Free-Quent Flyer made a great post about Amazon Allowance with excellent uses and I wanted to take it a step further. He is suggesting using Amazon Allowance to hit the minimum transactions per month in order to hit certain bonus thresholds or to waive maintenance fees. This is an excellent idea to automate those small charges. It’s like putting your credit card on cruise control.
I never signed up for the American Express Every Day credit cards because I did not want to put 20 to 30 charges a month on the card, that might mean I would not be maximizing my spend just to meet the transaction floor. Yes, prior to Amazon Allowance, you could buy the Amazon gift cards yourself, manually. No thanks.
Where We Differ
FQF recommends sending yourself $5 a month with a Bank of America Better Balance Rewards card. I don’t suggest that at all. Instead, spend a little more and subscribe to his newsletter, it’s worth it. At the end of the year, you’d basically get a free subscription to the hidden content.
About two weeks ago, I was able to successfully product change my Travel Rewards card to a Better Balance Rewards card and just signed up for the monthly service for Evernote. Any service that I think is worth paying for, I will use the Better Balance Card. Again because at the end of the year, the service becomes free or near free. This is also why when Wandering Aramean announced he was changing to a monthly fee cadence I was excited. While I only have 2 BBR’s, when I add a third to my portfolio, I will cut over from using my Discover card to a BBR. Seriously, if a bank is paying you to use the credit card, you need to fully utilize the benefits. This isn’t even manufactured spending, it’s just being a smart customer.
On the BBR, one day I hope to be like Rapid Travel Chai
@travelwithgrant I am up to 6 of ’em now, my new approach is don’t waste time if a quarter doesn’t post, got prorated AS fees back
— Rapid Travel Chai (@rapidtravelchai) June 25, 2015
The man has 6 Better Balance Reward cards, that means at a minimum he’s getting back $600 back per year. And I thought having 3 Chase Freedoms in my own name was nice, but 6 cards of one product type is impressive.
Another Idea, Or Two
I am set in my ways in where I use my credit cards because I’m trying to maximize my return on all the card spend. Remember how I told you how I signed up for a second Discover card? I love their portal even more. More times than not, I do not use the Discover card at least 1 time a month. In my experience, if I don’t use the credit card my portal cash back does not post. Amazon Allowance will help me out on that aspect so I have a tiny charge going to my card, automatically.
For those that have a Barclay’s Lufthansa credit card, this avenue could be a great way to keep your miles alive. The rules are, so long as you have 1 transaction per month using your Lufthansa card your miles will not expire. Otherwise, they will expire in 5 years. Unfortunately for me, there were a few months in between where I didn’t have a transaction so my miles will expire. Here’s to hoping that I’ll use them up before they expire. But for those that have been keeping up with it, Amazon Allowance will put you on autopilot. To have a small charge on the card, I signed up for Google’s 100 GB service for $1.99/month, but I don’t find it especially useful since I don’t need all the space.
Really You Can’t Go Wrong
Amazon Allowance has definitely helped us automate small charges, and this is great. I love being able to focus on other things. Whatever you choose to do with the Amazon Allowance, you really can’t go wrong these “micro transactions” will go a long way. I suggest doing $.75 instead of $.50 because there’s various rules with these credit card companies that will round down and you’ll miss out on a mile.