You got your shiny new credit card and you’re excited about the free travel perks or bonus points that come with it. There’s only one problem: You don’t have the bonus points and the credit card requires that you spend at least an ‘$X,XXX’ amount to qualify for the bonus.
For many of us, the minimum spend gets complicated if you have multiple cards or don’t have the income to get to that threshold. With the universal acceptance of credit, it might not be so hard to meet that spend. Here are 10 useful ways to accelerate your spending.
1. Add an Authorized User
An authorized user is a person who you assign to your credit card account. Like any credit card user, he or she can purchase items in your name (account). By allowing the user to pay with your account, your minimum spend becomes a lot easier. Think of 2 people doing the same kind of job at a faster rate.
This doesn’t come without warnings. By allowing another person to become an authorized user, you’re essentially allowing that person to buy under your account. This comes with the understanding that your friend or relative will pay you back when you need to pay off your statement balance. If you’re not sure if the person can be reliable to pay on time, you might want to look for another person you can trust.
2. Pay Taxes With Your Credit Card
One of the fastest ways to meet minimum spend is to pay your taxes. In the US, you can easily pay your taxes due with a major credit card. Depending on the amount that you owe, the payment could take a large dent off of the minimum spend.
Interestingly, even state and local may offer credit payments. Check with your local tax agency or check out the website to determine if this payment method is available.
3. Pay Utilities
We noticed that our utility company allows us to pay by credit card. Although the local utility company charges a small 2% fee, it may still be worth to pay your utility bill by credit card to meet the credit card requirements.
4. Pay Anything with the Credit Card
This might sound simple but there were plenty of times where we missed paying with credit card when we had bills in our wallet or purse.
Most stores and venues allow purchases by credit card. Sometimes, out of habit, we forget. One of the best ways to force you to use cards is by not having any cash in your wallet. By doing so, it will force you to use our card for any transactions.
If you are in a party at a restaurant, one of the best ways to increase spend without actually spending money is by paying the bill in a large party.
When the check comes, simply say that you’ll use your credit card. The rest of the party can pay you in cash. Although you’re paying the bill, the rest of the party’s bill will be paid by the cash provided.
5. Buy and Resell Gift Cards
This is a topic that involves some deal of manufactured spending. You can buy gift cards and then resell the gift cards on websites such as giftcardgranny.com or ebay. Note that you may be able to get the same price for the gift card, but in most cases, you’ll receive less than the amount you paid.
In a lot of cases, you’ll be losing from 2-20% of the cost. This isn’t a great method to use for the long run, but it may allow you go over the requirement.
6. Pay Your Rent Or Mortgage
I’d often hear individuals paying for his or her mortgage through a service called Plastiq. Although our current mortgage company (Wells Fargo) doesn’t allow payments through Plastiq, there are other mortgage companies that allow for Plastiq arrangements. For renters, you can use Plastiq to send money via check to your landlord. Make sure that you notify your landlord of such an arrangement.
7. Pay Your Insurance Company with a Credit Card
Our current insurance company State Farm Insurance does allow us to pay by credit card. In fact, they even accept American Express. The car insurance does take care of a big chunk of your spending requirements.
8. Fund Your Bank or Savings Account
Although this might be rare, some banks allow you to open your account with a credit card purchase. In our situation, we were able to open an account in a credit union with a credit card. The process was simple since it asked for just the amount and credit card.
Check with your financial institution to see if this is available.
9. Reimbursed Business Expenses
Some companies allow you to pay with your own credit card and reimburse you for any expenses. This may be a great way to accelerate your minimum spend especially because travel expenses can be expensive. Find out if your company allows this. If so, make sure you understand how fast they turn around and credit you for your expenses. Sometimes a call to the Finance department could be helpful.
10. Pay Tuition or Student Loans
Some institutions allow you to clear off your debt or pay tuition bills via credit card. Like any institution, the flexibility to pay off your loan or tuition may depend on the school’s policies. Check with your college or university for options.
There might be many more other options than the list here. Getting to the minimum spend might seem like an arduous task, but it may be as simple as seeing if you can
Got any other ideas? List them below.