As you may of gathered from my earlier post this week about the credit history debacle, I’m not remotely close to joining to ranks of those who delight in credit card churning (or travel hacking). The closest I came was a trip to Paris I booked using miles. The whole trip cost me about $400 including airfare, sight-seeing, food, and super sketchy accommodations in the “Harlem of Paris.”
While I’m pondering my own dalliance into the world of making credit card rewards my, um, friend, I did what any good
journalist blogger would: interviewed those that do.
There are a plethora of personal finance bloggers out there who are experienced in the craft of credit card churning, but I selected a few that I’ve been keeping an eye on recently: Holly from ClubThrifty, Jacob from iHeartBudgets and Johnny Moneyseed. I interviewed the three of them for a DailyFinance article explaining the merits and methods of credit card churning/travel hacking.
“Stop trying to keep up with the Joneses.” It’s the clichéd mantra you’re supposed to mutter under your breath when a neighbor pulls a new car into his driveway or a Facebook friend posts pictures of a luxury beach vacation while snow cascades down outside.
For the most part, it’s good advice. Buying luxuries and expensive new toys you can’t really afford is something every prudent spender knows to avoid — even if we sometimes backslide and whip out the credit cards for a big splurge.
However, credit card rewards have changed the rules. Now, the penny-pinchers have become the Joneses — without overspending — through a process called “credit card churning.”
“We’re in Jamaica right now, and we flew here for a total of $96,” said Holly Johnson, freelance writer and founder of the site ClubThrifty. “This fall we’re going to London and Paris for less than $200, including our hotels and airfare.”
Now go read the rest on DailyFinance!
P.S. 1) Sorry if you feel a little cheated out of a standard frugal find but it’s been a rough week and 2) I’m in a cage match with other DailyFinance contributors this month for most unique views so I would super appreciate if you’d click to DailyFinance (and if you want to give me a Valentine’s Day present even share the DailyFinance post on social media?!)
14 responses to “Frugal Find Friday: Credit Card Churning”
Best of luck in the cage match haha. I just clicked through to Daily Finance.
Thanks so much DC!
All of the travel bloggers use this method to get where they want to go. Open a reward card, use the rewards up quickly. Close the card and move on the next one.
I certainly see the appeal. Perhaps I’ll try one of these days.
I have to know… what part of Paris did you stay in that you call in the Harlem of Paris? We stayed in Montmarte and had a TON of fun there even though it was a bit less charming and a bit more scary!
I stayed in Montmarte too and no lie saw a drug deal going down right near the apartment my friend I were staying in. We didn’t stay around there too much with all the sight-seeing!
Thanks again for mentioning me in your post, Erin. You rock!
And thanks for taking time out of your trip to respond!
Very cool! Do you have a post on this $400 paris trip bc I want the deets on that!!!
I haven’t because it happened years before I started blogging. I gutted my frequent flyer miles for the ticket which helped a lot!
There aren’t nearly as many awesome deals available in Canada, but currently one major points card had their exclusive deal expire and another company now has some good incentives to get you to sign up because they now offer those points. We were looking at getting them this weekend actually!
I wonder if it will become more popular in Canada in the coming years. I think most US cards will start offering your FICO score on your monthly bill like the Discover it card.
I feel so inadequate reading about how so many people travel so cheaply, and I’m pumped about spending $220 for a round trip flight. Ugh. Travel hacking is definitely a goal of mine for 2014. Just checked on at Daily Finance btw- good luck!
I haven’t joined that credit card churning group yet either. I’m still in the balance transferring category. I am able to keep the interest really low while I pay down my debt though.