Author Topic: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending  (Read 18733 times)

jo552006

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« on: March 19, 2015, 02:25:49 PM »
Something I have never seen come up when discussing credit card churning is how well you can do if you don't want to manufacture spending.  If my wife and I aren't willing to artificially increase spending, would we still benefit from credit card churning?  Assuming we would, how much can we expect to earn in a year if we spend a minimum of $1,000/month anyways.  (Often more like $1500/month, and if needed, we could probably swing 5k/3months once in a while)

-Edited, forgot to apply social skills
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 03:09:15 PM by jo552006 »

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2015, 02:30:44 PM »
so you find it ethical to sign up for cards and churn them only intending to get the bonuses.  interesting.  seeing as both would be seen as an abuse of the system by the CC company i always find it interesting where people decide to draw their imaginary ethical lines

SuperSecretName

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 349
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2015, 02:34:29 PM »
The way that I look at it, any penny that I can extract from the evil banking industry is a net positive for the world.  The amount of suffering that they have caused is immeasurable.  Don't think for a second that they wouldn't do the same to you if they could.

lise

  • Guest
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2015, 02:40:11 PM »
I don't have an ethical issue with this but I don't do it.  Although I do churn credit cards.  Manufactured spending is too much effort for me personally.

So like you, I do sign up for cards for the sign up bonus.  I typically earn the bonus and then apply for another card with a good sign up bonus.  I then work out what cards to actually use day to day based on what bonus points schemes they have.  For example I'm using chase sapphire for restaurants and travel right now because they offer double points.  I use my chase ink business for office supplies because its 5x points.  EVEN THIS IS EFFORT FOR ME TO WORK OUT and I probably don't maximize my points opportunities but it's better than nothing.  Other churners are probably embarrassed to call me a churner.

Basically work out what categories you spend in and pick the best card to suit that category.  Also make sure you can use the points being offered.  Don't sign up for a Southwest card if Southwest service is crappy in your area.

FYI - my credit doesn't seem to take a hit with the opening and closing of accounts.  Has stayed ~800 for the last two years.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 02:42:25 PM by lise »

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28426
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2015, 02:42:59 PM »
I don't care to debate the ethics of churning vs. MS vs. whatever, so to directly answer your question:
So the question becomes: If my wife and I aren't willing to artificially increase spending ... how much can we expect to earn in a year if we spend a minimum of $1,000/month anyways.  (Often more like $1500/month, and if needed, we could probably swing 5k/3months once in a while)

Maybe a thousand or two a year in cash, or 2-3k in flights.

I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2015, 02:43:59 PM »
yeha i have no credit hits over 800 and i've opened 20 cards in the last year

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2127
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2015, 02:45:27 PM »
We don't manufacture spend either - just too much trouble for me.

We do open cards for sign up bonuses - mostly for flights.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2015, 02:50:04 PM »
FYI -- buying gift cards is not considered manufactured spending.  That's simply paying for future spending now.  I'm sure you'd find actual manufactured spending even less ethical, since you aren't actually buying anything at all, now or in the future, in order to meet the requirements.  You just move money from one CC to another, or sometimes even from one CC back to the same one.  (I personally find this to be beyond my comfort zone, but I have no problem making actual purchases, even if they are gift cards, since I used actual money to meet the stated requirements.)

So the question becomes: If my wife and I aren't willing to artificially increase spending, would we still benefit from credit card churning?  Assuming we would, how much can we expect to earn in a year if we spend a minimum of $1,000/month anyways.  (Often more like $1500/month, and if needed, we could probably swing 5k/3months once in a while)

Sure, why not?  There are a fair number of cards offering sign up bonuses that you can still meet at your spending level.  Some of them apparently don't even have a spending amount attached.  For instance, I just signed up for the US Airways card that offers $50K miles after one purchase plus a payment of their annual fee ($89).  So essentially I just bought 50K miles for US Air (or American) for $89.  Pretty sweet deal.

It's hard to gauge how much you can expect to earn (as a maximum), but you can certainly do better than nothing.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28426
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2015, 02:52:47 PM »
FYI -- buying gift cards is not considered manufactured spending.  That's simply paying for future spending now.  I'm sure you'd find actual manufactured spending even less ethical, since you aren't actually buying anything at all, now or in the future, in order to meet the requirements.  You just move money from one CC to another, or sometimes even from one CC back to the same one.  (I personally find this to be beyond my comfort zone, but I have no problem making actual purchases, even if they are gift cards, since I used actual money to meet the stated requirements.)

Sure it is - often times the gift cards are used to pay off the credit cards.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Eric

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4061
  • Location: On my bike
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2015, 02:56:26 PM »
FYI -- buying gift cards is not considered manufactured spending.  That's simply paying for future spending now.  I'm sure you'd find actual manufactured spending even less ethical, since you aren't actually buying anything at all, now or in the future, in order to meet the requirements.  You just move money from one CC to another, or sometimes even from one CC back to the same one.  (I personally find this to be beyond my comfort zone, but I have no problem making actual purchases, even if they are gift cards, since I used actual money to meet the stated requirements.)

Sure it is - often times the gift cards are used to pay off the credit cards.

Ahhh, okay.  Like a Visa gift card?  I was thinking along the lines of buying a gift card to my grocery store to pay for my groceries in advance.  I guess I don't know all your fancy tricks.  :)  Carry on...

jo552006

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2015, 03:07:09 PM »
Wow there are a lot of quick responses!  I'll start by saying, I never intended to get into an ethics discussion, and Border 42 has genuinely made me rethink doing anything with credit cards.  I attempted to caveat with the "we personally" bit but did not realize that could (would?) be taken as insulting.  I should have just said "Assume I'm too lazy to manufacture spending" and put the second paragraph, or deleted the first paragraph all together.

Also, I apologize if I've offended anyone.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28426
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2015, 03:11:01 PM »
FYI -- buying gift cards is not considered manufactured spending.  That's simply paying for future spending now.  I'm sure you'd find actual manufactured spending even less ethical, since you aren't actually buying anything at all, now or in the future, in order to meet the requirements.  You just move money from one CC to another, or sometimes even from one CC back to the same one.  (I personally find this to be beyond my comfort zone, but I have no problem making actual purchases, even if they are gift cards, since I used actual money to meet the stated requirements.)

Sure it is - often times the gift cards are used to pay off the credit cards.

Ahhh, okay.  Like a Visa gift card?

Right.  :)

Wow there are a lot of quick responses!  I'll start by saying, I never intended to get into an ethics discussion, and Border 42 has genuinely made me rethink doing anything with credit cards.  I attempted to caveat with the "we personally" bit but did not realize that could (would?) be taken as insulting.  I should have just said "Assume I'm too lazy to manufacture spending" and put the second paragraph, or deleted the first paragraph all together.

Also, I apologize if I've offended anyone.

No worries.  People jump to defend themselves when they feel uneasy.  It didn't read as accusatory or negative to me, but thanks for clarifying anyways.  When you work out your ethical system and decide what level is appropriate for you, let us know and we'll answer questions.  :)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

JLee

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6588
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2015, 03:11:31 PM »
Wow there are a lot of quick responses!  I'll start by saying, I never intended to get into an ethics discussion, and Border 42 has genuinely made me rethink doing anything with credit cards.  I attempted to caveat with the "we personally" bit but did not realize that could (would?) be taken as insulting.  I should have just said "Assume I'm too lazy to manufacture spending" and put the second paragraph, or deleted the first paragraph all together.

Also, I apologize if I've offended anyone.

I'm not offended - the credit card industry makes a shit ton of money and if sign up bonuses were costing them too much, they'd have higher minimum spends, or "keep card open for XYZ duration or pay a termination fee" or something like that. Might as well use it while it's available.

NoraLenderbee

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1254
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2015, 03:12:02 PM »
I'm no expert, but I've done a little churning for bonuses. The cards I've seen have minimum spending requirements that range from $500 to $45oo in the first three months to earn the signup bonus. So you could easily earn the bonus on most cards with your normal spending, as long as you put it all (or as much as possible) on that card. The bonuses I've seen recently range from $100 cash to 50,000 airline miles.
If the card gives you 1 mile per dollar spent, you'd make at least 12,000 miles in a year--more if your card offers double or 5x points in some categories.

You could get more bonuses by opening a new card after you earn the bonus for the first card---IOW, use one card until you get the bonus; then put it away, open another card, and use it until you get that bonus; and repeat. That may or may not feel right to you.

Travis

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3544
  • Location: South Korea
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2015, 03:30:36 PM »
I'm in the market to open a couple new credit cards myself, and I barely spend enough to qualify for many of the bonuses offered.  For those of you spreading your points out to multiple cards, how do you redeem them if they're all over the place?

kpd905

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1911
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2015, 06:08:46 PM »
Assuming $1500/month or $18,000 per year, this is what I'd do the first year.

2 x US Airways (today, this card is ending) end up with 50,000 American airline miles each after one purchase and paying $89 fee
2 x Barclays Arrival ($6k total spend, $880 travel credit)
2 x Citi AAdvantage ($6k spend) You each now have 100,000 AA miles
2 x Chase Hyatt cards ($2k spend) You get 4 free nights at any Hyatt hotel (some in Hawaii are normally $500+ per night)
1 x Chase CSP ($4k spend) You get $450 cash back or 45,000 United miles, Southwest miles, Hyatt points

With these cards you could each fly business or first class to Hawaii, grab 4 nights at Grand Hyatt Kauai or Andaz Maui (around $1500-2000 value).  Then use your Barclays credit for car rental and your remaining hotel nights.  You could also use your CSP points for 2 more nights in a Hyatt or Marriott hotel there.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 06:12:40 PM by kpd905 »

BlueBeard

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 47
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2015, 06:19:38 PM »
What do you do the second year? Cancel the above cards and apply again?  I did a apporama a few years ago and already had those cards.

kpd905

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1911
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2015, 06:36:13 PM »
You can get every Chase card again 24 months after you get the bonus.

For the 2nd year I'd grab another CSP, maybe two Chase United cards for 50,000 United miles each.

Grab a few different hotel cards (Chase IHG, Chase Marriott, Hilton cards).

Stachetastic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 769
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2015, 06:19:08 AM »
As someone who recently had a CC canceled due to inactivity, I know nothing about points/airline miles, etc. DH and I have discussed getting a CC for these, but we don't even know where to start.  For example, how far will 50k miles get you? A free flight? Free international flight? Airfare for all four of us within the US? Maybe only to the next state? Sorry to derail the thread, but it appears I may not be the only one still learning!

We are also too lazy for the manufactured spending aspect, but are considering using a CC for groceries and/or gas. Would this even be worth it? We're talking $500/month or so in spending. I'm guessing the points wouldn't add up very fast.


boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2015, 06:40:51 AM »
As someone who recently had a CC canceled due to inactivity, I know nothing about points/airline miles, etc. DH and I have discussed getting a CC for these, but we don't even know where to start.  For example, how far will 50k miles get you? A free flight? Free international flight? Airfare for all four of us within the US? Maybe only to the next state? Sorry to derail the thread, but it appears I may not be the only one still learning!

We are also too lazy for the manufactured spending aspect, but are considering using a CC for groceries and/or gas. Would this even be worth it? We're talking $500/month or so in spending. I'm guessing the points wouldn't add up very fast.

yeah 500 a month in spending on gas and grocery makes the 6% on grocery card from AMEX blue cash preferred super worth it.  it also gets you 3% CB on gas.  for a 79 dollar annual fee

yes being lazy as with anything isnt going to get you anywhere, it takes all of 1 day of reading the online blogs about CCs and miles to learn how to use miles and how to get the best miles for your purpose.  you may not be 100% efficient but you can get a lot for free.  2 RT's to Hawaii cost 50k Avios from the west coast or 70k AA miles from anywhere in the us. 

jo552006

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 152
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2015, 07:47:49 AM »
@Stachetastic:  I agree completely with boarder42 that $500/month on spending makes using a card worth it.  I carefully chose the card for reward bonus that I would continue to use even if I never opened another one again.  I will point out however, that if you buy most stuff at BJ's or a warehouse store, you don't get the 6% on groceries.  I tend to shop at BJ's, Sams, Pricerite, and Aldi.  Out of the 4, I can only get points at Pricerite and they're so cheap that I hardly see any benefit. (BJ's and Sams don't qualify as grocery stores, Aldi doesn't take credit)  I DO get 3% on gas all the time, and that's where most of my bill credit comes from.  I'm going to evaluate at the end of the year if I should downgrade to Amex Blue Cash everyday (no annual fee) or if the yearly cost for the Preferred is offset by my rewards.  I think if you shop at traditional grocery stores often, you'll do VERY well with the Amex preferred, but if you shop at places that are considered "warehouse stores" for groceries, or places that don't take credit, I'd get the AMEX blue cash everyday (or whatever it's called that has no annual fee)

@arebelspy:  I don't know whether I'll pursue this or not, but I have gotten some great responses and my question hasn't changed.  Even if I don't pursue this, I still find it interesting to know we can probably plan an entire vacation by using credit cards prudently.  In fact, kpd905 really had some good suggestions that I'll be discussing with my wife!

lise

  • Guest
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2015, 08:55:54 AM »
@Stachetastic: I agree with the previous poster that if you're lazy a cash back card is the way to go.  If you're going to go down the miles route there is also time and energy to work out the best deal on how to spend the points and you have to be flexible on dates or be super organized to get the dates you want at a good milage redemption rate.  So it's possible to get something even if you are lazy, it just might not be the maximum you can get.  It's also a good way to go for people that don't like to travel. 

I think it's worth some effort in just applying, getting a sign up bonus and just using your credit card.

FLBiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
  • Age: 44
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #22 on: March 20, 2015, 09:10:54 AM »
I don't do any manufacturing spending (not worth the time).  I could see this changing if I was at a point in my life where I traveled more, but we've got a baby on the way.

I have been getting signup bonuses for airlines for years, though.  Recently, I've gotten a bit more dedicated and try to always have a card where I'm spending to get a sign up bonus.  And I find the idea of this being unethical very, very strange.  I am honestly filling out a credit card application and using the card entirely in a way that is permitted by the agreement.  How is this unethical?  Most credit card companies have rules about how frequently (once every 2 years, for example) you can get the bonuses.  In fact, I'm almost always signing up for one because I got an offer mailed to me from a credit card I'd cancelled in the past.  If this is "an abuse of the system," you would think they'd stop sending me the offers.  Or they could turn down an app, seeing as how they have full access to my credit history.  Hasn't happened yet.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28426
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #23 on: March 20, 2015, 09:22:01 AM »
Manufactured spending is too much effort for me personally.

We don't manufacture spend either - just too much trouble for me.

We are also too lazy for the manufactured spending aspect

I don't do any manufacturing spending (not worth the time).

Though I know the OP isn't interested in manufactured spending, I have to post this for all the people who said that MS is too much work: it really isn't.

1 year ago, I said the same thing.  I used it as an excuse to put off doing CC hacking, because I decided it wasn't worth the trouble.  It totally was.  I've gotten paid in excess of $500-1000/hour.  That's how little work it took (just a few hours for thousands of dollars).

There are more efficient (money-wise) MS ways that I didn't use because they were more of a hassle, so I went with the easy, low hanging fruit to minimize the work so I couldn't use the "it's too much of a hassle" factor.  And it literally took a few hours to earn extra thousands of dollars.

By all means, choose whatever is right for you.  I'm just saying that MS being "too much work" isn't true.  I'm so lazy, and I thought so as well, and I was wrong.  It's less work than updating a budget, or making a FIRE projection.

(And for the one mentioning they don't travel that much: you can earn CASH.  I have rewards sitting that I could redeem for $4000+ in cash deposited to my bank account - I don't need to travel to have that.)

MS is really, really easy.  I just had this misconception that it was difficult.

I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

FLBiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
  • Age: 44
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #24 on: March 20, 2015, 09:28:18 AM »
(And for the one mentioning they don't travel that much: you can earn CASH.  I have rewards sitting that I could redeem for $4000+ in cash deposited to my bank account - I don't need to travel to have that.)

Woah.  I'm going to have to look into this.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #25 on: March 20, 2015, 09:32:24 AM »
Yep it is so lets take sign up bonus's out of the picture.  I have an AMEX old Blue card and a target red card and my target logs as grocery so i get 5x cash back on money spent there. 

On my way home from work it takes me a max of 30 mins total extra time to stop by target and load my redcard with 2500 dollars(daily max) i do this 2x a month for a total of 5k(monthly max)  so for one hours worth of time i have just MS'd 5000 dollars to net me 250.  so thats 250 bucks for 1 hour worth of work.  What do you do to make money that has that ROI making this too complicated to do.  I'd love to know b/c i'll start doing that.

Note this doesnt include sign up bonuses if we talk sign up bonuses.  i used a chase hyatt card 1k minimum spend to get 2 free nights at any hyatt i booked to 500 dollar nights in hawaii so if we assume i only used that card at target that day for 30 mins worth of work i made 1k.  or a net of 2k per hour.  now if you can show me how a guy with no college degree and little capital can make this an hour i'm all ears too ...

but the truth is its really easy and very ethical(IMnotsohumbleO)

lise

  • Guest
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #26 on: March 20, 2015, 09:36:09 AM »
are more efficient (money-wise) MS ways that I didn't use because they were more of a hassle, so I went with the easy, low hanging fruit to minimize the work so I couldn't use the "it's too much of a hassle" factor.  And it literally took a few hours to earn extra thousands of dollars.


what is your efficient way? 
Even the most efficient ways I saw would only net me $30 a month or 60 airline points.  For some people that would be worth it (not for me), but maybe I don't know the truly efficient ways!

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28426
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #27 on: March 20, 2015, 09:36:22 AM »
Yep it is so lets take sign up bonus's out of the picture.  I have an AMEX old Blue card and a target red card and my target logs as grocery so i get 5x cash back on money spent there. 

On my way home from work it takes me a max of 30 mins total extra time to stop by target and load my redcard with 2500 dollars(daily max) i do this 2x a month for a total of 5k(monthly max)  so for one hours worth of time i have just MS'd 5000 dollars to net me 250.  so thats 250 bucks for 1 hour worth of work.  What do you do to make money that has that ROI making this too complicated to do.  I'd love to know b/c i'll start doing that.

See, and I don't bother with this, cause even that 1 hour isn't worth the amount of work to me.  I only do it when going for sign up bonuses, which are much more lucrative.

So when I tell you that MS is worth it, even more me that's too lazy to earn $250 for an hour of MS, you know it must be worth it.  ;)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

Stachetastic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 769
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #28 on: March 20, 2015, 09:37:05 AM »
@Stachetastic:  I agree completely with boarder42 that $500/month on spending makes using a card worth it.  I carefully chose the card for reward bonus that I would continue to use even if I never opened another one again.  I will point out however, that if you buy most stuff at BJ's or a warehouse store, you don't get the 6% on groceries.  I tend to shop at BJ's, Sams, Pricerite, and Aldi.  Out of the 4, I can only get points at Pricerite and they're so cheap that I hardly see any benefit. (BJ's and Sams don't qualify as grocery stores, Aldi doesn't take credit)  I DO get 3% on gas all the time, and that's where most of my bill credit comes from.  I'm going to evaluate at the end of the year if I should downgrade to Amex Blue Cash everyday (no annual fee) or if the yearly cost for the Preferred is offset by my rewards.  I think if you shop at traditional grocery stores often, you'll do VERY well with the Amex preferred, but if you shop at places that are considered "warehouse stores" for groceries, or places that don't take credit, I'd get the AMEX blue cash everyday (or whatever it's called that has no annual fee)

Ah yes! We get the bulk of our groceries at Aldi, so I hadn't even considered the fact that they don't take credit. We do supplement our food shopping at Kroger, though.  So I guess our monthly total for food and gas on a CC would be closer to 300 or so. Definitely something to think about. Thanks for the suggestions!

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28426
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #29 on: March 20, 2015, 09:37:34 AM »
are more efficient (money-wise) MS ways that I didn't use because they were more of a hassle, so I went with the easy, low hanging fruit to minimize the work so I couldn't use the "it's too much of a hassle" factor.  And it literally took a few hours to earn extra thousands of dollars.


what is your efficient way? 
Even the most efficient ways I saw would only net me $30 a month or 60 airline points.  For some people that would be worth it (not for me), but maybe I don't know the truly efficient ways!

Only doing it for signup bonuses where the money to time ratio is maximized, so I'm earning $500-1000+ an hour.  MS for a few bucks is not worth it to me.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2015, 09:40:40 AM »
Yep it is so lets take sign up bonus's out of the picture.  I have an AMEX old Blue card and a target red card and my target logs as grocery so i get 5x cash back on money spent there. 

On my way home from work it takes me a max of 30 mins total extra time to stop by target and load my redcard with 2500 dollars(daily max) i do this 2x a month for a total of 5k(monthly max)  so for one hours worth of time i have just MS'd 5000 dollars to net me 250.  so thats 250 bucks for 1 hour worth of work.  What do you do to make money that has that ROI making this too complicated to do.  I'd love to know b/c i'll start doing that.

See, and I don't bother with this, cause even that 1 hour isn't worth the amount of work to me.  I only do it when going for sign up bonuses, which are much more lucrative.

So when I tell you that MS is worth it, even more me that's too lazy to earn $250 for an hour of MS, you know it must be worth it.  ;)

see i find this super interesting.  So it takes me 1 hour to mow my lawn.  or i could pay a dude 30 bucks to do it and edge(which i dont do) so 2 hours time spent mowing.  yet it is the philosophy here to mow your own lawn.  but in that same hour you could have made a net profit of 220 yet you chose not to.  just some perspective.

Disclaimer: i still mow my own lawn b/c there are more than 2 hours in a month

shotgunwilly

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 548
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #31 on: March 20, 2015, 09:48:50 AM »
MS is really, really easy.  I just had this misconception that it was difficult.

Care to share how you are manufacture spending?  RedCard? Bluebird? Serve?

I was going to use Serve to load $1000/mo from a credit card, but just like literally EVERY single other time I have jumped onto something, they stop allowing it shortly after. (Serve CC loads going away next month.)

So I'd like to know how you're manufacture spending, not including your normal monthly spending.

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28426
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #32 on: March 20, 2015, 09:52:06 AM »
Yep it is so lets take sign up bonus's out of the picture.  I have an AMEX old Blue card and a target red card and my target logs as grocery so i get 5x cash back on money spent there. 

On my way home from work it takes me a max of 30 mins total extra time to stop by target and load my redcard with 2500 dollars(daily max) i do this 2x a month for a total of 5k(monthly max)  so for one hours worth of time i have just MS'd 5000 dollars to net me 250.  so thats 250 bucks for 1 hour worth of work.  What do you do to make money that has that ROI making this too complicated to do.  I'd love to know b/c i'll start doing that.

See, and I don't bother with this, cause even that 1 hour isn't worth the amount of work to me.  I only do it when going for sign up bonuses, which are much more lucrative.

So when I tell you that MS is worth it, even more me that's too lazy to earn $250 for an hour of MS, you know it must be worth it.  ;)

see i find this super interesting.  So it takes me 1 hour to mow my lawn.  or i could pay a dude 30 bucks to do it and edge(which i dont do) so 2 hours time spent mowing.  yet it is the philosophy here to mow your own lawn.  but in that same hour you could have made a net profit of 220 yet you chose not to.  just some perspective.

Disclaimer: i still mow my own lawn b/c there are more than 2 hours in a month

It's not all about money.

Mowing your lawn or not isn't just due to the money.  If you think it is, you're missing a large chunk of what Mustachianism is.

(Also - FWIW, I don't think one has to mow their own lawn.  You don't have to accept everything blindly, but make conscious decisions for yourself.  The person mowing their own lawn cause MMM said to is as bad as the person hiring a servant out of laziness.)
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

lise

  • Guest
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #33 on: March 20, 2015, 09:55:17 AM »
are more efficient (money-wise) MS ways that I didn't use because they were more of a hassle, so I went with the easy, low hanging fruit to minimize the work so I couldn't use the "it's too much of a hassle" factor.  And it literally took a few hours to earn extra thousands of dollars.


what is your efficient way? 
Even the most efficient ways I saw would only net me $30 a month or 60 airline points.  For some people that would be worth it (not for me), but maybe I don't know the truly efficient ways!

Only doing it for signup bonuses where the money to time ratio is maximized, so I'm earning $500-1000+ an hour.  MS for a few bucks is not worth it to me.

ahhh - yes, I get it now.  I can normally get the sign up bonuseswithout manufacturing spend due to business expenses I can spend on cards.  I have been known to buy a few gift cards to reach the goal in time (e.g. card requiring $3,000 spend in 3 months).   I've just send people manufacture more points by buying refill cards or gift cards at grocery, drug stores or office supply stores so they can get the 5x bonuses that some cards offer. 

arebelspy

  • Administrator
  • Senior Mustachian
  • *****
  • Posts: 28426
  • Age: -999
  • Location: Seattle, WA
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #34 on: March 20, 2015, 09:59:19 AM »
are more efficient (money-wise) MS ways that I didn't use because they were more of a hassle, so I went with the easy, low hanging fruit to minimize the work so I couldn't use the "it's too much of a hassle" factor.  And it literally took a few hours to earn extra thousands of dollars.


what is your efficient way? 
Even the most efficient ways I saw would only net me $30 a month or 60 airline points.  For some people that would be worth it (not for me), but maybe I don't know the truly efficient ways!

Only doing it for signup bonuses where the money to time ratio is maximized, so I'm earning $500-1000+ an hour.  MS for a few bucks is not worth it to me.

ahhh - yes, I get it now.  I can normally get the sign up bonuseswithout manufacturing spend due to business expenses I can spend on cards.  I have been known to buy a few gift cards to reach the goal in time (e.g. card requiring $3,000 spend in 3 months).   I've just send people manufacture more points by buying refill cards or gift cards at grocery, drug stores or office supply stores so they can get the 5x bonuses that some cards offer.

Sure, if you can hit it without MS, no need to.  I just had to spend something like 80 grand over 3 months when I did a bunch of CC hacking last summer, so I had to MS for that, I don't have business expenses that hit that.  I don't bother with MS just for the 2-5x cash back that you're referring to.
I am a former teacher who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, spent some time traveling the world full time and am now settled with three kids.
If you want to know more about me, this Business Insider profile tells the story pretty well.
I (rarely) blog at AdventuringAlong.com. Check out the Now page to see what I'm up to currently.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #35 on: March 20, 2015, 10:00:04 AM »
MS is really, really easy.  I just had this misconception that it was difficult.

Care to share how you are manufacture spending?  RedCard? Bluebird? Serve?

I was going to use Serve to load $1000/mo from a credit card, but just like literally EVERY single other time I have jumped onto something, they stop allowing it shortly after. (Serve CC loads going away next month.)

So I'd like to know how you're manufacture spending, not including your normal monthly spending.

Serve:
Go to CVS buy Vanilla Visa cost is 4.95 - load with 500 with CC
Go to Family Dollar load serve with Vanilla visa from CVS 500/day 5k/month

Redcard
Go to target - load Redcard with 1k/swipe 2.5k/day 5k/month - easy as it sounds. 
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 10:02:54 AM by boarder42 »

lise

  • Guest
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2015, 10:05:52 AM »
MS is really, really easy.  I just had this misconception that it was difficult.

Care to share how you are manufacture spending?  RedCard? Bluebird? Serve?

I was going to use Serve to load $1000/mo from a credit card, but just like literally EVERY single other time I have jumped onto something, they stop allowing it shortly after. (Serve CC loads going away next month.)

So I'd like to know how you're manufacture spending, not including your normal monthly spending.

Serve:
Go to CVS buy Vanilla Visa cost is 4.95 - load with 500 with CC
Go to Family Dollar load serve with Vanilla visa from CVS 500/day 5k/month

Redcard
Go to target - load Redcard with 1k/swipe 2.5k/day 5k/month - easy as it sounds.

I don't have $5,000k in expenses per month - sounds like you do in order to use up your red card balance each month?

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2015, 10:07:41 AM »
MS is really, really easy.  I just had this misconception that it was difficult.

Care to share how you are manufacture spending?  RedCard? Bluebird? Serve?

I was going to use Serve to load $1000/mo from a credit card, but just like literally EVERY single other time I have jumped onto something, they stop allowing it shortly after. (Serve CC loads going away next month.)

So I'd like to know how you're manufacture spending, not including your normal monthly spending.

Serve:
Go to CVS buy Vanilla Visa cost is 4.95 - load with 500 with CC
Go to Family Dollar load serve with Vanilla visa from CVS 500/day 5k/month

Redcard
Go to target - load Redcard with 1k/swipe 2.5k/day 5k/month - easy as it sounds.

I don't have $5,000k in expenses per month - sounds like you do in order to use up your red card balance each month?

no far from it.  You pay off the credit cards with the Redcard or serve account.  not immediately.  wait til you get your bill.  i also use it to pay my mortgage and pay other bills that dont take CC.  but you can use it to directly pay off the cards you loaded with.  i mix in the mortgage etc. to make it look like i'm not just using it in a loop
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 10:09:16 AM by boarder42 »

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2015, 10:16:59 AM »
i actually have both serve under my name and redcard under my wifes name.  so i can MS 10k a month.  i plan to pay my brother to setup an account under his name so i can do 15k a month

FLBiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
  • Age: 44
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2015, 10:23:28 AM »
Serve:
Go to CVS buy Vanilla Visa cost is 4.95 - load with 500 with CC
Go to Family Dollar load serve with Vanilla visa from CVS 500/day 5k/month

Redcard
Go to target - load Redcard with 1k/swipe 2.5k/day 5k/month - easy as it sounds.

Thanks for this!  Have you been burned by these purchases counting as cash advances?  I've heard of that happening to other folks.  Do you "deactivate" cash advances on the cards you use?

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2015, 10:36:48 AM »
Serve:
Go to CVS buy Vanilla Visa cost is 4.95 - load with 500 with CC
Go to Family Dollar load serve with Vanilla visa from CVS 500/day 5k/month

Redcard
Go to target - load Redcard with 1k/swipe 2.5k/day 5k/month - easy as it sounds.

Thanks for this!  Have you been burned by these purchases counting as cash advances?  I've heard of that happening to other folks.  Do you "deactivate" cash advances on the cards you use?

The only time cash advances have been issues are with the Serve online loads to my knowledge.  The CC company sees this as a 1k purchase from Target. 

FLBiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
  • Age: 44
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2015, 10:45:13 AM »
The only time cash advances have been issues are with the Serve online loads to my knowledge.  The CC company sees this as a 1k purchase from Target.

Excellent.  This was the main thing that stopped me moving forward.  If all I need to do it make my giftcard purchases at brick and mortar stores, that seems easy enough.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2015, 11:25:56 AM »
The only time cash advances have been issues are with the Serve online loads to my knowledge.  The CC company sees this as a 1k purchase from Target.

Excellent.  This was the main thing that stopped me moving forward.  If all I need to do it make my giftcard purchases at brick and mortar stores, that seems easy enough.

its very simple and whether you're interested in travel or cash i would hit up RichmondSavers he has a course on it to fill you in on the rest of the info so you dont have to peice it together yourself.

lise

  • Guest
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2015, 11:28:06 AM »
Anyone have luck with online refills / manufactured spend with bonus spend (e.g. more than a 1 point redemption)?

I don't live near targets, CVS's, grocery stores that sell refill cards, etc...

FLBiker

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1231
  • Age: 44
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2015, 11:35:28 AM »
its very simple and whether you're interested in travel or cash i would hit up RichmondSavers he has a course on it to fill you in on the rest of the info so you dont have to peice it together yourself.

I'm actually already signed up for the April Travelmiles 101 course.  Thanks!

2Birds1Stone

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 6386
  • Age: 1
  • Location: Earth
  • K Thnx Bye
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2015, 11:38:39 AM »
so you find it ethical to sign up for cards and churn them only intending to get the bonuses.  interesting.  seeing as both would be seen as an abuse of the system by the CC company i always find it interesting where people decide to draw their imaginary ethical lines

The irony of this post is hilarious.

boarder42

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7934
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2015, 11:39:59 AM »
its very simple and whether you're interested in travel or cash i would hit up RichmondSavers he has a course on it to fill you in on the rest of the info so you dont have to peice it together yourself.

I'm actually already signed up for the April Travelmiles 101 course.  Thanks!

PM me and i'll send you my email i can fill in the gaps if you have urgent MS needs. 

justjenn

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 44
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #47 on: March 23, 2015, 04:10:06 PM »
I sign up for travel card bonuses and do not manufacture spend. I still find it extremely lucrative and have basically funded 3 trips (airfare and hotel) so far.

SailAway

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 101
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #48 on: May 24, 2015, 02:39:55 PM »
Hey can I resurrect this thread to ask some noob churning questions?

Let's say I want to try to churn for a (mostly) free trip for fall of 2016.  I just got a CapOne Venture, credit score is 803. This is my first card with an annual fee. Monthly spend is $1200-1500, although may be higher this summer as we're doing a backyard renovation.

How do I arbitage gathering all the points with not actually paying all the annual fees? I feel like the timing of all this will be critical. Will some banks actually wave the fee if you call and ask? I suppose it's worth a try. I'm just nervous about trying to set a timeline for this. Apply for a new card as soon as we're about to hit the minimum spend for the bonus?

We only fly once a year on average, so I don't see us racking up any frequent flyer miles. Should I try and figure out which airline we'll be using for the free trip and get their card for the initial bonus? The last couple resort-y vacations we've taken I've booked through Priceline to take advantage of the bundling of flight and hotel. Cheaper than when I priced them out on the individual airline and hotel websites. Any way to take advantage of that other than using something like CapOne's purchase eraser?

Also, how, uh, forgiving are the banks? Let's just say I have great credit and mustachean habits now, but 15 years ago I did not. My mistakes were named Chase and Citibank, if memory serves. Would a denial hurt more than my pride? I could have hubby apply for the Chase Sapphire.

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2028
  • Location: Southern California
  • My Journal: Not (Entirely) The Old Age I anticipat
Re: Credit Card Churning without Manufacturing Spending
« Reply #49 on: May 24, 2015, 04:46:50 PM »
Lots of credit cards with good bonuses waive the fee the first year.  Some do not.  You should go to somewhere like www.frugaltravelguy.com which has a guide for newbies.

Barclay Arrival + MasterCard would be a good one to get.  Yearly fee is waived for the first year.  For a 3k spend in 3 months you can get $400 in travel credits.  If you both get one (staggered so minimum spend isn't a problem) that's a long way towards a vacation.  Then get an airfare card.