I know that many of you are Free Money junkies just like me.
After a reader, Steve, left a comment about his accounts, I just knew you’d want to hear his story! Steve has 202 checking, savings, investment, credit card, and various other open accounts. He says: “I am also one who hates to pass up free money.” I asked Steve to tell us more about it!
Free Money Reader Profile
Amount of Free Money: $6,000 in sign up bonuses last year.
What he’s doing: Steve’s method is pretty simple, if it has a bonus, he applies. And he hasn’t found a bonus yet that he can pass up.
How he manages it: Steve tracks all of his accounts on excel and calendars all of his bills in Outlook.
Tips and Tricks
Double Up. In order to double up on the bonuses, he also signs his wife up for an account too. Using the spouse is an easy way to double almost any bonus offer.
Recycle. He also likes to recycle bonus offers as often as he can, but he notes that: “some (like ING) don’t close your account and so their bonus is a one-time deal.” In order to recycle a bonus offer, you need to close the account after meeting all the requirements to get the bonus. Then, when they offer another bonus, you’re free to sign up again. Just be sure to read the terms and conditions to see if it’s a one time bonus (if it is, we usually try to list this when we highlight offers).
Credit Score. Here’s Steve’s take on the impact to his credit score:
I was somewhat concerned with my credit score, but I don’t need to buy on credit, so I asked “what are you saving it for?”. I have had a high of 790 and a low of 750. While 40 seems like a lot – it is not much when you consider the number of accounts. And 750 is still an excellent score, and that represents a lot of account opening and closings.
Free Money Future
Steve didn’t keep a detailed list of all the bonuses he signed up for (just a running total), but he is currently on pace to beat or come close to the $6k again this year. He adds: “Not bad for a part time JOB.” No, not bad at all, Steve! Thanks for sharing your story with us!
Are you also a free money fanatic? Want to share your story? Let me know and maybe we’ll feature your story in a future free money reader profile!
That is awesome. I’m interesting in knowing how long it takes you to manage that many accounts. What do you figure your hourly rate is?
I think people who can open up so many accounts for ‘free money’ have the potential to do really well than what they have to show for ($6k)! There are many folks who sign up for 2-3 credit cards every quarter and churn them. They manage and track their credit report as well, so that does not have any adverse impact. The rewards though are many fold and you can rack up hundreds of thousands of miles for free travel and hotel stays around the world than can be worth more than 30k-40k as compared to the 6k here for less or equal amount of work!
I’d be interested to know how much time he spends on it in a given month.
Love the idea of signing your spouse up too. Thanks for the double up tip
You’d have to be super-organized to manage so many accounts.
How do you find the time to organize all of the requirements for getting the bonus? What do you carry in your wallet?
Can I recycle chase sapphire and do that offer again? I cancelled about 8 months ago
I’m going to be applying for this card again shortly to see if we can repeat that one! I’ll let you know how it turns out.