How to earn credit card bonuses without breaking your budget
You can earn big credit card bonuses by spending money, but there are a few ways to do it without breaking the bank.
You can earn rewards for traveling without flying by using the big credit card welcome bonus. These bonuses can be used to get incredible travel experiences at a relatively low cost. Want to go to the Maldives for a vacation? Sign-up bonuses for credit cards are just a few clicks away. Want to pay for your all-inclusive trip with points only? You can also get a card that covers all-inclusive vacations.
You may have to spend between $1,000 and $15,000 on your credit cards within a certain period to earn the big bonus. The higher the bonus, the greater the requirement to spend. You don't need to accept a lower bonus because you can't spend as much as Jeff Bezos.
You can meet your credit card requirements without getting into debt or going over budget. Here are a few tips on how to earn welcome bonuses and avoid debt.
When to apply for credit cards around big purchases
Consider any upcoming large purchases when applying for a credit card. By planning your credit card applications around large expenses, you can manage spending more easily. You can spend more on a home renovation project, a new mattress, school supplies, or holiday shopping by planning credit card applications to coincide with these purchases.
Applying for a credit card with low spending requirements will help you to meet your spending goals. Many rewards credit cards will offer you a substantial bonus if you spend $2,000 on your new card.
Spend $2,000 in the first three months after account opening to earn 40,000 bonus miles. Hilton Honors American Express Card - Earn 80,000 bonus point and a free hotel night after spending $1,000 in the first three month of opening your account. Spend $2,000 within the first 3 months after account opening to earn 80,000 bonus points. Southwest Rapid Rewards Priority Credit Card: Earn up to 50,000 bonus points for spending $1,000 within the first 3 months after account opening. Spend $1,000 within the first 3 months after account opening and earn 20,000 bonus miles. No annual fee.
Prepay and automate your regular bills
It's impossible to meet a credit card spending requirement without using it to pay for your everyday bills and purchases. Set your home internet, mobile phone and utility bills to autopay with your credit card. This will ensure that they are paid promptly while also meeting your spending requirement.
Pre-paying larger bills like insurance or utilities is also possible. You'll need to ensure that you can pay the credit card off at the end each month. Even if your credit card offers a generous sign-up bonus, it's not worth paying interest to accumulate a large amount of debt.
You might want to buy gift cards in order to make future purchases. It could be a win-win situation on multiple fronts. Stores like Office Max, Safeway and Safeway often offer discounted Visa or merchant gift cards. These gift cards can be purchased with a credit card, and used for pre-budget expenses such as groceries and dining.
Check the terms and conditions of your credit card before you do this. You may find that the terms and conditions of your credit card exclude gift cards from being counted towards spending requirements. If you are a few hundred bucks short, you might be able to use this method to meet your spending requirements and stay within your budget.
Rent can be paid with credit card
Rent and mortgage payments can be significant costs for many people. This is a great way to avoid debt while still meeting your spending needs. Rent can be paid with a credit or debit card in several ways. Many of these options overlap with the way you pay for your mortgage.
You will usually pay a convenience charge of about 3% or $30 for every $1,000. You might find it worth it if your sign-up bonus is large enough. Plastiq, a payment platform, runs promotional offers that offer lower or no processing fees. You can sometimes earn 'Fee Free Dollars' by signing up through a referral link.
Plastiq does not accept American Express cards, and some card networks and issuers limit Plastiq payment to specific purchases. Visa cards, for example, can be used only to pay for rent, utilities and tuition (including daycare and camp), taxes, government fees, club fees and insurance with Plastiq. The full list of restrictions can be found on this page.
Even though college tuition can be expensive, the glass is half full. This is because you can use this money to meet credit card requirements. You can pay for college tuition using credit cards, but you may have to pay a fee between 1.5 and 3%.
Plastiq can be used as a solution if your institution does not accept credit card payments for tuition. You can pay for goods and services from a variety of merchants including universities. Be sure to allow extra time for processing in order to avoid late fees. It may take more time to process first-time payments for universities than rent payments.
You'll have to decide if the points are worth it, just like you would with rent or mortgage payments. Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, for example, offers 60,000 bonus point after spending $4,000 in the first three month from account opening. The bonus can be worth up to $750 in travel. However, you may get more if your Chase Ultimate Rewards points are transferred through other Chase partners. Even if you have to pay $250 in tuition fees to meet the spending requirement, it's still a good deal.
Look at the positive side if you are facing a large tax bill in April. You can still meet your credit card requirement at an affordable rate. For a fee of 1.87%, you can pay your tax bill with a credit cards. This is lower than fees that you will incur when paying for rent or tuition via Plastiq.
Add an authorized user
You can meet your spending goals faster by enlisting the help of a family member, friend or significant other. This can be done by adding an authorized account user. This is usually free (although some premium credit cards charge a fee), and you can earn rewards for friends or family who make purchases.
You should only add authorized users you can trust. You are responsible for paying the authorized user. You should also discuss the expected terms of repayment if you are being reimbursed for large purchases.
You can get help from your family and friends
You can still ask them to help you meet your spending requirement if you are not comfortable adding family members and friends as authorized users. You can let people know that you need to spend a certain amount and use your credit card for large purchases. You'll also want to be very clear about the repayment requirements and only invite people that you can trust.
A few years ago, I needed to spend a lot of money on my American Express Gold Card. My aunt wanted to buy a new fridge. I met my aunt at the store and swiped my card. She then paid off my credit card. She got my thanks for helping me meet my credit card requirement.
Ask for an extension if all else fails
You can ask for a credit card extension if you are unable to meet your spending goals. The banks are not required to grant these requests. However, you may find a phone agent who is sympathetic and can do some magic for you. You never know until you try!
Hilton Honors Amex rates and fees can be found here.
Are you looking for a credit card? CNN Underscored has compiled a list of the top credit cards currently available.