Credit Cards , Personal Finance

How To Meet Minimum Spend

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 6 minute read

It may be easier than you think to meet the spending requirements of your new rewards credit card. The moment has come for you to cash in on your sign-up bonus with one of the greatest rewards credit cards around!

Who stands in your way of snagging some more bonus points or miles? The bare minimum of money that must be spent. Sign-up bonuses might be intimidating, but rest assured that there are many inventive methods to meet the spending criteria, even if this is your first time receiving one (or even your second or third).

It’s not clear what “minimum spend” means.

In order to receive the sign-up bonus, you must achieve the minimum spend requirement, or MSR for short, by a particular date. Your credit card company will set a bonus amount and a deadline for you to achieve these requirements before crediting your rewards account with the money. A 60- or 90-day window is usual for most highly rated reward cards. 

Examples

  • Spend $4,000 during the first three months of account opening and you’ll get 50,000 bonus points.
  • Spend $3,000 in the first three months of your new account and get 50,000 bonus miles.

Is the annual fee counted toward the required spending?

This does not count towards your minimum spending requirement. Note that the purchase must meet a minimum spending threshold. Minimum expenditure does not include fees spent on your card (including annual fees, if applicable). This is a typical blunder that we address in our no-cost Ultimate Guide to Travel Rewards.

How to meet minimum spend

Take notes and tell us how you’re meeting your spending requirements — we’d love to know!

After reaching the MSR, focus your usual spending on your credit card.

While this may seem like a no-brainer, it serves as a good reminder that switching all of your routine purchases to a new rewards card once you have one will help you accomplish your MSR goal more quickly.

Groceries

Using your credit card to purchase groceries, planning ahead for products to stock up on, and purchasing a gift card for the grocery store you frequent the most can all help you get closer to your MSR.

Clothing

It’s just like shopping for groceries in this regard.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV

Use your new credit card to make monthly payments for recurring entertainment subscriptions.

Gas

If you’re paying for gas with cash or a debit card, use your new credit card instead.

Gym

You may use your credit card to pay for your gym membership or other health and wellness activities, such as yoga..

Car maintenance

The oil change, or possibly even a car wash, maybe the reason for this. Pay for it using a credit card.

Hair salon services

Is it time for a haircut or other salon services? Make an appointment and charge the cost to your new credit card before you leave the house.

Public transit cards

Use your credit card to add funds to your transit card if you often use public transportation.

Prepay monthly bills

Monthly costs including phone/data services, internet, gas, water, and cable may all be paid using your new credit card. Most firms allow you to prepay and get a credit on your bank account.

Big purchases you already have planned

The best time to acquire a new credit card is when you know you’ll be making a large purchase in the near future. To meet the MSR, however, we strongly discourage justifying a large purchase that you don’t need.

Purchase gifts in advance

By purchasing presents in advance, you may save time and money when it comes to birthdays, graduations, holidays, and other special occasions.

Prepay insurance bills

In some cases, you may save money on your car and health insurance by paying for a full year or six months in advance (versus month to month). MSR can be met while also saving you money with certain providers.

Car payments

See whether you can pay for your automobile using a credit card.

Car registrations, license renewals, etc.

Renewing your driver’s license after moving to a new state? In many cases, a credit card can be used to pay for these costs.

Rent or mortgage payments

Consider paying your rent or mortgage using a credit card through a service. These services often carry a cost of 2% to 3%, but they may be worth it if they help you fulfill your MSR.

Pay student loans

Credit card payments are accepted at certain schools, although you may be charged a fee, just as when you pay your rent or mortgage.

Donations may be made by credit card at most nonprofit organizations. Everything works out for the best in the end!

Purchase gift cards you know you’ll use

Purchase gift cards for businesses you often visit, such as restaurants, retailers, petrol stations, and grocery stores, if not able to meet your MSR on a regular basis. Purchase gift cards for businesses you often visit, such as restaurants, retailers, petrol stations, and grocery stores, if not able to meet your MSR on a regular basis.

Purchase Visa gift cards

Visa gift cards are convenient since they may be used everywhere Visa is accepted, however activating the card might cost anywhere from $3 to $7.

Purchase Amazon gift cards

An Amazon gift card can help you meet an MSR because so many of our friends and acquaintances use Amazon. They never expire, so you may use them whenever you want.

Pick up the tab when you’re out with friends

If your friends pay you back in cash or via a service like Venmo or Paypal, this is a terrific method to meet your MSR.

Pay your friends back

Offer to pay a buddy (or anybody else) back using a service like Venmo if you owe them money. You may transfer money to friends and family by linking your credit card to the app.

Spend money on gifts for your social circle

Putting purchases for friends on your credit card with the assumption that they would pay you back is an excellent method to fulfill your MSR. Offer to pay for the item with your credit card and have them reimburse you if they can’t afford it (say, a couch).

Add an authorized user

In order to fulfill the MSR, you must add an authorized user to your account, which means they will obtain a credit card that is immediately linked to your account. Make sure the person you choose as an authorized user is trustworthy because you’ll be responsible for the bill if they don’t pay up.

Wedding planning & vendors

Are you putting together your wedding plans? Congratulations! To maximize credit card benefits while preparing for the big event, it’s a good idea to prepare ahead. Check with each and every business to see if they accept credit card payments.

Home renovations

Taking on the project yourself or hiring a contractor? Take advantage of the home improvement store’s credit card payment option by going with them.

New or used car in your future

Are you in the market for a new or used car soon? Inquire before thinking you can’t use your credit card as a down payment at a vehicle dealership!

Splitting payments

Do you have a high number of purchases scheduled in the near future? When purchasing large-ticket products like televisions, computers, and other gadgets, consider paying with a combination of cash and credit cards.

Fund a new bank account

Banks that let consumers finance new savings or checking accounts with a credit card might be a big assistance in meeting your MSR.

Pay taxes

You may not enjoy paying taxes, but it might help you reach your MSR. Property taxes, federal taxes, state taxes, municipal taxes, school taxes, and others can all be paid using a credit card. It’s worth double-checking the terms and conditions, as there may be a cost linked with making a payment, as well.

Bottom Line

Keep in mind that many minimum spending requirements may seem insurmountable, but they’re actually easier than you think. For a while, you may get the high sign-up bonuses and start planning how you’ll optimize your benefits if you become inventive and allocate all of your costs and purchases to one credit card.

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