This is your friendly neighborhood MoneyHax founder, Todd. This article is proof that with responsible credit card use you can reap amazing rewards. Some affiliate links are present within this article.
As a family, we decided to take a trip 300 miles north to Seaworld Orlando that only cost $50 out of pocket! How did we do this? We used our Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard’s Bonus! Bonuses are issued when you spend a certain amount on the card. Save a ton, if not thousands of dollars, by using Credit Card Rewards to book travel!
1: How to Reach Credit Card Bonuses Easily
By replacing your Debit Card as a primary source of spending, you should use the Credit Card early and often for your everyday expenses like:
- Daycare (if Applicable)
- Mortgage Payments
- Utilities (i.e., Comcast, Water Bill, Electric)
Because you can accelerate bonuses and cash back with specific credit cards, paying rent utilizing a credit card isn’t such a bad idea. But, of course, this only applies to several qualified credit cards.
The app, Plastiq, enables people to pay rent, bills, utilities, loans, and other expenses with a credit card and charges one of the better rates out there (2.5% additional fee). On the other hand, because of this extra fee and the higher cost of rent, the percentage could add up if you do choose to use a credit card.
If you can pay off your credit card expenses including the new rent expense, then you should consider paying rent using Plastiq.
If you have had issues in the past with piling expenses and debt, we certainly think you should find other options.
Does Paying Rent with a Credit Card Hurt Scoring?
If you add a bigger expense like rent, and it takes up most, if not all of your credit balance, then there is a possibility that your credit score (rating) will be affected, no doubt. However, if you continue to pay off the rent and expenses consistently, and do not accumulate debt, you shouldn’t have to worry.
Unique Money Hack to Increase Credit Score!
Rent payments are a ton of money, and sure you can wallow in the fact that you may or may not own real estate yet, but unlike mortgage payments, rent payments are often disregarded when it comes to credit scores. One company is looking to include Rent Payments as a part of increasing your credit score!
Rent Reporters is a newer money hack that we love! Because, as we mentioned, rent isn’t included in one’s credit report. Rent Reporters will act on your behalf to make sure that these substantial monthly payments will be reported to Transunion so that your credit score will increase dramatically!
Who Would Benefit Using Rent Reporters?
- College Students Paying Rent Off Campus
- Those Looking to Increase Credit Score
- Those looking to Repair Their Credit
- Many More!
Rent Reporters wants to increase a renter’s credit score so much that they’ll offer a full refund if you aren’t happy!
On average they’ve seen credit scores increase by:
35-50 Points within 30 days
So you are probably asking yourself…how much would something like this cost me? Well, the pricing is straightforward: $95 for signing up and $10 per month. Think of it as an additional $10 to your rent and a one time expense that you won’t have to worry about again. This way each monthly payment will now be included in your credit report enabling you better mortgage loans, personal loans and other financings that may be important in your future.
Not only do you get rent included in your credit scores but you’ll also receive several other nice benefits including:
- Credit Repair and Question Assistance
- Free Credit Score
- Discount for Roommates (if applicable)
- Go back 24 months of Rent Reporting
Our Experience with Rent Reporters…
We took a chance with the new service, and we found it to be a bit hands-on at first. Initially, we had to speak with someone about our previous rent history. Yes, I know those millennials that hate to pick up the phone and call someone will be a tad disappointed there.
Otherwise, the service agent, Jayson, was able to take over correspondence with our landlord/property manager and find out our payment history and so forth.
Although I already have terrific credit scoring, the app was able to squeeze out an additional point after just a few days!
There’s at least a 1 point increase! That’s not bad at all.
Paying Other Bills with a Credit Card
Pay Daycare and Utilities with a Credit Card!
If you have kids and you have to go to work, you probably place your kids in daycare. For those unaware, daycare is a massive expense. Sometimes bills reach up to $2000 a month…per child! If you were going to write up a check for these types of costs, you are mostly losing out on free rewards and money by not using a card here.
Seems pretty obvious, and as we will keep mentioning that you should treat a Credit Card as if it were a debit card, paying for utilities makes the most sense when you try to reach Credit Card spending plateaus (for bonuses).
Because these are recurring (or every month) expenses, you’ll probably have to pay for them anyway, so why not earn points, plus get closer to those bonuses!
Are you feeling Green? You can sync up your Electric Bill with an app like Arcadia Power and convert your home into 50% Wind Energy with little effort. It’s FREE, plus it’s easy to pay with a Credit Card!
Want to pay less for Cable and internet? We partnered up with the app TRIM. They’ll cut your cable bill without sacrificing your current entertainment and internet speed! It works!
2: Stay Away from Major Credit Card Debt!!
Sure, owning a credit card gives you the ability to purchase something before you have the money to pay for it. And while we respect responsible credit card choices like paying off your card every month, there are several bad credit habits that you should stay clear from.
When Using Credit Cards for Bills is a GOOD Idea
Using a credit card(s) for bills makes sense for a lot of reasons. Here are the main ones:
- You are close to a massive credit card bonus
- Are not charged for using a credit card to pay
- Pay off credit card debt monthly
- Have a credit card with great rewards
When Using Credit Card for Bills is a BAD Idea
While you can reap tons of rewards for using a Credit Card for Bills since it dramatically speeds up rewards and bonus opportunities, it should be of note that not all cardholders should pursue using Credit Cards for every purchase including bills. Here are some reasons to stay away from using Credit Cards for Bills:
- You Can’t Pay Off Bills Daily (Weekly, or Monthly)
- You Make Lots of Impulse Purchases
The key when using Credit Cards is Control because you’ll need to think of your Credit Card as a Debit Card that is linked directly to your banking account!
Remember to be responsible with your card and pay it off daily, weekly, monthly. Do not let your debt pile up!
3: Finally Reaching The Bonus Spending Amount
You should be able to rack up enough to gain the bonus Travel Statement Credit through the tips above, but remember to reach the plateau of $5,000.
Don’t know what a Travel Statement Credit is? Simply put, once you’ve spent that $5,000, you’ll have $600+ to spend on Travel. One of the significant benefits of this Barclaycard Arrival Plus Credit Card is that you’ll be able to redeem it at most Travel Websites or Businesses. (So go ahead and book travel on rates found on Priceline, Hotwire, etc.)
The Barclaycard Arrival Plus Card has a 70,000 point bonus when you spend $5,000 in 90 days. This is good enough for around $600 in Travel Statement Credit!
If You Haven’t Reached It Yet, Don’t
The final tip here is that if you can’t reach the bonus doing what you have been doing for several months or years, then don’t overspend to get the bonus. It’s not worth changing your lifestyle or spending habits to reach a bonus.
Sure you can buy that expensive Apple product and reach it instantly, but then you’ll have a hard time paying it off. Just don’t!
4: How We Booked Our Trip Using the Bonus
For some, this could very well be a round-trip to an exotic place, a significant discount on a cruise, etc. For us, we decided to go to Orlando, a popular family destination.
Here is everything we got covered from the ~approximately $500 bonus travel dollars
- 2 SeaWorld Tickets (Children under 3 are free)
- 2 Parking Tickets
- 15 Food Samples for the Seven Seas Food Festival (enough to satisfy most appetites)
- 2 Night Stay at Caribe Royale booked on Hotwire.com (rates vary)
- Travel Insurance
- Round Trip Gas from Miami to Orlando
Remember that with a Credit Card, you don’t need to worry about actually paying for stuff until your balance is due. Since we’ve reached the bonus and now had the statement credit inside of our Barclaycard Dashboard, we can now redeem!
Redeeming the bonus was super simple:
- We Spent $5,000 within 90 Days of Account Activation
- 70,000 point bonus is now activated
- We Booked our Travel (Approximately $500-$630 through Websites)
- Use the 70,000 Points Bonus ($500-$600 Value) to cover the cost
Other Large Credit Card Bonuses
Chase Sapphire Preferred
If you are a heavy spender or use your credit card to pay for most of your bills, consider this card for 50,000 Chase Ultimate Reward Points after spending $4,000 in 3 months. The Chase Ultimate Reward Points go far and could be redeemed for nearly $625 in Vacation Opportunities! One Drawback? The $95 Annual Fee.
Capital One Venture
One benefit for the Venture card off the bat is the $59 Annual Fee is waived for the first year. Earn 40,000 bonus miles as the one-time bonus. To earn it you must spend $3000 in 3 Months. Show off your card using its sporty metal and heavy feel.
Hilton Honors American Express
We’ve partnered up with Credit.com to show you our picks for the web’s best travel credit cards now available to apply to. Try a hotel-specific card for larger redemption opportunities like the Hilton American Express card and a few others!
By using fantastic credit card tips, you can save money and earn enough points to go travel wherever you want. The question is: How long do you want to save your points for? Book a trip this year and go nearby, accumulate a ton of points and miles, therefore allowing you to travel pretty much anywhere in the world!