Many people want the best cards like a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Business Preferred. Here are some great ideas on how to hit those minimum spending requirements in order to achieve your bonus.
1. Home Improvement Projects
A lot of people can knock out a single bonus with one project. I hear this a lot, “we need to get a card because we’re about to spend a lot of money on our house.” That’s great thinking. Put those expenses on cards.
2. Big Purchases – Cars, Appliances, Furniture, etc.
Car dealerships will let you put a few thousand dollars on a credit card as part of your down payment. Also, if you’re trying to hit a bonus when it’s time to replace your refrigerator, that can ease the pain of such a big expense. Most good credit cards come with extra protection and sometimes double the warranty of a cell phone. That is reason enough to buy with a credit card.
3. Insurance – Car, Home, Life, Health, etc.
Paying insurance with a credit card can be a great way to hit a bonus – especially car insurance since they are so high these days. If I have the savings, I will often pay for 6 months or an entire year in full so that I put a larger amount on a card all at once. Do a quick scan of all your insurances – car, home, life, health, dental, vision, etc. – and see if you could be paying with a credit card.
Most people know that food is one of the larger monthly budget items. Eating out and buying groceries really add up if you put all expenses on a card. Many cards give you 2x or 3x points for these purchases too.
5. Car – Gas, Maintenance, and Repairs
Whether it’s an annual tune-up, new tires, gas, or an unfortunate repair, make sure you use your card. It certainly eases the pain when you know the expenses will help to hit a bonus.
6. Other Repair Services
Most self-employed and big service repair businesses (plumbing, HVAC, electrical, etc.) accept credit cards. They either carry a small card reader, or you can call the card into their main office. It never hurts to ask.
7. College Tuition
Sometimes you might have to pay a fee, but do the math and see if it’s worth it to get thousands of points with one swipe.
8. Other large expenses: Taxes, Mortgages, and Car Payments
There are fees involved. See our article How to Meet Minimum Spend for more detail on doing this. It could be worth it to do the math if a fee is worth paying in order to hit a big bonus.
9. Buy gift cards and use them later
For example, most people spend a lot on Amazon. If you’re just a few hundred dollars away from a bonus, consider buying a $400-500 Amazon gift card at a grocery store, then you can use that for future purchases but get credit now towards hitting your bonus. You can also purchase Visa gift cards at grocery stores or online, then use them for purchases later on.
10. Business Reimbursements
Many people work for businesses, organizations, or schools that will let them use personal cards and get reimbursed for purchases. So, the next time you are purchasing airfare, hotel rooms, or office supplies for your business, put the expenses on your card! I didn’t realize this soon enough. I used to be a tennis coach. I missed out on thousands in expenses in hotel rooms from our road trips.
Many people use a debit card for everyday expenses. They are missing out on lots of points over time! Especially if you’re trying to hit a bonus, make sure you are using that card for all your purchases.
11. Cell Phone Bill
Note: Some of these services may charge a fee to use a credit card.
15. Doctor Visits
Co-pays, prescriptions, etc.
16. Monthly subscriptions
Services like Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, etc. Even gym memberships can all be paid with a credit card.
Whether you give to a school, non-profit, or religious organization, most of these groups are set up to take credit cards.
Movies, bowling, mechanical bull rides, laser tag, etc.
19. Holiday gifts
So much money is spent at the end of the year. It’s definitely a good idea to line up a new card before all of those holiday gifts are purchased.
20. Dinner and drinks with friends
Sometimes it’s easier for one person to pay. Then, everyone gives them cash or uses Venmo. Be the person to pay the bill with your credit card. =)
21. Buy stuff for your friends or family
There’s normally someone in your family or group of friends that are making a larger purchase. Ask them to let you pay with your card and have them write you a check.
Last tip: Make it easy on yourself
If you know you’ll hit your spending bonus, don’t change all the little auto-pays. I don’t mess with changing the small monthly subscriptions. My #1 card is my Chase Sapphire Preferred. I use it whenever I’m not trying to hit a bonus for another card. We spend ~$2,500 per month on average, so I have my Netflix, Hulu, and other small subscriptions (less than $10 per month) on auto-pay with my Chase Sapphire Preferred. I don’t need those purchases in order to hit a bonus, so It’s not worth the time to rotate those auto-pay cards every few months.