How to Meet Visa & MasterCard Minimum Spending Requirements for $0

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Update:   You can NO longer fund a new Citigold checking account with a credit card.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Did you know it’s possible to fund new accounts (and not incur a cash advance fee) at some banks with certain credit cards?

It’s a great way to meet minimum spending requirements and earn lots of miles and points.  And right now, Citi has terrific bonuses for folks who open a new account (and these can be funded with a MasterCard or Visa!).

You can earn 50,000 American Airlines miles or Citi ThankYou points when you open a new Citigold checking account.  But there are conditions & restrictions, and you’ll have to do a bit of legwork!

How To Meet Visa MasterCard Minimum Spending Requirements For 0

Now’s a Great Time to Open a New Account, Meet Minimum Spending Requirements, and Earn Miles & Points

I’ll show you how to sign-up, and explain if it’s worth it!

What’s the Deal?

Until December 31, 2015, you’ll earn 50,000 American Airlines miles or 50,000 Citi ThankYou points when you open a new Citigold checking account and complete certain requirements.

You can initially fund this account (up to $100,000!) with some credit cards without it posting as a cash advance (check Doctor of Credit’s list here).  So this could perfect for folks with big minimum spending requirements to meet!

How To Meet Visa MasterCard Minimum Spending Requirements For 0

Meet Minimum Spending Requirements for Free by Funding a New Citigold Checking Account

It’s not enough just to open and initially fund the account.  Depending on the offer, you’ll have to take certain actions to unlock the bonus.

These offers are for new Citi checking account holders only.  If you’ve had a Citi checking account in the past, you may NOT get the bonus.

Citigold 50,000 American Airlines Miles Offer

Link:   Direct Link to Citigold 50,000 American Airlines Miles Offer (Use Promotional Code 42ERCWNQU6)

To apply for the 50,000 American Airlines miles Citigold checking offer, visit this link and use promotion code 42ERCWNQU6.

Or call 800-374-9500 to apply.  Because these offers are technically targeted for folks who are Citi ThankYou cardholders, it’s a good idea to call 1st to confirm you’re eligible anyway.

How To Meet Visa MasterCard Minimum Spending Requirements For 0

It’s Best to Verify You’re Eligible for the Offer by Calling to Apply

Funding the account with a credit card can NOT be done online.  Select “Other Funding Source” and “Credit Card” and you’ll be given a link to a PDF file.  You’ll have to print it out and fax it in with your credit card details, (or just call to apply instead!).

In order to receive the bonus miles, you’ll have to:

  • Make at least $1,000 in debit card transactions in the 1st 60 days of opening your account, AND
  • Make at least 1 bill payment for 2 or more consecutive calendar months within 60 days of account opening
How To Meet Visa MasterCard Minimum Spending Requirements For 0

To Earn the Bonus, Pay 2 Bills and Make $1,000 in Debit Purchases in the 1st 60 Days of Opening Your Account

Note:  If you rent, consider using your debit card to pay rent 2 months in a row using RadPad.  It’s easy and free to use a debit card!

The $30 monthly fee on the account is waived for the 1st 2 months.  After that, you can cancel or downgrade the account with no penalty (but be sure your American Airlines miles have posted to your account FIRST!).

Note:   Folks with large deposits or investments with Citi may have the $30 monthly fee waived.

Citigold 50,000 Citi ThankYou Points Offer

Link:   Direct Link to Citigold 50,000 Citi ThankYou Points Offer (Use Promotional Code 42ERCZ42PY)

This offer is for the same type of account (Citigold checking) as the American Airlines offer, but the bonus is 50,000 Citi ThankYou points and the terms are slightly different.

BIG NOTE!  The Citi ThankYou bonus points you earn from opening this account can NOT be transferred to airline and hotel partners!

How To Meet Visa MasterCard Minimum Spending Requirements For 0

You Can NOT Transfer Citi ThankYou Points From This Offer to Airline and Hotel Partners Like Virgin Atlantic or Singapore Airlines

However, you can redeem them for paid travel through the Citi Travel Center.  And if you’re a Citi Prestige cardholder, your points are worth 1.6 cents each toward paid American Airlines (or their codeshare partners) flights!

Note:   If you redeem your Citi ThankYou points for American Airlines tickets, be aware that any redemption worth $600 or more could result in Citi issuing a 1099 tax form.

Citi says:

The value of rewards from redeemed points may be reported to the IRS as miscellaneous income on Form 1099–MISC in the year redeemed, if the value of the rewards is $600 or greater or the value of the rewards plus other taxable miscellaneous income awards received from Citibank, N.A., is in the aggregate $600 or greater for a calendar year, as required by applicable law.

The $30 monthly fee is also waived for the 1st 2 months (further if you meet the criteria mentioned here).  And the procedure for funding your account with a credit card is the same.

To earn the bonus, you’ll have to make at least 1 bill payment for 2 or more consecutive calendar months within 60 days of account opening (like the American Airlines offer).  There is no debit transaction requirement.

Note:   Bill payments for either offer must be made to a non-Citi account (i.e. NOT your Citi Prestige or Citi ThankYou Premier bill!).

Are You Sure Funding the Account With a Credit Card Is Safe?

This is an excellent way to meet minimum spending requirements and earn miles and points – as long as the credit card funding transaction does NOT post as a cash advance!

You can check this thread for data points on which cards do and do not post as a cash advance.  In general, Bank of America, Barclays, and most Citi cards will usually NOT post as a cash advance.

But other banks (generally) WILL.

How To Meet Visa MasterCard Minimum Spending Requirements For 0

Folks Have Mixed Reports on Which Banks Will Charge a Cash Advance for Funding a Your New Account With a Credit Card

The best way to ensure your transaction won’t post as a cash advance (which will NOT count toward minimum spending or earn miles and points) is to contact your card issuer and have them set your cash advance limit to zero.  Just call the number on the back of your card.

That way, if the bank tries to process the funding of your new Citi account as a cash advance, the transaction will be declined.  If that’s the case, you’ll have 1 more attempt to fund the account with a credit card before you’ll have to choose another funding method.

Note:   You can initially fund your account up to $100,000 with this method, but remember you can’t exceed your card’s credit limit!  And unfortunately you can NOT split the funding transaction by using more than 1 credit card.

These cards might be good choices for funding this account:

I haven’t tried any of these myself, so be sure to set your cash advance limit to zero before you try to fund your account with these cards!

Bottom Line

You can meet minimum spending requirements and earn miles and points for free by funding a Citigold checking account with a credit card.

Not all credit cards work (some are processed as a cash advance) but to avoid this, set your cash advance limit to zero before using your card to fund an account.

And for a limited time, new account holders can earn 50,000 American Airlines miles or Citi ThankYou points when they open an account and meet certain criteria.  But note these Citi ThankYou points can NOT be transferred to airlines and hotels.

It’s best to call to confirm you’re eligible to apply as it’s technically a targeted offer for Citi ThankYou cardholders.

Please share your experiences in the comments if you’ve successfully funded a Citigold account with a Visa or MasterCard!

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47 responses to “How to Meet Visa & MasterCard Minimum Spending Requirements for $0

  1. I was able to fund citigold accoint using barclays arrival. signed up online. Faxed in credit card info. signed up on 10/4. Arrival points posted 10/13. Debit card arrived 10/13 and account is now active. You can not access ur bank account until ur debit card arrives. Debit card number is needed to activate account and allow access to funds. I previously had a citigold account and am curious to see if the Aadvantage points will post after minimum requirements. The way I read the T&C it seems they will post bit we will see. in the mean time I have sent in a message asking if I am eligible to receive the bonus points.

  2. What about 1099 for selecting aadvantage option

  3. According to the doctorofcredit link, BoA does not allow credit card funding – doesn’t that mean using the Bank of America Virgin Atlantic card is a bad idea?

  4. Do you know if these bonus miles will count toward status qualifications on AA Gold or Platinum?

  5. 1.) Is there a 1099 that is sent along with the AA miles?

    2.) Given how the Thank You Points are treated, which is the better deal (AA Miles or ThanYou Points)?

  6. Can you do the credit card funding with a credit card in someone else’s name? I.E. If my dad signs up for this account can he use my credit card for the funding process

  7. As a NYC resident, I called in and was unable to use the code you mentioned. Further, I tried to apply online, but it said I must call the phone number. I am a Citi Thank You Premier cardholder.

    Do you know of any other work arounds?


  8. Also, the account balance of funds must be $50,000 within 60 days, otherwise there will be a $30 monthly fee.

    The bonus is not credited until up to 90 days after the initial requirements are met.

    Given these conditions (unless you have $50,000 to deposit), do you think I will have to pay a few months of $30 fees until my points post? At that point, I could then downgrade the account. Is that correct?

  9. My wife opened a Citigold account in July or August, and used her BofA Alaska card to fund $15K, posted as purchase.

    I’m still waiting for data points on whether or not people who weren’t targeted can get this.

  10. Hi Darius. Thanks for the info. I have a question too. I have already applied for the card and I need to found it now, but I wonder if I can use the Chase United? Doc of Credit says Chase may charge cash advance fees. I did set the account to zero, but actually it’s not possible with Chase (or I was told) It was set to $20 instead. My question is if I made a 10K deposit, and it goes as cash advance (noo!) would it go thru or get declined?

  11. if you funded with a cc, could you then pay off the cc with the citi gold account after the points posted?

  12. There is also a minimum balance of $50,000 required that need to be posted within 60 days. If not, then a $30 monthly service fee is charged.

    I was told that the bonus points will post to my account within 90 days of finishing the required spending and bill payments. In that case, I will likely have to pay a few $30 monthly fees until the points post, correct (unless of course I have $50,000 on deposit).


  13. After calling in, I realize there is a requirement to deposit $50,000 to the account within 60 days. If this does not happen, then a $30 monthly fee will be charged.

    The representative told me that the bonus offer will post to my account within 90 days of completing the sign up offer requirements.

    Do you think it is likely that I will have to pay the monthly fee for a few months until my sign up bonus posts?

    Thank you

  14. Passing up 50,000 points because of $30 fee seems like a good deal to me. Ali people stop worrying about the 1099 how much can they possibly tax u on $600 worth of points?

  15. is the RadPad transaction considered Debit Purchases ?

  16. @raul – Thanks for the info!

    @naif @Eaton – In the past, Citi would issue 1099s for American Airlines checking account bonuses, but some report that’s no longer the case. See this post:

    That said, it’s always possible. I’m not sure how they would value 50,000 American Airlines miles in dollars.

    @drew – The post (and readers) confirm funding a Citi account with a Bank of America card does not generally post as a cash advance.

    @lonnie – I don’t believe so.

    @Eaton – It depends on your travel plans. I prefer 50,000 American Airlines miles!

    @HoKo – I don’t have personal experience with that. Please let us know if you try!

    @Shay – Thanks for sharing that information. I see NY residents are directed to call as well. Did they give you a reason why you couldn’t apply?

    Re: your 2nd comment – yes, there’s a $30 fee after the 1st 2 months. That’s why most folks choose to downgrade or cancel the account after they receive the bonus points or miles.

    @Dave – Good info, thanks for sharing!

    @goodMXguy – If you’ve set your Chase cash advance limit to $20 and attempt a $10,000 transaction, it will be declined if it processes as a cash advance.

    @nate – Yes. Keep in mind the 2 bill payments required to trigger the bonus must be made to non-Citi accounts.

    @Tim – It’s possible, depending on how long it takes. If you meet the bonus requirements quickly, you may be able to avoid the $30 monthly fee by downgrading or canceling the account immediately after you receive your points or miles.

    @raul – Good point.

  17. @Daraius-The representative that I spoke to said that I the code that I gave him is not listed on my account and that it doesn’t appear that I have been targeted for an offer. I asked if his manager might have some “wiggle room,” and he checked without any luck.

    Please let me know if there is a way to get around this.


  18. Wow-

    I did 25,000 on Arrival so that is $550 in travel & 40,000 Thankyou points cashed out for $400 Mortgage check = Total $950.

    It happened to be I got it before a $30 charge posted – But for $950 I was not going crazy will they charge or will they not.

    So you pay the bank $30-$90 They are giving you the easiest Money ever.!

  19. Looks like this is not limited to new citibank customers since I had a citigold account less than 4 months ago which I closed and now have opened a new account. I will say that I did not open my first account (now closed) with a promo code. I applied for my new account using Aadvantage promo code for 50,000 points this time arround. here is the message I got back from citi:

    From: Keanna Chelsea Wise
    Date: 10-14-2015
    Subject: Re: Promotional Offer
    Reference: *********
    Dear *************

    Welcome to Citigold’s Online Message Service, my name is Keanna and I hope that you are having a pleasant day today. I will be pleased to provide more information regarding your promotion.

    I can confirm that your account has been enrolled in the promotion 42ERCWNQU6 for 50,000 AA Miles. As a reminder, you must complete the following requirements for this promotion:

    – Open a new Regular Checking account in the Citigold Account Package by 12/31/15.
    – Within 60 days after account opening: complete Qualifying Debit Card Purchases of $1,000 using the Citibank Debit Card which must be posted to the new checking account.
    – And 1 qualifying bill payment must be posted to the new checking account each month for two consecutive calendar months.

    Please note, qualifying bill payments are those made using Citibank Online, Citi Mobile or CitiPhone Banking. Bills paid by making a transfer between linked accounts and/or transfer payments made to accounts within Citibank or to accounts with Citibank affiliates do not qualify as bill payments for this offer.

    The AAdvantage bonus miles will then be credited by Citibank to your AAdvantage account within 90 days from the end of the statement period in which your completes all offer requirements.

    Mr. Munguia, your trust and satisfaction are very important to us here at Citi. It is a privilege to assist you with your promotion information and I look forward to assisting you again in the future.

  20. Hi,

    I received the 50,000 AA offer in the mail today. I was just going to fund it with cash from a different bank’s savings account, so thank you for the alternative of funding with a credit card. Do I have this right: I can fund it with one of the credit cards listed to avoid a CA charge, then I can pay the credit card off from the new CitiGold account as one of the bill payments required by the Citi offer? I don’t have a minimum spend need at the moment, but I will get $100 back on my new Alaska airlines card when I hit $1000 in spend, so I could use that.

  21. One of the CC that you suggested might be a good one for funding the Citigold bank account is “Citi AAdvantage Executive ($7,500 minimum spending requirement to earn 75,000 American Airlines miles)”

    But on Doctor of Credit web site’s, it states “Citi is extremely strict when it comes to this type of thing and will always code it as a cash advance. We don’t recommend trying to fund a new account with a Citi credit card, unless you’re happy to pay the cash advance fees.”

    Does Citi makes an exeception for using Citi CC to fund its own bank account? Or did I miss something?


  22. I received the 1099 form for these AA miles and I had to pay the CA so I got screwed twice.. Do it at your own risk

  23. Thank you Daraius!!! Great post!!!

  24. Worked with my Chase Sapphire Card!!! FREE UR points… why not…

  25. I called and I wasn’t targeted for either offer so she said it wouldn’t work. The terms online say that you have to be targeted. I’m assuming if I try to open with the link for either option the account will be opened but I won’t get the bonus points.

  26. Tried Citigold Account and tried CC but got hit with huge advance fee, i’ve been in debt for several month trying to pay it off.

  27. @Brent. I would go for it. the worst that can happen is u don’t get the points. I wasnt targeted and applies and have now confirmed that I will still get the points. CSR don’t always know what they r talking about.

  28. I called and was also told there were no offers available to me and that the offer code I was giving was for targeted customers. The rep said maybe I would be targeted next quarter! 🙁

  29. @Brent-I created an account, called and was told that I MAY not get the points either since I was not targeted. The CSR did say it was too soon to tell and that I should meet the conditions and check again after completing the spend/bill pay. She also mentioned the promo was targeted for people with existing Citi CC accounts but without banking accounts. I fall under this category so perhaps there is hope. As Raul said, I will go forth and complete the spending in hopes of getting the bonus!

  30. Hi- Has anyone tried funding the Citigold account with the Citi AA Advantage Platinum Select Master Card card offering 50k AA miles?

  31. CSR said that you have to have a Citi AA card to get the AA miles. Anybody have thoughts?

  32. @Donny, Could you tell me if you used the Chase Sapphire card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred card?

    On doctor of credit it shows that none of the chase cards are working.

    Thanks for your help!!

    Also, if I found the account with a CC, am I allowed to pay it off with the checking account in several days of opening or do the funds need to be in there for a specific amount of time?

  33. I just opened a Citibank checking with 15,000 AA miles with $375 purchase and 2 bill pay to get the miles.

    I got the Citigold offer in the mail for 50,000 AA miles with $1000 purchase and 2 bill pay to get miles.

    Went to branch to ask for upgrade. Denied. Told for new customers only.
    I can upgrade to Citigold but since I am a customer,no way to enter code. and get the miles.

    Too many rules ! Just check the box and apply the upgrade. This offer was made like 5 days after I opened the acoount.Plus I have AAdvantage Card.

    Any ideas ?

  34. Can I fund my Citigold account with my citi aadvantage executive card? Thereby hitting 2 aadvantage bonuses totaling 125K

  35. Has anyone been able to fund their accounts with a credit card without it being considered a cash advance?

    My cash advance limit is set to zero, and so far Chase Ink and Citi Thank You didn’t go through.

  36. @Robert I was able to fund my account using my Barclays arrival+. I received the points within days of funding the account and have not received a cash advance fee. For those wondering if u can repay the CC using ur new citi bank account, the answer is yes. Bill pay from citi to CC takes 2 days to process. Check out my prior comments for more data points

  37. Does anyone know if you can Load your Bluebird account with the debit card you receive? If so, would this count towards the $1000 in debit purchased you must make?

  38. good question Andrea. You should be able to load ur bluebird with debit card not sure if this will count as debit purchase. Try it out call citi to see if it qualified as purchase and report back I’m sure we would all love to know

  39. How long does it take after you fax credit card for them to charge?

  40. Never mind. It took 48 Hours.

  41. @Robert, I was able to use Citi Thank You for the initial deposit (account opened online), and it was coded as a purchase…how strange that it didn’t work for you… I also set my cash advance limit to zero and only deposited $2300.

  42. Did anyone actually get the points that wasn’t “targeted.”

  43. I wasn’t targeted and recently closed my Citi AA card (don’t have any other Citi cards at the moment). Called in and gave the rep the code and she opened the account and confirmed I will get the 50K AA miles upon completion of requirements. Funded the account with my Barclaycard Aviator $20K and it posted as a purchase, earning another 20K miles! This is incredible – I just about earned another 2 RT tickets to Europe in one shot without even applying for another CC!

  44. If I use AA Business credit card to fund for Citi Gold checking account, do I earn any mileage for AA card? I ask this since I have credit card line for 30K, I just need to fund 3K to meet minimum spending. Should I fund 30K to get 30K mileage ? or it’s not qualify. Any one know? thanks

  45. @Tom – I used my American personal card to fund the Citigold account, and expect to earn miles for the charge to the AA card. If you fund a large amount it may be worthwhile to call the Citi AA card folks and advise them of this upcoming purchase. The charge will come through as “Citibank Online”.

  46. Thanks a lot for all the description.
    I’ve been through all steps with the AA Promo Code, and was wondering if the use of Radpad to pay our rent via the CitiGold DebitCard would count toward the 1000$ minimum?

  47. Ok here is a strange situation, or maybe I’m just confused!. I think I have been awarded the 50,000 miles without completing the requirements… Tell me if I’ve got this straight, the initial offer was to open a savings account with a Citigold card and earn 50000 miles after completing certain requirements including two bill pays and a minimum spend on the debit card.
    In mid-november I successfully signed up for a Citigold card, (platinum) and then signed up for a checking account. I am in the process of completing the requirements for the 50,000 mile bonus , but have one Bill pay to go next month. When I checked my Citigold mileage account today it appears that I have been awarded 50,000 miles already. Here is my question was I awarded 50,000 miles for the Citigold card itself? And can earn an additional 50000 for the checking account once I complete the requirements? Or did they accidentally award me the bonus before I completed the requirements?. If my first question is correct does that mean I really will get 100000 miles out of this deal? That’s even better than I thought!