Meeting the minimum spend on time can be difficult if you find yourself with three or four cards you’re trying to get bonuses from. While there are several ways you can meet your minimum spends such as ensuring that you use your credit for every possible purchase, there are other options that allow you to meet the spend. This can be a lifesaver if you are on a tight time crunch with a larger spend to meet.
One option that has been around for some time is Venmo. Vemo is like a social networking website that makes paying your friends or people you do business with very easy and accessible with the use of their mobile apps. You can connect using your Facebook, Twitter or FourSquare and you can pay your friends directly. You do not need a Facebook account to use Venmo. Instead you can access your Gmail and Yahoo address book to include your contacts. However, if you do have one it makes it easier to import your contacts to Venmo for easy payment.
How it works is simple. First, update your account information with the credit card that you plan to use as your source of payment and are intending to meet a minimum spend on or want to manufacture points or miles. Next, use the payment box on the main page which resembles the status update section on Facebook; this is where you type in your friend’s name and how much you owe and for what. Venmo lets you know which of your friends are registered with the site and as you or they make payments, it will show up on your news feed. If you would not like to publicize your payments, make sure to leave “share note on Facebook” unchecked.
Cost of transfers and payments through Venmo
All transactions must be made using a major US bank or credit card and must take place in the US as well. Receiving money through Venmo is free, however there are conditions that do apply during any transaction in order to avoid a 3% payment fee. To avoid paying the fee you must send money using your Venmo balance, bank transfer, or debit card. As of April 2013, Venmo limits payments to $3,000 per week which is more than Amazon Payment’s allowance of $1000 per month. Note that Venmo does have a 3% fee for using credit cards, whereas Amazon Payments does not if you send less than $1,000 per month and send the money under ‘goods and services’. The 3% could be worth it if you’re in a time crunch to meet your minimum spend and if you’re trying to meet a minimum of $3,000 you’re 3% fee would be less than $100. Although this is not ideal, it can definitely be worth it if you have a large sign-up bonus on the line if you can’t meet the min spend in time.
*Note: For some smaller banks, Venmo does charge a 3% fee for debit card transfers because the banks charge Venmo a higher fee for the service.
There is a limit of 3 cards that can be added to your Venmo account within a 6 month period. This means that no more than those three original cards can be added. According to this Fatwallet thread, deleting a card to add a new card will not work. In order to possibly add a fourth card, Venmo encourages its users to email them and make the request. Though it is recommended that you don’t take advantage of the payment allowance so that Venmo does not flag you for suspicious or fraudulent activity. Also for the same reason, be sure that your payment descriptions are for legitimate transactions…such as paying back a friend for that $3,000 hotel stay he covered for you on your recent trip ;-).
*Venmo is offering a small promotion that for every friend that you refer and signs up, you each earn $1. Another day, another dollar!