Writing a Strong Bonus Request Letter [Free Samples]

A bonus request letter is something that most people are excited to receive. With many companies tightening their belts, bonuses are becoming a rarity and not part of a standard compensation package. However, there are times in a career when it may be pertinent to ask for a bonus.

If an employee has done more than what is expected, or they have went out of their way to do an exceptional job, then asking for a bonus is a reasonable request. This is not a raise, the bonus request letter is for something that is above and beyond the call of duty.

Legitimate Reason

An employee usually has a financial need to ask for a bonus, or they feel that they have a legitimate reason. Regardless of the motivation, the best way to request an increase or bonus is in a letter. The letter should be formal in nature, and it should be addressed to the main supervisor. 

Start With The Date

Start with the date, full address of the company, and send it to the attention of whomever can approve or deny this request. Address them directly, like “Dear Mr. Smith” rather than using the first name alone. 

A supervisor should have some respect and addressing them by their first name in a letter of this nature is not appropriate. 

The only exception would be if the person writing the correspondence has a close bond with the supervisor, and they were on a first name basis.

First Paragraph

The first paragraph should start out with the request and the rest of the letter needs to provide concrete evidence why this should be granted.

If there is a specific amount that is being requested, then there should be some sort of basis for this amount. Prove why this amount is necessary.

If it is an extra pay for the period, the employee needs to show why they feel they are deserving of this increase. Not all people who write this type of letter will get approval. There are many factors that come into play. 

For instance, the employees’ record, and the type of work they do is a big factor in whether or not this request will be granted. Be specific in the request and make sure it is understood why this increase should be given.

Second Paragraph

Paragraph two should be where a person goes into the details of why this increase is deserved. This is a time when a person can pat themselves on the back a bit.

There are many reasons why someone would ask for a bonus, one would be working on a project and not receiving compensation for it.

Salary employees can be required to work as many hours as a company needs, whenever they need it. However, when an hourly employee takes work home or is working off the clock, they should be reimbursed for the extra time they have devoted.

Here are samples of a bonus request letter for someone who has done beyond what their normal job entails. It is just an example of one style of letter.

Sample 1 - Bonus Request Letter


Carmichael Company
9095 Sycamore Blvd.
Motor City, IN 85698
Attn: Jamie Smith

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am writing to request a bonus for my recent work in a project for the companies HR department. The billboards designed were done on my own time and to help resolve employee shortages.

By reviewing my personnel record, you will see that I am an hourly employee, not salary. I logged over 50 hours of extra work on this project, all of which I have not been reimbursed for.

While I don’t mind helping out a bit with projects and extra assignments, my hours have exceeded an acceptable amount of time to donate without payment.

Because of the shortages at the company, many people are working overtime and longer hours. I knew how import it was, to make sure that these signs were done, so HR can begin to promote our company at job fairs.

I know that salary employees don’t have a say, but I am hourly and I have not been compensated for all this extra time.

After working more than weeks’ worth of extra time to help the company out, I feel that I should be reimbursed. I have been with the company for a long time, 12 years to be exact.

I have never had a write-up, an occurrence or anything. I have devoted myself to this company and always made sure that the best interests of Carmichael Company was protected.

My normal salary is $1,050 a week, or $26.25 an hour. I worked an additional 10 hours over a normal workweek, and at time and a half, that would be $328.12. The materials I spent on this project were $798.29.

This includes signage, paints, paintbrushes and other misc. items. I am requesting a total of $2176.41 to cover my time and expenses. I look forward to discussing this with you soon. I can be reached by phone anytime at 755-895-5987.


Rachelle Hilton

Sample 2 - Bonus Request Letter

Subject: Bonus Request

Dear Carrie,

I have been an employee of G.A.L. Corporation for 14 years. I have proudly served as the head accountant and made sure to meticulously watch the books. It has come to my attention that my salary is not sufficient for the amount of work that I am required to do.

Other positions with my work load are paying an average of $56,000 a year, while I am brining home $35,000. I know that this company cannot pay me a salary of this amount, but I am requesting a 20 percent bonus.

In my tenure with the company, I have helped through vigorous IRS audits and have always passed any reviews with flying colors. 

I have remained dedicated to the firm, even when there was a complete split back in [20xx] and entirely new administration took over. Dedication like this is not easy to find and therefore I feel my request is reasonable.

I look forward to speaking with you in person regarding this matter.


Tamara Green

Sample 3 - Promised Bonus Request Letter

Subject: Promised Bonus Request

Dear Luke,

I am writing to inquire about the bonus that was promised to me. As we discussed, I was told that I would receive a bonus of [Amount] for [Reason/Performance].

I have not yet received this bonus and I was wondering if there has been any update on when it will be paid. I have been working hard and have exceeded [Expectations/Goals] and believe that I am entitled to this bonus.

Could you please provide me with an update on the status of my bonus? I would greatly appreciate it if you could let me know when I can expect to receive it.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to hearing from you.


James House

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is a bonus request letter?

Answer: A bonus request letter is a formal written document addressed to an employer or superior, requesting a bonus or additional compensation beyond the usual salary or benefits. 

It outlines the reasons why the employee believes they deserve the bonus and may include details of their achievements, contributions, or exceptional performance.

Q: When should I write a bonus request letter?

Answer: You should write a bonus request letter when you believe you have valid reasons to request additional compensation, such as outstanding performance, exceeding targets, accomplishing significant goals, taking on extra responsibilities, or contributing to the success of a project or the company as a whole.

Q: How should I format a bonus request letter?

Answer: A bonus request letter should generally follow a professional business letter format. Include your contact information, the date, the recipient’s name and job title, a formal salutation, a clear and concise body explaining your reasons for requesting the bonus, and a polite closing. It’s important to maintain a respectful and professional tone throughout the letter.

Q: What should I include in a bonus request letter?

Answer: In a bonus request letter, you should include specific details and examples of your achievements, contributions, and any exceptional performance that justifies the request. 

Explain how your efforts have positively impacted the company or team, and provide evidence of meeting or surpassing goals. Additionally, you can mention any additional responsibilities you have taken on or any challenges you have successfully overcome.

Q: How should I approach the topic of a bonus in the letter?

Answer: When addressing the topic of a bonus in the letter, be direct but tactful. Clearly state that you are requesting a bonus and explain why you believe you deserve it based on your performance and contributions. Emphasize the value you have added to the company and highlight any specific achievements or results that showcase your impact.

Q: Is there a specific tone I should maintain in a bonus request letter?

Answer: Yes, it’s crucial to maintain a professional and respectful tone throughout the letter. Avoid sounding entitled or demanding. Instead, focus on presenting your case logically, providing evidence of your accomplishments, and expressing gratitude for the opportunities you have been given. A polite and appreciative tone increases the likelihood of a positive response.

Q: Should I mention my salary or compensation package in the bonus request letter?

Answer: It is not necessary to mention your current salary or compensation package in the bonus request letter unless it is directly relevant to your request. The focus should be on your performance and contributions that justify the bonus, rather than comparing your salary to others or discussing your compensation in detail.

Q: Is it appropriate to mention personal financial needs in a bonus request letter?

Answer: Generally, it is not recommended to mention personal financial needs in a bonus request letter. The letter should primarily focus on your professional achievements and contributions. However, if there are specific circumstances that are impacting your financial situation and are directly related to your request for a bonus, you may briefly mention them in a professional and non-emotional manner.

Q: How long should a bonus request letter be?

Answer: A bonus request letter should be concise and to the point. It is recommended to keep it to one page if possible. Focus on the most relevant information and use clear and straightforward language to convey your message effectively.

Q: What should I do after sending a bonus request letter?

Answer: After sending a bonus request letter, it’s important to be patient and await a response from the recipient. Give them an appropriate amount of time to review your request and consider it. In the meantime, continue to perform your duties and responsibilities diligently. If you don’t receive a response within a reasonable timeframe, it may be appropriate to follow up with a polite inquiry.

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