Ways To Meet Minimum Spends

 
BUSINESS TRAVEL If you travel on business, you may be able to charge expenses to your personal credit card and then claim reimbursement from your employer.  Even if your employer offers you a business card, see if you are allowed to use your own personal card and just submit for reimbursement.  If they won’t allow that, see if you company will at least get you a rewards earning credit card.  It wouldn’t help with your min. spends but it will give you some reward benefits.
CAR EXPENSES
Car Purchase When you are purchasing a car, most dealers will let you charge a portion of the total cost on your credit card.  Recently, I was allowed to charge half of our total cost.  Always ask if you can charge the entire cost.  Most will not let you but it doesn’t hurt to try.
Car Registration You can pay your registration online in most states.  Check the back of your DMV registration bill for their website.  This option is free in California.
Car Payments Charge Smart lets you pay your car payments via a credit card (Visa, MasterCard & Discover, but currently NOT American Express) for a fee.
Car Maintenance Most all service repair companies let you pay for all services repairs, etc. on your vehicle with a credit card.
CARETAKERS Baby Sitter, Pet Sitter, Nannies, Gardeners, etc.OPTION#1:
Pay these individuals (if agreeable) with gift cards.  Good option is to buy American Express Gift Cards from Big Crumbs
(1.6% cash back)OPTION#2:
Pay these individuals via Amazon Payments or PayPal
PHONE/HOME/INTERNET Pay your cellphone, phone, cable, an internet bill using a credit card.  You may also be able to pre-pay your cellphone, cable, or internet bill via a credit card by paying more than the monthly amount due.  Once again, don’t do this if you can’t pay off your credit card bill when it comes due!
CABLE/SATELITE/NETFLIX Pay for these services with a credit card.  Most will allow services will allow you to set up automatic payment via credit card.
CHECKING ACCOUNTS You could open a new checking account and fund it with your credit card.  Then pay your credit card back.  Check with your lender before funding to see if you will be charged a cash advance fee.  In the past, Citibank & Chase have allowed you to fund a checking account with their own credit card without charging you a cash advance fee.Sign up for a cash back checking account bonus and make some extra cash will you’re at it!  Check out the “Banking” section for current offers.
DINING Use your credit card for all dining expenses.  Never use cash unless you have too.
EDUCATIONS EXPENSES
Private/Technical School Most private & technical schools will always allow you to pay your tuition via a credit card.
College Most colleges will let you pay for all or part of the tuition and housing costs with a credit card for a fee.  Check your college’s website or Official Payments for more information on paying with a credit card.
EVENTS
Wedding Expenses Pay all vendors with a credit card.  If they don’t accept a credit card ask if you can send payment to them via Paypal or Amazon Payments.
Business Events Pay for your companies business event expenses with your personal card and then submit for reimbursement.
GROCERIES Use your credit card for all groceries.  You can also buy grocery store gift cards to use for the future.  If you shop at Costco, you could buy American Express gift cards to use there if you’re min. spend isn’t on an American Express card.
GAS Always use your credit card.
GYM MEMBERSHIPS Pay for your gym membership with a credit card.
GIFT CARDS
American Express Gift Cards Buy American Express gift cards from MainStreetSHARES and get a 1.6% rebate.  American Express ships the gift card to you in 2 days ($8 fee), and you can usually avoid paying fees to buy the gift card by using a code.  Generally it takes 2 months to get the cash rebate from Big Crumbs.  This is a good way to meet min. spends quickly.  You can then use the American Express gift cards instead of your credit card to pay for expenses in the future months.Caution: Citibank may charge a cash advance fee for purchase of American Express gift cards directly from American Express.  You can also buy them at the grocery store and they should be charged as a regular purchase.  Always call your lender and see what fees are involved (if any) when buying gift cards.  Here are some current codes to avoid online purchase fees.
CODES:
 
EMADMWL3
 will get you free second day shipping.  Expires 5/31/2012
EMMOTCM2 waives the purchase fee.  Expires June 30, 2012
Amazon Gift Cards Buy Amazon.com gift cards to use later.  You can earn extra miles for shopping on amazon.com through the Hawaiian Airlines shopping portal.  These gift cards never expire.  Be sure again to check with your lender regarding the purchase of gift cards.  If you buy them at the grocery store or other locations it should not trigger a cash advance fee.
Store Gift Cards Stock up on your gift cards to your favorite stores.  Be sure you’ll use this in the near future.
GIFTS
Holiday Gifts Buy your Christmas, Mother’s/Father’s Day, etc. gifts in advance. GiftCertificate.com is a good option here.
Birthday/Grad Gifts Buy birthday gifts for upcoming birthdays.  If you can’t decide what to get them a American Express Gift Cards or store gift cards always works. You can also buy gift certificates at GiftCertificate.com
Donations to Charities Make a donation to your favorite charity.  Consider making your donation now using your new credit card, instead of later in the year.
Church Tithing Check with your church and see if they accept money via their website.  Many churches do now days.  You could make a large contribution for the next couple months  via credit card instead of writing a check or using cash.
HOME SERVICES
Building Expenses Ask your contractor if they will accept payment in the form of a Visa Gift card or American Express Gift card.  If  purchasing an American Express Gift card be sure to  use Big Crumbs to purchase American Express gift cards at 1.6% discount.  If they will not accept gift cards, ask if you can send them payments via Paypal or Amazon Payments.
Contractor Supplies Ask your contractor if you can purchase the supplies needed for your project.  Ask them to supply you with a list or call and place the order and you will give the payment via credit card later
INSURANCE Pay your homeowners, medical, car or renter’s insurance using a credit card.  If you have annual or quarterly payment options, think about paying in advance for your premiums.
LOANS
Student Loans Charge Smart lets you pay your student loan payments via a credit card for a fee (Visa, MasterCard & Discover, but currently NOT American Express).  You may also be able to use a credit card, for a fee, directly through your loan provider.
LENDING MONEY You can loan money to those in need using your credit card through organization like Kiva.org.  You can start with only a small loan of $25 to an individual, family, or small business entrepreneur in need.
MEDICAL EXPENSES
Flexible Spending Account See if your account allows you to pay all your medical expense payments (co-pays, prescriptions etc.) and then submit for reimbursement.  Many accounts do allow this.
Vision Insurance Most vision insurance will reimburse you for expenses covered under your plan like contact lenses, glasses, exams.  Call and check on your policy.
Pet Insurance Pay for your pet insurance premium with your credit card.  If your pet has a surgery or needs care covered by your pet insurance see if you can be reimbursed for the expense if you pay for it in full with your credit card.
MONEY TRANSFER  Xoom lets you send money internationally for a fee.
MORTGAGE/RENT PAYMENTS
Mortgage Payments Charge Smart allows you to pay your mortgage via credit card (Visa, MasterCard & Discover, but currently NOT American Express) for a fee of ~2.4% or higher.
Rent William Paid allows you to pay your rent online.
PAYMENT SERVICES
Venmo Venmo allows you to transfer small amounts of money from person to person using a mobile phone. The Venmo says, “it’s a way pay friend/family back for lunch, dinner, drinks, rent, groceries, tickets, and tripsCaution: Venmo has been closing accounts that frequently transfer money back and forth. Abusing the system basically. Transfers in a 1-way direction in frequently may not cause a red flag on your account.
Paypal PayPal is a one of the most know payment processors.  They charge a fee for purchases or personal transfers.  Do not abuse this service transferring money back and forth to accounts.  There are lots of reports of PayPal closing accounts for frequently transferring money between accounts.
Pay Divvy Pay Divvy lets you send money from person to person using a credit card for a 3.5% fee.
Square Reader Square Card Reader allows anyone to accept credit card payments on their Android, iPhone or iPad.  The Square Card Reader app & plugin are free.  The only charge is 2.75% the amount charged.  You can charge anyone’s credit card just by swiping it through the reader on your phone.  The money is deposited the next day in the bank account you set up  You can use this service if you really need to meet a min. spend and have no other options.  Have a friend or family member charge your credit card and then pay you back minus the 2.75% fee they will be charged for the transaction.  It’s an easy service to use if you really need it.
Intuit GoPayment Gopayment This is an identical service to Square Reader above
PREPAID/DEBIT CARDS
AMEX Target Prepaid Debit Card American Express for Target is a prepaid reloadable Card that can be loaded in any Target store with a credit card.  You can load $1,000 day for a flat fee of $3.00.  You can load $5,000 in a 28 day period and are allowed a maximum of $2,500 balance at any time.  Funds can be withdrawn via ATM.
Various Prepaid Debit Cards Buy & load various prepaid debit cards with your credit card.  Then withdraw cash with ATM access.  Get cashback at point-of-sale transactions and also buy Money Orders with debit card pin. (Available at USPS, Rite Aid and other locations that allow purchase of Money Orders with a debit card).
REIMBURSEMENTS
Friend/Family’s Expenses Consider paying your close friend’s and family’s expenses using your credit card, then have them pay you back.
Insurance Payments Pay for an expense and then get reimbursed from your insurer.  You can do this for home insurance claims, dental claims, auto claims, etc.
Additional Cards – Family Get additional add-on cards for your spouse and children. Have them use the card instead of cash. Keep a close eye on your teenager’s accounts though.
TAXES  Property taxes. You can pay your property taxes with a credit card for a fee either directly through your county or through a 3rd party service provider such as Official Payments.

US Taxes. 
You can also pay your Federal Income taxes with a credit card for a fee.  The IRS maintains a list of tax payment service providers on their website.

State & Local Taxes.
 You can pay your state and local taxes either directly through your county or through a 3rd party service provider such as Official Payments for a fee
TOLLS If you regularly pay tolls or have an automated toll transponder in your car (I-Pass, K-Tag, FastTrak etc.) you may be able to use your credit card to load additional dollars to your toll account.
UTILITIES Many utilities allow you to pay your bill via online with your credit card or by a pay-by-phone service.  You can also use Chargesmart to pay some utility companies with your American Express cards.


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