|Credit cards are a great tool when used correctly|
Manufactured spending is a great way to meet hefty thresholds for credit card bonuses. As you may be aware, credit cards often run lucrative offers in which a certain number of “points” will be given after the user spends a certain amount within a set time period. This was the case with the Chase Sapphire Preferred card written about in this article, which gives 40,000 points after $3,000 in spending in the three months after card opening. But what if your spending habits do not support this level of spend? This article will give you five ways to meet this spending requirement, without actually spending any more money in the process. This is a process known as “manufactured spending”.
Amazon payments is a great way to meet spending requirements on a credit card by sending money to a close friend that also has an Amazon Payments account. The friend can then write you a check for the amount, which can be deposited back into your account and used to pay off the credit card. There is a limit of $1,000 per month that can be transferred, but by doing this for three months, your spending limit can be reached.
American Express Serve
Serve is also a great tool to meet minimum spending requirements. With Serve, you are able to load $200 per day up to $1,000 per month online from a credit card. Once this is done, you can then transfer the money to your bank account, use the Serve card as you usually would a debit card, or even pay off the credit card using the bill payment feature of Serve. As with Amazon payments, this is an easy way to reach a spending limit without actually having to leave the convenience of your home, and results in zero cash outlay and plenty of benefit.
Merchant Gift Cards
This method requires a little bit of planning and legwork, but is a very feasible way of meeting spend requirements if properly planned. As you may have seen, many merchants sell numerous gift cards to both their own and other establishments. By timing gift card purchases for common items to the time period in which your spending needs to be met, you can accelerate the time period in which the threshold is met. For example, buying gas cards in large amounts to meet the requirement. Additionally, online spending portals often offer cash back in addition to the points that you will earn from the credit card signup. As this is a purchase that would be made anyway, there is little risk that the cards will not be used, but you are able to accelerate your spending to achieve the bonus.
As with any credit card activity, you should always be aware of the potential consequences of your spending and should keep an eye on your credit card activity, but these methods have the potential to meet spending requirements without actually spending. In addition, you should make sure to have your credit score in line before signing up for any additional cards, and know the potential effects on your credit score. See my previous article for the 5 factors of a healthy credit score.