Maximizing Signup Incentives (using good credit to your advantage)

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framerate
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Maximizing Signup Incentives (using good credit to your advantage)

Postby framerate » Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:54 pm

The last few years I've micromanaged my credit to go from mid 500's to low 700's (in about 2 years). I've learned the ins and outs of how everything works, at least to the extent that ALL blogs and forums seem to talk about....

What I don't know is at what point do you have TOO MANY credit cards (assuming all but one are at $0 balance.

Why do I care? Why would I do this?

Here's what I want to do. And this may be the only place on the internet that can help me.

  1. Open an amazon store card.
  2. Collect $30 amazon credit.
  3. Credit score takes a small hit for the credit check and the average length of my accounts going down.
  4. HOW LONG should you wait to do it again? Seems acceptable that you can open one card every 6 months for minimal impact, 12 months if you're worried.
  5. Repeat process for another card that has some 10% off or "free toaster" deal.
But after you do this, say, 4-6 times collecting incentives and bonuses and other day 1 rewards, you start to amass a large collection of unused cards.

So what do you do? Cancel them? Leave them open?

Do you guys think there's a way for someone with a high credit score to use it to their advantage and get these signup bonuses without hurting themselves?

Something like:

  • Month 1 - open a new card #1
  • Month 6 - open another #2
  • Month 12 - close card #1, open card #3
  • Month 18 close card #2, open card #4
Sure it's minimal, but if there was a way to do it without hurting your score, why not get some freebies?

Any thoughts are appreciated :)


American
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Location: Atlanta, GA

Postby American » Wed Apr 18, 2012 8:51 am

For $30 or 10%?

You'd be much better off choosing a rewards card that benefits your style of life and not wasting your time. You'll make much more money, and not have so many hard inquiries on your account. I also will mention most of these incentives for new accounts are only the first card you have with the bank. For Example, when you sign up for Amex Gold PR with a 25,000 point incentive, and you have already had an Amex maybe 15 years ago; you will only receive 10,000 points because your an existing account.

But that is me rambling, to answer your question: it's up to you. If you follow your plan, you'll have roughly 2 hard inquiries per year, but you're going to absolutely kill your average age of account. By month 24, it'll be down to 1-2 years of AAoA because you'll have 4 accounts with no more than one of history. Plus, you're also jeopardizing getting accepted for cards because this will show up to banks that you keep opening and closing accounts.

For $30 or 10%, it just doesn't make sense.
American Express '02: Platinum, Blue Cash Preferred 6k, SPG 2k, Delta Gold 1k
Barclaycard '11: Apple Financing Card 2.5k
Citi: Diamond Rewards 1.5k
Chase: Freedom 500
Discover '12: Discover IT 1.5k

framerate
Green Member
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Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2012 3:48 pm
Location: Los Angeles CA

Postby framerate » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:16 pm

Yeah this is a valid point. I'm just always trying to think of other ways I can use the system to my advantage. I already have some good reward cards that fit my lifestyle. Was just considering other avenues :)



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