I don’t promote many credit cards on this site but I do have a lot of experience with them. Right now I’ve got about 25 open credit cards and if I had to guess, I’ve probably accrued over a million miles and points over the last 3-4 years. I’m always looking for easy ways to make money and credit card sign-up bonuses are right up there.
A lot of people don’t understand how credit works and therefore have a lot of apprehension when it comes to opening up new cards. I always get skeptical looks when I tell people how easy it is to make $500 doing about 5 minutes worth of work but at one point I didn’t believe it either. There’s definitely some more work that goes into managing 25 cards but as long as you’re organized it’s not that hard. You won’t need a college degree to manage a bunch of credit cards, trust me.
In it For the Money?
You might think I’m in the points and miles game for the money, but you’d be wrong. It’s obviously a huge bonus that I get paid around $500-$1,000 for every card I open but that’s not why I do it. I started off signing up for cards because I couldn’t believe companies were willing to give me 50,000 points just for opening a new credit card. Did they realize I was just going to spend the minimum amount required and then never use the card again? Before long, I was hooked and I wanted to see how many more cards I could get and how many more points I could rack up.
It’s now gotten to the point where it’s me(and a bunch of other people like me) vs. the credit card companies. We’re busy figuring out which cards are churn-able, what the waiting time is in-between applications and so forth. It’s like a huge game of chess but my side is definitely winning. For the casual credit card user, it really only takes a few minutes a year to manage a single card. But as you get more and more cards, the work you have to put in goes up exponentially. So the question is, is it all worth it?
Is it Worth Your Time?
Some people like to play video games, some people like to read and some people like to exercise. We all have our hobbies but signing up for credit cards happens to be one of my hobbies. I don’t spend as much time doing it as some other people but I like reading travel blogs, perusing the forums on FlyerTalk from and writing my own travel hacking article once in a while. Most of us don’t pick hobbies that will make us money – we do things that we enjoy. But when one of your hobbies happens to line up with a viable money making opportunity it can be a great thing.
I think the reason why I like signing up for credit cards is that there is really no greater feeling than traveling for free. I paid for my entire last vacation to Hawaii using points and it was amazing. We probably wouldn’t have even gone on the trip in the first place if I wasn’t able to get free flights, car rental and a hotel room for four nights. I’m sure I would have still enjoyed the trip just as much if I paid in cash but it’s nice being able to fly business class, stay in an ocean view suite and live that ‘A’ lifestyle while only making ‘B’ money. Normally I would never pay a thousand dollars a night for an ocean view suite but if it’s free, hey I’ll take it!
The reason why I’m so addicted to credit card sign-up bonuses is that it allows me to experience things I would never pay for or could never afford on my own. I don’t make enough money to fly us business class to Europe during the peak of summer but with my points I can. There’s obviously an opportunity cost to using points on all these trips since I could potentially sell them for about 1 cent per point or cash them out for gift cards at stores I frequent. But since I treat credit card sign-up bonuses like a hobby I don’t care how much money I make off them. I care about the travel experiences they allow me to enjoy. I’ve only been doing it for a few years but so far I’m hooked.
Readers, what do you think about signing up for credit card bonuses? Are you as addicted as I am? Is there any better feeling than flying business class to Europe for free or getting an entire trip paid for using miles?!
-Harry @ PF Pro