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

Circle Pay From $0.50

You can send money to friends/family using Circle Pay, there is no fee to when you use a debit card. Read more about Circle Pay here.

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.


73 Responses to How To Meet Minimum Debit & Credit Transaction Requirements

  1. Jonathan says:

    I tried Amazon gift card with 50 cent. Amazon did take it without asking for a pin but it does not count as 1 pinless debit for myconsumers.org checking requirement.

    • Chuck Sithe says:

      Maybe try editing the setting so that it doesn’t process as PINless debit.

      • arch says:

        Added debit card to Amazon but it doesn’t classify as debit on the list, just looks like all the other CCs, and I see no way to edit the settings to process with pin. Any pointers? Thanks

          • arch says:

            Did all that but #5 (Uncheck the box that is next to Processed as a debit card) is not shown as an option under EDIT so I am at a loss as to how to proceed

          • arch says:

            Just to add that I added a Fifththird debit (with pin) last week with no problem and deleted it before adding the Wells Fargo debit today, So doing as pinless may not satisfy the debit requirements, even though I don’t see any terminology to address that?

          • Brijesh says:

            I usually part-pay my AT&T Bill by $1 each 12 times to meet the debit card requirement. Have not faced issue so far. Anyone has any experience of any issue with this in the longer term?

        • Schmekel says:

          Same thing.

          “Did all that but #5 (Uncheck the box that is next to Processed as a debit card) is not shown as an option under EDIT so I am at a loss as to how to proceed.”

          Opting out of pinless seems to no longer be an option.

          • Linda Nicholls says:

            I just now had an online chat with an Amazon customer service rep about this, and she said that yes, opting out out of PINless debits IS still an option. She tried it herself, also couldn’t see the box or message you’re supposed to get, and said the site was malfunctioning. She reported the problem to Amazon’s tech support team to fix and suggested I try again in a few hours.

  2. scott says:

    You forgot Serve, Bluebird, and Redcard; they can be used just like chime for debit card transactions.

  3. John says:

    Great post! I like the supermarket idea (and I can go when there is nobody there). I get 6% cash back on groceries with my Amex, so in principle I am looking (a) to spend as little as possible and (b) buy stuff I actually use. Believe it or not I actually use Orange Koolaid at $0.20 per packet.

    So my question: do any of these banks ever balk at granting that you meet their requirement when either:

    (a) the ten transactions are all made at the same merchant within the same 10 minutes

    OR

    (b) each transaction is for a REALLY tiny amount of money (less than 30 cents)

    Thanks in advance!

    • Chuck Sithe says:

      The automated system will accept it. It’s hard to know if a bank won’t like it at some point.

      • John Stamper says:

        Thanks Chuck! Let me know if that translates bottom line into a recommendation to do something different than what I am proposing (ten debit card purchases for 20 cents each in a ten minute timespan).

        Has anyone you know of ever mentioned getting burned for doing that? (I.e. losing their bonus?)

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  5. Fabian says:

    You can use Amazon Allowances to set up recurring payments towards a (i.e. your own) gift card balance, minimum if $5 per transaction.

    https://www.amazon.com/asv/allowance/create

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  7. Victor says:

    Similar to the self checkout idea, pump your own gas and charge your card a few times during fill up. Unfortunately this won’t work for us in Oregon and New Jersey, where we’re not trusted to pump ourselves.

    • David_07259 says:

      I’ve done this a lot. Works great when it’s late at night and you can charge 3-4 times on your card without the hassle of someone being behind you. Then go inside a buy a pack of gum.

      • jeff says:

        i’ve had more than one credit card get locked for fraud for as little as 2 gas station transactions in the same day. This was years ago, but the potential is certainly there.

    • cm says:

      I wouldn’t be so sure that the gas thing can be trusted; it usually comes with an auth for $50 or so, and can easily trigger fraud alerts (at least, with credit cards it very often does for some reason).

      • Saturn says:

        I have done 3 in a row with my WF debit at gas stations, but then the card was not accepted there. I went to a supermarket right after and used it there without problem. Who knows why there is variation.

    • Superchurn says:

      I do exactly this, and in Oregon. The trick is just to get gas every night…minimal purchase of something you will use, and it counts for my bank. In fact, I double dip with this strategy and pick up a soda or chips or something else small to get 2 transactions per stop.

      other than some weird looks from the gas pump people when I fill up with $1.55 of gas, it works great!

  8. Jason says:

    Did anyone try Facebook messenger send money via debit card?

    • noturbizniss says:

      Works for me for the on cu I have with debit requirements.
      I send 1 cent at a time to my wife. Just use a different DC number on the other account.

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  10. WB says:

    just do MULTIPLE card transactions (pmt’s) to your existing ‘Regular Bills’ . I do 10 Debit Cards pmt’s [$.02, then 0.3, then 0.4, etc] on Comcast online — initially, I was literally Called-on-my-Phone, as they suspected fraud, yet after I told the Rep what I was doing, all’s been OK since. And since Comcast stores my various Debit Cd #’s, it’s really fast! This is the most convenient, fastest method I know, to satisfy “Monthly DC # of Transactions”

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  13. Jeff H says:

    Looking for small spend?
    McDonalds in many locations has soft drinks for 89 cents. Even with tax, under a buck.
    This week, I did a CC on just that to test …. successful charge.

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  15. Eileen says:

    I routinely use the gas pump to fulfill the 12 a month x 6 high interest checking accounts we have. We pump .04 each time and at Irving station in Maine we can do 6 at a time. The first time I did it I did get a call from the credit union checking about fraud. “No, that was me using the card at the gas station” to which the caller replied “wow, you must have been having a lot of trouble at the pump”. I told her “oh you can’t imagine” . They called once more the next month to check and then never again. It’s much easier than the supermarket self check out line.

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  18. dan says:

    is anyone now still able to send / xfer $ via google wallet? tried earlier today for WF, but got a msg from wallet as follows:
    this debit card cannot be used to transfer money…

    hope it was a temp glitch on WF; not a permanent exclusion of Wallet

    • Steve says:

      I was just able to tonight. I send about $500 every month to meet my Northpointe Bank requirement. I usually split it into two transfers and just do 13 small purchases elsewhere.

      GW did, however, require me to put in my Full Name, Address, and Last four of SSN. That part was a little alarming to me. I’ve been doing this for many months and never went though this type of thing before. I hope they are not cracking down on this type of activity…

      • Superchurn says:

        Northpointe counts google wallet transfers as a “spend”?

        I’ve just been getting a $490 money order every month and spending the rest of the transactions for sodas at work.

        Not having to go through a MO would be easier though!

  19. Vern Skare says:

    What is the “small Amazon giftcard” you get for buying an Amazon gift card as mentioned above?

  20. Luke says:

    I’m seeing for the first time a “max number of debit card transfers is 3”. I was doing 17 a month before and now I have 0 available.

    https://www.chimecard.com/support/faqs/what-are-the-fees

    **Deposits made using an External Debit Card Transfers are limited to three (3) for the lifetime of your Chime Spending Account.

    Is Chime dead now for this?

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  22. allison josensen says:

    square cash , can you send the money to yourself?

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  24. Jake says:

    Anyone know if a Venmo payment that draws from your debit card would work?

    Another concept to try would be using a debit card to pay off you Citi cards. I’m thinking of this as a solution for the 5x $25 needed for Flushing Bank.

    • Chuck says:

      Both are good ideas and hopefully will work

      • Jake N says:

        Gonna try out the Venmo idea with Wells. One note on Citi (used for Flushing) was that you can’t make more than one payment per day from a single debit card to a single credit card. You could, however, make payments to multiple Citi cards from the same debit card, or multiple debit cards to the same credit card.

        • Sidharth Gupta says:

          Hi Jake,
          Did your Venmo idea work for meeting your 5* 25$ criteria?

          • Jake N says:

            Didn’t try it with Flushing (had already done my CC payments on Citi phone). I tried with PNC, but won’t know for a month until I hit my DD minimums.

            I’m going to try on Wells though this week and should have more info for you. I do think there might be a min of 10x transactions per day on Venmo (or at least in short order) as I encountered an error after the 9th.

          • Jake N says:

            @Sidharth – I ended up trying this with PNC and Wells Fargo using Venmo 10x $1 and it worked for Wells to trigger the bonus. Jury is out on PNC for another month or two until I hit my DD requirements.

    • Pil says:

      Hi, was the Venmo payment considered a purchase on your debit card?

  25. MarcoPolo says:

    What about Bluebird?
    I think Bluebird allows funding the account using a debit card.

  26. Jake N says:

    @Will / Chuck

    Data point on Venmo:
    Used the Wells Fargo debit card to make 10x $1 transactions to a friend, which triggered the $250 bonus. I also tried this with the PNC debit card, but won’t know whether it worked until I hit the other requirements for the bonus.

    Data point on Citi CC payments:
    Used Flushing Bank debit card to make 5x $25 payments to hit a requirement for their bonus. One note is that the reps I encountered would not let you make more than one transaction from the Debit A to Credit A. However, you could do Debt A and Debit B to Credit A, or Debit A to Credit A and Credit B.

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  28. David M says:

    Big-time noob here, but enjoying getting up to speed on how you guys do all this..

    Anyone ever tried using a debit card to contribute to an eTrade account or other investment/IRA account? Does this work? …What about a 529 account contribution?

    What about using the Target debit card linked to the checking account? Or will this not work, because it’s not the *actual* CU debit card?

  29. Brian McL says:

    Tried the Amazon gift card purchase today for the 1st time (to satisfy monthly debit purchases) – went smoothly but it had a $1.00 minimum. Still a great way to satisfy the usage requirements. Is it possible to add to (reload) one gift card so I don’t have a lot of $1.00 cards? Thanks for all the good posts. blessings!

  30. nfidel says:

    Wells no longer categorizes Amazon Gift Card reloading as a purchase on my debit card statement. They are now keying it in as Internet Transfer or something.

    Instead I am prepaying Comcast bill in small amounts ($1 and change) and so far it is registering as a purchase. Will know if this works for 10 purchase req when I get my statement in a few days.

  31. Kaztrator says:

    Does Circle, Wallet, or PayPal not count as pinless debit?

  32. Sidharth Gupta says:

    have people had luck paying utility bills with their debit cards to meet the minimum transaction requirement? It seems Comcast at least works from @nfidel’s comments.

  33. SamSimon says:

    1. Serve, Bluebird, and Redcard
    2. MULTIPLE card transactions (small payments) to your existing ‘Regular Bills’
    3. Google wallet
    4. Venmo
    5. Amazon Payments

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