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Why booking holidays is the secret to earning credit card bonus points


Meeting that minimum spend can be easier than you think.

Here's a question I get asked a lot: How can I meet the minimum spend requirements to get bonus points on my new frequent flyer credit card?

Requirements vary, but typically you're asked to spend $3,000 or more on the card during the first 3 months. That can feel like a stretch.

Groceries help more than you might think. Finder research shows the average household spends $185 a week at the supermarket. That adds up to $2,220 over 3 months.

Supermarket shelf

Supermarket shopping can make it easier to reach minimum spend totals. Image: Angus Kidman/Finder

But if you're trying to reach that minimum spend, my suggestion is simple: book your big annual holiday on your newly-issued card.

The priciest element of holidays are typically flights and accommodation. You have to pay for flights straight away, and the cheapest hotel deals usually require up-front payment too.

You can also use your card to pay for the all-important travel insurance once you've booked.

All that can quickly add up, especially for overseas travel.

Here's an example. I just priced myself a quick 5-day trip to Vegas in May 2024. That comes to $3,000 for my preferred airline and another $2,500 for staying in my preferred hotel.

Ls Vegas sign

A holiday to Vegas would easily meet minimum spend requirements for many cards. Image: f11photo/Supplied

I'm not suggesting you leave that amount on your card, to be clear. Save up for your holiday in a high-interest savings account and pay off your card in full once you've booked.

Other strategies are possible, of course. I'm planning an IKEA kitchen renovation in early 2024, so I'll try and align that with a new credit card so I can score some extra points. That will also get me some bonus IKEA Reward keys - meatballs ahoy!

Long term, you'll be hoping to have enough points to book a reward flight. But in the meantime, a holiday remains a key tactic for hitting that crucial spend total. Happy travels!

Want to keep your frequent flyer points balance growing? Check out the latest credit card sign-up deals.

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