Normally, most people prefer to avoid using credit cards because of the incurred fee. However, in some cases, the rewards may outweigh the fee. Something similar happened with 29-year-old Keith Rosso. Keith recently used his credit card to purchase a Tesla Model 3, which amounted to $58,857 including taxes and fees. He ended up getting a huge number of credit points, which may be worth $5,000.
Keith said that using credit cards responsibly to make large purchases and earning tons of points is quite an easy win.
How He Did It
Tesla did not let Keith purchase the car directly through his credit card, but the accepted payment through Plastiq. Plastiq is a third-party service that charges a 2.5% fee. The trick, however, lay in the card that Keith used for the purchase. The Chase Ink Business Preferred credit card earns the user 3 points for every dollar spent for a range of categories. Keith has the business card thanks to an eBay side hustle. The cardholder can then redeem these points through a number of services such as travel, shipping, advertising and internet, phone and cable.
Purchasing the car through Plastiq qualified for the 3-point reward rate. The 2.5% fee came out to around $1,470, but the purchase earned him 180,000 points. The minimum conversion rate of these points into dollars will mean he has a minimum of $1,800 in the form of points right now. However, when used with the right hotel or airline rewards programs, they can be worth as much as $5,000. He can use them for a seven-night stay at a Hyatt in the Maldives or on round-trip business class tickets to Australia.
What One Needs To Keep In Mind
If you want to try something like this, you’ll have to do some math to ensure you get away from the purchase with enough rewards to justify paying the credit card fees. A little bit of research is required to make sure everything goes smoothly. Also, it could happen that Ink Business Preferred may one day only reward Plastiq purchases with 1 point per dollar. Keith warns:
“certain cards code Plastiq purchases as a cash advance, so you do not want to use such cards when paying through Plastiq.”
Moreover, to buy something as expensive as a Tesla vehicle, you will require a high credit line. This is one of the perks of having a business card. Technically you need to run a business to qualify for a business card, but the definition of ‘business owner’ these days can be broader than it may seem.
“Do you sell items on Amazon, eBay or Craigslist? Do you teach music or sports? Ever act as a freelance writer or photographer? If you sell any goods or services, that could qualify you as a business owner.”
Another perk of having a business card is the option to spend beyond the credit limit as well. So, in addition to having a credit limit as high as $37,000, he was able to exceed it by nearly $23,000 to buy the entire car off the card. Keith and his wife, Liz, had the funds saved, so they were able to pay the card off in full. They didn’t even have to deal with extra fees or interest payments.
So there you go, buying an entire vehicle off a credit card is also possible, but only if you do the math right.
I’m the same age and got the M3 Performance. That picture isn’t the performance model though. Those are 18” aero wheels which don’t fit on the P. Also I saved cuz I didn’t order the car from the factory. . . I bought a built one @ 0 miles which another person backed out so it was existing inventory. Only catch was driving from Vegas to W MI 1900 miles for the first road trip with the car. This was my little reward to myself.
Yeah…u forgot to mention what the APR on that card is. Nevermind the fee of using the card for the purchase, I’d like to know about the 23% APR he’s gonna be getting hit with every month for 6 or 7 years. Business card or not, he’ll likely be in the realm of $45K in interest if he pays the card off in 6 years vs $6K on a traditional auto loan with good credit. Let’s also not forget that a credit card isn’t gonna force you to pay it off by that date either so unless you have the financial discipline to make anything over the minimum payment on a credit card (which roughly 64% of Americans never pay more than their minimum amount due), he could very well pay on this car LOONNGGGG past its life, and make that $45K number balloon much larger.
The only possible way I’d see this as a viable option would be if he immediately refinances it into a traditional car loan.
@Blake “Keith and his wife, Liz, had the funds saved, so they were able to pay the card off in full. They didn’t even have to deal with extra fees or interest payments.” He didn’t pay any APR. Credit cards are amazing when you don’t carry a balance.