Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Credit Card Hacking/Churning/Reward Chasing/Miles/Whatev

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Credit Card Hacking/Churning/Reward Chasing/Miles/Whatev

    Does anyone here chase after credit card promotions? I've read a bit about it and it seems like a good way to rack up a few hundred dollars in rebates or room and airfare costs using the spending I would normally do anyway. My wife is inclined to think we will trash our credit by opening and closing a few cards every six months. I'm curious to hear of anyone's actual experiences with these methods. Thanks!

  • #2
    Why open and close cards?  Pick the best and stick with them.  I use Citi Double Cash almost exclusively for all purchases - 2% cash back on everything isn't a bad deal and really adds up.  (Obviously paying off monthly - actually I paid my cards 2-3x a month to keep the balance low.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Here is an excellent link:  http://www.travelmiles101.com  The site is run by a CPA and Cardiologist.  They have an outstanding free tutorial course on the whole process.  I highly recommend the tutorial.

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles-points-1/

         

        Spend some time in Manufactured Spending section. I have been doing this is a hobby for many years and easily save $20K per year on travel expenses. All depends how much time you are willing to dedicate to this...

        Comment


        • #5




          Here is an excellent link:  http://www.travelmiles101.com  The site is run by a CPA and Cardiologist.  They have an outstanding free tutorial course on the whole process.  I highly recommend the tutorial.
          Click to expand...


          Is that miles dividend md's new endeavor? His blog was my primer in the miles game. Here's an example of the possibilities: my family of 4 is flying first class from clt (Charlotte) to la then after 2 days we fly Singapore suites/biz for the kids to Tokyo for a four day stay. Coming back we are in jal's first class product. Sounds crazy for a spring break trip huh? All the flights, and 60% of the hotels, are courtesy of reward programs.

          my wife & my credit ratings are still over 800. It's a fun hobby IMO

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes .....  it is the same Cardiologist.

            Comment


            • #7
              Has there been an analysis of using a cash back vs miles card?  For example, I would have gained $XXX cash over the last 10 years vs. XXX miles.  In turn, what I could purchase with each for a trip?

              Comment


              • #8
                I think it's great. I usually apply to just 1 card every 2-3 months so that I can be sure to meet the various 2-5k spending minimums for bonus points. I also keep a spreadsheet of which cards I apply for on specific dates since bonus offers are usually only available with exclusions (ie if you haven't had the card in more than 24 months etc). In all it's let me travel like a flush attending while a resident. Just in the last 2 years I've taken my family to Palau, Japan, Spain, Hawaii plus solo trips to Mexico, Thailand and France. Also track credit with CreditKarma app just to be sure- I find that rarely I'll take a temporary 5 point credit score hit from new application but I've stayed in the 760-800 range which is good enough for almost any credit need.

                I would plan to drop out of the game about 1-2 years before trying to buy a house I think.

                There have also been a series of loyalty point devaluations in recent years, especially for premium travel redemptions. I suspect that companies are getting wise to the credit card churners and we are a few years away from pure points for dollars redemptions that will make most airline specific cards much less valuable and the 2% cashback cards a better fit for everyday spending.

                Comment


                • #9




                  Why open and close cards?  Pick the best and stick with them.  I use Citi Double Cash almost exclusively for all purchases – 2% cash back on everything isn’t a bad deal and really adds up.  (Obviously paying off monthly – actually I paid my cards 2-3x a month to keep the balance low.)
                  Click to expand...


                  I agree with Vlad. Simplicity is key, especially if you are high income earner, even more so if hourly. Before Citi Double Cash was available, Capital One Quicksilver (1.5% no limits) was the best so I got that. Plus I have Chase Freedom (5% rotating categories) and Bank of America Cash Rewards (1.1% if deposited in BoA account with gas/grocery higher). But now if I started from scratch I'd just go with Citi Double Cash (2%). Gaming the system (churning) works until you screw up ONCE. So I just keep my risk low, get the low hanging fruit, and work a little more at my primary job.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    We churn. I recommend Chase Sapphire Premier and Southwest Rapid Rewards for travel. Transfer the Sapphire points to SW and you have enough points combined for a companion pass.  It allows your spouse (or however you choose) to accompany you on every SW flight for FREE for the rest of the year and an entire full year after that. Perfect for the interview trail.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I've started doing this in the last 6 months.  Like dragonfruit above, I picked up the Chase Sapphire and Southwest cards from Chase.  My main CC was with Chase so it was very straightforward.  I picked up enough miles to fly my family of 4 to Orlando and myself to Colorado.  $1800 in flights without too much hassle.

                      I have also picked up a Delta American Express which gave me enough points to allow my wife to join me at a CME meeting in San Francisco and now I have something other than a debit card to use at Costco (until April when they switch over to taking VISA).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Churning way too much time and effort for me. Feels like coupon cutting.

                        Also feel like all the various "rewards" are not usually worth it. And sifting through which "reward" I want is time and effort.

                        I like cashback. I use Citi DoubleCash. The cash just goes straight into my account. I'm just sorry Citi won't do it automatically - then it would be even less thought.

                        I also have a 3% gas card. It's mindless to use one card for gas and another card for everything else.

                        I received $900 in card rewards in 2015. I don't really spend that much. I travel quite a bit for work and every expense goes on that card, then is reimbursed. Pretty sweet deal, I think.

                         

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I consider signing up for credit card sign-up bonuses low-hanging fruit... churning and manufactured spending requires increased effort but you can get a lot of "bang-for-your buck" by just signing up for a few select credit card sign-up bonuses.  Some of these points can end up returning a bit more than 5% if you spend your points wisely.

                          I echo some of the best cards to start with:  Chase Sapphire (to access ultimate rewards program), chase southwest (to qualify for companion pass by getting 110K points), and finally SPG are probably considered some of the cards with the best returns if you strategically sign up for them when offering high bonuses (50K for chase cards, 30K for SPG).

                          Getting points from just signing up for these 3 cards can go a long way for minimal work other than making sure you meet the minimum spend requirements.

                           

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I use the Capital One Venture card. 2% back with an annual fee of $60 (first year is free). Very simple to use. Very easy to redeem points. Great interface I much preferred over my previous Citi card. IMO simplicity is best with this sort of thing, unless you really want to devote the time and effort to gaming the system.

                            Comment


                            • #15




                              We churn. I recommend Chase Sapphire Premier and Southwest Rapid Rewards for travel. Transfer the Sapphire points to SW and you have enough points combined for a companion pass.  It allows your spouse (or however you choose) to accompany you on every SW flight for FREE for the rest of the year and an entire full year after that. Perfect for the interview trail.
                              Click to expand...


                              Just FYI, transferred UR points do not count toward companion pass. Only spending, flying and bonus points count.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X