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Sure, Take 11 Months to Hit That Minimum Spend (I’m Not Saying You Should Do This)

I’ve been under a bit o’ stress thinking about how I’m going to hit minimum spend on 2 of the AA Exec cards, meaning I need to hit $20,000 spend in 3 months. Given my limited access to Vanilla Reloads in Manhattan, I was starting to sweat a little bit…that said, I found the cards mentioned in the Doritos incident last week, and all is OK.

But I started thinking about how you could nearly guarantee yourself 11 months to hit the minimum spend on any card, and I’ve come up with this:

First, I’m not saying you should do this.

Here’s what you could do (if you were going to do this, which I’m not saying you should do): Buy a fully refundable business class ticket for an amount that is at least as much as the minimum spend for a flight 11 months from when you get the card. DO NOT buy the ticket on the airline associated with the card. DO NOT put in your frequent flyer number. Preferably buy the ticket on a random, somewhat obscure airline.

Continue to use the card to make sure that you will eventually hit the minimum spend during the 11 month period.

Refund the ticket a couple of weeks before the flight that you were never planning on taking.


You’ve hit the minimum spend with that purchase of the refundable ticket. You’ve spent the minimum spend for real(z) over the 11 months you have the card open, so that when you cancel that refundable ticket there is no (well, little) chance they claw back the points. You have avoided drawing any suspicion because you bought the ticket on Air Madagascar. You did not use your frequent flyer number, so the whole purchase isn’t tied back to any of your frequent flyer accounts.

Foolproof? Probably.

Just a thought…

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  1. Except that you’re financing the price of the ticket.

  2. I hate to volunteer this…I pay my taxes on my credit card when I need to make a minimum spend. The fee is about 2.25% of the amount charged but as long as I can book some expensive seats it works out for me.

    • It’s not crazy when you think about it – for a 50,000 point bonus on the INK, for example, you need to spend $5000. I think everyone would agree that 50k points are worth $112.50.

      It’s nobody’s first choice, but it’s an option.

  3. why didnt you buy the vanilla visa, sure its an extra $1 and a trip to walmart but its plentiful and easy.

  4. Thanks, that is a great plan B. I also am doing 2 X $10k for the wife and my AA Execs. Four Amazon Payment accts are my saving grace. 17 year old son, wife, my mom in Ohio, and wife. I would first ask friends and fam who have benefited from our churning hobby if they have any big purchases coming up. Multiple friends have offered. That is a pain, but if its a purchase over a grand, it helps.

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