My Top 7 No Fee Ways to Meet Minimum Spend on Credit Cards

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Meeting minimum spend on credit cards to unlock signup bonuses can sometimes be challenging.  However, if you know a few tips and tricks, you can quickly meet minimum spends easily.  It’s true that you can pay your taxes or mortgage with a fee, but I hate paying fees.  Therefore, I try to come up with no fee ways to meet minimum spend on credit cards.

When I credit card churn, I often sign up for 3-4 credit cards at one time and have to spend for example $6,000 in 3 months.  My normal expenses do not come anywhere close to that amount.  Here are my personal top 10 no fee ways to meet minimum spend.

  1.  Amazon Payments – I tend to apply for credit cards during the middle of the month because you can transfer $1,000 each calendar month as I talked about in this post.  If I applied for a credit card on March 15, I would expect to get my credit cards in a week around March 22.  I could then transfer $1,000 to my spouse before end of March, and then $1,000 again beginning of April.
  2. Everyday spend – Everybody’s everyday spend may differ.  I charge everything onto credit cards, even $.50 parking meter fees.  Groceries, dining, and gas are our biggest everyday spend expenses.
  3. Cell Phone, Cable TV, Internet – You can pay all these bills monthly to meet minimum spend on credit cards.  It is possible to prepay some of these bills to credit your next month’s bill.
  4. Utility Bills – I can pay my electricity bill via Visa/Mastercard each month.  Check with your provider to see if you can pay credit card.  You can prepay these too.
  5. Discounted Gift Cards on PlasticJungle or Cardpool via Topcashback(my link) – I often buy gift cards on these discount gift card retailers for stores I plan to shop at.  For example, I’ll buy some discounted Target gift cards for about 94% on PlasticJungle, get another 2.5% cash back on Topcashback, and meet minimum spend.  

    Discounted Target Gift Cards at 94.5%

    Discounted Target Gift Cards at 94.5%

  6. American Express Gift Cards – Technically there is a $3.95 fee for buy these gift cards, but if you buy through Bigcrumbs(my link), you can get 1.4% back.  You can buy a $3,000 AMEX gift card with a $3.95 fee and $8 shipping charge (sometimes free shipping code is available).  Therefore, you can actually profit $30.  ($42 – $12 = $30) Method no longer works.  See Chase Gift Cards.
  7. Buying things for friends and family – I often offer to buy things for friends and family and have them reimburse me.  For example, I have Amazon Prime and offer to buy Amazon products for people and have them pay me back in cash.  It’s a win/win situation because the friend gets free 2 day shipping, and I can meet minimum spend or earn points.

There are many ways to meet minimum spend on credit cards, but if you are like me I hate paying fees of all sorts (fuel surcharges, convenience fees, booking fees, etc).  I still buy Vanilla Reload cards when I get the chance, but it is a lot of effort for me.  Using these methods above, I can usually meet minimum spend very easily and don’t need to make any unnecessary expenses.  Remember, you should not have the mentality of spending and anything to meet minimum spend.  It should come through every day expenses and no fee methods.

If anybody has any other no fee ways to meet minimum spend on credit cards, please post below.


42 comments for “My Top 7 No Fee Ways to Meet Minimum Spend on Credit Cards

  1. Matt
    April 1, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Great refresher post! So, what do you do with $3000 AMX cards? What is the advantage of going that route? Is it just to get the min spend off you CC faster, or is there a no fee way to move the amx back into a checking or bill pay service?

    • Gaurav
      April 1, 2013 at 7:50 am

      I assume you could use them to buy vanilla cards and move it into a bill pay account.

    • April 1, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Meet minimum spend quickly then use amazon payments to liquidate.

      • April 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm

        Great – I didn’t realize AP would accept AMX prepaid. Thanks for the tip.

  2. April 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Good list. I’d add that if you have a big purchase coming up, like a computer, home appliance, or a trip, that’s a great opportunity to sign up for a new credit card and get a sign-up bonus.

    The key is that it was something you were planning to buy anyway. Not increasing your spending. A good test is to ask yourself, “Would I still buy this even without the miles?” If yes, then go ahead and get a credit card before buying. For example, I plan to get another credit card before buying a MacBook Pro (~$2,000).

    • April 1, 2013 at 11:51 am

      Yes make sure you plan your big purchases accordingly. Thanks for your input!

    • April 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Or for a costly main water line repair. Ugh! Thankfully my contractor didn’t mind running the multiple $500 GCs that I had picked up at Office Depot.

      • April 1, 2013 at 2:30 pm

        That’s good. Most contractors I’ve found give discounts on cash payments. I was offered 5% off for cash so cc would not be worth it.

  3. Jerry Mandel
    April 1, 2013 at 11:27 am

    AMEX gift cards won’t let you recycle funds to pay off the card charges. Use AMEX gift cheques. On line, buy with ANY credit card. In an AMEX travel office, you save the $5.95 S/H but only an AMEX credit card is accepted. $2.50 fee per gift cheque; so buy only $100 cheques. Yes, I know this violates the no fee concept.

    • April 1, 2013 at 11:53 am

      Except you won’t get Big Crumbs cashback. Not too familiar with AMEX gift checks.

  4. Judy jones
    April 4, 2013 at 4:56 am

    I buy gas cards at the grocery or office supply stores. I will always use gasoline, and these days use a $50 card at a time in the car.

  5. Jonathan
    April 5, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Hello Rom, just stumbled upon your site today via somebodies link on FM. I like your site layout (cleanest travel blogging site I’ve seen yet)! Thanks for putting these posts together with concise and helpful information.

    Regarding the AMEX GC + BC Cash back, great combination (especially for a profit)! Have you confirmed that AP taxes AMEX prepaid or was that simply a suggestion? If they do, the only drawback to this I see is that your limited to 1K in transactions a month on AP and so you cant liquidate quickly, plus you cut that AP off for spend on credit cards (though obviously your spending on the GC). Id be cautious of doing this too often because I would suspect you’d be setting of fraud detection flags with the CC companies pretty soon if your making multiple transactions of 3K+ from the same vendor (and the last thing you want is an AMEX FR if your using AMEX to buy the GC’s).

    • April 6, 2013 at 12:56 am

      I have two friends that have used Amazon Payments for Amex GC. Yes, you would do it slowly… 1K a month. You could use various CCs to avoid AMEX FR.

  6. Jonathan
    April 5, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    p.s. Just a heads up regarding the site, in my browser (chrome v25) the icons above the tabs at the top (‘points and miles’, ‘travel tips’, etc) are all cut off in half, and “about” appears on its own line, as if it was word wrapped (which is probably why the rest of the menu bar is cut off). It could be an issue of my resolution, though you may want to test it out in adobe browser lab or some equivalent. No big deal, just thought you should know.

    • April 5, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Just noticed that too, I’ll fix it soon. I’m definitely not a web designer.

  7. ben
    April 6, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Hi, Rom, can I confirm that I should never use any Citi credit card to buy any gift card whether online or at a store because Citi considers these transactions as cash advances rather than purchases. Thanks and cheers. Hope your holiday is great.

    • April 6, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      You can use Citicard for gift card purchases in stores. I am only referring to not using Citicards for AMEX GCs $1000+ on their website

      • Ben
        April 6, 2013 at 2:54 pm

        Thanks Rom. How about buying Amex, visa or mc gift cards using citi credit cards through topcashback, big crumbs, etc? Does citi count these as purchases? Sorry for these questions as I am new to this.

        • April 6, 2013 at 4:38 pm

          I would advise not to, but it could work. What Citicard do you want to use? What’s your goal?

          • Ben
            April 7, 2013 at 10:17 am

            Thanks. I am trying to meet the minimum spend for citi Amex AA.

          • April 8, 2013 at 12:40 pm

            I’ve used amazon payments for Citicard no problem.

  8. Jen
    April 16, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Hi Rom, do you think it is safe to do AP with US Bank Club Carlson Visa? I was thinking do $450/mon. I heard the US Bank shut down repeat CVSers.

    • April 17, 2013 at 5:50 am

      I think it’s fine, but I don’t have experience with US Bank.

    April 17, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    AMEX gift cheques (NOT gift cards) are limited to $1,000 every 14 days and come in $100 maximum size cheques. Make sure AMEX charges them as services or goods and NOT as cash advances. With a fee of $2.50 per cheque in an AMEX travel office using only an AMEX card, you would charge $1,020 every 14 days. Online, add $5.95 for S/H. Do not deposit them into your own checking account. If you need $750, buy $800. The cost online with ANY credit card would be $800 + $20 fee +$5.95 S/H for a total of $825.95. If you only need $750 for a minimum spend, buy $800 instead of $750.

    • Jerry Mandel
      July 6, 2013 at 1:55 pm

      You can charge AMEX gift CHEQUES in Chase, Comerica, and other banks. Have spouse, etc. deposit them in separate bank or credit union account.

  10. Gaurav
    July 7, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Rom, does your AmEx/big crumbs method still work? I don’t see any listed on big crumbs. Thanks.

    • July 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      It unfortunately does not work. You can order a $3k personal card but no cash back.

  11. Jacob Reaves
    September 5, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Rom how do you purchase a gift card on big crumb? I don’t care if I get cash back.

    • September 5, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      I believe you can’t anymore. I’ll update the post.

  12. JDH
    September 26, 2013 at 6:10 pm

    Great list. Just signed up for Topcashback through your link. Thanks!

  13. JenT
    December 15, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    Hi Rom, can I use my personal Citi AAdvantage card to meet minimum spend on Amazon Payments? No cash advance, right? Also, can my AU help meet minimum spend?

  14. Adam Krepp
    February 7, 2015 at 7:11 am

    It sounds like a few of these options are no longer available, what are the current methods you use?

  15. Jerry Mandel
    February 7, 2015 at 11:10 am

    Let’s say you buy gift cards with a Chase, US Bank, etc. credit card to meet min spend. Call up Citi to pay your bill with the gift cards. No PIN needed.

  16. Jack
    June 8, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    Great tip, I am in the same boat as many of you trying to meet min spend. Got the Chase Ink Preferred and AMEX SPG recently and trying to finish meeting min spend. There is huge bonus from Plastiq lately to use for your minimum spend requirements by using it to pay for your mortgage. I know there is a small fee but if you can get bonus FFD if they pay thru them so it is free later on. You can get $500 FFD (as June 8, 2017). I have been using it as last resort to meet the min spend. Appreciate if readers also using my link please.

    Referral code: 648842

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