How can you possibly meet the spending requirements of several credit cards offering those amazing frequent flyer mile bonuses?
Fear not, here are some great tips for racking up miles. Hopefully you timed your signing up for cards. with when you will have expenses. Regardless, these tips should help you.
Resist the temptation to buy stuff you haven’t budgeted for, and spend only on things you already have planned and need. Start with the obvious:
- Put away the other credit cards, and start using the new one(s) instead.
- Look at your last year’s checking account and see which expenses could be paid with credit cards this year instead (property taxes, utilities, possibly mortgage or rent?, etc). Some might charge a 1-3% convenience fee for this privilege, which isn’t normally worth it, but it you need it to get bonus miles it sure is.
- Gift Cards. If you are close to the end of your required
- Charitable contributions.
- Flexible Spending Accounts or Health Spending Accounts. If you already participate in one of these, you probably have a debit card for ease of use. See if it’s possible to use your own credit card, and then submit receipts to be reimbursed.
- Buy things for relatives and have them reimburse you. If your dad is going to spend $2000 on carpet or $600 on medications, etc, you could use your card, and he could pay you back by check.
- Look at your last years’ statement and see where you have automatic payments set up. This could be: Amazon, eBay, dating sites, cable TV, cell phone bills, etc. You’ll be surprised how many you forgot. Change the payment to the new card(s). Personally, I like keeping these on my oldest card that has no annual fee (so I don’t have to remember to switch number if I cancel one of my new credit cards).
- And if you are close to the end of the spending period and aren’t quite there yet, just buy gift cards at places where you know you will spend money (grocery stores, Amazon, etc). Check to make sure this doesn’t trigger a “cash advance fee” from your bank. It most likely won’t. Buying Amex Gift Cards directly from Amex probably will however.
- Staples also sells gift card, including a $300 Visa gift card with a small fee (about $9). Yes, you are paying more than you have to, but you’ll have money you can use anywhere.
- Buy a car. Okay, don’t buy one if you weren’t planning one already, but many dealers will let you put a portion of the purchase on your card (probably not the whole amount).