In this Post:
- Beware Of Double Rewards Pitfalls
- Minimum Spend Requirements Are Doubled
- Redemption Gets More Complicated
- You Might Not Be Able To Combine Points
If you’re new to earning credit card rewards and sign up bonuses, this simple trick can help double your rewards!
I personally didn’t consider this trick until about a year after I started earning credit card rewards. However, once I discovered it, the trick opened up a whole new level of awesomeness. So what is this simple trick?
It’s so simple and obvious that it may not even seem like a trick, but for some reason or other, most people don’t consider using their spouse’s eligibility to double their credit card rewards.
Whenever I used to sign up for credit card offers, it was always for myself. Then, one day the lightbulb went on and I realized that my wife could apply for the very same cards I had already earned bonuses for — and thus earn the bonuses as well.
Though my wife was an authorized user on my account, she didn’t have an account of her own. Being an authorized user on my account meant that she had some credit, but it didn’t bar her from getting her own account. She could still apply for — and qualify for — the same bonuses and rewards I already had, on her own account. What did this do for us? It quickly doubled some of the most valuable credit card offers available — and as a family, we had double the amount of rewards.
The first time we used this trick we ended up with a free five day Carnival cruise to the Caribbean. We both applied for the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard and earned over $1,000 in travel rewards between the two of us.
What’s important to know is that once you start using this strategy there are a few extra things you need to consider in your rewards redemption strategy.
Beware Of Double Rewards Pitfalls
Double rewards sound pretty awesome, but you need to make sure to do everything perfectly so that you don’t mess up along the way. There are a few pitfalls you have to make sure to avoid when doubling your rewards.
Minimum Spend Requirements Are Doubled
Sometimes you get so caught up in the potential rewards that you forget to consider what it takes to earn the sign up bonuses. The main qualification for sign up bonuses is the minimum spend requirements on these credit card offers.
Keep in mind that when you get two accounts, you have to complete two of these bonuses. It might make sense to apply for one card, complete the minimum spend then have your spouse apply for the second account. This spreads out the time you have to reach the minimum spend requirement. This way you aren’t faced with spending $6,000 in three months; you can have 3 months for each of you (if that is the requirement).
Redemption Gets More Complicated
When you’re only redeeming rewards on one credit card, you simply redeem all you can toward your purchases. However, when you have two separate accounts you need to make sure you’re following bonus and reward protocol for each card so that you can redeem all of your points.
For example, we had to plan our redemption strategy when we used our Barclaycard Arrival miles for our Carnival cruise. In order to redeem all of our points, we had to make four separate payments on our cruise. The first two charges were for $460 on each card to use our base miles. Next, we had to make a $46 purchase on each of our cards to redeem our carry on 10% bonus miles.
Be sure to plan out your purchases, as many issuers will only let you redeem your rewards one time per purchase. You need to be very aware of what the issuer’s guidelines are, whether you make your purchases on your card or your spouse’s card.
You Might Not Be Able To Combine Points
If you mess up and accidentally charge your entire travel purchase on one card, you might be out of luck. Few credit card rewards programs will allow you to transfer points between spouses and that could mean you’ll be short of the amount needed to pay off your purchase. This is a devastating mistake for someone who thought they’d planned out the perfect, free vacation.
There are some instances where you can transfer points between spouses or between credit card rewards travel partners, but that’s a more advanced topic for a future article. For now, just make sure to be careful to follow the credit card guidelines very carefully so that you don’t forfeit your rewards.