US Bank business card employee spend does not count towards spend requirements

Consider this a public service announcement…

A reader reports that she did not earn the full signup bonus from the US Bank Club Carlson Business Rewards Visa card because she attempted to meet part of the minimum spend requirement through spend on an employee card.  Specifically, the signup offer for the card she applied for was (and still is at the time of this writing): 50,000 points after first purchase plus an additional 35,000 points after $2,500 spend in three months.  She reports spending more than $2,500 in three months, but had split the spending across two cards: her own and her son’s (which is an employee card on her account).  The reader reports that she received the 50,000 points after first purchase, but not the additional 35,000 points.  When she called to inquire, a supervisor told her that the requirement for the 35,000 point bonus was to spend all $2,500 on her own card.

Apparently, a brochure that comes with this card states the following (bolding is mine):

…For clarification, the First Purchase Bonus and Spend Bonus (collectively referred to as the “New Account Bonus”) are awarded solely based on transaction activity made with the business owner’s Account.

Of course, a reasonable person would consider spend on an employee card to be activity in the business owner’s account since all charges go to the one account.  Apparently, though, that is not how US Bank interprets that sentence. 

In my experience with other credit card issuers, spend put on employee cards and authorized user cards usually do count towards minimum spend requirements.  I know, for example, that I’ve met spend requirements that way with Chase and Amex personal and business cards and have always received the bonus, as expected.  Be careful when signing up for US Bank business cards, though.  It appears that you must meet the spend requirements on the primary card only.

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. I dont understand US Bank mentality, either cards will net the bank with business profits, why then make this distinction and separation between the cards spend. It can be concluded as dishonest and sneeky business pratice

  2. Wow – that is crap – i didnt even get the 50k first purchase bonus on mine. I emailed CS and they were completely clueless. Thanks for the heads up though – i still have a month to meet my spend (just have to start over 🙁

  3. A few months ago, we got caught in this too. Luckily, I had called in to get my husband to list me as the Account Manager, and in the course of the conversation said I’d be doing the spend on my card; that would that qualify, right? I was just making conversation and that was what popped into my mind, I had no idea it was an issue at all. The CSR said that would be fine.

    When the points did not post, I spoke with a variety of clueless CSRs. (One of them who had no explanation for me even gave me 4000 points for my trouble.) I finally got a supervisor. I told him that I thought I’d mentioned it in a conversation with a CSR when we had opened the account. He ultimately listened to a tape of that conversation (!!) and eventually called me to say that since the CSR had agreed it was OK, he was recommending we get the points. Which indeed happened.

    Ironically when I asked exactly where it said that it had to be the business owner’s spend only, no one could answer the question. As FM said, it appears not in the T&C (I read them after this happened) but just in a brochure that comes with the card.

    The supervisor said they would be looking into it, in terms of making it more clear to the CSRs as well as the customers. Until then, I guess it is one more reason to more carefully review all the stuff they send with a new CC!

  4. Thanks! I was wondering why I was not getting the spending bonus. Now I have a month to get the final $700 spend. Your article saved me 35000 points. Very cool.

  5. Yes I ran into this too. Keep in mind, if you request a card for an “authorized user”, that card will be considered an employee card whose spending does not accrue to the min. spend requirement.

  6. I also just read that spending on employee cards for US Bank/Club Carlson does not earn points at all. Can anyone confirm?

    • You receive the points for employee spend…employee spend doesn’t count toward credit card sign-up bonus spend.

  7. bah. after five calls I finally got a CSR that confirmed owner account spend only for bonus. wish i had just searched this blog first. wasted way to much time with clueless csr’s telling me about opening dates and closing dates and 90 days… all to say Us bank got us too. met min spend with owner card and employee card. denied bonus. happily canceling card. unbelievable how difficult us bank is to work with and how murky their entire credit card interface is

  8. Yep got burned on this recently. Put entire spend on employee card. Brought it all the way to CFPB and the office of the president still denied it. The terms are so vague and unclear they shouldn’t even be enforceable. Ridiculous.

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