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The quickest way to rack up loads of miles and points is by earning a big welcome bonus from one of the best credit cards for travel. For example, when you’re approved for the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account.
That 80,000-point bonus is worth at least $800 when redeemed for cash, which is incredible. But the catch is that you have to spend $4,000 in a relatively short period of time.
I’m sure there are lots of readers that don’t spend that much under normal circumstances, so you have to get creative when it comes to finding ways to meet certain minimum spending requirements. That’s where Venmo can come in handy.
Guide to using Venmo
Venmo is a digital wallet that allows you to send or receive money to/from anyone else who’s willing to sign up for a Venmo account, including merchants that accept payment via Venmo. Once you download and install the app and connect your funding source, it’s easy to pay almost anyone: you can split the dinner bill, pay your rent or avoid using cash when you’re buying something off of Craigslist.
There’s no fee if you’re using your bank account as the funding source or if you use a credit card to make an online purchase with a business that accepts Venmo. But you’ll pay a 3% fee when you use a credit card to send money to friends and family.
Although you can use a credit card to send payments, you must transfer funds from your Venmo account to a bank account or debit card. You can’t transfer funds from your Venmo account to your credit card, and there’s a fee to transfer funds to your debit card.
How to use a credit card with Venmo
Using a credit card through Venmo requires a few simple steps:
- Tap the icon in the upper left corner of the app (it looks like three horizontal lines)
- Tap “Settings”
- Tap “Payment Methods”
- Then tap “Add bank or card”
- Tap “Card”
- Enter your card number, expiration and security code and click the “Add” button
That’s it. From there you’ll be able to use that particular payment method to pay friends, family and merchants that accept Venmo payments.
Using Venmo to meet minimum spend
One particularly useful way to utilize Venmo is to use it to help meet minimum spending requirements on a new credit card. Sure, you’ll pay a fee, but in many instances the bonus you’ll earn will outweigh the cost of using Venmo.
With the Chase Sapphire Preferred, for example, you’d pay a total of $120 in Venmo fees if you used the service to meet the card’s $4,000 minimum spending requirement (3% X $4,000). Factor that in with the card’s $95 annual fee and you’d still get a value of at least $585 ($800, – $120 Venmo fees, – $95 annual fee) from the welcome offer alone.
Or maybe you can spend $2,000 of the minimum spending requirement organically and charge the remaining $2,000 through Venmo. In that case, you’d only spend $60 in Venmo fees, meaning you’d get at least $540 in value from earning the card’s welcome bonus.
Venmo has become more and more popular over the years because it’s an easy way to pay friends and family without having to exchange cash. In addition, you can use it as a way to meet the minimum spending requirement on a new credit card.
You’ll be charged a 3% fee for using a credit card to send a payment to someone, but paying the fee could be worth it if it means you’ll earn a big welcome offer from one of the top cards for travel. In the end it comes down to doing the math — make sure the rewards you earn outweigh the fees you pay.