Is credit card churning worth the hassle

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we got stuck in Dallas with the weather yesterday. It’s basically impossible to get access to a customer service representative when this happens.

Do any of these credit cards help you achieve some sort of airline status with access to a special phone number during these situations?

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Credit card points is a game for most of us. Just like my locums contract negotiations.

To be honest something like Costco visa (for Costco fans) should net you close to $1500-2000 cash back without much effort

With that cash back you can reinvest that money and let it grow

Vs letting Amex points accumulate which can take 2 to even 3 years to get to the level you want it to be. You may get 100k points in 2 years and redeem worth $4000 in plane tickets. You may need to spend around 60-70k to get to that level. There is a website for Amex value. You can google it. I belong to Amex plat facebook forums

Or spend 60-70k on Costco card 4%/3%/2%/1% and get back $$1700-$1800 (let’s say you average 2.5%). I’m executive member so get another 2% back from Costco. Usually Costco cuts me another $250 ish (executive membership is $120). So I net $120 each year

But I’m not tied to Amex points. I do reinvest the Costco cash back.
 
We don’t churn our CC’s.
Have a chase saphire reserve- we pay $250 a year (I think). It’s really good.
We use it for everything and get a ton of free weeks at hotels. Great concierge, points, airport lounges, etc.

One of my wife’s cousins is an airflight attendant. We are his designated “family and friends” people for his Marriott CC. Because he is always a platinum memeber we get that level of discount. Recently spent some time at the W in Ozaka and paid $200/night for a room that was $750/night. We also have a Marriott CC just for this. Pretty awesome if you find someone willing to list you as their designated family
 
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we got stuck in Dallas with the weather yesterday. It’s basically impossible to get access to a customer service representative when this happens.

Do any of these credit cards help you achieve some sort of airline status with access to a special phone number during these situations?
No. most airline credit cards do not automatically give you status. (The amex centurion card gives you delta platinum medallion status but that's a card that most of is won't qualify for).

However many travel credit cards provide trip delay and cancellation protection. They'll reimburse hotels, meals, toiletries and other necessary items. Check with your specific card for what is exactly covered.
 
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Credit card points is a game for most of us. Just like my locums contract negotiations.

To be honest something like Costco visa (for Costco fans) should net you close to $1500-2000 cash back without much effort

With that cash back you can reinvest that money and let it grow

Vs letting Amex points accumulate which can take 2 to even 3 years to get to the level you want it to be. You may get 100k points in 2 years and redeem worth $4000 in plane tickets. You may need to spend around 60-70k to get to that level. There is a website for Amex value. You can google it. I belong to Amex plat facebook forums

Or spend 60-70k on Costco card 4%/3%/2%/1% and get back $$1700-$1800 (let’s say you average 2.5%). I’m executive member so get another 2% back from Costco. Usually Costco cuts me another $250 ish (executive membership is $120). So I net $120 each year

But I’m not tied to Amex points. I do reinvest the Costco cash back.

Bank of america customized cash back with platinum honors would give you 3.5% back on costco. If you set the 3% to gas you'll get 5.25% back on gas. And you don't have to wait all year to get the cash back. That's another $5-600 a year but it's worth more because of inflation
 
Bank of america customized cash back with platinum honors would give you 3.5% back on costco. If you set the 3% to gas you'll get 5.25% back on gas. And you don't have to wait all year to get the cash back. That's another $5-600 a year but it's worth more because of inflation
Yes I have boa rewards also. 5% plus back on online Amazon and other online accounts to $2500 per quarter select categories.

I’m very familiar with it. 3.5% for groceries and whole sale (assuming u have 100k plus in any combination of Merrill lynch and other boa accounts or even a mortgage will satisfied the plat honors tiers
 
In my experience, I always know which of my acquaintances is churning credit cards because it is all they can talk about. I prefer to spend my free time thinking about more enjoyable things than how to make a few bucks. Not worth it in my opinion...
 
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blasphemy. I'd rather not go.
I don't even stay in hotels that do have valet service.

Money really change people. 3 yrs ago, I was happy to stay at La Quinta. Lol
 
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the quality of some ritz can be variable... some amazing, some seem over priced imho. four seasons is always a top experience. ritz is part of marriott so can qualify for free nights etc
 
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the quality of some ritz can be variable... some amazing, some seem over priced imho. four seasons is always a top experience. ritz is part of marriott so can qualify for free nights etc
I am staying at one next month (4.6 stars). My guess is, it should be ok.

One of my physician friends said one time he does feel comfortable spending > $250/night hotel stay. I told him just try a semi luxury hotel once and let me know what he thinks.

He went to Chicago on a weekend and stayed at Waldorf, and never went back to 3-star hotel. He said everything is different and now he understands why people stay at these hotels.
 
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The travel insurance on the chase sapphire is terrible. The company they use requests so much unnecessary paperwork I feel like they just make you quit from all the hassle. Not sure how the other credit cards are. I will just pay extra and go through a different company rather than the default that comes with chase.
 
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Credit card points is a game for most of us. Just like my locums contract negotiations.

To be honest something like Costco visa (for Costco fans) should net you close to $1500-2000 cash back without much effort

With that cash back you can reinvest that money and let it grow

Vs letting Amex points accumulate which can take 2 to even 3 years to get to the level you want it to be. You may get 100k points in 2 years and redeem worth $4000 in plane tickets. You may need to spend around 60-70k to get to that level. There is a website for Amex value. You can google it. I belong to Amex plat facebook forums

Or spend 60-70k on Costco card 4%/3%/2%/1% and get back $$1700-$1800 (let’s say you average 2.5%). I’m executive member so get another 2% back from Costco. Usually Costco cuts me another $250 ish (executive membership is $120). So I net $120 each year

But I’m not tied to Amex points. I do reinvest the Costco cash back.
You spend 70k on Costco a year?
 
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No. most airline credit cards do not automatically give you status. (The amex centurion card gives you delta platinum medallion status but that's a card that most of is won't qualify for).

However many travel credit cards provide trip delay and cancellation protection. They'll reimburse hotels, meals, toiletries and other necessary items. Check with your specific card for what is exactly covered.
I have a Chase Quest card that allows a much higher CC spend to go toward United PQPs (status points), so I get higher status more easily with this card, and even the lowest level of United Status (Silver) has a better customer service phone number.
 
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You spend 70k on Costco a year?
No

I put probably 35k on the Costco visa each year

Probably 5-6k a Costco (4% back executive 2% cash back Costco visa and 2% for Costco executive members )

I was telling people 70k Costco visa over 2 years nets u probably $1750 worth of cash back

Vs spending Amex plat (I also have thar card also) over 2 years to try to accumulate 100k worth of Amex points over 2 years. 100k Amex points is worth as little as $600 to as much as $4000 depending how u apply it. And I get 35% bonus points back on the Amex plat biz card as well for booking more expensive seats.
 
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All of this churning brings back memories of the show extreme couponing. Yeah, you can save alittle but when you step back, your time is worth way more. Just having something that occupies my mind for a few hundred extra savings seems like going after the highest hanging fruit.

This is my set up.

1. Costco Visa for all personal stuff - 1% back, no fees. Avg about 2k cashback a year.
2. Chase business Premier for all business stuff- 2% back on everything, 2.5% back on 5K+ purchases, $200/yr fee. Signed up this yr, $900 bonus so covers 4.5 yrs in fees. In 4 months, I already accumulated $2100 cash and should hit $4k cashback this yr total
3. Amazon Visa linked to amazon account - 5% back on amaz, no fees. I avg about 5K cash back a year.

So in total, I will get about 10K back a year just carrying 2 cards. Costco persona, Chase business, amazon linked with card staying home.

Could I get 2-3k more a year churning, pulling out cards for different occasions? Sure. But what a beatdown carrying so many cards and keeping track of everything. I rather go work a shift than clipping coupons or churning cards.

To each their own and I sense some people love churning and get a thrill out of the little savings they get similar to coupon clipping. But my time is way more valuable where I can get the low hanging and not the high hanging fruit.
 
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All these credit card churning is also a transfer of $$$ from the poor and lower middle class to the top 5%. I am not sure if this is a moral thing to participate in. The people who are paying interest on credit cards are the ones paying for these caskback.
 
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All these credit card churning is also a transfer of $$$ from the poor and lower middle class to the top 5%. I am not sure if this is a moral thing to participate in.
Seriously? Almost everything in the economy is a transfer of wealth in some form or another.
 
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All these credit card churning is also a transfer of $$$ from the poor and lower middle class to the top 5%. I am not sure if this is a moral thing to participate in. The people who are paying interest on credit cards are the ones paying for these caskback.

Say what? Why is there always someone who says stupid things like this?
 
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All of this churning brings back memories of the show extreme couponing. Yeah, you can save alittle but when you step back, your time is worth way more. Just having something that occupies my mind for a few hundred extra savings seems like going after the highest hanging fruit.

This is my set up.

1. Costco Visa for all personal stuff - 1% back, no fees. Avg about 2k cashback a year.
2. Chase business Premier for all business stuff- 2% back on everything, 2.5% back on 5K+ purchases, $200/yr fee. Signed up this yr, $900 bonus so covers 4.5 yrs in fees. In 4 months, I already accumulated $2100 cash and should hit $4k cashback this yr total
3. Amazon Visa linked to amazon account - 5% back on amaz, no fees. I avg about 5K cash back a year.

So in total, I will get about 10K back a year just carrying 2 cards. Costco persona, Chase business, amazon linked with card staying home.

Could I get 2-3k more a year churning, pulling out cards for different occasions? Sure. But what a beatdown carrying so many cards and keeping track of everything. I rather go work a shift than clipping coupons or churning cards.

To each their own and I sense some people love churning and get a thrill out of the little savings they get similar to coupon clipping. But my time is way more valuable where I can get the low hanging and not the high hanging fruit.
You spend $100K/yr on AMAZON?!!?!
 
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Say what? Why is there always someone who says stupid things like this?
Where do you think these credit card companies get the money to pay the cashback?... the poor and the lower middle class.
 
Say what? Why is there always someone who says stupid things like this?
Because splenda makemoney and some other DEI supporting members always feel minorities and the poor are being harm one way or another by capitalism.

In this case they feel credit card companies make money off the poor.

Duh. Credit card companies make money off interest.
 
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Because splenda makemoney and some other DEI supporting members always feel minorities and the poor are being harm one way or another by capitalism.

In this case they feel credit card companies make money off the poor.

Duh. Credit card companies make money off interest.
Don't care about DEI but I think credit card companies are predatory... Charging people 20-30% interest is insane.
 
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Don't care about DEI but I think credit card companies are predatory... Charging people 20-30% interest is insane.
The interest rates are clearly disclosed plus they can change.

Credit card debt gets discharge in bankruptcy.

Or should we tie credit card debt to student loans where it’s extremely hard to discharge and give them lower rates?

You realize there are risk credit card companies take if charges aren’t paid back?

Would u lend someone 10k and charge them 8% (the going prime rate) 3% over the central bank rate of 5%. With no collateral?
 
The interest rates are clearly disclosed plus they can change.

Credit card debt gets discharge in bankruptcy.

Or should we tie credit card debt to student loans where it’s extremely hard to discharge and give them lower rates?

You realize there are risk credit card companies take if charges aren’t paid back?

Would u lend someone 10k and charge them 8% (the going prime rate) 3% over the central bank rate of 5%. With no collateral?
Of course I know they take risk like any entity that is lending money to someone, but the risk is not commensurate with the outrageous interest rate they charge. 10-15% is ok, but not 30%. I am not saying they should not charge interest at all.
 
Have you never heard of credit card processing fees?
Yes. I know it's very low.

 
All these credit card churning is also a transfer of $$$ from the poor and lower middle class to the top 5%. I am not sure if this is a moral thing to participate in. The people who are paying interest on credit cards are the ones paying for these caskback.
We cannot live in a completely Utopian society. Someone is always going to be taken advantage of somebody else.
Don't care about DEI but I think credit card companies are predatory... Charging people 20-30% interest is insane.
If you’ve ever driven from a decent neighborhood into a poor neighborhood, you will notice the amount of fast food, advance credit loaning companies, and crappy supermarkets increasing an exponentially. I never see advance credit companies in rich neighborhoods.
That’s the world we live in. Where the poor are taken advantage of. We didn’t cause it but we notice it.
The way we can try to help is by education.
People don’t know how to use credit cards properly. I was taught a very young age to try to always pay off the balance and if unable, to move one balance to another and take advantage of the introductory low to zero interest rate for 12 months that credit cards offer. But a lot of people were never taught that. And they use credit to tide them over, and they also over consume in this country.

I love how he grouped you and I together simply because his old brain told him to. I don’t recall seeing many posts from you about DEI. This man seems to have some racist issues IMO.
 
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We cannot live in a completely Utopian society. Someone is always going to be taken advantage of somebody else.

If you’ve ever driven from a decent neighborhood into a poor neighborhood, you will notice the amount of fast food, advance credit loaning companies, and crappy supermarkets increasing an exponentially. I never see advance credit companies in rich neighborhoods.

Whenever I see a cricket wireless store, I know I’m in the ghetto
 
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we got stuck in Dallas with the weather yesterday. It’s basically impossible to get access to a customer service representative when this happens.

Do any of these credit cards help you achieve some sort of airline status with access to a special phone number during these situations?
I don't remember the weather being that bad on Saturday?

Concierge Key, or Global Services are invited only AA and UA top status. They will get you where you need to go. But you've usually got to spend at least $50k buying airfare per year. So if you're gonna buy your family of 5 first class round trips, you might reach out to them and ask.

No credit card status will get you a special phone number during these situations.

Where do you think these credit card companies get the money to pay the cashback?... the poor and the lower middle class.
So it's about ~30% interchange fee and about ~60% interest payments and about ~10% annual fees.

The greatest portion of of their revenue come from people with high income/net worth but terrible credit score/money management skills.

Not sure the morality makes it any better if their most valuable customers are rich idiots. But as an avid beneficiary of the points. I have 0 problems with this. Stupid people are gonna do stupid things. You can't outlaw stupid.
 
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All I can say is visa and especially Mastercard has made me a lot in their stock gains over the years

Guaranteed revenue streams for them.
 
Of course I know they take risk like any entity that is lending money to someone, but the risk is not commensurate with the outrageous interest rate they charge. 10-15% is ok, but not 30%. I am not saying they should not charge interest at all.

That's extremely arbitrary and subjective, as is your judgement on the morality of credit card companies.

They are only moral if they charge 15% interest but 15.5% they're the devil?

All I can say is visa and especially Mastercard has made me a lot in their stock gains over the years

Guaranteed revenue streams for them.

Are you immoral for buying their stock?
 
I don't remember the weather being that bad on Saturday?

Concierge Key, or Global Services are invited only AA and UA top status. They will get you where you need to go. But you've usually got to spend at least $50k buying airfare per year. So if you're gonna buy your family of 5 first class round trips, you might reach out to them and ask.

No credit card status will get you a special phone number during these situations.


So it's about ~30% interchange fee and about ~60% interest payments and about ~10% annual fees.

The greatest portion of of their revenue come from people with high income/net worth but terrible credit score/money management skills.

Not sure the morality makes it any better if their most valuable customers are rich idiots. But as an avid beneficiary of the points. I have 0 problems with this. Stupid people are gonna do stupid things. You can't outlaw stupid.
Didn’t seem that bad but appearantly doesn’t take much to mess with Texas


 
All these credit card churning is also a transfer of $$$ from the poor and lower middle class to the top 5%.
As is working at a clinic for the indigent, their copay is a transfer of $$$ (from the poor and lower middle class) to you (top 5%).

I've done this philosophical discussion many times, let me skip ahead:

Your counter argument would be that your services do a good for the patient.

My counter to your counter is that the speed of transaction, the ability to purchase things without carrying cash, and short term lending are all services that benefit the credit card customers.

Your counter point would be an arbitrary one: their price is too steep, 15% is ok but 30% is not.

Then I would point out the absurdity of your arbitrary limits by saying "your salary is worth it to society if you make $350k, but $600k is too much".

Then we would probably convert to/derail into a discussion about capitalism vs benevolent central planning. Eventually we will be agreeing that despite all the downsides to capitalism, it's still the best thing we have had in human history.

So let's keep the scope of this thread to credit card discussions and leave our arbitrary morality out of it. Shall we?
 
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Where do you think these credit card companies get the money to pay the cashback?... the poor and the lower middle class.

The people who get credit cards should know the rules. Just like people who have health insurance should know the rules. There are no surprises (like how I referred to the ill-named “No Surprises Act?”). If you can’t the bill, you can’t play the game. You know if you don’t pay in full, you’ll pay interest. That’s how it’s been since the invention of credit. Now, I’m not saying the charges for credit cards aren’t usurious, but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore the rules. I’m tired of people saying that the poor get the shaft all of time. It’s hell to be poor, and we all know that’s true, but let’s get rid of credit cards and that will solve the problem.
 
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The people who get credit cards should know the rules. Just like people who have health insurance should know the rules. There are no surprises (like how I referred to the ill-named “No Surprises Act?”). If you can’t the bill, you can’t play the game. You know if you don’t pay in full, you’ll pay interest. That’s how it’s been since the invention of credit. Now, I’m not saying the charges for credit cards aren’t usurious, but that doesn’t mean you get to ignore the rules. I’m tired of people saying that the poor get the shaft all of time. It’s hell to be poor, and we all know that’s true, but let’s get rid of credit cards and that will solve the problem.
Credit card comprehension is like Pre Algebra.
Health insurance Comprehension is like Calc II.
Night and day. Totally different.
 
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Credit card comprehension is like Pre Algebra.
Health insurance Comprehension is like Calc II.
Night and day. Totally different.

Sure, they’re different. But, if you use the product, you need to know the rules. You can’t cry foul if you don’t know/ refuse to know/ are ignorant of the rules. Of course, as I stated, the usurious amounts are a totally separate issue. But that should be even more motivation to know the rules.
 
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That's extremely arbitrary and subjective, as is your judgement on the morality of credit card companies.

They are only moral if they charge 15% interest but 15.5% they're the devil?



Are you immoral for buying their stock?
We can apply the standard of "reasonableness" that most people would agree with.
 
I know this isn't the same as churning, but it blows my mind to see other physicians talk about getting 5% back on groceries this quarter or 4% back on restaurants, 4% on gas etc. You can get a 2.625% cash back card on everything these days, with no limits, no apps, no categories etc. I guess if you had an insanely high credit card spend on a covered category like travel (100k+) then it could make more sense. Otherwise for something like gas Costco is 4 bucks in California already. Say you drive a 4WD V8 Silverado, which gets 17 mpg. Say you drive that 17,000 miles a year. That's 1,000 gallons of gas. 4,000 dollars. Costco cash back is 4%. You never fill up at any other gas station, ever. You save a whopping 55 dollars. I don't know, seems like a lot of effort to me, but to each their own.

I only mention this as I was initially interested in the higher % credit cards until I realized any annual fee can easily completely eliminate any savings and I didn't realize high cash back credit cards (ex. 2.62% BoA) existed. I do think it still may be worth it for those that like to travel business class etc.
 
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Must be the wife.
3 Kids, bunch of business purchases gets you to 100K easily.

I just renovated a 3ksqft rental and had to furnish the house/lighting/fixtures/ etc which was about 30k.
 
I know this isn't the same as churning, but it blows my mind to see other physicians talk about getting 5% back on groceries this quarter or 4% back on restaurants, 4% on gas etc. You can get a 2.625% cash back card on everything these days, with no limits, no apps, no categories etc. I guess if you had an insanely high credit card spend on a covered category like travel (100k+) then it could make more sense. Otherwise for something like gas Costco is 4 bucks in California already. Say you drive a 4WD V8 Silverado, which gets 17 mpg. Say you drive that 17,000 miles a year. That's 1,000 gallons of gas. 4,000 dollars. Costco cash back is 4%. You never fill up at any other gas station, ever. You save a whopping 55 dollars. I don't know, seems like a lot of effort to me, but to each their own.

I only mention this as I was initially interested in the higher % credit cards until I realized any annual fee can easily completely eliminate any savings and I didn't realize high cash back credit cards (ex. 2.62% BoA) existed. I do think it still may be worth it for those that like to travel business class etc.
This is why I have a 2% card for mostly everything, Costco card for costco, and amazon card 5%. keep it simple. The $:TIME ratio is just not worth it. I rather go work an extra shift and pay for 10 yrs of "savings"
 
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I know this isn't the same as churning, but it blows my mind to see other physicians talk about getting 5% back on groceries this quarter or 4% back on restaurants, 4% on gas etc. You can get a 2.625% cash back card on everything these days, with no limits, no apps, no categories etc. I guess if you had an insanely high credit card spend on a covered category like travel (100k+) then it could make more sense. Otherwise for something like gas Costco is 4 bucks in California already. Say you drive a 4WD V8 Silverado, which gets 17 mpg. Say you drive that 17,000 miles a year. That's 1,000 gallons of gas. 4,000 dollars. Costco cash back is 4%. You never fill up at any other gas station, ever. You save a whopping 55 dollars. I don't know, seems like a lot of effort to me, but to each their own.

I only mention this as I was initially interested in the higher % credit cards until I realized any annual fee can easily completely eliminate any savings and I didn't realize high cash back credit cards (ex. 2.62% BoA) existed. I do think it still may be worth it for those that like to travel business class etc.

I think it's fun to watch the money come in.
 
I had previously posted that churning is a waste of time for high earners, but then this thread inspired me to open a sapphire preferred (surprisingly I had never churned this card before lol) which got me 80000 points. I can then turn these into Hyatt points which I read are worth about 1.8 cents. So this is about $1400. I can make $1600 (when factoring in marginal tax rate) for an extra shift (8 hours) at work. When all is said and done it will maybe take me 4 hours to apply, use, and close this card which I can do on my free time. So I guess churning is a reasonable use of time in the right circumstance if you find it somewhat enjoyable. Personally I find it somewhat amusing to get 'free' money from credit card companies, but not to the extent that I will pursue small (say under $500) bonuses.
 
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