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5 Tips To Churn Your Way To Free Travel

5 Tips To Churn Your Way To Free Travel

Churning is the credit card strategy the banks don’t want you to know about. In fact, it’s so effective, banks have been setting up new rules year after to year to prevent gamers from exploiting the opportunity. The good news is, travel hackers are still ahead of the banks, and we’ll share their secrets.

Churning is simply the strategy whereby you open a credit card, collect welcome bonus miles, use them for a free flight and either close or stop using the credit card. You then do the same thing over and over again. That’s right, you get multiple free flights every year just by signing-up for new credit cards.

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Some people needlessly spend dollar after dollar, day after day, year after year, trying to earn enough points from their credit cards for a free flight. That strategy is needlessly long and inefficient. Why spend $50,000 to get 50,000 miles, when you can get them just by signing-up for a new credit card?

Getting new credit cards is the fastest and cheapest way to exploit credit card incentive offers. While many other industries have high switching costs (mobile you may have a contract, insurance you may have a 1 year term, mortgage you may have a pre-payment penalty), getting a new credit card is easy. In fact, you don’t even have to get rid of your old one. Some people carry over 40 active credit cards! Here’s how to churn your way to free flights.

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1. Find a Credit Card With A Free Flight Welcome Bonus

There are a ton of credit cards that offer sign-up bonuses offering free flights. However, not all bonuses are created equal. For example, some bonuses are large enough for return airfare to anywhere in North America, others are only good for a short-haul flight. Do a little research in advance to figure out the best opportunities.

2. Watch Out For Minimum Spending Requirements

Credit card issuers got wise to churning years ago. As a result, many require that you spend a minimum amount on your credit card within the first 3 months to become eligible for the welcome bonus. Make sure you find out what threshold you have to meet, if any, to become eligible to receive the bonus.

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If the minimum spend requirement exceeds your budget, you may want to consider manufacturing your spend by pulling some of your future expenses forward by purchasing gift cards for gas or groceries. For example, if you’re $400 short of meeting your $1,500 spend requirement, buy $400 of gas and grocery gift cards you know you’ll use the following month.

3. Focus on First Year Free (FYF) Offers

To make churning really profitable, focus on credit cards that waive the first year annual fee—that way the flight is truly free. Before the end of the first year, simply cancel your card to avoid the annual fee.

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That said, there are some cards that never waive their annual fee and are still worth churning. Why? So long as the welcome bonus is worth more than the annual fee, then it’s profitable to churn. That said, with so many first year free offers in the marketplace, you’re best off focusing on those first.

4. Time It Right

Credit card issuers provide different sized welcome bonuses throughout the year. Familiarize yourself with their offers so that when that too good to be true bonus becomes available, you’re ready to pounce. The same issuer can double the size of a welcome bonus from one month to the next, so it pays to keep yourself informed of the best credit card deals in the marketplace.

5. Rinse, Wash, Repeat

After you’ve done it once, do it over and over again. You don’t want to apply for too many cards at the same time, as your credit score will suffer. However, if your credit score is strong to begin with, applying for a new credit card 3-4 times a year is very doable. You can also monitor your credit score throughout the year to ensure you’re not being overly aggressive.

Featured photo credit: ThePixelman/Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Marc Felgar

Marc Felgar is an aging, health & senior care expert focused on improving the lives of mature adults.

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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