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Tuition is not a fun expense, especially with the rising costs of college. However, when using minimum credit card spends, this can be a much less painful cost. A few weeks ago, I wrote an article on how to use your minimum spend in order to receive your initial bonus. My travel buddy owed her tuition to the University of Utah this past week. And by using the right credit cards, she earned enough miles for a round-trip flight and a few free hotel nights! For those of you getting ready to pay school tuition, take a look at the cards we used to ensure the best return.
- Credit Card 101: How to meet minimum spend!
- Why the Chase IHG Rewards Club Credit Card is the Best Card for the Annual Fee!
Tuition – A great expense for initial spend!
American Express Gold Delta Sky Miles Card
When Kiersten applied, Delta had increased their bonus from the usual 30,000 miles to 60,000 miles after $4,000 spending in 3 months. She applied and she was approved on spot, but was only awarded a $2,000 credit line. Probably a smart move when approving credit to a college student. However, Kiersten was able to increase her limit with one simple call.
BAM, tuition mostly covered!
These 60,000 miles go a LONG way. We are taking a trip from SLC to Amsterdam on Delta non-stop in March, and these miles can get us back there in no time!
IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card
One of our writers, Tyler, wrote a great article going into detail about this great card!
In summary, with $1,000 spend in 3 months and one purchase by an authorized user, you earn 85,000 points to IHG properties! When used at mid-tier properties that charge 15,000 points, you can almost get 6 free nights. During the quarterly Points Break promotions, you can book 17 nights. Now that is a lot of free travel!
Along with the points, you will be awarded platinum status which qualifies for automatic room upgrades and plenty of other IHG perks.
Tuition and the numbers
Kiersten’s tuition this semester is $5,000. By splitting the tuition payment across two new cards, we earned 60,000 Delta SkyMiles points and 85,000 IHG points! Score!
The question is…what are these worth?
For the Delta SkyMiles, I estimate they are worth a very conservative 1.2 cents per mile. This equals to $720.
For the IHG points, I estimate they are worth about 0.5 cents per point. This equals to $425.
So for a $5,000 purchase, there was a $1,145 return in value. That’s like a 23% off coupon! Not bad, right?
Depending on which flights and hotel rooms you book, your savings could be even more.
The Bald Thoughts
Large purchases like tuition, appliances, or a down payment on a car are great purchases to use for an initial spend! If you are spending large amounts of money, you might as well get a free vacation or some value in return.
Let’s hear a story from our readers! What have you charged to take advantage of initial credit card offers? Post in the comments below!