The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card® from American Express is currently having a limited time sign up bonus offer. It’s not earth shattering, but I’d rather earn the current 30,000 points instead of the regular 25,000. Besides, this offer usually only comes once a year so it seems like as good a time as any to jump on the offer.
Here are the current offer details:
- Earn 10,000 Starpoints after making your first purchase.
- Earn 20,000 Starpoints after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months of card membership. (The usual offer is 15,000 Starpoints for spending $5,000 in the first six months.)
1. Amazon Payments Option
Amazon Payments will allow you to send up to $1,000 per month to anyone with an email address and Amazon Payment account.
This means that you could reach a $5,000 spend just by sending $1,000 per month for the first five months that you had the card (not that I recommend that). If you were to send money from your account to another person, they could then send the money back to you, and you’d both get a ‘spend’ on your account.
Here are a few guidelines I personally use with Amazon Payments:
- I never just send money back and forth between two people. I usually try and get a third or fourth person involved so that money is going A – B – C – A instead of A – B – A.
- I usually don’t just transfer $1,000 in a single transfer. My preference is to do one for an odd number in the four or five hundred (e.g. $467.83).
- I don’t do all of my spending for a credit card only with Amazon payments. I mix it up and include it with my other regular spending.
2. Buy Gift Cards and Upload to Bluebird
I’ve talked about this idea in other posts, but I think many of us undermine the value of a Bluebird account. Remember, you can order Bluebird checks for free.
Ways to buy gift cards:
In most of the grocery stores close to home, I’ve seen Visa gift cards that allow you to load up to $500 for a $5.95 fee. Obviously, I’d rather not spend $5.95 to reach a minimum spend, but at the end of the day, spending a total of $59.50 to reach a $5,000 minimum spend and get $600+ worth of rewards seems like a good deal.
If you can buy Vanilla Reload cards with a credit card, you can reach your minimum spend with less effort and cost. Vanilla Reload cards cost $3.95 per $500 so that means you could reach your minimum spend by paying $39.50 in extra fees.
Buy gift cards through a cash back portal. As an example, I’ve been using TopCashBack. However, I just saw that for giftcardmall.com you now only get .5% cash back. Instead, I’d go through FatWallet where you still get 1% cash back. The total cost for a $500 Visa Gift card is $507.94. With the cash back, that’s like paying $502.94 for a gift card.
Think you can’t reach a $5,000 minimum spend? I bet you can.
Application Link: Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card® from American Express (personal card)
Application Link: Starwood Preferred Guest Business Credit Card® from American Express (business card)