The window to meet the minimum spending requirement begins on the date that your credit card application is approved, not when you receive or activate the card.
Many credit cards require you to spend a certain amount of money within a certain period after you’re approved for the card in order to obtain the advertised signup bonus. Most commonly, you have to spend a certain amount within the first three months, as is the case for virtually all of the American Express cards.
The three-month window always begins on the date of approval. Usually it’ll take up to seven business days for you to receive the card in the mail, so in reality you have about 2.5 months’ time to meet the spending requirement. Keep in mind that once your card is approved, the clock is ticking whether you actually activate the card or not, so it’s best to start working towards the spending requirement as soon as you receive the card in the mail.
If you’ve forgotten which date your application was approved and need to clarify the exact end-date of your three-month window, you can always call the issuer to confirm.
Last updated 17 November 2018. Any questions? Contact me.