Credit Card Rewards: What I’m Working On

remodel sinkGood morning, Club Thrifty enthusiasts!  A lot of you have emailed to ask where in the hell I’ve been.  Welp, since you asked, I’ve just been busy getting our new house ready to move into.  Greg and I have painted the whole friggin’ thing over the past few weeks, as well as done a bunch of the prep work for the professionals who are currently installing our new floors and plumbing.

countertopsOh yeah, we got our new countertops in last week and I’m pretty much in love with them.  They don’t look exactly like the ones I picked out, but I really like them so I’m not going to complain.  I ended up going with the cheapest granite that I could find for a cost of about $40 per foot installed.  Now we’re just waiting on our backsplash to come in at the tile store.  Once it arrives on Wednesday, our tile guy is going to install the tile and grout it just in time for us to move in on Saturday.

Credit Card Rewards

Even though most experts suggest that you don’t sign up for any new credit cards within a year of applying for a mortgage, we decided to move unexpectedly and pretty much ignored that rule.  Fortunately, we didn’t have any problems getting a mortgage despite the fact that we have so many open cards and so many recent ones.

Anyways, once we got an accepted offer on our future home and calculated the costs for our remodel, I signed us up for a few choice cards in order to take advantage of our higher-than-average spending.  Since I mentioned that a few weeks ago, many of you have asked which cards I chose.  Here is a basic rundown:

  • American Express Business Gold Rewards Card- Since I alternate applications between myself, Greg, and our business, I kept that in mind when signing up for new cards.  And since Club Thrifty LLC was next in line, I signed up for a business card first.  I initially applied for the Chase Ink Plus card but as Suze Orman often says, I was “denied, denied, denied” because I had redeemed my points for free flights from my Chase Ink Bold card only a few weeks earlier.  Booooo!  Anyway, this isn’t a great card or a great bonus but it seemed like the best thing to do considering the offers that were available at the time.  The deal was this: I had to spend $5,000 in three months to get 30,000 Amex rewards points good for $300 in gift cards or flights. (I plan to transfer my points to either my Starwood Preferred guest account or to British Airways frequent flier miles, not sure yet)
  • Chase Hyatt Credit Card- This card needed to be churned anyways as part of our travel plans to Europe this fall. All I had to do was spend $1,000 in three months to earn two nights at any Hyatt hotel in the world.
  • Citi AAdvantage World MasterCard- I churned this card to earn 50,000 American Airlines miles (affiliate link).  All I had to do was spend $3,000 within a three month timeframe, which was easy to do in the midst of remodeling our home.  We’ll use these miles for our trip to Europe this fall, or to Fincon in September.  Again, I’m not sure yet.
  • Chase Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus Card- Greg and I both signed up for this one on the tail end of our remodeling efforts.  Lucky for us, it was just in time.  The deal is this: spend $2,000 within three months and earn 50,000 rapid rewards points or two round-trip domestic flights.  The points can also be redeemed for merchandise or $500 in gift cards.   Woot!  We just finished up with one of these cards and moved onto the next.  Fortunately, our spending should be back to normal now since our home remodel is finished and paid for.

In a regular month, our monthly spend is limited to:

  • $500 for groceries
  • $200 for gas/miscellaneous
  • $394 for health insurance

That’s a total of $1,094.  In the next few weeks, I need to figure out which card to churn next but I’m leaning toward another Citi AAdvantage card for Greg so that he can also earn 50,000 American Airlines miles.  We’ll see.

What card do you think we should sign up for next?  Which cards are you currently working on?


  1. says

    Great breakdown, Holly. I’m just getting started in credit card churning – actually on my first card haha. I’m churning the Barclaycard world arrival mastercard, and once I finish that up I’ll have my wife sign up and we’ll work on getting her $1k charged. Then I’ll be going with the Frontier Airlines card so I can grab the two domestic flights.

  2. says

    Wow you are a credit card churning pro! It’s great that you have home renovations to incur so many expenses and can rack up the rewards. How difficult is it to manage and track all the credit cards and rewards?

  3. says

    I decided to start churning the Arrival World card and I plan on having my wife do it. Even though we are going to apply for a mortgage, I have a high enough score that it won’t matter if it drops a few points.

  4. says

    It’s great that you’re able to take advantage of the higher spending with the remodeling. I only have my Chase freedom card since my spending isn’t really enough to bother with churning. Maybe I should into some of the lower limit cards. The granite countertop you got is really nice!

  5. says

    Good stuff, Holly! We’re currently churning a Chase Mariott card (70,000 points + a free night at a 1-4 category hotel) and a Club Carlson card (85,000 points, I think). Those two will likely take us a few months, and then we’ll double up on another Carlson card for a trip this summer. It’s a bit to keep track of, but worth it in the end, I think.

      • says

        The Club Carlson card is amazing if you really take advantage of the last night free with rewards bookings. If you alternating two-night stays at one of their Category 1 hotels with your spouse, you can literally stay for 56 nights in a row for free!!

        I have a post about this coming up soon and I think you’ll like it Holly!

  6. says

    I just finished with the Chase Freedom card ($200 bonus) and the Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard ($400 bonus)! My expenses are normally high enough that most minimum spends are easy to reach, but this month was even easier because I had a few transactions for the closets that didn’t take American Express. I’ve actually been continuing to use the Barclaycard for any transactions that don’t take American Express because it’s possibly better than my regular 1% card and I might as well get the most out of it for the year I have it! I’ll probably also use the Chase Freedom for places where it gets 5%. Otherwise, I’m not that interested in churning, but those two were so easy…

  7. says

    I’ve never churned, but damn if these posts aren’t making me want to! I actually JUST opened my second credit card, a Discover It card, which I’m already pretty much loving. That FICO score each month is pretty clutch. The Citi card sounds intriguing…I love anything that helps with travel.

  8. says

    We plan on signing up for a few cards soon. Since we have the wedding soon, we can put a lot of things on the credit cards and rack up a good amount on bonuses and points.

  9. says

    I haven’t gotten into card churning yet, but after reading more and more posts like this, I just may change my mind. In particular, I’m looking at the AMEX delta card. It’s got some pretty great mile bonuses for flights, which are hard to beat. Do you have that one?

  10. says

    Ooh, I love the counter tops! For the vendors that allowed for cc’s, we used a card with travel rewards to help pay for the honeymoon – I would have never learned about it without perusing PF sites!

  11. says


    This all sounds like a good plan!

    If you’re able to use Southwest flights, have you considered trying for the companion pass? One of you would have to open up one of the other two Southwest cards (Premier or Busienss) and earn 110,000 points in 2014.

    Let’s look at your accounts: You’d get 100,000 from the two bonuses and 4,000 from your minimum spends. You’d have to put $6,000 more on the card, but you’d come out with 110,000 points AND a Companion Pass good until 12/31/2015 (so the sooner you can get those 110k the better) which means that any Southwest flight you take with either points or cash you get to take your designated companion free!

    At 70 points per $1 post-devaluation the 110k are worth $1,571 and you double that with the companion pass, so it is worth over $3,100 to you!

    That is the best reward around…

    Shoot me an email if you want more details!

    • says

      Hey Brad,

      I know about the companion pass but I don’t think I need any more flights this year. Our flights are already covered for this year.
      Maybe next year.

  12. says

    Holly, you are my churning hero. I love this! I thought I was doing good with my little Capital One rewards, but this is amazing. Next time I have major expenses in my life, I’m definitely gonna do some churning.

  13. says

    Love the new countertops and I can’t wait to the “after” pictures. And I bet you can’t wait until the remodeling and move is OVER! While remodeling isn’t fun at least you got any side benefit with being able to churn more credit cards for all your trips!

  14. says

    Bummer that you were denied. I just got a the United Airlines card and we signed up Jim for an Ink Bold using our rental property business. It doesn’t have a tax ID, but we used his SSN. We just called it Parr Rental Properties and had to give info about our rental income and expenses and how much we planned to spend on the card. I bet that would work for you guys too if you haven’t used that as a business card application. Awesome countertops by the way!

  15. says

    Thanks for the list! We just finished up our Barclay cards, so I’ve itching to start another one. Probably should talk to the wife before I do, though :) Have you tried Amazon Payments at all in your churning adventures?

    • says

      I have never done Amazon payments before but I have read where others have. Our spending is usually enough to earn decent rewards without doing the extra stuff.

  16. Ali says

    I’m working on the SPG Amex card, following one of Holly’s plans… My husband will sign up next, then we’ll churn the Barclay card, and have ourselves a free trip! Holly- do you and Greg ever travel with the girls? We usually leave our 4 year old home, but we’re thinking about bringing him on the next trip now that’s his schedule is less restrictive.

    • says

      Hi Ali!

      Our kids are only 2 and 4 so we usually just take them to Florida each year. When they get older, I’ll have to churn more to get double the travel!

  17. Maverick says

    Credit Card churn is something I’ll have to try for 2014.

    Nice countertops…was that $40 per linear foot or sq foot?

    • says

      linear! And it included the undermount sink, the special fancy edge, and all of the hold drilling for stuff. I am happy with them and glad it’s over with.

  18. says

    Don’t forget that if one individual gets both the personal and business SW card, you have a good shot at getting the companion pass. If you get it now, you’ll have it for all of 2014 and all of 2015.

    Did you call the reconsideration line on the Ink Plus?

    We just got 100k point off in the mail from AMEX….

  19. Brian says

    Did you call the chase reconsideration hotline number? They almost alway approve people when they do that. You may have had to just transfer some of your available limit from the Bold Card. You will find the longer you churn the more often you have to call the reconsideration line.

    • says

      I did at the time and they told me to call back because they were in a snow emergency. I kind’ve forgot after that….so thanks for reminding me. I just called them again-and guess what-they’re having a snow emergency again! I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Call them, I swear. They told me to call back tomorrow.

  20. says

    I want to do either the AA or the United card. I’m wondering what will happen with the AA card after the merger with US Air so I may do the United Card first.

    Part of my problem with trying other airline cards is I’m really attached to Delta and my Platinum Skymiles card. They’ve been with me since the beginning and I always get my money back in annual fee (through a free companion voucher plus the free checked bags) so it’s hard for me to “cheat” on Delta with another airline. But I know there are places I fly where Delta isn’t the cheapest so I need to branch out.

  21. says

    We just got the Capital One Venture Reward Card – double miles per dollar spent. It is our first experience with a rewards card and we like it… I’m wondering why we didn’t get one earlier (probably just lazy)! Someday I could see us getting more cards to take advantage of signup bonuses, etc, but that is all we’ve got working right now.

  22. says

    I haven’t gotten into the CC churning yet, but I’m considering the The British Airways Visa Signature card. Spend $2000 in 3 months and get 50,000 Avios. Brad did a great write up about how to get 2 free tickets (Boston to Dublin) that really caught my eye. Love your new counter tops!

  23. says

    So many index page are cluttered and poorly designed, loaded with poor graphics,
    bad menu structures, oddball words or my absolute least favorite, 30-60 second Flash animation sequences which force the
    user to sit and stare at a blank screen while the animation loads.
    I could drive mine at top speed, run technically near-perfect laps and still never close
    on my opponents. The game Need for Speed was
    owing to the release of successful gaming
    franchises, and also as it was the forerunner it was paid heavy dividends,
    besides receiving reviews flowing with tremendous optimistic feedback.

  24. says

    I am a wordpress plugin programmer. I created a plugin that will help
    scrape web browsers contact information for your database without having their contact.
    Now I am trying to get ‘beta’ testers and since you’ll be getting major
    levels of site visitors, I’m imagining you and your blog page.
    Do you think you’re attracted?

  25. says

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos
    to your weblog when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  26. says

    Great weblog right here! Additionally your website quite a bit up fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate hyperlink for your host?
    I want my web site loaded up as quickly as yours lol

  27. says

    He is able to rear up on his 4 rear black
    wheels and also use his two front side wheels like hands; this same front
    wheels move whenever he dances. Roaches take over the kitchen while cats take over the home of a deceased grandma.
    In Death Water Bayou, you are challenged to get out before you
    fall victim to her spell. Margie tells you that some of her domain controllers have
    multiple hard disks. Selecting actresses to play as
    princesses, especially Disney movies’ princesses, seems
    to be an uneasy task for any director. The
    sequence forced the Australian Rating Board to increase the age gate rating for the
    software product. If you have too much in the drawer, the
    chances are you have stumbled upon the aforementioned scheme.

    When playing hard to get there is a very thin line between how much is acceptable and when it is
    too much. With the free i – Phone 4G deals you will get several options to
    avail one of the most lucrative tariff plans such as pay as you go, contract deals, SIM free, free line rental, monthly deals and so
    on. Cameron Diaz and Justin first met at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards in 2003.
    I was giving up and I had stopped socializing completely. It helps if you have a control from a well known brand such as Saitek or
    CH products, as Flight – Gear comes with a
    ready made xml file. The ballad details the singer’s painful
    emotions over his split from Selena Gomez. Her latest boytoy is Liam Hemsworth, her co-star in ‘The Last Song’,
    which is currently filming. Additional haunted house admissions can be purchased at
    the event. True gamers realize that gaming is, in fact,
    a lifestyle choice, a culture. You can market your business through a variety of advertising means
    including mail, email, developing your own website, online advertising, newspapers,
    magazines, television, radio and the phone book. This three-hour long procession started Wednesday at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace in which the body of
    Kim Jong Il has lain since his sudden death was announced on December 19, 2011.
    t afford to lose (bill or rent money) is an immediate source of stress which creates
    negative energy. ‘It’s hard to overstate the importance of Titanfall to the Xbox One release this year,’ Mehdi said.
    Head of the Host country delivers the short Welcome speech and officially announces the Olympic Games open. Either way, whether the student has kept their last pink heart or discarded it, that student always
    gets to choose one new pink heart card. This should be matched to a delivery docket and
    both checked that they correspond. You can pre-order the title in the following
    link: ‘Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn’. Margaery tells
    her future husband that Renly was gay and she
    even suggests that the only one time he wanted to have sex he wanted to do it anally.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>