- Meeting $82,000 in Spending Requirements within 3 months
- My $82,000 Spending Challenge: 1 Month Later
- My $82,000 Spending Challenge: 2 Months Later
- My $82,000 Spending Challenge: 3 Months Later
This was a tough month, with shopping portals pulling American Express gift cards and my general laziness when it comes to manufactured spending. Still, I managed to make a great deal of progress in meeting $82,000 spending requirements. If you’re wondering how I kept track of all the spending, this post will give you some insight. Here’s an overview of what I managed this month:
Barclay Arrival Plus Card – $3,000 (Complete)
The spending requirement for my dad’s Barclay Arrival Plus card was easy to meet. I had handed the card off to my dad so he could put all of his spending on it. We knocked down $700 the first month and the remaining $2,300 was completed recently thanks to his normal spend ($900) and $1,500 in Simon Mall gift cards. He could have certainly met the majority of the spend in another month, but I wanted this one off my hands and threw in a little manufactured spending to make it happen.
Citi Executive AAdvantage Cards – $20,000 (Completed)
Last month, I knocked off $5,000 in spend off each Citi Executive AAdvantage card. This month, I was able to get it all done thanks to a bit of regular spending. My sister had a $2,600 furniture store purchase she allowed me to charge to my brother’s Citi Executive AAdvantage card. That, combined with $800 of his personal spending, $1,000 in Amazon Payments, $500 in Simon Mall gift cards, and a few utility bills helped take care of the remaining $5,000.
Here’s how the spend was met for the second Citi Executive AAdvantage card:
- $1,000 via Amazon Payments
- $2,000 in Simon Mall gift cards (liquidated via Bluebird)
- $2,000 in direct loads via American Express for Target
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Card – $20,000 ($6,000 left)
We have 6 months to meet the $10,000 spending requirement on each Alaska card. However, I prefer to get all of my spending requirements done within 3 months, especially so I can churn the Alaska card yet again. Last month, I knocked off a combined $6,000. With this month’s total of $8,000, we’ve got $6,000 left to go.
- $2,000 in Simon Mall gift cards (liquidated via Bluebird) x 2 cards = $4,000
- $2,000 in direct loads via American Express for Target x 2 cards = $4,000
SPG American Express Business Card – $9,000 (Completed)
While the spending requirement on the SPG American Express Business card was just $5,000, I needed 4,000 extra points for a trip I’m planning, bringing my goal to $9,000. I managed to get one $4,000 American Express gift card at 2.5% cash back before they were pulled from all shopping portals, which was an easy way to knock off the remaining spending requirement. I liquidated these gift cards successfully via American Express for Target, though it was a bit more work than I would have liked
- $4,000 in American Express gift cards liquidated via American Express for Target
Barclay Arrival Plus Card – $30,000 ($21,100 left)
Generating $30,000 in spend on my brother’s Barclay Arrival Plus card was quite an ambitious project and I probably won’t meet my goals in time. However, I still got pretty close. After the first month’s $3,000, I was able to knock out another $4,000 this month via Simon Mall gift cards. Also, Safeway was running a promotion on variable load Visa and Mastercard gift cards: A $15 voucher when you buy two gift cards. The fees came up to $11.90 for two cards totaling $900, but I did get $15 to use on my next Safeway purchase.
- $4,000 in Simon Mall gift cards (liquidated via Bluebird)
- $1,000 in direct loads via American Express for Target
- $900 in Visa gift cards from Safeway (liquidated via Bluebird)
After this month, I’ve got just $28,100 left to spend. Despite a slow start last month, I’m on track to complete all of my spending requirements by next month. Realistically, I probably won’t complete the entire remaining $22,100 spending requirement from the Barclay Arrival Plus card without raising a red flag. That’s completely fine. I’ll easily get $10,000 of it done, so we’re still looking at a substantial number of Arrival miles we can use to cover travel expenses.
Meeting $82,000 in spending requirements is child’s play for many veteran card churners, who could well meet that spend in less than a month. I’ve planned for 3 months in order to avoid red flags, fraud alerts, and other issues that might shut me down – or at the very least, slow me down. Plus, I’m getting a little tired of the whole manufactured spending routine.
There are other ways to meet spending requirements that are less than kosher. The methods outlined above are what I’m comfortable with for now. Next month, I’m going to incorporate some more regular spending and beyond that, we’ll decide which card stays and goes. The Arrival Plus card is definitely a long-term keeper. As I illustrated yesterday, there are times when it’s more prudent to charge travel to the Arrival Plus card than to redeem frequent flyer miles. For times like those, I want to be prepared with an abundance of Arrival miles and the ability to generate more.
Are you in the midst of a manufactured spending spree? Please share your progress below.
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