Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Mar 06

Meeting credit card minimum spend

The easiest way to get miles, bar none, is to sign up for a new credit card.  Many are offering up to 100,000 miles to sign up and hit a certain amount of spending within a particular period of time, usually three months.  But suppose you aren’t a big spender?  In that case, you have to “manufacture” spend.

Manufacturing spending is a method for spending money without actually buying anything.  No, I’m not talking Brewster’s Millions here.  Rather, it’s a method of exchanging one form of currency for another.  Confused?  Here’s an example:

Let’s say your credit card requires you to spend $5,000 within three months to earn the mileage bonus, but you don’t normally spend that much.  One thing you can do is go to American Express’s website and buy an Amex gift card for $5,000, or any amount you feel comfortable with.  You have now taken that spending and turned it into a prepaid gift card that you use just like an American Express credit card!  You’ve met your minimum spend and aren’t out of pocket anything, since the gift card functions just like a credit card.  True, you have to be able to pay off the amount of the credit card bill, so don’t buy a gift card for more than you can afford to pay next month.  You may also want to verify that your credit card issuer won’t charge the purchase as a cash advance, although very few do.

Want to work the system even better?  Go to Big Crumbs to make the purchase and they will give you 1.2% of the purchase price back as a reward.  The $60 in extra rewards that you earn will more than offset the $12-13 in fees that you pay to order the card.  

Bottom line: There are ways to accomplish those minimum spend requirements, even if you aren’t a big spender.

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And finally, you can apply for credit cards through the Credit Cards for Charity link above. All card proceeds are donated to charity, so please do well by doing good!

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