11 Ways to Meet the Minimum Spend on an Airline Credit Card via @GotoTravelGal

Note: This post contains affiliate links for which I may earn referral points if you apply for the credit cards using my links. I would greatly appreciate it if you would use my links if you decide to apply for any of the below cards. Thank you!

Ready to start flying free on Southwest?

Download my free guide that shows you how to easily earn the coveted Southwest Companion Pass, which is what will get you — and your family — free flights around the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean.

The easiest and most efficient place to start the process is to sign up for one of the three Southwest Rapid Rewards credit cards while they are offering the 40,000-50,000-point sign-up bonus after you spend a minimum $2000 per card (+ a $69-$99 annual fee billed in your first month).

Here are those cards:

Are you wondering how you will meet that minimum spend? Let’s start with how you should NOT meet the minimum spend:

  • Buy something you cannot afford
  • Buy something for which you do not have cash to cover in the bank right now or in the next 30 days
  • Splurge on something you don’t need
  • Buy something JUST to earn the points

BUT, there are plenty of ways you can responsibly meet the minimum spend with a little creativity and by paying your ordinary expenses. A good practice is to charge the items to your card and then go pay the card off every few days or at least at the end of the billing period BEFORE you are charged interest.

Here are 11 examples you may not have thought of besides the obvious dining, grocery and everyday expenses:

  • Summer camps – Do you send your kids to various summer programs and camps? Those can run $100-$200 each, so use your Southwest credit card.
  • Technology upgrades – Did your computer quit on you? Use your card to buy a new one. Read how I double-dipped on Rapid Rewards points by starting at the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal and then paying with my Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier credit card.
  • School athletic fees & school book fees – We have to pay a fee for each sport my child participates in at the middle and high schools, as well as pay a book fee for each kiddo. Charge it and then pay it off!
  • Field trip fees – My son visited a theme park with the school band during the school year, so I paid for his ticket with my Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which also earns points that can be transferred 1:1 for Rapid Rewards points, but of course you could also use this as a way to meet your minimum spend.
  • Pay for a work outing – Offer to put the group’s dinner charge on your card and then apply to be reimbursed by your company (as long as you can be reimbursed before interest charges begin accruing).
  • Medical bills – Most medical bills allow you to go online to pay them these days. Whip out the credit card and then pay it off in a few days.
  • Dental visits – We all need to visit the dentist about twice a year. Guess how I’ll be paying? 🙂
  • School clothing – With kids, it seems you have to buy new school clothes every few months as they grow quickly, especially my boys who are growing seemingly inches at a time! Buy online, starting at the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal, then pay with your Rapid Rewards credit card and you can double dip!
  • TSA Pre-Check – We decided to invest in the $85 TSA Pre-Check to help us get through security lines more quickly since we do a lot of traveling. With the reports of insane lines at many airports (we experienced a long wait in San Diego this year), we think the $85/person (kids are free 12 and younger) over five years is a worthy investment. Note: TSA Pre-Check does not work with ALL airlines, especially budget carriers, but it DOES work with Southwest.
  • Utilities – Did you know you can pay many utilities online with a credit card, often with no additional fee? Give it a try. I am able to pay electric, gas, phone and water all online by credit card.
  • Sunday School – Do your kids go to Sunday School? We just enrolled our kids for fall and once again paid online with a credit card.

All of these $100 and $200 fees add up very quickly. Combined with groceries and dining, you probably need only 10-20 of these to hit the minimum spend on one card. Just, PLEASE be sure you pay it off monthly, so you don’t get into debt in order to fly free (because then you aren’t really flying free!).

Let me know other creative ways you’ve found to meet your minimum spends.

Again, here are the cards you will need to select from to get started:

Download my free guide on how to fly free on Southwest and easily earn the Southwest Companion Pass to get started on free travel today!

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