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Here are the details on a little experiment I ran in 2016.
After getting 14 new credit cards in 2016, I made over $3,000 in sign-up bonuses.
I also burned through most of the best offers — and knocked at least 10 points off my credit score. It was time to try something new, at least until my score bounced back and new offers popped up.
Fortunately, I stumbled into a way to make $500/mo from a credit card without a sign-up bonus.
It happened when I was discussing credit options with a USAA representative.
Then the banker suggested I apply for a USAA Cash Rewards Visa Signature Card.
It Pays to Listen
When I hear a sales pitch coming, I normally look for the door.
I had plenty of credit cards, I explained, thinking, “Why would I want one that doesn’t even offer a sign-up bonus?”
The nice banker told me the card pays 1.25% cash rewards on every purchase (EVERY PURCHASE WITH NO LIMIT ON CASH REWARDS!)
My ears perked up.
“Is that just on groceries, or anything in a grocery store?” I asked. She assured me I would get cash on all purchases.
She’d just made over $200 on her card.
The credit card center in my brain lit up. Tell me more.
And there was more. The military benefits (I was in the military).
A few minutes later I was approved for an $8,000 limit.
Stack Those Moneymaking Tactics
I’ve always been a fan of stacking savings tactics.
I buy things on sale with discounted gift cards, purchased with a cash-back credit card (a classic triple-stack).
It’s less common to find opportunities to stack moneymaking tactics. But in this case, there were two distinct ways to cash in with the same credit card:
- Maximize the cash-back rewards
- Invest 0% money
Maximizing the Cash-Back Rewards
As soon as I received the card, I went to Costco and bought groceries, along with a couple $500 Visa gift cards.
The latter I liquidated by using them to load my Bluebird account. This kind of manufactured spending is a topic for another day. Bottom line: I paid two $5.95 fees and soon had the money back in my bank account.
In just a few days, my cash-back awards total on my account showed over $50. I’ve never seen awards show up so quickly.
I did a test purchase at Walmart. Sure enough, I earned 1.25% cash rewards.
This was good news. I normally buy groceries at Walmart — their fee for $500 Visa gift cards is only $4.94. I bought a couple, along with my groceries.
Can you see where this is going?
I continually repeat this process, while paying off my credit card in full each month, collecting the cash rewards as profit.
Want to start getting some free money from credit cards? Sign up for the USAA Rewards Visa.