Has it ever occurred to you that you miss out on your cash rebate or savings’ interest because you fail to meet the minimum spending requirement on your credit card? That is because it is common for the banks to mandate that you reach a minimum spending on your credit card before certain lucrative bonus and rewards start to kick in. For instance, Heartland Boy has to ensure that he spends at least $500 per month on his UOB One credit card so that he does not miss out on an annual interest of $775. This is already considered a relatively low minimum spending credit card. Similarly, OCBC 365 credit card requires cardholders to spend a minimum amount of $500 per month before an additional 0.3% annual interest rate is applicable for the cardholder’s OCBC 360 savings account. To qualify for cash rebates of more than 0.3%, the minimum spending is $600 per month on the OCBC 365 credit card.
There were several occasions in the past whereby the statement period was only a few days away but Heartland Boy had only agonizingly accumulated $400 on his credit card. As a result, he ended up fretting over the next few days on how he could achieve the minimum spending lest the cash rewards would slip away. It was definitely a case of so near yet so far. Therefore, he trawled the internet on various strategies to allow himself to strategically achieve the minimum spending on months when his usual spending is low. This article would share meaningful actions that everyone can take in order to meet the minimum spending requirement on your credit card. In addition, there is a description on the promotion by SingSaver for the month of July on certain outstanding credit cards at the end of the article.
Tip #1: Automate all bills on your credit card
Almost everyone would have a mobile phone that comes with a monthly bill. It is possible to pay your monthly mobile bill via your credit card by arranging for a GIRO facility. Heartland Boy did this with the OCBC 365 credit card and obtained a recurring 3% cash rebate. Now that he has switched to UOB One Account, he simply re-directed his phone bill to the UOB One credit card. His parents are not internet savvy, so Heartland Boy also automated their mobile bills on his credit card. The effort was certainly worth it as the $500 barrier became less insurmountable as a result.
Since Heartland Boy is on the topic of telcos, cable TV and home internet bills are also low-hanging fruits for one to pluck. For home-owners, another possible bill to automate would be the service and conservancy charge levied by the various town councils as well as your monthly utilities bill. If you are a young adult who just started paying income tax, a good tip would be to opt for monthly instalments and pay them via GIRO on your credit card. Certain credit cards may even allow the cardholder to automate the payment of monthly insurance premiums. Some of Heartland Boy’s peers even make monthly GIRO donations to Institute Public Charter approved charities. This qualifies his friends for tax reliefs as well as increases their transaction counts on their credit card. A very useful life hack indeed.
Tip #2: Pre-pay your mandatory expenses
Heartland Boy read on some forums that it is actually possible to pay up to DOUBLE the amount of your existing Singapore Power bill via your credit card. The customer service officer should allow you to pay double the outstanding amount at any of the customer service centres located in Woodlands Civic Centre, Toa Payoh HDB Hub or PWC Building. Heartland Boy has never tried this before, but if this works then it is brilliant!
To some people such as Heartland Girl, a gym membership is absolutely essential. Take away the gym and the life is incomplete. Well, if you are only a few months away from the expiry of your gym membership, you can offer to renew it early. Doing it early in advance also puts you in a stronger bargaining position to negotiate.
Tip #3: Top up your digital wallet
Heartland Boy uses the public gyms whenever he is back in Singapore during the weekends. Entrance tickets for public sporting facilities such as gyms and swimming pools are deducted from your ActiveSG account. Therefore, you can use your credit card to top up your ActiveSG account.
Another neat trick is to use your credit card to purchase GrabPay credits. Sometimes, Grab also runs promotions that allow you to unlock discounts for your next trips when you top up your GrabPay credits.
For those who always get their caffeine fix at Starbucks, it will be a good excuse to top up your Starbucks card.
Tip #4: Purchase vouchers in advance
You can load up on shopping vouchers such as CapitaVouchers, Takashimaya vouchers etc and they may come in handy when you need to make purchases during peak periods such as Christmas and Chinese New Year.
Purchasing vouchers from Dairy Farm group or NTUC are excellent ideas as well since all of us would need to purchase groceries and daily necessities.
For those who travel overseas regularly, it may be a good idea to purchase the Changi Gift Card.
Word Of Caution
Different credit cards have different terms and conditions, so it is best to read and understand them before executing any of these useful life-hacks to complete the minimum spending on your credit cards. For instance, some banks may not consider payments made at AXS machines as valid retail transactions. Similarly, EZ-Link transactions or payment made to LTA may also not be considered. Another important detail to be mindful of is that some banks may only process GIRO transactions with a minimum value of $10. Heartland Boy believes that the onus is on the card-holder to check, call and confirm before committing to any of the tips above.
In addition, Heartland Boy does not see his recommendations as a form of encouraging impulsive spending. Sometimes, spending an additional $50 on groceries that week may not look too bad when it allows you to qualify for an interest rate of $64 (UOB One Account’s monthly interest rate for its credit card spending criteria).
P.S. Do note that Heartland Boy earns a small referral fee for affiliate links.