Author Topic: Making $1,350.00 in 12 Months with my Charge Card  (Read 2527 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.
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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! ;-)
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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.
"There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less." - G.K. Chesterton

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.
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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 »
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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/
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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.

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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?
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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. :-)

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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 »
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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.

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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.
Credit card signup bonuses:

Chase 4 ways!
Freedom: $150 bonus on $500 spend https://www.referyourchasecard.com/2/03KSQF2G5T
CSP: 50k UR ($500) on $4k spend https://www.referyourchasecard.com/6/UW0KPNQ0C6
CSR: 50k UR ($500) on $4k spend https://www.referyourchasecard.com/19/AOWAI3BZ35
CIP (business): 80k UR ($800) on $5k spend https://www.referyourchasecard.com/21/734C6BFZO3

Amex Platinum: 60k MR on $5k spend (try to get targeted for a 100k offer instead) http://refer.amex.us/THOMASCt2z
Amex Hilton Ascend: 100k HH points on $2k spend + Gold status http://refer.amex.us/THOMASYKOS

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!

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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.

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