Author Topic: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?  (Read 18343 times)

Retired To Win

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Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« on: December 09, 2014, 12:57:30 PM »
Except for scoring a $75 Kroger gift card for charging $200 in one month on a new Kroger/U.S. Bank credit card this past summer, I have yet to cash in on the credit card churning cottage industry.  It's the usually high charging requirements to earn the bonus that always gives me pause.  That and wondering what too many "hard" inquiries will do to my credit score.

Do you have a success story or some other words of advice that might inspire me to get going?
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 12:59:07 PM by Retired To Win »

chemgeek

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2014, 01:11:10 PM »
Serious card churners use manufactured spending to hit the spending requirements for the sign-up bonuses. My impression is also that you get the most "value" if you use the rewards for travel and not for straight cash back. We got a chase sapphire preferred last year as we were planning a wedding and knew we could hit the requirement. The sign-up bonus at the time was 50,000 points. Cash back that would be $500, but we converted it to british airways miles and that got us two roundtrip tickets to ireland ( less taxes and fees). So for not altering our spending we got what would have been $1900 worth of flights (less taxes and fees). 

themagicman

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2014, 01:13:10 PM »
My wife and I just booked a trip to Europe (Hotel and Air included) completely free to us. We are going to Paris for 4 nights and Rome for 5. We did this through credit card sign up bonuses and took us about 6 months. The trip ended up having a value of about $18,000! (The Paris hotel was $1,100+ a night)

Lanthiriel

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2014, 02:07:59 PM »
We signed up for a BofA Alaska Airlines card this time last year. Sign up bonus was 25,000 miles, which I used for a free trip to visit family in March. My H spends a lot of time in the field and charges all of his expenses, including plane tickets and lodging, to our card, so we we're back up to about 65k miles. We're planning to use these to go fly to JFK and spend a few days in NY before using a Groupon deal for a vacation in Europe (hopefully this fall!). We also used the companion fare to spend only $170 on what would have been a $670 plane ticket home for Thanksgiving (we're staying home for Christmas).

Back when my personal card was used for all expenses associated with my old office, I paid for my plane ticket and hotel out of credit card points to go to my cousin's wedding in Wisconsin.

Long story short, credit card bonuses seem to work best when you're spending someone else's money to get them.

DrF

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2014, 03:02:34 PM »
Went on a business trip last month and my hotel reservation was for a Marriott. So, I signed up for the Chase Marriott rewards card with 70k bonus points if you spend $2000 within 3 months. I put all the charges for the trip (I will get reimbursed) on the Marriott card. I will be getting 70k (sign up bonus) + 8.5k (spending rewards) + 17k (hotel stay rewards) = ~95k reward points + 1 free night at any category 4 or lower Marriott (annual card benefit).

Also, signed up for Serve American Express and Chase Freedom account today. I will use the Chase Freedom to fund my Serve account to get my $200 sign up bonus. In the future, I will probably sign up for the Citi double cash back card and use that with Serve.

Here's to starting the CC game.

dandeliongirl75

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2014, 04:32:41 PM »
I just started this month and have started small, aiming initially for cash bonuses as they are easier for me to wrap my brain around.

I got a chase freedom card which I should get $200 cash back after spending $500 in three months - I just met that and am waiting to see how that works out.
I opened a capital one 360 bank account which should get me $100 after 5 charges on the debit card which I am waiting for.

and I just got a barclaycard arrival plus which will get me 40,000 miles which kind of intimidates me as I am not sure about redeeming them, but I do know if it is too complicated I can redeem them for about $250 cash...so....not bad either way. I do need to spend $3000 in three months though which may be tough without manufactured spending which I am still not sure about....

Basically seeing how it works with low risk things....easy enough so far....got all three things I applied for and am working on meeting the criteria....


johnny847

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2014, 05:17:24 PM »
I got a chase freedom card which I should get $200 cash back after spending $500 in three months - I just met that and am waiting to see how that works out.
If you have future travel plans, NEVER redeem the points from that for cash. Why? Well you can apply for a Chase Sapphire Preferred sometime in the future, and transfer your points on your Freedom to your Sapphire Preferred, and then from there to airline partners, where you can use them for much better than just 1 cent per point (which is what you'd get if your redeemed them for cash on your Freedom).
and I just got a barclaycard arrival plus which will get me 40,000 miles which kind of intimidates me as I am not sure about redeeming them, but I do know if it is too complicated I can redeem them for about $250 cash...so....not bad either way. I do need to spend $3000 in three months though which may be tough without manufactured spending which I am still not sure about....
To get the full value your your barclaycard arrival+ "miles" (I use quotes because they're not transferrable to airline partners) is to put travel charges on your card (the terms and conditions define them in detail, but based on merchant codes its airlines, hotels, trains, buses, car rentals, etc), and then you can use your miles as a statement credit against the travel charge. So just wait for your next trip, and then use your miles then.
If you use your miles against non-travel charges, you get a much lower value for your points, I believe 0.5 cents per mile.

To meet minimum spend:
1) Sign up for an Amex Serve. It's a reloadable debit card. You can load with credit cards without a fee from Amex. The credit card issuer may issue a cash advance, but as of now, Barclaycard does not treat the transaction as a cash advance. For the latest, see http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/manufactured-spending/1199432-serve-another-paypal-amazon-payments-555.html You can load $1000/month through this method ($1500/month if you sign up for the serve through Softcard, but that requries you have a NFC enabled phone on AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile).
2) Buy gift cards for stores you already shop at (this effectively gives you more time to spend the required amount, but it's not a "true spend" like the next option)
3) Buy Visa or Mastercard prepaid gift cards. Usually you can find $500 ones for ~$5 fee. Then you can load them onto a Serve at Walmart for free, or if that isn't viable for you, just spend them down over time. Once it's on the Serve, you can use the bill pay function to pay the credit card you used to buy the gift cards.

You may incur some fees for minimum spend. But if that's the only way for you to meet minimum spend, then its absolutely worth it. To do it on an ongoing basis is another story.

kpd905

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 06:29:35 PM »
I posted this in another thread:

Data Point:

I started churning March of 2013.  My first Amex card gave me my credit score, and it was 761.  A year later my score was about 790 according to the free FICO score I get with my Discover card. 

In the year between those two scores, I had signed up for about 18 cards.  I have gotten 12 free roundtrip flights, 19 hotel nights, and about $1500-2000 in statement credit between my cards and those of my fiance so far.  We still have somewhere around 1 million miles/points in our accounts right now (roughly $10,000 worth of travel at least).

The hard pulls when you apply to a card will hurt your score for the short term, but after signing up for 3-4 cards at once my score would be back up to normal after about 6 weeks, then it would usually climb higher.  As you get a higher total credit limit, you'll have a lower percentage of utilization, which helps the score.

Mesmoiselle

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2014, 09:54:49 PM »
Chase Freedom for $200+$25 for authorised user (x2 since my husband has agreed to let me use his credit)
Discover for $150
Opened new bank account for $150
Have the Sallie May in my sights for $25
Chase Amazon in the past for $50 bonus.

=$800

jennifer.rowecassiman

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2014, 03:58:06 AM »
I signed up for the chase fairmont card for both me and my husband. 2 free nights each plus $150 food credit each at any fairmont. We just got back from Maui and used all 4 room credits and $300 in food credit. Got upgraded and early checkin to a partial ocean view room. The bill would have been $4k, but all we had to pay was the $30/ day resort fee.


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neo von retorch

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2014, 08:26:18 AM »
I signed up for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred ($75 annual fee which is negated by 6% cash back on groceries) - just got the $150 bonus.

But I might post a dedicated question about this... it's weird how they posted the bonus. It says "Doing business as Wegmans" with my local Wegmans address, and it's listed as the Groceries category. Are they being shady and reducing my grocery spending by $150, which would reduce the effective bonus by $9?!

blake201

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2014, 08:51:00 AM »
Yes, we signed up for Chase Sapphire last year and got the 40,000 bonus points as a cash-bask bonus ($400). We didn't have any trouble hitting spending limit unfortunately as we have lots of medical bills each month (daughter has severe food allergies, eczema and asthma) and our grocery bill is a lot higher than I would like due to her 10 food allergies (we have to purchase specialty foods and only certain safe brands of everything--pasta, rice, beans, even) -- we just switched EVERYTHING (utilities, groceries, medical bills, husband's freelance business expenses, EVERYTHING) to that card and getting the bonus was no trouble. 

And it did not cause us to go into credit card debt--we have all credit cards set to autopay in full each month. I have a reminder set to let me know when the card will start charging an annual fee so I can cancel it.

Also just signed up for Chase Ink card that MMM recommends and got approved. We need to spend $5,000 in three months to get bonus, but again--that should not be an issue given our expenses if we make sure to put EVERYTHING on that card, we will get the $625 cash-back.

johnny847

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2014, 09:00:02 AM »
My 50000 US Airways miles just posted from the US Airways MasterCard signup bonus (I got targeted for this offer earlier - the 50000 mile bonus just went public recently). I'm going to be going to Europe in February (off season award is 35000 miles, but as a cardholder I get a 5000 mile discount, so I'll still have 5000 miles left over).

MillenialMustache

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2014, 09:51:20 AM »
I signed up for the Southwest credit card and have since booked 2 roundtrip flights from Florida to Alaska for free besides taxes. Pretty stoked. It does have an annual fee of $100, but I will cancel when we get back from our trip. The value of the flight is $1,200.

Scandium

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2014, 11:08:25 AM »
Got the Chase Ink preferred card for my "business" (yearly revenue: $25..) about a month ago. Have spent the $5k and will get 70,000 points next month! Did use stock purchasing through Loyal3 for about $1200 of it, just before they shut that down.

Next I'll get a Chase sapphire for another 40k points, which will transfer to United and pay for our trip to Europe next year to visit family. Between holidays and some medical bills this was a good time to hit spending limits. Not sure how I'll manufacture spending now if I need to. Gift cards?

The southwest card is in my sights the next time we're flying with them, seems like easy pickings.

question: I have the Ink preferred. But can get another 50K points with Ink Plus. It says:
"This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this business credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this business credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this business credit card within the last 24 months. "

It says this card, so I should be able to get the bonus even though I have a different Ink card right?
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 11:20:12 AM by Scandium »

themagicman

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2014, 11:13:00 AM »
Got the Chase Ink preferred card for my "business" (yearly revenue: $25..) about a month ago. Have spent the $5k and will get 70,000 points next month! Did use stock purchasing through Loyal3 for about $1200 of it, just before they shut that down.

Next I'll get a Chase sapphire for another 40k points, which will transfer to United and pay for our trip to Europe next year to visit family. Between holidays and some medical bills this was a good time to hit spending limits. Not sure how I'll manufacture spending now if I need to. Gift cards?

The southwest card is in my sights the next time we're flying with them, seems like easy pickings.

I have been eyeing the ink card as well. I do not have much of a "Business" but can buy and sell a few things at garage sales and ebay. Is the card typically pretty easy to get without much business revenue?

Scandium

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2014, 11:18:34 AM »
Got the Chase Ink preferred card for my "business" (yearly revenue: $25..) about a month ago. Have spent the $5k and will get 70,000 points next month! Did use stock purchasing through Loyal3 for about $1200 of it, just before they shut that down.

Next I'll get a Chase sapphire for another 40k points, which will transfer to United and pay for our trip to Europe next year to visit family. Between holidays and some medical bills this was a good time to hit spending limits. Not sure how I'll manufacture spending now if I need to. Gift cards?

The southwest card is in my sights the next time we're flying with them, seems like easy pickings.

I have been eyeing the ink card as well. I do not have much of a "Business" but can buy and sell a few things at garage sales and ebay. Is the card typically pretty easy to get without much business revenue?

Yes, they don't care. Can probably put "John's crack distribution" and you'd be approved. Make something up, use your SSN for tax ID and you should be fine. I did have to call to finalize the application, but there were no questions about my "business", just a formality.

I've sold a few photos on shutterstock so put "name photography" and $25 in revenue. It does look cool with my business name on the card:) But that did not seem necessary at all.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2014, 11:20:48 AM by Scandium »

themagicman

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2014, 11:37:51 AM »
Got the Chase Ink preferred card for my "business" (yearly revenue: $25..) about a month ago. Have spent the $5k and will get 70,000 points next month! Did use stock purchasing through Loyal3 for about $1200 of it, just before they shut that down.

Next I'll get a Chase sapphire for another 40k points, which will transfer to United and pay for our trip to Europe next year to visit family. Between holidays and some medical bills this was a good time to hit spending limits. Not sure how I'll manufacture spending now if I need to. Gift cards?

The southwest card is in my sights the next time we're flying with them, seems like easy pickings.

I have been eyeing the ink card as well. I do not have much of a "Business" but can buy and sell a few things at garage sales and ebay. Is the card typically pretty easy to get without much business revenue?

Yes, they don't care. Can probably put "John's crack distribution" and you'd be approved. Make something up, use your SSN for tax ID and you should be fine. I did have to call to finalize the application, but there were no questions about my "business", just a formality.

I've sold a few photos on shutterstock so put "name photography" and $25 in revenue. It does look cool with my business name on the card:) But that did not seem necessary at all.

Cool! Thank you! Did you file taxes for your business in the past? To show the $25?

Scandium

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2014, 11:42:32 AM »
Got the Chase Ink preferred card for my "business" (yearly revenue: $25..) about a month ago. Have spent the $5k and will get 70,000 points next month! Did use stock purchasing through Loyal3 for about $1200 of it, just before they shut that down.

Next I'll get a Chase sapphire for another 40k points, which will transfer to United and pay for our trip to Europe next year to visit family. Between holidays and some medical bills this was a good time to hit spending limits. Not sure how I'll manufacture spending now if I need to. Gift cards?

The southwest card is in my sights the next time we're flying with them, seems like easy pickings.

I have been eyeing the ink card as well. I do not have much of a "Business" but can buy and sell a few things at garage sales and ebay. Is the card typically pretty easy to get without much business revenue?

Yes, they don't care. Can probably put "John's crack distribution" and you'd be approved. Make something up, use your SSN for tax ID and you should be fine. I did have to call to finalize the application, but there were no questions about my "business", just a formality.

I've sold a few photos on shutterstock so put "name photography" and $25 in revenue. It does look cool with my business name on the card:) But that did not seem necessary at all.

Cool! Thank you! Did you file taxes for your business in the past? To show the $25?
No you don't need that. My business only exists in my head, not incorporated or anything.

Now I guess technically that's a breach of TOC? Closest I found was this:
By becoming a Visa Business Card cardmember, you agree that the card is being used only for business purposes and that the card is being issued to a public or private company including a sole proprietor or employees or contractors of an organization.
https://applynow.chase.com/FlexAppWeb/pricing.do?card=F82J&page_type=appterms&CELL=63WS&list=4,2,1

But I think sole proprietor should cover it..? IANAL

TheGadfly

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2014, 11:53:23 AM »
How long do you usually wait before closing a card account? 

I have a Barclaycard and as a result of a spendy year (including my wedding and honeymoon), I redeemed almost $1500 in cash rewards.  But I can expect to pay the $89 annual fee this summer.  Should I close the card before that?  Will that hurt my credit?

NinetyFour

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2014, 11:59:25 AM »
Following...

FarmerPete

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2014, 12:08:32 PM »
I recently signed up for the Ink and Amex Preferred cards.  The Ink for the 70k point signup ($700) and the Amex for the 6% cash back at grocery stores & $150 signup bonus.  Both cards didn't waive the annual fee, but the signup bonus MORE than made up for them.  I just booked a trip for three from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale in January & a week long rental car.  Total cost was 63,000 points on Chase.  Not a bad deal.

On a side note, do any of you MS use YNAB?  I've been driving myself nuts trying to track my MS on my budget.

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2014, 01:59:12 PM »
How long do you usually wait before closing a card account? 

Forever if there's no annual fee. With the arrival+, you should probably call them just as the annual fee posts. Sometimes they give retention offers worth more than the $89 fee. Otherwise they'll let you downgrade to the no-fee Arrival and waive the annual fee. Canceling itself doesn't directly hurt your credit, but it lowers your available credit, increases your credit utilization %, and makes you give up the opportunity of having a well account on your report, which can hurt your credit.

Scandium

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2014, 02:47:56 PM »
Have anyone done the ink preferred, gotten the bonus and canceled and then signed up for ink plus? Within like 3 months? Will they have a problem with this? That would be a quick 120k points.

johnny847

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2014, 08:50:02 AM »
I recently signed up for the Ink and Amex Preferred cards.  The Ink for the 70k point signup ($700) and the Amex for the 6% cash back at grocery stores & $150 signup bonus.  Both cards didn't waive the annual fee, but the signup bonus MORE than made up for them.  I just booked a trip for three from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale in January & a week long rental car.  Total cost was 63,000 points on Chase.  Not a bad deal.

On a side note, do any of you MS use YNAB?  I've been driving myself nuts trying to track my MS on my budget.
Yes. I just create a category called manufactured spending for the fees incurred for it.
What issues have you run into?

blake201

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #25 on: December 19, 2014, 09:42:52 AM »
I recently signed up for the Ink and Amex Preferred cards.  The Ink for the 70k point signup ($700) and the Amex for the 6% cash back at grocery stores & $150 signup bonus.  Both cards didn't waive the annual fee, but the signup bonus MORE than made up for them.  I just booked a trip for three from Detroit to Fort Lauderdale in January & a week long rental car.  Total cost was 63,000 points on Chase.  Not a bad deal.

On a side note, do any of you MS use YNAB?  I've been driving myself nuts trying to track my MS on my budget.

I use YNAB as well, but haven't created any special categories when I've used the cash bonus cards. My strategy has been to temporarily switch ALL expenses to the new cash bonus card for the bonus period (in the case of the Chase Ink, 3 months, and I did the same thing when I got the Chase Sapphire) to make sure I meet spending limit without artificially increasing my expenses. Do you mean for the fees, or for the actual spending? I keep the spending on the cards in its regular categories--groceries, freelance business expenses, utilities, etc.

kpd905

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #26 on: December 19, 2014, 09:56:44 AM »

On a side note, do any of you MS use YNAB?  I've been driving myself nuts trying to track my MS on my budget.

Can you just cancel those transactions in YNAB and enter the fee for buying whatever card you are getting?

I track my expenses in Excel and just put in $3.95 or $5.95 or whatever the Visa gift card costs.

DSKla

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #27 on: December 19, 2014, 04:51:32 PM »
For those who sign up for a ton of cards: what do you do with the account once you've earned and used the bonus? Do you keep 20 cards active indefinitely? Cancel them? Keep the free ones and cancel the annual fee ones?

acorn

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Re: Cash Bonus Credit Cards: Any Recent Success Stories?
« Reply #28 on: December 19, 2014, 06:25:26 PM »
I cancel them just before the annual fee is due. I'm not sure if you'll get flagged if you repeatedly close accounts after getting the bonus.