Got questions? Email me at lyn AT gototravelgal.com
Again, please take your time and meet the minimum spend within the required timeframe, usually 90 days from approval, but without putting yourself at financial risk! Can you tell I don’t want you to get in debt? 🙂
What to Charge?
Try to meet the minimum spend by paying your ordinary, everyday expenses that you would be paying anyway and for which you already have money in the bank to cover. Remember, dining and travel (and some business expenses) earn you MORE points per dollar on these Chase cards (see Chase Cards in Depth for the additional points earned on spending categories).
My favorite trick to quickly pay a minimum spend is to use Plastiq (this is an affiliate link for which I may earn a reduced fee if you sign up after clicking through), a service that lets you pay bills like mortgages, rent and car payments with a credit card. Ordinarily, these expenses must come directly out of your checking account. But Plastiq charges you the amount and then sends a check to the payee.
They DO charge a fee of 2.5% of the amount, so you would need to factor that into your cost of flying free. I am willing to pay the additional fee to quickly knock out my minimum payment in a month or so by paying a few large bills through Plastiq.
Note: You can no longer pay a mortgage with a Visa or AMEX card, which are the only two bank cards we’ll be using in this course, so plan to pay other expenses. You CAN pay a mortgage with Plastiq using a MasterCard or Discover.
Everyday Expenses to Help You Meet a Minimum Spend
Here are some of my favorite everyday expenses (some you may not think about!) to help meet a minimum spend:
- Home equity lines and rent
- Medical and dental bills
- Accounting fees
- Utilities, cable and cell phones
- College tuition
- Sports fees and camps
- School lunch money
- Home improvements and appliances
- TSA Pre-check (get through security faster!)
- Charges for which you can be reimbursed (by friends or family)
- Dropship items on eBay!
- Technology upgrades, such as new computers
- Business subscription or membership fees (Chase Ink Business Preferred only)
- Car payments and gas
- Transportation – Uber, subway, taxis, trains
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.
How to Track Your Minimum Spend Progress
To help you track your progress toward your minimum spend, as well as track your loyalty programs and credit card accounts, I created the $15 Frequent Flyer Toolkit. It’s a set of five digital or printable spreadsheets that let you neatly and quickly keep track of all of this information as you progress toward your Hawaii travel goal. Make a note each time you charge something that counts toward your minimum spend and on the digital version, it will automatically tally your total!
Trust me, it will save you time and anguish — that’s why I made it for myself to start with! 🙂
Next Lesson: Earning More Points by Spending on Cards