How to meet bonus spending requirements (Part 3)

This is the third and last of a 3-part series in which we will detail strategies you can use to meet credit card minimum spending requirements to get a sign-up bonus.

As a refresher, here are Part 1 and Part 2

While in previous posts we covered easier strategies, the strategies below are for more seasoned and aggressive travel-hackers, and they require more time and sometimes money upfront, so they aren’t for everyone, but they are the most fun (for us, it’s all about the cat and mouse game). We have tried some of them, but not all, as we always try to plan our credit card spending around upcoming expenses to minimize their use:

  1. Use Amazon Payments. It’s free, easy, low-risk and high-reward, and all it requires is two people who trust each other. For details on how to do this, refer to this prior post
  2. Use Another payment service, although this one isn’t free. They charge 3%, but they let you pay up to $2,000 per month to someone else using a credit card. It is only worth the fee if you need to hit a minimum spending amount and not lose out on a large bonus. There are other payment services that perform the same function, but this one and Amazon Payments are the only ones we’ve used so far.
  3. Buy an expensive, refundable plane ticket a few months out in the future. By doing this, you are hitting your required spending now. Then later on once you spend at least the amount of money you bought the ticket for, cancel the plane ticket and get the credit back to your credit card account so you don’t have to pay your bill. Make sure the plane ticket is fully-refundable.
  4. Give out Kiva loans. is an organization that helps empower small business owners in third world countries by giving them micro-loans to start or expand their business. They have a 98% repayment rate, you can loan as little as $25, and you’re helping out a small business owner to get their business started so they can provide for their family and help their communities. You get to read their stories, how they plan to use your loan, and helping them out is very rewarding. You cash your proceeds out after they repay you and then use your credit card again to give out another loan and keep repeating the process.

If you have any questions or other strategies that you’d like to share, we’d love to hear about them.

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