How to meet credit card minimum spend requirements
One of the problems with credit card sign-up bonuses is that many have large spend requirements. For example, the current public offer for the Chase Ink Plus requires $5K in spend in 3 months to get the bonus. Most cards have more modest requirements, but even those can be a challenge. Below are some tips and tricks that can be used to increase credit card spend without breaking the bank.
#1: Pay everything by credit card
This is obvious, but it’s worth stating. Anytime you spend money, you should see whether you can pay with your credit card. Each time you do, you’ll earn more points and you’ll inch your way closer to meeting minimum spend requirements. Take a look at how you pay utilities, cable bills, insurance, etc. In many cases credit cards are allowed. Expenses like these can add up fast!
#2: Kiva Micro-Loans
Kiva is a nonprofit organization that provides micro-loans to enterprising individuals around the world so that they may earn their own way out of poverty. You can make loans using your credit card for as little as $25 each. Kiva reports that 98.96% of loans have paid back. For details about this, see “Minimum spend requirements? Kivalens to the rescue.”
#3: Pay your taxes
Usually there are options with both income taxes and property taxes to pay with a credit card. Yes, you will be hit with an extra fee, but if you’re trying to spend a few thousand dollars in a hurry, that fee might be worth it!
#4: Pay your bills
Payment services Plastiq, ChargeSmart, and RadPad allow you to pay bills such as tuition, rent or mortgage payments using credit cards. Watch out for their fees, though, they can be steep.
#5: Coordinate Events
Recently a friend bought a package of basketball tickets for about 15 people and asked each person to pay her back. She coordinated this so that we would all have seats together, but she also got to spend a lot of money on her credit card. I just hope she was using a cash or points earning card!
#6: Prepay Insurance
Most insurance companies allow you to pay with credit cards. In some cases, when paying an insurance bill, you can opt to overpay simply by typing in a larger number.
#7: Give to Charity
Most charitable organizations accept credit cards, so consider using yours to donate. Except for Capital One, credit card companies charge transaction fees for charitable donations so consider giving a little extra to cover that expense.
The default option, when walking out of the doctor’s office or hospital, is usually to have the healthcare provider seek payment from your health insurance company. Another option may be to pay up front, and get sent a check once the healthcare provider is paid by the insurance company. Each provider has different policies so make sure to ask.
#9: Buy Gift Cards for future spend
If you really need to get your spending up in the short term, one easy option is to buy yourself gift cards that you know you will use in the future. Grocery store and gas gift cards are two good examples. Gift Card Wiki is a good site to use to find discounted cards so that you can save some money too! Another option is to buy bank gift cards. For more info on that, see: Best options for buying Visa and MasterCard gift cards.
Many stores that fall in bonus categories also sell merchant gift cards. Depending on the card you are trying to hit minimum spend on, you may be able to earn additional points. For example the Chase Ink Plus earns 5X at office supply stores. If you are looking to meet the minimum spend on that card, you can earn additional points by getting gift cards at Staples or another office supply store.
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