Travel for Free with “Churning”

“Churning” is a way to rack up the maximum amount of points on different credit cards to maximize travel rewards.

Disclaimer: This takes financial discipline and close monitoring of your finances. If you are not careful and diligent in monitoring your finances, this will not benefit you and will cost you a lot more in the long term.

I am just venturing into this and my experience will in no way be reflective of the experience that you have. If you think this might work for you, here are a few of the tips I recommend before getting starting.

Get started with the following 4 tools (be prepared to spend some serious time and patience setting up these accounts, they are important tools in this process).

1. Credit monitoring with Credit Karma. To do this right you need to constantly monitor your credit reports to ensure that you are not doing any serious harm to your credit. There are many tools available out there, but this is the one that I use.

2. Sign up for Debitize. An important part of churning is that you always pay off your balances before you accrue interest. To make the most out of your point gaining credit cards you should use it like a debit card; paying for rent, utilities, and other bills every month. Debitize connects your credit card to your debit card and makes automatic withdrawals. This way you don’t have to worry about forgetting a payment or overspending.

3. Create a simple spreadsheet to track your cards with information like balance, APR, annual fee, limit, and rewards. Keep close track of annual fee dates – call the company before the date and ask them to waive the fee, or close the account if they are unwilling.

4. Sign up for a program that helps you track your points and rewards. For this I use AwardWallet. I use this one because it is free and has the biggest list of reward programs. Unfortunately, Delta doesn’t work on this platform.

I’ve read articles in which people have dedicated serious time and effort doing this. Have you tried this and what were your results? Comment below and let us know your experience.

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