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500K, or more, miles on Credit Card bonuses alone possible?

500K, or more, miles on Credit Card bonuses alone possible?

Old Jul 31, 11, 10:04 pm
  #1  
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500K, or more, miles on Credit Card bonuses alone possible?

On one of our favorite miles blogs I read yet another claim to fame about racking up a couple million miles in less than a year and a half through card bonuses. Followed up by the blog author remarking that such a haul is "easily attainable" by others and he himself regularly takes in "One million miles per year just just with sign up bonuses."
I'm curious about the math here. Even assuming those yearly million miles are divided between a couple, that's a cool 500,000 miles EVERY year. A little more reasonable but still a stretch. You'd basically have to average 10 50,000 miles sign up bonuses every year. Are there even 10 50,000 miles+ bonuses out there to be had? I know they are becoming more common but are they that common now? I don't see it. So letting alone those 50,000 mile bonuses and over aren't really all that plentiful, I think an even more limiting factor is the fact that one-time bonus rules are being applied to more and more of the cards (especially considering the crack down on the once dependable churning of Citi AA) combined with the Chase tightening of multiple cards do you really think a 500,000 mile goal based solely on credit card bonuses is realistic to reach for more than maybe one or two years in a row at best? There are only so many churnable cards out there and having the most perfect credit score in the universe isn't going to exempt you from the one bonus per customer rule or get you 100,000 bonuses when they aren't there to get. I can see achieving an easy 500,000 pretty easily within a year if you'd never had any AA card before or any of the other ones before, but after that, I just don't see it.
I could see a steady 500,000 miles/yr if I had a popular blog earning steady referral and ad revenues but from credit card bonuses alone? A little over-inflated claim I think. (Although I'd love to be shown differently )
brasov02 is offline  
Old Jul 31, 11, 10:21 pm
  #2  
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With 75K and 100K bonus opportunities on personal and business cards, it really wouldn't have been that hard this year.
mahasamatman is offline  
Old Jul 31, 11, 10:26 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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I can say that I am on pace for a 500,000 point/mile year with only 4 cards so far:

Citi AA 75k
Amex business gold 75k
Chase marriott 50k
Citi Thankyou premier 50k

By the time you go through a cycle of all the cards that are not churnable, the banks come out with something new and the cycle begins again.

Having a side business is very helpful to open up all the business card opportunities as well.
darkhawkkg is offline  
Old Jul 31, 11, 10:33 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
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Originally Posted by brasov02 View Post
On one of our favorite miles blogs I read yet another claim to fame about racking up a couple million miles in less than a year and a half through card bonuses. Followed up by the blog author remarking that such a haul is "easily attainable" by others and he himself regularly takes in "One million miles per year just just with sign up bonuses."
I'm curious about the math here. Even assuming those yearly million miles are divided between a couple, that's a cool 500,000 miles EVERY year. A little more reasonable but still a stretch. You'd basically have to average 10 50,000 miles sign up bonuses every year. Are there even 10 50,000 miles+ bonuses out there to be had? I know they are becoming more common but are they that common now? I don't see it. So letting alone those 50,000 mile bonuses and over aren't really all that plentiful, I think an even more limiting factor is the fact that one-time bonus rules are being applied to more and more of the cards (especially considering the crack down on the once dependable churning of Citi AA) combined with the Chase tightening of multiple cards do you really think a 500,000 mile goal based solely on credit card bonuses is realistic to reach for more than maybe one or two years in a row at best? There are only so many churnable cards out there and having the most perfect credit score in the universe isn't going to exempt you from the one bonus per customer rule or get you 100,000 bonuses when they aren't there to get. I can see achieving an easy 500,000 pretty easily within a year if you'd never had any AA card before or any of the other ones before, but after that, I just don't see it.
I could see a steady 500,000 miles/yr if I had a popular blog earning steady referral and ad revenues but from credit card bonuses alone? A little over-inflated claim I think. (Although I'd love to be shown differently )
You should consider that "sign up bonuses" are not necessarily "credit card sign up bonuses". Take into consideration debit card sign up bonuses (yes, they will now longer be around but last year were pretty plentiful) and brokerage bonuses (which alone can give you 150,000+ miles if you're sitting on sufficient cash float) and amount you have to achieve through sign-up bonuses goes to way more manageable levels.

Also your estimate of 10 sign up bonuses annually can be too low - with many churners being on "4-6 cards every 90 days" schedule you're talking 16-24 sign-up bonus a year.
LongviewTX is offline  
Old Jul 31, 11, 11:02 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
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This past year has probably been amongst the best as far as sign up bonuses go

AA 75 K & 100 K offers
BA 100 K
Amex 75 K (Gold) & 100 K (Platinum) offers which become * 1.5 with transfer bonuses.

Just doing the 4 - 5 cards above you could have easily reached 500 K
piyush is offline  
Old Aug 1, 11, 12:03 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 63
I've been thinking about this also, but from another angle; how many miles/ year can I/should I get? While I (and my wife) have been able to score BA, AS, AMEX, Chase, and AA miles to the tune of 300K (each) so far this year in reality 200K per year is plenty to give us the 2 international trips each year that we would like. Anything beyond that is more than we need.
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Old Aug 1, 11, 12:18 am
  #7  
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I doubt this gravy train will continue. Rest in peace Citi, you took me in style to so many places in the world.
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Old Aug 1, 11, 12:49 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by brasov02 View Post
On one of our favorite miles blogs I read yet another claim to fame about racking up a couple million miles in less than a year and a half through card bonuses. Followed up by the blog author remarking that such a haul is "easily attainable" by others and he himself regularly takes in "One million miles per year just just with sign up bonuses."
I'm curious about the math here. Even assuming those yearly million miles are divided between a couple, that's a cool 500,000 miles EVERY year. A little more reasonable but still a stretch. You'd basically have to average 10 50,000 miles sign up bonuses every year. Are there even 10 50,000 miles+ bonuses out there to be had? I know they are becoming more common but are they that common now? I don't see it. So letting alone those 50,000 mile bonuses and over aren't really all that plentiful, I think an even more limiting factor is the fact that one-time bonus rules are being applied to more and more of the cards (especially considering the crack down on the once dependable churning of Citi AA) combined with the Chase tightening of multiple cards do you really think a 500,000 mile goal based solely on credit card bonuses is realistic to reach for more than maybe one or two years in a row at best? There are only so many churnable cards out there and having the most perfect credit score in the universe isn't going to exempt you from the one bonus per customer rule or get you 100,000 bonuses when they aren't there to get. I can see achieving an easy 500,000 pretty easily within a year if you'd never had any AA card before or any of the other ones before, but after that, I just don't see it.
I could see a steady 500,000 miles/yr if I had a popular blog earning steady referral and ad revenues but from credit card bonuses alone? A little over-inflated claim I think. (Although I'd love to be shown differently )
This is my first year doing this and I've made a million. In the first 4 or 5 months, I'd already gotten:
American Airlines personal (75,000 miles)
American Airlines business (75,000 miles)
British Airways (100,000 miles)
Continental (50,000 miles)
United (50,000 miles)
US Airways (35,000 miles)
Hilton (50,000 points)
Virgin (45,000 miles)
Amex Premier Rewards (became 112,500 British miles)
Capital One (100,000 miles)

And I messed up with the American Airlines cards. If I'd done it right and gotten all three, I would have had another 75,000 miles there. So yeah it's definitely possible.
rwalia99 is offline  
Old Aug 1, 11, 2:28 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I don't know about every year, but this year has been a piece of cake, and I expect more miles to come before the end of the year!

This year for me has seen both small and large:

Citi AA Pers Visa (75,000)
Citi AA Pers AMEX (75,000)
Chase Continental (50,000)
Chase British Airways (100,000)
Chase Saphire Preferred (50,000
Amex PR Gold pers after xfer (112,500)
Amex Jetblue pers (25,000)
Amex Jetblue biz (25,000)
Barclays Airtran (16 credits...similar to 25,000)
Barclays US Airways (35,000)
Bank of America Alaskan (40,000)


Next on the list to get this year, which will put me well over 1 Million!

Citi AA Biz (75,000)
Amex Platinum (100,000 x1.5)
Amex PR Gold biz (100,000 x1.5)
Amex SPG pers (30,000)
Amex SPG biz (30,000)
Chase Southwest (50,000
x712xdamx is offline  
Old Aug 1, 11, 6:37 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Singapore
Programs: BAEC (Gold), PC (Plat), HH (Gold), SPG (Gold), MR (Gold)
Posts: 2,724
Mrs User Name and I have pulled in a combined total of 2 million or so since we started doing this roughly 20 months ago.
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Old Aug 1, 11, 6:56 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 275
My wife and I started about a year ago:

(2) Chase Sapphire 50K
(2) Citi AA Visa 75K
(2) Citi AA AMEX 75K
(1) Citi AA Visa Bus 75K
(1) Citi AA Visa Bus 100K
(1) Chase BA 100K
(1) SPG Personal 30K (not yet received card)
(1) SPG Business 30K (not yet received card)

--------------------
Total CC bonuses alone: 735K

Also opened a Citibank checking and savings and got 40K miles.

Our goal is to do another SPG Personal and another SPG Business for an additional 60K in total.

And we also have a hefty sum sitting in with BankDirect for monthly miles from AA...

Lately we've been getting a little more aggressive with the CC signups, especially seeing how in Creditkarma it's not affecting the scores much, if at all!
Smidget is offline  
Old Aug 1, 11, 7:22 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,052
Since April 22:

Citi AA AmEx - 75K
Citi AA Visa - 75K
AmEx PRG Personal - 75K
AmEx PRG Business - 75K
Citi HHonors - 50K
Citi AA Business - 75K (Pending)
AmEx SPG Personal - 30K

= 455K

And about to get AmEx SPG Business for an additional 30K.

Wife doing approximately the same. And I passed on several offers, like BA 100K, Chase Sapphire 100K, and Capital One Venture 100K. 1MM a year for just bonuses is completely doable.
IkeEsq is offline  
Old Aug 1, 11, 8:35 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3
My first post.

Figured that this would be an appropriate time for my first post, since this is my first year engaging in this stuff...

Here's what I've done in the past 12 months:

JetBlue AMEX: 20,000 + 10,000 for referral
Skymiles Gold AMEX: 40,000
OnePass MC (Chase): 50,000
United Mileage Plus (Chase): 50,000
Aadvantage Visa (Citi): 75,000
Hhonors AMEX: 30,000
Hhonors Citi: 50,000
USAirways MC (Barclays): 40,000
Alaska Airways Visa (BOA): 40,000
Chase Sapphire Preferred: 100,000
Capital One Venture: 110,000
Amex Gold Rewards: 75,000
Citi ThankYou Points: 50,000

No denials yet, and I haven't noticed any problems with my credit score.

And well over 500,000.

Thanks FT!
HeathBlizzard is offline  
Old Aug 1, 11, 8:59 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by UA Fan View Post
I doubt this gravy train will continue. Rest in peace Citi, you took me in style to so many places in the world.
+1

It's worth noting that the sig in this post is one of the most useful threads on credit card sign-ups that I have ever seen.

Mike
mikeef is offline  
Old Aug 1, 11, 9:10 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Programs: UA 1K
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I am sure this has been debated/discussed in other threads, but how do you churn out so many cards and not destroy your credit rating?
PHLyer82 is offline  

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