We all like to get the golden hello! Most rewards & frequent flyer credit cards now require the cardholder to spend a specific amount of money within the first 2-3 months in order to unlock the sign up bonus points.
The banks do this as a way to make sure that you are the type of cardholder they want to have on their books plus they get to recoup some of the cost of giving you all those points by collecting interchange fees from your transactions.
Let's be honest, having to spend money on a new credit card also makes it a little bit more difficult for the aggressive points chaser from collecting the sign up bonus points and closing the card.
At first glance it may seem a bit daunting to need to spend $1-3k on a new credit card. However, it could be easier than you think. It's usually spread out over 3 months which is only $833 per month to hit a requirement of $2,500. Not every purchase counts as an eligible transaction. There's usually a line in the T&C's something like:
"Eligible purchases do not include cash advances, interest, balance transfers, fees and charges for traveller’s cheques and foreign currencies."
Oh, and it should go without saying, purchases that are wholly or partly gambling or gaming purchases are not allowed.
What is Eligible?
We've a compiled a list of ways to hit the minimum spend requirement and unlock those big sign-up bonuses. And by the way, we're listing items which you may need to purchase anyways in the normal course of life. We are not encouraging people to spend money on non-essential items in order to hit a spend requirement!
These will be the easiest and most obvious ways to start spending on the new card.
- Dinner (Pro Tip: Go with a group of friends or family and pick up the bill using your card, then everyone pays you in cash or transfers the money to you!)
- Shopping for food
- New clothing
- Household bills
- Car servicing & repairs
- New car tyres
- Travel card top ups (Opal + Myki + others)
- Road tolls
- That late night kebab!
As mentioned above you can pay your bills which may include.
- Mobile phone
- Home phone
- Skype credit
- Rent (Pro Tip: if you can get your real estate agent to use rentalrewards.com.au)
- Land rates
Big Box items for the home
These are the large infrequent purchases which you will buy every handful of years.
- Air Conditioner
- Lounge suite
- Bedroom furniture
More large infrequent purchases which you will only buy once every handful of years.
- Pool pump
Normally these purchases are eligible and will count towards your spend requirement. But watch out as these may actually be processed as a cash advance.
- Supermarket gift card
- Shopping centres
- Google Play
- App Store
- Gaming (steam)
Business or Work Expenses
Typically a bank won't allow a personal credit card to be used to pay for big invoices from suppliers. It's a bit of a vague area. But if you're a director or employee then the normal business and work expenses will count as eligible purchases.
- Office desk
- New office chair
- Work clothes
- Uber or taxi
- Conference tickets
- Hotel bookings
- Flight bookings
- Overseas insurances
- Booking and departure taxes
- Qantas Gift Vouchers for future travel (denomination of up to $2k)
- Initial house deposit
- Initial card deposit
- Buying shares
- Tax bill at the ATO
- Accountant cost to manage tax affairs