A 29-year-old bought a $60,000 Tesla with a credit card and earned an estimated $5,000 in rewards


Often, if using your credit card means incurring a fee, it's better to pay another way. Why spend more than you need to? But in some cases, the fee might be outweighed by rewards.

That was the case for 29-year-old Keith Rosso, who recently used a credit card to buy a Tesla Model 3 with his wife Liz for a total of $58,857, including and fees.

"If you use responsibly, making a large purchase to earn tons of points is an easy win," Rosso writes in Million Mile Secrets.

How he did it

Although Tesla wouldn't let Rosso purchase the car directly with his credit card, they accepted the payment through Plastiq, a third-party service that charges a 2.5 percent fee.

"The trick with my Tesla purchase is the card I used, [the] Chase Ink Preferred, earned 3X points for the purchase," Rosso tells CNBC Make It. Ink Business Preferred cardholders receive 3 points on every dollar spent in a range of categories designed to benefit small-businesses owners. Those categories include travel, shipping, and internet, phone and cable services.

Purchasing the car through Plastiq qualified for that 3-point reward rate, although Rosso notes that there's no guarantee that will always be the case. The Ink Preferred may one day only reward Plastiq purchases with 1 point per dollar.

The 2.5 percent fee came out to about $1,470, while the purchase earned him nearly 180,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points. At minimum that's $1,800 in value, but it could be worth even more when redeemed for travel. If Rosso transfers the points to the right hotel or airline rewards programs, he estimates that they'll be worth as much as $5,000.

In short, the rewards easily make up for Plastiq's fee.

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