Do you love the idea of free travel but are afraid you can’t meet that $2,000 -$5,000 credit card minimum spend to get your bonus points? I am here to show you how to meet credit card minimum spend. It is simpler than you think! And you can listen to more thoughts about it on this episode of our PODCAST!
Getting bonus points after meeting the minimum spend on a new credit card is what we are all about. Nothing beats getting 40,000-100,000+ points just for opening a new credit card and using it to pay for daily expenses or for a big purchase item you may have coming up.
Sometimes people want to open a credit card to get that bonus but worry that they can’t spend $2,000 or more in three months. It is actually easier than you might think. Think of the items you pay for monthly:
I used to use a debit card every time I bought groceries, particularly if it was for a small amount. I now use a credit card for every grocery purchase. Always use that card when trying to meet the minimum spend on a card. Groceries are a huge part of everyone’s monthly bill. Using a credit card to purchase ALL your groceries will definitely aid you in meeting minimum credit card spending to capture your bonus points.
When I eat out and am not trying to meet the minimum spend on a credit card, I always use my American Express Gold Card. It offers 4 points per dollar spent on dining out, so it is a great way to get more points on daily spending.
You should always pay these bills by credit card. Sometimes, when trying to meet credit card minimum spend, it even makes sense to pay a month or two ahead on these bills. Most companies don’t charge any extra to pay by credit card, so you might as well be getting points. Heck, you can even offer to pay your friend or relative’s phone bill! Just have them Venmo you the money later.
Sadly, paying insurance bills is a necessary evil, but at least we can get some compensation by paying our auto, house, and renter’s insurance by using a credit card. When trying to meet minimum spend, paying a year in advance may be worthwhile.
Even though we only have two drivers in our family, we still spend a lot on fuel. We also pay for oil changes, parking at the airport, detailing our cars, tires, car registration, and repairs. When you are trying to meet the minimum spend on your credit card, it may be the time to get those new tires you know you need.
Do you belong to a gym? Do you use Netflix? Do you belong to Amazon Prime? All of your memberships and subscriptions can be paid by credit card. It may be a bit of a hassle to change out all of your payments to whatever credit card you are trying to meet the minimum spend on, but it feels totally worth it when you are sitting on that plane traveling on your free vacation!
If you know that you will be having surgery, having a baby, getting dental work done, or any other medical procedure, consider getting a new card around that time. It will take the sting out of paying so much for your care when you know it will go towards a free trip!
We all have to buy gifts throughout the year anyway, so why not put them on our credit cards? It might even be the time to finally get your Christmas shopping done early when you are trying to meet credit card minimum spending.
One way to meet credit card minimum spend is to buy gift cards where you normally spend money. Amazon, I’m talking about you! I buy a lot of my daily items at Amazon. It is so convenient to not have to get in the car and drive to a store. Buying an Amazon Gift Card that I know I will use is a no-brainer for me when I try to get my credit card bonuses. Gift cards to your favorite gas station or grocery store are another idea.
Most people travel at least once a year, many more often. Although I travel a lot with points, I can’t/don’t use points for some things. When I am trying to meet the minimum spend on a credit card, I try and prepay what I can. For instance, if I am flying domestically, I’ll buy my flight then. I prepay my timeshare maintenance fees. I also pay for tours I have planned to go on while at a destination.
Do you have a business? Does your spouse have a business? If so, it is great to pay those expenses with your card if you can and get reimbursed. My husband is a consultant and often has to travel, stay at a hotel, and eat out. We tell the company he works for that we will pay the expenses, and they reimburse us monthly. This in itself can often meet our minimum spend.
Sometimes it makes sense to pay your property or income taxes with a credit card. You will have to pay a fee, but it may make sense if that fee is offset by the bonus you are getting. I do this several times a year to pay my estimated taxes. And did you know anyone can pay estimated taxes? Change your withholding on your W-2 so that less (or none) is taken out, and pay estimated taxes so that you can get those bonus points!
A great time to open up a new card is when you have a big purchase coming up. If you are already planning to buy a new washer and dryer, why not meet a credit card minimum spend at the same time? Open a new card, buy the appliances, and pay the bill. That is a great way to reach the minimum spend fast!
One way to help meet minimum spending is always to offer to pay expenses for others on your card and get reimbursed. I love picking up the restaurant tab on my credit card and having people reimburse me in cash or Venmo. Anytime something needs to be purchased for a school, church, or other group function, I always offer to be the one to purchase whatever we need! Everyone will pay me back, and I get the points—more points are a win for me!
Keep track of what you are putting on your card. Pay it off weekly if you need to. The goal of travel hacking is NOT to get in debt but to get points for usual spending. You should not be surprised by what you’ve put on a card at the end of the month. Most importantly, never spend more than you can pay off each month!
Chances are you are already paying $1,000 a month on these items. You need to make sure you are paying with the credit card you are meeting the minimum spend on at the moment. I literally almost NEVER use cash or a debit card to pay for anything—it’s leaving points on the table! I will use a credit card to pay for EVERYTHING, even a $5.00 purchase, because it all adds up!
Phone Bill $120
Eating Out $100
Car Insurance $200
Gas for two cars $300
Pest Control $90
Direct TV $110
That’s $1780 a month, and I haven’t even put down gifts, clothes, and miscellaneous things that always crop up. Click here for our minimum spend checklist!
Here are some ideas on how I met a bigger tax spend. You will be surprised how easy it is to meet a minimum spend the longer you are in this game!
Don’t let minimum spend on a credit card scare you away. Get out a paper and pencil, write down all your expenses, and figure out how to pay for them with your new credit card. While you’re at it with that pen and paper, start planning how you are going to use all those new bonus points! Before you know it, you will have a stash of points and will truly be a travel hacker! And then, get ready, and sign up for another card! With a plan, meeting credit card minimum spend is totally doable!
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