...constantly searching to find the best travel deals and places to visit. A never-ending quest for adventure!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

cost of points earning cards?

A recent Marketwatch article spoke to the pluses and minuses of travel-card rewards - the headline speaks about how generous the rewards are but the attached strings come at a cost.

It's a well known strategy to use credit card "churning" to get in on large point bonuses - this was the primary strategy when the first cards came out.

If done smartly, churning can be one of the most lucrative ways to earn points.  Unfortunately, the tide changed for this strategy years ago when banks and credit card issuers began to attach minimum spend requirements to card applications. It became necessary to use the card for a predetermined amount in order to secure the highest available bonuses.  For some cards this can be as much as $10,000...for others, as low as $500.  There are ways to help alleviate the dollars required (I'm thinking Bluebird, Kiva, and others) and it helps to have a partner along for the ride when deciding on which cards to get.  But you should never just sign up for a card because - have a strategy or a goal in mind for how you want to use the miles. That will help steer your spending and not cause things to get out of control.

As with all cards, make sure you carefully read the terms and conditions of acceptance.  You want to make sure the card is right for you and your earning situation.

(PS - this is my 500th post!  Thank you to everyone who has been along for the ride so far!)


  1. Congrats on the 500th post! And we just used are hard-earned Chase Sapphire points for the planned purchase: tickets to Portland!!!!

    Thanks for your guidance in all that!

  2. Thanks! And congrats on your ticket purchase - very exciting. Those UR points are amazing. :) Now you just have to keep earning them!