10 Ways to Meet the Chase Sapphire Reserve Spending Requirement

It'd mean a lot to Emily and me if y’all would take 10 seconds to vote for us as your favorite miles & points blog! Thank you!

P.S. You can vote every day. :)

Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Chase, and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.

To earn the 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you’ll need to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening your account.

There are many everyday expenses, like dining, gas, and groceries, you can charge to your credit card as ways to meet the Chase Sapphire Reserve minimum spending requirement.

Or for a small fee, you can charge other items to your credit card, like tuition or rent.  With the amazing sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Reserve, sometimes it’s worth paying a fee to make sure you meet the spending necessary to unlock the sign-up bonus.

10 Ways To Meet The Chase Sapphire Reserve Spending Requirement

Paying for Dining Expenses With the Chase Sapphire Reserve Can Help Meet the Minimum Spending Requirement. You’ll Also Earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 Spent at Restaurants!

I’ll show you 10 ways to help meet the Chase Sapphire Reserve minimum spending requirement!

10 Ways to Meet Chase Sapphire Reserve Minimum Spending Requirements

Link:   40+ Ways to Meet the Chase Sapphire Reserve Minimum Spending Requirement

1.   Dining Expenses

I love to try new restaurants!  So using a credit card instead of cash to pay for lunch or dinner is an easy way to put a dent in any minimum spending requirement.

And you don’t have to be paying for a meal at a fancy restaurant.  Consider using a credit card to pay for your morning coffee or Friday night ice cream date.  These small purchases can add up!

10 Ways To Meet The Chase Sapphire Reserve Spending Requirement

Purchases at Many Bars & Nightclubs That Serve Food Will Often Count as a Restaurant Purchase, Even If You Only Order Drinks!

Also, if you’re out with friends or family, you could pay the entire bill with your card instead of getting separate checks.  Then, have your friends or family give you money for their portion.

You’ll want to use the Sapphire Reserve card at restaurants anyway.  Because you’ll earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all dining purchases!  Use the card at restaurants overseas too because there are no foreign transaction fees!

Meeting the $4,000 minimum spending with some dining purchases is especially rewarding for earning extra points.  For example, if you spend $3,000 on purchases that earn 1 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1 and $1,000 on dining purchases that earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1, you’ll have a total of 106,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  

These points are worth $1,590 in travel when you book through the Chase travel portal.  Or $1,060 if you redeem for cash back.

Remember, you can also register your credit card with Rewards Network to earn even miles and points when you eat out.

2.   Monthly Bills

You can usually pay most monthly bills like your cell phone, cable, internet, and auto insurance using a credit card.  If you’re already using auto-pay to pay these bills with a different card, you could switch to your new Sapphire Reserve card.

With many monthly bills, you might be able to pay more than the monthly amount due.

By paying more than the monthly bill, you’ll earn credit towards the minimum spending requirement and you might not have to pay that bill again for a month or two.  I wouldn’t recommend this though if you can’t pay off your credit card bill when it comes due.

3.   Travel Expenses

Beyond purchasing airfare or booking hotels, there are many other travel expenses you can pay with the Sapphire Reserve to meet minimum spending requirements.  For example, a monthly train or bus pass, Uber rides, Airbnb stays, cruises, rental cars, tolls, and much more.

The travel category for the Sapphire Reserve is broad.  So not only will these purchases count toward minimum spending, but you’ll also earn 3 Chase Ultimate Rewards point per $1.

Similar to dining spending, having travel purchases included as part of your minimum spending can give you a points boost!

4.   Reimbursable Business Expenses

Whether you travel for work or go to FedEx to ship a package, you could pay for the business expenses on your Sapphire Reserve card and request reimbursement from your company.

Some companies require you to use their business credit card for company expenses.  I’d recommend checking your company’s reimbursement policy to see if you can use a personal card.

5.   Healthcare Costs

For regular doctor visits, you can normally pay the co-pay with your credit card.

And if you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), you can typically use your personal credit card for FSA-approved expenses instead of the plan issued debit card.  Then, submit a request for reimbursement.

FSAs usually cover lots of medical expenses like co-pays, prescriptions, orthodontics, and laser eye surgery.

6.   Holiday Shopping

It’s hard to believe the holiday season is around the corner!  You can get started on buying gifts now, so you’ll have all of your holiday spending completed during the 3 month minimum spending period.  Or purchase decorations and costumes for Halloween!

10 Ways To Meet The Chase Sapphire Reserve Spending Requirement

Paying for Holiday Gifts Early With Your Sapphire Reserve Can Be a Great Way to Meet Minimum Spending Requirements! And You’ll Avoid Long Shopping Lines!

7.   Rent or Mortgage Payments

You can use online services to pay your monthly rent or mortgage payments.  There is usually a fee associated with using a credit card with these services.

For example, Plastiq charges a flat 2.5% fee to pay loans, rent, mortgage, utilities, or other bills.  Plastiq is currently offering a promotion, but it only applies to MasterCard payments.  And the Sapphire Reserve is a Visa Infinite card.

You can also use RadPad to pay rent for a 2.99% fee.  My friends have used the service and all their rent payments have been on time.

There’s a similar service called Charge Smart.  You can make mortgage or loan payments using your Sapphire Reserve card for a fee of ~2.4% or higher.  The fee depends on the payment amount.

You’ll want to do the math to see if paying fees on credit card purchases makes sense.  For example, if you use Plastiq to make $4,000 worth of rent payments, you’ll pay $100 in fees ($4,000 X 2.5%).  But you’ll be earning 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which is worth at least $1,500 in travel!

8.   Pay Tuition or Student Loans

Many private schools and colleges allow you to pay tuition and housing costs with a credit card for a fee.  You’ll want to check the school’s website on more information on the fees.

Similar to rent and mortgage payments, Charge Smart lets you pay your student loan payments via a credit card for a fee.  Or you might want to check with your loan provider to see if they allow credit card payments.

9.   Send Money to Friends and Family

You can use services PayPal or Venmo to send money to friends or family using a credit card.  There are fees when you use a credit card, so you’ll want to do the math to see if it makes sense to use these services.

Million Mile Secrets team member Keith uses Venmo daily with friends to send and receive money for shared expenses like Uber rides or dining expenses.

Keep in mind, some folks report having their accounts shutdown if they’re constantly sending money back and forth between accounts using these services.

10.   Fund a Bank Account

Some banks allow you to initially fund a new account with certain credit cards.  Doctor of Credit maintains an active list of banks that accept credit cards for initial deposits.  But before you try this, you’ll want to make sure you set your card’s cash advance limit is set to zero.

I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to open bank accounts using a credit card.  Because many deposit accounts require minimum balances or you’ll be charged fees.  Plus, it can be a headache managing multiple bank accounts.

But this can be a useful method if you’re struggling to meet the $4,000 in minimum spending requirement.

3 Tips About Chase Sapphire Reserve Minimum Spending

Link:   Do Not Make These Mistakes With Minimum Spending Requirements

1.   Paying the Sapphire Reserve’s $450 annual fee will NOT count towards meeting the minimum spending requirements.

2.   Similarly, this card comes with a $300 annual travel credit for purchases like airfare and hotels.  And a $100 Global Entry credit.  If you make these purchases and receive the credit during the minimum spending period, it’s possible the spending might not count towards the total minimum spending requirement.

I couldn’t confirm this with Chase, but I’d suggest spending a few hundred dollars more than the $4,000 minimum to be safe.   

3.   Remember the minimum spending clock starts on your approval date, NOT your activation date.  So keep track of the date Chase approves you, not when you get the card in hand and activate it!

Even if there’s a delay in getting your card, you’ll still have to meet the minimum spending requirement from your approval date.

Bottom Line

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card has a $4,000 minimum spending requirement within the first 3 months of account opening to earn the 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards point sign-up bonus.

To meet the requirement, you can put ordinary purchases on your card like dining expenses, membership fees, and health care expenses.  Or you can pay a small fee to use services like Plastiq to pay your monthly rent or mortgage.  Even with a fee, you’ll likely come out ahead because the Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus is worth at least $1,500 in travel!

Remember, you’ll have to meet the minimum spending requirement 3 months from your approval date, NOT your card activation date.

* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 25,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in an RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another update!

Editorial Disclaimer: Neither the responses below nor the editorial content on this page are provided or commissioned by the bank advertisers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertisers. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers’ responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

26 responses to “10 Ways to Meet the Chase Sapphire Reserve Spending Requirement

  1. You can also make donations to a charity using a credit card.

  2. For those that make estimated tax payments there is also the option to pay all or part with a credit card with a fee in the 1.8-2 percent range.

  3. Darius, have you applied and been approved for the Chase Sapphire Reserve? If so, how did you manage it?

  4. I will pay my property tax bill. 2.5% fee for using a credit card

  5. Better to use Chase Freedom Unlimited for the 1.5x points once you hit the minimum spend for everyday purchases no?

  6. If you spend 4000 paying your mortgage to hit the requirement, you’ll make 4000 UR’s worth 80 bucks. So in reality, you’ll spend a net 20 bucks.

  7. I confirmed with Chase (via SM) that the $300 reimbursement for travel expenses will NOT count against your $4000 spend. Good news!

  8. Darius: I got mine approved but wondering how to make use of the $300 travel credit between now and December. Are there alternate ways to earn the credit, other than actually buying air tickets?

  9. There are a few companies that will let you buy gold or silver by credit cards. Everyone
    (my opinion) should have 5-10 % of their savings in “real money.”
    There is ALWAYS a small premium on bullion as the dealer has to buy the product herself. Collectible or Numismatic coins could have very large premiums. Be careful and know the difference ! One should always know the “spot price” of the metal and how much over the metal (spot price) price you are paying per ounce. Charges should include shipping insurance.

  10. Darius: When I look at UAL availability from SFO to Brussels, the routing isn’t great. But then if I look at SFO to LHR, and then go from LHR to Brussels, I can find good flights. Can I book 2 one way fares but get them counted as one trip (to save my precious Ultimate Rewards). Thanks!!

  11. Does anyone know if you can combine cash and points when making a booking through the chase booking site?

  12. Does anyone know if you can combine cash and points when making a booking through the chase booking site?

    I have not seen that option in all the times I’ve used the booking site.

  13. I recently booked flights that cost around $1600, and I used up all of my Chase Ultimate Reward points worth about $800, and paid the remaining balance using my card.

  14. ^^^After you select which flight or hotel, there is a slider above total cost on the right hand panel that you can adjust for how many points/$ you want to use.

  15. @whitecar – Great suggestion!

    @George W – You’re correct! I have written about using a credit card to pay taxes to meet minimum spending requirements. http://millionmilesecrets.com/2015/03/04/tax-time-using-a-credit-card-to-pay-income-tax-update/

    @David – Nice! Sometimes it’s worth paying a small fee to earn a big sign-up bonus.

    @Zack – That’s true. You’ll earn 3X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining purchases with the Sapphire Reserve. But using the Chase Freedom Unlimited will get you 1.5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on all purchases.

    @phil – Thanks for sharing! That’s great news!

    @PJ – The $300 annual travel credit applies to any travel purchase. Besides airfare, you can get a credit for purchases like hotels, taxis, parking and tolls, and car rentals.

    @Kristie – If you’re booking a round-trip award ticket, you might be able to take advantage of the Excursionist Perk to save miles. Here’s a post with more details about this perk: http://millionmilesecrets.com/2016/08/03/negative-changes-and-increased-fees-coming-to-united-airlines-award-booking-process-on-october-6-2016/

    @Sakib @Steve L. – Yes, you can pay with cash and Chase Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase travel portal.

  16. Darius, Do you know if gift card purchases for airlines, hotels, etc. will count for the $300 annual travel credit? Thanks!

  17. I often buy hotel or airline gift cards to give as gifts… Would buying through the hotel (hyatt) or airline (southwest) website be considered a travel expense that could be reimbursed through the $300 travel credit?

  18. Sakib

    Can I use more than points to pay for travel?

    When booking travel you can use your points, your Chase card, or both to book travel.

    Per Chase FAQ

  19. Would buying IHG points count as a travel expense? How about using the “cash + points” trick….then cancelling the reservation and keeping the points?

  20. I am having to purchase a new vehicle. Using chase card for down payment a good ideal?

  21. Darius,

    I’ve had Sapphire Preferred for nine months as well as Chase Freedom for four years, and I’m considering getting the Sapphire Reserve. If I get the Sapphire Reserve I don’t see the point in keeping the Sapphire Preferred (other than the fact that the credit score may/will be affected). Is there an advantage to having both or will Preferred be a useless third wheel to Reserve and Freedom?

    Thank you very much for your time!

  22. Darius,
    I’ve had Sapphire Preferred for 9 months as well as Chase Freedom for 4 years, and I’m considering getting Sapphire Reserve. If I get Reserve, I don’t see the point in keeping Preferred (for any reason other than a possible negative effect on my credit score). Is there an advantage to having both (Preferred and Reserve) or will Sapphire Preferred be a useless third wheel to the Chase Freedom/Sapphire Reserve combo?
    Thank you very much for your time!

  23. Is remitly money transfer counted towards min spending limit .. directly from credit card

  24. I would like to buy a Sw Gift card as a gift for my sister.. on sw.com
    Would this count as a travel expense?

    Thanks in advance

  25. Just want to be copied on the posts.

  26. Just curious but if i have my Mother as the main account holder and i am the secondary could i transfer points out to frequent fly programs in my name?