We need reader feedback on this novel idea for meeting your future credit card card minimum spends: saving your way to minimum spends and helping others less fortunate at the same time.
Suppose, just suppose, you have an extra $100 lying around. You’re thinking about putting it in a savings account for a rainy day. Here is my alternative suggestion:
Loan it to someone using Kiva.org and make the donation using your mileage earning credit card. When the credit card bill comes due, pay off that $100 with the money you had planned on putting in a savings account. You will have earned a small amount of miles by making each donation.The money you deposit into your Kiva account is lent out to those in need in developing countries and repaid to you without interest over time. Continue saving your money by lending it through Kiva to those in need whenever you have excess funds. You can deposit money to your Kiva account in very small increments using your credit card.
As time passes, those micro loans will start to pay off and you’ll see that your Kiva account has a balance available again for re-lending. Don’t do it just yet. Let that balance build up. You are not earning interest but the rates are so pitiful now anyways. Just let those funds build up.
Suddenly a new super card offer comes out with a bigger minimum spend than you can handle.What do you do?
Step 1. Now is the time to withdraw your Kiva balance. It goes first to your Paypal account then to your designated checking account.
Step 2. Replenish your Kiva account with a new donation made on that new card with the big minimum spend. With the funds you just got from your withdrawal from Kiva (deposited into your designated checking account), use those funds to pay off that new credit card spend.
Who wins here? Absolutely everybody:
- Kiva gets funds to help others and you designate who you want to help.
- You are saving to meet a future big minimum spend.
- The credit card company earns merchant fees from Kiva (I hope at a reduced rate).
- And some entrepreneur in a developing country gets a hand up when he needs it with your interest fee loan.
Is there risk? Sure there is. The loan may not repay, although has not happened to me yet.
I haven’t tried it yet, personally, but the logic suggests we all can win here. Save your money to meet a future minimum spend by lending it to someone in need.
PS: When you lend money on Kiva, they ask for a donation for operations and it will automatically be added when you check out if you’re not careful. That choice is yours. You can easily decline the donation, but I wanted you to be aware of it as it is an actual cost to you.
I’m sure somebody can refine this idea. All comments and suggestions are welcome here. Please don’t abuse this technique. Use it for the intended purpose of helping yourself and others equally.
Sometimes you have to give it away to get it back. And rumor has it, the return is often 10 fold.
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