Strategies to Meet Minimum Spending Requirement to Earn Sign Up Bonus on new Credit Cards

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Does your excitement of getting a shiny new credit card and an excellent sign-up bonus boil down quickly with the thought of meeting a high spending requirement? Are you someone who holds themselves back from applying for great cards because of a high spend requirement? You might want to think again and consider these options to quickly meet your minimum spend requirement.

PS: I won’t talk about methods where a huge sum of money is blocked for a couple of months or so. Most of these ideas are reliable (though, as always, YMMV), and with fairly quick turnaround time.

1.    Bluebird/Serve

Your mileage will vary highly based on the store, location and the customer service representative assisting you when trying to load these giftcards to serve or converting them into money orders as they are pin enabled. If they say you can’t do it, simply walk away without arguing much. It also helps to start slow, with say a $100 load or a $500 load. You can pay back your credit card directly from the funds loaded on to the serve account or even send payments to Mortgage lenders, car payments, utility companies that do not accept credit cards, IRS to name a few.

Serve and Bluebird are prepaid re-loadable cards issued by AMEX, and they basically act as a debit card. The way to use this to your benefit is to buy visa gift cards from a store like Staples or Office Depot/Office Max when they run the no-fee visa gift card promotion using your credit card (Ink Business Cash gives you a 5% return, which makes this a profitable venture). You then visit a Walmart and use these prepaid visa gift card to load your Serve card. Not all Walmart are friendly with the use of visa gift cards to load these prepaid cards. You can buy Visa giftcards from giftcards.com for $500 denomination (limit $2500 a day including fees) and make sure to go through a website like Topcashback, Ebates and Mr. Rebates to get back 1% of the purchase price bringing down the cost of these giftcards. Make sure to not purchase Mastercard brands as they are difficult to liquidate with these strategies.

Topcashback offers 1% cashback on Visa Giftcards

Amit used sign up bonus from the Hyatt Credit Card for 50K points and Free night certificates with the old Hyatt card (good for any Hyatt worldwide now limited to category 1-4) to spend 5 nights at Hyatt Ziva Cancun.

2.    Plastiq

A lot of expenses, like rent, utility payment, etc. usually require you to pay via a debit card or check and do not generally accept a credit card. In cases like these, you can use a service called Plastiq (this link will get you $500 fee free dollars). You can make these payments through Plastiq, which will charge your credit card and make your payments, usually for a fee that ranges between 2-3%. This method is usually only used when you are very short of meeting your minimum spend and will lose out on a bigger sign-up bonus rather than the 3% fee. We also recommend keeping an eye on their promotions, which offers fee-free transactions frequently.

Do check out our detailed post on Plastiq .

You can visit the leaning tower using points from several portals such as Ultimate Rewards, Thank you points, membership rewards, City National bank Rewards
Business Class seat North America to Italy for 55K United miles just from one sign-up bonus

3.    Gift Card Reselling

Most online and brick-and-mortar stores, especially grocery chains, have discounted gift cards every now and then or provide you with a multiplier rate on fuel-points. You can simply resell the gift cards on portals like raise.com, gyft.com, cardpool.com etc. and will break even or even make a slight profit with your discounted gas and the money you received from selling the gift card. In fact, Amit never pays a full dollar to top off two of his cars. You can actually profit by purchasing these gift cards if your local store has a rewards program that earns points towards groceries or fuel.

Note: It is never a good idea to head to a store and get thousands of $$$ worth of gift cards. Please be cautious especially with American Express, who do not want their customers buying gift cards to meet minimum spend requirements for the sign-up bonus.

4.    More Gift Card Tricks

Additionally, not only can you use gift cards to resell or for personal use, but you can also buy visa gift cards and convert them to a Money Order in a store like Walmart. These are highly YMMV, depending on the cashier and store-policy.

5.    Tax Payments

If you’d like to meet minimum spend and are okay to spend some money on fees, you can pay federal taxes using any of the sources that the IRS mentions on this link. One of the processors on the IRS website charges a 1.87% fee and paying a small fee out of pocket may make sense for some based on the card used and sign up bonus offered. Not only can this help you meet MSR but also provides some float on the funds.

We highly recommend a card like the Amex Blue Business Plus Card where you can earn 2 MR per dollar spent, up to $50,000 per year, in any category.

6.    Everyday Spending

Perhaps the most uncreative way to meet your minimum spend requirement, but if you are only a few hundred dollars short of meeting the spend requirement, it might make sense to hit your nearest wholesale club or grocery store and stock up on non-perishable items. If you have friends or family who are okay with you paying for them in return for cash or a bank transfer, this could minimize the effort required to meet the spend requirement by doing things that you already do.

7.    Spend With Delayed Reimbursements

We previously covered a couple of methods that the members of the Credit Card 101 community are using. The first and more consistent option is to use RebateKey, where you buy products from Amazon and get refunded for the cost of the product after a month. The rebates on these products vary and some are 100% free. Even if you do not have a need the products can be donated to charity or given our as gifts.

The second option is to buy special edition coins that the US Mint releases time and again and sell them, at least at break even, though most times it’s at a decent profit. PFS Buyers club is one company that several members of Credit Card 101 have successfully used in the past.

We’ve covered both these methods extensively on our website here for RebateKey and PFS Buyers Club.

JAL Business class can be scored from North America to Japan for 80k to 90k miles depending on program

8. Electricity and Gas Bills

To specifically pay for your gas and electricity bills, be sure to check Arcadia Power . If you sign-up for Arcadia energy, they will source 50% of the energy from renewable resources, and as an incentive eat up the credit card fee that your utility provider would charge otherwise. This helps you earn points on your card, buys you time with the payment, and save the environment. All this without spending an additional cent!

9. Flipping Items on Amazon and eBay

The founder of Credit Card 101, Amit Desai has been using this strategy for the last two plus years to not only generate profit but a whole lot of credit card miles and points. Again, there is risk involved with starting any business and credit card points should not be the sole reason for starting any business, let alone e-commerce, with the risks involved. But if you ever want to learn more on how to get started, Amit recorded a podcast for Side Hustle Nation

We have specialists in our Premium Group who can guide you with the most ideas discussed above. You can also learn other tips, tricks, and opportunities to help increase credit card rewards.

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