One of the most common concerns people voice to me about opening credit cards is their ability (or lack thereof) to meet minimum spending requirements. Here are a few ways you can meet minimum spending requirements without buying lots of things that you don’t need.
Click here for a detailed post about Plastiq.
Plastiq allows you to pay several types of bills that you wouldn’t normally be able to pay with a credit card. Here are some examples:
- mortgage (you can only use Mastercard for mortgage. See this post for more details)
- car note
- student loans
There is a 2.5% fee, but they occasionally run deals where certain types of cards are less. If you’re trying to meet minimum spend, the fees are more than worth it.
- At 2.5%, that’s $25 per $1,000.
- The welcome bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card requires $4,000 in spend.
- Now I’m assuming you have at least some regular spending that can be paid with a credit card but let’s say worst case scenario you have to spend the entire $4000 by using Plastiq.
- You would pay $100 in fees for $4000.
- If you’re getting the kind of value we often get out of Ultimate Rewards (2 cents per point) on the the 60,000 points you receive from the sign-up bonus, those points are worth $1,200.
$100 for points potentially worth $1200 or more is a no-brainer.
But let’s play devil’s advocate. Some people may be worried about being able to redeem at a value of 2 cents per point. Well, if you don’t want to bother with transfer partners, you can redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points through their redemption portal. At the very minimum, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1.25 cents per point if you choose to use them in Chase’s redemption portal (as opposed to transfer partners). So 60,000 points are worth $750. $100 for $750 is still a great deal!
Use my referral code & pay $500 worth of bills to get 500 fee-free dollars. Note that you must first pay $500 with the fee (2.5% so $12.50 in fees) to get the 500 fee-free dollars, but again this could be worth it to meet a minimum spend. If it asks for a referral code use 573475.
2. Prepay utilities
Some utility companies will allow you to overpay. The overpayment will be applied to the next month’s payment
3. Prepay insurance (house or car)
Many insurance companies offer discounts if you pay 6 months or a year at a time rather than monthly payments. So assuming you can afford to pay the entire year, you might actually be saving money by doing this.
4. Pay everything on your credit card
Duh. By this I mean pay things that you can already pay with a credit card such as groceries and gas.
5. Use your credit card, not your FSA debit card
If you have a Flexible Spending Account debit card, don’t use it. Always use your credit card and then file the claim to get reimbursed. Most FSAs make it very easy to upload receipts for reimbursement directly to your bank account
6. Gift cards
Buy gift cards for places you will shop anyway. If you shop at Amazon all the time, why not buy a $500 gift card? Bonus: you can go through United’s shopping portal app for many retailers to earn even more points! It’s like double dipping.
Another way to double dip is if you have a card that has a grocery store bonus category. You can buy gift cards at grocery stores and earn even more points per dollar.
Note: Do not do this with Amex. At least not often and with large amounts.
You can also buy Visa or MasterCard gift cards. These have a fee of $4-7, but it gives you plenty of spending options. Amex also has gift cards and if you have an Amex credit card or charge card they often run specials for fee-free gift cards.
7. Use Venmo or PayPal to pay friends
But note that there are fees to use a credit card. This is only a suggestion for meeting minimum spend, not for regular use.
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