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.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.
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.
Donate To A Charity From $1
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.
If you have any other suggestions/tricks that we don’t have listed, please share them in the comments below.
Purchasing new Amazon gift cards has increased to starting at a minimum of $1.00 now. Reloads minimum $0.50
Reloading your Dunkin’ card online or in the app works great for this – $2 minimum purchase.
There is a $10 minimum to set recurring debit card loads to Cash App / Square. For me that’s worrisome. My current method is using a paypal button to send reoccuring payments to my other occount daily, $0.01. Only downside is paypal eats that cost in transaction fee so it’s not recoverable. It’s a $3.65/yearly expense but no work or worrying.
For those curious about this method.. I originally came across it on reddit, but here is a youtube tutorial:
Comcast no longer works for me as of this week. It was $0.01 minimum, but now it is much higher. I tried up to $1.50 and they all failed, so I’m not sure of the new minimum.
I tried small payments just now, first time since last month, got as high as $5 and still seeing:
We’re unable to process this transaction for the entered amount
Can’t find anything on their forums about new minimum online payment, maybe a temporary issue?
I saw another post about this on the forum, believe it’s the Evansville Teachers Federal Credit Union, a user named Otto has taken it farther with Comcast, and at $9.00 it went through, $8.99 rejected.
Comcast Xfinity doesn’t work for me either. It was good while it lasted.
Yes, just verified that $9.00 is the minimum for Comcast payments now. Are there any other alternatives that people have found that are just as easy as the Comcast payments? Would appreciate any insights!
I hit this recently too. I tried to get answers from support, and as always with their non-technical support, it was painful. Never got a straight answer, but did get apparently temporary access to keep making small payments via their app.
That seems to have stopped recently now, also getting the error
Apple Cash reload works for First Tech FCU debit card transaction requirement as well. I wonder how it compares to Cash App reload. Kinda worried about getting shut down by cash app or apple cash…
Amazon’s auto-reload minimum for a gift card I have is $5. I haven’t seen any mention of this minimum increase. Is this new or am I missing something?
it’s a manual reload
This is a serious problem. I’m surprised I’m not the only one. What would you perfect solution be for this?
Another idea: 1-cent PayPal subscriptions as described @mothman69 https://www.doctorofcredit.com/sofi-money-matching-all-round-ups-up-to-50-in-match/#comment-1285344
Update: unfortunately some banks/credit unions thought that this method is “fraud” and closed Mothman’s account.
Do it at your own risk.
Yeah, I tried it at one bank (Hometrust) and only the 1st transaction went through. It’s great in theory, but not the safest method.
As of August 2021, Amazon reloads no longer count towards my T-Mobile Money transaction requirements.
Worked for me last month (feb 2022) and I just did it again and am waiting for the transactions to post.
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.
Any ideas for “signature based debit” transactions , ideally excluding Amazon reloads?
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.
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…
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…
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
I just mentioned it as an option. I know I have many other banks to choose from, but the mobile deposit is so nice.
Yes, thank you. I do appreciate it.
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.
What store(s) allow you to buy MO with credit? AFAIK, you need to use debit and a PIN to buy a MO.
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…
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.
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/
Are you sure that using the debit card like that will qualify as a “signature” transaction for Netspend/Brink’s?
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.
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.
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…
Why would you need to use PPK for this? The Netspend debit card should work as Gadget described.
Well, I could get 7.5% via PPK and one of our Chase Freedoms vs the 5% via the Brinks card.
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.
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.
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).
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).