Many credit cards and bank accounts require you to have a certain number of card transactions to earn certain bonuses.
For instance, my AMEX Everyday card gives me 20% more MR if I have 20+ transactions per statement. Another example is one of my bank accounts gives 2% APR if you have 12 debit transactions per month. All of these are ways that they get you to use their cards.
There are a few ways that I’ve learned and discovered to cover these minimum transaction requirements. Some of them require more work than others.
Self Checkout – Grocery Store
I’ve used this method several times with my AMEX Everyday Card (because it earns 2x MR at Grocery Stores) and it is pretty simple. Utilize your grocery store’s self checkout lanes and instead of putting it all on one transaction, ring up each item and pay for it. This can be sort of time consuming and annoying since you have to remove your items from the bagging area after each transaction. I usually use this method when I only have 2-3 items.
Amazon Gift Cards
Who doesn’t love Amazon? With Prime two-day shipping, I can get pretty much anything I want while sitting in my PJs. If you’re anything like me, a $5 Amazon gift card would probably last me like 1/24 of a day. Well Amazon sells e-gift cards for as low as $0.50. This means if you have to meet a minimum transaction of 10. It’ll only cost you $5 plus the time it takes you to add these small gift cards to your Amazon account.
This method is probably the cheapest and costs you no extra money. Google Wallet allows you to send fee-free payments to other people. The catch is you have to use a debit card for it to be fee-free. Therefore, this method doesn’t really work for credit cards because they’ll charge you a transaction fee. You can send as little as $.01 to someone. I probably wouldn’t suggest doing an amount that small, but if you want to do $.15 payments to your wife or friend this is an easy way to go.
Be a Good Person and Donate
Many charities will allow for online donations as low as $1. Of course… feel free to give more.