- Use your new card whenever possible. The more you spend with it, the faster you reach the minimum spend mark. Simple first step that may be all you need.
- Prepay your cell phone / internet / cable / etc. bills for a month or two. AT&T et al won't mind if they get your money early. This lets you move spending forward; you aren't spending more.
- Buy gift cards to places you shop regularly to move spending forward. Grocery stores and other retailers with large gift card displays are great locations to pick up a bunch of cards in one stop. Safeway lets you buy gift cards with Safeway gift cards, so you can retain some flexibility.
- Car insurance is an opportunity. If you are up for renewal, pay the six month rate; it is usually cheaper and you bring all that spending forward.
- Buy American Express Gift Cards. Accepted everywhere Amex is taken. Some cards don't have a purchase fee. It works out as and even trade, so you are just turning part of your savings account into Amex gift cards while earning points and moving closer to the minimum spend mark.
- Do your Christmas and birthday shopping early or treat yourself to that thing you want, but are waiting for. If you were going to buy it anyway, it's not really an extra cost.
- Put dinner with friends on your card. Lots of people just toss down cash for their part of the check, you can put the bill on your card and pocket the cash. It also saves on trips to ATMs. (I also hate to see those potential points vanish)
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Tips for Reaching the Minimum Spend for a Credit Card Sign Up Bonus
The fastest way to boost your mileage balance is with credit card sign up bonuses. I get three or more every year and it helps me travel as often as I do. The problem here is that some cards have a minimum spend before the miles are awarded. Hitting $500 in three months isn't a problem, but $5,000 in three months (Chase Ink) is a serious challenge. Here are some tips to boost your credit card spending, without buying anything more than you would already purchase.