Every year I travel to St. Petersberg, Florida with my daughter for a swim meet. Last year we stayed at the Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, a Marriott Resort, on points. You can read about that stay here.
However, a few years back, knowing this trip to Florida was in our future, I could not pass up two credit card offers that were presented to me. The first was from American Express, for the American Express Hilton HHonors Platinum credit card. The offer back then was that I had 3 months to spend $750 to get 50,000 Hilton HHonors points. Got em. (At the time of this post, this offer is for 40,000 Hilton HHonors points). Around the same time, I got an offer from Citibank for the Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature Card. For this offer, I needed to spend $1,000 in four months to get 40,000 Hilton HHonors points. Yup, got these points as well. Let me also note that neither of these cards have an annual fee.
So what did I do with these 90,000 points that basically fell into my lap? I used them to book my 3 night weekend stay for the swim meet at the St. Petersberg Hilton as each night required 25,500 Hilton HHonors points. The swim team got a group rate of $160 per night (definitely a good deal). So the 3 night stay would have cost me $480. But 1) I applied for, 2) was approved, 3) met the minimum spend requirements and 4) received the bonus points for the sole reason of getting this stay for free. In my head, I saved myself $480!!!!
Don’t forget, when I am using a credit card to meet a minimum spend requirement, I am using it on purchases I would be making anyway. I do not spend extra money to meet these minimums. I just use the card in which I am trying to get the minimum spend bonus instead of another credit card that I use for everyday purchases. The moment that I hit the minimum spend requirement, I stop using the card in favor of another point earning credit card that will give more flexibility as to where to use my points.