Yes, it’s true. You can get paid to get married, or have a baby, or take a European vacation… if you play your cards right in the credit card rewards department. Before you make a face, let me assure you that I personally despise credit card spam and most credit card incentives.
The trick to this is understanding that many people don’t bother to make their credit cards work for them, either because they maintain an outstanding balance on their cards each month or choose cards with lame incentives like 1% cash back. This post will explain how you can net almost 15% cash back on a
$3,000 $4,000 investment (Chase revised the minimum spend required in 2015) — where else can you find returns like that nowadays? Assuming you can afford to take on a new line of credit, this is by far the best choice I’ve found because it rewards you with a minimum of $400 $500 in cash back or $500 $625 in travel rewards after 90 days. Just apply, buy the stuff you already needed to buy, pay off your credit card, and Bob’s your Uncle.
These tips are based on my own personal experience as well as the experience of my newly married brother who used this strategy and got paid to get married (which inspired this post in the first place). This is only a good financial choice if you have the cash to pay off your credit card balances in full each month, and also wish to be rewarded for big spending. This strategy could be a perfect fit if you:
- Are getting married soon
- Are having a baby
- Are going to be traveling overseas or taking a vacation
- Are buying furniture or other expensive home goods
- Are paying for a medical procedure
- Or just have at least
$3,000$4,000 in anticipated spending on something soon
Also, if you’re reading this then I assume that you have already familiarized yourself with my other post regarding responsible credit card usage. If not, read that first and then come back.
As a disclaimer, I am not a financial advisor and you should always do your homework before applying for a new line of credit. The card you end up with will depend on many factors including but not limited to: 1. Your existing credit history, if any; 2. Your usage needs; 3. Your preferences for credit card rewards (cash back, frequent flyer miles, points, etc).
This life hack relies on usage of a new Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa card.
The member perks include:
- 50,000 bonus points when you spend
$3,000$4,000 in the first 90 days
- An additional 5,000 points if you add a second cardholder and they buy something within the first 90 days
- 2X bonus points on travel-related purchases and dining
- 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- ZERO foreign transaction fees
- $95 annual fee (waived for the first year, and you can cancel any time although sometimes if you ask nicely they will waive or significantly discount the fee for the 2nd year too)
- Points transfer 1:1 to United MileagePlus, Southwest, British Airways, Korean Air, Ritz-Carlton, Marriott, Hyatt, Priority Club, Amtrak
- Points are worth 20% more when you redeem them for travel through Chase’s booking tool
In the oversimplified example above, my brother used the Chase Sapphire Preferred card to pay for his wedding expenses like venue rental, catering, DJ, flowers, day-of coordinator, and his tuxedo. It was easy to hit the $3,000 minimum because he needed to spend that money anyway. In addition, he signed his future wife up to be a secondary cardholder and she used the 2nd card to pay for things like the hair stylists and makeup artists, which earned them the extra 5,000 points. In total, they had accrued 45,000 reward points within 90 days just by paying for the things they already needed to buy. In addition, he paid for their honeymoon cruise with the Sapphire Preferred card and earned 2X points on that purchase.
All in, they are now eligible to cash in their 60,000 points for $600, which is a month’s rent in some places or enough cash for another romantic weekend away. Think about it… Chase paid them to get married and they didn’t really have to do anything except apply for the card and use it for their wedding purchases. Plus they paid every credit card bill on time and at 100% of the balance so they improved their credit score as well as avoided paying any unnecessary interest fees. That means they will be better financial candidates for buying their future home when they are ready to start a family. If that isn’t a happy ending I don’t know what is.