Author Topic: First Foray into CC Churning!  (Read 3380 times)

frugalfoothills

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First Foray into CC Churning!
« on: October 02, 2018, 12:57:50 PM »
The CapOne Savor card is ridiculous as far as rewards go. First of all, 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, so for a single pringle Millenial like me (whose major non-critical spending goes to food/drink/fun), this card is a DREAM.

Secondly, there's a $500 cash back signup bonus if you spend $3K in the first 3 months of opening the card. I have rarely seen a cash back bonus that high for such a low spend! $1K a month? Most people hit that with basic utilities/groceries alone!

Anyway, I just got my $500 dropped into my bank account, and I'm hooked on the churn! Next up is a Wells Fargo cash back card, $200 bonus for spending $1K in 3 months!

I'm a newbie so I'm curious--to the veterans around here, what's the most you've made in a year off CC churning?

ketchup

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2018, 01:29:47 PM »
Very  nice!

Last year GF and I (2-player mode) made about $300 in cashback and $7,000 in various travel redemptions.  Still sitting on a few hundred thousand points of various flavors too.

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2018, 09:32:17 AM »
We have been doing travel hacking for a couple years now and it's amazing how much free money is out there!

In case you don't already know it, some CC companies are harder to get approved for than others.  For example, Chase has an unwritten rule that they won't approve a card if you have had more than 5 credit cards opened in the last 2 years (commonly referred to as the 5/24 rule).  So you might consider reviewing the Chase cards to see if any of those appeal to you and open those first.  Otherwise you might get shut out of getting any of the premium chase cards. If you want to do some traveling, many people think Chase cards are the best. Their bonuses are large and the points are super valuable because you can transfer them to so many partners. 

I highly recommend the travel hacking course https://www.travelmiles101.com/travel-rewards-course-registration

I am up to about $3700 in credit card bonuses this year.  In the prior two years I had a total of $9355.  Many of these are not cash rewards but points and I converted the points to a cash value to come up with what I make doing these cc bonuses.  You might also consider bank acct bonuses.  I have done about $2000 of those.  So in total for credit card bonuses and bank acct/brokerage bonuses, I have made $15,230 in the last 2-3 years.  And that is just on bonuses....doesn't include continuing value I get one some cards (like cash back cards or Barclay card where you remove travel related charges). 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2018, 09:38:52 AM by HAPPYINAZ »

ducky19

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2018, 11:03:04 AM »
I currently have $8500 worth of travel benefits across all programs, and have a $1500 first class flight booked that's not included in that. I like the simplicity of the cash back cards and will churn them every chance I get, I feel like I get the best value out of hotel and airline programs. We love to travel and we would definitely not be staying in the hotels we stay in or flying as often without them.

Trifele

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2018, 11:36:14 AM »
We churn only travel cards, and we cash in points for plane tickets -- it's where the value is for us.  (We usually don't stay in hotels when we travel).  We get the equivalent of $2k-$4k per year this way.   

BTDretire

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2018, 06:05:21 PM »
 Curious about how you handle the income re taxes.
Do the CC companies send out a 1099Misc?

jamaicaspanish

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2018, 07:55:19 PM »
We earned (. . . checking my spreadsheet . . .) $7500 combined bank + credit card bonuses last year.
Also . . . $4000 of airline points.

CC bonuses are not taxed.
Bank bonuses are taxed as interest income --1099-int

I will second the travelmiles 101 course -- fantastic intro.

The per hour return for a little bit of bookkeeping (and some manufactured spending) is ridiculous.

Welcome to the club.

kpd905

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2018, 11:51:28 PM »
Curious about how you handle the income re taxes.
Do the CC companies send out a 1099Misc?

No tax for credit card bonuses, which makes them even better.  I should end up with about $5,000 cash back from credit cards this year, plus about another $5,000 worth of miles and points.  I would have needed to earn an extra $13,500 or so of extra pre-tax income to be equivalent.

If you get into bank bonuses, keep a detailed spreadsheet.  Many banks will not send out a 1099, but you are still responsible for reporting that income.

Duke03

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2018, 06:07:14 PM »
I know you are new to CC churning but please do a bunch of reading or ask more questions before you open any more accounts.  I'd pass on that Wells Fargo CC because $200 is a lousy bonus.  Most decent cards will pay you $500 and it's not very difficult to find ones that pay between $750 and $1500 if you play your cards rights.  Since you are new you will be under 5/24 so each slot is very important to you at this point of your CC churning.  If you have any questions just pm me.  I don't mind helping people out
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 06:29:33 PM by Duke03 »

frugalfoothills

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 12:29:44 PM »
I know you are new to CC churning but please do a bunch of reading or ask more questions before you open any more accounts.  I'd pass on that Wells Fargo CC because $200 is a lousy bonus.  Most decent cards will pay you $500 and it's not very difficult to find ones that pay between $750 and $1500 if you play your cards rights.  Since you are new you will be under 5/24 so each slot is very important to you at this point of your CC churning.  If you have any questions just pm me.  I don't mind helping people out

Thanks for the advice! Some of you guys are so hardcore... I'm admiring these stories of $5,000+ bonuses in a year! I don't think I'm ready for that yet, but it's nice to pocket a little extra cash for spending money I'd be spending anyway. I'm surprised to hear that "most" cards offer the $500 cash back bonus... I haven't seen that many... but I'm not really deep in the weeds like y'all are :) If I decide to keep going I might take you up on that offer!

therethere

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 01:09:16 PM »
I aim to get one card per quarter, and rotate quarters between DH and I. Usually, this only makes 3 cards a year though as I put them off. I don't like to mess with manufactured spending too much. So the 3k-4k in 3 months goes right along with our spending. I think we average cashing in around 1000-1500 in rewards per year. I do find it hard to cash them in, mainly because our travel is hostels and not nice hotels. And we don't plan our vacations more than a month in advance.

I'm guessing those churning 5k a year in rewards are doing much more manufactured spending, or have higher expenses that make it easier to hit the minimums. I'm very interested in what these "not difficult to find" $750-$1500 cards are. Since $500 travel cash seems to be on the higher spectrum of CC rewards that I've encountered.

Duke03

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 01:41:40 PM »
I aim to get one card per quarter, and rotate quarters between DH and I. Usually, this only makes 3 cards a year though as I put them off. I don't like to mess with manufactured spending too much. So the 3k-4k in 3 months goes right along with our spending. I think we average cashing in around 1000-1500 in rewards per year. I do find it hard to cash them in, mainly because our travel is hostels and not nice hotels. And we don't plan our vacations more than a month in advance.

I'm guessing those churning 5k a year in rewards are doing much more manufactured spending, or have higher expenses that make it easier to hit the minimums. I'm very interested in what these "not difficult to find" $750-$1500 cards are. Since $500 travel cash seems to be on the higher spectrum of CC rewards that I've encountered.


You need to get on the AA gravy train!! That or start doing business cards....  Case in point I just referred my wife for a second CIP.  I get a 20k referral bonus and she gets an 80k sign up bonus.  When I transfer those 100k UR points to my CSP I get a 1.5 multiplier.  Those 100k points are now worth $1500 in free travel...all for one credit card.  Granted there are a couple steps involved but if you are going to be a churner you have to squeeze penny out of a point to make it worth your time.  So far in October I've made over $6000 in bank account churning, credit card churning, with some MS thrown in there for a good measure.

therethere

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 02:17:14 PM »
Yeah, I don't do airline mile cards. Mainly because I did the British Airways card and then found it impossible to find any flights to use them on! Wasted the $95 annual fee. I have never done referrals.Looks like I missed out on an easy $300 as I just applied for the CIP. ):

Duke03

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2018, 02:29:05 PM »
Yeah, I don't do airline mile cards. Mainly because I did the British Airways card and then found it impossible to find any flights to use them on! Wasted the $95 annual fee. I have never done referrals.Looks like I missed out on an easy $300 as I just applied for the CIP. ):

In 3 months get CIP#2 and do a self referral....they will give you the 20k bonus then

px4shooter

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2018, 08:25:16 PM »
Yeah, I don't do airline mile cards. Mainly because I did the British Airways card and then found it impossible to find any flights to use them on! Wasted the $95 annual fee. I have never done referrals.Looks like I missed out on an easy $300 as I just applied for the CIP. ):

Their fuel surcharges, alone, devalue their point system completely. I paid a cheaper airfare than it would have been to use miles and then pay their fuel surcharge.


kpd905

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2018, 05:19:45 AM »
A sweet spot for British Airways is to use them to fly on American airlines planes within the US.  It is a distance based chart, so there are some really good deals, and no fuel charges.

I don't know if I would consider what I am doing manufactured spend in order to hit $5k in bonuses.  However, I do have $300/week daycare expense that gets thrown on whatever card I am using at the time.  I have also thrown about $10k at our mortgage using Plastiq (don't tell boarder), in order to get rid of PMI.  I only have a few thousand to go there and then the PMI will be gone so I'll stop.

If the spending is the hard part, find out where you can accelerate spend rather than manufacturing it.  Buy gift cards for your grocery store, gas station.  Prepay your cell phone, utilities.  Try Plastiq to make rent/mortgage/car payments.

« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 05:24:45 AM by kpd905 »

Michael in ABQ

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2018, 05:52:54 AM »
I switched to cash/debit a few years ago when we finished paying off all our debt. I just received the Savor card as well and I'm looking forward to that $500. Travel bonuses are worthless to me as we don't travel so I'm looking at the Navy Federal Credit Union card next. $500 cash back for $4k spend in 3 months.

baloncesto

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2018, 08:38:34 AM »
PTF. I am new to churning as well. @Duke03 I am going to message you for some advice, if you don't mind helping another newbie out!

TomTX

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #18 on: October 20, 2018, 11:54:08 AM »
I know you are new to CC churning but please do a bunch of reading or ask more questions before you open any more accounts.  I'd pass on that Wells Fargo CC because $200 is a lousy bonus.  Most decent cards will pay you $500 and it's not very difficult to find ones that pay between $750 and $1500 if you play your cards rights.  Since you are new you will be under 5/24 so each slot is very important to you at this point of your CC churning.  If you have any questions just pm me.  I don't mind helping people out

Thanks for the advice! Some of you guys are so hardcore... I'm admiring these stories of $5,000+ bonuses in a year! I don't think I'm ready for that yet, but it's nice to pocket a little extra cash for spending money I'd be spending anyway. I'm surprised to hear that "most" cards offer the $500 cash back bonus... I haven't seen that many... but I'm not really deep in the weeds like y'all are :) If I decide to keep going I might take you up on that offer!

Early on (if you have the credit history to support it) - you definitely want to focus on those high dollar premium cards and the ones which are from "pickier" banks.

Chase CSR, Cap One Savor and Barclay Arrival+ all tend to be high value from pickier banks.

katsiki

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #19 on: October 20, 2018, 04:01:34 PM »
Yeah, I don't do airline mile cards. Mainly because I did the British Airways card and then found it impossible to find any flights to use them on! Wasted the $95 annual fee. I have never done referrals.Looks like I missed out on an easy $300 as I just applied for the CIP. ):

In 3 months get CIP#2 and do a self referral....they will give you the 20k bonus then

@Duke03   When you say CIP #2, is that under your spouse?  ie you=CIP #1; spouse = CIP #2.

OR, are you getting multiple CIP under your name as separate businesses? 

Just hit 250K UR points after getting 2 biz cards.  Hungry for more points  :)

ender

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #20 on: October 20, 2018, 06:17:18 PM »
I'm a lazy churner.

Which is to say, if I have a clear purchase coming up that is easy mode I'll do a card. I paid our property taxes on the Savor card this fall. Paid ~$30 for immediate "churn."

Duke03

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #21 on: October 22, 2018, 07:25:11 PM »
Yeah, I don't do airline mile cards. Mainly because I did the British Airways card and then found it impossible to find any flights to use them on! Wasted the $95 annual fee. I have never done referrals.Looks like I missed out on an easy $300 as I just applied for the CIP. ):

In 3 months get CIP#2 and do a self referral....they will give you the 20k bonus then

@Duke03   When you say CIP #2, is that under your spouse?  ie you=CIP #1; spouse = CIP #2.

OR, are you getting multiple CIP under your name as separate businesses? 

Just hit 250K UR points after getting 2 biz cards.  Hungry for more points  :)


You get the first CIP with your social.  The second CIP you get an EIN. The second application will be the exact same info as the first.  Nothing changes. Form an LLC and you can get a 3rd CIP...

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #22 on: October 22, 2018, 09:05:53 PM »
The CapOne Savor card is ridiculous as far as rewards go. First of all, 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, so for a single pringle Millenial like me (whose major non-critical spending goes to food/drink/fun), this card is a DREAM.

Secondly, there's a $500 cash back signup bonus if you spend $3K in the first 3 months of opening the card. I have rarely seen a cash back bonus that high for such a low spend! $1K a month? Most people hit that with basic utilities/groceries alone!

Anyway, I just got my $500 dropped into my bank account, and I'm hooked on the churn! Next up is a Wells Fargo cash back card, $200 bonus for spending $1K in 3 months!

I'm a newbie so I'm curious--to the veterans around here, what's the most you've made in a year off CC churning?

Made $500 on a similar card last year.  Not bad for an hour or two of work. 

Speaking of: any tips for hitting minimum spend on this one?  (Didn't help that my wife lost the card.)  We just got it, too, and it's doubtful we'll hit the minimum spend, which isn't a problem I've had before...

Another question: can your spouse get one too?  Once this one is finished, we're thinking of getting another if the $500 is still available...

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #23 on: October 22, 2018, 09:11:02 PM »
I switched to cash/debit a few years ago when we finished paying off all our debt. I just received the Savor card as well and I'm looking forward to that $500. Travel bonuses are worthless to me as we don't travel so I'm looking at the Navy Federal Credit Union card next. $500 cash back for $4k spend in 3 months.

PTF, and to bookmark - going to look into that one next too...

jojoguy

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #24 on: October 23, 2018, 03:41:46 AM »
I`m looking in to dabbling in this a little bit. I pay off everything as soon as I spend. My credit is excellent and don`t see really any out there dropping $500 dollar cash back bonuses.
Where and what are they?

Askel

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #25 on: October 23, 2018, 06:37:00 AM »
Those of you who got the Capital One Savor card- how long did it take you to get your card? 

I was approved last week on Thursday and I'm already putting things off I can put on the card to make sure I hit that $3k spend.


katsiki

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #26 on: October 23, 2018, 07:54:40 AM »
Yeah, I don't do airline mile cards. Mainly because I did the British Airways card and then found it impossible to find any flights to use them on! Wasted the $95 annual fee. I have never done referrals.Looks like I missed out on an easy $300 as I just applied for the CIP. ):

In 3 months get CIP#2 and do a self referral....they will give you the 20k bonus then

@Duke03   When you say CIP #2, is that under your spouse?  ie you=CIP #1; spouse = CIP #2.

OR, are you getting multiple CIP under your name as separate businesses? 

Just hit 250K UR points after getting 2 biz cards.  Hungry for more points  :)


You get the first CIP with your social.  The second CIP you get an EIN. The second application will be the exact same info as the first.  Nothing changes. Form an LLC and you can get a 3rd CIP...

Thanks @Duke03  !!  I did the first CIP with an LLC.  I will have to try a few more based on this...

Michael in ABQ

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #27 on: October 23, 2018, 07:13:02 PM »
Those of you who got the Capital One Savor card- how long did it take you to get your card? 

I was approved last week on Thursday and I'm already putting things off I can put on the card to make sure I hit that $3k spend.

Mine arrived within a week I would say.

Askel

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #28 on: October 23, 2018, 07:27:40 PM »

Mine arrived within a week I would say.

Thanks. Mine arrived today, just in time to fund a weekend getaway for a bike race. 

soccerluvof4

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #29 on: October 31, 2018, 07:47:51 AM »
The only card we have is the Citi 2% cash back card. What would be the first card to get that's just the easiest? as far as Highest Cash back and use on whatever you want for purchases.

Duke03

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #30 on: October 31, 2018, 10:13:15 AM »
The only card we have is the Citi 2% cash back card. What would be the first card to get that's just the easiest? as far as Highest Cash back and use on whatever you want for purchases.

Cash back is the suckers bet when it comes to redeeming points.  Most credit cards will have a travel portal that you can use points on.  Even better is you can transfer those points to travel partners and get crazy redemption value.  For instance I found my buddy first class lay flat plane tickets to Japan.  If he was going to pay cash the tickets where going to cost $16,000 for two, but with points he only had to redeem $2400 worth of points to get the same two tickets.  I know not everyone travels but the credit cards are very lose what they deem qualifies for travel.  You can get show tickets, chef tables at very nice restaurants, flights, hotels, rental cars the list goes on.  Plus it's always nice to have a couple hundred thousand points stashed for emergency travel ectů.

therethere

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #31 on: October 31, 2018, 10:40:45 AM »
The only card we have is the Citi 2% cash back card. What would be the first card to get that's just the easiest? as far as Highest Cash back and use on whatever you want for purchases.

Cash back is the suckers bet when it comes to redeeming points.  Most credit cards will have a travel portal that you can use points on.  Even better is you can transfer those points to travel partners and get crazy redemption value.  For instance I found my buddy first class lay flat plane tickets to Japan.  If he was going to pay cash the tickets where going to cost $16,000 for two, but with points he only had to redeem $2400 worth of points to get the same two tickets.  I know not everyone travels but the credit cards are very lose what they deem qualifies for travel.  You can get show tickets, chef tables at very nice restaurants, flights, hotels, rental cars the list goes on.  Plus it's always nice to have a couple hundred thousand points stashed for emergency travel ectů.

I wouldn't call it suckers bet. Sure you can get a lot of luxury from maximizing points. But that requires a lot of planning ahead and churning to reach that. That just doesn't fit with everyone's lives. Travel portals and cashback are easy and attainable for most. And it doesn't usually require lots of multiple cards and excessive spend. It all depends on your circumstance.  I mean, having to churn 2 cards to get one fancy ticket isn't really useful for a family of 4. For me, I travel mostly in hostels and cheap hotels. So I don't give a crap that I can get a $600 a night hotel for 30k points or whatever. I'd rather have the travel portal give me 33% off my already cheap-ass hotel making it $20 a night versus $30.

Option 1: 2,400 pts. 2 biz tix to Japan. Awesome!
Option 2: $2,400 in Statement credits or cashback. Awesome! (Let's say you lose 25%, you'll still get $1,800 cash). To some that money is better than having a lay flat seat.
Option 3: Buy 2x tix to Japan at $1,000 value. Pay 1,600 in points buying through a portal at 25% (or more) off. And still have $800 worth of points left. Could redeem $600 for spending cash if desired or just wait for the next trip.

Some good straight cashback cards, or easy travel cards, would be to go with Chase cards (Ink Biz, Sapphire Preferred). The travel portal is relatively easy to use and has lower cost hotel options.

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #32 on: October 31, 2018, 11:07:28 AM »
The only card we have is the Citi 2% cash back card. What would be the first card to get that's just the easiest? as far as Highest Cash back and use on whatever you want for purchases.

Cash back is the suckers bet when it comes to redeeming points.  Most credit cards will have a travel portal that you can use points on.  Even better is you can transfer those points to travel partners and get crazy redemption value.  For instance I found my buddy first class lay flat plane tickets to Japan.  If he was going to pay cash the tickets where going to cost $16,000 for two, but with points he only had to redeem $2400 worth of points to get the same two tickets.  I know not everyone travels but the credit cards are very lose what they deem qualifies for travel.  You can get show tickets, chef tables at very nice restaurants, flights, hotels, rental cars the list goes on.  Plus it's always nice to have a couple hundred thousand points stashed for emergency travel ectů.

I wouldn't call it suckers bet. Sure you can get a lot of luxury from maximizing points. But that requires a lot of planning ahead and churning to reach that. That just doesn't fit with everyone's lives. Travel portals and cashback are easy and attainable for most. And it doesn't usually require lots of multiple cards and excessive spend. It all depends on your circumstance.  I mean, having to churn 2 cards to get one fancy ticket isn't really useful for a family of 4. For me, I travel mostly in hostels and cheap hotels. So I don't give a crap that I can get a $600 a night hotel for 30k points or whatever. I'd rather have the travel portal give me 33% off my already cheap-ass hotel making it $20 a night versus $30.

Option 1: 2,400 pts. 2 biz tix to Japan. Awesome!
Option 2: $2,400 in Statement credits or cashback. Awesome! (Let's say you lose 25%, you'll still get $1,800 cash). To some that money is better than having a lay flat seat.
Option 3: Buy 2x tix to Japan at $1,000 value. Pay 1,600 in points buying through a portal at 25% (or more) off. And still have $800 worth of points left. Could redeem $600 for spending cash if desired or just wait for the next trip.

Some good straight cashback cards, or easy travel cards, would be to go with Chase cards (Ink Biz, Sapphire Preferred). The travel portal is relatively easy to use and has lower cost hotel options.

I just have little interest in plane tickets or any of the associated luxuries the previous person mentioned. 

FreelanceToFreedom

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #33 on: October 31, 2018, 11:59:24 AM »
Cashback offers usually aren't as lucrative as travel rewards - assuming you actually like to travel.

I've been churning cards for about 4 years now. Just broke $25k in net redemptions (after accounting for annual fees). So I guess I'm averaging about $6k/year. I also have another ~$5k worth of unredeemed points. And probably $1k/year from bank bonuses.


Probably the coolest redemption I've been able to make so far was flying a family of Syrian refugees to be reunited with the rest of their family in Belgium. That was through a charity called Miles4Migrants - definitely check them out if you have extra miles to donate!

If you don't know already, DoctorofCredit is by far the most trustworthy blog in the industry when it comes to credit cards. The more mainstream blogs are just pushing affiliate deals and aren't necessarily giving you the true information.

FreelanceToFreedom

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #34 on: October 31, 2018, 12:00:15 PM »
Cashback offers usually aren't as lucrative as travel rewards - assuming you actually like to travel.

I've been churning cards for about 4 years now. Just broke $25k in net redemptions (after accounting for annual fees). So I guess I'm averaging about $6k/year. I also have another ~$5k worth of unredeemed points. And probably $1k/year from bank bonuses.


Probably the coolest redemption I've been able to make so far was flying a family of Syrian refugees to be reunited with the rest of their family that had been re-settled in Europe. That was through a charity called Miles4Migrants - definitely check them out if you have extra miles to donate!

If you don't know already, DoctorofCredit is by far the most trustworthy blog in the industry when it comes to credit cards. The more mainstream blogs are just pushing affiliate deals and aren't necessarily giving you the true information.

soccerluvof4

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2018, 02:07:47 PM »
Cashback offers usually aren't as lucrative as travel rewards - assuming you actually like to travel.

I've been churning cards for about 4 years now. Just broke $25k in net redemptions (after accounting for annual fees). So I guess I'm averaging about $6k/year. I also have another ~$5k worth of unredeemed points. And probably $1k/year from bank bonuses.


Probably the coolest redemption I've been able to make so far was flying a family of Syrian refugees to be reunited with the rest of their family in Belgium. That was through a charity called Miles4Migrants - definitely check them out if you have extra miles to donate!

If you don't know already, DoctorofCredit is by far the most trustworthy blog in the industry when it comes to credit cards. The more mainstream blogs are just pushing affiliate deals and aren't necessarily giving you the true information.


Thats awesome!

I checkout Doctor of Credit periodically. IDK i find it all confussing.  Just was looking for something if its out there that is easy and is better than my cash back card.

malacca

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #36 on: November 02, 2018, 06:06:07 AM »
We are now churning one card every 2 months while overseas (we also have some business expenses that get charged).

I am not into fancy hotels when I travel alone but wife and kids like them. This year we will get about 20 days free. We also have access to lounges at the airport for free as well as the club lounges in hotels for free. At first that seemed great but unlimited free food and alcohol has its downside!

We have a ton of airline mileage but simply can't use any while in Asia. I recently tried to book a relative on American and it showed flights from Minneapolis to DC, then Atlanta and then to LA before finally leaving for Hong Kong. Sure, 42 hours. AA sucks donkey. Best thing about mileage is you can easily do one ways.

Chase, overall, is the best. But as mentioned above they have rules on having too many cards. Best is to get your max number of Chase cards first then move on to everyone else. Oh, business cards often don't count as they are not on your credit report (you have say the right things when you apply for business cards; sole proprietorship, etc.) Lot's a great websites with loads of info out there.

I have delegated this to the wife.  She finds what card to apply for next. Of course we are debt free so credit is at 800 - and we are approved for everything.

But the best is when you can buy something with a card and then redeem it somehow for cash. Years ago the US Mint offered fancy $100 coins for $100 each with free shipping. Smart people bought as many as they could with their credit cards and then simple deposited them in the bank and paid off the credit card. Some guys got super platinum status on airlines, etc. as they spent hundreds of thousands on an airline card. Those were the days...

I found a couple of churns but they are not unlimited and are slow. But they are good for $20K of spending a year!


Car Jack

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2018, 07:20:19 AM »

But the best is when you can buy something with a card and then redeem it somehow for cash. Years ago the US Mint offered fancy $100 coins for $100 each with free shipping. Smart people bought as many as they could with their credit cards and then simple deposited them in the bank and paid off the credit card. Some guys got super platinum status on airlines, etc. as they spent hundreds of thousands on an airline card. Those were the days...


When the treasury was trying to get $1 coins into circulation, they did a similar thing with regular old rolls of coins.  $1k per day limit, again with free shipping and no fee on a credit card.  They stopped the program because the vast majority of people were bringing them to their bank, dumping them in the coin machine and not spending them. 

Before that play, Treasury Direct in the early 2000's would sell US Savings bonds through their website.  I could use my credit card with no fee and they had a limit of $30k per person (which was not enforced....I once bought $40k by mistake) and were redeemable in 6 months.  For several years, our family of 4 would buy $120k worth of bonds, sell of previous bonds to pay for them and use the miles to upgrade our holiday trip from Boston to Aruba to first class. 

And then, of course....there was Redbird (RIP).

Askel

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #38 on: November 02, 2018, 09:01:15 AM »

When the treasury was trying to get $1 coins into circulation, they did a similar thing with regular old rolls of coins.  $1k per day limit, again with free shipping and no fee on a credit card.  They stopped the program because the vast majority of people were bringing them to their bank, dumping them in the coin machine and not spending them. 

I was one of those people who actually used the program as intended, buying dollar coins, and putting them into circulation.  You guys ruined all the fun! 

Including that one time I was investigated by the state cops for spending dollar coins. :D 

I've still have a pile of dollar bills at home I "decirculated". 

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #39 on: November 06, 2018, 09:49:11 AM »
Likely stupid question, but can you easily cancel after a year with the savor card and cards like it? I wouldn't want that yearly 95$ fee I dont think.

therethere

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #40 on: November 06, 2018, 09:50:39 AM »
Yes, I just set up a calendar alert for a year later than I applied for the card. More typical though, I see the $95 fee pop up in my Mint accounting and then I call to cancel and get the fee reversed.

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #41 on: November 06, 2018, 02:03:32 PM »
Hmmm sweet :). Thanks!

TomTX

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #42 on: November 06, 2018, 05:37:23 PM »
Likely stupid question, but can you easily cancel after a year with the savor card and cards like it? I wouldn't want that yearly 95$ fee I dont think.

It's probably a better strategy to call in and see if they will waive the fee (after it appears.) If not, second choice is to downgrade to a no-fee version of the card.

This will keep your AAoA higher. Average Age of Accounts.

Lan Mandragoran

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #43 on: December 06, 2018, 02:05:42 PM »
Would the age of it really matter considering it would just be a month apart or whatever? (11 months vs 12 months)

Idk much bout churning so forgive the ignorance ;P.

TomTX

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Re: First Foray into CC Churning!
« Reply #44 on: December 07, 2018, 12:37:44 PM »
Would the age of it really matter considering it would just be a month apart or whatever? (11 months vs 12 months)

Idk much bout churning so forgive the ignorance ;P.

If they waive (or credit) the annual fee, you can keep the card an additional year at no cost, and increase your AAoA.