Credit Card Churning, Earning & Burning – Quarter 2 Update

Credit Card Churning, Earning & Burning – Quarter 2 Update

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As the second quarter of 2016 comes to a close, I wanted to share with you all my progress in the past three months; some hiccups and my strategy going forward.  You can read Quarter 1’s update here.

Q2: Earned

Here’s my churning results from Quarter 2 of 2015:

Bank Card Bonus
Citi Premier 50,000
Citi Prestige 50,000
Chase United 55,000
AMEX Personal Gold 50,000
AMEX Hilton No Fee 40,000
BOFA Alaska 25,000
BOFA Alaska 25,000
AMEX Delta Personal Platinum 60,000
Total   355,000

And from 2016…

Bank Card Bonus
AMEX Delta Business Gold 50,000
AMEX Hilton No Fee 75,000
AMEX Personal Platinum 100,000
AMEX Delta Business Gold 50,000
Total   275,000

So why did I earn less?

  • I went absolutely HAM last quarter, earning 815,000 points and 2 nights; as opposed to 480,00 in Q1 of last year
  • Meeting spending requirements from last quarter took a while; my rule is that I will never bite off more than I can chew and always finish up spending my most recent card before moving onto the next.
  • Offers got a little slow until June (i.e. Delta AMEX cards)
  • Most importantly, as I’m working abroad, I knew it would be a bit difficult for me to reach the spend (not to mention get the physical card), I wanted it to all be set up before I left.

What’s next?

Considering all the new churning rules in affect, I’m a bit limited with banks like Chase and AMEX; but with a significant other, there’s more opportunities. Here’s my thoughts!

  • There’s a distinct possibility I’ll apply for the Delta Business Platinum (60,000) between now and when the offer expires, July 6.
  • When I come back, if it’s still an offer, Alaska upped it’s Bank of America cards (personal and business) from 25,000 to 30,000. Rumor has it that they will only approve you or one personal and one business–I may need to check that out ;).
  • Small, small possibility of the Ritz-Carlton card, if I know I’ll get a good use out of it.
  • For my SO, definitely the Barclay Arrival+ –they seem to like her more than they like me.
  • A Citi card–I hope the Premier goes up to 50,000, or maybe the Prestige, as I’m closing mine soon.

What other cards should I go for?

Q2: Burning

As fun as it is to read about churning and earning, what about burning?

As I’ve started to keep track…

Redemption Points Used Taxes Estimated Cash Value
Madrid – New York, Business Class / AA Miles 57,500 $52.00 $2,363.00
Madrid – New York, Business Class / AS Miles 50,000 $62.00 $2,363.00
New York  – London, Business Class / DL Miles, two people 125,000 $11.20 $6,521.00
London – Nice, Econmy Class / BA, two people 8,000 $52.00 $256.00
Nice – Madrid, Economy Class / BA, two people 9,000 $47.00 $538.00
New York – Chicago, Economy / Citi TYP, 3 one-ways 34,000 None $540.00
Category 1 – 5 Marriott Certificate, Madrid None None $115.00
New York – Chicago, Economy / BA, 3 one-ways 22,500 $16.80 $270.00
3 Nights Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem / Hilton 240,000 None $2,100.00
2 Fairmont Certificate Nights – Monte Carlo None None $1,000.00
Totals 546,000 $241.00 $16,066.00

What this means:

  • I’ve burned about half of what I’ve earned this year (not the same points earned, but in terms of numbers)
  • The business class tickets, for example, have a value but not really what’s listed. Why? I’d never spend $3000.000 on a business class ticket.
  • The Waldorf regular room rate is cheaper, but I got upgraded so I priced it out based on that.
  • I’ve also managed (yay!) to keep taxes pretty low these past few months. When flying back from Europe, which traditionally has the highest fuel surcharges, I’m flying on American, which doesn’t pass those on.

With a little bit of planning (see here on when to start planning), you too can earn enough points to take lots of trips for little out of pocket expenses.

-The Miner

Want to learn how to churn? Concerned about credit score? Read these informative articles:

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