So, have you decided to churn out some credit cards for bonuses, but need to figure out how to meet the minimum spending requirements for your credit cards? Tony at moneysmylife.com writes a detailed article full of important information.
I am here to help. Having personally churned credit cards a number of times, I have gathered a set of go-to ways to meet the minimum spend requirements. When you’re applying for 4-6 credit cards at a time, you could be looking at around $10,000 to $15,000 that you need to spend within a few months.
Best Ways To Meet Card Bonus Minimum Spending
My forever favorite methods:
*Looks like this method is no longer an option!* Amazon Payments. Amazon Payments is a cool way to send money to people that lets you fund with either your bank account or even a credit card. The intention of this service is to allow you to use Amazon to make payments to merchants. The good news is, you can also send money using your new credit card to a friend. Your friend can then in turn send you the money back using their Amazon Payments account. Or, you could have your buddy give you cash. The service is free and it’s always better to use it for legitimate spending needs if possible.
Once you link your bank account to your Amazon Payments account, you’ll be able to send $1,000 each month using your new credit card. Be sure to choose “Goods and Services” as the reason for sending payment to avoid fees. This option is quite easy, so long as you know someone that can help you out on the receiving end. The $1,000/month cap is the only negative.
Gift Cards. By far Gift Cards are my go-to way of meeting credit card minimum spending requirements outside of regular everyday spending. It’s just like buying money that you can spend later on at your leisure. Gift Cards don’t expire and there are no fees after purchase.
I’d recommend getting gift cards to merchants that you regularly spend money at anyway, such as grocery store or supermarket gift cards. That’s because these merchant-specific gift cards don’t involve any purchase fees. I tend to go for $500 in Whole Foods gift cards because it’s another necessity for me. Definitely check out these sites where you can use gift cards at discounted rates:
- Gift Cards On Ebay (auctions will save you the most with patience)
For more versatility in being able to spend at any merchant that accepts credit cards, American Express and Visa Gift Cards are my other preferred option. They will both involve Purchase Fees ($3-$7) when acquired online or in a physical store, and Shipping Fees if purchased online. I depend on these gift cards for higher amounts, because I know I can spend them anywhere.
- Save money on American Express Gift Cards by using promo codes here
- Purchase Visa Gift Cards here
For my recent churn, I got $3,000 worth of Amex gift cards because promo codes were available to waive the Purchase Fees.
If you shop at Amazon.com often, definitely consider an Amazon Gift Card as well. There are no fees and it will never expire. I went with a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card myself recently; I figured it’d take too long to use up if I went any higher.
- Amazon Gift Card Details
*See all the best gift card ideas here
*Save/Make even more when you learn how to churn gift cards!
*Big Tip!* Citi credit cards are notorious for categorizing Visa and American Express gift card purchases as Cash Advances and will charge you the respective Cash Advance fees. I’d recommend purchasing a small denomination gift card with your new credit card to be safe (that’s what I do). You can also call customer service and ask them to lower your Cash Advance limit to $0 so that anything that would be categorized as a Cash Advance would then be declined.
Other Ways To Meet Minimum Spending Requirements
- Monthly Mortgage/Rent & Car: You can’t normally pay for these invoices by credit card directly, but 3rd party services likeChargeSmart(for Car & Mortgage) and WilliamPaid(for Rent) will allow you to use credit cards. As expected, there are fees involved with these options.
- Prepaid Cards: I’m throwing this in here to give some updated information as to why this isn’t really a good option anymore. You used to be able to buy Vanilla Reload packs with credit cards in order to reload your Prepaid Cards. Retailers have become quite strict on this now, allowing only cash or debit cards to be used for purchasing reload packs.
- Taxes: Many of the tax payment service providers listed on the IRS website will accept credit cards as payments. You just have to weigh in the convenience fees that are involved.
- Dining: If you signed up for a credit card that has extra bonuses for the Dining category, definitely take advantage of it.
- Utilities: I’ve found that most utility companies allow you to use credit cards as payment now. Again, some credit cards also have a Utilities category for rewards you can take full advantage of.
- Charity: You can get a tax deduction, earn points and meet spending requirements on your cards, and of course feel good about helping a cause. Cards like the US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card offer extra points on charitable contributions also.
- Gas & Groceries: Plenty of credit cards will offer extra rewards on these categories anyway. There’s no reason not to pay for these everyday expenses with your credit cards.
Just keep using your new credit cards in place of cash everywhere you can and supplement with Gift Cards if you find you’re far away from your goal during the last month!