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The best and fastest way to earn miles and points quickly is through new credit card welcome bonuses. Most welcome bonuses, however, come with minimum spending requirements. In light of the coronavirus situation, many people are stuck at home so we wanted to talk about a strategy for meeting minimum spends from home.
It goes without saying that you should be putting every little expense on your credit card. No charge is too small. They all add up over time, especially when you aren’t leaving the house.
In this article, we’ll look at some great ways to make sure you earn all the points and miles from the comfort of your own home. If you keep these tips in mind, the coronavirus won’t stop you from earning the points for your next trip!
In This Article
Instead of monthly payments, or (gasp!) monthly bank drafts, you can pay your entire insurance premium upfront. You can do it online or by calling your insurance company. Almost any type of insurance, including car, homeowners, medical, renter’s, business, or umbrella insurance can be paid with a credit card.
If your homeowners insurance is paid through the escrow and is rolled into your monthly mortgage payment, call your mortgage provider and ask if you can remove the homeowners insurance from escrow. It’s a YMMV (your mileage may vary) situation, but it’s worth asking.
I’ve had mixed success with this. One bank wouldn’t let me do this, but another one let us remove the insurance from escrow. I now time a new card application around the time my premium is due. Paying my homeowners insurance with a credit card takes care of a significant chunk out of the new card’s minimum spending requirement.
You can usually pay your cell phone bill with a credit card, and some carriers even offer a discount and other incentives for enrolling in auto-pay and paying with a credit card. Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card is the best credit card to use for paying the cell phone bill because it earns 5X Chase Ultimate rewards points on phone services.
Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card earns 3X points on phone services. But no matter what new card you have, paying your family’s cell phone bill will surely accelerate the progress toward meeting minimum spending requirements.
In a pinch, it’s perfectly OK to prepay your cell phone bill for a few months. The amount you spend to prepay your bill will make a nice dent in the minimum spending requirement.
It’s this time of year again – the tax time. There’s a small fee when you pay your taxes with a credit card, but it’s well worth it if you are trying to reach the minimum spend. The fees will be easily offset with the rewards you’ll earn by using a credit card.
You can pay estimated quarterly taxes with a credit card too. Also, check with your county or municipality to see how much they charge for paying property taxes with a credit card.
Plastiq is a bill pay service that allows us to use a credit card to pay someone who otherwise wouldn’t accept a credit card payment. Examples include daycare centers, landscapers, student loans, rent and mortgage. Paying bills with Plastiq is a very straightforward process. Plastiq charges your credit card and sends the provider a check.
There’s a 2.5% fee to use Plastiq and sometimes they run promotions that help offset the fee. The fee might look steep, but if you can’t meet the minimum spend in other ways, the fee is well worth it.
Ladies and gentlemen, put those FSA and HSA debit cards away. All medical expenses should be going on the credit card and earning rewards. Doctor’s visit copays, prescriptions, contact lenses and your kids’ orthodontist bills, all should be paid with a credit card.
Sure, it’s one extra step because you’ll have to fill out an online or paper form to reimburse yourself from your FSA or HSA account. But isn’t a free ticket to Europe or a family trip to Hawaii worth a little extra work?
Even when most of us are stuck at home, we still need groceries. There’s no shortage of options to get food at home. Grocery delivery services like Instacart and Shipt will shop for you at a supermarket or Target and deliver food right to your doorstep.
If you are an Amazon Prime member, Whole Foods offers free two hour delivery. Meal kit delivery services like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, and Home Chef will deliver just the right amount of ingredients and make meal prepping a breeze.
In short, you can have everything delivered, from snacks to household essentials, and all these purchases will count toward minimum spend!
There are so many restaurant delivery services, almost all areas of the country are covered by one of these. There’s UberEats, DoorDash, Grubhubb, Postmates, and the list goes on. That’s an easy way to feed your family and introduce some variety. You can even include a tip in your final bill and pay with a credit card.
If there’s some wiggle room in the budget, prepaying your bills can be hugely helpful when trying to meet a minimum spend. You can prepay the daycare bills, utilities, cell phone bills, homeowners association fees etc.
Sometimes utilities will charge a small fee for paying with a credit card, so in that case it makes more sense to prepay a larger amount for the same fee. I’ve prepaid my water, sewer and natural gas bills in the past when I had to meet a minimum spend on a new card.
This is one of my favorite ways to meet minimum spend outside of normal spending! Check out discount gift card retailers like Raise.com. Even PayPal sometimes sells discounted gift cards. You can save money and these purchases will go toward the minimum spend — a win-win!
You can also buy gift cards for your favorite retailers, where you are going to spend money anyway at a later date. For example, I bought gift cards from my grocery store when I was working on a large minimum spend. I got the bonus points and I used the gift cards to pay for my purchases over the next month.
Buying a gas gift card for future use is also a good way to meet the minimum spend without buying unnecessary stuff. Check if your grocery store has a fuel rewards program and stack those deals!
If you are buying gift cards online (especially from Raise), don’t forget to check the shopping portals. You can earn cash back or extra points and miles.
Don’t forget to use your new credit card to pay for streaming services. There are quite a few now, and it seems every day there’s a new service that’s ready to take our money and make us spend even more time in front of the TV.
You can buy discounted gift cards online with your new credit card and use these to pay for the streaming services.
Internet and cable bills can also be paid with a credit card. If the budget allows, you can prepay for a few months. These are not insignificant expenses, so that should definitely help with the minimum spend!
You can load your Amazon account with a credit card. This is a great way to streamline things when more than one family member uses the same Amazon account. You won’t have to remind your family to use the new credit card. And if the budget allows, you can prepay for a few months of Amazon purchases by loading a larger amount into your Amazon account.
If you were planning to make a donation to charity this year, use your newly open credit card to make an online donation. Most charities accept online donations, so you are doing good for the world and earning a welcome bonus on a new car, another win-win!
As you can see, there are lots of ways to meet minimum spending requirements for a new card bonus without leaving your house. You might be paying for some of these with a credit card already. In that case, don’t forget to remove your old card from the autopay and add the new card.
If your expenses are low right now, there are still quite a few cards that have low minimum spending requirements and won’t put a strain on your budget.
With a little planning and forethought, we can keep earning travel rewards even from the couch! Let us know if you’ve come up with other creative ideas to complete minimum spend on a new credit card without leaving the house.
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Editors Note: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.