The classic credit card debate! To use credit cards or not to use credit cards? This is the real question we need to answer.
There are a lot of advantages of using credit cards, if used properly. There are also a lot of disadvantages of using credit cards the wrong way. Many credit cards create sign up point bonuses after a certain spend. If leveraged properly, you can gain sign on bonus points and use those for free travel or redemption’s.
One MAJOR thing I want to alert you on with this myth. If you do not pay off your credit cards in full each month, you should not use credit cards. Carrying over a balance for the sake of receiving signup bonuses is NOT the right thing to do and I do not recommend one bit. Paying your minimum balance due is a way credit card companies trick you into going into debt. This is a big reason why credit card companies can offer these signup bonuses.
In the new role I have with my company, I have been able find a way of leveraging my situation to get many sign on bonuses. A few months ago I asked my boss if he had any issues with me using my personal card for business expenses. Nobody had ever asked before and I was always using the corporate card because, well, that is what I thought we were required to do. He told me he was completely fine with it as long as I took pictures of all receipts for expense reports
This was HUGE! I could now begin opening up credit cards and easily hit the min spend requirements to get signup bonuses. I spend roughly $1,500 per week between flights, hotel and car rentals. Most credit card rewards programs require $3-5k spend in a 3 month time span to hit the signup bonus. If it weren’t for being able to use my personal cards for work, there is no way I would have been able to get as many signup bonuses as I have been able to. I am naturally frugal person and tend to spend less than $1,000 a month on expenses I would typically put on a credit card.
Below are some of the credit cards I have opened up this year and associated signup bonus I received (note: these may not be the exact signup bonus the card is currently offering):
- Chase Sapphire Preferred: 50,000 points earned after $3k spend in first 3 months
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless: 100,000 points earned after $5k spend in 3 months
- Barclay Arrival+: 70,000 points earned after $3k spend in first 3 months
- Gold Delta SkyMiles: 75,000 points earned after $3k spend in first 3 months
I have been able to hit each of the signup bonuses for the above cards. I am in the current process of looking for the next credit card to open. Will see what is out there and look up reviews from sites like NerdWallet and ThePointsGuy for recommendations.
- Credit cards should not be used if you can’t pay your balance in full every month
- Credit cards can be used to leverage signup bonuses that can be redeemed for travel rewards
- Look on websites like NerdWallet.com and ThePointsGuy.com to help find credit card signup bonuses you could benefit from. Be wary that these websites can be affiliates of certain cards. This means they could be paid to show certain cards at the top of the list.
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