Author Topic: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card  (Read 7892 times)

lexde

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Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« on: December 19, 2017, 07:54:15 PM »
I am going to make $1,150.00 net profit in the next 12 months with my American Express Platinum Card for Schwab, utilizing careful planning, minimal spending, and a touch of badassity. You can, too.

This post has non-referral links. American Express Platinum Card for Schwab does not utilize the referral program, nor does Schwab, so any links are non-ref. :-)



Step 1: Open a Schwab Account

To get the American Express Platinum Card for Schwab ("Schwab Plat"), you will need to have a Charles Schwab investment account relationship. I do a lot of bank account churning, and have had a lot of experience with most of the national banks. Schwab is far and away my favorite bank, so I recommend that you open a High Yield Investor Checking Account anyway. You can check out the benefits HERE.1, 2 With every Checking account, you get a brokerage account, which you can leave empty or use.

1 Code: REFER - You earn $100.00 for signing up for a new Schwab Checking/Brokerage account combo. I do not earn anything on this, but free money.
2 Schwab Brokerage/Checking is a hard pull on your credit report, just as a heads up.

Running total for earnings: $100.00



Step 2: Apply for the card.

The Schwab Plat has a standard offer of 60,000 Membership Rewards points after meeting a $5,000.00 minimum spend. This card comes with a hefty annual fee of $550.00 which is not waived in the first year which attaches to the first statement. If you can't front this, don't sign up for the card, don't read any further. Since this is MMM, though, I'm going to assume that you have $550.00 available that you can spend on this to get that return on investment.

$5,000.00?! That's insane. Even over a 3-month period, I struggle to spend this much money. So we will be offsetting that spending with a few workarounds, too.

Running total for earnings: $100.00



Step 3: Pick Your Airline, Get Your Credit

I went with Delta because I fly that airline 2-3x per year for work. As soon as I received my card, I selected Delta as my airline. I then went to Delta.com, ordered four (4) e-Certs (gift certificates) of $50.00 each. It will take 2-3 days to post, and then 3-5 days for the reimbursement to post. $200.00 reimbursement here.

I highly recommend that you check the status of converting these credits for each airline on Flyertalk.com (Ex:Delta Reimbursement Reports Thread) With some airlines, you can buy one $200 gift card and it will code as an incidental and reimburse, others will not. Delta requires $50.00 denominations, so I did 4x$50.00 in one transaction and it was fine.

Running total for earnings: $300.00



Step 4: Meet Your Minimum Spend Requirement

So the card requires that you spend $5,000.00 in the first 3 months of card membership in order to earn your 60,000 MR points. I typically spend about $1,500/month on all of my expenses, or $4,500 every 3 months. This would mean I would have to spend $500 extra to earn the bonus, and spending more than I normally would defeats the purpose of making money on the card. So in order to meet spend, you have a few options. You can use Plastiq to send checks for your mortgage, student loans, etc. at a 3% fee. You can head over to Toys R Us and pick up Gift of College Gift Cards in $500 denominations (rendering the $5.95 fee to 1.19%), or you could open another bank account3.

BMO Harris Bank allows you to fund $1,000.00 with a credit card, including American Express. You can fund a checking, savings, and money market account for a total of $3,000.00 of your $5,000.00 spend, which makes the remaining $2,000.00 in 3 months very doable.

I will fund $1,000.00 in BMO Harris, and once the funds clear, will use them to pay off the credit card. Super simple. The other $4,000.00 I will spend by purchasing Gift of College gift cards x8 at Toys R Us, knocking out a big chunk of my remaining student loan.

Once you meet the minimum spend requirement, you will receive 60,000 MR points from Amex. You can use these for statement credits, travel, or transferring them to a Schwab Brokerage account (which you have now!) for 1.25 cents per MR point. That's $750.00 cash!

Running total for earnings: $1,050.00

3 Call AMEX prior to attempting to fund any bank accounts and ensure that you have disabled cash advances on the card. Some bank funding may code as a cash advance, in which case you'd be subject to heavy fees for "withdrawing" so much. If you disable cash advances, and the bank funding would code as a cash advance, it will simply decline the card, saving you a lot of trouble.



Step 4.5: More Money?!

As a slight side note to the above, I used THIS offer from BMO Harris. I will be (1) funding my AMEX and (2) churning another bank bonus for an extra $200.00.

Mini tutorial: Call AMEX, be sure your cash advance is disabled (mine was by default, but double check!). Then sign up for a BMO Harris Smart Advantage™ Account, turn off paper statements to waive the fee, and set up 2 qualifying Direct Deposits of $300.00 or more within 90 days of account opening. Don't have the ability to change your direct deposit? No problem. HERE is a list of transfers that will trigger the Direct Deposits for bonus purposes courtesy of Doctor of Credit. THE BEST PART?? That brand new Schwab Brokerage account you just opened is one of the transfer sources that will trigger the bonus. So do a little money shuffling, and make an extra $200 while funding $1,000-3,000 of your Amex's minimum spend requirement.

Bonus $200!

Running total for earnings: $1,250.00



Step 5: Uber Credits

In addition to the airline credit, Schwab Plat also gives you $15.00 in Uber Credits for U.S. rides each month, plus a $20.00 extra bonus in December. This can be used for Uber Rides, or Uber Eats if you don't rideshare much. Boom, extra $200.00.

Running total for earnings: $1,450.00



Step 6: Double- (or Triple-) Dip Your Airline Credit

The airline credit for Schwab Plat resets each calendar year. Which means if you apply for the card in December and purchase giftcards like I did, you get a credit in 2017, 2018, and in January 2019 within 30 days of your second annual fee hitting. You can then cancel your Schwab Plat, receive a refund of your annual fee (within 30 days of posting), and walk away with $600.00 in airline credits for the price of a $550.00 annual fee. Extra $200.00-400.00 depending on your timing. I signed up 12/19/2017 and will be triple-dipping this for a bonus $400.00.

Running total for earnings: $1,850.00

Step 7: Fancy Extras

I do not count these in my "earnings" for this card because I wouldn't purchase them anyway. That said, if the opportunity presents itself, I will use these. If you use them, then you're getting even more out of this card than I plan to!

  • Global Entry ($100): includes TSA Pre✓, nice to have.
  • Amex Global Lounge Collection (??): Tons of lounges, which is awesome for when you do travel. I always arrive to the airport early to get something complimentary to eat and drink, even if I just grab a snack for my purse.
  • Elite Status Hilton+Starwood: Sign up for this once you get your card for free late-checkout and space upgrades.
  • Marriott Gold Status: mini-hack: Use Starwood status to match status to Marriott Program.
  • Complimentary Boingo Wifi at Airports & Hotels
  • Extended warranty/insurance for purchases and travel



The Bottom Line:

Spending regularly and fronting a $550.00 annual fee, I am earning $1,850.00 over the next 12 months using this card, with a net gain of $1,350.00.

In addition, I feel like I am living in the lap of luxury while doing so.

Is it worth it? Absolutely.

For the credit card police who say that they won't use X Y or Z benefit and so the card isn't "worth" it, I would like to kindly point out that even without the airline reimbursement TRIPLE DIP or Uber credits, you are still earning $300.00 just for signing up for the Schwab account ($100 bonus) and sending your 60K bonus MR to your Brokerage account ($750 after conversion) for a net $300. Plus the 5K+ MR you will earn after spending $5K to meet the minimum spend (another $62.50).

Will I use the Uber credit each month? Maybe. Maybe not.

My plan is to hold onto the Delta gift certificates and use them when I travel for work. My job will reimburse travel expenses, so I will effectively be cashing them out $1:$1.

I hope this was helpful! Feel free to ask any questions.

12/21/2017 Edit: Added BMO Harris Funding "hack" with extra $200 bonus that I included in the title and total too, because money!
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017, 09:04:00 PM by lexde »

ThatGuy

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Re: Making $1,150.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 08:38:19 PM »
Thank you for explaining this, I just read about this on DoC but it wasn't explained step by step the way you did so I wasn't even thinking about doing it but now I'm tempted!

secondcor521

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Re: Making $1,150.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2017, 10:38:37 PM »
Good job, lexde!

This sounds similar to the Chase CSR deal from about a year ago.  I think this is AMEX's competitive reply.

Question:  How do you think the AMEX lounges compare to Chase's Priority Pass lounges?  I assume it is just a different network.  You can look for lounges at http://prioritypass.com/select if I remember the URL correctly.

lexde

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Re: Making $1,150.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2017, 05:34:30 AM »
Good job, lexde!

This sounds similar to the Chase CSR deal from about a year ago.  I think this is AMEX's competitive reply.

Question:  How do you think the AMEX lounges compare to Chase's Priority Pass lounges?  I assume it is just a different network.  You can look for lounges at http://prioritypass.com/select if I remember the URL correctly.
Yep! The CSR is sitting in my wallet, too, and will be canceled in May after I double-dip the travel credit (regrettably did not time it well enough to triple-dip but it did earn several hundred dollars after paying the annual fee.

Amex Centurion lounges are BEAUTIFUL. But a lot more limited in number than Priority Pass lounges. Luckily though the Amex Plat gives access to both and then some! Priority Pass lounges, Delta SkyClub, Airspace, and Virgin are all also included.

secondcor521

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Re: Making $1,150.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2017, 10:23:02 AM »
Good job, lexde!

This sounds similar to the Chase CSR deal from about a year ago.  I think this is AMEX's competitive reply.

Question:  How do you think the AMEX lounges compare to Chase's Priority Pass lounges?  I assume it is just a different network.  You can look for lounges at http://prioritypass.com/select if I remember the URL correctly.
Yep! The CSR is sitting in my wallet, too, and will be canceled in May after I double-dip the travel credit (regrettably did not time it well enough to triple-dip but it did earn several hundred dollars after paying the annual fee.

Amex Centurion lounges are BEAUTIFUL. But a lot more limited in number than Priority Pass lounges. Luckily though the Amex Plat gives access to both and then some! Priority Pass lounges, Delta SkyClub, Airspace, and Virgin are all also included.

Thanks for the reply and good to know on the lounges.

I've got an application spree and will review this thread and use your referral links if I decide to apply when that time comes.  Like the others, I appreciate the clearly articulated original post you wrote.  It's like you're an attorney or something! ;-)

lexde

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Re: Making $1,150.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2017, 08:54:22 PM »
Good job, lexde!

This sounds similar to the Chase CSR deal from about a year ago.  I think this is AMEX's competitive reply.

Question:  How do you think the AMEX lounges compare to Chase's Priority Pass lounges?  I assume it is just a different network.  You can look for lounges at http://prioritypass.com/select if I remember the URL correctly.
Yep! The CSR is sitting in my wallet, too, and will be canceled in May after I double-dip the travel credit (regrettably did not time it well enough to triple-dip but it did earn several hundred dollars after paying the annual fee.

Amex Centurion lounges are BEAUTIFUL. But a lot more limited in number than Priority Pass lounges. Luckily though the Amex Plat gives access to both and then some! Priority Pass lounges, Delta SkyClub, Airspace, and Virgin are all also included.

Thanks for the reply and good to know on the lounges.

I've got an application spree and will review this thread and use your referral links if I decide to apply when that time comes.  Like the others, I appreciate the clearly articulated original post you wrote.  It's like you're an attorney or something! ;-)

I wooshed on this one -- Schwab doesn't use any ref programs, so you're free to pull the trigger on it whenever you'd like! I won't be adding a ref link. :-)

katsiki

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Re: Making $1,150.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2017, 08:56:38 PM »
Yep! The CSR is sitting in my wallet, too, and will be canceled in May after I double-dip the travel credit (regrettably did not time it well enough to triple-dip but it did earn several hundred dollars after paying the annual fee.

Are you sure you can double-dip on CSR?  I was able to last year but they changed the rules.  My new year just hit in December.  It very clearly says $0 for this year but the next available period is December 2018.

lexde

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Re: Making $1,150.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 09:16:51 PM »
Yep! The CSR is sitting in my wallet, too, and will be canceled in May after I double-dip the travel credit (regrettably did not time it well enough to triple-dip but it did earn several hundred dollars after paying the annual fee.

Are you sure you can double-dip on CSR?  I was able to last year but they changed the rules.  My new year just hit in December.  It very clearly says $0 for this year but the next available period is December 2018.

You're right -- they changed the definition of "annual" which took effect on May 21, 2017. After May 21, 2017, the definition of "annual" are tied to cardmember year, not calendar year. However, I applied just prior to the switch, so I have one year of double-dipping. I used up my $300 credit in June, and it's now up again with the close of my December statement.

I don't believe that people who apply post-5/21/17 will be able to double dip, and I will not be able to double dip again after this $300 credit is spent. I will be able to use all $600 in travel benefits prior to downgrading the card in May, though. :-)

I applied in May 2017, and my credit has already reset:



I think you may be able to still double-dip if you time it carefully, but I'm not certain. If you sign up for the card in December, you may be able to use your credit immediately, and then within 30 days of your annual fee hitting again before closing for a full refund.

katsiki

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2017, 08:00:36 AM »
Thanks lexde!  I thought I would be 'grandfathered' in but it appears not.  I think I am keeping the card so it is not as important to me, but still not great news.

tj

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2017, 05:10:13 PM »
Trying to do the mental math on this - basically you get $750 cash for the $500 annual fee, and you get $200 in uber credits (which if nothing else is 13 almost-free meals) and $200 in airline credits. You may or may not be able to purchase gift cards with the air credits....

I just might unfreeze my reports for this. Does having this card allow you to convert ALL MR's to cash or just from this card?  If you can convert MR's from other cards, that could be potentially lucrative as well.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 05:18:26 PM by tj »

lexde

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2017, 05:17:41 PM »
Trying to do the mental math on this - basically you get $750 cash for the $500 annual fee, and you get $200 in uber credits (which if nothing else is 13 almost-free meals) and $200 in airline credits. You may or may not be able to purchase gift cards with the air credits....

I just might unfreeze my reports for this. Does having this card allow you to convert ALL MR's to cash or just from this card?  If you can convert MR's from other cards, that could be potentially lucrative as well.
I purchased 4x $50 delta gift cards on 12/19, they posted on 12/20 and were reimbursed on 12/22, just as an FYI. Then my SO and I got Uber Eats delivered since there’s a $35 credit in December which was great!

The Schwab card lets you deposit ALL MR into your brokerage account at a 1:1.25 ratio. So if you have existing MR, then you can dump that into brokerage too if you don’t plan on traveling or redeeming your MR in other ways.

And at this point, a lot of Schwab index funds are lower-fee than Vanguard (!!) so you could invest straight from there if you wanted to.

tj

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2017, 05:19:21 PM »
Trying to do the mental math on this - basically you get $750 cash for the $500 annual fee, and you get $200 in uber credits (which if nothing else is 13 almost-free meals) and $200 in airline credits. You may or may not be able to purchase gift cards with the air credits....

I just might unfreeze my reports for this. Does having this card allow you to convert ALL MR's to cash or just from this card?  If you can convert MR's from other cards, that could be potentially lucrative as well.
I purchased 4x $50 delta gift cards on 12/19, they posted on 12/20 and were reimbursed on 12/22, just as an FYI. Then my SO and I got Uber Eats delivered since there’s a $35 credit in December which was great!

The Schwab card lets you deposit ALL MR into your brokerage account at a 1:1.25 ratio. So if you have existing MR, then you can dump that into brokerage too if you don’t plan on traveling or redeeming your MR in other ways.

And at this point, a lot of Schwab index funds are lower-fee than Vanguard (!!) so you could invest straight from there if you wanted to.

Looks like I'm too late to triple dip on the airline credit and double dip on the December uber. Oh well. I froze all 3 of my reports, the passcodes are in AZ, I'm in CA. Will be back on 12/28. Doubt I'll get the card in time.

Why wouldn't you go for the 100k MR offer? Isn't that $1250 of cash for the same annual fee

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/cardmatch-offering-people-100000-points-american-express-platinum/

lexde

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2017, 05:27:12 PM »
Looks like I'm too late to triple dip on the airline credit and double dip on the December uber. Oh well. I froze all 3 of my reports, the passcodes are in AZ, I'm in CA. Will be back on 12/28. Doubt I'll get the card in time.

Why wouldn't you go for the 100k MR offer? Isn't that $1250 of cash for the same annual fee

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/cardmatch-offering-people-100000-points-american-express-platinum/
I plan to, when it’s available to me. Cardmatch only works if you’re eligible to be targeted and I am not, for whatever reason.

That’s why I chose Schwab. I’ve done the Cardmatch, incognito, and Baidu methods for a 100k Personal Plat offer more times than I can count and have not had a 100k offer come up.

Schwab’s bonus is and has always been 60k. Personal Plat varies from 60-75-100k. If you get the 100k offer, jump on that and follow the same steps to max out your return.

Amex bonuses have “lifetime” language which means you can’t really get a welcome bonus more than once per product. So if I went ahead with the 60k Schwab Plat offer so as not to shoot myself in the foot the next time a 100k Personal Plat offer comes along since they are different products.

If you don’t already have an Amex you’re much more likely to be targeted or have the 100k offer available to you.

tj

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2017, 06:33:55 PM »
I had an Amex charge card years ago but I don't think it was platinum. Preferred Rewards Gold or something to that effect. I rememer selling the MR points or transferring them to somebody else's air miles. :-D Don't think it was as good of a conversion as the Schwab though.

I assumeyou need the Schwab card to redeem MR for cash in a Schwab brokerage?

lexde

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2017, 06:39:42 PM »
I assumeyou need the Schwab card to redeem MR for cash in a Schwab brokerage?

Correct. :-)

tj

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2017, 07:44:10 PM »
I assumeyou need the Schwab card to redeem MR for cash in a Schwab brokerage?

Correct. :-)

It's really the Uber and airfare that makes this enticing - $750 less a $500 fee isn't much better than a $200-$300 bonus without an annual fee.

I have so many AA miles that I don't know when I'd ever use AA gift cards. Only other airline i fly is Southwest. I don't use Uber Eats unless I have promo credits to use up, and I only Uber to/from airport. Might not be worth the hassle...

If someone wants more lucrative cash for less spend, consider the BofA Premium rewards. $500 less a $95 fee for only $3k spend....plus similar air credit offer.

https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/premium-rewards-credit-card/
« Last Edit: December 23, 2017, 07:46:21 PM by tj »

lexde

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #16 on: December 23, 2017, 07:53:56 PM »

If someone wants more lucrative cash for less spend, consider the BofA Premium rewards. $500 less a $95 fee for only $3k spend....plus similar air credit offer.
Yep! There are a lot of different churning opportunities out there. This is just what I did personally to earn the 1.3k and maximize my rewards for the “share your badassity” thread.

tj

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2017, 08:30:43 PM »

If someone wants more lucrative cash for less spend, consider the BofA Premium rewards. $500 less a $95 fee for only $3k spend....plus similar air credit offer.
Yep! There are a lot of different churning opportunities out there. This is just what I did personally to earn the 1.3k and maximize my rewards for the “share your badassity” thread.

I still think you're a badass. :) i wish more people would post this kind of stuff here..

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2017, 09:22:09 AM »
Really great, detailed writeup. Kudos.

I do need to comment that many people (myself included) value the perks at less than face value. Airline GC, maybe 80%. Uber maybe 50% (I don't use Uber, and just did my first Uber Eats last night to use my $35 credit)

I was fortunate enough to get a 100k Plat offer from Amex a couple of months ago - longer term, I do plan to get the Schwab in order to cash out MR points.

ketchup

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2017, 10:14:05 AM »
Very nice!  I accumulated about half a million points/miles of various kinds during the first half of 2017 (due to a bunch of semi-planned large expenses that made meeting those minimum spends pretty easy, rounded off with some bank account fun like you described and a dash of MS), and so far I've redeemed about $6k worth (and about half of the points still remaining).

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #20 on: December 29, 2017, 08:52:36 AM »
If someone wants more lucrative cash for less spend, consider the BofA Premium rewards. $500 less a $95 fee for only $3k spend....plus similar air credit offer.

https://www.bankofamerica.com/credit-cards/products/premium-rewards-credit-card/

Opened this, thanks!

And nicely done lexde, great post!

LadyStash

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2018, 06:33:53 AM »
This offer that shows on the AMEX Rewards site could sweeten the deal by $100! Note, though, that it seems to be a targeted offer ("for select Schwab investors").

https://rewards.americanexpress.com/olet/splashhome?campaignId=cgz31217&offerType=schwabcgz30004

(I came across the AMEX Rewards page when I searched for more information on the card and found this webpage: https://www.uscreditcardguide.com/amex-platinum-card-for-schwab/. The link above is not associated with me in any way.)

tj

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2018, 04:15:05 PM »
I'm gonna bookmark this thread for December 2018. Hopefully it's still alive then.


secondcor521

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #23 on: April 26, 2018, 10:31:38 PM »
One thing I wanted to point out here is that my Priority Pass membership that comes with this AMEX card has an expiration date of 1/31/22.  I don't think that the Priority Pass people confirm that the AMEX card is still active when one goes to use a lounge, so it looks like one might get four years of Priority Pass membership out of one year of the Schab AMEX card.  If I'm right (maybe I am, maybe I'm not) that would be a pretty sweet deal.

secondcor521

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #24 on: April 26, 2018, 10:33:12 PM »
One thing I wanted to point out here is that my Priority Pass membership that comes with this AMEX card has an expiration date of 1/31/22.  I don't think that the Priority Pass people confirm that the AMEX card is still active when one goes to use a lounge, so it looks like one might get four years of Priority Pass membership out of one year of the Schab AMEX card.  If I'm right (maybe I am, maybe I'm not) that would be a pretty sweet deal.

I am wrong according to this:

https://thepointsguy.com/2017/04/priority-pass-cancel-amex-platinum/

secondcor521

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #25 on: April 30, 2018, 12:59:29 PM »
By the way, I wanted to note here that the $100 REFER bonus will generate a 1099-MISC.  That is important to people like me who are carefully managing their 2018 AGI to remain under a cliff.

I "assume" that the $937.50 cashout of AMEX MR points is not taxable, but if anyone knows for sure one way or the other I would appreciate it.

startbyservingothers

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #26 on: April 30, 2018, 03:05:40 PM »
By the way, I wanted to note here that the $100 REFER bonus will generate a 1099-MISC.  That is important to people like me who are carefully managing their 2018 AGI to remain under a cliff.

I "assume" that the $937.50 cashout of AMEX MR points is not taxable, but if anyone knows for sure one way or the other I would appreciate it.

A 1099 will issue for the $100 bonus on checking or standard brokerage accounts.  I don't believe it issues on retirement accounts.  It did not issue on my Roth IRA.

Generally points and cashback on Credit card bonuses or spend are NOT ever taxable in a normal (personal) sense.   They are considered a discount on the original purchase price of the items you buy on your card.   Note there are exceptions when you get into the business world.  If the card is for your business and cashback you receive becomes income to the business one way or another.  (either as income, or if accounted for as a discount on the purchase price, you are paying tax on it.)  Even if you have a personal card you technically owe taxes if you sell any points or reward.  -  I.e. Anytime you sell something for more than you paid for it you owe taxes on it.

-------

From my understanding is Schwab is only the logo and Amex is fully the issuer?   
I would think twice about using the card to fund opening a bank account - particularly when a bonus is invovled.  Amex is well known for taking away bonuses even after the fact on any spend that is the least bit questionable.  I've met the bonus by prepaying utilities and taxes, but basically any large purchases might be looked at carefully.  I'm pretty sure I've heard of both funding bank accounts and buying Visa gift cards at office supply stores causing problems.  (Not necessarily in every instance, but it does happen.)

Thanks Op.  Good post.

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #27 on: April 30, 2018, 03:23:30 PM »
Rewards points are considered a rebate and are not taxed.

Amex is sensitive about funding bank accounts, so your mileage may vary. I got $1k funded no problem.

secondcor521

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #28 on: April 30, 2018, 08:51:07 PM »
Rewards points are considered a rebate and are not taxed.

Amex is sensitive about funding bank accounts, so your mileage may vary. I got $1k funded no problem.

Thanks both of you.

To clarify if anyone really cares:

I did not use my AMEX to fund my bank account in the sense of "Hey, Key Bank, please charge my AMEX credit card $100 and deposit the $100 into a new checking account that I'm opening with you right now."  I think @lexde has done that before and that's what she's alluding to in the quoted portion above.  I understand it and like the strategy but haven't used it lately, mostly because where I live there are not that many bank bonuses and I've worn out the main ones that are available.  Also for some reason I view bank bonuses as more hassle for less benefit than CC bonus churning for whatever reason.

What I did was get the Schwab AMEX card, use it to buy stuff ($3K in 5 months IIRC), then received 60K MR points.  I had also earned another 15K MR points somehow.  I then used AMEX's "Invest with points" option to cash out my MR points into my Schwab taxable brokerage account.  75K points @ 1.25 cpp resulted in $937.50 deposited into my Schwab account.

@startbyservingothers, yes AMEX is the actually issuer and Schwab just co-brands / co-markets it, similar to an AMEX Delta card or any of the Chase Southwest cards.

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #29 on: May 20, 2018, 04:11:08 PM »
Thanks for the great writeup!  I may be pursuing this strategy soon.

I am curious if after I open a schwab acct and schwab amex platinum, if I would be able to transfer any AMEX membership rewards points from my other amex cards to the schwab amex and then be able to cash them out at 1.25 into the schwab brokerage acct?  I did a live chat with amex and they at first said no, but then said they would double check and then the live chat got disconnected somehow so I never got their final answer.   Schwab isn't a regular transfer partner, so I know I can't transfer MR now, but wondering if I could move them to the new schwab platinum after I open it. 

lexde

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #30 on: May 20, 2018, 04:18:43 PM »
Thanks for the great writeup!  I may be pursuing this strategy soon.

I am curious if after I open a schwab acct and schwab amex platinum, if I would be able to transfer any AMEX membership rewards points from my other amex cards to the schwab amex and then be able to cash them out at 1.25 into the schwab brokerage acct?  I did a live chat with amex and they at first said no, but then said they would double check and then the live chat got disconnected somehow so I never got their final answer.   Schwab isn't a regular transfer partner, so I know I can't transfer MR now, but wondering if I could move them to the new schwab platinum after I open it.
You can! That’s what I did. I had about 150k MR before signing up for the Schwab card and an additional 80K MR after opening the card. All MR shows up in the Amex portal and if you have the Schwab account pulled up you can “Invest with MR” and dump all of your points into your brokerage or retirement account. Super easy. :-)

secondcor521

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #31 on: May 20, 2018, 06:23:45 PM »
Thanks for the great writeup!  I may be pursuing this strategy soon.

I am curious if after I open a schwab acct and schwab amex platinum, if I would be able to transfer any AMEX membership rewards points from my other amex cards to the schwab amex and then be able to cash them out at 1.25 into the schwab brokerage acct?  I did a live chat with amex and they at first said no, but then said they would double check and then the live chat got disconnected somehow so I never got their final answer.   Schwab isn't a regular transfer partner, so I know I can't transfer MR now, but wondering if I could move them to the new schwab platinum after I open it.
You can! That’s what I did. I had about 150k MR before signing up for the Schwab card and an additional 80K MR after opening the card. All MR shows up in the Amex portal and if you have the Schwab account pulled up you can “Invest with MR” and dump all of your points into your brokerage or retirement account. Super easy. :-)

I'll add that it's super easy if you can find the "Invest with Points" button on the screen.  I looked for it under the Membership Rewards part of the website and could never find it.  Embarrassingly, I had to call and have them walk me through it.  It's like one or two clicks away from the main screen and is a nice big green button...just not where I thought it would be.  ;-P

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #32 on: May 21, 2018, 07:23:16 AM »
Awesome, thanks for all the info on combining MR points!  Excited about that as I have a bunch. 

startbyservingothers

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2018, 03:23:11 PM »



To clarify if anyone really cares:

I did not use my AMEX to fund my bank account........

@startbyservingothers, yes AMEX is the actually issuer and Schwab just co-brands / co-markets it, similar to an AMEX Delta card or any of the Chase Southwest cards.

Thanks for clarifying.  Amex gets confusing sometimes since Amex operates as both a payment operating network and issuing bank, but only some of the time.  Of course, Citi, Wells Fargo, Etc. also issue Amex cards. 

teltic

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #34 on: June 27, 2018, 02:27:58 PM »
I did not know about the 3rd $200 gift card potential.  Looking at my current AMEX Platinum... I got it 12/12/2017.  You just scored me an extra $200!  Thank you!

Do you think I could get Schwabs AMEX Platinum?  Or since I already have an AMEX Platinum they will decline me?

lexde

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #35 on: June 27, 2018, 02:29:12 PM »
I did not know about the 3rd $200 gift card potential.  Looking at my current AMEX Platinum... I got it 12/12/2017.  You just scored me an extra $200!  Thank you!

Do you think I could get Schwabs AMEX Platinum?  Or since I already have an AMEX Platinum they will decline me?
They are separate products, so you can hold both!

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #36 on: June 28, 2018, 09:45:34 PM »
Just in case anyone cares:

AMEX platinum will be getting a $100 credit for Saks Fifth Ave. (very useful since everyone on here shops there...buy yourself...1 sock maybe?):
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/american-express-platinum-adds-100-saks-fifth-avenue-benefit/

Also, a bit more useful, cardmatch is showing 100k AMEX Platinum offers for some people currently:
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/cardmatch-offering-people-100000-points-american-express-platinum/

Just checked last week for myself and saw I was targeted so I applied and was approved.  My first AMEX card...and now I have 19k of MSR to meet with my Capital One Spark Business (10k), AMEX Plat. (5k), and Citi AA Business Platinum (4k).  No more credit cards for me for the next 3 months...but plenty of $500 gift cards!

lexde

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #37 on: June 29, 2018, 05:07:30 AM »
Just in case anyone cares:

AMEX platinum will be getting a $100 credit for Saks Fifth Ave. (very useful since everyone on here shops there...buy yourself...1 sock maybe?):
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/american-express-platinum-adds-100-saks-fifth-avenue-benefit/

Also, a bit more useful, cardmatch is showing 100k AMEX Platinum offers for some people currently:
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/cardmatch-offering-people-100000-points-american-express-platinum/

Just checked last week for myself and saw I was targeted so I applied and was approved.  My first AMEX card...and now I have 19k of MSR to meet with my Capital One Spark Business (10k), AMEX Plat. (5k), and Citi AA Business Platinum (4k).  No more credit cards for me for the next 3 months...but plenty of $500 gift cards!
Good info, thanks!

As a note, Amex is very MS sensitive and will claw back bonuses. I highly recommend organic spend to hit the MSR on the Plat. The other two aren’t sensitive at all.

Toad

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #38 on: June 29, 2018, 07:17:25 AM »
As a note, Amex is very MS sensitive and will claw back bonuses. I highly recommend organic spend to hit the MSR on the Plat. The other two aren’t sensitive at all.

Am doing this.  I prepaid my utilities about 4 months out with the card and did a test to see if AMEX gets level 3 data from the grocery store I use for $500 gift cards.  They do not so as far as they will know I just buy lots of groceries :P.  I am putting all my organic spend on it though until I meet it's MSR.

lexde

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #39 on: June 29, 2018, 07:19:05 AM »
As a note, Amex is very MS sensitive and will claw back bonuses. I highly recommend organic spend to hit the MSR on the Plat. The other two aren’t sensitive at all.

Am doing this.  I prepaid my utilities about 4 months out with the card and did a test to see if AMEX gets level 3 data from the grocery store I use for $500 gift cards.  They do not so as far as they will know I just buy lots of groceries :P.  I am putting all my organic spend on it though until I meet it's MSR.
Good plan! I think you could get away with one or two $500s over the course of the MSR as long as it looks organic, but I wouldn’t risk any more than that. Prepaying utilities is a smart move!

Toad

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #40 on: June 29, 2018, 08:13:39 AM »
Another thing I started doing to help meet MSRs without increasing my actual spend is mystery shopping.  I can increase my "organic" spend by $250 or so per month pretty easily doing it (net after considering the simulatanious reduction in my grocery spend as a result).  Also, the mileage then becomes tax deductible.

I am essentially at 0 profit between cost and mileage deductions.  In my opinion the standard mileage rate is quite high, so the closer to 0 I am the more "tax fee" money I get from the difference between the deduct and actual costs.  I use this to set my range of travel to shops...keeping a 10 mile radius keeps me pretty balanced.

From this I have gained several hundred in "organic" spend while at the same time reducing my actual organic spend (groceries) by about half.  Effectively tax free profit + reduced out of pocket spend + increased actual spend = Win-Win-Win.

Now I just need to find the company that does Saks Fifth Avenue mystery shopping so I can extract the $100 credit from my AMEX...

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2018, 10:39:10 AM »
Another thing I started doing to help meet MSRs without increasing my actual spend is mystery shopping.  I can increase my "organic" spend by $250 or so per month pretty easily doing it (net after considering the simulatanious reduction in my grocery spend as a result).  Also, the mileage then becomes tax deductible.

I am essentially at 0 profit between cost and mileage deductions.  In my opinion the standard mileage rate is quite high, so the closer to 0 I am the more "tax fee" money I get from the difference between the deduct and actual costs.  I use this to set my range of travel to shops...keeping a 10 mile radius keeps me pretty balanced.

From this I have gained several hundred in "organic" spend while at the same time reducing my actual organic spend (groceries) by about half.  Effectively tax free profit + reduced out of pocket spend + increased actual spend = Win-Win-Win.

Now I just need to find the company that does Saks Fifth Avenue mystery shopping so I can extract the $100 credit from my AMEX...


I am not understanding this...what is mystery shopping? 

Toad

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2018, 09:47:06 PM »

I am not understanding this...what is mystery shopping?

Mystery shopping is basically getting paid to shop somewhere.  You perform certain tasks/buy certain items and then fill out a survey based on your experience.

For example, on Monday, Tuesday, and tomorrow, I have/will do a mystery shop at a pizza place.  i buy a pizza, take a picture of it, answer some questions, and submit it.  In return I get full reimbursement for the pizza and $5.00.

Really, doing this for the money is pointless, since you will not make much of anything after factoring in travel expense, but since you can increase spend on credit cards to meet MSRs, it starts to become useful and is why I do it.  Each pizza is ~$15 of "organic" spend and is 2 days i do not need to buy groceries for myself.

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #43 on: July 04, 2018, 12:18:37 PM »

I am not understanding this...what is mystery shopping?

Mystery shopping is basically getting paid to shop somewhere.  You perform certain tasks/buy certain items and then fill out a survey based on your experience.

For example, on Monday, Tuesday, and tomorrow, I have/will do a mystery shop at a pizza place.  i buy a pizza, take a picture of it, answer some questions, and submit it.  In return I get full reimbursement for the pizza and $5.00.

Really, doing this for the money is pointless, since you will not make much of anything after factoring in travel expense, but since you can increase spend on credit cards to meet MSRs, it starts to become useful and is why I do it.  Each pizza is ~$15 of "organic" spend and is 2 days i do not need to buy groceries for myself.

thx for the explanation

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #44 on: July 04, 2018, 12:32:07 PM »
Just in case anyone cares:

AMEX platinum will be getting a $100 credit for Saks Fifth Ave. (very useful since everyone on here shops there...buy yourself...1 sock maybe?):
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/american-express-platinum-adds-100-saks-fifth-avenue-benefit/

Also, a bit more useful, cardmatch is showing 100k AMEX Platinum offers for some people currently:
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/cardmatch-offering-people-100000-points-american-express-platinum/

Just checked last week for myself and saw I was targeted so I applied and was approved.  My first AMEX card...and now I have 19k of MSR to meet with my Capital One Spark Business (10k), AMEX Plat. (5k), and Citi AA Business Platinum (4k).  No more credit cards for me for the next 3 months...but plenty of $500 gift cards!
Good info, thanks!

As a note, Amex is very MS sensitive and will claw back bonuses. I highly recommend organic spend to hit the MSR on the Plat. The other two aren’t sensitive at all.

You mentioned AMEX is sensitive to MS.....is paying a legitimate contractor through Plastiq going to raise red flags?  Does AMEX have any issues with using plastiq for minimum spends?

lexde

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #45 on: July 04, 2018, 02:20:27 PM »
Just in case anyone cares:

AMEX platinum will be getting a $100 credit for Saks Fifth Ave. (very useful since everyone on here shops there...buy yourself...1 sock maybe?):
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/american-express-platinum-adds-100-saks-fifth-avenue-benefit/

Also, a bit more useful, cardmatch is showing 100k AMEX Platinum offers for some people currently:
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/cardmatch-offering-people-100000-points-american-express-platinum/

Just checked last week for myself and saw I was targeted so I applied and was approved.  My first AMEX card...and now I have 19k of MSR to meet with my Capital One Spark Business (10k), AMEX Plat. (5k), and Citi AA Business Platinum (4k).  No more credit cards for me for the next 3 months...but plenty of $500 gift cards!
Good info, thanks!

As a note, Amex is very MS sensitive and will claw back bonuses. I highly recommend organic spend to hit the MSR on the Plat. The other two aren’t sensitive at all.

You mentioned AMEX is sensitive to MS.....is paying a legitimate contractor through Plastiq going to raise red flags?  Does AMEX have any issues with using plastiq for minimum spends?
No. Paying legitimate bills through Plastiq is organic spend and should not create any issues with MSRs.

teltic

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #46 on: July 04, 2018, 02:23:49 PM »
https://slickdeals.net/f/11766191-amazon-amex-membership-rewards-cardholders-pay-w-points-get-20-off-select-cardholders-max-100-discount?v=1

20% off amazon up to $500.

https://www.amazon.com/b?node=17170797011

1. Activate - Add this offer to your account by clicking the button below. Please note: you must click the button to redeem this offer.

2. Shop - Add one or more eligible items to your shopping cart. This item must be sold and shipped by Amazon.com to qualify.

3. Use points - Check out with your American Express Card and use Membership Rewards points for at least a portion of your order.


Most people are simply buying gift cards.

1. $400 amazon gift card
2. $100 netflix gift card
3. use 1 AMEX point
4. get $100 off. :)

Toad

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2018, 10:23:11 PM »
You mentioned AMEX is sensitive to MS.....is paying a legitimate contractor through Plastiq going to raise red flags?  Does AMEX have any issues with using plastiq for minimum spends?

No. Paying legitimate bills through Plastiq is organic spend and should not create any issues with MSRs.

On a related note, I joined Plastiq explicitly for paying rent using my AMEX...only to discover that they do not allow rent payments with AMEX.  Put a pretty big hole in my plans to run through the AMEX business cards quickly.  Not much point to do it for any other cards since MSing them is cheaper and no one but AMEX seems to care much.

HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #48 on: July 06, 2018, 02:49:46 PM »
Just in case anyone cares:

AMEX platinum will be getting a $100 credit for Saks Fifth Ave. (very useful since everyone on here shops there...buy yourself...1 sock maybe?):
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/american-express-platinum-adds-100-saks-fifth-avenue-benefit/

Also, a bit more useful, cardmatch is showing 100k AMEX Platinum offers for some people currently:
https://www.doctorofcredit.com/cardmatch-offering-people-100000-points-american-express-platinum/

Just checked last week for myself and saw I was targeted so I applied and was approved.  My first AMEX card...and now I have 19k of MSR to meet with my Capital One Spark Business (10k), AMEX Plat. (5k), and Citi AA Business Platinum (4k).  No more credit cards for me for the next 3 months...but plenty of $500 gift cards!
Good info, thanks!

As a note, Amex is very MS sensitive and will claw back bonuses. I highly recommend organic spend to hit the MSR on the Plat. The other two aren’t sensitive at all.

You mentioned AMEX is sensitive to MS.....is paying a legitimate contractor through Plastiq going to raise red flags?  Does AMEX have any issues with using plastiq for minimum spends?
No. Paying legitimate bills through Plastiq is organic spend and should not create any issues with MSRs.

thanks!

Amanda

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Re: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card
« Reply #49 on: July 06, 2018, 03:56:02 PM »
You mentioned AMEX is sensitive to MS.....is paying a legitimate contractor through Plastiq going to raise red flags?  Does AMEX have any issues with using plastiq for minimum spends?

No. Paying legitimate bills through Plastiq is organic spend and should not create any issues with MSRs.

On a related note, I joined Plastiq explicitly for paying rent using my AMEX...only to discover that they do not allow rent payments with AMEX.  Put a pretty big hole in my plans to run through the AMEX business cards quickly.  Not much point to do it for any other cards since MSing them is cheaper and no one but AMEX seems to care much.

I have used Amex through Plastic to prepay my utility bill.  That was the only option I could find.  I had to resort to that and buying a bunch of grocery store gift cards for one of the last Amex bonuses I did.