Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Amazon Payments

Sometimes when you are trying to hit those minimum spending requirements, a little manufactured spend is really helpful. Amazon Payments is a great way to do this. This is in no way a scoop, so experienced churners can stop reading now.

As an example, last month I opened a Chase Freedom card because it had a 20k point sign up bonus. Since I have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, these are worth about two cents each to me, meaning my sign up bonus was just under $400. It requires a $500 minimum spend, so I logged into Amazon Payments and sent someone I owe money to that lives in my house a $500 payment for Goods and Services. She then logged into her account and withdrew the money into a checking account.

I like the Chase Freedom because it has no annual fee and I plan to use it for $1500 of spend at gas stations and movie theatres to get 7500 points in Q1, worth another $150 to me, and restaurants in Q2 2014, and Amazon in Q4 2014, etc,  so I don't plan on just using it for a sign up bonus.

Another use of these things: I drained a bunch of cash value gift cards directly into checking and paid off my credit card bill with them. For example, my brother gave me $50 in a cash equivalent gift card from Vanilla. I logged into Vanilla, gave the card a billing zipcode, sent money to someone else in my house using that $50 card for goods and services. That $50 then earned points for her as she was able to use her credit card to spend $50.

What are the drawbacks?

Amazon will 1099 you if you " exceed both thresholds ($20,000 in gross payment volume and 200 transactions) "  You have to exceed both thresholds or they won't send one.

Limits, you can only receive and send $1000 / month on credit cards. Amazon will show you what you have done and how much you have left:

Here one can see the $500 transaction I mentioned receiving above.

Finally, don't be dumb and try to send money back and forth on the same credit card. Use this as an innovative way to put things that can't normally be on a credit card on the card, like original artwork from your husband ;) Use it to hit some minimum spends, don't get banned by patterned behavior. Save that for the Vanilla reload cards.