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Forums Payment cards American Express New to points – spending tips for low spenders

  • fran12 1 post

    Hey guys,

    Not a huge spender, but I would definitely like to get more involved with points and bonuses.
    What are some of your best tips to boost card spending without overspending from your budgets?

    I’m getting my friends to buy things on my card and then repay me, but was wondering if there are any other ways to do it as well.

    Any tips are welcome!

    Jasdev 51 posts

    Beware of getting in to debt you can’t afford to repay in the pursuit of points & offers.
    It sounds facile to mention it but by god it creeps up on you and suddenly it is too late.

    As you’ve said, offering to put purchases on your card and take payment from friends is one way but do remember that friends (and family!) are sometimes unreliable and worse, downright dishonest.

    Also note that if you have a card which provides offers via the American Express website or app, you might see offers which don’t interest you much but would be of use to friends/family, in which case you can let them know and net them a saving by buying the goods or services with your card.

    I’ve seen some people suggest using your card on PayPal to make cash transfers to others but Rob Burgess (the owner of this site) suggests large PayPal transfers might trigger suspicion and freezing of payments in transit, so you would want to be careful about that.

    I’d simply suggest doing as much of your shopping and purchases as possible with the Amex card and ensuring you repay it in full each month when due. You will still be able to make full use of suitable offers in the app which benefit you.

    can 506 posts

    Council tax and utilities are the first start, in my opinion

    Some councils and companies do not directly accept Amex but there are ways. For the CTax use, paypoint for example.

    StillintheSun 139 posts

    A little OT but at the start of this hobby it will take a while to build up a points balance. A little reward is to book yourself on a BA European business points flight out of London (no need to use the maximum number of points as you can decrease points spend with cash). Yes the seat on the plane is the same but as a first timer you’ll enjoy the reduced queuing at check in, fast track security and a few drinks in the lounge before a comfortable flight with at seat meal and drink service. It will give you a little incentive to keep collecting for the bigger rewards and quite possibly something you would never have done if not for this hobby 🙂

    louie 138 posts

    A little OT but at the start of this hobby it will take a while to build up a points balance. A little reward is to book yourself on a BA European business points flight out of London (no need to use the maximum number of points as you can decrease points spend with cash). Yes the seat on the plane is the same but as a first timer you’ll enjoy the reduced queuing at check in, fast track security and a few drinks in the lounge before a comfortable flight with at seat meal and drink service. It will give you a little incentive to keep collecting for the bigger rewards and quite possibly something you would never have done if not for this hobby 🙂

    If I’d taken that advice early in my points gathering hobby, I’d probably have given up, thinking it wasn’t worth the effort. I know we are all different, but for me Club Europe is the biggest waste of money/points ever. I’ve probably flown 40 long haul flights in business or first on points, most to Australia, each and every time thinking I am so fortunate not to be in economy, plus one early one in CE when I thought ‘why on earth does anyone pay extra for this?’.

    NorthernLass 8,510 posts

    We pay our house and car insurance up front each year with Amex rather than doing it on monthly DD (for which you often get charged a premium). It’s counter-intuitive for many people but once you’ve done it you find that your budget adjusts for annual rather than montly payments. Same with council tax, though you’re less likely to be able to use Amex for this. Check if your council accepts Paypal, like ours does.

    aq.1988 491 posts

    OP – what card do you currently have/bonus you are currently working towards?

    How much do you normally spend in a month?

    Getting trusted friends and family to use your card, and them repaying you is a good way to get spend on your card, but only with people you absolutely trust, as any spend is ultimately your responsibility.

    Similar to one of the above posts, but I would try to make a redemption early, (just 1 way, as you might not have enough for a return in business) to see what you’re working towards, but not CE, try long haul if you have enough points. If you’ve got a Gold/Plat rather than a BA card, I would recommend a 1 way in Upper Class on Virgin, which is 37.5k off peak to some destinations. I only got into the points game in Nov 2021, and thats what I did, and now I’m reading this website daily to learn and earn, more.

    And boost your points by referring your friends and family for cards (once you’ve got them to help you reach your bonus). That’s probably the easiest and fastest way to get a lot of points. If they see you travelling in Business, they might ask you about it, and you can then tell how you did it.

    WillPS 196 posts

    Council tax and utilities are the first start, in my opinion

    Some councils and companies do not directly accept Amex but there are ways. For the CTax use, paypoint for example.

    Worth noting that not all councils support PayPoint. Mine uses Payzone, so no dice.

    For that – the key detail with PayPoint is that you need to do this at a Co-op Group run store (normally indicated by using the blue and white ‘retro’ logo), most indies won’t let you use credit cards for this and almost certainly won’t accept Amex.

    aaronj 8 posts

    Council tax and utilities are the first start, in my opinion

    Some councils and companies do not directly accept Amex but there are ways. For the CTax use, paypoint for example.

    Worth noting that not all councils support PayPoint. Mine uses Payzone, so no dice.

    For that – the key detail with PayPoint is that you need to do this at a Co-op Group run store (normally indicated by using the blue and white ‘retro’ logo), most indies won’t let you use credit cards for this and almost certainly won’t accept Amex.

    Maybe i am being dim: aren’t they all blue and white? If you could post a picture link, that’d be helpful.

    jj 562 posts

    1. Make sure you exploit sign-up bonuses to the max.
    2. Use the BA shopping site or TopCasback whenever you shop at a qualifying retailer. That’s especially important for expensive things like hotels.
    3. Don’t spread too thin. Choose an airline and stick with it. Don’t try to accumulate in tooany schemes together.
    4. Never buy anything just because…points! Only spend money you would have spent anyway.
    5. Be patient.

    Aston100 1,500 posts

    Make sure you exploit sign-up bonuses to the max.

    “This is the way”.

    By the way, I don’t understand why some make such an effort involving multiple trips to specific Co-op branches in order to get under 5k points at most.
    Depending on your card and council tax band, it might not even be more than 2k points in some cases.
    Maybe it’s just me, but I value my time far higher than the reward on offer here for such effort.

    EDIT: to clarify, my council accepts Visa and MasterCard. I pay the full annual amount up front via their web portal with an Avios MasterCard.
    Takes all of about one minute.

    What I refuse to do is drive a number of times a year to a shop in order to make multiple payments of the council tax via Amex.
    I find this bizarre.

    SteveJ 1,018 posts

    @Aston100 agreed in general and if you’re not otherwise passing by that store anyway, however it will make sense if you have a SUB to hit.

    TooPoorToBeHere 264 posts

    Yeah it’s not about grovelling around for coppers on the 1-point-per-pound type spending. It’s getting the introductory offers. And then potentially closing the card down to free up space on credit report for another card + start the clock on being able to open this one again.

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