How to Meet Minimum Spend Requirements | Spending Tips to Get Your Bonus

Hi there, it's Ernest from Trip Astute In this video, we're discussing some strategies for meeting minimum spend requirements on your credit card

(light chiming music) If you're watching this video, then you've probably discovered how lucrative credit card points are to earning free travel and other rewards However, when applying for these cards, there's often a requirement to spend a certain amount in order to get the opening bonus This is called the minimum spend requirement, and there's no shortage of tactics for overcoming this hurdle For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve currently has a 50,000 point bonus if you spend four thousand within the first three months of opening your account Most of us don't have enough everyday spending to meet this requirement, so I'll be sharing a couple of tips that I use when working on spend requirements

Number one: Monthly utility bills This includes your electricity, gas, cable, and internet bills If you're not using credit cards to pay for these charges, you may want to shift some of your spending onto a specific card Also, if you have a bill that is reoccurring and generally the same amount, you can offer to prepay on the account to create a credit balance That way, you're just front-loading future month payments now in order to meet short-term minimum spend requirements

Number two: Auto insurance Paying the balance of your auto insurance bill can be a great way to generate a large purchase For example, my auto insurance bill is for a six month term and I'll often pay the entire balance upon renewal on a card that has a minimum spend requirement Also, some insurance companies will give you a small break if you pay upfront rather than paying the charge monthly Since we're based in LA, our auto insurance is fairly high, so it's nice putting the large charge to good use

Number three: Rent or mortgage Since most landlords and banks will not accept credit cards as payments, you can use services like Plastiq or Tio, formerly known as ChargeSmart Keep in mind that these services will charge a processing fee, typically around two to three percent It's not the best way to meet minimum spend, but I've used this method in the past and justified paying the fee knowing that I would be earning a bonus valued at over a thousand dollars Number four: Student loans or tuition

If your school or lender doesn't allow for credit card payments, you can use the same method that we just described earlier using Plastiq or Tio Number five: Taxes You can often pay your income, business, or property taxes with a credit card Though keep in mind that there is usually around a two percent fee to pay with a card, so like Plastiq and Tio, make sure you calculate the costs to use your card and the benefit you expect to receive from the bonus Number six: Down payment on a car

If you're in the market for a car you can often pay your down payment with a credit card This is an awesome way to meet your minimum spend in just one purchase Just be sure to verify with the dealership that the card is processed as a purchase and not a cash advance Cash advances will not qualify toward your minimum spend and will generate a lot of fees Just be sure to ask before handing over your card

Number seven: Reimbursable business expenses If you work for a company that allows you to use your personal card then seek reimbursement, then I would suggest volunteering to pay for the next happy hour or event If you can float the charge until you get reimbursed, this can be a great way to get through your spend requirement Number eight: Charity Donating to a charity is a great way to meet your minimum spend and potentially earn a tax deduction

Number nine: Kiva One of the most unique methods that I have used to meet minimum spend is by making a micro-finance loan via Kiva Kiva allows you to directly loan money to an entrepreneur in a developing country You can sort by country and business type, and research the stories before committing to the loan Once you pick your borrower, you donate via PayPal fee free, and you can expect be paid back in full without interest

Keep in mind that there is risk of the loan defaulting so I wouldn't suggest this method if your cash flow is tight However, I made a loan in the past and was repaid within a year It was a great way to make a difference in the world while earning points as well Lastly, there are other creative ways that people use to generate spend on their cards These purchases are often referred to as "manufactured spending"

The concept is that you purchase items that you can then use to pay yourself back There have been a ton of ways to do this in the past, from buying coins via the US Mint then depositing back into your bank account, to buying prepaid Visa and MasterCards as well as money orders, then deposited them back into a checking account that allow these funding sources These tactics tend to work for a short time until the issuers figure it out or the rules change I typically do not recommend engaging in manufactured spending as you not only put your relationship with a lender at risk, but also your personal finances Some of these methods, like buying money orders, can get you flagged for money laundering by the government, so you definitely want to avoid the headache

The only type of manufactured spending that I do these days is buy gift cards every once in a while from the store and use a card that earns bonus points If you want more details, check out our video on the subject called "Earning Points and Cash with Gift Cards" I definitely do not abuse the practice though The last thing I would want is to lose my points because an issuer canceled my card account In fact, I'm very grateful for my credit cards as they have allowed me to travel for free for many years

As always, I recommend that you only spend within your means and make sure that your finances are in order before getting too deep into this hobby If you need help getting organized, please check out our "Before Starting the Points Hobby" video for more details Do you have any tips or tricks for meeting the minimum spend requirements on your new credit cards? If so, please share them in the comment section below Also, let us know if you have any questions If you enjoyed this video or found it useful, please hit the "like" button and consider subscribing to our channel

It's completely free and you'll get notifications on all our new posts Until next time, travel safe and travel smart

Source: Youtube

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