When most of the top end credit cards offer a sign up bonus, they also require you to spend a certain amount of money in a short period of time to get that bonus. For example, they may require you to spend $3,000 in the first 3 months in order to get a sign up bonus of 50,000 miles.
1. Use a credit card for all your regular spending. This is a no brainer. Instead of using cash, make sure to use a credit card for all your regular purchases, such as groceries, gas, etc. The use of credit card generally also earns you cash-back or points back.
2. Making large purchase that is already planned. If you know you have big purchases, open up cards around that time so the big purchases can help you meet the requirement.
3. Pay bills ahead of time. Examples are insurance bills, cellphone, cable, electric, gas, water, gym membership etc. You may pay more than due. Extra amount will simply sit in your account as credit towards future charge. People tends to forget this option since no one likes to put own money in other company’s account, but it’s actually a great way to meet minimal spending — it is necessary spending sooner or later.
4. Buy Gift Card that you expect to use. Gas Card is a good option. At some gas stations gas price is lower if you pay with gas card. If you shop Amazon.com a lot, then consider Amazon gift card. Think gift card that you expect to spend in the future. There is no fee to buy store gift card. VISA or AMEX gift card have activation fee between $4-$8 but can still be considered because of the flexibility to use.
5. Pay your taxes with credit card ahead of time. You can pay your US taxes with a credit card. Here’s the IRS’s list of all the services that they allow. The lowest charge is 1.87%. Credit cards listed at ccbonus.com have at least 1% cash back (some have 2% or more effective cash back) so the final cost is 0.87% of less — $8.7 or less for $1000.
Overall, spending with the least waste to money to get the bonus, makes the process more fun.