FedEx site says for when my new card will arrive:
No scheduled delivery date available at this time.
Why does this matter? Because AMEX isn’t going to extend the amount of time to meet that spending requirement. You still only have 3 months from the approval date and we’re already a week in and no card in hand to make purchases. What if you signed up for the card because you knew there was a large expense you knew was coming and planned on putting on the card to meet the spending requirement? If so, you might be screwed.
So why am I not that worried about it? Several things are keeping me calm right now.
- I have 6 months to meet the $4,000 spending requirement
- American Express gave me my card number after I was approved, allowing me to pay for online charges
I’ve been able to pay an insurance and medical bill online with the card, so I’ve been able to start meeting the minimum spend. Even if that wasn’t the case, I still have 6 months.
If I only had 3 months to meet a $10,000 spending requirement and had a $5,000 bill coming up this week that I had to pay with a physical card, I might be freaking out a bit.
I’ll keep following the tracking link to make sure the package isn’t lost but as long as I can keep using the card to make online payments, I should stay on track to meet the spending requirement.
These are the little things that you don’t think about until they happen. Now that it’s happened, I’m glad that it’s not a huge problem for me.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary