How To Qualify for “Min Spend” on Credit Cards Without Actually Spending

How to Qualify for “Min Spend” on Credit Cards (for Bonus Points) Without Actually Spending

One of the most off putting factors of applying for a Credit Card that offers ~50,000 bonus points is that they often require you to spend something like $3000 within 3 months. You then think.. what on earth do you buy?! A macbook? iPhone? Well, that would actually do the trick.. but you’ve just spent money on something you probably weren’t really going to buy just to to earn points worth… $500?!

Guess what? You can actually achieve the spend threshold by spending nothing (more than you ordinarily would).

Here are a some ways this can be achieved:

  • Put all your purchases through this new card
  • Pay Gas/Electrcity/Internet/Phone/Private Health Insurance Bills in advance
  • Purchase Gift Cards for a shop you know you will shop at anyway – one of the most versatile options being Woolworths
  • Purchase Prepaid Visa Gift Cards – effectively allowing you to spread out your expenditure over a longer preiod of time
  • Top up a DiviPay account
    • Each DiviPay account, by default, can only hold $1000 at a time, so you might need to top up more than one DiviPay account!
  • Make a fully refundable booking
  • Purchase a fully refundable (often needs to be Business Class/First Class) airfare
  • Make some other kind of refundable (ideally large) purchase

This list is in no particular order, and I am well aware that some of the above may appear questionable to some.

A question you may now have is, “if I refund a purchase, won’t the bonus points notcome through?”. The answer is, it depends on the Terms & Conditions of the actual promotion. Some card issuers make it crystal clear – and more often than not, your net expenditure over the period has to exceed the threshold. This means purchasing and then refunding stuff won’t work. Other card issuers are less clear.

However, the trick is to make the purchase during the spend period, and to initiate the refund after the bonus points have been posted to your account. I have yet to see a situation where bonus points have been issued and then clawed back due to having refunds. This is probably the most fool proof way I can think of to both get your bonus points and not really have to spend a cent.

In effect, this becomes a “deposit”.

If you really want to try and play it safe, get your purchases refunded to a different card, although most retailers will insist on the refund going back to the purchasing card (understandably).

Example – Spend $2500 within 3 months, get 75k ANZ Rewards Points

This deal was recently posted on Ozbargain, and I thought I might as well use this example to explain what I mean above using one of the fully refundable booking examples.

The Deal: Spend $2500 within 3 months on eligible purchases within three months of approval, and get 75,000 ANZ Rewards Points.

How could you do that via one of the options above? Let’s go with the fully refundable booking.


  • Go to Open an account if you do not have one.
  • Make a search (in an expensive city) for a hotel room for a period of time that would exceed $2500
    • In this example, I’m going to search for hotels in Honolulu from Dec 24-31 2018.

  • From the results that appear, use the price filter on the left to select a minimum price for the 7 nights.

  • Also from the filters on the left, select “Free cancellation” under “Payment & cancellation”

  • Find and select any hotel – ideally one that is just over the required threshold

  • Take note of “Free cancellation” and ensure the room type you have selected states this.

  • Ensure you make the payment now (and not later) as you want to reach the spending threshold now. It does not matter whether you use PayPal or type your Credit Card details straight in.

  • Set yourself a reminder/alarm to check that your bonus points appear, and to then cancel the booking once your bonus points appear – which should be several months for now.
  • [Once your bonus points appear] Log back into your account, head to “Manage your bookings” and initiate a refund for the booking you had made.
  • Once you have used your points, don’t forget to cancel the Credit Card!

I’m aware that some of the methods used above to attain bonus points may be ethically questionable to some, but as is clear from some of my other posts, I’ve openly stated that I don’t necessarily always make the most “legitimate” posts.

Any questions or comments? Feel free to post below!

3 thoughts on “How To Qualify for “Min Spend” on Credit Cards Without Actually Spending

  1. Hi Wayne,

    This is exactly the information I needed! I’ve been put off signup bonuses due to the quite large minimum spend requirements, so the "refund" methods are perfect. Getting the points for legitimately zero cost.


    1. Stephen,

      I’m glad this was of assistance to you!

      Correct, zero cost. There is a bit of admin work involved but it is indeed effectively zero cost 🙂

      1. Thanks Wayne, the admin work is nothing compared to the benefits, especially since cancellation can be completed online with effectively 1 click!
        Do you know if cancelling a fully refundable flex J or F fare is as easy or does it require actually calling up and speaking to a CSR (*shudder*)?

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