How To Meet Minimum Debit & Credit Transaction Requirements

More and more bank account sign up bonuses and special interests require you to have a certain amount of debit card transactions to be eligible. AmEx has also announced two cards that have transaction play a part in the amount of rewards you’ll receive.  Below we’ve outlined ways for you to hit these requirements without breaking the bank.

Debit Cards Only

Square Cash From $1

Similar to Circle Pay, but funds will go directly into your bank account. Minimum is $1.

Chime Card From $25

The Chime card is a reloadable debit card which can be loaded with other debit cards. Because of this it’s an extremely easy and cost effective way of meeting minimum debit card requirements. Unfortunately it’s not possible to use credit cards to load though so this will only work for debit card transaction requirements. More here. There is a minimum reload of $25 as well, so this isn’t a great option unless you actually use this card.

Amazon Giftcards From $0.50

amazon gift cards from $0.15Amazon.com allows you to purchase giftcards starting at only $0.50. There are no fees at all (the giftcard is sent by e-mail so no shipping required) and you can purchase giftcards from as low as $0.50 and any amount up to $2,000 per transaction. This is one of the easiest ways to hit these debit card transaction targets and you get a small Amazon Giftcard for your troubles. Purchase Amazon Giftcards here.

Be careful of doing too many of these in a short amount of time, as it can lead to your account being temporarily shut down. You can read more Chuck’s experience with this here.

It’s possible to opt out of pinless debit with Amazon.

Click here to find out how. This may be useful for reaching the requirements of some banks.

Use The Self Check Out Lane At Supermarkets

By using the self check out lane at a super market you are able to put through one item at a time. This can help you meet purchase requirements in one shop. If you do this, please only do it when it’s not busy as it will quickly agitate those in line waiting to use the self check out lane you’re hogging.

Pay At The Pump

Most gas stations will allow you to pay at the pump for your gas. Just purchase gas in small increments.

A lot of charities accept donations as low as $1 when donating via debit card. This is because the fees associated with debit cards are smaller than those associated with credit cards and in some cases these charities have special agreements with the processors.

Final Thoughts

If you have any other suggestions/tricks that we don’t have listed, please share them in the comments below.

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Mister
Mister

As of August 2021, Amazon reloads no longer count towards my T-Mobile Money transaction requirements.

Gadget - Bank Bonus Geek

As MisterBill mentions, the monthly Verizon Fios bill is a good one for this – multiple small debits. I originally thought the auto-pay discount would get screwed up, but as long as you are using debit cards, you can make additional partial payments. However, when I tried to add a credit card, it did warn me that the auto-pay discount will be taken away. They also allow you to overpay, if you want. I would not get too carried away, but I have had a two-month surplus on my account at times, and I believe there is a limit of $500 or $1000 IIRC. Good for liquidating small or large Visa GC.

USAA insurance bill is another. Just can’t duplicate the same amount on the same day. A new day starts at midnight Central time. Fios lets you duplicate the amount as long as you are using a different payment method. USAA allows overpaying for the month, but not beyond the term – ie you can’t pay for a year if your policy renews every six months. USAA allows credit cards: MC Visa and Amex, not Discover.

007
007

Any ideas for “signature based debit” transactions , ideally excluding Amazon reloads?

Gadget - Bank Bonus Geek

PIN vs Signature debits: https://www.depositaccounts.com/blog/using-your-debit-card-pin-vs-signature.html (I am sure you can google other resources but it seems most articles are in ref to being a merchant, not a customer)

The best way to do signature debits…. when at a POS terminal, hitting the Red X, Credit key, or when it pops up asking for your PIN, it says something like “Type your PIN, or Hit Enter to continue”. Hitting Enter should be a Signature transaction.

Exceptions
Amazon I think defaults to PINless Debit, unless after entering the card info, you go in and change the setting to run as Credit.
I believe Walmart forces PIN, but then doesn’t ask for the PIN for small purchases.

Honestly, I rarely use debit other than the bare minimum. When buying MO’s I always run as credit:
1. Because I don’t want to have to remember my PIN.
2. Because I don’t want to expose my PIN.

So, long story short, I would recommend any store that allows you to hit the “credit” key…

007
007

Thanks, that is very helpful.

P2 got a spend $400 get $20 on one of her NetSpend accounts that requires Signature Transactions, so was hoping to do wholly online… Online place I go in person these days is grocery stores (where already have 7.5x cash back via Chase Freedoms 1st year offers + PYB restaurants x 1.5x) and restaurants (where have 4.5x via PYB for CSR, which I guess could be bumped up to 5x but doesn’t seem worth hassle). May end up going to grocery. Haven’t really done an MO and would have to be P2’s name…

Gadget - Bank Bonus Geek

I would do a grocery MO. My grocery store never checks the card or ID, but YMMV. There is no problem in using someone else’s card, as long as you have the person’s permission, so with a last name match, doubt the store would care.

That way you are not missing out on your 7.5x, because you can’t use an actual CC for MO’s anyway.

I am not sure how other places online post. I would assume they are signature, since at no time do you enter a PIN, but I had never heard of PINless debit until Amz made it popular.

007
007

Thanks. I guess online with 3 Freedoms and PayPal Key I could probably get 7.5% everywhere also, so definitely sounds like MO would be way to go.

007
007

Ok so looking further into MOs, how do you decide where to deposit them?

This page doesn’t seem to be updated, but most DPs seem to be shutdowns:
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/money-order-sensitivity/

It is hard for me to think of a bank that I want to be permanently banned from (although yes I doubt I’ll get banned for depositing a $400 MO one time), but even my local CU that I don’t really use anymore is convenient in that they have free notary and are literally a block from my house.

Thanks!

Gadget - Bank Bonus Geek

IMO, your not going to be banned over a couple of money orders… it’s when you start bringing in stacks that questions will arise. (A recent Fulton application I submitted asked if I would be purchasing over 5K per month as part of the AML questions)

Very few banks accept them over mobile deposit, but basically every bank with a teller will accept them. This FT post is dated as old, but is updated as part of a Wiki. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1819582-banks-allow-money-order-deposits-via-smartphone-atm-2017-2019-a-24.html

I typically use Service Credit Union, or USAA mobile app. I have issues with SCU with Western Union and the ink not being dark enough, but you can ignore the error and deposit anyway. I haven’t had an issue.

WM money orders are marked mobile deposit prohibited, so I drop them at NWFCU or NFCU teller.

Just in case, I would avoid depositing them into any account where you are waiting on a bonus, or one that is less than a month old.

007
007

Thanks for DP’s. I’d hate for Service Credit Union to shut down my high-interest (low dollar) accounts due to MO deposits, but I suppose a few (hopefully) won’t lead to that outcome.

Gadget - Bank Bonus Geek

I just mentioned it as an option. I know I have many other banks to choose from, but the mobile deposit is so nice.

007
007

Yes, thank you. I do appreciate it.

Eric

I actually received this same offer on both of my Brink’s accounts. I was considering skipping the offer but I’ll wait until I get Gadget’s reply to my last comment.

Eric

What store(s) allow you to buy MO with credit? AFAIK, you need to use debit and a PIN to buy a MO.

Gadget - Bank Bonus Geek

Using the credit key, with a debit or PPC/GC card, is a signature transaction. My grocery store… I explained all of that in a prior comment.

WM forces PIN, as of about a year ago.

I don’t go anywhere else to buy mo’s…

Eric

What does PPC stand for? That’s interesting that it works bypassing the PIN as I haven’t seen that mentioned anywhere else. Has it ever failed to work for you using a gc or debit card?

Have you ever tried to buy a MO with a regular credit card to see what would happen? I’m guessing it would say “Not Authorized” or a similar message.

Gadget - Bank Bonus Geek

PPC – Prepaid card i.e. Cash App card, Point, Sbux, etc.
It’s worked every time I have tried it, except WM. But I only go to two different flavors of Grocery Stores. I think I read the post office is even pickier and doesn’t accept some of those quasi debit PPC’s, but I have never tried.

No, I have never tried to buy a MO with a credit card. According to the below article, you can, but likely wrong, old news, or invokes the CA fee, defeating the MS goal. https://www.experian.com/blogs/ask-experian/can-you-buy-a-money-order-with-a-credit-card/

Eric

Gadget,

Are you sure that using the debit card like that will qualify as a “signature” transaction for Netspend/Brink’s?

007,

Can you post back here if/when you buy the MO with your Netspend card using “credit” and if/when you receive the bonus? I’ll do the same if I decide to attempt it.

Gadget - Bank Bonus Geek

Run as Credit = Signature.

If you can find any better definition of a signature transaction, I would love to hear it. But, I have never used a Netspend/Brinks card to purchase anything, for a MO or anything else. I detailed the steps as much as I could, and when I have done other promos that required signature purchases, that is what I did.
https://investinganswers.com/dictionary/s/signature-debit-transaction

007
007

Thanks, I will, although I might also end up using it to pay my dentist as I pay in person, it definitely runs as signature (I’ll double check), and I don’t think there’s a way to use PayPal Key in person…

Eric

Why would you need to use PPK for this? The Netspend debit card should work as Gadget described.

007
007

Well, I could get 7.5% via PPK and one of our Chase Freedoms vs the 5% via the Brinks card.

Eric

You’re lucky your PPK is still working. Anyway, if it was me I would try to maximize the Netspend and the Chase promos so it wouldn’t be an either/or.

007
007

Thanks, yes, definitely best to maximize both. I haven’t really used my PPK for anything yet as only bill that gives debit discount does so for VISA debit cards only… Sorry that your PPK is not working, though.

Eric

007

I used my Brink’s today for a signature purchase (not a MO) and there was a $1.50 fee tacked on. I reviewed the list of fees and this fee is charged for both signature and PIN purchases. I just wanted to let you know in case that affects you doing the offer. Also, make sure you have enough on your card to cover the fee(s).

007
007

Thanks, Eric , very helpful and thoughtful of you! I’ll probably still pay my dentist with Brinks (they really don’t care how I pay, I’ve paid with VGC previously and had them split over a bunch) but it looks like max profit will be $8 over just paying with 2.625% BofA card ($9.50 – $1.50 fee).

killdozer
killdozer

does logging in to mint count as a login for all linked banks? so if i have 10 linked accounts to mint, I log in and out 5 times in a row, all 10 linked bank accounts will appear i logged in 5 times?

Gadget - Bank Bonus Geek

Most banks that have a counter show Mint logins included in the number from what I have noticed. However, I noticed Evansville Teachers CU does not count Mint as a login, but it’s a good practice to log in at least once a month to see if you have any alerts, promos, and check your transaction progress anyway. Mint is still a good tool to monitor your accounts but it has limitations.

Jeff
Jeff

William Charles – The CHIME reference and link in the above goes to a URL page of your site that is from 2014 with very outdated information. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/an-introduction-to-chime-card-new-reloadable-cash-back-debit-card/

justmeha
justmeha

Chuck William Charles cash app and serve work as well

killdozer
killdozer

Paypal can be used to set up subscriptions to charge your card to meet HISA bank account debit charges. Example $0.01 x 30 per month.

I have a legitimate business account already with Paypal and they limit 1 business account per person. I do not want to commingle personal churning activities with my business. Are there any other similiar free services like paypal that can create subscriptions to charge my cards?

Jeff
Jeff

Doe PayPal send annual tax forms (e.g. 1099s) for PayPal Business accounts?

Jeff
Jeff

I created a PayPal business account to do this. But every time I try to subscribe from an external PayPal account to the PayPal business, it keeps saying “Sorry, we couldn’t set up your subscription using the payment method you selected. Please try another payment method.” I tried about 5 different cards.

Jeff
Jeff

Nevermind, got it working. I did not link a bank account or card yet, so it would not accept any transactions.

Jeff
Jeff

So I did this on 3 different bank accounts, great idea, but it does NOT work! It will work for the first 2 – 4 transactions, that is it. I had subscriptions set up the same way on 3 different banks, using 3 different debit cards, to charge $0.01 every other day. Again, the first 2 – 4 transactions go thru, then after that, you can see the transactions as “completed” on the PayPal end (both sides, subscriber and consumer), but on the bank side, it does not reflect any transactions. My guess is since it was only $0.01, paypal shows it as a “completed” transaction, but does not charge the bank anything because of the low amount, therefor, nothing shows up on the bank side.

Dustin
Dustin

Square Cash offers investing and has automatic investing with $10 minimum amount. You can auto add cash $1 per day and auto buy Stocks/ETFs/Bitcoin $14 per 2 weeks for ~30 automatic transactions per month or adjust cash frequency to suit your needs.

Jory
Jory

But this is only with 1 linked debit card. Can you link more than one card at a time? I don’t think the app allows you without deleting the previous card … 🙁 🙁 🙁

Ian
Ian

I’m wondering about this too. I don’t care about deleting one and adding another, but will they ban your account if you’re doing that every month?

Ugh
Ugh

How do you auto add $1 per day? The lowest minimum I see is $10 per day (for both adding and investing).

Holly
Holly

Do you get 1 tax form from Square Cash regardless of how many investments you do, or many tax forms?

Susan
Susan

I use Pay With Ibotta to purchase small gift cards for things I’m going to buy anyway, like groceries at Walmart, or gift cards to restaurants. You get a tiny bit of cash back, and each transaction gets you closer to an Ibotta bonus.

kristen bilger
kristen bilger

does it have to be ran through as a debit card or simply swiping the card and it goea through as credit counts?

Julie Dike
Julie Dike

My bank codes Zelle withdrawals as debit card transactions. (My bank is not a Zelle partner, so that might actually be working in my favor). You can send money to yourself by setting up separate Zelle logins for separate bank accounts.

Game of Federal Reverse
Game of Federal Reverse

I have never used zelle. If your bank does not offer zelle then how do you use zelle from that bank account – can you (or someone else) please explain how to do this? Thanks!