Note that this post could easily be titled “How to Meet Minimum Spend Requirements” since it’s essentially the same thing.
Hopefully by now you’ve figured out what you want, are taking advantage of limited time offers, are accruing points in lots of accounts, and know your spending habits really well. If you’ve gotten to this point, it’s time to turn up the miles/points-earning pace!
Luckily, there are LOTS of ways to increase your credit card spend for very little out-of-pocket money. The key words there are “very little,” so realize that you will still be spending some cash but much less than you would if you paid for the travel itself.
Another important note: It’s important to realize that if you’re a casual traveler (i.e. only one big trip per year OR a couple of domestic trips a year OR you don’t mind coach travel), then you can easily travel on credit card bonuses alone. You don’t need to earn thousands of extra points and get bogged down with the schemes I discuss elsewhere on this blog. This post (and many parts of my blog) discuss how to earn lots of points for a “minimal” amount of cash. If you’re interested in going big time, read on!
With those mini-disclaimers out of the way, let me reiterate that there are tons of ways to spend money on points/miles-earning credit cards and get reimbursed for much of it. None of the methods below were discovered by me, so instead of me explaining the dozens of different ways, I’ll link to articles that have already done so in detail.
Note that this is not a comprehensive list, but if you’re truly a beginner then this should be more than enough to overwhelm you. Also note that some of these deals might not be available anymore or might be region-specific. Still, it should get your mind thinking the right way, and THAT’S the real goal!
- Buy a bunch of free-after-rebate items. No explanation necessary!
- I explain Bluebird and Vanilla Reloads.
- I explain Green Dot MoneyPak reloads.
- I explain Daily Fantasy Sports leagues.
- Million Mile Secrets explains Amazon Payments.
- The Frequent Miler explains Kiva Loans.
- The Frequent Miler explains gift card churning.
- The Frequent Miler explains the Amex Prepaid card. (This was pretty much the post of the year in 2012)
- The Frequent Miler explains the Target Amex card.
- Points to Point B explains a California law that benefits points junkies.
- Miles Abound explains REloadit cards.
- Mr Pickles explains Costco’s amazing refund policy.
- There are TONS of other ways!
As you read through these posts you’ll notice that not all of them are guaranteed to work. Part of the points game includes taking a risk, and not everyone is able to risk cash to the large extent that is sometimes required to earn lots of points. Do only what you feel comfortable doing.
You should also know that the above list is by no means comprehensive. There are a lot more methods you can read about in this and other blogs, on FlyerTalk, or on Twitter (I explained the importance of Twitter here).
With this in mind, you should now be well on your way to earning hundreds of thousands of points for less than you previously thought possible!
Beginner’s Guide to Points – A 5-Part Series