When I tell folks how I sign up for credit card bonuses in order to get free miles and points, usually there are 2 reactions. The person from the first group just changes the subject and I don’t ever bring it up again. No sense in trying to convince someone, who simply isn’t interested.
The person from the second group on the other hand is interested, but tells me how its simply too time consuming and complicated. They usually marvel at how I find the energy to deal with it all. My response: I do it precisely because I am lazy and don’t like time consuming tasks.
Lets take the lowest bonus from my “Best deals” list, the CITI Thank You Preferred card. It gives 300 dollars in gift cards to Walmart if you fulfill the minimum spending requirements. Since the most you can usually save on those is 3 percent, thats an equivalent of 291 dollars. The maximum time it would take for you to sign up for the card is 15 minutes tops. Then maybe 10 minutes to activate it when it arrives, if you have to call the customer support center.
If you don’t have a CITI account, another 15 minutes to get an account set up and link to your bank. In case you don’t already have a spreadsheet, that might add another 30 minutes tops. Now you are all set and ready to go. Just use it for your everyday expenses, like you would any other card. Keeping track of your purchases, to make sure they add up to qualify to get the bonus, should not take more than 15 minutes .
The big day comes and you are ready to claim your prize. That will be another 5 minutes at most to get the card redeemed at Citi Thank You center online. Thats it ! Take your 300 dollar gift card to Walmart and buy groceries, you need for your family. How much time was spent on all of this ? 90 minutes at most, and that included 30 minutes on spreadsheet.
And you don’t even need to cancel this particular card. But even if you did, it would take 2 minutes via secure message system. How much of a return do you get per hour for all of your efforts? 194 dollars! Can you tell me of any job that pays that much, other than being a doctor? And you don’t even have to go to school for 10 years. Plus, here is the best part. You don’t owe taxes on the money according to IRS, as long as its a personal card.
The most ironic thing about people who think bonuses are too much work, is that they are diligent couponers and go out of their way to save 10 cents on a gallon of gas. They are the best candidates for this hobby because they are responsible and frugal with their money. They pay their credit card bills on time and in full every month.
Yet, unfortunately they are not willing to go out of their comfort zone in order to afford travel or just get extra cash. So they stick to coupons and hunting for cheapest gas instead. And once a year they make a camping trip with their kids, because thats all they can afford. Not that there is anything wrong with that!
I hate coupons and rarely watch the price of gas. I guess, I have been spoiled by making 194 dollars or more per hour! No, not with blogging. I wish! The sign-up bonuses. So maybe next time you are talking to a relative, who is financially responsible but short on cash and can’t afford travel, ask him this. Hey, buddy, how would you like to make 194 dollars per hour?
Photo credit goes to larry5154.worpress.com
Leana is the founder of Miles For Family. She enjoys beach vacations and visiting her family in Europe. Originally from Belarus, Leana resides in central Florida with her husband and two children.