How To Reach Your Minimum Spend And Unlock Signup Bonuses For Free Travel

All travel hacking credit cards are interesting because of their welcome bonuses that give you flights, hotel nights or free travel credits. It’s called welcome bonuses.

It almost always involves putting a minimum amount of purchases on your new credit card in the first few months (usually three months) to unlock the bonus. That’s all that’s required on your side, after this, the points are yours and you have nothing else left to do. It scares some, but it definitely should not.

I had $6,000 to attain in three months personally (and with my girlfriend), 4 cards at $1,500, and yes, it took some effort, but it’s feasible… so don’t stress with $1500, thanks to our tips you will get there.

By the way, if you want to refresh your memory, here are the 10 rules about travel hacking credit cards.

The most common amount required to unlock the welcome bonuses is $1,500, which is extremely easy to attain when you know how. Here are tips that will be very useful to anyone who has taken advantage of any of the incredible offers in our list of the best travel hacking credit cards in Canada.

It’s handy for a card … but it’s so simple to reach when you only have one card to do that it’s mostly to help you order two travel hacking credit cards at once, twice a year (or one every three months if you prefer) and maximize your free trips, provided you follow the rules mentioned above obviously.

What you need to know about welcome bonuses

Before telling you how to reach those minimum amounts, there are some important things to know.

Document your application
The first step is to note all the details when you apply for a credit card because sometimes those details will be difficult to finds afterward and those available publicly on the site of the card may differ from your offer.

For example, you often get more advantageous bonuses using the link we provide (and it also supports us, so we appreciate when you go through our tool for any card request, thank you 🙂 !), so we recommend to record or film your screen throughout the application.

That way, you will know exactly the minimum amount to spend on how many months and will have proof since the banks sometimes have several different offers.

Pay attention to the rules.

The time you have to spend the minimum amount often begins the day of your application, not the day you receive the card, so don’t be fooled. Do not wait until the last day of your three months to reach the $1,500 and you will avoid this risk anyway.

Another detail: the annual fee (the best cards have one, but the welcome bonus is better) does not count as an expense towards the minimum amount, so don’t rely on your on your card statement balance because it includes the $120 fee. In short, in the case of a card with $120 fee, it’s $1,620 that you will have to “spend”, not $1,500.

Before telling you how to reach this amount easily, remember that if you make the slightest mistake and do not reach the amount, your welcome bonus is lost forever. It is extremely important.

Same thing on the refunds side. If you make the mistake of having a purchase refunded on the card and it makes you go back below $1,500, you lose the premium. So be careful. There is absolutely nothing to do if the deadline passes. It’s over, no second chance, no way to rectify.


How to reach the minimum amount.

So, as I told you, it’s very easy to spend $1,500, here are the few tips. Remember, you should never spend more just for travel hacking, it’s a horrible idea and it’s not the way to do travel hacking. Refer to the 10 rules mentioned previously.

1.Your regular expenses

You might be surprised at how much you are already spending, it’s probably close to $1,500, because it’s only $500 a month.

Restaurants, gas, groceries, clothing, cell phones … for many of you, the $1,500 is almost self-fulfilling as long as you pay for everything with your new card.

What you should always do anyway (pay everything using credit cards), because that’s travel hacking. As long as you pay everything in full at the end of the month, it does not cost you a penny of interest.

2.Your friends and family.

The second step is quite simple, see if the members of your family or your friends have some large expenses to incur in the next three months.

Let’s say your father / brother / friend has to buy a $400 item at Canadian Tire, use this to help you attain your $1,500.

Just pay for it and he’ll pay back the $400 to you. This should allow most of you to reach the required amount.

3.Pre-pay for frequent purchases.

You should not have a lot left, so this technique is pretty simple. Go to Pharma Prix, Metro or Walmart or any store that sells gift cards from different merchants.

Buy gift cards for places where you often shop and you’re sure to spend relatively quickly.

It will count as an expense, will allow you to reach the minimum amount, simply by “pre-paying” your next purchases. Buying gift cards does not cost any additional fees, so it’s a simple solution.

4.Use Paytm

This trick is very interesting. A Canadian application called Paytm allows you to pay for free with a MasterCard credit card your electricity bills, your taxes at the Canada Revenue Agency, certain school taxes, and some other suppliers who do not usually take credit card.

It may be a promotion that may eventually end (that is, they may charge a fee) but until then, it is very useful to reach the minimum amount… and even just to accumulate Points and Miles for free travel.

See the detailed article here (in addition we give you a code for 1000 Paytm Points, which are worth ≈ $ 6).

5. Use Plastiq

Plastiq, unlike Paytm, should only be used as a last resort. It is a service that allows you to pay anything (mortgage, rent, condo fees, suppliers of any kind).

Because unlike Paytm, there is a charge of 2.5% for any payment, so it is only worth it if you are really stuck and you will not be able to reach your minimum amount otherwise (or you can use it anytime if you have a card that gives you a better return than 2.5%).

See the detailed article here (in addition we give you a code for a payment of $ 500 without fees).


That’s it, now you know it’s very simple to reach minimum spend requirement on credit cards. So don’t let this requirement stop you and prevent you from getting plenty of free travel with credit cards. Do you have any questions? Ask them in the comments below.

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Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about travelling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself, he aims to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveller, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to Travel Hacking... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 41/193 Countries, 46/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

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