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Getting to $20k By Many Means
As I wrote about before, I was able to take advantage of a recent offer on the American Express Business Platinum card that gives 150,000 Membership Rewards points after $20,000 in spending during the first three months. That is a lot of spending, but I took it on and sort of consider it a challenge.
Several other bloggers also got the same offer and have set up a competition to see who can make the most profit while meeting the spending requirement. While I am NOT participating in that, I still thought it would be useful to share some of what I am doing to meet the minimum spend.
My Spending Breakdown Thus Far
At first I was planning on using some more common techniques, but then I decided this was a great opportunity to dabble more seriously with reselling and gift card churning.
So far I have spent $12,000 of the $20,000 required. Here is how the spending breaks down:
- $2k – Large bills that I needed to pay.
- $5k – Traditional MS. The kind that costs about $4 per $500.
- $1.5k – Merchant gift cards.
- $3k – Merchandise for reselling.
- $500 – Normal expenses.
A Few Notes
When I first got this card, I thought that I would participate in more normal methods of MS, hence the $5k in spending. Since then I have decided it would be much better to earn a profit, so I shifted my spending to gift cards and merchandise. I plan to spend most of the other $8k remaining in the same manner.
Reselling & Expected Profit
Hopefully in the future I will be able to break things down more, but most of my buying has been on eBay where I earn eBay Bucks plus portal cashback. I have also been able to stack eBay gift card discounts to some extent.
Since my local grocery store is running a 4X fuel points promotion on all gift cards, I may stock up on those to earn the fuel discounts and then use the cards for future eBay purchases. In the end I expect a 5-10% profit on my reselling and I am making a similar margin when reselling gift cards.
If you factor in the $40 in fees I paid for the first $5k in spending, I am expecting an overall profit of about $200-$300 for the $9,500 in spend that isn’t part of my normal expenses. In the end, I expect an overall profit of about $600 for the entire $20k in spending plus of course 170,000 Membership Rewards points.
As more low hanging fruit methods of MS start to go away, I think it is a great idea to have a backup plan. In my case, this is sort of the beginning of a new business, albeit on a small scale. Either way, I’ll follow up when the spending is complete and the merchandise is sold to see how close or far I am from my totals. I am also doing my best to track my time, so we will see if my return justifies the effort!
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