Have a Big Expense Coming Up? Consider These Cards

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Million Mile Secrets reader, Ryan, tweeted:

I’m making a $5,500 purchase soon. Which credit card should I sign-up for to get the best deal?

Great question, Ryan!

Major expenses like home improvement projects, weddings, small business purchases, and medical bills put a dent in your wallet.  You can take the sting out by using this spending to earn sign-up bonuses on credit cards for Big Travel!

Have A Big Expense Coming Up Consider These Cards
Big Purchase Coming Up? It’s a Great Time to Earn Large Sign-Up Bonuses on Cards With Hefty Minimum Spending Requirements!

Find out which cards will give you the most for your spending!

Earn Big Travel by Putting Major Expenses on These Cards

Credit card sign-up bonuses are the fastest way to earn Big Travel.  But some cards come with large minimum spending requirements that are difficult for some folks to meet, even with my list of 40+ tricks.  A major expense like a planned surgery, wedding, or home improvement project makes it easy to quickly earn the bonus.

This is only worth it if you plan on paying off the charge on your card right away.  Because paying interest and fees can negate the value of any miles and points you earn.

The card that will work best for you, in part depends on your travel goals and how you like to travel.  You don’t want to end up with miles and points that aren’t useful for you.  So make sure you have a plan before you get started.

That said, here are a few suggestions!

1.   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   Chase Sapphire Preferred

Link:   My Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred

The sign-up bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred has increased to 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points!  This is the highest public sign-up bonus I’ve seen on this card!

But you’ll have to spend $4,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of signing-up to earn the bonus.  Ryan can knock out the spending quickly with his upcoming purchase.

Plus, he could ask to divide up his expense into to 2 separate payments.  So he could pay $4,000 with the Chase Sapphire Preferred and use the additional bill of $1,500 towards the $2,000 minimum spending requirement on the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold.

Chase Ultimate Rewards are my favorite rewards points!  That’s because they’re flexible and you can transfer them to great partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.

Have A Big Expense Coming Up Consider These Cards
With 1 Purchase Ryan Can Earn 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points! When Transferred to Hyatt, That’s Enough for a 2 Night Stay at Hotels Like the All-Inclusive Zilara Cancun Resort!

Plus, if your upcoming expense is for a paid vacation, you’ll earn 2X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel and dining in addition to the sign-up bonus!

Keep in mind, Chase has new rules and may not approve folks who’ve opened ~5+ new cards in the past 24 months.  There are some exceptions.  But if you’re new to this hobby, it’s a good idea to sign-up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred FIRST.

2.   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   Chase Ink Plus

Link:   My Review of the Chase Ink Plus

Buying office furniture or electronics such as laptops and printers?  Signing-up for the Chase Ink Plus is a terrific option if you have a small business!

That’s because Ryan will easily spend $5,000 on purchases within the 1st 3 months of opening his account to earn 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards bonus points.

And he’ll earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points at office supply stores like Staples for another 27,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (his $5,500 spending X 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1)!

Have A Big Expense Coming Up Consider These Cards
Can You Make Your Big Purchase at an Office Supply Store? With the Chase Ink Plus, You Can Earn the Sign-Up Bonus and 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 Spent!

The Chase Ink Plus is a small business card, but it’s easier to qualify than you might think!

That said, the Chase Ink card application rules may soon change to include the new ~5+ cards in 24 months rule.  So this is another card folks might want to apply for sooner than later!

We don’t earn a commission on this card, but we’ll always tell you about the best deals!

3.   AMEX SimplyCash

Link:   SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express

Link:   My Review of the AMEX SimplyCash

If you prefer cash back, an upcoming major purchase is also an opportunity to earn the $250 sign-up bonus on the AMEX SimplyCash card.  You’ll earn the bonus when you spend $5,000 on purchases within the 1st 6 months of opening your account.

Plus, if you can buy your big ticket item at a US office supply store, you’ll earn another 5% cash back!

Have A Big Expense Coming Up Consider These Cards
A Major Expense Is a Great Way to Meet the Hefty $5,000 Minimum Spending Requirement on the AMEX SimplyCash to Earn the $250 Bonus

This is another small business card.  But before you deciding you won’t qualify, check out my list of 3 ways you might!

4.   Chase British Airways

Link:   Chase British Airways Visa Signature Card

You can now earn a total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points with the Chase British Airways card.  This mega bonus doesn’t come around often!

But you’ll have to complete a large amount of spending to earn the full bonus.  Here’s how it works:

  • $3,000 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account (earn 50,000 British Airways Avios points)
  • $10,000 (total) on purchases in the first 12 months of opening your account (earn an additional 25,000 British Airways Avios points)
  • $20,000 (total) on purchases in the first 12 months of opening your account (earn another 25,000 British Airways Avios points)

So Ryan’s purchase of $5,500 gets him the 1st 50,000 British Airways Avios points and halfway to the additional 25,000 British Airways Avios points.  Plus, he’ll have a full year to spend the rest and earn the 100,000 total British Airways Avios points.

This is a fantastic deal, even if you don’t earn the full bonus!

British Airways Avios points are great for short-haul partner flights to US citiesEuropeHawaii, or the Caribbean!
Have A Big Expense Coming Up Consider These Cards
Planning a Family Vacation? 100,000 British Airways Avios Points Is Enough for 4 Round-Trip Tickets to Hawaii From the West Coast!

Earn Yearly Spending Bonuses

Link:  Big Spenders Series

You can also use big expenditures to earn earn yearly spending bonuses such as elite status, miles & points, companion passes, and more!

So you might consider putting a large purchase on cards that will give you a bonus for spending big throughout the year such as:

Have A Big Expense Coming Up Consider These Cards
With the Fairmont Visa Signature Card You Can Earn 2 Nights at Hotels Like the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess When You Complete the Minimum Spending! And If You Spend $12,000 in an Anniversary Year You’ll Earn Another Night!

Bottom Line

If you have a major expense coming up, you can use it to help meet a large credit card minimum spending requirement and earn Big Travel!

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is an excellent option because it currently has an increased sign-up bonus of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points when you complete the minimum spending.  Plus, if your purchase is for paid travel, you’ll also earn 2 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 spent.

And if your upcoming expense is a small business purchase like a laptop or office furniture, you could sign-up for cards like the Chase Ink Plus or AMEX SimplyCash.

Another option is to use your big expense to earn yearly spending bonuses like a complimentary night at Fairmont hotels with the Fairmont Visa Signature card.

Or you could go for the total of 100,000 British Airways Avios points sign-up bonus on the Chase British Airways card!

Thanks for your question, Ryan!  I hope that helps!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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