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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5 Top Secret Tips on Meeting Minimum Spending Requirements

There are many ways to meet minimum spending requirements.  Here are just a few tips.

1) Pay EVERYTHING by credit card.  This tip is pretty obvious, but there are plenty of bills which come in the mail that you are probably still paying by check or online bill pay .  If they charge a fee to use a credit card, unless that charge is less than of the value of the points earned, avoid it.  I pay my cable TV for the home and the office, cell phone bill,  and Internet with my Chase Ink Bold card that pays 5X points! The list is endless.  Very rarely do I ever pay cash for things anymore. There is a great deal out there for the Chase trifecta.  If you have either an Ink or Sapphire preferred card along with the chase Freedom card and Checking account, you can put really small purchases (under $10) on your Freedom card and earn cash back.  It also earns a fixed number of points for each sale in addition to the purchase points.  If you have one of the other Chase cards mentioned above, you can transfer the points to you Ultimate Rewards (UR) account. Those points are VERY valuable.

2) American Express Bluebird.  Bluebird is the new kid on the block, but it is the new killer app.  Banks have been trying to come up with new ways and new products to maximize profits as the government has been limiting credit card fees.  Bluebird acts both as a debit card and a checking account.  It is a reloadable card.  You can order Bluebird online through American Express or purchase them at Walgreen or Walmart.  A Vanilla Reload card (Usually sold right next to Bluebird) is one of the ways to load your American Express Bluebird with money so that you can use it to pay bills.  Use your new credit card to purchase the vanilla reload cards and you have instantly met the minimun spend requirement. Now you can pay things like car payments, mortgage payments, school loans and other bills through your online Bluebird account. You are now earning points on all those bills!

3) Gift cards. Whenever I am near my local Office Depot, I stop in and buy up to $2500 in Visa gift cards.  There is a small fee (around $5) to purchase them, but the gift cards don't expire.  This effectively extends the time you have to meet the minimun spend and earn the big signup bonus now!

4) Free after Rebate Items. Staples is a prime example of this strategy. They run about $1000/month in free after rebate offers.  You charge the items on your new card.  Most of these items are software such as Norton products.  I usually donate them if I don't need them.  The net cost to you is FREE thanks to the rebate check that comes in the mail. Just make sure to keep excellent records.

5) Send money online for free. Amazon payments lets you transfer up to $1000/month for free. Abuse of this service will be looked upon unfavorably by Amazon. Frequent transferring of money back and forth between accounts may result in you having to explain yourself to the feds for money laundering. Don't abuse this trick.

What tips do you have to help others meet the minimum spend requirements?

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