I wrote before on how easy it is to meet the minimum spend requirement using MoneyPak and AMEX Serve Card. Now of-course with the onset and availability of Pin based Visa/Mastercard we have new ways on meeting the minimum spend to get that new credit card sign-up bonus. Below are few possible ways on meeting your spend requirement with minimal cost to you.
Method 1: Using BlueBird AMEX Card:
Using BlueBird Debit is by far the best way to run-up the spend meet of up to $5k/month easily. The method involves buying Visa Gift Card at stores which allow you to buy using a credit card. You can also use credit cards which bonuses specific category of purchase like grocery (Blue Cash Preferred with 6x), grocery+drug store+gas (ThankYou Preferred for 1st year with 5x) or Office Stores (Ink Bold or Ink Plus with 5x), that would increase your earning potential tremendously . The method involves setting up the pin on your Visa gift card, going to your nearest Walmart and loading the BlueBird Debit Card with the Visa gift card at any of the Money-Center Kiosk or customer service counter. You can load $1k/day upto $5/month on the card. You cannot have more than one BlueBird Card, but of-course if you have spouse you can have a card on her name as well and thus increase the amount of available loading to $10k/month.
Method 2: Buying Money Orders at Walmart and other stores which accept Visa Gift Cards:
You can use Visa Gift Cards to buy Money Orders at lot of places including Walmart. Since most places which has this service requires a pin-based debit card you should be good to purchase Money Orders using Visa Gift Cards. You can make these money orders on your spouse name which can be deposited in his/her account or if you are renting a house you can make money order on your land-lord's name as well for your rental payment.
Method 3: Buying Green Dot MoneyPak:
You can still find MoneyPak with $0 fee at many pharmacy stores which will allow you to make the purchase using a Visa Gift Card with pin. This is of-course is YMMV but can help to liquidate the Visa Gift Card by eventually using MoneyPak to load to variety of prepaid cards including MyGreenDot which allows free MoneyPass ATM withdrawal's and a great way of meeting minimum spend. Of-course the incentive of using Visa Gift Card for buying MoneyPak is that Visa Gift Cards are available in wide variety of stores and thus you can use a credit card which bonuses your purchase of Visa Gift Card and thus multiply your points/cash-back earned.
P.S. You can of-course meet your minimum spend requirement with $0 cost or make even a profit by purchasing Visa Gift Card online from giftcardmall through cash back portals like BigCrumbs and TopCashBack. FrequentMiler has a wonderful article on this which would be of your interest.
Disclosure: I do not earn any commission on above credit card links but I do earn a referral bonus if you use my BigCrumbs or TopCashBack links.
US Airways is running promotion where you get 50% bonus miles when you transfer the "participating" hotel points into miles. This promotion is valid till April 30th and you are limited to "ONLY ONE TRANSFER BONUS OF 50%". Below are the transfer partners:
Although hotel points transfer to Airline miles is rarely a good value and a good partner like "SPG" is excluded. There are couple of good value to have above.
Wyndham Rewards Transfer:
Wyndham Rewards points transfer to US Airways miles with a ratio of "2.5:1". Adding 50% bonus the ratio becomes "2.5:1.5".
For e.g. Transferring 8000 Wyndham Reward Points with will you 4800 US Airways Dividend Miles.
Marriott Rewards Transfer:
There are two different ways of getting US Airways miles in exchange for Marriott Rewards Points:
1. Air Mileage: Marriott Rewards Points can simply be converted to US Airways miles with a variable ratio ranging from "5:1" for 10k points transfer to maximum of "2.5:1" for 125k points transfer. Thus with 50% bonus you will earn anywhere from "5:1.5" to as good as "2.5:1.5". Here is the link to get started.
e.g. 1: Transferring 10k Marriott Reward Points would yield 3k US Airways Dividend Miles.
e.g. 2: Transferring 125k Marriott Reward Points would yield 75k US Airways Dividend Miles.
2. Hotel + Air Package: Marriott Rewards Points have an option for redeeming for "Hotel + Air Package" deal. One of the good redemptions here is "7 nights in category 1-5 hotels + 120k miles" for 270k Marriott Reward Points. The good deal about this package is you not only get 7 nights worth of stay in category 1-5 hotels (which by the way you could finalize at later point in time) but you would get a transfer ratio of "2.25:1" without bonus. Adding the 50% transfer bonus would yield "1.5:1" transfer ratio which is "awesome" considering you get 180k miles + 7 nights of hotel stay as well.
Do note that the 50% bonus is only applicable for "1 transfer only" but you could always transfer the points to your spouse account as well and get similar benefits. Both Wyndham Rewards and Marriott Rewards allows such transfers. If you do not have either Wyndham Rewards Points or Marriott Rewards Points but are having "few thousand points lying over" in any other participating hotel program, now would be a good time to get a good 50% bonus on them.
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