By Adam Jusko, georgica.net, firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you like to game the system? Do you like to look for the loopholes and arbitrage opportunities that others miss? It can be very intoxicating. But sometimes gaming the system can be dangerous as well. Which brings us to credit card churning.
What is credit card churning & why would you do it?
Credit card churning is the practice of getting approved for a credit card, taking the upfront bonuses that the card offers, and then closing the account as soon as possible. If the card has an annual fee, it might mean getting any bonuses available before the annual fee has to be paid. The “churning” aspect is that you do this repeatedly, opening a large number of card accounts and then quickly closing them. Sometimes people even apply for and receive the exact same credit card multiple times.
It is easy to see the attraction is doing this. You essentially get something for nothing. Sometimes you don’t have to do anything to get nice reward bonuses, sometimes you only have to use the card for a nominal amount of charges, say $500, to get the bonus. You could be getting cash, you could be getting points, you could be getting airline miles. Once you have the bonus, close the card and move on to the next one. You can get a lot of free money and other perks this way.