We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
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.
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
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!
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!
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.
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
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.
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.