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How I earned $38,550 in rewards from credit card churning

Updated: Apr 19

About seven years ago, a friend mentioned something that caught my attention – getting a signup bonus just by applying for a credit card. Skeptical but curious, I decided to give it a shot, marking the beginning of my journey with credit card churning.

Searching for guidance led me to OzBargain, a website with a friendly community full of like minded people sharing their knowledge on credit card bonus offers and different insights into the point hacking world. Forums there became my crash course in credit card churning, opening my eyes to a world of possibilities.

With a casual "Why not?" attitude, I applied for my first credit card – the ANZ Black Frequent Flyers. To my surprise, the bonus points landed in my account faster than expected, and the whole process was simpler than I had initially thought.

That moment made me realize credit card churning could be more than a one-time thing. It turned into a way of accumulating points – for travel, gift cards, or a bit of extra cash.

Meeting the minimum spend and watching my points grow, turned it into more of a hobby, where I would try and learn everything I could in order to earn the most points I could without changing my spending habits or lifestyle. I knew that credit cards came with their own risk, however, I also knew that if I was responsible with my spending and had a plan to pay off my credit cards in full and on time, I should be able to turn credit card churning into a rewarding endeavor.

Hand holding money
I made $38550 in rewards over 7 years from credit card churning

As an Engineer, I automatically started to assess the long term viability of this newly discovered hack. How consistently was I able to realistically churn credit cards without destroying my credit score?

To begin with, I had a very good credit score of around 756.

So I started to apply for multiple credit cards over the year and realised through trial and error, what worked best for me. Finally, I created a personal strategy which was to only have 2 active credit cards open at any one time.

One credit card I would use to help build my credit score by keeping it open long term. I wasn't paying any annual fees on this credit card as it was part of my home loan bundle. The other credit card of the two, I would churn for signup bonuses.

During this time I also had a home loan with no other personal loans.

During the initial years, I was able to find which methods worked and which didn't and streamlined the process to minimize downtime and maximize the chances of getting rewarded as quickly as possible.

I now churn between 6 - 10 cards a year on average. All the cards I churn are Black cards that offer the highest rewards. The full process of how I credit card churn can be found in my step by step guide. In summary, these are the steps I take.

  1. I apply for a credit card which I haven't applied for in the last 12 months.

  2. I meet the minimum spend and pay the credit card off in full by the first statement period.

  3. 90% of the time I will receive my points and all relevant rewards in the first statement period so basically a bit after one month of owning the card.

  4. As soon as I have received all my rewards, I will cancel my credit card over the phone and may sometimes receive a pro rata refund of my annual fee as I have only owned the credit card for 1 month.

  5. I will fill out my credit card churning spreadsheet and update dates so as to not lose track of which credit cards I have owned.

  6. I will wait for my cancellation email to come through and for my credit report to show that my account is closed and then immediately apply for another credit card.

By utilizing this process for the last 5 or so years I have been able to amass almost 3.4 million points as well as $2550 in cashback and 42 lounge passes.

By being systematic and monitoring my credit score as well as making sure I pay off my credit card in full and on time I have been able to churn through 38 credit cards to date, with my record being during COVID when I churned through 10 cards in 1 year.

Credit Savvy credit score
Excellent credit score even though I churn up to 10 credit cards per year

Here is my credit score and the credit cards I have held.

As you can see, my credit score is Excellent at 862, even though over a 12-month period I took out 8 credit cards last year.

These are screenshots from my Credit Savvy Account, which show that it is possible to achieve such a high credit card turnover without affecting your credit score. I was able to achieve this as I was very careful with each application and had a very well thought out plan. I never overspent and carefully considered my personal situation and financial goals to make sure I would not go into debt. I did this by being responsible with my spending and having a budget as I knew credit cards pose a risk if not used responsibly. The risk of getting into debt or damaging my credit score was very real and had to be considered.


Credit Savvy credit card history
2021 - 2022 credit card history showing 8 credit cards being churned

If the risks are considered carefully and responsibly, with a bit of research and due diligence my journey shows that it is possible to earn a lot of rewards and points from credit card churning.

I will be updating my blog whenever I apply and hold a new credit card.

Like always, if you have any questions, please comment below or contact me. If you don't want to miss out on any new content, then follow me on Instagram or Reddit for more information about everything to do with credit card churning and point collecting.

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