Update: There are reports online that effective 11/11/12 Office Depot is no longer carrying the Vanilla Reload cards. If that is correct the 5x opportunity with Ink Bold + Vanilla Reload + Office Depot may no longer work. I know that my local Office Depot does still have Vanilla Reload cards. They also still allow the purchase with a credit card.
The ultimate goal of any miles and points collector is to discover ways to ‘fabricate spending’. This means spending money without spending more.
The only prerequisite is actually just a little bit of creativity and the ability to think outside of the box.
With the various resources available, I think that almost all of us should be able to get any credit card – regardless of the minimum spend.
Over the last few months, I’ve had folks say they can’t meet a $3,000 minimum spend in 3 months, but I think that’s mostly just because they’ve never explored ways to spend more on their credit card without spending more money.
Of course, your first piece of homework is to read about these 10 ways to reach your minimum spend. Be sure that you’re using your credit card for everything that accepts credit cards.
** This assumes that you’re paying off your balances and you’re not spending more just because you’re using your credit card. If having credit cards has a negative impact on your budget, then this game of getting credit cards for the bonuses is not for you! **
Today I decided to challenge us to see what it would take to reach the minimum spend on the best earning credit card on the market – the Ink Bold or Ink Plus cards. Both cards come with a
$10,000 minimum spend $5,000 minimum spend in three months. Typically, this would be an absolutely untouchable minimum spend for most folks.
But times are changing.
The goal – the goal is to get $5,000 worth of charges on your card in 3 months. If you can charge things on your card that you don’t actually spend for six months, then you are on the right track.
Last week I talked abou a great new product called Bluebird. This is a product that allows you to use a backdoor method to use your credit card to pay your rent, mortgage, and other people using your credit card.
Since Bluebird is a new product, everyone is guessing the limits and thresholds that American Express will allow with loading and spending. There are many people buying $2,000 worth of Vanilla Prepaid cards per month using their Ink Bold or Ink Plus cards.
In the three months (as long as you’re using the card for other spending too), you can ‘spend’ $6,000 just by buying Vanilla Prepaid Reload cards, loading on them to your Bluebird card, and using those funds to send checks or make payments for things you’d be getting anyway.
Remember, you’ve now spent $6,000. But you can use the card, mail checks, and make payments over the next year if you have to, but your credit card charges happen within the 3 month time frame.
Amazon Payments allows you to use a credit card to send $1,000 per month to anyone with an email address. If you owe money to someone, you could send it to them up to $1,000. One possibility is to send money to someone and have them send money to you. You wouldn’t want to do this all the time, but it would definitely work a few times.
In three months, you could spend $3,000 using Amazon Payments.
Just by using Bluebird and Amazon payments, you can spend $9,000 in three months. Now your only job is to spend $1,000 with your regular spending in three months.
Even if after those two things you haven’t spent enough money, you could use your credit card to ‘prepay’ for items you might want to use in the future. The easiest way would be to buy gift cards or buy more prepaid debit cards. A good example would to be load funds onto a Walmart Gift card if you didn’t think you are going to meet your minimum spend. By the way, not all Wal-marts will allow you to load gift card funds with a credit card, but I was at a Wal-mart in Colorado that does allow it.
With Bluebird and Amazon payments, you need to challenge yourself to figure out how you can creatively spend as much money as possible without actually spending any money.
This opens the door for you to get cards like the Ink Bold and Ink Plus with high minimum spends.
Rumor alert: There is a rumor circulating (started by FrequentMiler) that is saying the Ink Bold minimum spend is dropping to $5,000 in mid-November. I can’t personally confirm this, but you could wait a week or two before applying for this card if you were interested in it (which you should because of the 5x at office stores). Also, Chase is usually very good about matching you with an offer if a better offer comes out after you apply for your card.