Can You Use Venmo for Manufactured Spending

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I recently signed up for the Chase Ink Business Preferred, where I would be able to earn 80,000 points after meeting the minimum spending requirements of $5,000 in the first three months.

I was getting to close to the end of the three-month period, so I decided to send a friend a payment using Venmo. When using a credit card, Venmo does charge a 3% fee, so for my $1,400 it did cost an additional $42.

However, I was shocked when the statement closed, that with the Chase Ink Business Preferred it qualified for a bonus category so I earned 3x points on Venmo. This is great news cause then it essentially brings the fee down that Venmo charges to only 1%.

The card advertises that you can earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, Internet, cable and phone services, and on advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year. I don’t really consider Venmo to fall into any of those categories, but for whatever reason it is coded as a bonus, at least for now!

Per Venmo: Paying your friends back for pizza shouldn’t cost more than your slice. That’s why when you send money using your Venmo balance, bank account, debit card or prepaid card, we waive fees so it’s free to use. If you want to send money using a credit card, our standard 3% fee applies.

While I had success using Venmo meet minimum spend on my card, you should consider all the pros and cons associated with doing so including the risks.

Would I go ahead and open a card and make a $5,000 purchase on Venmo? No. However, if you have a mixture of organic spend then you could consider Venmo to help meet minimum spend.

Has anyone had success using Venmo toward meeting minimum spend? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 

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  1. Can’t you look at the transaction and see what category bonus it was in? I know I can with the Chase IHG card.

  2. I had a few MC gift cards I purchased and had to figure out how to liquidate them. I used Venmo for this albeit not all at once. I spread it out over a couple months. I’ve heard and read that people who use Venmo just for this purpose have gotten their accounts shut down and locking up their money for a long period while Venmo sorts out the payment. With all things in this miles and points game YMMV and you have to decide if the process you’re going to use is worth the risk.

  3. I don’t understand the conclusion that the net result is a 1% fee.

    Using your $1,400 transaction as an example, your fee/total charge is $42/$1,442. Your UR earned from the transaction is 4,326 ($1,442 * 3). 4,326 UR has a statement credit value of $43.26.

    If your friend gives you $1,400 cash and you redeem these points for a statement credit, you owe Chase $1,398.74, meaning you just profited $1.26, and the effective fee is negative.

    You earn 3x UR on the Venmo fees, and that is your profit for every Venmo payment made with the Ink Preferred.

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