Hitting Minimum Card Spends

Today I secured the Citi ThankYou Premier card which promises 3x points on all travel expenditures including gas purchases. The gas purchase category is an important one since this is not covered by the Chase Sapphire card. With the new card comes a $3000 minimum spend for a bonus of 50,000 points. These points are transferable to a number of different airlines.

$3000 probably sounds like a lot of money, and it certainly is. The way to approach minimum spend limits is to make sure you use you card for everything. The idea here is that every purchase you make should be benefiting you unless you happen to be going to a place that doesn't accept credit cards. Once you start to look at your spending habits, you'll likely notice that hitting spend limit over a 3 month period isn't particularly difficult if you know your limits. Don't apply for 3 cards that each have a $3000 minimum spend limit if you only spend $2000 a month.

A good way to start off is to apply for 1 card or 2 cards with a lower limit. Get a feel for how much you spend, and then adapt to your spending habits. If you find that you are hitting your minimum spend fairly quickly, then make a point to apply for a second card. Adapt to what you learn about your spending habits and make sure you track everything closely.

There are a few ideas that you should keep in mind when trying to hit these spend limits. Does your rent payment accept credit cards. My apartment complex accepts card, but charges an extremely high fee for the privilege, in most cases I don't want to spend the extra money on a fee, so I don't use it. Some places take credit cards without a fee, in that case, this would cover a big chunk every month. 

Does your insurance take a card? My dental insurance takes credit cards, my health insurance does not. Use the credit card where you can to pay the things off you might not be considering. When you start to combine with payments on your mobile phone, electric bill, internet bill, and the some many other recurring charges we have in our lives, this can add up quickly.

So when trying to get those bonus points, look to hit those minimum spends using every available method. In store purchases aren't the only option.

Rocket Scientist, Travel Junkie, and Ruler of the 4th Moon of Omicron Persei 8