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Tips for unlocking welcome bonuses

To the point Milesopedia readers are really creative when it comes to findinf tips on how to unlock credit card signup bonuses. Let's take a look together!

Unlock welcome bonuses with these milesopedia reader tips

Frequently, various questions come up in the milesopedia Facebook:

Can you help me with expenses to unlock welcome bonuses?

How can I carry $1,500 on an American Express card in 3 months?

Is it possible to pay Hydro Quebec with a credit card?

How do I pay my municipal taxes with a credit card?

How do I pay my taxes with a credit card?

A main topic of discussion was therefore created in the group.

Members gave their tips and tricks on how to more easily reach the welcome bonus trigger levels, which can be as high as $7,000 in 3 months! Here are most of them here, but first, a common sense reminder:

Don’t spend more than you can afford! There’s no point in putting a lot of expenses on your credit card in order to unlock bonuses…if you can’t pay it off every month! All the profit will be lost through interest paid… and points lost on the credit report!

Buy gift cards for future spending

There are dozens of gift cards available for a variety of businesses, and members of the Facebook group are big fans of them! But you have to know how to use them wisely.

cards

A good points & miles hunter is usually someone who keeps a close eye on his or her budget and is able to plan his or her expenses for the coming months. In this case, gift cards are a great way to unlock welcome bonuses quickly.

For example, here is a typical budget for the coming month:

Type Examples of gift cards Purchases
Gas Esso, Petro-Canada, Shell… 150$
Grocery Metro, Super C, IGA, Provigo… 500$
Alcohol SAQ 100$
Drugstores Jean Coutu, Pharmaprix, Familiprix… 100$
Monthly subscriptions Netflix, Apple, Android… 75$
Online shopping Amazon 200$
Shopping Gap / Old Navy / Banana Republic, La Vie en Rose, American Eagle, Sail, Simons, Sports Experts… 150$
Home Improvement The Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware… 100$
Everyday life Starbuck’s, Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, St. Hubert, Keg, 50$
Culture Renaud-Bray, Archambault, Cineplex 75$
TOTAL 1 500$

By scheduling your spending over the next 2-3 months – and having the cash to “front load” via gift cards – you can unlock bonuses more easily. It can also be handy a few weeks before the deadline to unlock the bonus if you see that the 3 months won’t be enough!

Pay your municipal and/or school taxes with your credit card

PayTM allows you to pay many bills… including municipal taxes in many cities! Fees range from 0% to 3% depending on the credit card used and the provider.

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Some of the suppliers we use frequently

For example, when paying Hydro Quebec with a Mastercard, there are 0% fees! So it’s easy to go unlock bonuses like for the BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard or the BMO World Elite MasterCard!

We have done a full article on the subject here.

Pay for car and/or home insurance with a credit card in one go

Most insurance companies allow you to pay for car and/or home insurance in one go using a credit card (Mastercard / Visa for the most part).

Sure, you’ll need to have the money available immediately to cover this expense, but if you do, it’s an easy way to get the welcome bonus!

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Use your insurance payments to unlock bonuses

And the big advantage: it’s an easily predictable expense based on the expiration of your contracts! So you can make your credit card application in anticipation of this one! (Tip from Burebista)

Pay for medical expenses (dentist, pharmacies, laboratories…) and get reimbursed by the insurance!

Do you have a group/individual insurance policy? Does it allow you to pay only the deductible to the medical provider? Charge the entire expense to your credit card!

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“Do you see the points my fee will get you…?”

This way, it is not the provider who will receive the payment of your insurance… but you! And that will have allowed you to charge the expense to your credit card!(Tip from Burebista)

Car accident / vehicle damage: pay instead of your insurance!

We don’t wish it on anyone, but unfortunately… it happens! Does your car need to be serviced after an accident? Is your windshield broken?

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Instead of letting the insurance company pay… advance the costs!

Instead of letting the insurance company pay the body shop or garage, put the repairs on your credit card! (Guy’s tip).

Plan the maintenance of your car!

Owning a car is expensive: but generally, the maintenance of your car can be planned a few weeks in advance.

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George can help you unlock your bonus by fixing your car!

If you do it right, it’s a way to help you unlock a new welcome bonus!

And if your mechanic doesn’t take American Express, consider Vanilla Cards purchased at Couche-Tard with your American Express Cobalt Card: return of about 3.5% guaranteed!(Burebista Tip)

Pre-pay for some services!

If you have money in your account, prepay your monthly expenses for certain services:

  • instead of paying $200 per month for Hydro Quebec, pay 3 months in advance by charging $600 to your account (via PayTM)
  • Instead of paying $100 per month for your Fido cell phone package, pay 3 months in advance by putting $300 on your account!
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What if your cell phone subscription helps you unlock that travel bonus?

The same principle applies to other subscriptions such as Netflix, Youtube Premium, Apple Music… by buying gift cards!

This tip is especially useful when you see that you are going to reach the end of the time limit (usually 3 months) and that you are “only” a few hundred dollars short of unlocking your bonus! (Mario’s tip)

Do your family members, friends or neighbours not like points? Pay their bills with your credit card!

In the milesopedia Facebook group, we have a champion of this technique in the person of Brigitte B.

Does your mother, your brother, your best friend pay his bills with his bank account or by check? Tell them to stop!

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During a walk, slip the question… 😉

Invite them to read this article…. or offer to take care if their bill and have them reimburse you with an Interac payment! You can always give her an SAQ or grocery store gift card (purchased with your American Express Cobalt Card) as a thank you!

The next time you invite your parents over for dinner, identify expenses they regularly incur! (Brigitte’s tip).

Annual fees or subscriptions… a windfall for bonuses!

Are you a member of the Order of Pharmacists? Each year, you must pay a fee of approximately $1,500 to the Order. And since this Order takes Paypal, it is easy to get the bonus from a card like the American Express Gold Rewards card in one go. (Pascale’s tip).

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This payment will unlock the American Express Gold Rewards Card bonus.

Many professional organizations accept payment by credit card: instead of sending a check, pay by credit card!

The same goes for all subscriptions: theatres, soccer clubs, etc.

And if the credit card is not accepted, you can fall back on a service like Plastiq to send a check for you!(Brigitte’s tip).

Volunteer to make reservations and various payments in a group!

Are you planning a group trip which will require the purchase of numerous plane tickets and hotel nights?

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Pay for your friends’ reservations with your credit card!

Are you having a birthday party in a restaurant with a group of friends? Are you giving a joint gift to a colleague or friend?

Offer to advance the fee on your credit card and get reimbursed by Interac!(Audrey’s tip).

Put your business expenses on your credit card!

Do you work for a small business? It’s often possible to have an expense account and to charge your various purchases on your credit card: plane tickets, hotels, various subscriptions…

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See with the person who manages the reservations… if you can use your card 😉

In some companies that advertise on Facebook, Twitter, it is also possible to ask for the expenses to be charged to your credit card (Emmanuelle’s tip).

Become director of your union council!

For small condominiums, managed by the various co-owners, often one or two people will take care of certain expenses such as the purchase of a barbecue, parasols for the common terrace…

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This common landscaping… could have been charged to your credit card!

Charge this expense to your credit card! For example, a friend of mine managed to charge the complete renovation of his building’s communal terrace to various American Express cards, and easily collected several hundred thousand points! (Tip from a friend).

Some interesting cards for bonuses!

Here is a list of some cards that are perfect for picking up different bonuses:

Conclusion

There are many other tips for unlocking bonuses… which are discussed in the milesopedia Facebook group or at our events!

But with all the ones mentioned above, you should be able to unlock many bonuses!

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!

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