Dang $14,000 from credit card churning?!? how much do you have to spend to get those rewards?
Again, that's $14,000 in "value" of travel redemption at sticker price, not $14,000 in hard cash, so take that number with a grain of salt.
That year, we incurred about $500 in costs related directly to churning: credit card annual fees, and expenses related to manufactured spending.
We don't spend anymore than we would normally (or I hope not), but use manufactured spending when possible to meet the spending requirements, which sometimes has a cost like I said above. Our average annual spending was around $40,000-$50,000 and most of that was stuff like mortgage and childcare which can't easily be paid by credit card.
For more information regarding the valuation, a big chunk of that $14,000 in value came from redeeming for free hotel nights when we were visiting Tahiti and Bora Bora
. We stayed over a week, and the cash price of the hotels ranges from $500 - $1000 / night. We wouldn't pay that in cash, but that is the price people pay without exaggeration.
For another reference, we currently have points/miles that we have the option of redeeming directly for cash, in the form of cashback or statement credits, that would give us ~$4500 in cash. We don't turn it into cash, because we believe we'd get more than $4500 in value out of it like in the above example. Do you value that at $4500, or the cash price of the travel redemption?
So it's up to you how you value it. It's a subjective call, I tried to be as upfront and honest about it as I could with the number, still saying you should take it with a grain of salt.