Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Welcome offers are one of the more exciting parts of getting a new credit card. However, you have to reach a minimum spend requirement.
Most mid- and top-tier credit cards also come with an annual fee. So that leads to the question: Do credit card annual fees count toward bonus spending requirements?
Do credit card annual fees count toward bonus spending requirements?
With large spending requirements, every dollar spent helps. Unfortunately, annual fees do not count toward bonus spending requirements. Most cards clearly state that fees — including annual fees — do not count toward your bonus spending threshold.
Unlike some complex parts of the points-earning process, there is no confusion here. Card issuers clearly state that annual fees don’t count as bonus spending requirements.
Here are the terms and conditions on The Platinum Card® from American Express, stating that rates and fees don’t count:
Similarly, here are the terms for the Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus, which clearly state that annual fees do not count:
Do you earn rewards points on your credit card’s annual fee?
No, you do not earn reward points on the annual fee on your credit card. That’s because annual fees are not deemed eligible purchases for earning rewards.
Here are the terms and conditions on the Chase Sapphire Reserve for earning rewards points, explicitly excluding annual fees:
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Related: The best no annual fee credit cards
While other policies vary significantly between card issuers, the answer on annual fees is almost universal: Your annual fee does not count toward your bonus spending requirement nor does it earn rewards points. You’ll need to make eligible purchases to earn bonus rewards. My advice is to spend an extra couple of hundred dollars above the minimum spending requirement just to include a buffer — and make sure to factor out your annual fee when determining this amount.
Related: Ways to meet the spending requirements and earn the bonus on a new card
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum card, click here.
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.