Points for ultra-low spenders?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by Jessi111, Jan 9, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. Jessi111

    Jessi111 New Member

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    I am new to frequent flyer miles, and am trying to accrue enough points/miles to go to Europe (Vienna, Prague, Budapest) for a summer 2015 honeymoon. We are both in grad school and only do not spend very much on a monthly basis. I was looking into credit card sign-on bonuses, but I just do not spend $3000 in a three month period.

    I have excellent credit, but my fiance does not.

    Any suggestions would be fantastic!
     
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  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Congrats on the upcoming wedding (and welcome to MilePoint)!

    Do some reading on manufactured spending. The gist of it is that you buy things like pre-paid cards and then cash them out at or very near to par value. A $500 card might cost you only $3.95 in fees. Do that a few times and you've got your $3000 in spend (and the bonus points) for <$50 plus a bit of your time.

    Some key things to look in to include Vanilla Reloads/Bluebird (alluded to above), Amazon Payments (be careful with this as the T&Cs and how people use it for manufactured spending probably aren't quite aligned), Venmo and more.
     
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  3. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials, and welcome to MP. :)
     
  4. Free2travel

    Free2travel Silver Member

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    I'm new also but how about looking for cards with lower spends? I think it's the Barclay's World Mastercard that gives $400 in points for a $1000 spend.
     
  5. iolaire
    Original Member

    iolaire Gold Member

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    Is your low spending due to low access to funds, or do you have the capabilities to spend more than you do?

    I think if your access to your cash is constrained then the gift card method of manufactured spend will be the best along with AZ pmnts since you can setup a system to return the funds to cash more quickly.

    On the other hand if you have ample access to funds, there is a lot you can do in the charitable world. I do my charitable giving via credit card whenever possible, versus writing a check or doing some sort of pay roll deduction. (I've been told its cheaper for charities to take credit cards over payroll programs like the United Way or CFC.)

    Additionally I'm a huge promoter of Kiva and providing micro finance loans funded via a credit card. The shortest term loans are 4-6 months so at a minim your money will be tied up that long. However ideally you will enjoy this endeavor, find your float growing rapidly, and thus end up benefiting the lenders even more. I find it a lot easier/frequent/desirable to add new funds then wait for loans to mature and pull some of the money out.
     
  6. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    Another thing to remember is that you can often boost your credit card spend significantly by switching any bills you pay now by check or automatic deduction from your bank account to payment via credit card. (For example, I pay all my utility bills by credit card now.) You spend the same amount of money, but one method of payment earns you points and helps you make minimum spend on a card, while the other just gets your bills paid.

    That said, you're probably going to have to look at the manufactured spend techniques several other posters have already mentioned to meet your goal. And before you commit to earning airline and hotel points, do understand the drawbacks of the programs. Points and miles are becoming harder to use, especially if your travel dates are firmly fixed. But if you can be flexible (especially about flight dates and destinations), they can save you a bundle.
     
  7. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Not all can be paid like this fee-free. I have a number which cannot.
     
  8. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    That's a good point, and something the OP should check before switching over any payments. All of mine to date have been fee-free, but that's obviously something that varies between companies.
     
  9. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

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    The USAirways card will give you 35,000 miles after just one purchase (no minimum $$ amount).
    There are some Citi AA cards that will give you 30,000 miles after spending $1000 within 3 months. Since AA and USAir frequent flyer programs will merge later this year, that would give you 65,000+ miles. If you do a search for credit cards with low minimum spends you will find some others. Good luck.
     
  10. satman40

    satman40 Gold Member

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    I have excellent credit, but my fiance does not.

    Life is a team sport, and CC and Miles are something that takes time to build.

    You have a $1,000 a month CC spend, look for bonus points, look for friends to share the cost and pay the bill with your CC.

    Not a fan of MS, it is hard to pay things of, and my debts exceeded a million plus, it was great to say everyone was paid.

    Today it is CC Auto Pay, track your cards, and take it easy, you can make it, and stay out of debt without any idea of why you are there.

    Always have a goal, success is planed, failing comes naturally

    My wife was 50 before she went to Vienna, she spent 13 years at Harvard with no student loans. things take time.
     

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