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For most credit card bonuses, you have to spend a certain amount of money to earn the bonus. Sometimes it’s low, like $ 500 within three months. But other bonuses require a lot more. For example, you have to spend $ 5,000, $ 7,500 and even $ 15,000 in the first three months to get bonuses.
So what can you do if you want one of these big sign up bonus but you know you won’t be spending that much? Unfortunately, a lot of the advice is frustratingly obvious. Put all of your bills on your credit card. Use your credit card for groceries. Things you are probably already doing.
The good news is that there are a few cool ways to increase your credit card spending. These are not necessarily methods that you should use for all expenses, especially since two of them have fees and the other involves lending money. But these are all reliable options if the extra expense makes the difference in getting or missing a bonus.
1. Buy stocks with your credit card using Stockpile
The reserve is unique among online stock brokers in that it allows you to buy stocks with your credit card. The catch is, there is a 3% credit card fee plus $ 0.99 per transaction. Since most of the major online brokers now offer commission-free trade, paying 3% more is not ideal. It may however be worth it if it helps you collect a credit card bonus.
The potential problem is that the stocks you buy can lose value. For this reason, it is best to stay away from anything that is too volatile. I would definitely not recommend maxing out your credit card to invest in Gamestop.
Instead, use Store for the low risk investments you were going to make anyway. If you normally put $ 500 in an index fund each month, see if you can find the same fund in Stockpile. Then you can just make your investment of $ 500 in it and pay the additional fee of $ 15.99 so that it gets you closer to the requirement of spending on a bonus.
Another thing to watch out for is to make sure that your card issuer does not view the transaction as a cash advance. It would cost you money in fees and interest, and it wouldn’t count towards your signup bonus. Reports indicate that inventory transactions are generally considered purchases. But to be sure, call your card issuer first and ask to set your cash advance limit as low as possible. This way, if the transaction is a cash advance and it exceeds your cash advance limit, it will automatically be declined.
2. Finance loans with Kiva
Kiva is a non-profit organization that provides loans to underserved communities. The loans are funded by crowdfunding, which means Kiva users pay in the money and get it back as the loan is paid off. Payments are made through PayPal, and there is no charge for paying by credit card.
The whole process of lending money with Kiva is simple and easy. From the home page, place the cursor on the “Ready” button. This opens a drop-down menu with different loan categories and regions. You can also simply click on “Loan” to view all loan options. Click on a loan to learn more about it, including the term and repayment schedule.
When you’ve found a loan that you want to finance, choose an amount to lend. Then go through the checkout process. As the borrower repays the loan, you will receive money in your PayPal account.
You will lock in money, since you will be paid back over the life of the loan. There is also a risk of default by a borrower. According to Kiva, its reimbursement rate is 96%. It’s not a risk-free way to increase your credit card spending, but there is no charge. It is also a great way to help people in need.
3. Pay your rent, mortgage and any other bills with Plastiq
Plastiq is a service that lets you pay for just about anything with credit card. The standard credit card fee is 2.85%.
After creating an account with Plastic, you can add a payment recipient and the amount you want to pay. Plastiq will then send the money to the recipient via an ACH deposit to a bank account, check, or wire transfer. The recipient does not need to be a Plastiq member to receive your payment.
For the typical consumer, Plastiq could provide you with pay the rent with a credit card (or your mortgage, if you’re a homeowner). Housing tends to be the biggest monthly expense, so being able to pay for it with a credit card can help you make a lot of progress towards a bonus. But if you have other big expenses that can’t be paid by credit card, Plastiq is a workaround.
The most effective way to get a credit card bonus is to pay your regular monthly expenses. Sometimes you can find yourself a little short, however. In such situations, any of the above options can guarantee you get those extra rewards without making unnecessary purchases.
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