Ways to meet credit card spending requirements for bonuses

How to Meet Credit Card Spending Requirements

Using credit cards responsibly to earn rewards and bonuses is one of the best frugal hacks you can try. It’s an awesome way to get cash back, earn travel rewards, and more. Most cards come with credit card spending requirements that you have to meet in order to take advantage of sign up bonuses.

*You do need to have good credit in order to be approved for cards with rewards and bonuses like this. If you need to build your credit quickly, I share some great ways to do it fast here!

Recently, I signed up for the Barclaycard Arrival PlusTM World Elite MasterCard. Phew, that’s a mouthful!

I applied for this card specifically to earn the bonus miles for travel. My original plan for churning this credit card was to purchase airfare to Europe, which would have almost brought me up to the $3,000 in 90 days spending requirement, in order to earn the 40,000 bonus miles offered.

Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out the way that I’d hoped. Before the card even arrived in the mail, we saw a great price on airfare that we simply couldn’t pass up. We went ahead and purchased the airline tickets on a different card. Don’t ever pass up a great deal!

I had to come up with a new plan for meeting the credit card spending requirements on the Barclaycard.

Now, this wasn’t really easy for us, because we typically don’t spend much. Our monthly spending averages around $600 total (excluding mortgage), so even if we put every last thing on the card, we still would not hit $3,000.

I had to come up with a plan, and fast!

Here’s how we ended up meeting the credit card spending requirements so that we could take advantage of the bonus miles:

Enlist the Help of Family

If you know that you probably can’t hit the required limit on your own, ask your family and trusted friends if you can put their big purchases on your card. As long as you can trust them to write you a check or give you the cash right away, it’s a great option.

My sister had a few big expenses in the last few weeks, and she kindly allowed us to pay for them on our card. We paid for a moving truck rental, gas for her car, and her 6-month car insurance bill, among other things.

Overall, she helped us to reach about $900. She simply wrote us a check for these things, and then we deposited it and made the payment on the card right away.

Now my sister is planning on signing up for her own rewards card!

Purchase electronics or appliances

Electronics and appliances are those big-ticket items that you may have been thinking about buying soon but haven’t done so yet. What better time to buy then when you need to hit a spending requirement?

Since my old laptop finally quit on me, I knew that I would have to get one soon. My husband has been sharing his with me, but it’s not the most convenient thing to do. Being a freelance writer, I really have to have my own laptop.

I decided to buy one when HP was having a 4th of July sale. As a freelance writer, I ultimately can’t run my business without a reliable laptop. I settled on an HP Envy, and the total came in at just under $700. There was another nice chunk of change that I actually needed to spend.

Take advantage of the opportunity to purchase something you truly need and get a reward for doing so. It’s like earning cash back, just not in a straight-forward way.

Pay for Insurance

As I mentioned above, my sister made a 6-month car insurance payment with our credit card and gave us the cash. We also need to make another 6-month payment on our car insurance before we leave for our trip, and it’s going to come in at around $600. If you can swing it, it’s usually better to pay 6 months at a time on your car insurance. This way, you get a small discount, and it’s one less bill that you have to remember to pay each month.

Buy Groceries

This one is pretty straightforward. We paid for all of our groceries with the Barclaycard in those first 90 days. That put another few hundred dollars towards the bonus requirement. Purchase your essentials like groceries and personal care items. Buy in bulk and stock up for the months ahead so that you reduce your spending once you’ve met the requirement.

Shop for Gifts

I absolutely love shopping early for Christmas gifts. Shopping sales and scouring clearance racks is one of the best ways to save, especially when you have kids to buy for.

Since we want to bring Christmas gifts with us to Europe for our family, I did most of my Christmas shopping last week. I just about finished up my daughter while I was at it, and we got things for each of our relatives. Wrapping up Christmas shopping in July? Yes, please! I love it.

This is great because now I won’t have to worry about a big hit to the budget come November/December, and I got bonus miles on the Barclaycard. Win-Win!

Read More: How to Have a Christmas Budget When You’re Broke

Of course, you should not be churning credit cards, no matter how good the rewards are if you can’t afford to pay off the balance. I took a gamble on this particular card because we generally don’t spend a lot of money each month, aside from our mortgage.  Sadly, we cannot put the mortgage payment on rewards credit cards- boohoo!

Spending $3,000 in 90 days wasn’t easy to do on our own, so we would not have been able to hit that requirement without some strategic planning and help from family. However, I did end up purchasing things that were necessary, and we will be paying it off without paying any interest. Overall, this was a very successful credit card churn!

meet credit card spending requirements

Do you have a plan for churning credit cards? Have you ever asked family to help you meet spending requirements?

27 thoughts on “How to Meet Credit Card Spending Requirements”

  1. Thanks for writing this post, recently I was in your shoe with the Barclay’s card and couldn’t meet the requirement of $3000 but I still love the card and its microchip security. I didn’t want to try spending too hard and buy all the uncessary things as it would beat the purpose. I never thought about paying for your family members with the card and have them pay you back, wish I had read your post a little earlier.

  2. Practical Cents

    The Barclay card is one of the cards I want to try to churn later this year but I’m already thinking about how I will be able to meet $1000/month on my spending. I’m like you when some months I don’t spend $1k/month. I might have to go for the no fee Barclay which only requires $1k spending in 90 days. I’ll see, maybe I can enlist some family members.

    1. I definitely considered the no fee card! I think it’s still a great option, especially if you don’t spend a lot each month.

  3. We used to buy Vanilla cards so that we could put it in a Bluebird account and pay our rent. That took a big chunk of it out. Most places don’t let you buy those cards with credit cards anymore, though. Boo.

  4. I have let my parents help me out on this one, as we don’t spend enough to meet most of the bonuses, either. It also helps when we go out to eat with a group, and everyone can give us the cash to cover it.

    1. I did that once- insisted on putting the restaurant bill on my card, and my friend thought I was crazy, haha. I had to wrestle her for the check! Ha.

  5. Both my wife and I got the Barclaycard when the spending requirements were only $1,000 within 90 days. It was pretty easy to reach $1k, but honestly I think we’d be just fine with the $3k requirement as well. We are sharing a hotel with another couple for a out-of-town wedding coming up, so I am using my rewards for the room and they are paying cash for their half – pretty good deal!

  6. I hope I have this problem in the future! For now I’m working on paying down the balance on the one card that I have. Good tips though. :]

  7. Alicia @ Financial Diffraction

    I’m not a churner, so I don’t have this concern, but I definitely think it’s important to truly trust the person who you are spending the money for. They have to be good for the money! Also, my insurance company keeps my credit card number on file, so make sure you didn’t somehow get auto-signed on as your sister’s default credit card. 🙂

  8. Glad you were creative and able to meet your minimum. We have a lot of recurring bills on our card, so although hitting an amount like that would not be hard for us, it would also be a pain to move all those bills over and especially if it was only for a short time period, like if we were going to cancel the card later.

    1. I can definitely understand that. We have some bills set to auto pay on other cards, and we left them alone. That’s why you really need a plan before you apply for the cards, if you want to churn them.

  9. You can also use your credit card for lunch/dinner when you go out with a big group and have them pay you back in cash. There’s also Amazon Payments, buying gift cards to places you normally shop at, and prepaying bills that allow that.

    1. Great tips, Andrew! I was actually going to do the gift cards one if I needed a little more spending to hit the target.

  10. I often enlist the help of my family. I don’t buy much stuff so I often buy stuff mom would get anyway and then she pays me back. I do this for meeting minimum debit card transactions.

    I like the last item on your list – to give. An easy way to help others while helping yourself.

  11. I absolutely love this plan. I’ve never thought about enlisting the help of trusted friends and family. Great idea. I do churn, I just do it with my money. Just about anything I’d pay cash for goes on one rewards card or another. Thanks for the great read!

  12. Shannon @ Financially Blonde

    Part of the reason why I don’t sign up for a number of these cards is that I don’t want to have to spend money to spend money. And I typically have my spending split between particular cards for a reason. That being said, there are always ways to find room to move things around and for some of the sign up bonuses that you get it is worth it to make the effort.

    1. I feel the same way- this is probably the only card that I’ll be churning for a while. We just don’t spend much, and I’d never want to spend if it wasn’t on necessities.

  13. John @ Sprout Wealth

    Those are all great ways to hit the minimum spend Lauren! We just hit the one on our most recent churn by paying for our business insurance actually which allowed us to kill two birds with one stone. 🙂 We do generally plan how we’re going to hit the minimum spend, we plan our spending around it so we know what we’re doing before we sign up.

  14. We are currently churning the Barclaycard as well and are working hard to meet the spending requirement. These are great tips. I really like the one about buying Christmas presents now. I will have to think if I know of what to get any of my family or friends. Our dog Ruby had to go to the vet last week for an ear infection so that vet bill helped us get a little closer to meeting the 3k goal as well. Pets can be so expensive!

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