I think people panic when they see initial spending requirements to earn lucrative credit card bonus points. Most offers require between $1,000-4,000 in spending within the first three months to earn an initial major bonus, more than the average person generally spends on a credit card. Accomplishing your spending needs is far easier than one would think, and the tips below can help you meet any initial spending needs. Some of the best benefits however, like companion passes, require additional continued spending. The key thought process is to treat your credit card like a debit card/checkbook, spend everything on it and pay it off immediately. People have a habit of paying every day bills with a check or debit card but you might be surprised how many essential services that we all need and use, accept credit card payments. Using your card for necessary expenses can mean major points and major benefits.
Monthly Car Payment:
We lease, and for a fee of $2,50 per month are able to use a credit card to pay the lease. If a card requires say... $1,000 in spending in the first three months to earn bonus miles, we can nearly hit this just paying for our car. If it's a 50,000 point card, we end up paying $7.50 in fees to meet that spend.
For no fee, or one less than $2.00 you can generally pay your phone/cable/internet bill with a card. For us this takes care of a couple thousand dollars a year all together. That's 2,000 points that you wouldn't have if you pay by check. I for one hate being just a few miles short for an award and always think, what can I charge to get the points up...
This is a great one. We pay out the nose (as everyone does) for car insurance. Once again, the fee is only a flat $2.00 per transaction. If we pay our car insurance for the year in one go, we can put $2,000 in spending down for a $2.00 fee. For cards like the Amex Platinum, Chase Sapphire Preferred or others that require a few thousand in the first three months to receive the big points, this is a no brainer.
Surprisingly, you can pay your taxes online using a credit card. It's tried, proven and tested and in some countries the government itself processes the transaction. With a 1.4% transaction fee, I wouldn't recommend putting a major tax bill on a card, but putting $3,000 on your tax bill would cost you only $42 in fee's. It's not a perfect situation but if you can get 50,000 miles which are worth at least $2,000 used correctly, or a companion pass which doubles your redemption, it's totally worth it. Small money for big reward, plus, you must pay your taxes (unless you are Phil Collins).
Your results may vary on this one but many mortgage companies/housing developers offer credit card payment. I personally don't use this option but for some it's a gold mine for racking up 20-30,000 plus points a year. That's a free flight somewhere. Of course you need to examine the individual fee's you may incur to see if it's worth it. Just a thought...
If you followed each of these steps you'd easily generate 10,000 points a year. These are expenses virtually everyone incurs and paying them by card and paying it off just like it's a checkbook expense will mean paying no interest and earning major points. Don't miss out.
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