UPDATE: This strategy no longer works as of October 2014. However, click the link below for 21 other ways to help meet credit card minimum spends:
Remember to check out my How to Use Amazon Payments FAQ if you’ve still got questions after reading this post.
If you’ve been playing the miles and points game for awhile, you’ve probably been in a situation in which it was difficult to meet the minimum spend requirements on a credit card.
If you’re new, you’ll probably find yourself in this situation in the future.
This can especially be problematic when you apply for multiple cards at one time, (and therefore having multiple minimum spend requirements), or if you apply for a card with a high minimum spend requirement, like the Chase Ink Bold.
Even if you follow the most basic rule of meeting minimum spends, you can still come up short.
Sometimes you just don’t spend that much money or you have other cards you need to spend money on.
At this point, what do you do?
The one thing you should NEVER DO is miss meeting the minimum spend requirement.
If a card requires you to spend $5,000 in 3 months in order to get your 50,000 sign up bonus and you only spend $2,9000, guess what?
You aren’t getting your points!
Always, always, always make sure you can meet a minimum spend requirement BEFORE signing up for the card.
The absolute best tool out there to help you meet the minimum spend is Amazon Payments. It’s quick, fairly easy, and most importantly, FREE.
To help you understand how it works, I’ve created a 5 minute video tutorial.
This will show you how to:
- create an Amazon Payments account
- link the credit card you want to make the spend on to your account
- transfer money to someone you trust (up to $1,000 a month) and ensure that it counts as a credit card purchase.
I’ve also written up a step by step guide to help explain anything I may gloss over in the video. Happy viewing!
Step 1: Sign up for an Amazon Payments account
If you are already an existing Amazon customer you’ll use your existing Amazon username and password to sign up for Amazon Payments.
If you aren’t an Amazon customer already, you’ll have to register for an Amazon account first.
Fill out the personal information and the security questions. On the next screen, they’ll ask you to verify your social security number.
After that, they’ll send an email to you and you’ll have to click the link to confirm that you signed up for Amazon Payments.
Step 2: Add a credit card to your Amazon Payments account
If you are already an Amazon customer, all the credit cards you have registered with Amazon previously will automatically be imported to your Amazon Payments account.
To add a credit card, click on the “Your Account” tab and the “Edit my account settings” heading. You’ll see the area where you can “add, edit, or delete my credit cards.”
Click that and it will bring up the list of cards you already have loaded in. If the card you want to meet the minimum spend with isn’t there, click add card at the bottom and enter all the details.
Step 3: Sending Money
Now, you’ll be sending the money through Amazon to someone you trust. This is where it can get a little confusing.
Basically, what this does is allow you to “spend” money on your credit card by paying someone. The credit card company will count this as a “spend” on your card, helping meet the minimum spend requirement.
Then, the person you sent the money will give you the money back. Therefore, you haven’t gained or lost any money but you’ve been credited with “spend” by the credit card company.
Ok, how do you do this?
- First, sign the other person up for an Amazon Payments account. This makes it MUCH easier. So if you are sending money to your spouse, sign them up for an Amazon Payments account before sending them money.
- Click on the “Send Money” tab.
- Enter in the email address of the person you wish to send money to (and the one you just set an Amazon Payments account up for).
- Enter the amount you wish to send. Important note: You can only send $1,000 each month for free. Anything more than that and you’ll begin to get charged!
- Click the goods/services button. If you choose “cash advance” you are running the risk that your credit card may charge you a fee. Always, always, always choose goods/services.
- Enter an optional note. I do this every time just in case Amazon thinks something fishy is going on.
- On the next screen, make sure to select the “send payment using credit card” option and choose the card you want to meet the minimum spend on.
- Confirm the payment on the next screen. Then you are done, and the money is spent.
Step 4: Getting the Money Back
Remember I said to make sure that you sent the money to someone you trust? That’s because now you have ACTUALLY SENT that money to them.
You’ll need to get it back from them (unless, of course, you actually owed them the money). You can do this a couple ways:
- They can write you a check for the same amount and you can deposit it back in to your account.
- They can give you the amount back in cash for you to deposit in to your account.
A few very important things to remember:
- You can’t set up two accounts for yourself with two different emails and transfer money between them. Amazon will catch this. Always use a friend, relative, or spouse.
- You can only send a max of $1,000 a month (cumulative) without having to pay a fee to Amazon Payments.
- Always use someone you trust since you’re actually giving them the money.
- Sign up the person you are transferring the money to for an Amazon Payments account BEFORE you send the money. It makes life much easier.
- Don’t abuse the system or you’ll get banned. Send $1,000 a month, don’t send to yourself, and you should be fine.
If you still have questions about Amazon Payments, make sure to check out my Amazon Payments FAQ.
Do you have experience with Amazon Payments? Is it better or worse than Venmo? All suggestions and questions welcome in the comments!