U.S. News & World Report crowned Delta SkyMiles the first runner-up in the Best Airlines Rewards Programs survey — for the third consecutive year.
Still on the fence about taking advantage of some of the highest ever welcome bonuses we’ve seen for Delta American Express cards? Can’t think of how you’ll meet the minimum spend in just three months?
Don’t worry. We’re here to brainstorm! There are plenty of ways to meet your minimum spend requirements in the next three months.
Remember this very important rule: never buy something you wouldn’t normally purchase or go over your budget. Interest fees could easily negate the points you earn.
Also, keep in mind that your minimum spend period begins the day your card application is approved, not the day you receive or activate your card.
If your card application is instantly approved, Amex generally provides you a card number, expiration date, and CVV you can use to start shopping online right away. Make sure to take advantage of that!
All that said, here are ways you can meet your minimum spend within the next three months:
The Usual Suspects
Remember to use your new credit to pay everyday bills, such as:
- Utilities (especially with high air conditioning bills!)
- Restaurants (don’t forget to stack with Dosh and SkyMiles dining!)
- Food delivery (GrubHub, UberEats, Postmates, etc)
- Cell Phone
- Ride-Share Services (Uber, Lyft, etc.). Remember, you can earn up to two SkyMiles per dollar spent on Lyft!
- Insurance (car, health, travel, etc.)
Pay Quarterly Taxes
Paying taxes is a great way to knock out chunks of minimum spend requirements. (Keep in mind we at Rene’s Points are not tax advisors, nor are we giving any tax advice in this post.)
Unless you were approved and received your card a few weeks ago, you missed the boat on paying Q2’s estimated quarterly taxes. But September 15 (Q3’s estimated quarterly tax due date) is less than 90 days away.
Are you going to school or paying for someone’s education? I know we just started summer but the school year is only a few weeks away. Consider using your brand new credit card for:
- School supplies
- Tuition (if applicable)
- Room and board (if applicable)
- Parking permits (if applicable)
Delta American Express cards are rarely worth using for travel (or much else), simply because their standard bonuses are limited to a whopping two points per dollar on Delta purchases. Everything else earns one point.
Except when it comes to earning welcome bonuses. That’s a lot different.
Consider the Platinum Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express (learn more). The 75,000 bonus miles essentially make each dollar up to the $3000 minimum worth 26 SkyMiles each.
So use your Delta SkyMiles Amex card to purchase flights, hotel rooms, AirBNB, whatever.
Remember to use your Delta Amex onboard Delta flights: you receive a 20% statement credit when purchasing alcohol, premium snacks, and headphones. And it’s a great way to earn the Delta purchase statement credit!
Summer concert tours are underway! Many fall concert tours are already on sale.
Major League Baseball season is about half over. NFL and college football are two months away. Those are a couple of great opportunities for sports lovers to meet their minimum spend requirements.
Remember you can earn bonus SkyMiles for each Ticketmaster purchase — but using a cashback portal like TopCashBack or Rakuten (formerly Ebates) may be smarter.
It’s wedding season. Pay for the happy couple’s gift with your new card!
For what it’s worth, my wife and I usually buy couples customized Visa gift cards from GiftCards.com. (Remember to start your shopping session through TopCashBack!) Many couples have their own wedding website; download a picture from the site, upload to GiftCards.com and create a gift card they will love.
Word to the wise: don’t go crazy buying gift cards to meet the minimum spend. Credit card companies are getting hip to certain, creative practices.
Fourth of July and Labor Day
Going to a Fourth of July BBQ this week or weekend? Hosting people for America’s big day? Going to or throwing a shindig on Labor Day?
Break out that card for food, beverages, snacks, party favors, sunscreen, water, and aloe vera (for when you forget to buy sunscreen!).
I sincerely hope you (and/or your insurance company) don’t spend a cent this way. But summer months are the busiest for emergency rooms and urgent cares.
I got a jump start (or, rather, a trip start) in May.
Just last week, my wife plunked down her new Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express (learn more) at the ER. The MQM bonus took a little sting out of our visit.
Remember to purchase travel insurance (and pay for it with your new card).
Kiva is a microlending organization — and they accept credit cards through PayPal! This is a great year-round option but always worth a special mention. Check out Rene’s Kiva quick tips!
Any ideas I may have missed? How will you knock out minimum spend on your new Delta Amex cards? Tell us in the Comment section below!