Author Topic: What do you do w/ the credit card once you've earned your bonus miles?  (Read 2924 times)

MsPeacock

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1539
  • Location: High COL
I am just getting on board w/ the whole idea of getting ff miles from my cards. So, got an American Airline card, did the spending, got the 30k miles... now what? Should I close the card and wait for another offer? I don't really use cc cards - I am in the process of paying off some zero interest cards from legal fees from 2 years ago. Otherwise I just sort of paid bills and such with the AA card. However, it seems like I should make more of a practice of this in the interest of getting hotel or airlines miles.

So - what the process? Do I sit on the card? Close it? Use it once a year for something or other to keep it going?

Thanks!

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: What do you do w/ the credit card once you've earned your bonus miles?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2015, 01:44:41 PM »
For future reference, if you only got 30k miles from an AA card, you should have waited for the 50k bonus that comes around every so often (unless you had some immediate travel plans).

I usually wait till around month 10 or 11 before calling to try to get a retention bonus (allegedly banks don't like it if you cancel right away and may not approve you for new cards from then. How true is this? I'm not sure. But it doesn't cost you anything to hang onto the card until month 10 or 11). If they offer to waive the annual fee, great! I keep it for another year. If they offer some miles/points for $X in spend, I give it some thought. Depending on the offer, I might cancel.

Before you cancel any card, make sure you don't have any pending rewards that you want to hang on to. For cobranded airline cards like the AA card, so long as the miles are posted in the AA FF miles account, you're golden. For cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, where the points are issued and administered by Chase, transfer or use your points before closing the card.

darkhorse

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 22
Re: What do you do w/ the credit card once you've earned your bonus miles?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2015, 02:28:32 PM »
This is a great question. I'm dabbling in this as well and can't find clear information from any of the major miles/churning blogs regarding the end game (i.e., what do you do with all these cards once you've earned the bonus but before the annual fee kicks in). For the better cards -- the cards that are actually worth using day-to-day -- I know there's a cost/benefit analysis for the accumulated points that potentially offset the annual fee. But for the other cards where you only want to farm the initial miles then cancel before the annual fee, do people reapply for these cards at some point down the road to further capitalize on a similar offer? Do banks even allow this?

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: What do you do w/ the credit card once you've earned your bonus miles?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2015, 03:05:59 PM »
This is a great question. I'm dabbling in this as well and can't find clear information from any of the major miles/churning blogs regarding the end game (i.e., what do you do with all these cards once you've earned the bonus but before the annual fee kicks in). For the better cards -- the cards that are actually worth using day-to-day -- I know there's a cost/benefit analysis for the accumulated points that potentially offset the annual fee. But for the other cards where you only want to farm the initial miles then cancel before the annual fee, do people reapply for these cards at some point down the road to further capitalize on a similar offer? Do banks even allow this?

Yes so long as the bank allows you to get the bonus again. Amex bonuses on personal cards are once per lifetime.
Chase says so long as you have not received the bonus in the last 24 months, and do not currently have the product.
Citi has a 18 month rule I think, but I forget the details.

While I have 18 credit cards, a majority of them were just for the bonuses. I haven't used them since I pocketed the bonuses, and I fully intend on cancelling them unless I get a juicy retention offer.

Lanthiriel

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 791
  • Location: Portlandia
Re: What do you do w/ the credit card once you've earned your bonus miles?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2015, 03:41:01 PM »
Can anyone comment on when the best time to cancel is? I just hit my bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and will get my Citi ThankYou Premier next month. I've only had them a couple of months and was planning to cancel as soon as I cashed out (right now a I need the statement credit more than the travel points).

bacchi

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3788
Re: What do you do w/ the credit card once you've earned your bonus miles?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2015, 08:28:52 PM »
I always wait until month 11. For airline cards, using the card in month 11 also extends your FF miles if you don't intend to use them immediately.

johnny847

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3196
    • My Blog
Re: What do you do w/ the credit card once you've earned your bonus miles?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2015, 08:39:52 PM »
I always wait until month 11. For airline cards, using the card in month 11 also extends your FF miles if you don't intend to use them immediately.

Oh yeah that's a good reason to not cancel right away that I forgot to mention.

Another is that airline cards often provide you with priority boarding and/or a free checked bag.

Travis

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2473
  • Location: South Korea
Re: What do you do w/ the credit card once you've earned your bonus miles?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2015, 09:27:53 PM »
Can anyone comment on when the best time to cancel is? I just hit my bonus on the Chase Sapphire Preferred and will get my Citi ThankYou Premier next month. I've only had them a couple of months and was planning to cancel as soon as I cashed out (right now a I need the statement credit more than the travel points).

Despite mile/point churning being legal, the credit card companies and banks really hate it and will cancel you if they see evidence of you doing precisely that.  Getting a card just long enough to get the bonus and cancelling it would definitely put some kind of red flag out there on you for any future business.  For many of them if they see you doing MS they'll shut you off in a heartbeat.  It doesn't hurt you at all to churn the points and stick the card in a drawer for the rest of the year.  I'm baby stepping my way into the game and there are cards I continue to use daily because of their category bonuses.