$561 Gift Cards (Capital One Venture, Moi)
$561 TOTAL *ONE-TIME REWARDS*
**In addition, various monthly rewards that I will tally at 12/31.
POST FROM 2017:
***CAVEAT - I absolutely do not recommend utilizing credit card rewards in this manner, unless you are in full control of your credit card spending. We treat our credit cards like debit cards; only charging if we have the cash on hand already. We've never paid a cent of late fees or interest.***
At this point in my life I just pay the balances off the end of every month so that we go into each new month with -$0- credit card debt. This is really simple because there is no remembering bills or due dates or any of that. I just go in and pay them all the last day of every month. I have set all my credit cards to close for the month around the 28th of the month, so that the statement is closed by the last day of every month and every charge for the month has been posted. (I can just voluntarily pre-pay any charges that didn't make it on the statement for the last week of the month). From an accounting standpoint, anything else would drive me crazy, maybe especially since we do have so many credit cards that we use every month for rewards. This way, I just don't have to really keep track of anything and I know they will always be paid several weeks before due date. This also keeps all of our charges on a monthly cycle, which lines up with our monthly paychecks and my monthly accounting.
I expect 2018 to be more like 2016, but you never know. I don't feel like we need to put as much emphasis on the credit card rewards with MH working and with interest rates (on our savings) increasing. We really relied on these to boost our income and to stretch our dollars further when MH was home with the kids. I also have something like $1,000 unused gift cards laying around, which is about $1,000 more than usual. (In the past we mostly redeemed cash back, but those are harder to come by and it seems it was mostly gift cards and travel rewards for this year).
I figured I'd post that as a reminder and/or to fill in newer readers.
I think I probably would have mostly passed (on one-time bonuses) this year given all my employment upheaval. Life has been CRAZY this year and I am being ultra protective of my credit score since I work in the financial industry. It's always been like 800+, but I just don't feel like it's the year to open 5 new credit cards in my name. Might raise some eyebrows during any employment consideration. (& I am probably just being overly cautious, but that is how I roll). & I did open 4 cards in MH's name last year so I am giving him a break. But anyway, this travel reward was easy and too good do pass up with our travel plans.
I needed to spend $3,000 to earn $560, have already done so:
$2,082 Medical bills/insurance
$ 621 Auto Insurance
$ 275 Professional Dues
$ 13 Misc.
I didn't plan it that way. I would have just pre-paid a couple of months of health insurance to hit the $3k spend. Super easy and takes me just a few minutes to earn rewards. But in this case I just happened to receive a pile of bills right after I applied for the card.
It's been long enough that I was not thinking. I would have just pre-paid the $13 (difference) to my medical insurance but I forgot (and would be a pain to make a separate $13 payment). I instead just used the card for some online shopping that I was doing regardless, to get up to the $3,000 spend. I wasn't thinking that means they won't bill me until the items ship. So it wasn't the smartest way to rack up immediate rewards, but I guess waiting another day or two doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things.
Credit Card Rewards Update