4. My Churning Strategy

My basic strategy is to maximize my sign-up bonuses while having the best possible effect on my credit score and maintaining healthy relationships with the banks. In practice, this means that every 3-4 months, I apply for 2-4 new cards, carefully selected so that I can easily meet my minimum spending requirements. I always think about my past card history—especially my last churn—and my next churn as well.

If you EVER get rejected for a card, call the bank’s reconsideration line. I have overturned more than a dozen rejections just by calling and reasoning with them. There are several strategies–shifting credit lines from your other card(s) with a particular bank, closing another card in exchange for opening a new one, explaining that you need another one of the same card in order to categorize your spending, etc. The blog Million Mile Secrets has a great article all about how to excel in calling the reconsideration line.


Warning/Disclaimer: During any given churn, I always err on the side of less rather than more, because being greedy can be the death of your credit score, and nobody wants that. There are always more points to be had in a few months, so don’t overdo it.

For my overview on risks and rules of churning, go back to the Credit Card Churning page.


6 thoughts on “4. My Churning Strategy

  1. Hey Mike!
    Love the stuff. Out of curiosity, what cards did you apply for in your last churn? Do you have the next round cards picked out?

    • @James: My last churn was just a few days ago, and I applied for:
      AmEx MR 50k
      Barclays US Airways 35k
      Barclays US Airways business 30k
      Citi Hilton Reserve 2 free nights
      Citi AAdvantage business 50k

      I stayed away from Chase because I got 2 cards from them 3 months ago, but next churn I’m going to try and get the Hyatt card for 2 free nights and the Ink Plus business 50k.

  2. Good Stuff Mike! A lot of good info. I have a ton of miles but no airline cards. I am looking to get my first airline card or couple of cards. Looks like, in the terms/conditions, with many of them such as the Barclays US Airways card you need to pay the annual fee in order to receive your mileage bonus. Is there a way around this for the cards that have a 1st year fee? or do you just pay the fee?

    Thanks for the good info Mike!

  3. Mike, I apologize if you have posted this elsewhere–how do you keep track of all these cards without losing your mind? Are you keeping track of dozens of separate accounts and bills or can you consolidate to a central bank? I have 1 credit card (that I know of) and 1 debit card, so I don’t really know how this works. Thanks, bud!

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