It’s no secret that people who struggle with credit card debt are making executives and shareholders rich. For some reason, these credit card companies are also using these profits to give away free money to people who sign up for certain credit cards. All you need is a good credit rating and the ability (read: willingness) to spend $4000 on the card in a period of three months.
Amanda and I currently fall in this category, and we’ve now done credit card “churning” with four separate credit cards. Our current process: Sign up, spend $4000 in three months, get about $1,050 worth of points, cancel card, repeat.
Churning is old news on the internet. Almost as old as people comparing Biff Tannen to Donald Trump (hint: the creator of the Biff Tannen character actually based him on Trump!!)
Initially, Amanda and I were suspicious of churning. If it was so easy, wouldn’t everyone be doing it? There must be some trick, where if you make one mistake you’ll somehow get royally screwed with credit card fees or something. Our reality has been that, nope, it’s pretty much as simple as spending $4000 in three months.
The best U.S. deal at the moment appears to be Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, which basically gives you $1050 (plus some other benefits like $300 cash-back on travel expenses, TSA Global Entry passes, airport lounge passes, etc.) Technically you get $1500 worth of travel points, but you have to pay an annual card fee of $450, so that kinda makes it $1050.
The main downside is that these cards are not straight-up cash back. You are given points that are best used for travel. You can use them to buy gift cards for sites like Amazon, but the “exchange rate” is not as good as using them for travel.
The overall message is that if you sign up for this, you may be more likely to book air travel, which as we all know exacerbates climate change. But I don’t think that’s a concern anymore because if you really dig into the data and read the latest IPCC Assessment Report, it’s obvious that deep down it’s all just a Chinese hoax!
For these reasons, we’re back up in Canada for the holidays and all for the low price of $4.20 USD!
So folks, if you’re interested in occasionally flying to cool places around the world with awesome free travel points, you should check out this useful Chase Sapphire Reserve wiki on the “churning” subreddit:
In the meantime, relax and enjoy the holidays!
P.S. we’re not getting any kick-backs from Chase or anyone else for writing this article. Just some good ol’ internet community sharing sharing sharing.