meeting spending thresholds for bonuses

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by ryflyer, Jul 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Now that the US Mint deal is defunct, any tips on how to meet spending thresholds on CCs to get bonuses?

    I'm a year out of college, and unfortunately my yearly expenses don't add up to 30K over a year, or if i go for the SPG card, 4500 in three months. I do have a job though! thank goodness for that...
     
  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Sometimes bills that be set to be paid automatically every month from your checking account can instead be charged to a credit card every month--things like cell/data service, cable tv, electric power, (land line) phone, gas, etc. Each company has its own rules and its own list of accepted credit cards, if any. Be sure to watch carefully, especially at the beginning, that the bill is being correctly charged to your credit card.

    Your doctor or dentist might accept credit cards for the part of bills not covered by insurance.

    If you go to dinner (for example) in a group, offer to pay banker and put the bill on your credit card, collecting cash from the others.

    At the end of the your credit card year, you might be able to strategically shift some expenses from one year to another by accelerating or postponing major purchases, travel, deposits, etc. However. note that most credit cards will disallow any charges for items that are returned.
     
    Len Williams, viguera and savydog like this.
  3. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,834
    Likes Received:
    80,011
    Status Points:
    16,495
    Read MillionMileSecret's post on reaching spending limits.. If you look around on MP and FT as well there are other ways of reaching spending limits. Here's a clue: Name of a rain forest and river in South America.
     
  4. Jett Rink
    Original Member

    Jett Rink Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    1,405
    Status Points:
    910
    Welcome, ryflyer, to mp!

    Rule #1: never pay cash when a credit card will do.

    If you have the resources now to fund future expenses, and you want to accelerate a CC bonus, or meet a spending deadline for bonus miles/points:
    > prepay some recurring expenses, such as your cable/internet/wireless bill, etc.
    > purchase gift cards to cover future expected expense, like what you typically spend per month at the grocery store, and wherever you routinely shop.
     
    wrxmom, Valentine and kenbo like this.
  5. Toula
    Original Member

    Toula Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,194
    Likes Received:
    4,807
    Status Points:
    2,400
    I am gung-ho in making sure that anything over $5 goes on my credit cad. Actually I do slip below that limit if I lash out on a Starbucks, but I won't use a credit card at a mom and pop store for that amount.

    As others have mentioned put all your can on your credit card, auto pay utilities, phones etc.

    One thing I did this year was pay our taxes on credit cards. Some say this is a no-no as you do get charged a fee for doing so, but if it allows you to reach spending goals, for me it was worth it.

    I also pay for all medical expenditure on my personal credit card, I do not use the card provided by our employer to access FSA funds, I prefer to wait for them to reimburse.

    We pay our condo HOA fees on credit card. There is a $25 fee, but I pay three months at a time to spread the cost.
     
    travelpye and Gargoyle like this.
  6. I looked through the post and he definitely has some great tips. I'm thinking I might develop jungle fever.

    The main concern I have with putting even more of my monthly payments on my CC are the fees. I'm loathe to use my CC to reach a threshold, only to be saddled with 100s of dollars worth of fees to go along with it.
     
  7. Toula
    Original Member

    Toula Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,194
    Likes Received:
    4,807
    Status Points:
    2,400
    Why would you be getting 100s of dollars of fees every month?

    I think the key to maximising credit card rewards and managing your money is don't buy anything you wouldn't normally buy just to meet a spend. If you are on a tight budget, until you learn to manage your money, perhaps what you should do is put everything thru your credit card but then pay it every 2 weeks so you can see where your money is going.

    The quickest way to credit card debt is to spend money you don't have just to get points. If you know you only have X amount to spend in any year, work out which card is going to give you the best return based on your spend pattern. As your income grows commit to more cards.

    However, the basics like utilities, cable, phones etc. I would put onto your credit card because you are going to have to pay them anyway and I have never been charged any fees.
     
    travelpye likes this.
  8. LizzyDragon84
    Original Member

    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

    Messages:
    18,586
    Likes Received:
    28,524
    Status Points:
    19,975
    One way I've been meeting CC requirements is through Kiva. If you can float some cash for a few months, you can make a loan through Kiva using a CC. Once the loan is repaid, you can either reloan or put the cash into a PayPal account. There is a little risk with this method as a loan might not be repaid or you lose some value through currency exchange. Still, it's another way to meet spending requirements.
     
  9. haha i was JUST going to say i'd read about doing this. I'm actually really excited about this avenue of spending -- even though there is some risk, there's the knowledge of knowing you're doing a small part in promoting the economic prosperity of someone else in the world. Amazing what technology can do. I'm definitely going to bring this into my classroom -- maybe my students can even research and then figure out which people we should donate money to as a class!

    Lizzy, have you ever had a loan default on you? I'm thinking of making loans greater than the minimum 25 spend (obviously, if i'm trying to CC thresholds). Any and everyone else is welcome to weigh in as well....
     
    miles and smiles likes this.
  10. LizzyDragon84
    Original Member

    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

    Messages:
    18,586
    Likes Received:
    28,524
    Status Points:
    19,975
    So far, all my loans are being paid back as expected, although I've only been involved for 3-4 months.

    Kiva is running a free trial right now where you can loan $25 at no cost or risk to you. It's a good way to test out the program if you're not sure if it's for you (disclaimer: the link is a referral link where I'll get a free shirt if enough people try it out).
     
    miles and smiles likes this.
  11. spesalvi

    spesalvi Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,525
    Likes Received:
    7,362
    Status Points:
    5,270
    Is that they way we get repaid is thru paypal only?
     
    miles and smiles likes this.
  12. LizzyDragon84
    Original Member

    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

    Messages:
    18,586
    Likes Received:
    28,524
    Status Points:
    19,975
    Yes, it's the only way. Once the money is in a paypal account, you can make a transfer out to a bank account.
     
    miles and smiles likes this.
  13. spesalvi

    spesalvi Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,525
    Likes Received:
    7,362
    Status Points:
    5,270
    I had recently signed up but don't remember them asking for my paypal nor did I linked my papa acct to kiva yet.
     
    miles and smiles likes this.
  14. LizzyDragon84
    Original Member

    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

    Messages:
    18,586
    Likes Received:
    28,524
    Status Points:
    19,975
    They will not ask you for payment information until you make a loan. And you don't need a paypal account to make a loan- Kiva accepts most major credit cards.

    As loans are repaid, they are returned to your Kiva account for reloaning. It's only when you want to cash out your Kiva money into a bank account that you'll need a paypal account.
     
    spesalvi and miles and smiles like this.
  15. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,531
    Likes Received:
    61,942
    Status Points:
    20,020
    For those who may be contemplating using Kiva in this way, here are a few things you will need to know.
    Yes, the only way to transfer money out from your Kiva account is via Paypal. In my experience it takes about a week for money to be transferred out from Kiva to Paypal. Then it takes about two business days for your money to be transferred from Paypal to your bank account.

    Kiva's default rate is 1.21% across more than 300,00 loans.
    Kiva's delinquency rate is 2.92%

    If you are concerned about the risks involved with these loans, Kiva allows you to screen out higher risk loans.
    On the Kiva lend page:
    http://www.kiva.org/lend
    you can scroll down the left column until you see a section that says "advanced options"
    Click there, and you will see a section that says "partner details". This section allows you to screen out higher risk loans according to 3 different criteria.

    If you are concerned with getting your money back quickly, in the upper right corner of the lend page, you will see a box that says "sort by". Click there and sort by "repayment term". Generally it's easy to find loans that will pay back in six months, sometimes sooner.

    I have made a couple hundred Kiva loans and earned a few miles and points. But if earning miles and points is your primary motivation, I doubt that you will get much satisfaction.

    However, if you would like to share with people all over the world and earning miles/points is a bonus, then you may come to love Kiva as I have.

    We have a very active and dynamic Kiva lending team here on Milepoint. You are very welcome to join, and you will find a wealth of information in the Milepoint Kiva section:

    http://milepoint.com/forums/forums/kiva-loans-that-change-lives.276/
     
    wheat27, spesalvi and Toula like this.
  16. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    If you're at all concerned about default, you should diversify as much as possible given that you can find enough high quality loans to make. This can take more time, so as a practical matter you might want to invest more than $25 per loan, but putting $1000 for instance into a single loan might not be wise.

    Even though it technically isn't (because I'm only loaning the money and can take it back from my account when it's repaid--hence, no tax deduction for the loans I make), I tend to view Kiva as a charitable contribution where I retain some control and can make decisions so that my money continues to work hard toward goals.

    Of course, many other charities allow one to funnel donations through credit cards, which would then help with thresholds and bonus miles/points. Or one can simply spend money that wouldn't otherwise be spent in order to meet credit card targets.

    Perhaps the most interesting Kiva use is for non-USA residents to take advantage of current foreign exchange rates and park money holdings in dollars without having to set up a dollar-denominated or foreign bank account.
     
    Toula and miles and smiles like this.
  17. Rus925

    Rus925 Silver Member

    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    13
    Status Points:
    105
    Another, similar, option to Kiva is to open an account with LendingClub. It lacks the feel-good-ness of Kiva, but I've been making 14% returns with it, so it's definitely nothing to scoff at. I believe they still let you fund your account with a credit card through PayPal (wasn't considered a cash advance for me) so you can start using the system immediately, but as soon as you link a bank account to withdraw funds, you lose the PayPal option forever. There are also always various sign-up bonuses floating around for LendingClub. Look for the $100 sign up bonus; PM me if you can't find it.
     
    LizzyDragon84, wheat27 and cotter77 like this.
  18. Jett Rink
    Original Member

    Jett Rink Silver Member

    Messages:
    1,223
    Likes Received:
    1,405
    Status Points:
    910
    Buying, or gifting US miles with the 100% bonus promo (to 09/15/11) is an idea to meet spending requirements.

    Or, the DL 100% bonus promo (to 09/30/11). Be careful with that one.

    Have a plan, though, for the miles.
     
    Jimgotkp likes this.
  19. Jimgotkp
    Original Member

    Jimgotkp Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,834
    Likes Received:
    80,011
    Status Points:
    16,495
    I would wait on the US miles if you plan on going that route. The GS promotion should be announced soon and should start on 9/1. The US miles promotion ends on 9/15 and buying miles is one of the "hits" of the promotion.
     
  20. riverchica
    Original Member

    riverchica Silver Member

    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    203
    Status Points:
    395
    Another option is Microplace. They're a social investment site that spun off Paypal. In contrast to Kiva, you earn interest on your investments. Similar to Kiva, there is a risk of default although I've not had a default with several thousand dollars of investments with them. The offerings vary tremendously by state of residence and the timeline to repayment is much longer (usually ~1 year). It's worth taking a look at it if you can park the cash for longer in exchange for interest.
     
    LizzyDragon84, travelpye and Gargoyle like this.
  21. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,510
    Likes Received:
    5,767
    Status Points:
    4,170
    I'm a little surprised that there are only two mentions on MicroPlace on the forum? (Not that I want it to get a ton of coverage - just a little is ok.) But it’s another good option, and there are many funding opportunities with under one year until payout (for a VA resident)... I’m a strong supporter of Kiva but also enjoy using MicroPlace.
     
  22. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    22,014
    Likes Received:
    96,541
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I once charged .02¢ at Kinkos for a photocopy.
    I always use my card for coffee and anything else that will accept it; I get a $2.00 coffee almost every day. The only exception, like you, I might pay cash at a mom-and-pop store.

    End of year I was a bit short, a couple major suppliers don't take credit card, but I ate the fees and paid them via Paypal.
     
    Toula likes this.
  23. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    583
    Status Points:
    595
    Not every deal is for everyone, you must understand what you are comfortable spending and find credti cards that work for you, one example is the hilton citi card 50k bonus for 1500 spend in 6 months, yes its not as valuable as the spg bonus but you are not spending as much. if you are dependent on having a kiva loan repayed for your financial well being i would not make the loan. if you want to do it because you think its a worhty cause and you hope you are repayed and can continue then i would say go for it.
     
    Toula likes this.
  24. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,161
    Likes Received:
    3,558
    Status Points:
    1,945
    With anything, only risk money that you can afford to lose. Not to suggest that with Kiva loans it's a loss, but, if you need that money and can't afford the risk, then perhaps you may want to "spend" it somewhere else.

    You've already read the posts about putting everything you can on your cc. Consider putting several months worth of charges, ie. instead of just putting one month's cable on your cc, then pay ahead 3 months. This is money that you would be spending already, you're just doing it sooner and it's getting you closer to that minimum spend requirement.
     
    Toula likes this.
  25. deant
    Original Member

    deant Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    3,129
    Likes Received:
    12,385
    Status Points:
    10,620
    As wrxmom said, I would never make a "loan" in order to meet the minimum spend on a CC. Only make the loan if you WANT and can AFFORD to loan the money. Remember, they have a very high payback ratio but losses do happen.
     
    Toula and iolaire like this.

Share This Page