On January 8th I posted about my 1st quarter churn in which I applied for a total of 8 cards between my wife and I for a total potential haul of 450,000 miles and points. Generally I try to keep the overall minimum spending requirements as low as possible by making sure to include offers that award the sign-up bonus after first purchase or at least a trivial minimum spending requirement, but these days that is getting harder to do.
This last round, I applied for 4 cards for myself and 4 for my wife and all combined they had a total minimum spending requirement of $21,000 in 4 months ($16,000 had to be in the first 3 months). This is a daunting task for someone who doesn’t really spend that much, but there are a few methods available to manufacture a lot of spending without buying anything! You can get a little more detail of how these methods work on this post How Am I Going to Hit $21,000 Minimum Spend in 4 Months?
Two months later I have hit all the spending requirements and half of the miles/points have posted and I am just waiting for statements to cycle on a few of the cards for the rest of the bonuses to post.
Amazon Payments – Tried and true, AP is a time-tested way to get easy spending on a card. I used this to send $1,000 per month to my wife off of my cards and she sent $1,000 as well. This quickly covered $6,000 of the spending requirements (2k Jan, 2k Feb, & 2k Mar).
If you have never used Amazon Payments, it is pretty simple. Just sign up for an account, log in, and click send money. Add your credit card as a funding source and send up to $1,000/mo to someone you trust. That person can simply withdraw the funds from their account directly into their bank account and then the funds can be used to pay the credit card back. Every credit card I have ever tried processes this as a purchase and not a cash advance.
Wells Fargo Prepaid/Amex BlueBird – This was the big hitter that I had hoped it would be! Prior to this churn I had never used either and was pretty excited to give them a try. It was almost to easy! Right off the bat I loaded $2,500 onto my WF Prepaid card online through Wells Fargo’s website. It was quick and painless and the $5 fee was waived on the first load. From there I went to Wal-Mart and loaded $1,000 per day onto the Bluebird card from the Wells Fargo Prepaid card. The first time I tried I had forgotten that WF has a $600 limit per transaction and the load was denied. I quickly remembered the limit and had the clerk re-run it for $600 and we were back in business!
Once I saw that this was going to work fine, I went ahead and started doing the same with my wife’s WF Prepaid card. Just remember to load the Bluebird at Wal-Mart and not online so that you can avoid the loading fee. Bluebird offers a free online bill pay service that worked pretty smooth and made it pretty easy to pay my mortgage as well as simply make payments back to credit cards that were originally used to fund the Wells Fargo Prepaid card.
So all in I generated $21,000 in spending and paid fee’s of $20 for loading the WF prepaid (since the 1st load was free on both our cards and then $5 each after). Plus I have now paid $6 in monthly fee’s on my WF card, but for some reason my wife’s card has yet to charge her a single fee!
So my grand total expense was $26 and we are 450,000 miles/points richer! Gotta love it!
Anyone else try out the Wells Fargo Prepaid and Bluebird method yet? What have your experiences been?