One of the quickest and easiest way to earn a lot of frequent flyer miles is churning credit cards. What is churning? The miles and points credit cards we’ll look at here generally give you some amount of bonus points for signing up, and in some case, spending a certain amount of money on the card within a certain amount of time. For many of these credit cards, you can apply for these credit cards over and over and get the bonus miles each time. However, in the past couple of years, the banks have started cracking down on this, so for many cards, you have to wait approximately about two years after cancelling before you can apply and get a bonus again. There are still a few exceptions, cards which you can churn every 3 months and get a bonus.
Before you begin, keep in mind that churning cards does affect your credit. As Rick of Frugal Travel Guy says “Your credit is your most important asset.” If you are thinking of buying a house in the next two years, you should be careful about applying for too many credit cards (or credit cards at all), because even a small change in your credit score could affect the interest rate you are charged on your mortgage or your ability to qualify for the loan you need.
When churning cards, the short-term effect on your credit score is less than 10 points per credit card application. In the long run, as long as you pay your bills on time and in full each month, credit card churning will not negatively affect your credit score.
And what can you get for all this trouble? Anywhere from 500k – 1 million miles per year if you churn credit cards smartly. That is enough for twenty free domestic tickets in coach, or about five free business class trips to Europe!
Eventually we’ll take the time to post a detailed strategy for credit card churning here. But for now here is a link to a great article about credit card churning on the Million Mile Secrets blog: