How I Earned $1175 Chase Cash Back Last Month

Posted by Madison on March 29, 2012

Remember last summer when I maximized credit card cash back for $885 using the Chase AARP card in one month?

Well, I outdid myself!

Just last month, we finished another run using a second Chase AARP card.

I beat my old record!

Here is a run down on what I paid last month to rake in the cash back and maximize the spending on our cash back credit card.

How to Maximize Cash Back

  • Tax Payments. I prepaid the rest of the year of tax payments with our credit card including property taxes, state withholding, federal withholding, business taxes, and our taxes due on the April tax deadline. This was a huge chunk of the bill, but it was worth every penny to coordinate it!
  • More Prepaid Utilities. I prepaid the rest of the year for our utility payments. You can pay directly if your company allows it or use ChargeSmart utility payments.
  • Prepaid Kids Stuff. I planned out the rest of the year for our kids and prepaid anything that would allow it, including summer camps and school lunch accounts. Since we were going to pay it anyways, I might as well get 5% back on these purchases since they usually never show up in the rotating cash back.
  • Prepaid Insurance. I paid for all of our insurance for the year. Even though we hadn’t received our insurance renewals yet, I was able to login and submit payments. When we finally received our bill, it showed the credit on the account!
  • Charitable Donations. Normally we make our charitable contributions at year end. However, if I can make bigger donations because of the 5%, I was more than willing to make the contributions early.
  • Reload Gift Cards. I reloaded many gift cards that I knew I would use at local shops. In addition, I purchased more American Express Gift cards for use in the future.
  • Football Tickets. Every year we buy season tickets for football. There was a small fee to pay using a credit card, but it was more than covered by the 5% cash back!
  • Services. I also logged into every service provider we have and prepaid internet, cell phone, and our satellite TV.

Final charges for last month: $23,500. Cash back: $1175

Tips and Tricks

2nd Card. I know you want to know where the next card came from since we’d already run though ours. I showed my mom how much I made on our last 6 month run, and she was excited to try it out… and add me as an authorized user to join in the fun (Thanks Mom!). I even taught her how to pay her tax payments with the credit card; what a proud daughter moment!

Chase Closing Accounts. Apparently Chase is cracking down on people exploiting the Chase AARP card. However, in all the data points I reviewed, it looks like they were running much larger amounts through the card. We never saw any adverse action at this spending level.

O% Offer. The great part about running up the Chase AARP card in the final month of the offer, is that the 0% offer extends for another 6 months. Now I can carry that balance at 0% for another six months with no fees!

Action Plan

Now that my multiple Chase runs are over (unless I can convince my dad to give it a try, which is very unlikely since he doesn’t even like to use credit cards), it’s back to buying gift cards using the American Express 6% Cash Back Credit Card.

Have you attempted a second run on the Chase card?

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Comments to How I Earned $1175 Chase Cash Back Last Month

  1. This is VERY out of touch. Who has 23,000 to lay out in one month?


  2. Seems like you did really well. I hope you can pay all this off in those 6 months otherwise it might all be for nothing. credit cards are not a be all and end solution to monetary problems.


    • Harry,
      Don’t worry, I have the money to pay it off right now, as these are all of the things in our regular budget for the year (taxes, utilities, insurance, etc).


  3. Madison, this is totally incredible. Though it takes discipline when using this strategy, I can definitely see how it really pays to use it as an investment strategy. Why not cash in on free money? This is truly a great investment tool. Thanks for posting.


    • Glad you like it GB. It does take some organization, but the rewards are definitely worth it!


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