Side Hustle: Make $1200+ Annually By Maximizing Quarterly Spend - Smart Money Seed


Side Hustle: Make $1200+ Annually By Maximizing Quarterly Spend

If you've read our Discover IT & Chase Freedom posts, you'll know that there is tons of money to be made in maximizing your category spend every quarter. Every three months, companies like Discover & Chase offer credit cards with a category spend bonus, meaning that for those three months, you'll earn 5% cashback on spending rather than 1%! If you play your cards right, that's $600 per card, per year...meaning you could walk away with a whopping $1200 in extra cashback if you maximize spend.

For me, $1200 can go a LONG way in impacting my financial wellness. I'd be able to:

  • Make an extra payment on my mortgage (and get closer to removing PMI!)
  • Pay off 1/5th of the remainder of my car loan
  • Buy 1,200 Steel Reserves at our local gas station (KIDDING...or am I?)
We could use the cashback to pay extra on our new mortgage!

Regardless on how you use it, $1200 extra dollars a year us nothing to scoff at. Since we're in the business of making you money, I've put together a list of the category spend for the Discover It card & how I'd go about meeting the maximum spend in each quarter. There is overlap with Chase & Discover's categories, so feel free to use the Discover category advice and apply it to your Chase spending! There are lots of creative ways to maximize your category spending, so please keep that in mind & comment any suggestions/methods you've used to earn that extra cashback!

Maximizing Your Cash Back Earnings

It wouldn't be a Smart Money Seed article unless we dove into how I'd maximize the potential earnings from this card. Let's get the quick math portion out of the way:
  • Q1: $1,500 at gas stations/wholesale clubs x 5% (category bonus) x 2 (Discover match)=$150
  • Q2: $1,500 at grocery stores x 5% (category bonus) x 2 (Discover match)=$150
  • Q3: $1,500 at restaurants x 5% (category bonus) x 2 (Discover match)=$150
  • Q4: $1,500 on Amazon x 5% (category bonus) x 2 (Discover match)=$150

Total Category Earnings: $600 CASH

Meeting Minimum Spend Requirements

As you can see, you'd clear $600 cash on just the category spending alone if you were able to meet the max spend in each category quarterly. $1,500 in three months may seem daunting to you guys, so let me give you a few tips on how to meet minimum spend in these categories:
  • Gas Stations/Wholesale Clubs: While ensuring you pay for your own gas with the Discover IT, offer to pay for your friends' gas in exchange for cash/Venmo/Paypal. If you live with roommates and need to stock up at Costco, offer to pay the whole bill and have your friends pay you back. These trips (especially for my 8-person college house) could exceed $400 quick-combine these methods and you'll be well on your way to $1,500!
  • Grocery Stores: As outlined in our "Vacation Like a Baller" post, there are methods beyond simply buying groceries that will allow you to meet minimum spends quickly. Check out Visa Variable gift cards if you need to meet minimum spends quickly-and reach out to Smart Money Seed if you need help understanding our minimum spend strategies!
  • Restaurants: This is probably my favorite category-offer to take the whole bill every time you go out to eat with family or friends! It makes the server's job much easier having one bill, while all of your friends are happy to pay you back through their preferred online method/cash. Win-win...and you get to eat delicious food in the meantime!
  • Amazon/Wholesale: I've always found this to be the toughest category. You can definitely get an extra boost for your holiday shopping with this category-but even I know that $1,500 may not be realistic on shopping for gifts. Continue to shop for the whole apartment/house at Costco & Sam's Club...and know you can be a bit more generous with gifts when you're getting 10% cash back!

    APPLY HERE: Discover It Application Link 

    Maximizing category spend can be some of the easiest money you'll make this year. Go into each quarter with a plan on how you'll maximize your spending and make sure to remember to pay with the correct card.! With this mindset, you'll be well on your way to earning some side hustle cash for that extra car payment/bar tab/whatever you want to spend it on, we don't judge at Smart Money Seed! 

    We'd love to hear your success stories-how are you hustling to get ahead in life? Let us know if you have a story you'd like to share-we love to feature you guys on the blog!


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