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The timing couldn’t be better if you’re on the hunt for a new credit card or looking to earn points and miles. The credit card loyalty landscape is full of high card bonuses with several points exceeding 100,000 points. Other than credit card application rules, the only thing stopping qualified consumers from applying for multiple cards is meeting thousands of dollars in spending requirements.
It’s understandable, the last thing you want to do is go into debt while trying to earn points and miles. Fortunately, you don’t have to. By leveraging your spending and strategizing, you can meet your credit card spending requirements without breaking the bank.
Here are eight ideas for meeting large credit card spending requirements:
Pre-payment of recurring invoices
One of the easiest ways to get a big chunk out of your expenses is to prepay recurring bills, like utilities, cable, and wireless charges. Although many credit cards offer category bonuses on these spends, you will get a better return on your spending by charging these bills to your credit card to meet the spending requirements.
Insurance bills are often overlooked as a way to top up a large chunk of your minimum expenses. Whether it’s your auto, medical, or home insurance, it can go a long way if you prepay for it for three to six months. Of course, you will want to pay these fees at the end of the month. Otherwise, it’s not worth incurring interest just to earn a credit card welcome bonus.
Pay your rent or mortgage with a credit card
Rent and mortgage payments typically make up the largest portion of most household expenses. This also makes it a great way to meet large spending needs. While you can’t pay your bank or landlord directly with a credit card, you can pay them through third-party platforms like Plastiq and Melio (for businesses only).
For a fee of 2.85%, you can pay your rent or your mortgage via Plastiq. This equals $28.50 per $1,000. While it’s usually not ideal to pay more than 1% to earn reward currency, it might make sense in this case. For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card offers 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months of opening the account. Transfer your miles to an airline partner for premium travel and they’re worth even more.
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Pay tuition fees
Just like your mortgage and rent, you can pay your tuition with a credit card. As mentioned, almost all universities allow you to pay your tuition with a credit card. some of them won’t even charge a fee. If you or your child attends a university that falls into the latter category, it makes sense to pay for their tuition with a credit card, assuming you can pay it at the end of the billing cycle.
pay your taxes
The IRS lets you pay your taxes with a credit card for as low as 1.87% using Pay1040. The platform accepts all major credit cards, including American Express, Discover, Visa, and MasterCard. At 1.87%, you’ll pay $18.70 for every $1,000 payment. This is significantly less than the costs you will incur for tuition and mortgage/rent payments.
Retail arbitrage is becoming an increasingly popular secondary hustle that can help you meet large spending needs. This form of reselling involves buying popular items and reselling them for a profit. As you can imagine, this can be quite profitable, especially during the holiday shopping season when demand for certain items skyrockets.
Items like Sony’s Playstation seem to be in demand all year round and can sell well above retail on sites like eBay. You can buy these popular items with your credit card, eliminate some expenses and earn extra money. Don’t forget to accumulate the winnings by going through a shopping portal first.
Finding the right items can be as simple as asking your kids what the “hot” toy is right now. Some sites teach people how to find products and return them for a profit. Done right, retail arbitrage can be a great way to meet spending needs without incurring out-of-pocket expenses.
That said, reselling is not without risk and requires significant effort. Consumer tastes are fickle and you shouldn’t bite off a bigger bite than you can reasonably chew if it takes a few months to recoup your investment.
Reimbursable work expenses
If you work at a company that lets you charge your credit card for purchases and get reimbursed, this is a great opportunity to meet a big spending need. Whatever your role, it can be beneficial to ask your supervisor or the purchasing department if you can charge upcoming expenses to your credit card.
You are more likely to get a yes if you have good relationships with your colleagues and a relaxed work environment.
Add authorized user
We all have daily expenses that we charge to our credit cards and they are getting more and more expensive day by day. Adding a trusted household member as an authorized user can have two benefits: 1.) Some credit cards will give you bonus points for this. 2.) You can hire another person to help you meet spending requirements more quickly.
Everything from gas to groceries and restaurants is more expensive than a year ago. Adding a household member to your new credit card can help you earn that welcome bonus faster by funneling their spending to the card.
You will want to limit this option to people you trust. Handing a credit card to a teen who isn’t ready might not yield the best outcome. But if your loved ones or adult children are financially responsible and able to funnel their day-to-day spending to your card without overdoing it, it could work just fine. Plus, they could get a boost to their credit score. Just make sure to set your repayment terms very clearly so you’re all on the same page.
Make charitable donations
Giving money to charity has tax benefits and feels good, but it can also help you progress toward credit card spending requirements. Most charities accept credit cards for donations. Some card processors will even waive transaction fees for non-profit organizations or reduce them significantly.
An interesting paradigm always occurs in a down economic cycle: credit card welcome bonuses increase. Loyalty programs are big business. When the economy is weak, airlines and hotels try to raise cash by selling discounted points to banks, which pass them on to consumers through sign-up bonuses on credit cards.
In all likelihood, we will continue to see high premiums on credit cards with high spending requirements. Hopefully these tips can help you take advantage of these bonuses at the right time.
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