Author Topic: Resources for getting started with credit card churning  (Read 5315 times)

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« on: May 30, 2016, 11:14:28 AM »
I have been reading some threads about this and am completely overwhelmed. We are buying a home shortly and will have to buy a fridge, so I am now thinking about whether it is a good idea to get a rewards card to finance the purchase for a few hours.

We probably spend only about $1000 a month in "credit card" eligible purchases a month. The remainder is not easy to put on a credit card to spend.

Some basic questions:

  • Are there cards that offer non-travel based rewards?
  • How do you find cards in the first place?
  • How are people manufacturing spend so much (giftcards at Walmart?)

I have seen a few places people talking about getting $500 in gift card bonuses from a card. This seems to good to be true, is there a specific card that allows this?

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3026
  • Age: 37
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2016, 01:31:27 PM »
I got a nice gift-card bonus through the Chase Southwest Card.   The bonus signup can convert to $500 in gift cards

kpd905

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1716
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2016, 01:33:53 PM »
Travelmiles101.com is a good place to start.  They offer an overview of the entire churning game as step-by-step lessons.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2016, 01:57:22 PM »
I got a nice gift-card bonus through the Chase Southwest Card.   The bonus signup can convert to $500 in gift cards

Is that this one?

https://creditcards.chase.com/a1/southwest/50kPremierNonAEP?CELL=6RHZ


How do you learn whether the card points can be redeemed for usable gift cards?

rockstache

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5797
  • Age: 2015
  • Location: Northeast
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2016, 02:42:26 PM »
+1 to the travelmiles class. In your situation I might be looking at the Barclays world arrival plus or the capital one spark for business, but I'm not the expert. I have gotten both of those cards in the past with large bonuses after spending X amount.

BikeFanatic

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 224
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 03:56:46 PM »
Here is a link to the travel 101 credit card page, the cardsthat  are offering better bonus amounts are listed here.
travelmiles101.com/cards

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3322
  • Location: UK
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2016, 04:28:37 PM »
Reddit.com/r/churning is good.

If you just want cash, go for a CapOne Quicksilver, Chase Freedom, Discover It.

If you can be creative/flexible, a lot of the 'travel' cards can redeem to gift cards - not optimal vs the sticker price you're saving vs a business it first class flight/hotel rooms, but compare to economy/staying in a budget hotel...

For example, I had the AMEX SPG card.. thought I would start at hotels, but ended up not needing to, so I got Amazon gift cards instead. NOT the best if you work out the optimal cents per point on super flashy hotels.... but on the other hand, $350 of Amazon credit is pretty flexible in terms of what you can buy..

Jaguar Paw

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Texas!!
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2016, 08:28:41 AM »
nerdwallet.com has a lot of great resources for CC churning. The "manufacturing" spending seems a bit weird to me, so we are just putting all of our spending on it. Wife is doing Chase Sapphire right now and we will get 500 back in a month, Then I will do the same thing with a Sapphire in my name and then cancel before the yearly fee. Southwest rewards looks like a good one after that. Chase Ink and Chase Freedom (I think this is the one that offers 5% rotating bonus categories) also has a small sign up bonus as well.

Enjoy!

Choices

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 516
    • ChooseBetterLife
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2016, 09:16:28 AM »
The best (simplest) purely cash back cards I've found are 1.5% on everything with Capital One https://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/cash-back/?Log=1&EventType=Link&ComponentType=T&LOB=MTS%3A%3ALCTMMQC4S&PageName=Credit+Cards+Home&PortletLocation=4%3B16-col%3B2-1-2-1&ComponentName=New-cash-back-rewards-card-cchp%3B13&ContentElement=1%3BCash+Back+Rewards&TargetLob=MTS%3A%3ALCTMMQC4S&TargetPageName=Cash+Back&referer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.capitalone.com%2Fcredit-cards and 2% back on everything with Fidelity if you have the rewards deposited into your Fidelity account https://www.fidelity.com/cash-management/visa-signature-card?imm_pid=700000001336823&immid=100049&imm_eid=e10643690530&gclid=CPnG39rMhM0CFVRtfgod5PwLoQ&gclsrc=ds .
If you fly on Southwest at all, their Visa is a great deal. It's a $99 annual fee, but if you spend $2000 in the first 3 months (like on your new fridge) you'll get 50K points, and this is about $700-800 worth of points.

geekette

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1841
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 09:24:31 AM »
The sign up bonuses are where the real money is, but after that, Cap One Quicksilver, Chase Freedom, Citi double cash back, and I think Chase has a new double cash back as well.

Travel Miles Course.  The associated Facebook group is quite good, although mostly focused on travel.  Still, there are many card bonuses you can cash out.

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2016, 01:50:27 PM »
As someone who doesn't travel and doesn't intend to travel and doesn't care about miles, I found the travelmiles101 course to be not particularly relevant.

There used to be ways to manufacture spend to fairly easily reach the minimum spend required for some bonuses...I did a tad bit of this last year, but then the easy options dried up.  I'm not willing to go to the risk or effort that manufacture spend currently requires.

I'm interested in cash.  And I want it to be easy, I'm not going to jump through a lot of hoops.  My favorite cards are Chase cards because you can deposit your 'points' directly into your bank account as a cash deposit or do a statement credit.   The Chase Sapphire preferred is the first card that I got (inspired by the MMM article).  I think it requires a $4000 spend within the first 3 months to reach the bonus - but that's a nice cash bonus! 

If you just want to get your toes wet without the stress of trying to reach $4000 minimum spend you can apply for the Chase AARP card.  (Google it, I don't want to post links).  I got this once for myself and once for my husband.  We are both in our early 30s so you don't have to actually have any relationship with the AARP.  The AARP bonus is $100 after spending $500.  That's a very easy one.  I closed the cards after we got the bonuses.  There are quite a few other $100 for $500 cards around as well, the AARP one is just the one I remembered first.

I find cards by keeping an eye out on forums for discussions over credit card bonuses or by googling for best credit card offers.   Sometimes there are offers mentioned in the TravelMiles Facebook group (so I don't regret taking the course, I just didn't feel like I learned anything that helped my specific situation).

You asked how to determine what you can redeem points for (this is a great thing to figure out BEFORE you apply for a card!)  Again, I google it.  I scroll through the google results looking for something that isn't related to the company.  So I just googled 'Southwest Points' and the first result I bothered clicking on was an article from NerdWallet, the second was an article from ThePointsGuy (both of these sites I've used before).  Unfortunately neither result mentioned spending points on anything other than miles, so then I googled 'Southwest Points for Gift Cards' and found https://www.southwest.com/rapidrewards/redeem-more-rewards.  So it looks like you can turn southwest points into gift cards <for example a $25 Target Gift card costs 3,000 points>.  But I certainly wouldn't start with a southwest card if all you want is cash.

If you don't want to get into churning, there are still quite a few nice and easy cash back rewards credit cards that you can get and just use for your daily spend.  My two staples are the Sallie Mae Rewards Mastercard from Barclaycard which I keep because I get 5% cash back on Amazon all the time.  I also have a CitiCard Double Cash back which essentially is 2% everywhere (be sure to choose direct deposit into your checking account for the cash back versus a statement credit because statement credits on this particular card reduce your cash awards).

It's all quite overwhelming at first.  Just pick a card that has a sign on bonus that you can meet.  See how it goes.  It gets easier after you've done it a few times.


daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3322
  • Location: UK
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2016, 03:39:52 PM »
As someone who doesn't travel and doesn't intend to travel and doesn't care about miles, I found the travelmiles101 course to be not particularly relevant.

There used to be ways to manufacture spend to fairly easily reach the minimum spend required for some bonuses...I did a tad bit of this last year, but then the easy options dried up.  I'm not willing to go to the risk or effort that manufacture spend currently requires.

I'm interested in cash.  And I want it to be easy, I'm not going to jump through a lot of hoops.  My favorite cards are Chase cards...

Snip! Chase has a 5/24 rule now - many chase card require you to have applied for fewer than 5 cards in the last 24 months. You may be locking yourself out of some great sign up bonuses by going for $100 easy wins.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2016, 04:34:18 PM »
I'm interested in cash.  And I want it to be easy, I'm not going to jump through a lot of hoops.  My favorite cards are Chase cards because you can deposit your 'points' directly into your bank account as a cash deposit or do a statement credit.   The Chase Sapphire preferred is the first card that I got (inspired by the MMM article).  I think it requires a $4000 spend within the first 3 months to reach the bonus - but that's a nice cash bonus! 


I will have to look at this one, because if we buy a nice fridge we will be spending a good chunk of money anyways. Not sure how much we will want to spend but might be a good chunk of $4000 anyways. Not sure yet.

PhysicianOnFIRE

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 452
  • Location: Up North
    • Physician On FIRE
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2016, 04:47:53 PM »
You might also want to check out Mad TravelCards from the Mad Fientist. 

I haven't used it, but it looks pretty slick if you do like to travel.

I've gotten 3 cards in the last 9 months for the rewards. Chase Sapphire, Chase Southwest, and Amex Delta. No manufactured spending, just spending.

Cheers!
-PoF

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3322
  • Location: UK
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2016, 05:14:04 PM »
I'm interested in cash.  And I want it to be easy, I'm not going to jump through a lot of hoops.  My favorite cards are Chase cards because you can deposit your 'points' directly into your bank account as a cash deposit or do a statement credit.   The Chase Sapphire preferred is the first card that I got (inspired by the MMM article).  I think it requires a $4000 spend within the first 3 months to reach the bonus - but that's a nice cash bonus! 


I will have to look at this one, because if we buy a nice fridge we will be spending a good chunk of money anyways. Not sure how much we will want to spend but might be a good chunk of $4000 anyways. Not sure yet.

CSP is one of the more highly rated beginner cards. I'll probably pick one up myself later this year..

Tay_CPA

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 61
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2016, 05:47:16 PM »
You should check out the recommended credit cards page on MMM!

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/credit-cards/

From that list, looks like you may be most interested in the Capital One Venture, Chase Freedom, AmEx BlueCash Everyday, and Citi Double Cash cards. You can also contact the curator of the page (Brandon Cronan) to ask for tips for your particular situation! He's a really good resource and knows a lot about credit card rewards.

Good luck :)

SomedayStache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 761
  • Live Long and Prosper
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2016, 06:49:21 PM »
As someone who doesn't travel and doesn't intend to travel and doesn't care about miles, I found the travelmiles101 course to be not particularly relevant.

There used to be ways to manufacture spend to fairly easily reach the minimum spend required for some bonuses...I did a tad bit of this last year, but then the easy options dried up.  I'm not willing to go to the risk or effort that manufacture spend currently requires.

I'm interested in cash.  And I want it to be easy, I'm not going to jump through a lot of hoops.  My favorite cards are Chase cards...

Snip! Chase has a 5/24 rule now - many chase card require you to have applied for fewer than 5 cards in the last 24 months. You may be locking yourself out of some great sign up bonuses by going for $100 easy wins.
Yep, I'm aware of the 5/24 rule, but was past the limit when Chase rolled that out a few months back.  So I got a couple of quick easy bonuses and now will slow down a bit and plan farther ahead.  I have to wait two years to be eligible for another sapphire bonus anyway.

 I thought about a warning in my initial post, but I'd already written a small book. :-)

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4734
Re: Resources for getting started with credit card churning
« Reply #17 on: May 31, 2016, 08:48:13 PM »
You might also want to check out Mad TravelCards from the Mad Fientist. 

I haven't used it, but it looks pretty slick if you do like to travel.

I've gotten 3 cards in the last 9 months for the rewards. Chase Sapphire, Chase Southwest, and Amex Delta. No manufactured spending, just spending.

Cheers!
-PoF

My biggest thing is my wife and I next to nothing.

We probably spend at most $1,000 a month on credit card eligible expenses (probably less). For a long time I've just decided "meh credit card rewards"  because of this.

But the more I think about it, the more it sounds... dare I say fun? A way to mico-optimize my life and get paid for it? We're buying a house, so we'll have a lot more space to stock up on staples which would help manufactured spend I'm sure.

the whole thing just feels like a game I'd LOVE to play. lol

I'm interested in cash.  And I want it to be easy, I'm not going to jump through a lot of hoops.  My favorite cards are Chase cards because you can deposit your 'points' directly into your bank account as a cash deposit or do a statement credit.   The Chase Sapphire preferred is the first card that I got (inspired by the MMM article).  I think it requires a $4000 spend within the first 3 months to reach the bonus - but that's a nice cash bonus! 


I will have to look at this one, because if we buy a nice fridge we will be spending a good chunk of money anyways. Not sure how much we will want to spend but might be a good chunk of $4000 anyways. Not sure yet.

CSP is one of the more highly rated beginner cards. I'll probably pick one up myself later this year..

I might apply for one of these soon, once our mortgage application goes through - they might not like to see a new credit card at the same time... :-)
« Last Edit: May 31, 2016, 08:50:09 PM by ender »