Author Topic: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)  (Read 7576 times)

dlawson

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #50 on: April 16, 2019, 04:38:31 PM »
I have an additional caveat that I'm on FIREbattical and have no income outside investments. I plan to go back to work next year. Can I even apply for cards right now without lying? Use my most recent salary or next predicted salary?

If this is a proxy for "can they afford to pay their balance," my savings more than make up for no active income.

I would think that whatever is on your tax return would qualify. And since retirement account distributions fill up your ordinary income bucket, I'd expect you could put that number on a CC applicaton and legitimately back it up if they ask for documentation.

But the truth is that the bank will almost certainly never ask you to prove your income. I've opened around ~45 cards just for myself, and another ~30 for my spouse, and we've never been asked.

AMEX sometimes will ask for permission to get your tax transcript from the IRS to verify income.  I'm not sure what the triggers are...maybe high income and/or high credit limits.  Hasn't happened to me, but I've read about it.

I've opened ~30 Amex cards over the years and have yet to have this happen. It's true that Amex Financial Reviews and tax transcript requests are a thing, but they seem to be limited to people putting very high spending on their cards, usually via Manufactured Spending.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2019, 04:40:24 PM by dlawson »

Toad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #51 on: April 16, 2019, 08:12:38 PM »
It's true that Amex Financial Reviews and tax transcript requests are a thing, but they seem to be limited to people putting very high spending on their cards, usually via Manufactured Spending.

Precisely this.  I have opened about 1 AMEX card per month since I started.  I also put spend on those cards at a rate equal to 2x my stated annual income...before taxes.  To this point I have not been under a financial review, and I am likely a prime candidate for one.

Citi is also known to request proof of income, but apparently the form they send to the IRS to request tax forms is outdated and gets rejected and they then approve you for the card without any verification.  Nothing like following protocol to the T even if it makes no sense.

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8176
  • Location: Don't Ask
  • Resting up for 2020
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #52 on: April 16, 2019, 08:25:48 PM »
Thanks everyone! I have a decent gross for 2018 since I worked half the year, so I can safely put that in. Even if it's unlikely that they'll require proof or validate it with the IRS, I'd rather be on the safe side.

Car Jack

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1121
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #53 on: April 17, 2019, 07:05:28 AM »
To me, all these shenanigans can be lumped together.  Tradeline sales, low balance forgiveness, credit card rewards, credit card sign up bonuses, Bank account bonuses, investment account bonuses.

Most recently, I've slowly but surely lost faith in Vanguard and started looking for a new home for about $300k in IRA money there.  I took the steps to open a Vanguard brokerage account (only had a mutual fund account).  Then went to swap my MF for an ETF to make it more portable.  Here, Vanguard screwed up.  I moved my MFs over to the brokerage and let it settle for a couple weeks.  Then I went to exchange the MF for the ETF and could not figure out how to do it.  So I called the number on their web page and a nice rep told me that this could not be done and that I'd have to sell.....let the sale settle, then buy the ETF.  What?  I thought a huge advantage with Vanguard funds was that with their patent and all, I could exchange.  I was sent 2 separate documents supporting that I'd have to sell, then buy.  Well, someone on Bogleheads showed me how to get the double secret telephone number at Vanguard where they tell you correct answers and they helped me convert to the ETF as an exchange.  Had to do it over the phone.  I let that settle for a week and then moved the whole thing in kind to TDAmeritrade to capture $600.

I'm also currently in the middle of funding a new Cap One 360 money market account.  For $10k funding within 10 days of opening, keeping it there for 90 days, I'll get $200.  If I decide to scrape together a full $50k, I'll get $500.  Still up in the air if I'll do the whole $50k with tuition payments upcoming.

I don't keep track of all the shenanigan money I'm bringing in.  I'd guess $10k a year altogether including the gas reward/gift card manufactured spending.  I do all the little stuff.  Just put $1.96 in "small balance forgiveness" gas in my car last night, then hit the station again this morning to put a balance on one of my tradeline cards so it'll report.  I have 4 "new" cards added for tradelines at $25 a whack.  Sounds like it's not worth bothering, but they're filling up with 2 spots sold every cycle on every card.  That beats a $200 card sitting, doing nothing for 6 months (which is what they're currently doing).

Toad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #54 on: May 01, 2019, 11:07:09 PM »
Totals through 4/30/2019:

Item"Value"       Quantity       Total "Value"       
Membership Rewards1.25 cpp651,761$8,147.01
Ultimate Rewards1.00 cpp280,655$2,806.55
Thank You Points1.00 cpp1,411$14.11
Altitude Reserve Points1.50 cpp3,013$45.20
Flexperk1.50 cpp30,761$461.42
Pathfinder Rewards0.85 cpp28,773$244.57
Flagship Rewards1.00 cpp0$0
City National Points1.30 cpp42,436$551.67
GoFar Points1.00 cpp35,713$357.13
AAdvantage Miles1.40 cpp362,744$5,078.42
Rapid Rewards Miles1.50 cpp58,409$876.14
Hilton Honor Points0.50 cpp249,275$1,246.38
World of Hyatt Points1.60 cpp30,478$487.65
AA Vouchers85%$910.00$773.50
SW Gift Cards85%$0$0
Hilton Free Night Cert.$200.002$400.00
Uber Credit100%$289.75$289.75
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Card85%$200.00$170.00
Cheesecake Factory Gift Card100%$60.00$60.00
Cash (Credit Cards)100%$2,185.00$2,185.00
Cashout (Credit Cards)100%$1,704.55$1,704.55
Cash (Manufactured Spending)100%$1,583.19$1,583.19
Cost (Credit Cards) $3,775.00
Cost (Bank Accounts) $18.25
Cost (Other) $977.00

Total Net Value: $27,342.47

Through 4/30/2019:

Total CCs to date:
39 approved (15 business, 24 personal)
34 denied (8 business, 26 personal)

Total BAs to date:
29 approved
14 denied


Redemptions:
73,296 SW points redeemed for $1,628 of travel
377,000 HH points redeemed for $2,665 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel
60,000 Hyatt points redeemed for $1,951.64 of travel
50,377 CNB points redeemed for $654.90 of travel
$440 AA Vouchers redeemed for $440 of travel
$450 SW GCs redeemed for $450 of travel

$8,107 total travel redemption "value"

Cashouts (included in summary value):
53,239 USB points (AR) redeemed for $798.56 of cash
58,099 NFCU points redeemed for $589.99 of cash

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4959
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #55 on: May 03, 2019, 03:10:40 PM »
Totals through 4/30/2019:

Item"Value"       Quantity       Total "Value"       
Membership Rewards1.25 cpp651,761$8,147.01
Ultimate Rewards1.00 cpp280,655$2,806.55
Thank You Points1.00 cpp1,411$14.11
Altitude Reserve Points1.50 cpp3,013$45.20
Flexperk1.50 cpp30,761$461.42
Pathfinder Rewards0.85 cpp28,773$244.57
Flagship Rewards1.00 cpp0$0
City National Points1.30 cpp42,436$551.67
GoFar Points1.00 cpp35,713$357.13
AAdvantage Miles1.40 cpp362,744$5,078.42
Rapid Rewards Miles1.50 cpp58,409$876.14
Hilton Honor Points0.50 cpp249,275$1,246.38
World of Hyatt Points1.60 cpp30,478$487.65
AA Vouchers85%$910.00$773.50
SW Gift Cards85%$0$0
Hilton Free Night Cert.$200.002$400.00
Uber Credit100%$289.75$289.75
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Card85%$200.00$170.00
Cheesecake Factory Gift Card100%$60.00$60.00
Cash (Credit Cards)100%$2,185.00$2,185.00
Cashout (Credit Cards)100%$1,704.55$1,704.55
Cash (Manufactured Spending)100%$1,583.19$1,583.19
Cost (Credit Cards) $3,775.00
Cost (Bank Accounts) $18.25
Cost (Other) $977.00

Total Net Value: $27,342.47

Through 4/30/2019:

Total CCs to date:
39 approved (15 business, 24 personal)
34 denied (8 business, 26 personal)

Total BAs to date:
29 approved
14 denied


Redemptions:
73,296 SW points redeemed for $1,628 of travel
377,000 HH points redeemed for $2,665 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel
60,000 Hyatt points redeemed for $1,951.64 of travel
50,377 CNB points redeemed for $654.90 of travel
$440 AA Vouchers redeemed for $440 of travel
$450 SW GCs redeemed for $450 of travel

$8,107 total travel redemption "value"

Cashouts (included in summary value):
53,239 USB points (AR) redeemed for $798.56 of cash
58,099 NFCU points redeemed for $589.99 of cash


Your killing it Toad! Great job! I've been averaging about a card a month , a little more but gotta get all the details down.

MasterStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2091
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #56 on: May 03, 2019, 04:04:30 PM »
Damn that's a haul!! I am seriously impressed.

We've been lagging on the CC churning for good reason. I went hard the first couple years. Started getting far more denials than approvals over the last year or so. My DW is now under 5/24 and I will be as well later this year. We'll be hitting those Chase cards up again soon.

mousebandit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 316
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #57 on: May 03, 2019, 11:54:55 PM »
We're looking to start on the churning bandwagon.  What are your go-to recommendations for websites / blogs / whatever to get up to speed on all this?  I see a lot of doctorofcredit links, and I've just popped over there, but it mostly looks like article links and blog-type posts.  Am I likely to find a beginners how-to article over there? 

Also, I see that Toad is getting denials for new bank accounts, if I'm understanding the stats correctly.  Why are they denying you? 

I imagine it would take a lot of time to post, but I would *love* to see a breakdown for Toad and DLawson on exactly what offers they are utilizing to get those returns for 2019!  That would be very educational and inspirational! 

Thank you guys for this thread!!  Just waiting for our payoffs to report (after a 7-month grueling first-flip-house-project that took everything we could scrap together, haha) and then see where the FICO settles and get started.

 

MasterStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2091
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #58 on: May 04, 2019, 05:55:27 AM »
We're looking to start on the churning bandwagon.  What are your go-to recommendations for websites / blogs / whatever to get up to speed on all this?  I see a lot of doctorofcredit links, and I've just popped over there, but it mostly looks like article links and blog-type posts.  Am I likely to find a beginners how-to article over there? 

Also, I see that Toad is getting denials for new bank accounts, if I'm understanding the stats correctly.  Why are they denying you? 

I imagine it would take a lot of time to post, but I would *love* to see a breakdown for Toad and DLawson on exactly what offers they are utilizing to get those returns for 2019!  That would be very educational and inspirational! 

Thank you guys for this thread!!  Just waiting for our payoffs to report (after a 7-month grueling first-flip-house-project that took everything we could scrap together, haha) and then see where the FICO settles and get started.

 

I mostly use doctorofcredit for bank account churning. I look in a lot of different places for CCs. Some banks will deny for chex systems. 

MoseyingAlong

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 90
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #59 on: May 04, 2019, 06:10:52 AM »
We're looking to start on the churning bandwagon.  What are your go-to recommendations for websites / blogs / whatever to get up to speed on all this?  I see a lot of doctorofcredit links, and I've just popped over there, but it mostly looks like article links and blog-type posts.  Am I likely to find a beginners how-to article over there?   

Dude,
Before starting this, I recommend developing more attention to detail. Not reading the whole post/offer and then not fulfilling the detailed requirements is what will make you miss out on a lot of bonuses and get very frustrated.
Why I'm being blunt...Doctorofcredit.com is probably the best site out there for this and if you had searched for "beginner bank account" or "beginner credit card" you would have seen the beginner guides to each category.

So I recommend going back and reading each guide and then developing a strategy before jumping in. It can be a great return for not a lot of effort.
Good luck!

Rosy

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2029
  • Location: Florida
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #60 on: May 04, 2019, 08:48:47 AM »
^^^ THIS ^^^

I'm another doctorofcredit fan and while I do only a few cc and ba each year, I select my cards only after reading all the fine print which doctorofcredit lays out so beautifully for me:) I do pay attention to any extra points and perks - in case they are useful to me, consider ease of use and ease of managing accounts strictly opened for churning use only.

No big numbers here. I made about $1800 plus in 2018. This year I haven't had time to set up and execute my strategy yet - but even at that I cashed out on ongoing rewards points, searched for and found a good CD deal and a couple of small perks/cash coupons - netting me near $700 so far for doing practically nothing.

I plan on two or three credit card bonuses and two new bank accounts for this year (approx $1,3K total), overall I expect to receive $3K this year just from these various shenanigans.
NFCU upped their CD interest rates - which gives me an extra $1020 a year.
Even the little Holiday Club at Mid Florida adds another $100 in interest.

It is easy to see from Toad's example that even small amounts do add up to a nice chunk of money at the end of the year.

JoJoP

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #61 on: May 04, 2019, 09:08:09 AM »
Toad, you're rockin' it! 

 I see that the credit card churning is tightening down a bit.  For Amex, they will show you a screen letting you know if you are eligible for the reward associated with a new credit card sign up bonus.    i'm surprised that some of you have been able to get so many Amex cards.

Airline Award availability is definitely changing, and the airlines continually devalue the award program.  But still, playing this right is like winning the lotto.  I'm a fan!

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4959
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #62 on: May 08, 2019, 03:45:47 AM »
Im working on completing (DW and I ) our 8th card of the year a Barclays arrival card and it seems at least to me they do everything they can to make so you cant get the bonus but so far i am winning the battle. No other card that I remember has given me less than a 5k minimum and they only gave me 2k so I have to keep making payments. Kinda a pain in the ass but worth it in the long run.

katsiki

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1405
  • Age: 39
  • Location: La.
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #63 on: May 08, 2019, 08:43:28 AM »
Im working on completing (DW and I ) our 8th card of the year a Barclays arrival card and it seems at least to me they do everything they can to make so you cant get the bonus but so far i am winning the battle. No other card that I remember has given me less than a 5k minimum and they only gave me 2k so I have to keep making payments. Kinda a pain in the ass but worth it in the long run.

Barclays is a good company for service, etc.  But they are stingy on credit lines early on in my experience.  Also could be affected if you opened a lot of cards in the past 1-2 years.

Gin1984

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4717
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #64 on: May 08, 2019, 09:36:01 AM »
Chase refused to open a credit card for my husband when he has opened 3 cards in the prior 24 months.

Tass

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1477
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Southern California
  • Working on a PhD...
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #65 on: May 08, 2019, 10:20:12 AM »
My churning income for the year so far:

$300 Chase checking bonus
$45.84 collected cashback across cards
$57.72 pending cashback across cards
44,700 American Airlines bonus miles

...for a total of $403.56 + 3 one-way flights (value = $400-$800)

I will have 7,200 AA miles leftover, and the cheapest one-way flights cost 12.5k, so I'm trying to figure out the most efficient way to make those useful; maybe the 10,000 mile bonus on the MileUp card?

(I have a lower income and lower spending - the churner's kiddie pool is my home for now.)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2019, 03:23:16 PM by Tass »

DadJokes

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 528
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #66 on: May 08, 2019, 11:04:49 AM »
Finished up the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Southwest bonuses.

The next card I would want to do is the Chase Ink Preferred, but I don't have any large expenses coming up, so I don't think I would hit the $5k spend.

I think we might just get the Capital One Savor next. Are there any better $3k spend bonuses that we should look at first?

Junco

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #67 on: May 08, 2019, 12:56:36 PM »
I think we might just get the Capital One Savor next. Are there any better $3k spend bonuses that we should look at first?

The Capital One Venture card offers 50,000 bonus miles which is ~$500 in travel rewards.

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4959
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #68 on: May 10, 2019, 12:21:36 PM »
Im working on completing (DW and I ) our 8th card of the year a Barclays arrival card and it seems at least to me they do everything they can to make so you cant get the bonus but so far i am winning the battle. No other card that I remember has given me less than a 5k minimum and they only gave me 2k so I have to keep making payments. Kinda a pain in the ass but worth it in the long run.

Barclays is a good company for service, etc.  But they are stingy on credit lines early on in my experience.  Also could be affected if you opened a lot of cards in the past 1-2 years.

Yea i finished it and saw my points show up but so stupid the way they do it. At the very least should give you the credit amount to cover the spend you need to make. I had to make 3 transfers. Oh well , that one is done.

MasterStache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2091
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #69 on: May 11, 2019, 07:02:21 AM »
Finished up the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Southwest bonuses.

The next card I would want to do is the Chase Ink Preferred, but I don't have any large expenses coming up, so I don't think I would hit the $5k spend.

I think we might just get the Capital One Savor next. Are there any better $3k spend bonuses that we should look at first?

Are you shooting for the Southwest companion pass as well? That's our goal at the end of the year. My DW is already under 5/24 and I will be later this year.

Knapptyme

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 225
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Florida
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #70 on: May 11, 2019, 07:48:36 AM »

I'm another doctorofcredit fan and while I do only a few cc and ba each year, I select my cards only after reading all the fine print which doctorofcredit lays out so beautifully for me:) I do pay attention to any extra points and perks - in case they are useful to me, consider ease of use and ease of managing accounts strictly opened for churning use only.


Let me also chime in on the doctorofcredit hat tipping. They're great. While CC churning is usually a tax free endeavor, my low tax bracket makes the BA bonuses more worthwhile than others. I can also double down on every offer--one for me and one for my wife--unless the BA bonus has a household limit.

We average about $4k per year combined in CC and BA bonuses, but Toad is really cashing in. I do suspect, however, that Toad's spending, even if it's partially manufactured, is much higher than mine in any given year to capitalize on all those deals. I tend to avoid annual fee CC and the like. I also don't travel very often with three young kids, so the need/desire to maximize those avenues is minimal. I'm also not dipping into the business account offers at all.

zoochadookdook

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 424
  • Age: 27
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #71 on: May 11, 2019, 09:38:31 AM »
Hey all. I have 13200 in student loans to start paying on come july (4.125% apr)

I have 3 CIP cards (just closed 2). Open dates were july/oct 2018 march 2019. All bonuses are met (first one got the 120k ur voucher, second 100k, third 100k).

Also have a freedom and freedom unlimited card/ink cash that are long term cards.

I'm looking for ideas on what cards to get next. My loan provider takes vanilla gift cards/plastiq as payment. I have another 400/month average spending I can put towards those cards.

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8176
  • Location: Don't Ask
  • Resting up for 2020
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #72 on: May 13, 2019, 01:23:26 AM »
Now that I finally have a fixed address and a few upcoming expenses, I applied for my first card in years. Disney Premier, $200 bonus for $500 spend. (Like Tass, I'm doing the small ones for now.) My application is getting an extra review. I feel so special! I hope it's only because I updated my address too, and they want to make sure it's not a scammer.

DadJokes

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 528
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #73 on: May 13, 2019, 08:55:56 AM »
I spent the weekend researching and assembling a spreadsheet to track past and planned future card churning

Card
Holder
Bonus
Spend
Date Opened
Date Earned
Date Closed
Annual Fee
Date to Close/Downgrade
Downgrade Option
Chase SouthwestBoth40k RR$2k in 3 months
8/14/17
10/15/17
-
$69
7/10/19
n/a
Chase PreferredDJ50k UR$4k in 3 months
2/12/19
5/5/19
-
Waived 1st year
1/8/20
Chase Freedom
Capital One SavorBoth$500$3k in 3 months
5/9/19
-
-
Waived 1st year
4/3/20
Savor One
Chase Ink PreferredDJ80k UR$5k in 3 months
~9/1/19
-
-
$95
n/a
Keep
Chase Southwest BusinessDJ60k RR$3k in 3 months
~12/1/19
-
-
$99
10/26/20
n/a
Chase SouthwestDJ60k RR (Companion Pass)$2k in 3 months
~3/1/20
-
-
$69
1/25/21
n/a
Chase PreferredMJ60k UR$4k in 3 months
~5/1/20
-
-
$95
3/27/21
Chase Freedom
Chase World of HyattMJ50k Hyatt points$6k in 6 months
~8/1/20
-
-
$95
6/27/21
n/a
Chase World of HyattDJ50k Hyatt Points$6k in 3 months
~2/13/21
-
-
$95
n/a
Keep

I'm not particularly a huge fan of keeping Chase Ink, since the annual fee isn't offset by any bonuses like Hyatt or Southwest, but I'm guessing I need to hold onto it just to have continued access to Ultimate Rewards. It would also become our everyday card when we are between cards.

JoJoP

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #74 on: May 13, 2019, 01:03:18 PM »
I spent the weekend researching and assembling a spreadsheet to track past and planned future card churning


I'm not particularly a huge fan of keeping Chase Ink, since the annual fee isn't offset by any bonuses like Hyatt or Southwest, but I'm guessing I need to hold onto it just to have continued access to Ultimate Rewards. It would also become our everyday card when we are between cards.

What are your other two cards listed as "Preferred?"  You only need one in the household.  First you "combine" UR's between household members, then you can "transfer" to Airline or hotel partners.  You can downgrade that INK to a Cash card to keep the history and not pay an annual fee.   Flyertalk has lots of details on the benefits of the cards, also. 

DadJokes

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 528
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #75 on: May 13, 2019, 01:21:24 PM »
I spent the weekend researching and assembling a spreadsheet to track past and planned future card churning


I'm not particularly a huge fan of keeping Chase Ink, since the annual fee isn't offset by any bonuses like Hyatt or Southwest, but I'm guessing I need to hold onto it just to have continued access to Ultimate Rewards. It would also become our everyday card when we are between cards.

What are your other two cards listed as "Preferred?"  You only need one in the household.  First you "combine" UR's between household members, then you can "transfer" to Airline or hotel partners.  You can downgrade that INK to a Cash card to keep the history and not pay an annual fee.   Flyertalk has lots of details on the benefits of the cards, also.

Both "Preferred" cards are Chase Sapphire. I have one under my name currently and will open one under my wife's name later, since I'll be at 5/24. What can I downgrade the Ink to besides the Freedom, and will I still have access to UR points that have accumulated? Various articles online suggested that I had to keep at least one UR card open, between CSP, CSR, or CIP. The best case scenario is that I could transfer the points to a cashback card like the Freedom, then eventually transfer them back to UR when another applicable card opened. $95 is worth the flexibility.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 02:05:12 PM by DadJokes »

Jim Fiction

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 159
  • Location: Connecticut
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #76 on: May 16, 2019, 01:35:12 PM »
Initiated my first churn today: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/ct-de-ma-mi-nh-nj-ny-oh-pa-ri-vt-citizens-bank-200-400-600-checking-bonus/

Cutting it close - last day of promotion to open the account. Next step is to switch my direct deposit information on my company's payroll site. I'll have enough in a single deposit to qualify for the $600 bonus level.

Unfortunately the comments in the DoC thread are pretty negative, so we'll see if I'll actually receive the bonus. I have no issue having the money tied up for a few months, so its worth the risk.

MonkeyJenga

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8176
  • Location: Don't Ask
  • Resting up for 2020
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #77 on: May 16, 2019, 03:04:47 PM »
Now that I finally have a fixed address and a few upcoming expenses, I applied for my first card in years. Disney Premier, $200 bonus for $500 spend. (Like Tass, I'm doing the small ones for now.) My application is getting an extra review. I feel so special! I hope it's only because I updated my address too, and they want to make sure it's not a scammer.

I verified my identity and got approved! My account had an offer for Sapphire Preferred too. The only way to get that bonus without MS is line up medical expenses, prepay a gym membership, load up a year of use on my transit pass, and maybe buy Visa gift cards that I use as can. I already have $500 on gc's from a previous MS attempt, so I'm not thrilled about that option.

I can still get 3 more cards and qualify under the 5/24 rule, so I can afford to wait and see what big expenses might come up. It's exciting to even consider the more prestigious ones after years of pitches for secured cards for people getting out of debt. (I was never in debt.)

freedomfightergal

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #78 on: June 21, 2019, 08:18:32 PM »
I just started doing this last year too.

Chase Freedom card bonus - $200
Regions Bank Checking - $200
CapitalOne card - $300 (i think)
going for a Wells fargo of $400 now.

I like the Doctorofcredit website too.  Have to really read and reread the fine print, so far I mixed up the Wells Fargo by not putting in enough, hope to fix that now and get Bonus/

This thread inspired me to do more, thank you;)

JoJoP

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 160
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #79 on: June 26, 2019, 11:27:30 PM »
I spent the weekend researching and assembling a spreadsheet to track past and planned future card churning


I'm not particularly a huge fan of keeping Chase Ink, since the annual fee isn't offset by any bonuses like Hyatt or Southwest, but I'm guessing I need to hold onto it just to have continued access to Ultimate Rewards. It would also become our everyday card when we are between cards.

What are your other two cards listed as "Preferred?"  You only need one in the household.  First you "combine" UR's between household members, then you can "transfer" to Airline or hotel partners.  You can downgrade that INK to a Cash card to keep the history and not pay an annual fee.   Flyertalk has lots of details on the benefits of the cards, also.

Both "Preferred" cards are Chase Sapphire. I have one under my name currently and will open one under my wife's name later, since I'll be at 5/24. What can I downgrade the Ink to besides the Freedom, and will I still have access to UR points that have accumulated? Various articles online suggested that I had to keep at least one UR card open, between CSP, CSR, or CIP. The best case scenario is that I could transfer the points to a cashback card like the Freedom, then eventually transfer them back to UR when another applicable card opened. $95 is worth the flexibility.

You can't downgrade the Ink to a Freedom, because the Ink is a business card and the Freedom is a personal card.  You can downgrade the Ink to a fee free Ink Cash or Ink Unlimited. You can downgrade your CSP to a Freedom. In the household, you'd just need one card with transferability.    None of the fee free cards will offer transferability, but, yes, theoretically, you can bank them until you reopen (or upgrade) to a card with a fee that offers transferability.  There's no guarantee that you'll get the card you want, when you want it, though. 

 The CSR is a great card if you travel at all, because you'll get the $300 in travel expenses reimbursed yearly, making the net for the card $150, ($55 more than most of the others) with the other perks such as higher redemption rate for UR travel portal bookings, global entry fee every 5 yrs, Priority Pass lounge access, etc. 

zoochadookdook

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 424
  • Age: 27
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #80 on: June 28, 2019, 10:27:12 AM »
Hey all.

A few questions:

When do you close said bank accounts/credit cards? Generally if there's a fee I want to avoid and no huge tangibles-I've been closing them as soon as I meet my bonus/the account period for banks is up. I figure this frees up my wait time quicker until the next card bonus allotment of that card (thinking ahead). I always keep my amazon card, Chase freedom, and chase freedom unlimited open.

2) What card should I get?

I have 3 Chase ink preferred cards (last July, August, February this year), a chase ink cash (may 2019), and a chase sapphire preferred (june 2019). Basically paying back student loans and tuition at the time helped me meet the bonuses right away. I have $6300 RIGHT NOW vanilla visa spending to make to pay off the rest and was looking for the best cash back/travel cards.



3) What bank account bonuses are currently the best options?

I know the chase accounts do. I'm considering closing my savings/checkings and waiting 3 months to reopen new ones/hit that bonus. In between then I was eying the CITI (500 on 15k/3 months). I have around 30k sitting in a HYSA to use for these.

secondcor521

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2165
  • Age: 50
  • Location: Boise, Idaho
  • Big cattle, no hat.
    • Age of Eon - Overwatch player videos
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #81 on: June 28, 2019, 12:54:14 PM »
1.  On credit cards, I usually wait until just before the first year is up to decide what to do and to take action.  Sometimes I consolidate the CL onto another card and close, sometimes I'll keep the card for whatever reason.  I think there is some benefit in holding onto the card for a year to look less like a churner, and I'm not as aggressive about churning as some are (I do one round a year of about 8-12 cards).

On bank accounts, I usually wait until there is no early account closure fee, which is often 6 months.

2.  Research the web.  Best for you depends on your facts and circumstances, so you're the one who has to evaluate and decide.

3.  Research the web.  Best for you depends on your facts and circumstances, so you're the one who has to evaluate and decide.

Toad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #82 on: July 02, 2019, 04:18:35 PM »

Also, I see that Toad is getting denials for new bank accounts, if I'm understanding the stats correctly.  Why are they denying you? 

I imagine it would take a lot of time to post, but I would *love* to see a breakdown for Toad and DLawson on exactly what offers they are utilizing to get those returns for 2019!  That would be very educational and inspirational! 
 

Just getting back to this after a bit of a break from updating -- some life changes in the works currently.

Bank denials are due to some banks being Chex sensitive -- some banks will outright deny you if you have more than a certain number of inquiries similar to what is done for CCs.

This is a bit dated now but summarizes my progress through the end of 2018:

https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/aby3s5/mods_choice_part_two_electric_boogaloo_2018_recap/ed5wkwp/

Toad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #83 on: July 02, 2019, 04:33:18 PM »
Initiated my first churn today: https://www.doctorofcredit.com/ct-de-ma-mi-nh-nj-ny-oh-pa-ri-vt-citizens-bank-200-400-600-checking-bonus/

Cutting it close - last day of promotion to open the account. Next step is to switch my direct deposit information on my company's payroll site. I'll have enough in a single deposit to qualify for the $600 bonus level.

Unfortunately the comments in the DoC thread are pretty negative, so we'll see if I'll actually receive the bonus. I have no issue having the money tied up for a few months, so its worth the risk.

I did this bonus and got it without issue -- just posted a few days ago ($600).  No need to tie up money in the account, from what I recall, any deposit into it waives the fees.  It did for me at least

Toad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #84 on: July 02, 2019, 04:50:22 PM »

We average about $4k per year combined in CC and BA bonuses, but Toad is really cashing in. I do suspect, however, that Toad's spending, even if it's partially manufactured, is much higher than mine in any given year to capitalize on all those deals. I tend to avoid annual fee CC and the like. I also don't travel very often with three young kids, so the need/desire to maximize those avenues is minimal. I'm also not dipping into the business account offers at all.

Don't shy away from cards with AFs.  I started that way as well, but really you need to look at it as a simple math problem -- spend "x" up front, get "y" after this amount of time.

You are absolutely correct regarding my spend.  There is no way I could so any of this without manufactured spending.  I might do 4 cards a year without it.  The further down the rabbit hole I've gone, the more obscene the amount I MS is.  When I started it was around 5-10k / month.  Then for about 6 months or so it was around 20k / mo.  I am now pushing 50k-80k / month.  Spend requirements don't even factor into my decision of what card to get at this point.

Toad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #85 on: July 02, 2019, 08:31:59 PM »
Totals through 7/2/2019:

Item"Value"       Quantity       Total "Value"       
Membership Rewards1.25 cpp247,776$3,097.20
Ultimate Rewards1.00 cpp283,122$2,831.22
Thank You Points1.00 cpp2,383$23.83
Altitude Reserve Points1.50 cpp1,919$28.79
Flexperk1.50 cpp0$0
Pathfinder Rewards0.85 cpp4,553$38.70
Flagship Rewards1.00 cpp0$0
City National Points1.30 cpp43,564$566.33
Go Far Points1.00 cpp35,713$357.13
BMO Points1.00 cpp7,117$71.12
AAdvantage Miles1.40 cpp434,889$6,088.45
Rapid Rewards Miles1.50 cpp39,761$596.42
Hilton Honor Points0.50 cpp463,821$2,319.11
World of Hyatt Points1.60 cpp32,183$514.93
AA Vouchers85%$910.00$773.50
SW Gift Cards85%$0$0
Hilton Free Night Cert.$200.003$600.00
Uber Credit100%$834.75$834.75
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Card85%$250.00$212.50
Cheesecake Factory Gift Card100%$70.00$70.00
Dell Credits75%$200.00$150.00
Cash (Credit Cards)100%$2,185.00$2,185.00
Cashout (Credit Cards)100%$10,125.55$10,125.55
Cash (Manufactured Spending)100%$2,062.88$2,062.88
Cost (Credit Cards) $4,908.00
Cost (Bank Accounts) $18.25
Cost (Other) $1,414.00

Total Net Value: $32,257.69

Through 7/2/2019:

Total CCs to date:
43 approved (15 business, 28 personal)
36 denied (9 business, 27 personal)

Total BAs to date:
30 approved
14 denied


Redemptions:
102,145 SW points redeemed for $2,464 of travel
377,000 HH points redeemed for $2,665 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel
60,000 Hyatt points redeemed for $1,951.64 of travel
50,377 CNB points redeemed for $654.90 of travel
3,227 USB points redeemed for $48.41 of travel
$440 AA Vouchers redeemed for $440 of travel
$450 SW GCs redeemed for $450 of travel

$8,992 total travel redemption "value"

Cashouts (included in summary value):
82,972 USB points redeemed for $1,244.56 of cash
58,099 NFCU points redeemed for $589.99 of cash
550,000 MR redeemed for $6,875 of cash

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1683
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #86 on: July 06, 2019, 12:33:30 PM »
Hey all.

A few questions:

When do you close said bank accounts/credit cards? Generally if there's a fee I want to avoid and no huge tangibles-I've been closing them as soon as I meet my bonus/the account period for banks is up. I figure this frees up my wait time quicker until the next card bonus allotment of that card (thinking ahead). I always keep my amazon card, Chase freedom, and chase freedom unlimited open.

2) What card should I get?

I have 3 Chase ink preferred cards (last July, August, February this year), a chase ink cash (may 2019), and a chase sapphire preferred (june 2019). Basically paying back student loans and tuition at the time helped me meet the bonuses right away. I have $6300 RIGHT NOW vanilla visa spending to make to pay off the rest and was looking for the best cash back/travel cards.



3) What bank account bonuses are currently the best options?

I know the chase accounts do. I'm considering closing my savings/checkings and waiting 3 months to reopen new ones/hit that bonus. In between then I was eying the CITI (500 on 15k/3 months). I have around 30k sitting in a HYSA to use for these.

For credit cards I wait until the annual fee actually posts which is generally a bit longer than 365 days. (You'll always have 30 days after the annual fee posts to cancel and the fee goes away.)  At that point I call and say that I'm considering cancelling the card but want to see if there are any retention incentives before I decide.  Generally you'll be turned over to a retention specialist and often there will be some kind of offer (i.e., spend 1K in 3 months and get $100 credit or a $60 credit when you pay the annual fee).  It never hurts to ask.  Must be done on the phone and not through the online chat or SM feature.  Flyer Talk Forums has good info on what other have gotten as retention bonuses.  This is the one for Chase:

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/chase-ultimate-rewards/1710270-chase-retention-bonus-offers-june-2015-present-all-cards.html

If I can't get a retention offer that makes it worth it to keep, I try to downgrade to a no-fee card to keep the account alive. 

I know people like toad do a spectacular job of churning tons of credit cards.  I'm much more conservative by staying around 5/24 overall.  Banks are cracking down on churners  so I'm kinda moving toward keeping cards for two years.  My version of pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.

No thoughts on bank bonuses b/c I don't play that game.

   

Toad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #87 on: July 06, 2019, 03:19:58 PM »

I know people like toad do a spectacular job of churning tons of credit cards.  I'm much more conservative by staying around 5/24 overall.  Banks are cracking down on churners  so I'm kinda moving toward keeping cards for two years.  My version of pigs get fat and hogs get slaughtered.
 

There is definitely risk to going at a breakneck pace.  Different issuers like to see different things.  There are a few people I discuss things in detail with regarding churning who go at a similar pace as I do.  One has been shutdown by Chase (and BoA but only on the personal side, not on the business side), the other has been shutdown by US Bank.  The only real difference between them and me is income.  Although it isn't really "fair", a high income will help insulate you from adverse actions from banks.  Other things that help are keeping your credit limits from getting obscene (lower them regularly), and keeping large balances from reporting (a high reporting balance on multiple cards is seen as a warning sign to banks).  Other than that you just hope for the best.

dlawson

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #88 on: July 08, 2019, 05:06:15 PM »
Quarterly update:

2019 - through 7/1

- Paid $2,987 in credit card annual fees
- Earned $2,400 in cash from bank account bonuses
- Earned $11,425 in cash from credit cards (signup bonuses and miscellaneous credits)
- Redeemed $4,088 worth of travel from credit card signup bonuses

Net profit so far this year is $10,838 in cash plus $4,088 worth of travel expenses.

Current Balances

Amex MR: 425,195, to be redeemed for $5,314.94 in cash
AA: 449,249, worth approximately $6,289 in travel expenses
Southwest: 190,299, worth approximately $2,854 in travel expenses
Alaska: 48,668, worth approximately $681 in travel expenses
Avios: 139,740, worth approximately $2,096 in travel expenses
Hilton: 421,635, worth approximately $1,686 in travel expenses
Marriott: 206,425, worth approximately $1,651 in travel expenses
Hyatt: 56,115, worth approximately $953 in travel expenses

I was able to pick up the Amex Schwab Platinum in June and cash out a huge chunk of MR points, which contributed heavily to our net profit number tripling since my last update. My planned apps for Q3 are mostly targeted at travel currencies, while the next major cashout milestone will come in December, when I pick up another Schwab Platinum for P2 (and possibly P3 as well) to cash out what will by then be closer to 1mm MR points ($12,500).
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 05:28:10 PM by dlawson »

dlawson

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #89 on: July 08, 2019, 05:31:06 PM »
I imagine it would take a lot of time to post, but I would *love* to see a breakdown for Toad and DLawson on exactly what offers they are utilizing to get those returns for 2019!  That would be very educational and inspirational!

See attached for a screenshot of the applications tab from my spreadsheet (going back to 2018).

Toad

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #90 on: July 08, 2019, 08:39:45 PM »

See attached for a screenshot of the applications tab from my spreadsheet (going back to 2018).

Looks like a recent failed MDD -- well the 2 x sapphire.  Did you submit the preferred first and get auto denied then try Hyatt?  Not many try 3 with a MDD, just curious as to your thinking there.  I tried 3 but 1 personal and 1 biz on day 2.  Someone I know succeeded in doing 1 biz + 2 personal, but that's about the only success of 3 cards I know of.

Also I see a "too much credit extended" from Chase.  Never got that one myself -- any reason you didn't recon it and pull credit from a different card?  I'm thinking that is one of the few denials that can actually successfully be reconed with Chase.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2019, 08:45:12 PM by Toad »

dlawson

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #91 on: July 08, 2019, 09:35:50 PM »
Looks like a recent failed MDD -- well the 2 x sapphire.  Did you submit the preferred first and get auto denied then try Hyatt?  Not many try 3 with a MDD, just curious as to your thinking there.  I tried 3 but 1 personal and 1 biz on day 2.  Someone I know succeeded in doing 1 biz + 2 personal, but that's about the only success of 3 cards I know of.

It's hard to tell because I cropped a column to the left (it lists names), but those three cards were for two different players. You can still see the color coding a little bit: the Sapphire MDD was the green player and the Hyatt was the blue player. Anyway, I did fail the MDD but wasn't too torn up about it: green is now at 3/24 and not getting a second Sapphire gave me some flexibility with the remaining three Chase cards I want to pick up before breaking out of 5/24.

Also I see a "too much credit extended" from Chase.  Never got that one myself -- any reason you didn't recon it and pull credit from a different card?  I'm thinking that is one of the few denials that can actually successfully be reconed with Chase.

I've decided to be a bit cautious with all the repeat Ink cards, so I've been avoiding recon and just reapplying later. Also, in that particular case, I had no credit to reallocate to the new card—the green player has a tougher statline to work with so I've been aggressively reducing credit limits after finishing MSRs.

Tass

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1477
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Southern California
  • Working on a PhD...
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #92 on: July 11, 2019, 03:27:32 PM »
Churning income update:

$300 Chase checking bonus
$250 USAA card signup bonus
$139.83 collected cashback across cards
44,700 American Airlines bonus miles

...for a total of $689.83 + 3 one-way flights (value = $400-$800)

I've used two of those flights (value nearly $400, with one flight still left over), and while I appreciate that they were free, they will result in 11 more hours of travel than direct flights would have. I certainly won't be mistaking my frugality for luxury.

I will shortly need to downgrade my Chase Sapphire Preferred to avoid its annual fee. My 6 months of Chase Checking purgatory are also nearly up, freeing $1500 to seek greener pastures. Finally, I am expecting nearly $1000 of upcoming education expenses to be covered by a fellowship I earned - hopefully I can make that purchase on a new card, hit a spend target quick and easy, and get reimbursed, but I'm waiting for more clarity on the financial details to be sure.

dlawson

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 55
  • Age: 29
  • Location: Southern California
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #93 on: July 11, 2019, 04:12:00 PM »
My 6 months of Chase Checking purgatory are also nearly up, freeing $1500 to seek greener pastures.

FYI you can set up a recurring transfer of $500 from just about any bank other than Chase and it will count towards the monthly deposit waiver for the Total Checking fee. I've been doing this for years with my Chase checking bonuses. Definitely no need to park $1500 to keep the account fee-free.

DadJokes

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 528
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #94 on: July 11, 2019, 04:26:50 PM »
Nice spreadsheet tracker @dlawson - I borrowed it with some alterations.

Tass

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1477
  • Age: 26
  • Location: Southern California
  • Working on a PhD...
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #95 on: July 11, 2019, 04:56:32 PM »
My 6 months of Chase Checking purgatory are also nearly up, freeing $1500 to seek greener pastures.

FYI you can set up a recurring transfer of $500 from just about any bank other than Chase and it will count towards the monthly deposit waiver for the Total Checking fee. I've been doing this for years with my Chase checking bonuses. Definitely no need to park $1500 to keep the account fee-free.

I do most of my actual banking through a smallish credit union, but admittedly I didn't check whether a transfer from there would trigger it. Laziness, I suppose. DoctorOfCredit suggested Ally wouldn't trigger it, if I remember correctly, and that's my only other bank.

Thanks anyway for the tip.

TomTX

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
  • Location: Texas
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #96 on: July 12, 2019, 05:14:27 AM »
Since the thread title is "Maximize Your Churning" - might want to look into additional bank accounts.

P2 and I both got $500 BoA Biz checking offers. They require $20k in net deposits (not DD) - average balance to remain fee-free is $5k or minimum balance of $3k - so this is going to be a pair of short term accounts.

DadJokes

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 528
Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
« Reply #97 on: July 15, 2019, 10:53:47 AM »
I'm coming up on the annual fee for Southwest. Since I'm planning to re-open it and the business card in 2020 to get the companion pass, I figure that I might as well cancel it before the fee hits in September. Unfortunately, it's also my oldest line of credit (by a couple years). Hopefully, cancelling it won't drop my score enough to impact future applications.