Category

Mint

How To Track Minimum Spend Requirements

As I am in the process of currently trying to meet the $5,000 Minimum Spend Requirement on my Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Card, I thought I’d share a few ways to monitor your Minimum Spend Requirement.

The simplest way is to obviously just track your Monthly Statements.

These days almost all Statements are available online, so even if you didn’t save your Monthly Statements, you are in luck.

Since it can be a huge pain tallying up every Monthly Statement, American Express has a nice feature that allows you to look at all transactions through a specific date range.

Simple go to the Statements & Activity tab and then enter the date range.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t remember the exact date you got your Card, because you can put in anything and it will show figure it out.

So in my case, I put down July, and my 1st recorded transaction was on August 17.

At the bottom of the page, you will find a summary of your transactions so far.

So in my case, in 3 months I have spent close to $4,000, so I only need another $1,000 to meet the Minimum Spend Requirement and get all my Starpoints!

Non-American Express Cards

For those of you that do not have American Express Cards, I’d suggest logging in online and seeing if your Credit Card offers a similar service.

I logged into Chase and it doesn’t seem like they have anything that allows you to view and sum all your transactions in 1 place which is kind of annoying.

Another idea would be to simply call your Credit Card Company and ask them how much you have spent on the Card since you got it.

Mint.Com

If any of those ideas above do not work, you can always use Mint.com to easily figure out your spending so far.

As I have talked about many times before, Mint.com is amazing and I can’t imagine what I would do without it.

It summarizes all of my Financial Accounts (Credit Cards, Student Loans, 401k, Brokerage Accounts, Bank Accounts, etc), all in 1 place, in real time.

I can tell you at this exact moment how much Cash I have, how much Debt I have, and how much all my Assets are worth.

Additionally it will email you reminders if you haven’t paid your bills.

If you haven’t yet signed up for Mint, I highly suggest it.

Anyways, once you are logged into Mint.com, simply go to the Trends tab.

Once you are there, click on the Category filter and pick out the Account you want to see.

For the time range, simply put All Time.

It will show you how much you have spent on the Card since you got it.

This can be quite scary if you click on a Credit Card that you have had for a long time and spent a lot of money on it, so prepare yourself!

Anyways, for my Starwood Card, it looks like this.

At the bottom is the Summary of total transaction.

Mint.com subtracts out any Credits you receive from Returns, and occasionally is a day or two behind in what you see on AmericanExpress.com, so that it why there is a discrepancy with the numbers.

Recap

Hopefully with these tips and tricks, you will know exactly how much money you have spent or need to spend on your new Credit Card to meet the Minimum Spend Requirement.

Remember that if you don’t meet the Minimum Spend Requirement, you will not get the bonus, so don’t just assume you have already met the Minimum Spend Requirement!

As always, if you need help meeting the Minimum Spend Requirement, you can always use Amazon Payments!

-Parag

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Why I Love Mint.com & Downgrading The Chase Sapphire Preferred

REMINDER: The British Airways 100,000 Avios Credit Card offer ends this Thursday, June 7th.

Link To Sign Up For The British Airways 100,000 Avios Point Offer

Why I Love Mint.com

I’ve talked about the many benefits of Mint.com, but it still continues to surprise me with its usefulness.

If I had not received this email from Mint.com informing me that Chase had charged me the annual fee on my Sapphire Preferred Card, I honestly probably wouldn’t have even noticed.

I thought the annual fee on my Card wasn’t due until July or August!

For those of you not familiar with Mint.com, it is a free online money manager aka an extremely powerful online checkbook for all your checking, savings, investment, loans, 401k, credit cards accounts, etc.

Mint.com tracks all of your money in 1 place.

Whenever you get charged ATM fees, Bank service fees, or Credit Card fees, they will email you.

Mint.com is also EXTREMELY useful for tracking spending requirements.

So if you recently got any Credit Cards and have to spend X amount of dollars in a certain time period, with Mint.com you can sort by Credit Card as well as time period to see just exactly how much you have spent.

Anyways I highly suggest you sign up for Mint.com because it is 100% free and I can guarantee it will save you money by informing you of useless fees that you are being charged by your Bank!

Link To Sign Up For Mint.com

Downgrading The Chase Sapphire Preferred

After I realized that Chase had already charged the annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred, I decided it was time to downgrade to the free version of the Card and get a refund on the annual fee that I had been charged.

I simply called the number on the back of my Sapphire Preferred, and explained that I had been charged the annual fee and that although I liked the Card, I could not justify paying the annual fee, therefore I would like an annual fee waiver.

Now granted I really should have called in a few months ago and tried to cancel it, so as to get transferred to a retention specialist and negotiate some bonus miles or perhaps some kind of statement credit however when I called this evening I was told they could not offer me a fee waiver.

Since I already have a Chase Freedom, INK Bold, and United MileagePlus Explorer, I decided to downgrade to the Chase Sapphire which the fee-free version of the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

It still earns 2x Ultimate Rewards points on Dining, but it only earns 1x on Travel and does have a 3% foreign transaction fee.

If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred and are thinking about downgrading, I suggest the following:

  • Call Chase 3 months before your annual fee is due and ask to talk to a retention specialist. See if you can negotiate some bonus points or if they can give you a Statement Credit to keep the Card.
  • If you are denied, then when the annual fee is due, downgrade to the Chase Freedom since that has the awesome 5% rotating quarterly categories and has no fee.

Anyways, they said they would downgrade my Sapphire Preferred to a regular Sapphire and refund the annual fee.

Although typically when I downgrade Cards, they just go into my drawer to collect dust, I will probably continue to use the Sapphire since it does earn 2x on Restaurants.

-Parag