Author Topic: Selling Tradelines / Piggybacking Part II: $1000+/hr, 20-40k/yr. Side Gig  (Read 536164 times)

Orin!

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I am hard to believe that only two AUs added would cause them to a) think you are selling tradelines, 2) cause them to close you down. I know that at that time Discover was pretty much asking everyone to send them a copy of drivers license and SS card and filled out ssa-89 (form they use to verify you as legit and not synthetic) and only gave you a 10 day time period to get this letter and send it back (clock started from when they mailed it to you, so really you only had 5 business days to handle and send back). Anyone who didn’t do that was closed down. So maybe it was that? Or you had a super sketch person added as an AU. But isn’t that was these middle men are paid to detect and handle?

dragoncar

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I am hard to believe that only two AUs added would cause them to a) think you are selling tradelines, 2) cause them to close you down. I know that at that time Discover was pretty much asking everyone to send them a copy of drivers license and SS card and filled out ssa-89 (form they use to verify you as legit and not synthetic) and only gave you a 10 day time period to get this letter and send it back (clock started from when they mailed it to you, so really you only had 5 business days to handle and send back). Anyone who didn’t do that was closed down. So maybe it was that? Or you had a super sketch person added as an AU. But isn’t that was these middle men are paid to detect and handle?

Both adds were successful, then a year later account closed.  I described in greater detail upthread.  Used the "new" company so maybe they did let a scammer through, but others have had similar experiences. 

Car Jack

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Got a sale on new company with Discover.  All of the cards I use on any tradeline is one I assume will be closed, so I don't care.

Padonak

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Has anybody tried to dispute account closure due to selling tradelines, particularly with BofA? Is it worth disputing?

Orin!

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I don’t know what all this concern is about closed cards. Yes it is good to know which ones are touchy at what time.

I have 16 cards. 7 of them I am using for personal use. 9 of them I am using for tradelines. I made 3k in three months. All my nine cards have ~3 AU lines sold. Let’s say I continue to run ten hard and do ~3 lines every two months. Let’s say five cards get closed down in six months (that would be more than expected) then I would have made 12k by then. Let’s say I keep running my five remaining cards hard for six more months and make another 4.5 k and all those then get closed down. Ok so I walk away a year from now with 16.5k. Maybe I some of those banks I can’t reopen a card with and others I can. There are plenty of banks out there. I still have my other 7 I never sold tradelines with. Maybe I just apply for some new cards and move my business over to them and start using my previous 7 cards for tradelines and make another 14k in the next year.

I am working with a different company that is aggrsssively marketing to the people who want tradelines.It is a booming area in demand and anyone who tells you otherwise is not tracking with the benefits a regular person gets from increased credit score in the idiotic buy things now on credit world we live in.

MasterStache

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I don’t know what all this concern is about closed cards. Yes it is good to know which ones are touchy at what time.

I have 16 cards. 7 of them I am using for personal use. 9 of them I am using for tradelines. I made 3k in three months. All my nine cards have ~3 AU lines sold. Let’s say I continue to run ten hard and do ~3 lines every two months. Let’s say five cards get closed down in six months (that would be more than expected) then I would have made 12k by then. Let’s say I keep running my five remaining cards hard for six more months and make another 4.5 k and all those then get closed down. Ok so I walk away a year from now with 16.5k. Maybe I some of those banks I can’t reopen a card with and others I can. There are plenty of banks out there. I still have my other 7 I never sold tradelines with. Maybe I just apply for some new cards and move my business over to them and start using my previous 7 cards for tradelines and make another 14k in the next year.

I am working with a different company that is aggrsssively marketing to the people who want tradelines.It is a booming area in demand and anyone who tells you otherwise is not tracking with the benefits a regular person gets from increased credit score in the idiotic buy things now on credit world we live in.

Seems pretty logical to be concerned about closed cards. Many of us, including myself, dabble in travel hacking. Card closures comes with a risk of being blacklisted as well. With many CC companies clamping down on churners, adding in being blacklisted really starts to tighten the noose as far as churning goes. Plus many of us, again myself included, don't have a shit ton of cards in the system.

Padonak

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Any tips on increasing credit lines to make credit cards eligible for selling tradelines and getting paid more?

I have many cards but only 3 of them can be used for tradelines at the moment. I shifted my credit lines from other cards to those cards so other cards with the same banks have something like 1-5K credit limits. There seems to be a maximum total credit limit with issuers like Barclays and BofA because when I apply for new cards with them they no longer auto approve me even though my FICO is pretty high. I have to call them and re-distribute credit limits from other cards with the same bank to a new card before they finalize approval process and send it to me. I have a regular job and a pretty decent salary as well. Not sure what else I can do to increase my credit limit.

secondcor521

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Any tips on increasing credit lines to make credit cards eligible for selling tradelines and getting paid more?

I have many cards but only 3 of them can be used for tradelines at the moment. I shifted my credit lines from other cards to those cards so other cards with the same banks have something like 1-5K credit limits. There seems to be a maximum total credit limit with issuers like Barclays and BofA because when I apply for new cards with them they no longer auto approve me even though my FICO is pretty high. I have to call them and re-distribute credit limits from other cards with the same bank to a new card before they finalize approval process and send it to me. I have a regular job and a pretty decent salary as well. Not sure what else I can do to increase my credit limit.

A couple of ideas:

1.  Be more aggressive about reallocating.  Most credit card minimum limits are $100 or $500.  If you have a $5K card, that's $4.5K to $4.9K that could be reallocated.  You can even close the smaller card and move the whole CL over.

2.  Increase your reportable income.  Look at all available options, including a raise at work, reporting the side income from piggybacking as additional income, etc.

3.  Become an AU yourself by buying a monster line from someone like me.  Another forum member did that on the theory that banks will match CLs on larger lines.  He had me add him to a $27.5K line, and he reported that it worked for him.  I've got lines up to $60K.

4.  Get cards from other issuers.  If you have maybe a $60K income, you could probably get a single $20K line from a smaller issuer regardless of your Chase and Citi limits.  Check the list of issuers that piggybacking works with, of course; I have a nice line with Alliant but the AU companies don't work with them (at least Old and New Company do not).

But yeah, you're right...most issuers will have a max total limit they'll extend you on all cards with them.  It seems to be mostly a function of your reported income, not your credit score.

Good luck!

Orin!

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@MasterStache
Once you have been dabbling in travel hacking a bit longer you will see you can sign up for so many cards every few months and will soon have more cards than you can do anything with. If your credit age and depth is low and you only have three cards to your name then you shouldn’t do tradelines until you build your credit up a bit, or at least yes - take a conservative approach.

@Padonak
BofA you can request credit line increases online without any hard query to your credit. Barclays would be a hard pull so I would lay off that. What other lines do you have? I request credit line increases on all my cards every 3-6 months if they don’t do hard pulls.

@secondcor521
Reportable income is key. Also look at what they define as your reportable income. Most definitions I have seen from banks include a wide definition.

MasterStache

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@MasterStache
Once you have been dabbling in travel hacking a bit longer you will see you can sign up for so many cards every few months and will soon have more cards than you can do anything with. If your credit age and depth is low and you only have three cards to your name then you shouldn’t do tradelines until you build your credit up a bit, or at least yes - take a conservative approach.

Been travel hacking for many years now with several dozen cards between my wife and I, but thanks for the advice. You are missing the keyword "churning." I can tell you from personal experience signing up for tons of card every few months has become increasingly difficult, again with rules being instituted by numerous CC companies. Add in blacklisting, and the going just gets tougher 
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 01:09:17 PM by MasterStache »

Orin!

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@MasterStache
Once you have been dabbling in travel hacking a bit longer you will see you can sign up for so many cards every few months and will soon have more cards than you can do anything with. If your credit age and depth is low and you only have three cards to your name then you shouldn’t do tradelines until you build your credit up a bit, or at least yes - take a conservative approach.

Been travel hacking for many years now with several dozen cards between my wife and I, but thanks for the advice. You are missing the keyword "churning." I can tell you from personal experience signing up for tons of card every few months has become increasingly difficult, again with rules being instituted by numerous CC companies. Add in blacklisting, and the going just gets tougher

Ok - just pointing out the math and the rough odds. I personally think 20k over the next year even if all my 9 cards get shut down and I get blacklisted with those banks (4) would be worth it and I think that all of them being shit down and being completely blacklisted with all of ten is beyond all datapoints seen. Like from what I have seen BofA might close your one card but let you open another.

And if those 4 banks all blacklisted me there are plenty of other banks to go to. And banks are not fancy enough from what I see to cross reference black lists.

Just putting out the numbers for “worst case” scenarios.

But each to their preference.

dragoncar

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@MasterStache
Once you have been dabbling in travel hacking a bit longer you will see you can sign up for so many cards every few months and will soon have more cards than you can do anything with. If your credit age and depth is low and you only have three cards to your name then you shouldn’t do tradelines until you build your credit up a bit, or at least yes - take a conservative approach.

Been travel hacking for many years now with several dozen cards between my wife and I, but thanks for the advice. You are missing the keyword "churning." I can tell you from personal experience signing up for tons of card every few months has become increasingly difficult, again with rules being instituted by numerous CC companies. Add in blacklisting, and the going just gets tougher

Ok - just pointing out the math and the rough odds. I personally think 20k over the next year even if all my 9 cards get shut down and I get blacklisted with those banks (4) would be worth it and I think that all of them being shit down and being completely blacklisted with all of ten is beyond all datapoints seen. Like from what I have seen BofA might close your one card but let you open another.

And if those 4 banks all blacklisted me there are plenty of other banks to go to. And banks are not fancy enough from what I see to cross reference black lists.

Just putting out the numbers for “worst case” scenarios.

But each to their preference.

Those numbers were best-case, though.  Worst case is you get a single sale and they blacklist you.  I only got two.  If I had made anywhere near 20k (also very optimistic) I would consider it even.

FrugalSaver

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Had another Bank of America add fail. :(

longtry

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US exclusive?
« Reply #2763 on: July 23, 2018, 02:29:53 AM »
I haven't read all of those ~3000 posts, but it seems this strategy applies to the US only. How many banks are there that accept foreigners opening cards? In case it's not possible, are there markets with characteristics similar to the US (consumerism, highly developed financial system, tradeline/piggyback companies available...) that welcome foreigners to enter? Thank you.

arebelspy

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Re: US exclusive?
« Reply #2764 on: July 23, 2018, 07:15:00 AM »
I haven't read all of those ~3000 posts, but it seems this strategy applies to the US only. How many banks are there that accept foreigners opening cards? In case it's not possible, are there markets with characteristics similar to the US (consumerism, highly developed financial system, tradeline/piggyback companies available...) that welcome foreigners to enter? Thank you.

I am not aware of any other countries this works in. It is a feature of the way our credit scoring system works.

I believe you need a U.S. SSN for the vast majority of credit card institutions (from very breif research some apparently, like Amex, may let you "transfer" your credit history from other countries they are in, if you have cards with them, but Amex doesn't work for tradelines).
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Shade00

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Got an email this evening for a last minute add as they call it requesting the add by the end of day tomorrow for my Discover card. This is the first add I've had in 10 months or so and I'm not sure why the add must be done by tomorrow. My statement closing date isn't until the 2nd and I have a payment slated to go at the end of the week to pay off the balance, which due to a large purchase exceeds 15% utilization. I can move the payment up to tomorrow so it will hopefully post but I didn't even think this would show on the AUs credit report until at least my close date. Is that right? I feel bad but I may not be able to take this add also due to traveling and poor internet access.

arebelspy

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Got an email this evening for a last minute add as they call it requesting the add by the end of day tomorrow for my Discover card. This is the first add I've had in 10 months or so and I'm not sure why the add must be done by tomorrow. My statement closing date isn't until the 2nd and I have a payment slated to go at the end of the week to pay off the balance, which due to a large purchase exceeds 15% utilization. I can move the payment up to tomorrow so it will hopefully post but I didn't even think this would show on the AUs credit report until at least my close date. Is that right? I feel bad but I may not be able to take this add also due to traveling and poor internet access.

Discover does not not wait until closing statement, it reports AUs immediately.

I'd move up the payment and add the AU (probably will take about the same amount of time as it took to write this post--3-5 min), but email them immediately if you can't.

They've seen increased sales, and people not seeing sales have seen them, but a bunch of people have flaked on doing the adds, so they've had to remove some people (thus seeing increased activity going forward for those who do their adds).
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Shade00

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Got an email this evening for a last minute add as they call it requesting the add by the end of day tomorrow for my Discover card. This is the first add I've had in 10 months or so and I'm not sure why the add must be done by tomorrow. My statement closing date isn't until the 2nd and I have a payment slated to go at the end of the week to pay off the balance, which due to a large purchase exceeds 15% utilization. I can move the payment up to tomorrow so it will hopefully post but I didn't even think this would show on the AUs credit report until at least my close date. Is that right? I feel bad but I may not be able to take this add also due to traveling and poor internet access.

Discover does not not wait until closing statement, it reports AUs immediately.

I'd move up the payment and add the AU (probably will take about the same amount of time as it took to write this post--3-5 min), but email them immediately if you can't.

They've seen increased sales, and people not seeing sales have seen them, but a bunch of people have flaked on doing the adds, so they've had to remove some people (thus seeing increased activity going forward for those who do their adds).

Thanks, very helpful. I will do my best to get it straight with them. I'd like to do the add and if things pick up, I'm very happy for it. Difficult for me to do this last minute but I don't want to lose the opportunity going forward.

Orin!

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@dragoncar
Perhaps you should have been doing more adds and it would have been more worthwhile. If you were doing two slots every two months for a year and then been shut down you would have walked away with 2k (assuming this is a 10k plus line that is over 2 years old). Instead you did two slots and then nothing for a year and then were shut down.

There is a lot of demand out there for these lines. I am using a different company than the old or new, but all I am saying is there is demand. The company I work with takes several actions to vet users and I am sure the new and old companies do to - but nothing is foolproof.

longtry

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Re: US exclusive?
« Reply #2769 on: July 24, 2018, 05:21:08 AM »
from very breif research some apparently, like Amex, may let you "transfer" your credit history from other countries they are in, if you have cards with them, but Amex doesn't work for tradelines.
Thanks @rebel, that's also what my prior research turned out. How unfortunate.
On a related note, from what I read on the net, one of the better ways to get an SSN is to work for a US company. But can I work outside the US while still benefit from the SSN? Are there even better, easier methods to get SSNs? Oh, and are there any members here on MMM fora who own a business & are kind enough to give me a token job?

Orin!

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Re: US exclusive?
« Reply #2770 on: July 24, 2018, 06:18:21 AM »
from very breif research some apparently, like Amex, may let you "transfer" your credit history from other countries they are in, if you have cards with them, but Amex doesn't work for tradelines.
Thanks @rebel, that's also what my prior research turned out. How unfortunate.
On a related note, from what I read on the net, one of the better ways to get an SSN is to work for a US company. But can I work outside the US while still benefit from the SSN? Are there even better, easier methods to get SSNs? Oh, and are there any members here on MMM fora who own a business & are kind enough to give me a token job?
Read this:
https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10096.pdf

dragoncar

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@dragoncar
Perhaps you should have been doing more adds and it would have been more worthwhile. If you were doing two slots every two months for a year and then been shut down you would have walked away with 2k (assuming this is a 10k plus line that is over 2 years old). Instead you did two slots and then nothing for a year and then were shut down.

There is a lot of demand out there for these lines. I am using a different company than the old or new, but all I am saying is there is demand. The company I work with takes several actions to vet users and I am sure the new and old companies do to - but nothing is foolproof.

This advice is gold.  Right up there with “make more money” and “be more attractive”

arebelspy

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This advice is gold.  Right up there with “make more money” and “be more attractive”

To be fair, have you even tried those things?
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
If you want to know more about me, or how we did that, or see lots of pictures, this Business Insider profile tells our story pretty well.
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hgjjgkj

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New company has been very quiet for me lately

secondcor521

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New company has been very quiet for me lately

A recent email said that New Company thinks there are audits going on at several of the banks that they use.  If your cards are with those banks, the New Company has rested them for you until they believe those audits are done.

missundecided

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I didn't get that email. Care to share the list of banks?

beekayworld

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I didn't get that email. Care to share the list of banks?

I received an email from the new company that they will no longer accept  USAA, Cap 1, US Bank, or Elan. They expect it to be temporary while the companies do internal reviews.

secondcor521

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I didn't get that email. Care to share the list of banks?

Matching what @beekayworld wrote above...from the email:

"5.  At this time we are not selling USAA, Cap 1, US Bank, or Elan. This is because we feel the risk is too high for possible card closures due to internal reviews being conducted by the aforementioned banks. Based on past experience this is a temporary situation and we will resume using those cards most likely within the next 1-2 months."

missundecided

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Obviously missed that post. Thanks!

ThatGuy

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This advice is gold.  Right up there with “make more money” and “be more attractive”

To be fair, have you even tried those things?

It's not possible for those of us who are butt ugly and stupid.

Orin!

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This advice is gold.  Right up there with “make more money” and “be more attractive”

To be fair, have you even tried those things?

It's not possible for those of us who are butt ugly and stupid.
It’s still possible to try

dragoncar

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This advice is gold.  Right up there with “make more money” and “be more attractive”

To be fair, have you even tried those things?

It's not possible for those of us who are butt ugly and stupid.
It’s still possible to try

There is no try

longtry

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Re: US exclusive?
« Reply #2782 on: July 25, 2018, 08:39:44 AM »
Read this: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10096.pdf
Thanks Orin! It's a legal document, and my head gets a little dizzy whenever it comes to reading such, but I think there are answers to my questions:
- No I won't be able to work outside the US & get an SSN, at least at 1st.
- Working is still the best method.
Please correct me if I'm wrong. For the last part of my questions, maybe I'd have to post at the 'Ask a Mustachian' forum...

Orin!

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Re: US exclusive?
« Reply #2783 on: July 25, 2018, 12:39:16 PM »
Read this: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10096.pdf
Thanks Orin! It's a legal document, and my head gets a little dizzy whenever it comes to reading such, but I think there are answers to my questions:
- No I won't be able to work outside the US & get an SSN, at least at 1st.
- Working is still the best method.
Please correct me if I'm wrong. For the last part of my questions, maybe I'd have to post at the 'Ask a Mustachian' forum...
The short version - with my brief understanding - is you have to get a USA work visa and then you can get a ssn. I do not know all the ins and outs on getting a work visa but I do not think it would be worth it just to get a ssn to build credit and eventually have lines worth selling for tradelines. To get a work visa I believe you would need to get someone to sponsor you and there would be fees.

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If you want to get a US credit card from another country, this series of posts (seven in all) may help: How To Get US Credit Cards

It's aimed at Canadians who want to get US credit cards for sign on bonuses, credit card points, etc, but the same ideas should work (I have to say, that's advance credit card churning there, kudos to them).

Haven't read entire series of steps, but seems to be something like this:
Get individual tax identifier number (ITIN), to use in lieu of social, since you are correct, as a non US resident you won't get a social. But it is very possibly you might have US source income, such as royalties. So you sign up for some kind of book writing account, use the possibility of royalties as justification for an ITIN. You open an Amex in your home country, then apply for an Amex in the US using your home country credit, you tie that new American Amex to the ITIN you just got. You wait and hope to build a credit profile in the US from that Amex which now reports to the US credit reporting agencies with your ITIN. You then apply for more cards. While doing all that, you also have to set up a virtual US mailbox, US phone numbers, US banking etc. Hopefully the series covers it all

YMMV. Good luck if you try.

longtry

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You two are very kind. Orin! It's beginning to dawn on me that maybe it's not worth it, as you said. Following CanuckExpat's mentioned way incurs different fees on its own. Not to mention even if I'm successful after a long quest to have 10+ credit cards, I'd still have to spend on stuffs to build up my score & suffer the annual fees for nearly 10 years before they're ripe for tradelines.
Secondly, I'm too unfamiliar with the scene that I don't have the proper numbers; and even if I had, I wouldn't be able crunch the numbers to see if it's a worthy investment or not.

merula

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You two are very kind. Orin! It's beginning to dawn on me that maybe it's not worth it, as you said. Following CanuckExpat's mentioned way incurs different fees on its own. Not to mention even if I'm successful after a long quest to have 10+ credit cards, I'd still have to spend on stuffs to build up my score & suffer the annual fees for nearly 10 years before they're ripe for tradelines.
Secondly, I'm too unfamiliar with the scene that I don't have the proper numbers; and even if I had, I wouldn't be able crunch the numbers to see if it's a worthy investment or not.

You don't need a good credit score to sell tradelines, all that matters is that the tradeline in question is clean: low credit utilization, no late payments. All your other credit pieces could be crap (or nonexistent), but that doesn't hurt the tradeline buyer.

You also don't have to pay annual fees to sell tradelines. It's just that most people participating from this forum started with credit card churning (in which you sign up for a bunch of cards to get the bonuses), and bonuses are higher for annual-fee cards, so those were the cards available to a lot of people when they learned about tradelines.

longtry

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You don't need a good credit score to sell tradelines, all that matters is that the tradeline in question is clean: low credit utilization, no late payments. All your other credit pieces could be crap (or nonexistent), but that doesn't hurt the tradeline buyer.
You also don't have to pay annual fees to sell tradelines. It's just that most people participating from this forum started with credit card churning (in which you sign up for a bunch of cards to get the bonuses), and bonuses are higher for annual-fee cards, so those were the cards available to a lot of people when they learned about tradelines.
That bolded part is quite an eye-opener for me, merula :) Then from an MMM or any financial-aware guy's perspective, there's no reason not to churn the cards! Could you please point me to some thread or article that teaches the know-how?
A question about credit score: what would be my score if I just register for a card & leave it as is? Or should I just buy 1 & only 1 thing, pay it back right away & enjoy all the mentioned prerequisites of low credit utilization & no late payments for, like, eternity?

merula

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A question about credit score: what would be my score if I just register for a card & leave it as is? Or should I just buy 1 & only 1 thing, pay it back right away & enjoy all the mentioned prerequisites of low credit utilization & no late payments for, like, eternity?

Credit scoring is intentionally opaque, so it's impossible to know for sure, but there are two basic ways that having an account impacts your score: percent of credit utilized and record of on-time payments.

Having an open account will decrease your percent of credit utilized, but only making charges and therefore payments on the card will impact the record of on-time payments. This is why you have to make charges when you're selling tradelines, so there's a sale that reports to the bureaus. This is also probably the source of the misconception that you have to carry a balance to build credit; you don't, but that's what some people interpret "payments" to mean.

beekayworld

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Or should I just buy 1 & only 1 thing, pay it back right away & enjoy all the mentioned prerequisites of low credit utilization & no late payments for, like, eternity?

For the bonuses, you will probably have to spend a certain amount of money in the first few months. For example, charge $2000 on the card in the first 3 months.

With trade lines the eternity part of your statement makes sense. Without trade lines, I would cancel the card before the one-year anniversary in order to avoid the annual fee. An annual fee of $95 or $199 is acceptable if I'm getting even one sale on the card per year.

robartsd

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That bolded part is quite an eye-opener for me, merula :) Then from an MMM or any financial-aware guy's perspective, there's no reason not to churn the cards! Could you please point me to some thread or article that teaches the know-how?
There's a journal here on the forums dedicated to credit card churning and how to manufacture spending to meet the spending requirements of the sign up bonuses.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/1-2million-miles-and-counting/

For the bonuses, you will probably have to spend a certain amount of money in the first few months. For example, charge $2000 on the card in the first 3 months.

With trade lines the eternity part of your statement makes sense. Without trade lines, I would cancel the card before the one-year anniversary in order to avoid the annual fee. An annual fee of $95 or $199 is acceptable if I'm getting even one sale on the card per year.
Another reason for canceling the card when churning is that sometimes you can get the sign up bonus for a credit card product again if you haven't had that product for more than a year or two. Typical churning pattern is: apply for the card, get the card, meet the spend requirement, pay off the balance, collect the bonus, cancel the card. It doesn't usually take more than a few months per card if you meet the spend requirement quickly. Usually the bonus isn't available to collect until a month or two after the statement where you first fulfilled all the requirements.

erutio

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I used to be a churner, but selling tradelines is MUCH more lucrative, and for far less work.

The two activities aren't entirely mutually exclusive, but there are some conflicts.  For tradeline selling, you want to build your credit limits up and let them age, while with churning, you don't really care about credit limits or age as long as you meet the spend requirements, and you're constantly opening/closing cards.   

So what I do now is, every year, I pick 2 or 3 cards, novel to me, that have good sign-up bonuses.  Go through the process to get the bonuses, then don't close the cards.  Let them age, and then refer them to the TL companies when they mature.  Because I don't close the cards, I can't get repeat bonuses, but that's ok, like I said, because selling the TLs is so much more lucrative.  I'm on year 3 of this, and I'm running out of cards to sign up for. 

dustinst22

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I used to be a churner, but selling tradelines is MUCH more lucrative, and for far less work.

The two activities aren't entirely mutually exclusive, but there are some conflicts.  For tradeline selling, you want to build your credit limits up and let them age, while with churning, you don't really care about credit limits or age as long as you meet the spend requirements, and you're constantly opening/closing cards.   

So what I do now is, every year, I pick 2 or 3 cards, novel to me, that have good sign-up bonuses.  Go through the process to get the bonuses, then don't close the cards.  Let them age, and then refer them to the TL companies when they mature.  Because I don't close the cards, I can't get repeat bonuses, but that's ok, like I said, because selling the TLs is so much more lucrative.  I'm on year 3 of this, and I'm running out of cards to sign up for.

Cards you want to churn carry Annual Fees.  Banks have no problem "downgrading" these to no AF versions.  So you can just downgrade the card into a no AF version right before 1 year of opening, and then sell the tradeline when it hits 2 years.  You'll then be able to later churn that card again (usually after 2 yrs) since its no longer the original version.  Churning is lucrative too, don't leave money on the table!  Hell, I just converted my amex point earnings from 2 cards to $1750 of Charles Schwab index funds (love their super low cost international fund). Not bad for a 2 card churn.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2018, 02:10:38 PM by dustinst22 »

Snd198

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So I tried to enter the game with the old company and got back this email. Seems like they went very strict on the cards they are accepting now. Very few banks and harder limits.

Quote
Thank you for your interest in our program! We are currently only looking for cards with a minimum $10,000 credit limit, at least 5 years of history, and from one of the following bank issuers: Barclay, Discover, PNC, USAA, Elan, Cap One

LukeS

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So I tried to enter the game with the old company and got back this email. Seems like they went very strict on the cards they are accepting now. Very few banks and harder limits.

Quote
Thank you for your interest in our program! We are currently only looking for cards with a minimum $10,000 credit limit, at least 5 years of history, and from one of the following bank issuers: Barclay, Discover, PNC, USAA, Elan, Cap One

Wow! That's kind of playing a long-game, for me to sign up for cards to maybe be able to sell tradelines on them in 5 years

arebelspy

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The "new" tradeline co takes ones two years old. There are some shady TL companies that take ones brand new if you want to go that route.

"Old" TL company was taking ones as low as two years in April, and giving a signup bonus. For the moment, they have enough lines, so bumped the minimums.

They'll lower it again at some point as either cards are cancelled, withdrawn, or business grows, I'm sure.
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katsiki

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They'll lower it again at some point as either cards are cancelled, withdrawn, or business grows, I'm sure.

+1. Came to post this.

Supply and demand is in full effect in this cottage industry.

longtry

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I would cancel the card before the one-year anniversary in order to avoid the annual fee.
Then it would cost you practically nothing, aside from some telephone call fee & time to manage the stuff, am I getting it right? :)

Oh, on a 2nd look, it seems I misinterpreted merula's comment. The bonuses are bigger for annual-fee cards doesn't mean they are bigger than the annual fees. Not to mention that usually the bonuses come in form of air miles (that link robartsd kindly show me) or gift cards, coupons... In other words, you have to spend more on stuffs to get the bonuses - which seems to contradict the MMM spirit, no?
I just converted my amex point earnings from 2 cards to $1750 of Charles Schwab index funds (love their super low cost international fund).
Wow this is great, for it looks like there are ways to convert bonuses to cash! And my country has Amex, too! Could you elaborate a little more?
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 08:50:15 AM by Longtry »

dustinst22

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And my country has Amex, too! Could you elaborate a little more?

The Charles Schwab Amex Platinum card allows you to convert all your MR points at a rate of 1.25 into your brokerage (i have no idea if they have this offer outside the US).  It's actually not that great of an exchange rate, you can do better with flights, etc.  But I love the idea of having something to show for my churning, in this case index funds -- plus i only need so many flights.  It's about as "mustachian" as you can get.  I'm seeing how quickly I can get this fund to 20 K from just churning rewards.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2018, 11:02:52 AM by dustinst22 »

secondcor521

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The bonuses are bigger for annual-fee cards doesn't mean they are bigger than the annual fees. Not to mention that usually the bonuses come in form of air miles (that link robartsd kindly show me) or gift cards, coupons... In other words, you have to spend more on stuffs to get the bonuses - which seems to contradict the MMM spirit, no?

The good ones are bigger than the first year annual fee.  Sometimes not bigger than the first two annual fees.

As for the second part, there are ways to spend money in the credit card sense without spending money in the MMM sense.  ;-)