We all know credit card issuers offer some amazing credit card sign-up bonuses. But there’s always a catch – you have to spend a ton of money in a short period of time to get said bonus.
Generally, the best bonuses require you to spend $1,000 or more in the first three months from the date you are approved for the card in question. For some people, this is an easy feat, one they can do in their sleep, literally.
For others, it’s next to impossible because of limited capital, a small credit line, and so forth.
A common spending requirement at the moment is to spend $4,000 in 3 months to earn the mega-bonus on the new Chase Sapphire Reserve card. It sounds like a tough task, but we’ll show you some simple ways to get it done with time to spare.
Before you get started, remember this. The most effective way to meet minimum spend is to throw every single purchase you make on one card until the requirement is met. Then you can go back to earning your point multiples in different categories as you see fit.
Here is a list of the many, many ways you can meet minimum spend to earn that tasty bonus, again and again.
More Than 40 Ways to Meet Minimum Spend
1. Pay your health insurance premiums with a credit card
2. Pay medical bills with a credit card
3. Pay your car insurance premium with a credit card
4. Pay your wireless bill in advance (hint: many months in advance)
5. Pay any other bill you know you’ll continue to pay in advance (cable, utilities, insurance, etc.)
6. Pay your taxes with a credit card (IRS approved!)
7. Pay your estimated taxes with a credit card
8. Pay your rent/mortgage with a credit card through a service like Plastiq (fees apply)
9. Buy gift cards (Amazon, Uber, Starbucks, Grocery store cards, etc. things you will 100% use, eventually)
10. Buy prepaid cards like PayPal My Cash cards, Visa and Amex gift cards, etc.
11. Buy airline tickets, hotel reservations, other vacation expenditures months in advance
12. Align a new credit card application with a large purchase, such as new household appliances, TV, computer, A/C unit, washer/dryer, etc.
13. Buy something for a trusted family member or friend and have them send you the money for it (make sure they actually pay you back!!)
14. Put all your monthly bills on your new credit card
15. Pay other people’s bills with a credit card (again, a very, very trusted person and have them reimburse you with cash)
16. Buy/lease a car and throw the down payment on plastic
17. Pay your car payment with a credit card (Mercedes allows this with a fee)
18. Pay your car registration with a credit card
19. Open a bank account that allows initial funding from a credit card
20. Contribute to a 529 account with GiftToCollege.com
21. Pay for tuition with a credit card
22. Pay your student loans with a credit card
23. Put all your wedding expenses on the new card if getting married
24. Put all honeymoon expenses on the new card
25. Buy an engagement ring with a credit card
26. Set all your Uber, Lyft, etc. accounts to your new credit card
27. Prepay for monthly services annually upfront (12-month discount)
28. Prepay for business services such as domain names, monthly subscriptions, web hosting, etc.
29. Buy inventory, furniture, office supplies, etc. for your business
30. Buy products and resell them online for a small profit (or loss)
31. Apply for a new card before the holidays and buy all gifts with it
32. Apply for a new card before having a child and buy all furniture, car seats, strollers, accessories with the card
33. Apply for a new card after you buy a new home/condo (lots of expenses will come up, trust us)
34. Apply for a new card after you rent a new apartment (gotta furnish it)
35. Fund Kiva loans with a credit card and give back to small businesses worldwide
36. Add an authorized user or two to help chip away at the minimum spend
37. Get an expensive haircut (you deserve it)
38. Get your dog a haircut (he/she looks terrible)
39. Buy new clothes
40. Buy yourself a massage
41. Buy your significant other some flowers
42. Eat out (cover the entire bill and have people Venmo you their share)
43. Go out for drinks (cover bill have everyone Venmo you)
44. Book a hotel/vacation/etc. and have everyone pay you back with cash
45. Do anything where you pay with your credit card and everyone pays you back with cash
46. Pay dental bills (should be enough to cover the entire spend with those insane prices!)
That’s all we can think of at the moment. If you have other bright ideas we haven’t touched upon, please feel free to add them in the comment section. We’re all ears.
By the way, there are other, more unsavory methods out there to meet minimum spend, which we won’t mention because it’s best to keep things above board and stay out of trouble. You never want to bite the hand that feeds…
Also, be careful when using services like PayPal, Bluebird, and Serve, to name a few. They’ve been known to shut down users for engaging in manufactured spending, so sometimes it’s just more trouble than it’s worth, especially if you care about losing said account(s).
Oh, and when buying stuff online to meet your spend, use a rebate portal like CashbackMonitor.com to earn even more points/rewards/cash back in the process.
Remember, when meeting minimum spend, be sure you can actually pay off the entire balance in full every month, otherwise you lose. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Pay it all off, earn your rewards, and move on.
If you can’t pay it all off, don’t even bother. It’s not worth paying finance charges in exchange for credit card points, unless you’re truly nuts. Go with a 0% APR credit card instead since that’s probably what you need.
Pro tip: It’s actually not that expensive to “pay” to meet your minimum spend. Some payment processors charge as little as 2% (or less) of the transaction amount, so if you needed to spend $4,000, that’d only be $80. Sometimes it’s better to pay the fee than go on a mindless shopping spree like Brewster’s Millions.