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2015 Rewards Update (Ummm... Bought a CAR with Rewards!)

November 7th, 2015 at 05:44 am

2015 TALLY:

$525 Gift Cards (Citi, dh)
$300 Cash (Chase checking reward, dh)
$200 Cash (AmEx Card Everyday, Moi)
$200 Cash (Barclay card, dh)
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$1,225 TOTAL *ONE-TIME REWARDS*

Other Rewards:

**Free Prime For One Year

**$40 cash back (Amex Reward for spending $40 at Amazon)

**$85 Citi Price Rewind

Ongoing rewards (projected through 12/31):

+$200 deposit to ROTH (Fidelity Am Ex - 2% cash back; health insurance charged to this card)

+$300 AmExRewards (6% cash back groceries/3% fuel)

+$100 Target rewards (5% discount Target purchases; mostly groceries)

+$40 Visa Rewards (3% back at restaurants)

+$525 Citi 2% card (2% back everywhere)

Grand Total = $2,515

Year 2011 = $4,164
Year 2012 = $2,782
Year 2013 = $2,623
Year 2014 = $3,128
Year 2015 = $2,515

Total 5 Years = $15,212
***Mostly Tax-Free Income***


***CAVEAT - I absolutely do not recommend utilizing credit card rewards in this manner, unless you are in full control of your credit card spending.***

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We have utilized credit card rewards for decades. It's only in the past 5 years I have been tracking them so closely in my blog because they started to get so substantial.

This year started out kind of slow and I Wasn't expecting much for this year. But as the rewards started to pile in for the last quarter of the year, I decided to do a tally.

& I realized, WE BOUGHT A CAR WITH CREDIT CARD REWARDS. Seriously! The $15,197 we amassed the passed 5 years was more than enough to pay for our most recent car purchase.

WOW!!

That said, I can not stress the CAVEAT part of this post enough. We personally have extreme fear of debt and have never paid a cent to a credit card company (no interest or late payments or carrying balances or whatever). I know not one penny of that $15,197 went back to the credit card companies in the form of any kind of interest or fees. The bulk of what I charge up for rewards is our health insurance (a bill we obviously are going to be paying regardless). Also, groceries and utilities. We charge up the fun stuff too, because we charge up everything, but I've never justified a splurge for a credit card reward. That would defeat the whole purpose.

If you are going to end up paying one single cent to the credit card companies, or can't treat your credit card like simply like it's an ATM card, then I would never recommend going for these kinds of rewards.

On the flip side, if you avoid debt like the plague and you have the personality for it, it's really not that big of a deal. You know, in response the DR mentality that it's impossible to win with credit cards. To that, I say: I got a FREE CAR! Big Grin

P.S. On average I'd say the earning power on these rewards is about $1,000 per hour of time and energy. This is the most efficient income stream that we have, by a mile. Least effort/most reward.

8 Responses to “2015 Rewards Update (Ummm... Bought a CAR with Rewards!)”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    I agree with you completely. I pay off my credit cards in full as soon as I get them, and never pay one penny of interest.
    I am just starting to track the rewards that I get also.
    Last month, I got $38 from citi card, $143 from Chase rewards card and last week, $248 from my new Barclay credit card. That is $429 in just over a month.
    I charge things like my car insurances, electric bill and all my husband's home depot building supplies purchases.

  2. Joan,of.the.Arch Says:

    !!Zowie!! Some of our billers tag on a 3-6% fee for CC payments, but if we could time something like real estate tax with a super one-time reward, it could come out in our favor. We do auto, home, and earthquake on CC without a fee. Health insurance, our biggest bill, has to be directly deducted from our bank to coordinate it with the group plan. Foo. We are just in such a low spend part of life that I don't know if we could meet the spending requirements on those juiciest reward offers. But, yeah, I need to look again. We only do one every now and then.

  3. MonkeyMama Says:

    @Joan - our health insurance is more than our California mortgage. So I know that gives us an edge on the credit card rewards, to have those big bills to charge. & our grocery bill these days with almost teens... Yeesh! But I suppose these rewards help take the sting out of some of our BIG bills.

    We can't charge our mortgage, property taxes, income taxes (any government payments), gas for home, or payments to out gardener, and my life insurance and disability insurance. We charge absolutely everything else. (The government will take cc payments, but charge for the privelege). Our city and county utilities do all take credit card payments though, as does our DMV, with no charge. I keep checking our giant private gas company because I have no idea why on earth they don't accept cc payments. That is one of our smallest bills, but it would just make my life easier if they would get with the times. I understand why individuals and the government are slower to accept the merchant fees.

  4. Livingalmostlarge Says:

    Sounds good to me. I believe we are in the same boat. I think I've tracked some of it. We are definitely on the high end of usage.

  5. creditcardfree Says:

    Nice! I guess I'm not too surprised as we were at $5200 in various rewards last year. This year we have opened far fewer credit cards thus we are only at $2200. And some of those rewards I don't track...such as Target. Although just checked a Target receipt that says we have saved $250 for 2015.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  6. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Pretty good!

  7. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Your credit card reward dollars earned definitely had a purpose!

  8. scfr Says:

    N-I-C-E!

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