Recently WTM reader Shila asked "what are some of the best ways to help meet the minimum spend for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® welcome bonus?"
Since she recently signed up for a couple other card offers, she was worried that she would not be able to meet the minimum spend of $3,000 in the first 90 days of having the card. She wants to make sure she hits the spending requirement on all her new cards, and after she hits the spending requirement on the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® card she will get $440 worth of free travel.
I myself have been in this situation before, so I decided to put together some powerful ways to help meet the a cards minimum spending requirements.
The first obvious way to do this is to use the credit card for everything! Use this new card for everyday purchases and bills until the minimum spend is met. I usually move the current card I want to hit the minimum spend requirement to the front of my wallet. If you normally use a few different reward cards to earn the maximum points for certain purchases, you can find a balance between using those and using your new card to meet the spend.
I’ve also gathered a list of creative ways to help meet the minimum spend requirement that are realistic and include expenses that you can easily put on your credit card. Some don’t even require you to spend money, but instead send money using your credit card.
By using your credit card to pay for these you will be surprised at how fast you can reach a minimum spend. Autopay is common and sometimes I forget that I have a different card enrolled for the program, so make sure to set it for the card you are needing the minimum spend if you use it.
Amazon Payments. Amazon Payments is one of the easiest ways to hit a spend requirement without actually spending any money. You can send $1,000 per month to a person for free. Make sure you register a bank account and your new credit card to increase the credit card payment limit to $1,000 per month.
Dining. Everywhere you eat, every time.
Insurance. Use a credit card to pay for all of your insurance - auto, homeowners, medical, or renter’s insurance. Considering paying in advance for a few extra months if you need to add some spending.
Groceries. Use your credit card to pay for all your groceries. If you are getting close to the end of the 90 days, consider buying grocery gift cards that you can use to buy groceries in the coming months. I will often buy a couple gift cards at Trader Joes and use them after I am done working on the minimum spend for a card.
Amex Gift Cards. You can easily buy Amex gift cards and use the gift cards for everyday spending over the next several months. You’ll spend an extra $3.95 per gift card, but this may be worth if it you’re in a pinch and in risk of not hitting the minimum spending requirement. You can even buy them online.
Gas. Always pay using your credit card.
Toll Transponders. Do you have an automated toll transponder in your car ?(K-Tag, FastTrak, I-Pass etc.) You may be able to reload additional dollars to you toll account with your credit card.
Cellphone/Cable/Internet. Simple. Pay all of these by credit card.
Pay Bills. Pay all of your gas, electricity, trash, and other utilities on your credit cards, and then if you need more help, pay some in advance.
Netflix/Hulu/Spotify. Pay for your Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, Spotify subscriptions using a credit card.
Pre-paid Gas Cards. A great way to add some spending in the first 90 days and use them in the coming months.
Business Travel. Why not rack up some extra miles without even spending your own money! If you travel on business and your employer is willing to reimburse your expenses from a personal credit card, then this is a great way to earn miles and meet the minimum spend.
Gym Membership. Pay for your gym/yoga/club membership on credit card. If you need more help your gym may offer a discount if you prepay a year in advance.
Car Repairs. Pay for all oil changes, services, and repairs on a card. Although it is a good idea to ask if your mechanic offers discounts to pay in cash, mine regularly gives me a 5% discount to pay in cash to avoid the fees on his end for accepting payment by credit card.
Home Improvements. If you have any home improvement projects see your contractor will let you purchase all of the supplies on your card. Even better, if your contractor doesn’t accept credit card payments see if you can pay them with Amex gift cards.
Rent. For a fee Williampaid is a site that lets you pay your rent via a credit card.
Xoom Money Transfers. You can send international money transfers for a fee using Xoom.
Amazon.com Gift Cards. If you shop on Amazon.com, consider buying gift cards to use on future purchases (gift cards never expire).
College Tuition. Many universities allow you to pay for tuition and housing expenses with a credit card for a small fee. Some schools even don’t even charge a fee, so check your schools payment web page to find out more information.
Taxes. You can use Official Payments to pay almost all kinds of taxes for a fee. This includes federal, state, and local taxes.
Donations. Many charities accept donations by credit card. If you plan on making any charity donations during the year do it using your new credit card instead of later.
Holiday and Birthday Gifts. Consider buying birthday and holiday gifts in advance. If you can’t decide what gifts to get, stock up on either store gift cards or American Express gift cards to use later.
Add Your Partner Or Children as Additional Card Users. Add your partner and/or children as additional card users and have them put all of their expenses on the card. Do this at your own risk!