I love rewards cards, and I love their sign-up bonuses. Who doesn’t? Believe it or not, a lot of people don’t partake in rewards credit cards. But that’s another post…..
Yeah, I love getting great rewards cards and their sign-up bonuses, because that’s how I can travel often and in style. Thank you, credit card gods. But with a lot of these cards, there are minimum spend requirements that need to be met. In the past, there were often lower minimum spends or none at all, but NOW there is most likely going to be a minimum spend tied to every rewards card. Boo, but it’s reality. Reality is a B sometimes.[FYI: I'm not a financial advisor. You must proceed at your own risk with Amazon Payments.]
Let me introduce you to my friend, “Amazon Payments.”
Amazon payments is awesome, p-e-r-i-o-d.
Tip: Don’t use American Express issued cards like the PRG or Platinum. This will send a red flag to Amex and nobody wants that. The Starwood Preferred Guest card seems to work, though.
You can help meet your minimum spends by sending credit card payments through your Amazon Payment account. You can send someone an Amazon payment for “no fee,” up to $1,000 a month. Anything over $1,000 will have a 3% fee.
So, I can send my wife an Amazon payment of $1,000 every month for FREE (and vice versa). That’s $2,000 in monthly household spend ammunition! I just link up my credit card to my Amazon Payments account and send a “goods or service payment” to her Amazon Payments account. For us, my payment to my wife will go to our bank account. After it’s deposited, I will use the money to pay off my $1,000 credit card balance.
If you are sending an Amazon Payment to someone other than a spouse or partner, make sure you know them well and trust them to cut you a check or send you an Amazon Payment back.
1. Sign into Amazon Payments
If you already have an Amazon account, you can use the same log-in info. You will just need to add your credit card and bank account info into your Amazon Payments account.
2. Enter Personal Details
- Name and Address
- DOB or social security number
- Security Question
3. Activate “Send Money Online”
Click the activate button. Easy.
4. Verify Email, Credit Card, and Bank Account
This is another eazzzy step. Click on the verify email button and you will be directed through the steps. Then, add your credit card and bank account info. You will be walked through the steps. Depending on your bank, you may have to send 2 small deposits to verify your bank info. I did not with Wells Fargo.
5. Send $$$
Pay attention! It’s important that you click the “goods and services” option. If you select the “cash advance” option, you could be charged a very expensive cash advance fee on your credit card. Efff that.
Choosing the “goods and services” tab will most likely not result in a charge from your credit card company. But always start off with a small amount to test the waters, because you just never know.
I haven’t been charged a fee yet, but your credit card could be different. So, start small.
6. Select Your Credit Card
Select your credit card that has the minimum spend you are trying to meet. Add your new one in if you haven’t used it yet.
7. Confirm Your Payment
Always double check that you have “goods and services” clicked. Then confirm.
Getting the Money Back
After the recipient deposits the money you’ve sent them, they can write you a check or give you cash. A riskier option is to transfer the money back to you from their Amazon Payments account and credit card. There is a risk that Amazon will flag your account. I usually wait 15 days before I have my wife send me a payment from a different credit card to my Amazon Payment account, which has a different bank account attached.
That’s a Wrap
Now you have an easy way to meet a $1,000 minimum spend. Some important points:
- You can only do $1,000 a month per account before you are charged 3%
- Don’t create multiple accounts (you will get busted)
- Don’t be greedy in general with this technique
- Click Goods and Services
Amazon Payments is a trusted technique used by many to help meet their minimum spends. It’s soooo easy- too easy, really. I have used Amazon Payments many times and have never been charged a fee.
Utilizing Amazon Payments is going to become even more vital with minimum spends increasing. I expect the new rewards card offers to all have minimum spends and second tier bonuses tied to them. So familiarize yourself with Amazon Payments and shoot me an email if you have any questions.
p.s. Play it cool. If you do more than 200 transactions or $20,000 in a calendar year, Amazon will be required to let the IRS know. Nobody wants that.
— Geoff Whitmore