The Money Mustache Community

General Discussion => Throw Down the Gauntlet => Topic started by: Toad on August 22, 2018, 11:56:07 PM

Title: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on August 22, 2018, 11:56:07 PM
So I have recently gotten myself into the world of churning and it has been quite the eye opening experience for me.  I have been aware of the travel hacking / credit card churning aspect of it for a few years but mostly just ignored it since I always thought it was essentially just for people who travel (I don't).  I started looking into it earlier this year, and in an effort to maximize the money I am making and minimize expenses, I jumped in.  After immersing myself in the new world I discovered bank account churning and jumped in there as well.  I like free money.

I did a few searches and did not find any global threads dedicated to tracking these activities and so I figured I would start one.  I think it will be interesting to see just how much money we really can generate/save from these activities.  I suspect for people that have been doing these for a long time, the profits/perks taper off as your credit and chex. reports start looking like a war zone.  In an effort to perhaps open others eyes to this world and to start us off, for this year my numbers are as follows (got into CC churning in April and BA churning in June):

Received = reward in hand
Pending = reward criterion met but reward not in hand
In progress = reward criterion not met yet
Denied = :(

Credit Card totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 8/22:
Cash: $1,480 - all received
UR Points: 178k - 53k received, 125k pending
MR Points: 325k - 55k received, 105k pending, 165k in progress
SW Miles: 116k - all received
AA Miles: 127k - 53k received, 74k pending
AA Gift Cards: $400 - $150 received, $50 pending, $200 in progress

Bank Account totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 8/22:
Cash: $1,955 - $505 received, $650 pending, $800 in progress

Fees & associated expenses: $1,570


Assuming 30% tax on the bank account totals, CC & BA cash net after expenses: $1,280

Redemptions: 23,860 SW points redeemed for $366 of travel

I don't like to assign values to points until they have been redeemed, but since UR can be redeemed directly at 1 cpp and MR can be redeemed directly at 1.25 cpp, I feel those are pretty safe valuations:

Minimum cash equivalent value of UR & MR: $5,840



So by my calculations, currently I have/have in progress in my BA/CC stash for the year:

$7,120 cash
92k SW miles
127k AA miles
$400 AA vouchers
and have redeemed to save $366 in travel expenses


Total CCs to date:
12 approved (9 business, 3 personal)
1 denied

Total BAs to date:
9 approved
2 denied (failed ID verification & ran out of time to pursue)

I intend to update my "stats" each month and encourage fellow churners to do the same.  Tax free money is the best kind, and that is what CC churning gets you.  Of course, I don't discriminate as I also accept taxable money which is what BA churning gets you.  So if you are a Mustachian and are not churning, open your eyes to the possibilities and try to top me!
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Pizzabrewer on September 20, 2018, 09:25:39 PM
I got here by following your link on KPD's thread.  I thought I was doing well (we'll net around $4 to 4.5k this year in bonuses) but you guys are killing it.

I feel like I've already picked the low-hanging fruit.  Discover savings and Capital One savings (both hyper-fast bonus payments with no min balance/no fees); TD Bank checking $300, BofA checking, M&T checking $200 (fast posting), Citizens Bank $400 (taking its time to post), Chase Sapphire Preferred ~$600 cash redemption, a couple other Chase cards (I'm now way over 5/24 and will probably never qualify for Chase cc again), etc etc.

But looking at what's left out there it's mostly checking accounts with high deposit requirements for months before bonus posts.  Plus credit cards I'm increasingly unlikely to get approval for, as I've built up a lot of hard inquiries in my credit file.  So I don't know that I can ramp up my game to your level.

Thanks for all the info.  I'm still digesting it.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on September 21, 2018, 12:39:00 AM
I got here by following your link on KPD's thread.  I thought I was doing well (we'll net around $4 to 4.5k this year in bonuses) but you guys are killing it.

Free money is free money.  $4k-$4.5k is certainly no small amount.  There is more risk and work to going at an accelerated pace, and I doubt it will be sustainable long term (for CCs at least) as you have indicated.  Fortunately there are a few good options to MS some CCs when letting your credit cool down.  An option I am open to as long as I can hit ~4% back after fees.  Certainly more work involved for less with that though.  Will see when I get to that point if I feel like messing with it or just taking a complete break from CCs for a while.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on September 30, 2018, 07:42:28 PM
Perhaps I set the bar too high since no one is joining in :P

Things seem to be slowing down for me on the CC front - 2 denials with failed recon and 2 approvals for Sept.  Probably will hold off on all CC apps. for Oct. (I say that now...).  Also starting to get denials at Chex sensitive banks, but I don't intend to slow down on that front.  Update through the end of Sept:

Received = reward in hand
Pending = reward criterion met but reward not in hand
In progress = reward criterion not met yet
Denied = :(

Credit Card totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 9/30:
Cash: $2,130 - $1,580 received, $550 pending (may possibly only be $400...unclear right now)
UR Points: 178k - 53k received, 125k pending
MR Points: 325k - 155k received, 170k pending
SW Miles: 116k - all received
AA Miles: 127k - all received
AA Vouchers: $400 - $200 received, $200 in progress
HH Points: 128k - all pending
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Cards: $50 - all in progress

Bank Account totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 9/30:
Cash: $3,680 - $955 received, $800 pending, $1,925 in progress

Fees & associated expenses: $1,963


Assuming 30% tax on the bank account totals, CC & BA cash net after expenses: $2,743

Redemptions: 44,085 SW points redeemed for $682 of travel

Assuming UR cashout of 1 cpp and MR cashout of 1.25 cpp:

Minimum cash equivalent value of UR & MR: $5,840



So by my calculations, currently I have/have in progress in my BA/CC stash for the year:

$8,583 cash
72k SW miles
127k AA miles
$400 AA vouchers
128k HH points
$50 Saks 5th Ave. gift cards
and have redeemed to save $682 in travel expenses


Total CCs to date:
14 approved (11 business, 3 personal)
3 denied

Total BAs to date:
14 approved
7 denied
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on October 28, 2018, 07:40:21 PM
Update through the end of Oct.:

Received = reward in hand
Pending = reward criterion met but reward not in hand
In progress = reward criterion not met yet
Denied = :(

Credit Card totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 10/28:
Cash: $1,960 - all received
UR Points: 178k - all received
MR Points: 350k - 340k received, 10k in progress
SW Miles: 116k - all received
AA Miles: 127k - all received
SW Vouchers: $200 - all in progress
AA Vouchers: $200 - all received
HH Points: 128k - all received
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Cards: $50 - all received

Manufactured Spending totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 10/28:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $100
HH Points: 12k
HH Free Weekend Night Cert.: 1 - in progress

Bank Account totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 10/28:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $5,790 - $1,415 received, $3,175 pending, $1,200 in progress

Fees & associated expenses: $2,000


Assuming 30% tax on the bank account totals, CC, MS, & BA cash/cash equivalent net after expenses: $4,113

Redemptions:
51,673 SW points redeemed for $948 of travel
137,000 HH points redeemed for $1,008 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel

Assuming UR cashout of 1 cpp and MR cashout of 1.25 cpp:

Minimum cash equivalent value of remaining UR & MR: $5,900



So by my calculations, currently I have/have in progress in my CC/MS/BA stash for the year:

$10,013 cash
64k SW miles
127k AA miles
$200 SW vouchers
$200 AA vouchers
3k HH points
$50 Saks 5th Ave. gift cards
1 HH free weekend night certificate
and have redeemed to save $2,274 in travel expenses


Total CCs to date:
15 approved (12 business, 3 personal)
3 denied
1 pending

Total BAs to date:
21 approved
12 denied
1 pending
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Onion on November 12, 2018, 10:36:28 AM
Update through the end of Oct.:

Received = reward in hand
Pending = reward criterion met but reward not in hand
In progress = reward criterion not met yet
Denied = :(

Credit Card totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 10/28:
Cash: $1,960 - all received
UR Points: 178k - all received
MR Points: 350k - 340k received, 10k in progress
SW Miles: 116k - all received
AA Miles: 127k - all received
SW Vouchers: $200 - all in progress
AA Vouchers: $200 - all received
HH Points: 128k - all received
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Cards: $50 - all received

Manufactured Spending totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 10/28:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $100
HH Points: 12k
HH Free Weekend Night Cert.: 1 - in progress

Bank Account totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 10/28:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $5,790 - $1,415 received, $3,175 pending, $1,200 in progress

Fees & associated expenses: $2,000


Assuming 30% tax on the bank account totals, CC, MS, & BA cash/cash equivalent net after expenses: $4,113

Redemptions:
51,673 SW points redeemed for $948 of travel
137,000 HH points redeemed for $1,008 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel

Assuming UR cashout of 1 cpp and MR cashout of 1.25 cpp:

Minimum cash equivalent value of remaining UR & MR: $5,900



So by my calculations, currently I have/have in progress in my CC/MS/BA stash for the year:

$10,013 cash
64k SW miles
127k AA miles
$200 SW vouchers
$200 AA vouchers
3k HH points
$50 Saks 5th Ave. gift cards
1 HH free weekend night certificate
and have redeemed to save $2,274 in travel expenses


Total CCs to date:
15 approved (12 business, 3 personal)
3 denied
1 pending

Total BAs to date:
21 approved
12 denied
1 pending

Can you list which business credit cards you did and the bonus for each? I just went under 5/24 and got the cip but three weeks later applied for Chase business cash and got denied. I am looking at what other business cards I can apply for without bumping to 5/24 and then go back to Chase in a month or so and hit up other Chase business cards.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on November 13, 2018, 12:06:04 AM
Can you list which business credit cards you did and the bonus for each? I just went under 5/24 and got the cip but three weeks later applied for Chase business cash and got denied. I am looking at what other business cards I can apply for without bumping to 5/24 and then go back to Chase in a month or so and hit up other Chase business cards.

You need to wait 30 days minimum between Chase business apps.  You can only get approved for 1 every 30 days at most.

AMEX Business Platinum - 100k MR
AMEX Business Green - 10k MR + 20k MR (self-referral)
AMEX Business Gold - 50k MR + 20k MR (self-referral)
AMEX HH Business - 125k HH points + $100 statement credit
AMEX Blue Business Plus - 10k MR + 15k MR (self-referral)
Bank of America Business Cash - $350 statement credit
Barclays Aadvantage Aviator Business - 50k AA miles (has been up to 60k AA miles)
Chase Ink Business Preferred - 120k UR points (used mailer - no longer exists)
Chase SW Business - 60k SW miles
Chase Ink Business Cash - 50k UR points
CitiBusiness Aadvantage Platinum - 70k AA miles

Capital One Spark Cash for Business - $1k (this ones DOES report to your personal credit history and so counts against 5/24)
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Onion on November 14, 2018, 09:27:30 PM
Thank you

What has been your best way to meet spend requirements on amex? The rest I have down.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 on November 15, 2018, 02:47:26 AM
I keep trying to get started in this but fail too. I have one card now a citi cash back card that pays the 1% when you buy 1% when you pay.

If you were two pick 1 card to start with and 1 bank to start with what would they be. I have put starting this for over a year now. Im always buying airline tickets but just go on Travelocity or SW website and get the best fare and put on my cit card. We also stay in hotels obviously a lot. Most of this is travel for visiting kids in college and or running kids around for soccer. So any yearly saving would be great.

Thanks,
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Pizzabrewer on November 15, 2018, 05:49:02 AM
I keep trying to get started in this but fail too. I have one card now a citi cash back card that pays the 1% when you buy 1% when you pay.

If you were two pick 1 card to start with and 1 bank to start with what would they be. I have put starting this for over a year now. Im always buying airline tickets but just go on Travelocity or SW website and get the best fare and put on my cit card. We also stay in hotels obviously a lot. Most of this is travel for visiting kids in college and or running kids around for soccer. So any yearly saving would be great.

Thanks,

You should strongly consider one of the Chase Sapphire cards if you do a lot of traveling.  The time to get them is now, before you've gotten many other cards as they'll deny you after you're up to 5 cards total.

With the Sapphire Preferred you get 50,000 points after $4000 in spend, worth $500 in cash or more in travel credits.  The $95 annual fee is waived the first year and they offer 12 months of 0% interest.  It's a great starter card.  The Sapphire Reserve has more benefits but a much higher annual fee (not sure, $300 or $400?)

I can provide a link to the Sapphire Preferred card if you like...   ;)
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Pizzabrewer on November 15, 2018, 05:50:46 AM
...and as for bank account bonuses, the Discover Savings is a great place to start.  You can get $150 or $200 signup bonus and the account earns 2.0% APY.  One huge advantage is the bonus is paid within a few days.  Many of the other bank accounts take months. 
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Onion on November 15, 2018, 02:57:48 PM
I keep trying to get started in this but fail too. I have one card now a citi cash back card that pays the 1% when you buy 1% when you pay.

If you were two pick 1 card to start with and 1 bank to start with what would they be. I have put starting this for over a year now. Im always buying airline tickets but just go on Travelocity or SW website and get the best fare and put on my cit card. We also stay in hotels obviously a lot. Most of this is travel for visiting kids in college and or running kids around for soccer. So any yearly saving would be great.

Thanks,

You should strongly consider one of the Chase Sapphire cards if you do a lot of traveling.  The time to get them is now, before you've gotten many other cards as they'll deny you after you're up to 5 cards total.

With the Sapphire Preferred you get 50,000 points after $4000 in spend, worth $500 in cash or more in travel credits.  The $95 annual fee is waived the first year and they offer 12 months of 0% interest.  It's a great starter card.  The Sapphire Reserve has more benefits but a much higher annual fee (not sure, $300 or $400?)

I can provide a link to the Sapphire Preferred card if you like...   ;)

Where does csp offer 0 percent 12 months?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on November 15, 2018, 09:36:36 PM
What has been your best way to meet spend requirements on amex? The rest I have down.

Grocery store manufactured spending.  My grocer does not report L3 data to AMEX, so it is fairly safe.

I keep trying to get started in this but fail too. I have one card now a citi cash back card that pays the 1% when you buy 1% when you pay.

The Double Cash is a great card if you are not churning.  One of the best there is for keeping it simple and not churning.


If you were two pick 1 card to start with and 1 bank to start with what would they be.

Although this is not the "simplest" place to start, I would start with the Chase Ink Preferred.  It is best to start with business cards because they do not report to your personal credit report (for the most part).  It is also best to start with Chase since they have some of the strictest limits for getting approved with regards to how many cards you have.  The Chase Ink Preferred has a standard 80k UR bonus for $5k spend which if directly cashed out is $800.  If used for travel is $1,000, or $1,200 (if you have the CSR at the time of redeeming).  It also has a fairly low annual fee of $95, and earns 3x on phone bills while providing insurance on your phones if you pay your phone bill with the card.  Yes I do have a referral for this card, however, it really is the optimal place to start.

There are some other business cards that match the CIP in terms of value, but they have higher spend requirements and/or higher annual fees --> AMEX Business Platinum -- 100k MR / $10k spend in 3 months is an offer that I have a connection who could get it for you.  This card does have a $450 annual fee though but also has some perks like a $200 airline statement credit as well as other perks.  100k MR can be directly cashed out for $1,250 although it is not straightforward to do and involves opening another card to do it.

Another good one that comes up from time to time is the Capital One Spark Cash for Business.  They actually just increased their bonus to $500 + $1,500.  The catch though is the spend requirement is $5k in 3 months for the first part and $50k in 6 months for the second part.  The annual fee is waived for the first year on this card.

My recommendation to you though would be to develop a plan and just go for it.  There are plenty of tricks that can be done to help optimize your card selection and so I would read up for a bit before starting, but the longer you put it off, the harder it gets because the banks keep introducing more rules.  I didn't know what airline or hotel I was targeting when I started out so I went for the cards with the flexible points first (MR, UR mostly).  If you are willing to, stick to business cards and Chase personal cards until you are done with Chase.  Once I figured out how to MS it became fairly clear that the best hotel for me to target was Hilton with Hyatt as backup.  American Airlines is the best airline to target because their miles are the easiest to get.  Southwest is good as well because you can get a companion pass getting the business and personal cards (plus a bit more spend).

As far as bank account bonuses -- there are so many.  Some banks are inquiry sensitive so it is best to start with those first.  As a result, for anyone that is starting churning credit cards and bank accounts, the first one you should do is Schwab.  The bonus is only $100, and it will be a hard pull to open, but you will want this account later on if you are churning AMEX cards and want to cash out MR points.  They are inquiry sensitive, so you will be shooting yourself in the foot if you start churning bank accounts and don't open them as one of the first ones.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/charles-schwab-100-checking-account-bonus-no-monthly-fees-no-international-atm-withdrawal-fees-atm-fee-reimbursements/



Where does csp offer 0 percent 12 months?

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/chase-sapphire-preferred-now-offering-12-months-0-introductory-apr-50000-points/


If you are planning on getting the CSP I would advise to try and get both the CSP and CSR.  Chase killed the standard double dip (getting both cards in the same day).  However there is a modified version of this that is currently working (although likely will not be for much longer).  You apply for one card the first day (whichever one you want more), and then less than 24 hours later, but the next day, you apply for the other one.  Do the first in the PM -- hope to get auto-approved, do the second in the AM the following day -- hope to get auto-approved, and hope no one looks at your account.  A lot has to go right for it to work, but if you get it to work, it is the best move.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 on November 16, 2018, 02:54:12 AM
to get the business card though don't you have to prove you own a business?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on November 16, 2018, 02:13:51 PM
"Maximize" is probably setting to high a bar for me, but I would at least like to get slightly more involved. I have a relatively low income, don't spend much, and I'm reluctant to do a lot of manufactured spending, so I've been scoping out cards with lower spend requirements. $1k in 3 months is easy; $3k is a stretch.

I have a 2% back Fidelity card and I've gotten the Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire Preferred bonuses already. (Met the CSP spend with one-time travel expenses for myself and my partner, so we split the bonus too.) I've made $625 since May. Small change compared to some here, but that's why I'm here to learn where to go next.

I applied for the Bank of America card but was rejected for having too many cards open recently + not having a bank account with them, so I'm keeping an eye out for a checking offer. Since the current 5% back category on the Chase Freedom is ChasePay (which I can connect to SamsungPay, which I can use for the majority of my in-person transactions), I thought I might wait until January before directing my spending to a different card.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on November 20, 2018, 08:58:24 PM
I have a relatively low income, don't spend much, and I'm reluctant to do a lot of manufactured spending, so I've been scoping out cards with lower spend requirements. $1k in 3 months is easy; $3k is a stretch.

Yeah, most mustachians I figure will have a difficult time meeting the higher spend requirements organically.  Also, CA is one of the toughest states to MS in, but some areas are ok.  It would be impossible for me to go at it this hard/meet some of the spend requirements without MS so I can understand where you are coming from.

I applied for the Bank of America card but was rejected for having too many cards open recently + not having a bank account with them.

BoA is all about the relationship.  If you have an established account with them, you likely won't have as difficult of time getting approved.  I always read about BoA being inquiry sensitive and giving very low credit limits.  This was not the case with me, however I have a very well established banking relationship with them.

to get the business card though don't you have to prove you own a business?

Answering for the benefit of others.  Not exactly.  If you apply as a Sole Proprietor you do not need proof of business/a DBA or anything of the sort.  You can get an EIN to make it more legitimate, but don't need to.  You can simply apply for business cards as a sole proprietor with your SSN.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: happymuzh on November 30, 2018, 04:03:56 PM
Thanks for the useful thread, Toad.  As a newbie, it would be helpful if you could decipher some of the code you're using.  In particular, what is meant by:


There are others that are unknown to me, but this would be a good start, to help me follow along.

Thks!
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on December 02, 2018, 01:57:11 AM
Thanks for the useful thread, Toad.  As a newbie, it would be helpful if you could decipher some of the code you're using.  In particular, what is meant by:

  • UR - Ultimate Reward points -- this is Chase's flexible point system.
  • MR - Membership Reward points -- this is AMEX's flexible point system.
  • HH - Hilton Honors points -- this is Hilton's point system.
  • CIP - Chase Ink Preferred -- this is a business credit card with a high sign up bonus.
  • cpp - cent per point -- this is a metric used to normalize and put a value to various point systems since they are not all equal.

There are others that are unknown to me, but this would be a good start, to help me follow along.

Thks!
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on December 02, 2018, 10:02:41 AM
Update through the end of Nov.:

Received = reward in hand
Pending = reward criterion met but reward not in hand
In progress = reward criterion not met yet
Denied = :(

Credit Card totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 12/2:
Cash: $1,960 - all received
UR Points: 232k - 178k received, 54k pending
MR Points: 493k - 370k received, 58k pending, 65k in progress
AR Points (US Bank Altitude Reserve): 55k - all in progress
PR Points (Pathfinder Rewards): 25k - all in progress
SW Miles: 116k - all received
AA Miles: 169k - 127k received, 42k in progress
SW Vouchers: $200 - all received
AA Vouchers: $500 - $200 received, $300 in progress
HH Points: 128k - all received
WoH (World of Hyatt) Points: 60k - all in progress
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Cards: $100 - $50 received, $50 in progress

Manufactured Spending totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 12/2:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $100
HH Points: 25k
HH Free Weekend Night Cert.: 1 - pending

Bank Account totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 12/2:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $7,140 - $2,115 received, $3,025 pending, $2,000 in progress

Fees & associated expenses: $3,400


Assuming 30% tax on the bank account totals, CC, MS, & BA cash/cash equivalent net after expenses: $3,658

Redemptions:
51,673 SW points redeemed for $948 of travel
137,000 HH points redeemed for $1,008 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel

Assuming UR cashout of 1 cpp and MR cashout of 1.25 cpp:

Minimum cash equivalent value of remaining UR & MR: $8,230



So by my calculations, currently I have/have in progress in my CC/MS/BA stash for the year:

$11,888 cash
55k AR points
25k PR points
64k SW miles
169k AA miles
$200 SW vouchers
$500 AA vouchers
27k HH points
60k WoH points
$100 Saks 5th Ave. gift cards
1 HH free weekend night certificate
and have redeemed to save $2,274 in travel expenses


Total CCs to date:
22 approved (12 business, 10 personal)
7 denied
3 pending

Total BAs to date:
24 approved
13 denied
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 on December 03, 2018, 06:32:38 AM
Update through the end of Nov.:

Received = reward in hand
Pending = reward criterion met but reward not in hand
In progress = reward criterion not met yet
Denied = :(

Credit Card totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 12/2:
Cash: $1,960 - all received
UR Points: 232k - 178k received, 54k pending
MR Points: 493k - 370k received, 58k pending, 65k in progress
AR Points (US Bank Altitude Reserve): 55k - all in progress
PR Points (Pathfinder Rewards): 25k - all in progress
SW Miles: 116k - all received
AA Miles: 169k - 127k received, 42k in progress
SW Vouchers: $200 - all received
AA Vouchers: $500 - $200 received, $300 in progress
HH Points: 128k - all received
WoH (World of Hyatt) Points: 60k - all in progress
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Cards: $100 - $50 received, $50 in progress

Manufactured Spending totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 12/2:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $100
HH Points: 25k
HH Free Weekend Night Cert.: 1 - pending

Bank Account totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 12/2:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $7,140 - $2,115 received, $3,025 pending, $2,000 in progress

Fees & associated expenses: $3,400


Assuming 30% tax on the bank account totals, CC, MS, & BA cash/cash equivalent net after expenses: $3,658

Redemptions:
51,673 SW points redeemed for $948 of travel
137,000 HH points redeemed for $1,008 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel

Assuming UR cashout of 1 cpp and MR cashout of 1.25 cpp:

Minimum cash equivalent value of remaining UR & MR: $8,230



So by my calculations, currently I have/have in progress in my CC/MS/BA stash for the year:

$11,888 cash
55k AR points
25k PR points
64k SW miles
169k AA miles
$200 SW vouchers
$500 AA vouchers
27k HH points
60k WoH points
$100 Saks 5th Ave. gift cards
1 HH free weekend night certificate
and have redeemed to save $2,274 in travel expenses


Total CCs to date:
22 approved (12 business, 10 personal)
7 denied
3 pending

Total BAs to date:
24 approved
13 denied




This is just awesome!
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on December 28, 2018, 12:34:22 PM
I'll join in and add some simple data:

2017

- Paid $2,358 in credit card annual fees
- Earned $3,800 in cash from bank account bonuses
- Earned $12,859 in cash from credit card signup bonuses
- Redeemed $1,898 worth of travel from credit card signup bonuses

Net profit for that year was $14,301 in cash plus $1,898 worth of travel expenses.

2018

2018 was much slower on the churning front, due to a very busy period with work + family between October 2017 and June 2018. Still, the 2018 numbers are pretty good for only ~half a year's worth of activity:

- Paid $2,425 in credit card annual fees
- Earned $1,000 in cash from bank account bonuses
- Earned $5,105 in cash from credit card signup bonuses
- Redeemed $933 worth of travel from credit card signup bonuses

Net profit for this year was $3,680 in cash plus $933 worth of travel expenses. Additionally, 2018 generated most of the following unredeemed points:

Current Balances

Amex MR: 158,124, to be redeemed for $1,976.55 in cash
Avios: 106,193, worth approximately $1,592 in travel expenses
AA: 160,000, worth approximately $2,240 in travel expenses
Marriott: 123,282, worth approximately $986 in travel expenses (earned in 2017)
Southwest: 121,000, worth approximately $1,694 in travel expenses (earned in 2017)
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on January 02, 2019, 03:57:04 PM
@dlawson -- very nice number.  I'm assuming 2017 you did primarily UR and MR and cashed out?  Also, I would value your SW 'stach closer to $1,800 -- 1.50 cpp is reasonable with SW, all my redemptions have been in the 1.50 - 1.70 cpp range (not factoring in companion pass benefits).

Update through the end of Dec.:

Received = reward in hand
Pending = reward criterion met but reward not in hand
In progress = reward criterion not met yet
Denied = :(

Credit Card totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 12/31/2018:
Cash: $2,100 - $2,060 received, $40 in progress
UR Points: 232k - all received
MR Points: 515k - 505k received, 10k pending
AR Points (US Bank Altitude Reserve): 55k - all in progress
FP Points (US Bank Flexperks): 22k - all in progress
PR Points (PenFed Pathfinder Rewards): 28k - all in progress
FR Points (NFCU Flagship Rewards): 54k - all in progress
CN Points (CNB City National): 80k - all in progress
GF Points (Wells Fargo GoFar): 33k - all in progress
SW Miles: 116k - all received
AA Miles: 255k - 127k received, 128k in progress
SW Vouchers: $200 - all received
AA Vouchers: $1,350 - all received
Other travel credits: $625 - in progress
HH Points: 296k - 128k received, 168k in progress
HH Free Weekend Night Certificate: 1 - pending
WoH (World of Hyatt) Points: 66k - all received
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Cards: $200 - $100 received, $100 in progress
Cheesecake Factory Gift Cards: $120 - $20 received, $100 in progress
Uber Credits: $400 - $175 received, $225 in progress

Manufactured Spending/Other totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 12/31/2018:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $200
MR Points: 25k
UR Points: 20k
SW Miles: 3k
HH Points: 25k
HH Free Weekend Night Cert.: 1
WoH Points: 10k

Bank Account totals earned & in progress for 2018 through 12/31/2018:
Cash/Cash Equivalents: $6,550 - $4,040 received, $2,260 pending, $250 in progress

Fees & associated expenses: $4,315


Assuming 30% tax on the bank account totals, CC, MS, & BA cash/cash equivalent net after expenses: $2,570

Redemptions:
51,673 SW points redeemed for $948 of travel
137,000 HH points redeemed for $1,008 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel

Assuming UR cashout of 1 cpp and MR cashout of 1.25 cpp:

Minimum cash equivalent value of remaining UR & MR: $9,270



So by my calculations, currently I have/have in progress in my CC/MS/BA stash through the end of 2018:

$11,840 cash
55k AR points
22k FP points
28k PR points
54k FR points
80k CN points
33k GF points
67k SW miles
255k AA miles
$200 SW vouchers
$1,350 AA vouchers
189k HH points
76k WoH points
$200 Saks 5th Ave. gift cards
2 HH free weekend night certificate
$120 Cheesecake Factory gift cards
$400 Uber credits

and have redeemed to save $2,274 in travel expenses


Total CCs to date:
29 approved (13 business, 16 personal)
10 denied (5 business, 5 personal)
1 pending

Total BAs to date:
27 approved
12 denied

Although I don't like assigning values to these, since it is the end of the year, to put this all in perspective what I would consider floor values of everything in my 'stach is:

55k AR --> $818 (1.50 cpp)
22k FP points --> $330 (1.50 cpp)
28k PR points --> $234 (0.85 cpp)
54k FR points --> $540 (1.00 cpp)
80k CN points --> $640 (0.80 cpp)
33k GF points --> $330 (1.00 cpp)
67k SW miles --> $1,005 (1.50 cpp)
255k AA miles --> $3,570 (1.40 cpp)
$200 SW vouchers --> $160 (valuing at 80%)
$1,350 AA vouchers --> $1,080 (valuing at 80%)
189k HH points --> $851 (0.45 cpp)
76k WoH points --> $1,216 (1.60 cpp)
$200 Saks 5th Ave. gift cards --> $160 (valuing at 80%)
2 HH free weekend night certificate --> $600 (valuing at $300 each)
$120 Cheesecake Factory gift cards --> $96 (valuing at 80%)
$400 Uber credits --> $400 (valuing at 100%)

Which leaves my activities at a fairly conservative cash equivalent value of $23,870 remaining and $2,274 redeemed in 2018 for a total of ~$26,000 in value obtained in 2018.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on January 02, 2019, 04:33:23 PM
@dlawson -- very nice number.  I'm assuming 2017 you did primarily UR and MR and cashed out?  Also, I would value your SW 'stach closer to $1,800 -- 1.50 cpp is reasonable with SW, all my redemptions have been in the 1.50 - 1.70 cpp range (not factoring in companion pass benefits).

Yes, 2017 was primarily spent earning UR and MR and then cashing out.

As for the SW stash, I prefer to use slightly conservative cpp numbers for a couple reasons: 1) I'm a fairly inflexible traveler that never flies F, so I rarely redeem for sweet spots that fall on the higher end of cpp ranges, and 2) it discourages me from thinking too highly of the value of my unspent airline/hotel points, which I feel is a common churner trap to fall into ("I have all these points worth $xxx,xxx, might as well take a trip that I wouldn't have otherwise to extract maximum value!"). That said, I do have a CP (and will earn another one for 2019/2020 shortly) so I guess I could probably value my SW points way higher given that we'd always be using a companion fare when flying with them.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on January 02, 2019, 05:34:30 PM
As for the SW stash, I prefer to use slightly conservative cpp numbers for a couple reasons: 1) I'm a fairly inflexible traveler that never flies F, so I rarely redeem for sweet spots that fall on the higher end of cpp ranges, and 2) it discourages me from thinking too highly of the value of my unspent airline/hotel points, which I feel is a common churner trap to fall into ("I have all these points worth $xxx,xxx, might as well take a trip that I wouldn't have otherwise to extract maximum value!").

Completely agree with this and it is why I don't particularly like assigning values until I make redemptions, or have made enough to know about where the floor value is.  For SW, it is pretty much directly tied to ticket price so provided no devaluations take place soon which is reasonable for SW I think 1.50 cpp represents a fair floor value.  I think you will find it very hard to get lower than 1.45 cpp value on them.  My lowest was something like 1.49 cpp and highest was 1.70 cpp (really 3.40 cpp considering the CP).  The 1.70 was a ticket I bought during a sale but all others were just standard fares not really bought at optimal times.  All were the Wanna Get Away fares.

I only plan on doing business/first for overseas travel which I rarely do -- I can't sleep on planes so ponying up the points for the business/first tickets in that situation would be worth it to me since the alternative would be losing 1-3 days of my vacation recovering from lack of sleep and neck/back aches.

There are also the intangible benefits that go along with churning that actually have been extremely useful and have surprised me quite a bit.  Things like:


This hobby truly still amazes me at just how much value you can get.  When I started I was hesitant to get a card with an AF, but now I fully plan on keeping several that do, just because I can directly extract at least the cash equivalent value of the AF from those cards through MS or other creative means.  For example with AMEX Gold, I will get 100k MR/yr which is $1,250 directly at an AF cost of $250 - this doesn't even factor in all the benefits of the card.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on January 02, 2019, 09:04:32 PM
Thanks for the data re: your SW redemptions. My point redemptions with them have also averaged about 1.5 cpp, but I only have one or two data points since the majority of my SW flights have been paid for with travel credit GCs.

Hotel status with Hilton Aspire -- Room upgrades (unnecessary and mostly useless but still nice) and free breakfast -- saved me ~$80 in food expenses.  Again, I would not have paid that much, but would still say I got at least $30-$40 of value out of it in addition to having a much nicer breakfast than I otherwise would have had.

Oh man, the Hilton Aspire. That card has an insane value proposition... I picked one up last month and it's already cost neutral due to cashing out two airline credits, and I still have one more airline credit, the two $250 hotel credits, the two free nights, and all the perks of Diamond status (will be using that in a couple weeks for a family business trip).

I've also been impressed with all the extra value this hobby generates. Obviously I'm in the game to increase my bank/investment balances, given all my "low-end" cpp UR/MR redemptions, but all the free luxury stuff on the side is kinda fun... i.e. Centurion lounges! Not something I'd ever pay for, but a great experience to have while it's free.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on February 05, 2019, 11:24:05 PM
It is getting a bit tedious tracking received/in progress/pending separately so going forward, I will just be tracking the totals along with their "value".  I may amend the "value" metrics I use later on after making some redemptions.  Again, although I don't particularly like assigning values like this, due to the volume of point systems I now have, some normalization is needed to keep it in perspective:

Item"Value"       Quantity       Total "Value"       
Membership Rewards1.25 cpp535,266$6,690.33
Ultimate Rewards1.00 cpp234,871$2,348.71
Thank You Points1.00 cpp51$0.51
Altitude Reserve Points1.50 cpp3,352$50.28
Flexperk1.50 cpp2,292$34.38
Pathfinder Rewards0.85 cpp28,773$244.57
Flagship Rewards1.00 cpp6,569$65.69
City National Points0.80 cpp15,892$127.14
GoFar Points1.00 cpp0$0
AAdvantage Miles1.40 cpp147,542$2,065.59
Rapid Rewards Miles1.50 cpp74,355$1,115.33
Hilton Honor Points0.50 cpp253,066$1,265.33
World of Hyatt Points1.60 cpp76,095$1,217.52
AA Vouchers85%$1,350.00$1,147.50
SW Gift Cards85%$200.00$170.00
Hilton Free Night Cert.$200.001$200.00
Uber Credit100%$190.00$190.00
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Card85%$100.00$85.00
Cheesecake Factory Gift Card100%$30.00$30.00
Cash (Credit Cards)100%$1,860.00$1,860.00
Cash (Bank Accounts)70%$4,650.00$3,255.00
Cash (Manufactured Spending)100%$471.00$471.00
Cost (Credit Cards) $3,680.00
Cost (Bank Accounts) $18.25
Cost (Other) $642.00

Total Net Value: $18,293.61

At this point, nearly all the spend requirements have been met for the cards I picked up in November and December.  The majority of these points are pending and will post this month.  Unfortunately I was unable to get any cards in January (not from a lack of trying though -- 12 denials).  I only added one bank accounts but that is mostly because I have funds tied up in other accounts and am starting to toss funds at my retirement accounts again since it's a new year.  Some funds come free soon so I will try for a few accounts this month.


Total CCs to date:
29 approved (13 business, 16 personal)
23 denied (7 business, 16 personal)

Total BAs to date:
28 approved
12 denied

Redemptions:
51,673 SW points redeemed for $948 of travel
137,000 HH points redeemed for $1,008 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 on February 06, 2019, 04:00:32 AM
Your killing it @Toad ! I am slowly figuring it out have finished my 3rd card and have 1 approved coming and 2 waiting approval and 1 bank account. I will post my numbers once I get 5 done!.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Jim Fiction on February 06, 2019, 08:07:47 AM
Had anyone tracked how opening all of these new accounts and the accompanying credit pulls has affected their credit scores? I ask because I am extremely interested in doing some churning, however my wife and I will most certainly be buying a house in the next few years so we want our credit scores to remain as high as possible. We don't have a specific timeline - the earliest we would be looking to buy would probably be sometime next year, but we may wait an additional year or two.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: katsiki on February 06, 2019, 08:10:01 AM
How did I miss this thread?!  Toad is awesome and has helped me a ton with CC and bank bonuses.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on February 06, 2019, 12:08:52 PM
Had anyone tracked how opening all of these new accounts and the accompanying credit pulls has affected their credit scores? I ask because I am extremely interested in doing some churning, however my wife and I will most certainly be buying a house in the next few years so we want our credit scores to remain as high as possible. We don't have a specific timeline - the earliest we would be looking to buy would probably be sometime next year, but we may wait an additional year or two.

I have an excellent credit score (currently 766) that drops ~20 points down to "good" every time I open a new card, because it lowers my average age of credit back below two years. I just wait until it climbs back up to excellent before I open a new one - it only takes a few months. I have five cards on my report currently, waiting for the sixth to show up. As my history gets longer, the impact of the new card on my average age of credit will be less.

I know that's not very detailed, but I am pretty new to the churning scene. Someone who churns more aggressively may be able to give you an idea of the effect of that strategy.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on February 06, 2019, 02:27:00 PM
Had anyone tracked how opening all of these new accounts and the accompanying credit pulls has affected their credit scores? I ask because I am extremely interested in doing some churning, however my wife and I will most certainly be buying a house in the next few years so we want our credit scores to remain as high as possible. We don't have a specific timeline - the earliest we would be looking to buy would probably be sometime next year, but we may wait an additional year or two.

After a large number of apps in December/January, I've now opened 25+ new credit cards in the last 24 months and my score is still in the 760 range. Based on experience, in about ~six months of no new apps my score would be back up to about ~800 where it normally sits. This is because on-time payments and utilization are a massive part of your FICO score (iirc 35% and 30% respectively), and those only get better as you open more cards. The benefits of lowering utilization generally cancels out the short-term hit from lowering your AAoA (~20%) and adding to your inquiries (10%) after a few months.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: secondcor521 on February 06, 2019, 03:13:30 PM
I've been playing various credit card games for 12 years.  I had an excellent FICO score before I started, with a spotless credit record dating back to 1987.  Today, according to creditkarma, my FICO scores are 839/838.

I would caution, however, that credit scoring depends on the entirety of your history and data, so what others have had happen may not be directly applicable.  For example, yes, overall utilization drops as does AAoA when you open new cards, but by how much depends on your other cards and limits and ages.  It is generally advised that you be careful (which I interpret as not opening new credit lines) for a while before buying a new house.  I think "a while" = 6 months to a year, which sounds about right to a bit on the conservative side.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Jim Fiction on February 06, 2019, 06:41:27 PM
Thanks for all of the replies!

My credit score was over 830 for the longest time, but then dipped about 40 points after I paid off my student loans. That's what made me wonder what the impacts of credit churning would have. Thankfully it has been ticking back upwards - its currently in the 815 range now. Obviously I'd like to keep it as high as possible, though I have read that pretty much anything above 760 should qualify for the best mortgage rates, giving me some wiggle room.

I guess its probably safe for me to at least start to play around with account churning, particularly since the window to purchase a home is fairly wide and since I will start out slowly. I can always track my credit to see how it responds and adjust accordingly as circumstances change.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on February 06, 2019, 09:23:04 PM
Thanks for all of the replies!

My credit score was over 830 for the longest time, but then dipped about 40 points after I paid off my student loans. That's what made me wonder what the impacts of credit churning would have. Thankfully it has been ticking back upwards - its currently in the 815 range now. Obviously I'd like to keep it as high as possible, though I have read that pretty much anything above 760 should qualify for the best mortgage rates, giving me some wiggle room.

I guess its probably safe for me to at least start to play around with account churning, particularly since the window to purchase a home is fairly wide and since I will start out slowly. I can always track my credit to see how it responds and adjust accordingly as circumstances change.

To add my information in, I tracked exactly this since I was curious about it as well.  Basically churning has/will increase my score.  I only had one account for like 14 years prior to starting and you really can't go at it much more aggressively than I have.

https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/ajbdba/data_points_central_thread_week_of_january_24_2019/ef42l5t/

Although I have no firsthand knowledge, I would concur with what @secondcor521 said about ~6 months as a cool off period before mortgage shopping.  Also, if you are churning bank accounts, toss the majority of your funds in one account about 6 month prior and only provide that one to the mortgage company so they don't need to wonder about your 20 other accounts with $100-$2000 in them.  These are the recommendations I have seen time and time again when this question comes up.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 on February 07, 2019, 04:25:22 AM
Thanks for all of the replies!

My credit score was over 830 for the longest time, but then dipped about 40 points after I paid off my student loans. That's what made me wonder what the impacts of credit churning would have. Thankfully it has been ticking back upwards - its currently in the 815 range now. Obviously I'd like to keep it as high as possible, though I have read that pretty much anything above 760 should qualify for the best mortgage rates, giving me some wiggle room.

I guess its probably safe for me to at least start to play around with account churning, particularly since the window to purchase a home is fairly wide and since I will start out slowly. I can always track my credit to see how it responds and adjust accordingly as circumstances change.

To add my information in, I tracked exactly this since I was curious about it as well.  Basically churning has/will increase my score.  I only had one account for like 14 years prior to starting and you really can't go at it much more aggressively than I have.

https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/ajbdba/data_points_central_thread_week_of_january_24_2019/ef42l5t/

Although I have no firsthand knowledge, I would concur with what @secondcor521 said about ~6 months as a cool off period before mortgage shopping.  Also, if you are churning bank accounts, toss the majority of your funds in one account about 6 month prior and only provide that one to the mortgage company so they don't need to wonder about your 20 other accounts with $100-$2000 in them.  These are the recommendations I have seen time and time again when this question comes up.




So far after a half dozen mostly cards and 1 bank account my credit score has gone down 1 or two then goes up 1 or 2. Hanging right around the 821 mark.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on March 06, 2019, 11:04:10 PM
Totals through 2/28/2019:

Item"Value"       Quantity       Total "Value"       
Membership Rewards1.25 cpp567,215$7,090.19
Ultimate Rewards1.00 cpp234,871$2,348.71
Thank You Points1.00 cpp51$0.51
Altitude Reserve Points1.50 cpp54,533$818.00
Flexperk1.50 cpp30,261$453.92
Pathfinder Rewards0.85 cpp28,773$244.57
Flagship Rewards1.00 cpp8,099$80.99
City National Points0.80 cpp15,892$127.14
GoFar Points1.00 cpp3,006$30.06
AAdvantage Miles1.40 cpp188,865$2,644.11
Rapid Rewards Miles1.50 cpp74,850$1,122.75
Hilton Honor Points0.50 cpp275,710$1,378.55
World of Hyatt Points1.60 cpp84,668$1,354.69
AA Vouchers85%$1,350.00$1,147.50
SW Gift Cards85%$200.00$170.00
Hilton Free Night Cert.$200.002$400.00
Uber Credit100%$379.75$379.75
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Card85%$200.00$170.00
Cheesecake Factory Gift Card100%$40.00$40.00
Cash (Credit Cards)100%$2,110.00$2,110.00
Cash (Bank Accounts)70%$6,325.00$4,427.50
Cash (Manufactured Spending)100%$828.56$828.56
Cost (Credit Cards) $3,680.00
Cost (Bank Accounts) $18.25
Cost (Other) $1,021.00

Total Net Value: $22,648.23

I'm starting to get approvals again fortunately.  I was able to pick up another personal AA card, DiscoverIT, and AMEX Ascend.  I intend to try Terps again as well as another personal AA card, AMEX Green, and maybe a couple other in the next week or two if I keep getting approvals.

I opened up a couple new bank accounts and will be opening up a few more in the next few weeks as well.

Through 3/3/2019:

Total CCs to date:
32 approved (13 business, 19 personal)
25 denied (7 business, 18 personal)

Total BAs to date:
28 approved
12 denied
2 pending

Redemptions:
51,673 SW points redeemed for $948 of travel
137,000 HH points redeemed for $1,008 of travel
25,440 UR points redeemed for $318 of travel
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on April 04, 2019, 08:57:58 PM
Totals through 3/31/2019:

Item"Value"       Quantity       Total "Value"       
Membership Rewards1.25 cpp622,789$7,784.86
Ultimate Rewards1.00 cpp256,281$2,562.81
Thank You Points1.00 cpp961$9.61
Altitude Reserve Points1.50 cpp1,794$26.91
Flexperk1.50 cpp30,761$461.42
Pathfinder Rewards0.85 cpp28,773$244.57
Flagship Rewards1.00 cpp0$0
City National Points1.30 cpp40,515$526.70
GoFar Points1.00 cpp35,713$357.13
AAdvantage Miles1.40 cpp191,393$2,679.50
Rapid Rewards Miles1.50 cpp53,227$798.41
Hilton Honor Points0.50 cpp217,875$1,089.38
World of Hyatt Points1.60 cpp25,456$407.30
AA Vouchers85%$910.00$773.50
SW Gift Cards85%$0$0
Hilton Free Night Cert.$200.002$400.00
Uber Credit100%$259.75$259.75
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Card85%$200.00$170.00
Cheesecake Factory Gift Card100%$50.00$50.00
Cash (Credit Cards)100%$2,185.00$2,185.00
Cash (Credit Cards)100%$2,185.00$2,185.00
Cashout (Credit Cards)100%$1,704.55$1,704.55
Cash (Manufactured Spending)100%$1,208.28$1,208.28
Cost (Credit Cards) $3,775.00
Cost (Bank Accounts) $18.25
Cost (Other) $1,077.00

Total Net Value: $23,284.91

I made several redemptions the past month -- booking travel for myself and family (and fiancee's family) for our wedding.  Mostly booked at ~half cost for my family and free for her family.  I guess I'm a nice guy.

Through 4/4/2019:

Total CCs to date:
35 approved (13 business, 22 personal)
28 denied (7 business, 21 personal)
1 pending

Total BAs to date:
29 approved
13 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
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on April 06, 2019, 11:53:55 AM
My churning for the year so far consists of the $300 Chase Checking bonus and $102.91 in cashback.

I just had a card roll over the 2-year mark, dropping me below the 5/24 limit, so I am thinking of going for the Chase Freedom Unlimited.* The standard offer is $150 on a $500 spend, but doctorofcredit suggests that you can ask to be matched for a $300 bonus if you apply in branch. Does anyone have experience doing this? It also looks like they're doubling the cashback for the first year, so 3% on all purchases, which would make this my primary card until that ran out.

*This is the only remaining chase card within reach for me; recall that I have a relatively low income for this board, so I'm sticking to lower spend targets for now.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on April 06, 2019, 03:37:48 PM
I just had a card roll over the 2-year mark, dropping me below the 5/24 limit, so I am thinking of going for the Chase Freedom Unlimited.* The standard offer is $150 on a $500 spend, but doctorofcredit suggests that you can ask to be matched for a $300 bonus if you apply in branch. Does anyone have experience doing this? It also looks like they're doubling the cashback for the first year, so 3% on all purchases, which would make this my primary card until that ran out.

I'm not sure where that recommendation came from -- I believe some people were able to get pre-approval offers of a higher amount or something like that.  Really since the bonus changed to the 3% on the card for the first year up to 20k spend, I believe the pre-approval offer is the same -- there is nothing to match to in branch since they have the same offer.  Note that there is no cashback after spend bonus associated with the card anymore, it is strictly 3% back in the first year (or first 20k spend).

It is a solid choice if you are trying to keep it simple.  I'm long past the point of no return for Chase, but I am just starting my SO into churning now and was considering this as well.  Thinking I will go a different route however since I can easily manufacture spend, so there are higher targets for me currently.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on April 06, 2019, 06:52:03 PM
Note that there is no cashback after spend bonus associated with the card anymore, it is strictly 3% back in the first year (or first 20k spend).

Oh, thanks for catching that. This is why I asked... doctorofcredit is useful but often out of date. I didn't notice the lack of spend bonus. I may still want the 3%, but I'll evaluate other bonus options too.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on April 06, 2019, 08:40:37 PM
I may still want the 3%, but I'll evaluate other bonus options too.

I would suggest getting two cards -- get the Chase unlimited, then get another one for the spend bonus (unless of course you are trying to stay under/around 5/24).

Not sure what you spend level is, but NFCU has some moderate bonuses for moderate spend levels -- Cash Rewards is $250 for 2.5k spend in 3 months.  More Rewards is 30k points (points can be cashed out at 1cpp so $300) for $3k spend in 3 months.

More rewards gets 3x back at grocery -- so it is effectively a 3% grocery card with no annual fee.  Could use the More rewards for the first 3 months to hit the spend bonus then use your unlimited for everything other than grocery and the more rewards for grocery to be getting 3% back the entire year after that (and beyond for grocery) if you wanted.  Of course...seems like a waste to me with so many good sign up bonuses ripe for the picking :)

Other decent smaller spend requirement SUBs I am aware of on no/low annual fee cards are:

 - US Bank - FlexPerks Travel 20k points for $2k spend (1cpp as a statement credit, 1.5 cpp as travel so $200-$300 value bonus).  AF waived first year...something around $50 beyond that.

 - PenFed Pathfinder Rewards 25k points for $2.5k spend (~0.8 cpp value, more for travel but these ones are difficult to get a firm value one -- something around a $200 value though).  No AF and card has a $100 airline incidental credit per year as well as gives a credit for global entry.

 - BMO Harris Platinum Rewards 25k points for $2k spend (points are worth up to 1cpp when redeeming for a BMO gift card -- their redemptions are a bit funky, but it is worth about $225-$250)

 - BMO Harris Cash Back $200 for $2k spend

 - BoA Cash Rewards $200 for $1k spend

I'm sure there are more, but I don't normally dip into the $200 and below pool.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on April 07, 2019, 01:54:38 PM
$1k spend in 3 months, is easy, $2k spend is a stretch, $3k spend is only possible in special circumstances. I fly a bit but I almost never stay at hotels, so my interest in travel cards is limited. I don't care about 5/24 in the long run, I just thought I'd take the opportunity to grab a Chase card.

I'm interested in the BoA bonus, but last time I applied for a card with them I was denied. I was vaguely waiting to be targeted for their $300 checking account bonus; I have been in the past, but didn't jump on it. But perhaps they would like my application better now that it's been longer since I last opened a card? ETA: But not if I get the Chase card first!
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on April 16, 2019, 12:05:09 PM
A quick quarterly-ish update:

2019 - through 4/15

- Paid $2,342 in credit card annual fees
- Earned $1,100 in cash from bank account bonuses
- Earned $4,441 in cash from credit cards (signup bonuses and miscellaneous credits)
- Redeemed $3,145 worth of travel from credit card signup bonuses

Net profit so far this year is $3,199 in cash plus $3,145 worth of travel expenses.

Current Balances

Amex MR: 584,638, to be redeemed for $7,307.98 in cash
AA: 350,201, worth approximately $4,902 in travel expenses
Southwest: 175,682, worth approximately $2,635 in travel expenses
Avios: 109,468, worth approximately $1,642 in travel expenses
Hilton: 269,209, worth approximately $1,346 in travel expenses
Marriott: 123,282, worth approximately $986 in travel expenses

I'm pretty happy with these numbers, as we've nearly surpassed our cash profits for 2018 and it's only the second quarter. If you count the stash of MR waiting to be cashed out (~1/3 will be redeemed in June and the other ~2/3 in December) then we've nearly surpassed our cash profits for 2017 as well. We've also gotten a ton of use out of our SW Companion Pass, a decent amount of which was for business travel. So a good chunk of the travel expenses number can rightfully be considered cash (since we would have paid for business trip flights out of pocket anyway).
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on April 16, 2019, 01:11:44 PM
Hope it's okay if I cross-post from my journal to ask the experts. My sister is a student in veterinary school and asked me for advice on churning:

I got her set up with creditkarma (her score is excellent), advised that she always set up autopay and use Mint or similar to track balances in one place, and sent her my Chase Freedom Unlimited referral code... and she was immediately rejected. Upon further questioning, I am reasonably confident this was because she entered her annual income as $7,000, which is roughly what she makes from part time and summer jobs. I was hoping she could count a student loan as income, since she does live off of it somewhat, but that looks to be a no-no. She might have some scholarship money she could count, though.

If so, does anybody know the protocol for re-applying? Is, say, a $17k income more likely to be approved? Can she apply again immediately, or would it be better to call them when she gets the official rejection and explain she made a mistake?

Also, is there any basic churning advice I forgot to tell her?

Basically, is churning viable for a student with very little "real" income? She already has a non-rewards card that she has proven responsible with and she understands the importance of paying off the card before it accrues interest.



For myself, I should be able to cash out 40,000 of American Airlines points at the beginning of May, after several months of delays due to misinformation given over the phone. Bah.

I also applied for the Chase Freedom, as discussed earlier, and never got official word of approval, but a new card appeared on my Chase account. So I guess I'm just waiting to see if it appears in the mail? Maybe I should use that as an excuse to call and ask some of the questions about my sister's application, since I did refer her after all.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on April 16, 2019, 01:33:51 PM
Basically, is churning viable for a student with very little "real" income? She already has a non-rewards card that she has proven responsible with and she understands the importance of paying off the card before it accrues interest


If she is 21 or over she can claim your parents income on an application -- anything that can reasonably be used to repay basically.

A student loan is a type of debt so I don't see that as being able to be used for a basis of repayment of another loan/debt (credit card).  I would imagine scholarship funding should be ok to claim.

I also applied for the Chase Freedom, as discussed earlier, and never got official word of approval, but a new card appeared on my Chase account. So I guess I'm just waiting to see if it appears in the mail? Maybe I should use that as an excuse to call and ask some of the questions about my sister's application, since I did refer her after all.

If it's in your profile, you were approved.  You can also call 800-432-3117 which is an automated line you can check the status of you application with.

I wouldn't bother trying to get in contact with them until you have the denial letter.  It could be as simple as address verification.  Also it is unlikely they will talk to you since it is not regarding your application.  Your sister would need to give consent for you to speak on her behalf.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on April 16, 2019, 01:38:10 PM
If she is 21 or over she can claim your parents income on an application -- anything that can reasonably be used to repay basically.

Are you certain about this? I have read the opposite. Also, I doubt my parents would agree to it.

Thanks for your other comments.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on April 16, 2019, 02:00:25 PM

Are you certain about this? I have read the opposite. Also, I doubt my parents would agree to it.

Not really something I have to deal with, but yes I am quite certain and know people who do it.  The worst that will happen is they come back asking for proof of income.  If they don't allow "household" income to be claimed as the basis for repayment they will just rejected the proof you submit and you will be at the same place you started at.  Really though I think they are legally obligated to allow it as a basis if you are 21 or over.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on April 16, 2019, 03:48:32 PM
$1k spend in 3 months, is easy, $2k spend is a stretch, $3k spend is only possible in special circumstances. I fly a bit but I almost never stay at hotels, so my interest in travel cards is limited. I don't care about 5/24 in the long run, I just thought I'd take the opportunity to grab a Chase card.

I'm in a similar boat. I travel cheap and want to stay away from MS, so I'm going for simple bonuses with low-spend requirements. If I have advance notice of large medical spend, I'll try to time it with a better Chase card. My credit score is just over 800, so I should qualify for some decent cards.

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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on April 16, 2019, 04:07:57 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: secondcor521 on April 16, 2019, 04:30:52 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Car Jack 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).
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad 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
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: mousebandit 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.

 
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache 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. 
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MoseyingAlong 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!
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Rosy 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: JoJoP 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!
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: katsiki 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Gin1984 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass 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.)
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes 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?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Junco 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Knapptyme 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: zoochadookdook 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: JoJoP 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. 
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Jim Fiction 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga 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.)
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: freedomfightergal 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;)
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: JoJoP 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. 
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: zoochadookdook 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: secondcor521 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad 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/
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad 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
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad 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
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Catbert 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.

   
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson 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).
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson 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).
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on July 11, 2019, 04:26:50 PM
Nice spreadsheet tracker @dlawson - I borrowed it with some alterations.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: TomTX 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes 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.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Car Jack on July 17, 2019, 08:09:19 AM
I've got a very cool multi multi thing going this quarter with Sears Citi mastercard.  They have a promo I've activated where they give 10% in statement credit...up to $100 back per month for grocery, restaurant and gas. 

and....

Stop & Shop currently is giving 3X gas points on Visa gift cards, so there's $30 off 20 gallons...

and....

I happen to have a tradeline spot sold on this card, so there's $100 more coming.

I'm currently giving CC churning a rest so eventually, I can reset the Cap One and Chase counters.  I do have $10k in a Cap One money market account to get $200.  Another month or so to fully qualify, then it's off to someone else with that money.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on July 17, 2019, 03:13:20 PM
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.

I was able to get retention offers on both my SW cards.  Statement credit equal to $1 over the annual fee, no spend requirement in both cases.

Spend on both cards wasn't much more than the minimum spend to get the bonus.  Might be worth calling for retention so that you get the annual bonus miles and freedom to cancel when you want.  I called for retention after the annual fees posted to my cards.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on July 17, 2019, 03:34:59 PM
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.

I was able to get retention offers on both my SW cards.  Statement credit equal to $1 over the annual fee, no spend requirement in both cases.

Spend on both cards wasn't much more than the minimum spend to get the bonus.  Might be worth calling for retention so that you get the annual bonus miles and freedom to cancel when you want.  I called for retention after the annual fees posted to my cards.

That'll be a nice way to get an extra 3k points and allow me to cancel a few months later. Thanks!
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Jim Fiction on July 22, 2019, 02:58:08 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


Just seeing this now.

Good to hear you received your bonus. Hopefully there aren't any issues with mine (due to be paid out on 8/31). Did you move any move out of the account after doing the original DD, but before the bonus was paid? I've deposited some small sums to avoid the monthly account fee, but I haven't withdrawn so much as a penny.

Did you eventually close the account? If so, how soon after receiving the bonus?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on July 22, 2019, 11:22:02 PM
Did you move any move out of the account after doing the original DD, but before the bonus was paid?

Did you eventually close the account? If so, how soon after receiving the bonus?

I'm super slow on closing these accounts for some reason.  Haven't closed it yet, but probably will in the next month or 2.  I think I just kept like $50 or so in the account the entire time.  "DD"ed in and payed some bills from it to take the funds back out.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on July 26, 2019, 07:08:53 PM
I just got denied for this PenFed credit card: https://www.penfed.org/credit-cards/pathfinder-rewards-american-express

This might be due to my income of $36,000, but I'm also a little worried about my credit score. Creditkarma reports my credit score as 743 or 744 at TransUnion and Equifax. However, it also reports me having 0-1 hard inquiries, despite the fact that I've opened 7 cards in the reporting period. Thus I have just discovered my Experian credit report has 7 hard inquiries on it, which I am concerned may be depressing my credit score there. (They only offer the report for free, not the score, so I don't know it.) Can I do anything about that imbalance?

I have $1000 of unusual spending coming up, and I'd like to get a bonus out of it, but now I need a plan B. Back to doctorofcredit...
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: secondcor521 on July 26, 2019, 07:57:18 PM
I just got denied for this PenFed credit card: https://www.penfed.org/credit-cards/pathfinder-rewards-american-express

This might be due to my income of $36,000, but I'm also a little worried about my credit score. Creditkarma reports my credit score as 743 or 744 at TransUnion and Equifax. However, it also reports me having 0-1 hard inquiries, despite the fact that I've opened 7 cards in the reporting period. Thus I have just discovered my Experian credit report has 7 hard inquiries on it, which I am concerned may be depressing my credit score there. (They only offer the report for free, not the score, so I don't know it.) Can I do anything about that imbalance?

I have $1000 of unusual spending coming up, and I'd like to get a bonus out of it, but now I need a plan B. Back to doctorofcredit...

Some people go through the trouble of figuring out which credit card companies pull which credit report agency in which state.  The data is messy IMHO and can be inconsistent, but you could try to find cards that pull TU or EQ in your state.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on July 26, 2019, 08:18:52 PM
Creditkarma reports my credit score as 743 or 744 at TransUnion and Equifax. However, it also reports me having 0-1 hard inquiries, despite the fact that I've opened 7 cards in the reporting period. Thus I have just discovered my Experian credit report has 7 hard inquiries on it, which I am concerned may be depressing my credit score there. (They only offer the report for free, not the score, so I don't know it.) Can I do anything about that imbalance?

I have $1000 of unusual spending coming up, and I'd like to get a bonus out of it, but now I need a plan B. Back to doctorofcredit...

The three scores are independent.  Having 7 inquiries on one will not impact the score from the other 2.  Also, the 7 inquiries is no big deal and a ~750 score is fine for any card out there.  The issue is most certainly income.  Some credit cards have a minimum approval credit limit and I believe that one has a $5k minimum.. I am wrong -- checked with someone and they have a $1k limit.  Not sure why yours wasn't approved to be honest since that is one of the easier ones.  What did the letter say?

My (real) scores fluctuate around 750 - note the credit karma scores tend to report lower than actual though.  The ones the banks pull are true FICO scores and credit karma is not.  To give some perspective, I believe my credit karma scores are something like 670 and 690.  I have over 20 inquiries on all 3 bureaus.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on July 27, 2019, 11:26:15 AM
Yeah, I understand the three scores are all independent - my concern is that if one score is much lower than the other two, and that's the one that's being checked, it could hurt my application. My average age of credit is still very young, so many hard pulls is already kind of a second strike. But I'm still waiting on the letter to hear their actual reasoning, so this is all speculation.

I'm getting solicited for the AmEx Cash Magnet card, with $200 bonus on $1000 spend, so I'm thinking of shooting for that instead.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on July 28, 2019, 07:51:55 PM
Yeah, I understand the three scores are all independent - my concern is that if one score is much lower than the other two, and that's the one that's being checked, it could hurt my application. My average age of credit is still very young, so many hard pulls is already kind of a second strike. But I'm still waiting on the letter to hear their actual reasoning, so this is all speculation.

The letter says it's due to my number of open accounts. More specifically: "Utilization of accounts, number of accounts, and/or occurrence of a derogatory event." I have no derogatory events and my utilization is always between 2-10%, so it must be the # of accounts. My partner has the same number of open accounts and is being considered (whereas I was rejected immediately) - but his income is 3x mine.

ETA: My partner was eventually also rejected for too many open accounts. I guess this card is just strict.

All this despite accessing my credit score as 758, and then daring to tell me about the factors that "lowered" it. That's an excellent score! Ugh. "Too many inquiries in the last 12 months."

Whatever. AmEx approved me for the Cash Magnet with a bewildering $20,000 credit limit. Signup bonus, here I come.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on August 10, 2019, 02:02:39 AM
I got the $200 bonus for the Disney card, minus $50 for the annual fee and another fee for a dumb autopay mistake. Still came out ahead, but I'm going to call and try to get the second fee waived.

Might hold off on getting another card while I spend down a Visa gc.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on August 10, 2019, 08:18:04 PM
A friend just told me about Plastiq. If I use that for rent, I'll be able to hit higher spend requirements. Not that much higher, since rent is only $750, but I could go for $2,500 spend in 3 months, instead of $500-$1,000. Has anyone used it? Looks like the fees would be $56.25, which should be easily outweighed by any decent bonus.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on August 22, 2019, 02:49:32 PM
I've just received my AmEx bonus, so churning income update:

$300 Chase checking bonus
$250 USAA card signup bonus
$200 American Express CashMagnet signup bonus
$156.90 collected cashback across cards
44,700 American Airlines bonus miles

...for a total of $906.90 + 3 one-way flights (value = $400-$800)

Excluding the flights, that accounts for over 6% of my total after-tax income so far this year; including the flights, it's more like 10-11%. Wow.

I have a few bank offers planned that I need to follow through on, but I'm not sure what card to pursue next. I will probably wait until this one shows up on my creditkarma report and assess its impact before making another move.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: therethere on August 22, 2019, 02:53:49 PM
A friend just told me about Plastiq. If I use that for rent, I'll be able to hit higher spend requirements. Not that much higher, since rent is only $750, but I could go for $2,500 spend in 3 months, instead of $500-$1,000. Has anyone used it? Looks like the fees would be $56.25, which should be easily outweighed by any decent bonus.

I've used Plastiq as my fall back to finish spending if I'm running short on some of my cards. Like if I'm $500 short of hitting the 3k in 90 days I'll send a payment for it. If you can get a good referral it cuts the rate in half. I don't trust it for my rent only because I have a horrible management company and I don't trust them to cash it! I've used it to pay student loans. The main issue with Plastiq is that it takes a long time between scheduling the payment and having it confirmed as received. But if you plan ahead it works great.

PM me if you'd like a referral.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Jim Fiction on August 28, 2019, 11:01:43 AM
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.

Update: The bonus posted last week! Woo!!! Probably the easiest $600 I have ever made. Time to find a new churning opportunity.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on August 29, 2019, 12:00:28 AM
A friend just told me about Plastiq. If I use that for rent, I'll be able to hit higher spend requirements. Not that much higher, since rent is only $750, but I could go for $2,500 spend in 3 months, instead of $500-$1,000. Has anyone used it? Looks like the fees would be $56.25, which should be easily outweighed by any decent bonus.

I've used Plastiq as my fall back to finish spending if I'm running short on some of my cards. Like if I'm $500 short of hitting the 3k in 90 days I'll send a payment for it. If you can get a good referral it cuts the rate in half. I don't trust it for my rent only because I have a horrible management company and I don't trust them to cash it! I've used it to pay student loans. The main issue with Plastiq is that it takes a long time between scheduling the payment and having it confirmed as received. But if you plan ahead it works great.

PM me if you'd like a referral.

Thanks! My friend called dibs on the referral, so if I ever get around to this, I'll use his. Do different people have different incentives with their referral codes?

I would be sending the check to myself, then handing it to the landlady. As long as they mail it on time, I'll know I got it.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on September 11, 2019, 07:07:22 PM
We just earned what will be our last bonus for 2019. With that, 2019's rewards sit at:

Southwest: 13,119 RR points + $100 retention bonus
Chase Sapphire Preferred: 60,438 UR points
Capital One Savor: $500
Chase Ink Business Preferred: 85,300 UR points

Spent:
Southwest: $99 annual fee (was going to cancel before fee, but was offered $100 to hang onto it)
Chase Ink Business Preferred: $95

Assuming that I'll be getting ~1.5 cents toward travel for the points, that's puts the total benefit at $2,788.86 earned so far in 2019.

Travel:
42,956 RR points
I plan to do a lot more travel in 2020 & 2021, since I'll be going for the Southwest Companion Pass at the turn of the calendar.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 on September 26, 2019, 03:35:45 PM
Has anyone done the Hilton Honors American Express card , Spend 1k in 3 months get 100,000 Points? My DW was solicited by snailmail and since we do more Hotels than anything thought this might be a good one to do next as we have really slowed down after churning alot in early year.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache on September 26, 2019, 03:50:23 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.

Update: The bonus posted last week! Woo!!! Probably the easiest $600 I have ever made. Time to find a new churning opportunity.

Citizens has been a gold mine for me. In 3+ years I've netted over $1500 in bonuses from them.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on October 05, 2019, 09:50:27 AM
Has anyone done the Hilton Honors American Express card , Spend 1k in 3 months get 100,000 Points? My DW was solicited by snailmail and since we do more Hotels than anything thought this might be a good one to do next as we have really slowed down after churning alot in early year.

Unfortunately you just missed out on all time high offers.  The current Hilton card offerings are mediocre although 100k for the no AF card is decent and worth grabbing if you are over 5/24.
 However you have to factor the missed opportunity cost of no cross-referral bonus into the decision.  I think the referral offer for HH no AF is 75-85k, so if you can get 15k MR + 75k HH, is that worth more to you than 100k HH?  To me it would be (worth it to go the referral route over the 100k targeted offer that is).  Definitely not a card worth getting if you are under 5/24 though.  I have done them all except for the HH no AF card.

Did HH Biz, HH Aspire, HH Surpass (x2).  Bonuses ranged from 125k to 150k for all of them.  Hilton points are reasonably worth about 0.5 cpp so a 100k SUB is around $500 in Hilton money.  Good thing about the Surpass is that is a good MS card.  15k gets you a FNC and if done at grocery, an additional 90k HH points.

If you lean towards redeeming at lower/middle tier properties, expect to get closer to 0.4-0.5 cpp on the HH points.  If you redeem at higher end properties, expect closer to 0.5-0.6 cpp.  If you redeem at high end properties in high demand times, you can end up exceeding 1 cpp but it is very rare.

I have a redemption at the Grand Wailea over Thanksgiving this year.  Cash rate was 1k/nt so I ended up with a redemption exceeding 1 cpp.  Also used 3 FNCs for it.  Definitely the exception and not the norm though.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: desert_phoenix on October 05, 2019, 11:24:19 AM
I just closed my Bank of America checking account.  Easiest $300 of my life (direct deposit $4,000 within 90 days and then wait up to 60 days for the $300 bonus).  They deposited within a week of me hitting the 4k.  So easy. So nice.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 on October 08, 2019, 03:49:29 AM
Has anyone done the Hilton Honors American Express card , Spend 1k in 3 months get 100,000 Points? My DW was solicited by snailmail and since we do more Hotels than anything thought this might be a good one to do next as we have really slowed down after churning alot in early year.

Unfortunately you just missed out on all time high offers.  The current Hilton card offerings are mediocre although 100k for the no AF card is decent and worth grabbing if you are over 5/24.
 However you have to factor the missed opportunity cost of no cross-referral bonus into the decision.  I think the referral offer for HH no AF is 75-85k, so if you can get 15k MR + 75k HH, is that worth more to you than 100k HH?  To me it would be (worth it to go the referral route over the 100k targeted offer that is).  Definitely not a card worth getting if you are under 5/24 though.  I have done them all except for the HH no AF card.

Did HH Biz, HH Aspire, HH Surpass (x2).  Bonuses ranged from 125k to 150k for all of them.  Hilton points are reasonably worth about 0.5 cpp so a 100k SUB is around $500 in Hilton money.  Good thing about the Surpass is that is a good MS card.  15k gets you a FNC and if done at grocery, an additional 90k HH points.

If you lean towards redeeming at lower/middle tier properties, expect to get closer to 0.4-0.5 cpp on the HH points.  If you redeem at higher end properties, expect closer to 0.5-0.6 cpp.  If you redeem at high end properties in high demand times, you can end up exceeding 1 cpp but it is very rare.

I have a redemption at the Grand Wailea over Thanksgiving this year.  Cash rate was 1k/nt so I ended up with a redemption exceeding 1 cpp.  Also used 3 FNCs for it.  Definitely the exception and not the norm though.



We ended up getting it just because..... Probably not the best next choice for us but my DW went on line and was instantly approved. 1k to qualify for the bonus is so minimal maybe I will pull down another card in my name.  Thanks for the info.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on October 08, 2019, 10:01:55 AM
Quarterly update:

2019 - through 10/1

- Paid $3,757 in credit card annual fees
- Earned $2,700 in cash from bank account bonuses
- Earned $14,083 in cash from credit cards (signup bonuses and miscellaneous credits)
- Redeemed $4,319 worth of travel from credit card signup bonuses

Net profit so far this year is $13,026 in cash plus $4,319 worth of travel expenses.

Current Balances

Amex MR: 486,013, to be redeemed for $6,075.16 in cash
AA: 523,402, worth approximately $7,327 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: 565,166, worth approximately $2,260 in travel expenses, plus 2 Free Weekend Night certificates
Marriott: 206,425, worth approximately $1,651 in travel expenses, plus 3 Free Night certificates
Hyatt: 56,244, worth approximately $956 in travel expenses
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on October 08, 2019, 11:51:08 AM
I signed up for the REI card, which has a small bonus ($100 store credit), and a referral bonus for my friend. I want a bunch of small hiking things, so it's worth it to me.

I was considering the Amtrak offer but I think the all time high is over.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on October 19, 2019, 11:48:38 PM
Been a while since my last major update.  It is getting a bit difficult even to track on the high level now since my monthly MS is approaching 6 figures but a fairly accurate snapshot is:

Totals through 10/11/2019:

Item"Value"       Quantity       Total "Value"       
Membership Rewards1.25 cpp292,834$3,660.43
Ultimate Rewards1.00 cpp278,680$2,786.80
Thank You Points1.00 cpp1,024$10.24
Altitude Reserve Points & Flexperk Points1.50 cpp1,492$22.38
Pathfinder Rewards0.85 cpp279$2.37
Flagship Rewards & More Rewards1.00 cpp9,412$94.12
City National Points1.10 cpp44,897$493.87
Go Far Points1.00 cpp36,166$361.66
BMO Points1.00 cpp17,117$171.17
AAdvantage Miles1.40 cpp482,496$6,754.94
Rapid Rewards Miles1.50 cpp22,793$341.90
Hilton Honor Points0.50 cpp500,320$2,501.60
World of Hyatt Points1.60 cpp46,499$743.98
Alaska Miles1.50 cpp85,855$1,287.83
Alaska Companion Pass2$150.00$300.00
AA Vouchers85%$910.00$773.50
SW Gift Cards85%$0$0
Hilton Free Night Cert.$200.002$400.00
Hyatt Free Night Cert.$200.001$200.00
Uber Credit100%$1,014.75$1,014.75
Saks 5th Ave. Gift Card85%$450.00$382.50
Cheesecake Factory Gift Card100%$100.00$100.00
Dell Credits75%$600.00$450.00
Cash (Credit Cards)100%$3,295.00$3,295.00
Cashout (Credit Cards)100%$18,548.55$18,548.55
Cash (Manufactured Spending)100%$4,401.26$4,401.26
Other Misc. Cash Equivalents100%$429.00$429.00
Cost (Credit Cards) $7,463.00
Cost (Bank Accounts) $18.25
Cost (Other) $3,732.23

Total Net Value: $43,389.86

Through 10/14/2019:

Total CCs to date:
56 approved (20 business, 36 personal)
42 denied (10 business, 32 personal)

Total BAs to date:
32 approved
14 denied


Redemptions:
129,936 SW points redeemed for $2,893 of travel
472,000 HH points redeemed for $3,747.36 of travel
3 HH FNCs redeemed for $3,248.06 of travel
61,756 UR points redeemed for $862.74 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

$14,296.11 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
24,220 PenFed points redeemed for $200.00 of cash
50,000 BMO points redeemed for $500.00 of cash
1,012,000 MR redeemed for $12,650 of cash
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on November 02, 2019, 07:05:48 PM
I found another great way to maximize your bank account churning. Sign up for SoFi Money and Sofi Invest. The SoFi Money promotion gives you a $50 bonus for signing up using a referral link and gives the person giving the referral $100. The invest side is $50 and $50. There are no minimums or maintenance fees and only takes $100 so it is very easy to get other people to sign up! I've signed up 6 family members and friends in 2 days! I make $100 per person and they all make $50! If you want my referral code (I would appreciate it!) and you can start with your significant other and make some cash!

There are many many many accounts like this.  Varo, Chime, etc.  Please don't spam your referral links.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 on November 03, 2019, 02:56:54 AM
Your killing it @Toad ! awesome and thanks for sharing. Everytime i see your posts I get motivated and get another card.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on November 04, 2019, 12:45:11 PM
My next card might be TD Cash (https://www.td.com/us/en/personal-banking/credit-cards/cash-card/). There's a higher bonus than usual, for a small spend: $200 bonus for $500 spend. Their online application system is down, though.

I might do the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard (https://www.amtrak.com/apply.html) after all, even though the higher bonus is over. The annual fee card would get ~$500 in trip value after the fee, then I can downgrade to the no-fee card. This would require paying rent through Plastiq once to hit the $1,000 spend.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: soccerluvof4 on November 25, 2019, 04:04:25 AM
My next card might be TD Cash (https://www.td.com/us/en/personal-banking/credit-cards/cash-card/). There's a higher bonus than usual, for a small spend: $200 bonus for $500 spend. Their online application system is down, though.

I might do the Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard (https://www.amtrak.com/apply.html) after all, even though the higher bonus is over. The annual fee card would get ~$500 in trip value after the fee, then I can downgrade to the no-fee card. This would require paying rent through Plastiq once to hit the $1,000 spend.

On a completely different not that has nothing to do with churning I heard Schwaab is buying TD Ameritrade.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: kpd905 on November 25, 2019, 05:33:34 AM
@Toad that is quite a haul, I had no idea you were doing that much manufactured spend.

For all of the bank accounts you were denied for, were they all due to Chex?  I saw a comment on r/churning about pulling your Chex report and then just going through each pull and disputing each one.  They said 99% of the time the banks will just drop it from your report.  I'm not sure how long it takes to do, I imagine it would be a long process to do for all of your accounts.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: aloevera on November 25, 2019, 01:12:09 PM
A friend just told me about Plastiq. If I use that for rent, I'll be able to hit higher spend requirements. Not that much higher, since rent is only $750, but I could go for $2,500 spend in 3 months, instead of $500-$1,000. Has anyone used it? Looks like the fees would be $56.25, which should be easily outweighed by any decent bonus.

I've been using it for rent and such for a few months, originally to meet a spend req but now just for points on existing card.

I started with 500 fee free dollars (referral) but didn't do anything for a month or so, they offered me 3,000 fee-free dollars and I took that.

So haven't paid any fees at all so far.

I get a notification when my recipient's check is sent, received and deposited.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: TomTX on November 25, 2019, 06:58:24 PM
So, as mentioned in the Don't Pay off Your Mortgage thread, cashout refi into a 30 year fixed mortgage has happened.

First stop: Chase. Upgrade to Sapphire Checking. $1k bonus for depositing $75k, which includes savings + discount brokerage balances (YouInvest). Hit the $300 savings account bonus as well. Drop $25k in savings, remainder into YouInvest in cheap ETFs
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on November 27, 2019, 04:33:34 PM
For all of the bank accounts you were denied for, were they all due to Chex?  I saw a comment on r/churning about pulling your Chex report and then just going through each pull and disputing each one.  They said 99% of the time the banks will just drop it from your report.  I'm not sure how long it takes to do, I imagine it would be a long process to do for all of your accounts.

The vast majority of denials are for Chex.  The one time I tried to dispute a Chex inquiry (the bank pulled my report 4 times to open the account so it was a legitimate dispute), it was not overturned.

I haven't bothered with it since but I feel that if I applied to a bank and the inquiry is legitimate I shouldn't dispute it just to make it go away.  Everyone plays the game differently though.  I'm sure there are things I do that others would say no way to.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on December 15, 2019, 07:09:13 PM
All statements closed for 2019, so no additional rewards will be posted. We will have the Southwest Companion Pass in 2020 & 2021, though I don't know how much travel we'll actually get to do with the baby. Overall, I'd say it went pretty well for our first year of churning.

2019
EarnedCash Value    Travel Value
Chase Ultimate Rewards
147,706
$1,477
$2,216
Southwest Rapid Rewards
18,237
-
274
Cash Back
$654
654
654
Total Earned
2,131
3,143
Fees Paid
Southwest Premier1
-1
-1
Sapphire Preferred2
-
-
Capital One Savor2
-
-
Ink Business Preferred
95
95
Southwest Performance Business
199
199
Total Fees
293
293
Profit
$1,838
$2,850

1 - $100 statement credit offset $99 fee
2 - Fee waived in first year
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on January 05, 2020, 04:27:57 PM
I've just been approved for the Discover It Cash Back. My partner referred me for a $50 bonus each, but I'm mostly interested in the doubled cashback for the first year (especially the first quarter for groceries). He just got the AAdvantage Aviator Red card for 60k miles after $99 fee plus a companion flight for only $99. I'm going to get the same one, but maybe wait a bit first - I've heard they're sensitive to other recent applications - and downgrade my Citi AAdvantage card first so I'll only have one annual fee at a time.

ETA: They said I had no downgrade options, so I closed that account. First closed account on my report at 11 months old; hopefully that doesn't hurt me much.

I am working on the Wells Fargo checking bonus, should arrive in Feb.

2019 wrap-up:

$300 Chase checking bonus
$250 USAA card signup bonus
$200 American Express CashMagnet signup bonus
$281.18 collected cashback across cards
44,700 American Airlines bonus miles

...for a total of $1031.18 + 3 one-way flights (value = $400-$800)
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on January 06, 2020, 03:04:59 PM
Now that the year is closed out, here's the final tally:

2019

- Paid $5,997 in credit card annual fees
- Earned $3,000 in cash from bank account bonuses
- Earned $23,598 in cash from credit cards (signup bonuses and miscellaneous credits)
- Redeemed $4,319 worth of travel from credit card signup bonuses

Net profit for 2019 is $20,601 in cash plus $4,319 worth of travel expenses.

Current Balances

AA: 523,402, worth approximately $7,327 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: 567,592, worth approximately $2,270 in travel expenses, plus 3 Free Weekend Night certificates
Marriott: 209,836, worth approximately $1,678 in travel expenses, plus 3 Free Night certificates
Hyatt: 112,529, worth approximately $1,912 in travel expenses

Total points "value": $17,864. It's a bit of a B.S. number and if I could sell all my points, I totally would! Still, my travel expenses are essentially fully covered for the next several years, at a minimum.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: secondcor521 on January 06, 2020, 04:38:12 PM
if I could sell all my points, I totally would!

You can.  It's against TOS usually.  I know a guy who is well respected in this field.  PM me if you want his contact info; I don't make anything off the referral.  He won't pay you what you can get for a good travel redemption, but if you have points you can't use or don't like, it's a decent way to get cash for them.  (He makes money by brokering between people who have points and people who want to use points for travel but don't have them.)
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on January 09, 2020, 11:36:12 PM
if I could sell all my points, I totally would!

You can.  It's against TOS usually.  I know a guy who is well respected in this field.  PM me if you want his contact info; I don't make anything off the referral.  He won't pay you what you can get for a good travel redemption, but if you have points you can't use or don't like, it's a decent way to get cash for them.  (He makes money by brokering between people who have points and people who want to use points for travel but don't have them.)

I'm aware of points brokers; I just haven't really taken the plunge and looked into it yet. Realistically my most lucrative opportunity would be the American miles, and that's probably a terrible idea given the epic AA shutdown wave that just happened.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Queen Frugal on January 12, 2020, 09:45:02 AM
I am new to this forum but I have been reading for a while. This thread has been totally eye opening for me! I opened some cards a few years ago and loved the bonuses as they paid for my annual vacation but then I have been stuck on what to do next. Until this!

I was snowed in this weekend and did A LOT of reading online. I'm planning on hitting up all the applications I can for Chase first because of the 5/24 rule. But I am struggling a bit to come up with my long term plan as I am confused about how Chase will handle business cards and whether they will apply to the personal card limit. I would love some input on figuring out my strategy.

I just applied for the Chase Southwest Priority card and was approved. This puts me at 4/24. In April, a card falls off, so it will be 3/24 then, which is when I probably will apply for the next card or two.

I have 2 legit businesses - one with a separate EIN and one is a DBA, both reported on my tax return on schedule C.

Should I keep applying for Chase personal cards until I hit 5/24, then apply for all the other personal cards I want, then start rotating through my business card options, or should I apply for all the Chase cards I can - personal, business, etc. - first?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on January 12, 2020, 10:04:55 AM
I was denied for my first card. My credit score is around 770, but BoA said 1) I've opened too many cards recently (a Chase card in May, REI in October, and another BoA card in November) and 2) I'm not keeping money with them in any other accounts, so who cares about me.

Since my first BoA card was the most recent, will I be okay trying a card with a different bank soon? Or should I wait a couple months before doing anything.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on January 12, 2020, 05:58:04 PM
I got denied for a BoA card for the same reason - PenFed as well. I'm keeping an eye out for a targeted BoA checking offer now. I don't know much about other bank cards though.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Toad on January 13, 2020, 10:58:23 AM
Should I keep applying for Chase personal cards until I hit 5/24, then apply for all the other personal cards I want, then start rotating through my business card options, or should I apply for all the Chase cards I can - personal, business, etc. - first?

Chase biz cards do not impact you 5/24 status with Chase.  Basically if it doesn't show up on your credit report, they don't count it.  Most bank's business cards don't show up - Chase being a bank where this is the case.

The Chase ink preferred card is generally recommended as the best available option.  $95 annual fee, but 80,000 UR bonus ($800 cash, more if used for travel).

It is counterintuitive, but applying with a new business is easier than applying with an established one.  If you apply as anything other than a sole proprietorship, they are going to want documentation of everything, that why even if you have legitimate businesses, it is generally recommended to apply as a sole proprietorship and not really use your business documents for the application.  Maybe you started selling on eBay.  Great, get a card for that as a sole proprietorship.

If you go the Chase ink preferred route, anyone who has the card can give you a referral for the 80,000 UR bonus.  The referrer will get 20,000 UR.  If you know someone that has the card, use their referral.  I do have it, but don't want you thinking I am recommending this one for the referral so if you don't know anyone that has the card and want to use my referral for it, send me a message.

I'm glad this was able to help open your eyes up.  That was the intent :)

I would recommend focusing on business cards for the next 6-9 months.  You can pick up a new Chase business card every 2-3 months and pick up other bank's business cards in the meantime.  Just make sure to research if the bank reports the business card to your credit history first.  Capital one does, but most of the other major banks (BoA, AMEX, Citi, Chase, Barclays) do not.

Then when you have loaded up on Chase business cards (3-5 I would say), finish up with Chase personal cards to round out your 5/24 and move on to other things.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on January 13, 2020, 02:39:18 PM
I believe I read in one of the r/churning articles that Chase would not approve business cards if your current credit limit is greater than 50% of your reported income. However, I was just approved for Ink Business Cash with my current credit limit at 55% of total income, and the approval takes me up to 60%.

Since it has a lower limit than the previous two business cards I've received, I'm guessing that I shouldn't bother trying for a fourth business card after this one. I'm still only 3/24 and want to get the Hyatt card before moving on from Chase.

At what point do I need to start reducing my credit limit? Will other banks deny me outright if I'm sitting at 60-70% of income already?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: secondcor521 on January 13, 2020, 04:27:27 PM
I believe I read in one of the r/churning articles that Chase would not approve business cards if your current credit limit is greater than 50% of your reported income. However, I was just approved for Ink Business Cash with my current credit limit at 55% of total income, and the approval takes me up to 60%.

Since it has a lower limit than the previous two business cards I've received, I'm guessing that I shouldn't bother trying for a fourth business card after this one. I'm still only 3/24 and want to get the Hyatt card before moving on from Chase.

At what point do I need to start reducing my credit limit? Will other banks deny me outright if I'm sitting at 60-70% of income already?

I'm somewhere around 900% of income total across 23 cards, so you're not there yet.

It seems that each issuer will want to keep their overall exposure to you to some level.  I'm not sure what that is, and it probably varies from issuer to issuer and depends on your credit history and other things.  But I have well over 100% of reported income with at least two different major issuers.

What you can do, and the CC issuers sometimes do this for you, is if you're approved for $60K with them and apply for a new card, they'll take $2K from your existing card(s) and reallocate to the new card to approve you.  When that happens they'll send you a letter about it.  If that starts happening, then you'll know your at your max for that issuer.

However, being at a max for any issuer usually doesn't prevent another issuer from issuing you a bunch of new credit.  In other words, they don't usually look at your total CC exposure across all issuers.  I don't know why; it seems to me like they should.  But they don't.  I think it's partly to try to compete - if Chase gives you a $30K card, then BofA thinks they should give you a $35K card so you'll like them better and switch which card you use.

That's all with total credit limits.  Credit utilization is a different matter.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Queen Frugal on February 01, 2020, 08:30:17 AM
Should I keep applying for Chase personal cards until I hit 5/24, then apply for all the other personal cards I want, then start rotating through my business card options, or should I apply for all the Chase cards I can - personal, business, etc. - first?

Chase biz cards do not impact you 5/24 status with Chase.  Basically if it doesn't show up on your credit report, they don't count it.  Most bank's business cards don't show up - Chase being a bank where this is the case.

The Chase ink preferred card is generally recommended as the best available option.  $95 annual fee, but 80,000 UR bonus ($800 cash, more if used for travel).

It is counterintuitive, but applying with a new business is easier than applying with an established one.  If you apply as anything other than a sole proprietorship, they are going to want documentation of everything, that why even if you have legitimate businesses, it is generally recommended to apply as a sole proprietorship and not really use your business documents for the application.  Maybe you started selling on eBay.  Great, get a card for that as a sole proprietorship.

If you go the Chase ink preferred route, anyone who has the card can give you a referral for the 80,000 UR bonus.  The referrer will get 20,000 UR.  If you know someone that has the card, use their referral.  I do have it, but don't want you thinking I am recommending this one for the referral so if you don't know anyone that has the card and want to use my referral for it, send me a message.

I'm glad this was able to help open your eyes up.  That was the intent :)

I would recommend focusing on business cards for the next 6-9 months.  You can pick up a new Chase business card every 2-3 months and pick up other bank's business cards in the meantime.  Just make sure to research if the bank reports the business card to your credit history first.  Capital one does, but most of the other major banks (BoA, AMEX, Citi, Chase, Barclays) do not.

Then when you have loaded up on Chase business cards (3-5 I would say), finish up with Chase personal cards to round out your 5/24 and move on to other things.

Toad, thank you so much for this! I have never been so excited to get new credit cards! I have to get a little closer to meeting my spend requirement for the current bonus, but when I am ready, I will totally reach out to you for a referral!
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: ohsnap on February 21, 2020, 10:34:34 AM
You all have really inspired me to step up my game! In 2019, dh and I earned a total of $1k with 3 bank account bonuses.  We also received big points bonuses, and a SW companion pass, for opening two SW Airlines CCs, an IHG CC, a US Bank Altitude Reserve, and a Chase Ink (80k UR!).

So far in 2020 I'm working on:
Chase Sapphire Reserve 50k (dh) (got in just before the annual fee increase)
Wells Fargo checking (dh) $400
Citi checking/savings $400

I hope we can each open 2-3 more bank accounts.

I don't have a further CC strategy for this year other than a Chase Sapphire Preferred for me.  We might need to keep dh under 5/24 in case we want to start over again in 2021 with a companion pass.  I really don't need more airline miles or hotel points; points that are cash-equivalent are most appealing to me right now.  We are already sitting on way too many air miles with AA, SW, and Alaska.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: katsiki on February 21, 2020, 08:21:37 PM
Anyone doing the latest BBVA offer?  I think I will...  Spouse did a similar one in 2018 or 2019.  It was pretty easy.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bbva-compass-200-checking-50-savings-bonus-nationwide-available-online-2/

Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on February 22, 2020, 06:55:49 AM
Anyone doing the latest BBVA offer?  I think I will...  Spouse did a similar one in 2018 or 2019.  It was pretty easy.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bbva-compass-200-checking-50-savings-bonus-nationwide-available-online-2/

Yes, however the credit card funding portion is BS. I funded $500 in checking & savings, and nothing ever posted.

BBVA also seems to be really slow about posting anything. I did an ACH push from my Wells Fargo account a few days ago, and it still hasn't posted.

Part of the benefit of churning these accounts is that I would like to find a better "home" account to use, and BBVA definitely isn't going to be it.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Helvegen on February 24, 2020, 07:27:37 PM
So far for 2020, I have BECU referral bonuses of $200 and will turn around and do it again this weekend.

I haven't churned in a while. Started off with BoA Cash Rewards and Amex Wells Fargo for an easy $400. I got denied a Amex Blue Cash signup bonus prior to applying to the Amex Wells Fargo. The denial was something like they sensed I had some history of doing this. But then they approved the other card with signup. I will likely sign up my husband for the same cards as soon as I finish the spend requirements for these two which are really low.

Thinking about getting into some business cards this year for the first time...
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: katsiki on February 24, 2020, 07:30:31 PM
Thinking about getting into some business cards this year for the first time...

Go for it!

Chase business cards have been very friendly to me.  I just received an Amex business offer that I am probably going to do soon too.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Morning Glory on February 24, 2020, 08:01:03 PM
Anyone doing the latest BBVA offer?  I think I will...  Spouse did a similar one in 2018 or 2019.  It was pretty easy.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bbva-compass-200-checking-50-savings-bonus-nationwide-available-online-2/

I signed up in November 2019 and the bonus just posted last week.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: dlawson on February 24, 2020, 09:38:22 PM
Toad, I assume you got hit by the AA shutdown wave, right? Is there much of a consensus on applying for new AA cards at this point? There are a couple public offers that I could pick up but I’m hesitating.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Monerexia on February 24, 2020, 10:31:59 PM
PTF
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: katsiki on February 29, 2020, 07:52:47 AM
Anyone doing the latest BBVA offer?  I think I will...  Spouse did a similar one in 2018 or 2019.  It was pretty easy.

https://www.doctorofcredit.com/bbva-compass-200-checking-50-savings-bonus-nationwide-available-online-2/

I signed up in November 2019 and the bonus just posted last week.

Thanks for mentioning your timeline.  Good info.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on March 10, 2020, 07:28:08 AM
I had a couple statements close this week, adding 100k UR points, half from referrals and half from a bonus. 2020 is shaping up to be a great year. I'm still only 3/24 on Chase, thanks to going through a handful of business cards. Below are just the credit card rewards earned so far.

Earned
Cash Value
Travel Value
  Chase UR105,891
$1,059
$1,588
  Southwest RR*133,231
  1,332
  1,998
Total Earned
2,391
3,587
Fees
  Sapphire Preferred
95
95
  SW Premier
      99
      99
Total Fees
194
194
Referral Taxes
      60
      60
Profit
$2,137
$3,333

*Does not include value of Companion Pass
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on March 31, 2020, 08:08:10 PM
I'm working on a $300 UnionBank direct deposit bonus; expecting that in mid-May. In February I was rejected for the Barclays AAdvantage Aviator card; now that we can't fly anywhere, that doesn't seem like a big loss! I've been solicited for a Bank of America card, but was previously rejected for it, and my partner was just rejected for it despite having a banking relationship with them (which I do not), so that seems risky. I've been waiting to be solicited for a bank bonus with them before retrying a card bonus.

Meanwhile, I've been keeping my Wells Fargo bank account open as leverage to apply for a card with them, and I've been solicited for the Propel card, $200 bonus on a $1000 spend. However, April-July is also a 5% grocery quarter for the Chase Freedom, and that's my most flexible spending; I'm only expecting about $6-700 in other easily transferable expenses in the next 3 months. (As I've mentioned before, I'm not currently in the manufactured spend game.) Of course, I could just accept the loss of the 5% reward in pursuit of the 20% return for the bonus.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on March 31, 2020, 08:54:21 PM
Meanwhile, I've been keeping my Wells Fargo bank account open as leverage to apply for a card with them, and I've been solicited for the Propel card, $200 bonus on a $1000 spend. However, April-July is also a 5% grocery quarter for the Chase Freedom, and that's my most flexible spending; I'm only expecting about $6-700 in other easily transferable expenses in the next 3 months. (As I've mentioned before, I'm not currently in the manufactured spend game.) Of course, I could just accept the loss of the 5% reward in pursuit of the 20% return for the bonus.

I was just approved for Propel! I guess I'll use Freedom for groceries until I get the Propel card, thanks for heads up on the 5% back. I can't do manufactured spend either.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on March 31, 2020, 08:59:52 PM
I was just approved for Propel! I guess I'll use Freedom for groceries until I get the Propel card, thanks for heads up on the 5% back. I can't do manufactured spend either.

Make sure you activate the 5% earning! You should get an email about it, or you can log into the website and look for "5% categories."
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: v8rx7guy on March 31, 2020, 09:04:13 PM
Planning on moving my emergency fund to CIT to get a $300 bonus an 1.75% rate.  Gotta make SOME money with my money in these crazy times...
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on March 31, 2020, 09:20:17 PM
I was just approved for Propel! I guess I'll use Freedom for groceries until I get the Propel card, thanks for heads up on the 5% back. I can't do manufactured spend either.

Make sure you activate the 5% earning! You should get an email about it, or you can log into the website and look for "5% categories."

Just did! Thanks. I'm also encouraging my bf to apply for Freedom, so he can get the signup bonus *and* the 5% back.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: billy on May 11, 2020, 05:24:10 PM
After I'm done referring CC for P2, I should cancel the CC even if it does not have a annual fee, so I can be eligible for the sign up bonus later right?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Morning Glory on May 11, 2020, 06:00:06 PM
After I'm done referring CC for P2, I should cancel the CC even if it does not have a annual fee, so I can be eligible for the sign up bonus later right?

No I think for most of them the 2 years start from when you last opened the card or got the bonus. It varies so read the fine print.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Catbert on May 16, 2020, 10:59:54 AM
After I'm done referring CC for P2, I should cancel the CC even if it does not have a annual fee, so I can be eligible for the sign up bonus later right?

No I think for most of them the 2 years start from when you last opened the card or got the bonus. It varies so read the fine print.

And if its an Amex card definitely don't cancel until its over a year.  They might claw back you bonus or not give you another card because of that "abusive" (to them) behavior of getting a bonus and abandoning the card.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on May 21, 2020, 12:15:26 AM
I've just received $300 from UnionBank for direct depositing to their free checking account. I don't know of an obvious next choice for another bank bonus; maybe I keep hoping to be solicited by BoA?

So far in 2020:
- $400 from Wells Fargo bank
- $300 from UnionBank
- $161 cc cashback

In progress:
- $200 from WF Propel

In total this makes up 8-9% of my income so far this year, which is pretty baffling.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Morning Glory on May 21, 2020, 08:15:27 AM
I'm ready for a new credit card. I am under 5/24 because I am in 2 player mode and did business cards last year, also was taking a break for the last few months until my refi went through. I would be happy to use someone's referral link for CSP, if you PM it to me.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache on May 21, 2020, 08:42:47 AM
I'm ready for a new credit card. I am under 5/24 because I am in 2 player mode and did business cards last year, also was taking a break for the last few months until my refi went through. I would be happy to use someone's referral link for CSP, if you PM it to me.
I sent you a referral link as I just got the CSP bonus about a month ago. Took me a long time to get back under 5/24. My spouse was at 3/24 so we went a little crazy on Chase Biz and personal cards. 
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Morning Glory on May 21, 2020, 08:59:33 AM
I'm ready for a new credit card. I am under 5/24 because I am in 2 player mode and did business cards last year, also was taking a break for the last few months until my refi went through. I would be happy to use someone's referral link for CSP, if you PM it to me.
I sent you a referral link as I just got the CSP bonus about a month ago. Took me a long time to get back under 5/24. My spouse was at 3/24 so we went a little crazy on Chase Biz and personal cards.
I used your link, thanks. Last year and early this year we did the ink cash x2, ink unlimited x2, and capital one savor for DH when the bonus was still $500.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache on May 21, 2020, 10:14:20 AM
I'm ready for a new credit card. I am under 5/24 because I am in 2 player mode and did business cards last year, also was taking a break for the last few months until my refi went through. I would be happy to use someone's referral link for CSP, if you PM it to me.
I sent you a referral link as I just got the CSP bonus about a month ago. Took me a long time to get back under 5/24. My spouse was at 3/24 so we went a little crazy on Chase Biz and personal cards.
I used your link, thanks. Last year and early this year we did the ink cash x2, ink unlimited x2, and capital one savor for DH when the bonus was still $500.
Bummer, we missed the Savor bonus. We did manage two CIP's for my spouse using SS for one and EIN for the other. It appears the bonus has increased to 100K UR points but requires 15K in spending. That sucks
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on May 21, 2020, 11:06:44 AM
I'm ready for a new credit card. I am under 5/24 because I am in 2 player mode and did business cards last year, also was taking a break for the last few months until my refi went through. I would be happy to use someone's referral link for CSP, if you PM it to me.
I sent you a referral link as I just got the CSP bonus about a month ago. Took me a long time to get back under 5/24. My spouse was at 3/24 so we went a little crazy on Chase Biz and personal cards.
I used your link, thanks. Last year and early this year we did the ink cash x2, ink unlimited x2, and capital one savor for DH when the bonus was still $500.
Bummer, we missed the Savor bonus. We did manage two CIP's for my spouse using SS for one and EIN for the other. It appears the bonus has increased to 100K UR points but requires 15K in spending. That sucks

For a while, if you still had an older referral link, you could still get the old deal. However, with covid-19, I think Chase has become a lot more restrictive with business cards.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache on May 21, 2020, 11:14:49 AM
I'm ready for a new credit card. I am under 5/24 because I am in 2 player mode and did business cards last year, also was taking a break for the last few months until my refi went through. I would be happy to use someone's referral link for CSP, if you PM it to me.
I sent you a referral link as I just got the CSP bonus about a month ago. Took me a long time to get back under 5/24. My spouse was at 3/24 so we went a little crazy on Chase Biz and personal cards.
I used your link, thanks. Last year and early this year we did the ink cash x2, ink unlimited x2, and capital one savor for DH when the bonus was still $500.
Bummer, we missed the Savor bonus. We did manage two CIP's for my spouse using SS for one and EIN for the other. It appears the bonus has increased to 100K UR points but requires 15K in spending. That sucks

For a while, if you still had an older referral link, you could still get the old deal. However, with covid-19, I think Chase has become a lot more restrictive with business cards.
I am going to fall back down to 4/24 in a couple months and was going to shoot for the CIP using my spouse's referral. Probably not now. I may go for a 2nd CIC. Not sure I want to push my luck though opening a whole bunch of Chase cards in a short period of time. 
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: billy on May 21, 2020, 04:26:55 PM
Chase in denying business CC when applying with sole proprietor, I was just about to apply too but caught wind, are there other banks that are still approving sole proprietor business CC applications?

Also what's CIP, CIC, and CSP?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on May 21, 2020, 04:49:06 PM
Chase in denying business CC when applying with sole proprietor, I was just about to apply too but caught wind, are there other banks that are still approving sole proprietor business CC applications?

Also what's CIP, CIC, and CSP?

CIP = Chase Ink Business Preferred
CIC = Chase Ink Business Cash
CSP = Chase Sapphire Preferred
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache on May 21, 2020, 04:51:13 PM
Chase in denying business CC when applying with sole proprietor, I was just about to apply too but caught wind, are there other banks that are still approving sole proprietor business CC applications?

Also what's CIP, CIC, and CSP?

Approved for BofA Business Advantage with sole proprietor. They did have an increased $500 signup bonus. Not sure if it's still around. I have a legit registered business. Just use sole proprietor for the spouse.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache on May 24, 2020, 06:29:49 AM
Chase in denying business CC when applying with sole proprietor, I was just about to apply too but caught wind, are there other banks that are still approving sole proprietor business CC applications?

Also what's CIP, CIC, and CSP?
FYI, tried applying for the CIC for spouse and denied at 4/24 and two other Chase biz cards. So yeah, Chase is definitely tightening the reigns on biz card approvals. Time to start looking elsewhere.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Morning Glory on May 24, 2020, 08:18:16 AM
Chase in denying business CC when applying with sole proprietor, I was just about to apply too but caught wind, are there other banks that are still approving sole proprietor business CC applications?

Also what's CIP, CIC, and CSP?
FYI, tried applying for the CIC for spouse and denied at 4/24 and two other Chase biz cards. So yeah, Chase is definitely tightening the reigns on biz card approvals. Time to start looking elsewhere.

Was it her first business card or did she have some already? And what did you put for the name and type of business?

I got one for DH in January and it worked fine (used his name for the name of the business and"hobbies" as the business type (he legit sells hobby items online but doesn't make a profit so we don't report to the IRS [collecting hobby where it is cheaper to buy lots and resell the items he doesn't want, rather than to buy just the ones he wants]).

For myself I use my name and "farm rental" because I get a 1099PATR from the gas company every year that I have to report to the IRS as farm rental income.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Morning Glory on May 24, 2020, 08:26:02 AM
Question: has anyone been able to direct deposit their paycheck into their spouse's account. I have never tried this and there are a couple bonuses I could get for DH if this works.

Also what are the rules for business bank accounts if you don't have a real business? Are they harder than credit cards?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: billy on May 24, 2020, 08:31:55 AM
Have not tried and it won't work unless it's a joint account.

Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MasterStache on May 24, 2020, 09:11:11 AM
Chase in denying business CC when applying with sole proprietor, I was just about to apply too but caught wind, are there other banks that are still approving sole proprietor business CC applications?

Also what's CIP, CIC, and CSP?
FYI, tried applying for the CIC for spouse and denied at 4/24 and two other Chase biz cards. So yeah, Chase is definitely tightening the reigns on biz card approvals. Time to start looking elsewhere.

Was it her first business card or did she have some already? And what did you put for the name and type of business?

I got one for DH in January and it worked fine (used his name for the name of the business and"hobbies" as the business type (he legit sells hobby items online but doesn't make a profit so we don't report to the IRS [collecting hobby where it is cheaper to buy lots and resell the items he doesn't want, rather than to buy just the ones he wants]).

For myself I use my name and "farm rental" because I get a 1099PATR from the gas company every year that I have to report to the IRS as farm rental income.

No she has two CIP's. Got the first last year using SS# and the 2nd about 3 months ago using an EIN.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: DadJokes on May 24, 2020, 11:56:50 AM
Question: has anyone been able to direct deposit their paycheck into their spouse's account. I have never tried this and there are a couple bonuses I could get for DH if this works.

Also what are the rules for business bank accounts if you don't have a real business? Are they harder than credit cards?

Yes, it's a pain for my wife to change her DD, so my DD is going into a PNC account that is under her name only.

Business bank accounts will probably vary by bank. I've applied for two with a "business." Both required opening the account in-person, but both were successful. The questions were similar to what you answer for a business credit card application.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: terran on May 24, 2020, 12:34:45 PM
Question: has anyone been able to direct deposit their paycheck into their spouse's account. I have never tried this and there are a couple bonuses I could get for DH if this works.

Also what are the rules for business bank accounts if you don't have a real business? Are they harder than credit cards?

Yes, it's a pain for my wife to change her DD, so my DD is going into a PNC account that is under her name only.

Business bank accounts will probably vary by bank. I've applied for two with a "business." Both required opening the account in-person, but both were successful. The questions were similar to what you answer for a business credit card application.

We have sent my wife's direct deposit to my account at chase (two different times).

My wife has opened a Chase business account based on her VERY small ($25 last year, but it varies) amount of schedule C income. I've opened the same accounts, but have a more legitimate business.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: billy on June 15, 2020, 07:44:58 AM
On planing my CC churning, should i go by this,

American Express: One bonus per card per lifetime.
Bank of America: No restrictions.
Barclay: No restrictions.
Capital One: No restrictions.
Chase: One bonus per card every 24 months.
Citi: Card must have been closed for 24 months.
https://www.creditcards.com/credit-card-news/getting-same-credit-card-twice/

It looks like Citi is the only CC you would want to close to churn, and Chase like will allow you to have two of the same CC and still give you the sign up bonus?

Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on July 09, 2020, 09:18:39 PM
I just got $200 from the Wells Fargo Propel card. I'll be keeping that one for the 3% on dining and travel. I also just finished a year of 3% on everything with the Chase Freedom Unlimited - I probably need to close that card so that I can churn it later. Or possibly I could have it changed to a third Chase Freedom.

Not sure what's up next yet.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: MonkeyJenga on July 09, 2020, 11:13:28 PM
I recently got the Propel bonus too! Moved on to Chase Sapphire, $600 bonus for $4k spend. I usually can't hit that high a spend, but I'm buying a bike and donating a bunch of money.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Tass on July 11, 2020, 09:38:03 PM
Nice work - I got the Sapphire two years ago with only a $500 bonus on $3k spend.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: billy on October 01, 2020, 05:22:10 PM
I want do a product change of my citi premier to citi costco or another no fee CC as I'm coming up on my 1 year with a $95
annual fee in 20 days. But I heard it takes 51 days to do a product change and you also have to have the CC for at least 1 year? So I guess if I don't want to pay the annual fee I should cancel?
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: alcon835 on October 02, 2020, 06:52:45 AM
Billy, just call them and let them know you want to change it. They'll change you over rather than cancelling. Worked for me earlier this year.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: Catbert on October 03, 2020, 10:24:02 AM
Billy - You may have to wait until its been at least a year to product change.  As long as you PC within 30 days of your annual fee posting they will refund it.
Title: Re: Maximize Your Churning (Bank Account & Credit Card)
Post by: sonofsven on July 21, 2021, 08:56:52 AM
Thanks to this thread and Dr of Credit I started to try to maximize my credit card spending and then started going for bonuses.
US Bank Business Credit received 5/1/21 (spend $7500 receive 75,000 point bonus), completed spending requirements and cashed in a $850 statement credit 7/18/21.
I'm not really interested in traveling right now so I'm going for statement credits which is essentially cash.
It was a little bit rocky at first as US Bank only approved a $500 credit limit (!?), I asked for an increase and got one to $5000, but they did a "hard pull" I believe, and I'm not really sure what the ramifications of that are, but I missed out on $6500 worth of spending on a building permit, oh well.

Inspired by this first success, I read more about Chase and the 5/24 rule so I applied and got a Chase Preferred card (spend $4000  for 100,000 points, essentially spend $4k get $1k) this last weekend. This one does have a non-waiveable $95/ year fee. According to Chase my FICO is 832, so prime time for me .

Last night opened a checking account with Monifi for a deposit $2k and receive $250 bonus deal.

Fun so far, but I imagine the approvals will eventually dry up for me?

Any advice appreciated.