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News: Do Credit Card Annual Fees Count Towards Sign-Up Bonus Requirements? -

We all love bonuses, especially generous welcome offers on credit cards. However, in most cases, you have to reach a minimum spend requirement to qualify for a welcome offer. The bigger the welcome bonus, the bigger the spending requirement. And the best, the most generous bonuses tend to be from premium credit cards with big fees. So it is quite logical to wonder if that annual fee counts toward bonus spending requirements.

Spoiler: it doesn't.

Most credit card issuers clearly state that annual fees do not count as bonus spending requirements. The spending requirements are net purchases only. The annual fee is not a purchase - it's a fee - therefore, it won't count towards your sign-up bonus requirements.

Here are other transactions that won't count towards your bonus requirements:

- balance transfers,

- fees and interest payments,

- cash advances,

- travelers checks,

- money orders,

- wire transfers,

- lottery tickets,

- purchases or reloading of prepaid cards,

- unauthorized or fraudulent charges,

- any returns or refunds.

The list of transactions that do not qualify as "purchases" is provided in the terms and conditions of every credit card.

Thus, when you track your spending to be sure you don't miss the deadline to qualify for the welcome bonus offer, you will need to subtract any non-purchase transactions, like the ones mentioned above. Also, to make sure you earn that bonus, you can spend an extra couple of hundred dollars on eligible purchases above the minimum spending requirement just to have a buffer.