After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
Topic Author
flyingaway
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After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:53 am

For me, after achieving financial independence, I only apply for credit card offers with personal invitations, for amounts equal to or greater than $400.
(I probably should not play the game any more, but sometimes an offer comes with a feeling of money found on the sidewalk.)

DrGoogle2017
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:57 am

I only play this game after retirement, I didn’t have time when I was working. I don’t care about cash bonus, no manufactured spending here either. But I’m willing to time large purchase to get credit card bonus, strictly for traveling upgrade. I also give my miles away. A little bit of fun and game for me. It keeps me busy, like a job, in retirement. Lol.

delamer
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by delamer » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:09 am

No.

We have credit freezes in place, so credit applications are a minor hassle.

Most importantly, the more accounts and credit cards you have the more susceptible you are to fraud and scamming — just based on sheer numbers.

smitcat
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by smitcat » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:12 am

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:53 am
For me, after achieving financial independence, I only apply for credit card offers with personal invitations, for amounts equal to or greater than $400.
(I probably should not play the game any more, but sometimes an offer comes with a feeling of money found on the sidewalk.)
After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?
Yes

ResearchMed
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:13 am

We also only care about those big points bonus offers.

A few hundred dollars isn't going to make a change in much of anything (we are blessed, to be sure, and worked/saved hard to get here - indeed, DH is still working by choice).

But a 50k points bonus (better if more, but hard to find) is close to a one way J (business class) air ticket, which would have cost us thousands.
And yes, we WOULD pay those thousands if we didn't have the points, or we wouldn't travel overseas.

We would *not* pay cash for F flights, on the other hand. Too expensive, and J gives us the flat bed we need.
However, we absolutely will "pay" the extra points for F when it is available.
And depending upon the routing and actual J vs. F seats/beds, we'll sometimes use the extra points for F (if available) for shorter international flights. We've never - yet - used points for domestic travel.
Given the cost of actually buying points, that would translate into approx $400-500 pp each way. For a 14+ hour flight, that is easily a good price for us to have the extra comfort of F (this obviously depends upon airline and equipment, of course).

To us, given that we are finally enjoying some nice travel, this is by far the best use of the various "awards" to be offered.
And of course, those points accumulate with spending, so it isn't only the bonus points, but those give nice boosts to the point balances.
It's also nice that the tickets/points can be rebanked at very low cost if plans change. The lower cost J cash tickets are often non-refundable/non-changeable.

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

yohac
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by yohac » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:15 am

Only if we have a big trip or something coming up, that covers the signup bonus spending requirement in one shot. Otherwise it's not worth it to me.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 12:50 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:13 am
We also only care about those big points bonus offers.

A few hundred dollars isn't going to make a change in much of anything (we are blessed, to be sure, and worked/saved hard to get here - indeed, DH is still working by choice).

But a 50k points bonus (better if more, but hard to find) is close to a one way J (business class) air ticket, which would have cost us thousands.
And yes, we WOULD pay those thousands if we didn't have the points, or we wouldn't travel overseas.

We would *not* pay cash for F flights, on the other hand. Too expensive, and J gives us the flat bed we need.
However, we absolutely will "pay" the extra points for F when it is available.
And depending upon the routing and actual J vs. F seats/beds, we'll sometimes use the extra points for F (if available) for shorter international flights. We've never - yet - used points for domestic travel.
Given the cost of actually buying points, that would translate into approx $400-500 pp each way. For a 14+ hour flight, that is easily a good price for us to have the extra comfort of F (this obviously depends upon airline and equipment, of course).

To us, given that we are finally enjoying some nice travel, this is by far the best use of the various "awards" to be offered.
And of course, those points accumulate with spending, so it isn't only the bonus points, but those give nice boosts to the point balances.
It's also nice that the tickets/points can be rebanked at very low cost if plans change. The lower cost J cash tickets are often non-refundable/non-changeable.

RM
I’m willing to pay for business tickets when it’s on sale. I stalk out Flyertalk for sale announcement. It’s is usually about $2-3000 for international tickets to either Europe or Asia.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:00 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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TexasPE
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by TexasPE » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:01 pm

Yes - go for initial bonus: 50,000 miles/ points or more. I use property tax payment to make up the required spend. Convenience fee is $25/$1000 paid.
At 20: I cared what everyone thought about me | At 40: I didn't give a damn what anyone thought of me | Now that I'm 60: I realize that no one was really thinking about me at all | Winston Churchill

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BrandonBogle
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by BrandonBogle » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:26 pm

I haven’t reached financial independence, but I already work on the basis I would then. It depends on the effort. In March, three credit cards offered me such a bonus (two existing, one new) to get a total of almost $1.5k by spending $2k, $2.5k, and $3k on these cards. Between homeowners insurance, auto insurance, and the occasional big ticket item (which happened to happen in March), I can do that without buying anything I would already be buying.

If not, then depending on the spend level, I might. My electric company charges a flat $1.50 fee for credit card payments regardless of size. I put $1k on the new card to help meet its spend.

Dottie57
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:32 pm

No.

I use one credit card for all in person purchases with 2% back. Another solely for internet purchases. Not searching for bonus points.

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birdog
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by birdog » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:37 pm

I have played the travel rewards credit card bonus game both before and after financial independence. I guess I don't really understand why FI makes a difference. It takes minimal time and it's free money/travel. Take a free online course like https://www.travelmiles101.com/ and it makes the game easy. I have credit freezes in place and when I apply for a new card I can go online (or call) to each credit bureau and have credit unfrozen in about 10 minutes with automatic refreezes in place for the following day. I only use the cards for normal spend and when I'm not trying to meet the minimum spend for a sign up bonus on a new card I just use my default USAA 2.5% unlimited cash back visa card. Why would you only apply for cards that give you a personal invitation?
Last edited by birdog on Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

wootwoot
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by wootwoot » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm

Why wait until financial independence?

mayday23
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by mayday23 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm

I do. During the heyday a few years ago, i was "earning" $15K/yr on credit card churn and mfg spend. AMX smartened up on the 5% grocery cash back and Chase only allows you 5 credit cards during a 2 yr period. That has cut down earning opportunities tremendously.

With that being said, just signed up for the 2 Bonvoy (Marriott) that are around 100K pts each. Still opportunities out there, just a bit more research and planning.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:40 pm

Yup.

My wife works night shifts as a nurse for a few shifts a month to the tune of $12k a year. I play bonus/points/gas-points/tradelines/low-balance-forgiveness/account-transfer shenanigans to the tune of about $10k a year. I guaranty you she works way harder than I do.

It's good to pay attention. Where I get gas, I have a discount card where if I buy anything in the store, I get 5 cents off a gallon for every $50 I spend. So for instance, yesterday, I went in the store and bought a $50 gift card (to buy gas) with my discover (5% off gas this quarter). Using my gas reward card before paying, I get another 5 cents (minimum) off per gallon. So rewards pile on top of rewards.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

knightrider
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by knightrider » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:04 pm

mayday23 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
I do. During the heyday a few years ago, i was "earning" $15K/yr on credit card churn and mfg spend. AMX smartened up on the 5% grocery cash back and Chase only allows you 5 credit cards during a 2 yr period. That has cut down earning opportunities tremendously.

With that being said, just signed up for the 2 Bonvoy (Marriott) that are around 100K pts each. Still opportunities out there, just a bit more research and planning.
What site do you use to find new deals? I used to check flyertalk but it has become very hard to navigate. Plus there are too many forums/posts to read through about each card.. Is there one good site that summarizes the relevant bits?

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:10 pm

Not aggressively or obsessively, but yes. A buck's still a buck.

koryg75
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by koryg75 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:43 pm

Yes. Very easy to get at least several thousand per year w/o manufactured spending. Also tax free. And my credit score has never been higher.

TravelGeek
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:49 pm

knightrider wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:04 pm

What site do you use to find new deals? I used to check flyertalk but it has become very hard to navigate. Plus there are too many forums/posts to read through about each card.. Is there one good site that summarizes the relevant bits?
https://www.doctorofcredit.com for me is the most painless way to discover new/current deals. Unlike many other blogs, it doesn’t have editors that personally benefit from referral offers, so they don’t hawk cards that may be at least as beneficial to them as to the applicants.

mayday23
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by mayday23 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:19 pm

knightrider wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:04 pm
https://www.doctorofcredit.com for me is the most painless way to discover new/current deals. Unlike many other blogs, it doesn’t have editors that personally benefit from referral offers, so they don’t hawk cards that may be at least as beneficial to them as to the applicants.
https://millionmilesecrets.com is good too. Basically most sites are the same. Amex releases a 100K bonus, one site will find it then the others will replicate it.

michaeljc70
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by michaeljc70 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:35 pm

Yes. It is a myth that rich people don't like to get free things.

Dottie57
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:38 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:13 am
We also only care about those big points bonus offers.

A few hundred dollars isn't going to make a change in much of anything (we are blessed, to be sure, and worked/saved hard to get here - indeed, DH is still working by choice).

But a 50k points bonus (better if more, but hard to find) is close to a one way J (business class) air ticket, which would have cost us thousands.
And yes, we WOULD pay those thousands if we didn't have the points, or we wouldn't travel overseas.

We would *not* pay cash for F flights, on the other hand. Too expensive, and J gives us the flat bed we need.
However, we absolutely will "pay" the extra points for F when it is available.
And depending upon the routing and actual J vs. F seats/beds, we'll sometimes use the extra points for F (if available) for shorter international flights. We've never - yet - used points for domestic travel.
Given the cost of actually buying points, that would translate into approx $400-500 pp each way. For a 14+ hour flight, that is easily a good price for us to have the extra comfort of F (this obviously depends upon airline and equipment, of course).

To us, given that we are finally enjoying some nice travel, this is by far the best use of the various "awards" to be offered.
And of course, those points accumulate with spending, so it isn't only the bonus points, but those give nice boosts to the point balances.
It's also nice that the tickets/points can be rebanked at very low cost if plans change. The lower cost J cash tickets are often non-refundable/non-changeable.

RM
As a non traveler would you explain f seats vs j seats

Chicago60
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by Chicago60 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 5:05 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:38 pm
As a non traveler would you explain f seats vs j seats
F class is First Class, and J class is Business Class.

Topic Author
flyingaway
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm

wootwoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
Why wait until financial independence?
I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.

Topic Author
flyingaway
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by flyingaway » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:00 pm

birdog wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:37 pm
I have played the travel rewards credit card bonus game both before and after financial independence. I guess I don't really understand why FI makes a difference. It takes minimal time and it's free money/travel. Take a free online course like https://www.travelmiles101.com/ and it makes the game easy. I have credit freezes in place and when I apply for a new card I can go online (or call) to each credit bureau and have credit unfrozen in about 10 minutes with automatic refreezes in place for the following day. I only use the cards for normal spend and when I'm not trying to meet the minimum spend for a sign up bonus on a new card I just use my default USAA 2.5% unlimited cash back visa card. Why would you only apply for cards that give you a personal invitation?
If you already have money (financial independence), you might not want to be bothered to apply for and cancel credit cards for just small amounts of money.

ResearchMed
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:34 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm
wootwoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
Why wait until financial independence?
I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.
The way we do it (using awards to purchase premium business or first class international airline tickets), we certainly do not consider it "such small amounts of money".

It can be worth 5 digits per year, with nothing other than occasional bonus points and regular spending (trying to charge *almost everything* when possible, although "everything" is never actually possible).

RM
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TravelGeek
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:04 pm

mayday23 wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:19 pm
knightrider wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:04 pm
https://www.doctorofcredit.com for me is the most painless way to discover new/current deals. Unlike many other blogs, it doesn’t have editors that personally benefit from referral offers, so they don’t hawk cards that may be at least as beneficial to them as to the applicants.
https://millionmilesecrets.com is good too. Basically most sites are the same. Amex releases a 100K bonus, one site will find it then the others will replicate it.
Disagree. MMS is exactly the type of credit card hawking site that I don’t recommend or use.

TravelGeek
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:06 pm

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm
wootwoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
Why wait until financial independence?
I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.
I still pick up pennies (if they don’t look too dirty)

Basically, miles/points allow me to buy better travel experiences than I would otherwise be able to justify to myself (as a reasonably frugal person).

Glasgow
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by Glasgow » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:47 pm

For those who've earned high 4- or 5-digit bonus, do you discriminate against Discover or AMEX due to less number of stores accept them?

ResearchMed
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by ResearchMed » Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:57 pm

Glasgow wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:47 pm
For those who've earned high 4- or 5-digit bonus, do you discriminate against Discover or AMEX due to less number of stores accept them?
We've never had any Discover cards, so we don't really know anything about them (where they are accepted, what perks).

But we use Amex a lot, too.
We have an Amex Plat card, which has various perks at hotels/etc., and those more than pay for the card fees.
Also, the Amex awards points are useful for different airline network than the AAdvantage airline network, and we use both.

RM
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UpperNwGuy
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:06 pm

I do not.

TravelGeek
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Apr 15, 2019 9:10 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:57 pm
Glasgow wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:47 pm
For those who've earned high 4- or 5-digit bonus, do you discriminate against Discover or AMEX due to less number of stores accept them?
We've never had any Discover cards, so we don't really know anything about them (where they are accepted, what perks).

But we use Amex a lot, too.
We have an Amex Plat card, which has various perks at hotels/etc., and those more than pay for the card fees.
Also, the Amex awards points are useful for different airline network than the AAdvantage airline network, and we use both.

RM
Same here. My very limited understanding is that Discover cards are essentially cash back cards. So far I have been more interested in travel rewards. Amex, on the other hand, I have used for many years (and currently have three cards). Merchant network has not really been a factor for me.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 11:51 pm

Never had Discovery cards. Never had Capitol one either. No more American Express for us period.

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birdog
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by birdog » Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:57 am

flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:00 pm
birdog wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:37 pm
I have played the travel rewards credit card bonus game both before and after financial independence. I guess I don't really understand why FI makes a difference. It takes minimal time and it's free money/travel. Take a free online course like https://www.travelmiles101.com/ and it makes the game easy. I have credit freezes in place and when I apply for a new card I can go online (or call) to each credit bureau and have credit unfrozen in about 10 minutes with automatic refreezes in place for the following day. I only use the cards for normal spend and when I'm not trying to meet the minimum spend for a sign up bonus on a new card I just use my default USAA 2.5% unlimited cash back visa card. Why would you only apply for cards that give you a personal invitation?
If you already have money (financial independence), you might not want to be bothered to apply for and cancel credit cards for just small amounts of money.
I don't consider thousands of dollars every year to be "just small amounts of money". In my first experience with credit card bonuses my wife and I each opened Marriott visas and the sign up bonuses (through normal spend) allowed us to stay at a resort for free that would have cost $1900 if we'd used dollars instead of points. That was one card each and in just a few months we had nearly $2k in free travel. I would suggest that this is how a lot of FI people think, which is probably part of the reason they're FI. It's also a game, of sorts. Although I certainly understand that many view it as a hassle. I view it as free travel for minimal effort.

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goingup
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by goingup » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:00 am

We primarily use one CC for airline miles. Annual spend is $60K. That's it. No other games. :happy I do enjoy using loyalty points at Marriott (now Bonvoy) and Hilton properties.

I find value in keeping our financial life simple. One credit card bill. One bank. One brokerage. I lack the attention span required to chase bonuses.

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birdog
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by birdog » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:04 am

goingup wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:00 am
We primarily use one CC for airline miles. Annual spend is $60K. That's it. No other games. :happy I do enjoy using loyalty points at Marriott (now Bonvoy) and Hilton properties.

I find value in keeping our financial life simple. One credit card bill. One bank. One brokerage. I lack the attention span required to chase bonuses.
I understand this statement. In order to more fully optimize, one must sacrifice some simplicity. This was perhaps the largest barrier to me when getting started in cc bonuses.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:04 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:06 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm
wootwoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
Why wait until financial independence?
I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.
I still pick up pennies (if they don’t look too dirty)

Basically, miles/points allow me to buy better travel experiences than I would otherwise be able to justify to myself (as a reasonably frugal person).
I ask for senior discount as a lark and I get them most of the time. No need to pick up pennies.

ResearchMed
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:07 am

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:04 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:06 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm
wootwoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
Why wait until financial independence?
I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.
I still pick up pennies (if they don’t look too dirty)

Basically, miles/points allow me to buy better travel experiences than I would otherwise be able to justify to myself (as a reasonably frugal person).
I ask for senior discount as a lark and I get them most of the time. No need to pick up pennies.
You get a senior discount on airlines?
Which ones? Thanks!

RM
This signature is a placebo. You are in the control group.

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birdog
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by birdog » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:16 am

OP, I see your point better now. Once a person is FI it is possible they're less inclined to deal with the loss of simplicity that cc bonus requires except for maybe the really good offers. Personal preference for sure. I'm still willing to play the game for now.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:44 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:07 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:04 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:06 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm
wootwoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
Why wait until financial independence?
I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.
I still pick up pennies (if they don’t look too dirty)

Basically, miles/points allow me to buy better travel experiences than I would otherwise be able to justify to myself (as a reasonably frugal person).
I ask for senior discount as a lark and I get them most of the time. No need to pick up pennies.
You get a senior discount on airlines?
Which ones? Thanks!

RM
No not airlines. But I walked into paint store and I asked for it and got it. I always asked for senior discount when I visit places overseas. My husband almost always get a discount.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:46 am

birdog wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:16 am
OP, I see your point better now. Once a person is FI it is possible they're less inclined to deal with the loss of simplicity that cc bonus requires except for maybe the really good offers. Personal preference for sure. I'm still willing to play the game for now.
FI doesn’t always mean retired. For some retirees who have lots of time, they don’t mind playing game a bit. When I was working, no way would I want to deal with CC bonus game and I didn’t.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

smitcat
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by smitcat » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:03 am

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:46 am
birdog wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:16 am
OP, I see your point better now. Once a person is FI it is possible they're less inclined to deal with the loss of simplicity that cc bonus requires except for maybe the really good offers. Personal preference for sure. I'm still willing to play the game for now.
FI doesn’t always mean retired. For some retirees who have lots of time, they don’t mind playing game a bit. When I was working, no way would. Want to deal with CC bonus game and I didn’t.
In our case it does not take much time and it does have a larger payout.
YMMV

MotoTrojan
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by MotoTrojan » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:51 am

Not retired but I went on a CC and bank bonus bender late last year and cleared $4300 after tax. I enjoy managing things but am now making an effort to streamline my finances and taper things down to 1 account a quarter or less.

Doctor of Credit was my bible.

TravelGeek
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by TravelGeek » Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:56 am

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:04 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:06 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm
wootwoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
Why wait until financial independence?
I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.
I still pick up pennies (if they don’t look too dirty)

Basically, miles/points allow me to buy better travel experiences than I would otherwise be able to justify to myself (as a reasonably frugal person).
I ask for senior discount as a lark and I get them most of the time. No need to pick up pennies.
I don’t have a (financial) need to pick up pennies. It’s basically a reflex. What’s your threshold for picking up coins (bills)?

And curiously, if I buy a cup of coffee for 99 cents at a gas station and pay with a dollar bill, the penny I get goes straight into the “take a penny, leave a penny” pot on the counter :)

DrGoogle2017
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:01 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:56 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:04 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:06 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm
wootwoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
Why wait until financial independence?
I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.
I still pick up pennies (if they don’t look too dirty)

Basically, miles/points allow me to buy better travel experiences than I would otherwise be able to justify to myself (as a reasonably frugal person).
I ask for senior discount as a lark and I get them most of the time. No need to pick up pennies.
I don’t have a (financial) need to pick up pennies. It’s basically a reflex. What’s your threshold for picking up coins (bills)?

And curiously, if I buy a cup of coffee for 99 cents at a gas station and pay with a dollar bill, the penny I get goes straight into the “take a penny, leave a penny” pot on the counter :)
I don’t know, but last time I did hesitate about picking up a dollar. I think I did eventually picked it up, but I felt icky about it. I had to wash my hand ASAP the minute I got home. But I did touch my steering wheel with my dirty hand.

ResearchMed
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by ResearchMed » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:10 am

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:01 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 10:56 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:04 am
TravelGeek wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 8:06 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm


I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.
I still pick up pennies (if they don’t look too dirty)

Basically, miles/points allow me to buy better travel experiences than I would otherwise be able to justify to myself (as a reasonably frugal person).
I ask for senior discount as a lark and I get them most of the time. No need to pick up pennies.
I don’t have a (financial) need to pick up pennies. It’s basically a reflex. What’s your threshold for picking up coins (bills)?

And curiously, if I buy a cup of coffee for 99 cents at a gas station and pay with a dollar bill, the penny I get goes straight into the “take a penny, leave a penny” pot on the counter :)
I don’t know, but last time I did hesitate about picking up a dollar. I think I did eventually picked it up, but I felt icky about it. I had to wash my hand ASAP the minute I got home. But I did touch my steering wheel with my dirty hand.
Er, what about cash that you just get as change, or even from ATM's/banks, if not totally fresh bills?
:(

RM
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Topic Author
flyingaway
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by flyingaway » Tue Apr 16, 2019 12:11 pm

birdog wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 9:16 am
OP, I see your point better now. Once a person is FI it is possible they're less inclined to deal with the loss of simplicity that cc bonus requires except for maybe the really good offers. Personal preference for sure. I'm still willing to play the game for now.
Yes. That's the point. Playing credit card game requires some efforts. Your applications may get rejected after you play it a while. You have to be firm to cancel your credit cards.
That is why I only apply for new cards when I get personal invitations with big bonuses.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2365
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 1:48 pm

You have to be organized. I mark the date I need to cancel. The one I’m going to keep, I know ahead. The spending has to be within 3 months otherwise you don’t get the bonus.

stufunds
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Location: Chicago, IL

Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by stufunds » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:21 pm

No.


Hello flyingaway,

I retired early in May 2012 at the age of 47. I believe I achieved financial independence sometime during the stock market recovery that began in 2009.

I only have two credit card accounts – a plain vanilla credit card account that I opened around thirty years ago and use for all purchases within the U.S., and a travel rewards credit card account that I opened around ten years ago and use for purchases while traveling internationally, and also the occasional purchase from companies based outside the U.S. (no foreign transaction fees).

I froze my credit file with four credit reporting agencies in 2017 in the wake of the Equifax breach.

I do visit and enjoy reading the One Mile at a Time (OMAAT) miles and points blog every day. I’ve even bookmarked it and I subscribe to their newsletter.

My reluctance to play credit card sign-up bonus games comes from my belief that credit card companies continue to offer these deals because they usually come out ahead across all of the people who take the deals.

While it’s easy to believe that banks and credit card companies are only making money off of “those other people,” I recognize that I’m fallible and that I could become one of them.


[Edit: Changed "eventually come out ahead over their entire cardholder base" to "usually come out ahead across all of the people who take the deals."]
Last edited by stufunds on Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
Save Early, Save Often

bhsince87
Posts: 2184
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by bhsince87 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:39 pm

I never did it before, but now that I'm retired with more time on my hands, I'm thinking about giving it a shot.

For background, I currently have 2 credit cards. One account that I opened in 1989 (!), which has a $30k limit. I hardly ever use it. One monthly payment charged to it (netflix) and I use it for international purchases. No bonuses whatsoever.

The other is my amazon prime card, which has various cash back and the 5% amazon return.

I have no interest in airline points. Hotel, maybe.

That being said, does it make any sense to do this if travel bonuses are of little use for me?
Retirement: When you reach a point where you have enough. Or when you've had enough.

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SlowMovingInvestor
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Re: After financial independence, do you play credit card bonus games?

Post by SlowMovingInvestor » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:31 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 7:34 pm
flyingaway wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 6:58 pm
wootwoot wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:38 pm
Why wait until financial independence?
I was wondering if people with financial independence might no longer be interested in such small amounts of money.
The way we do it (using awards to purchase premium business or first class international airline tickets), we certainly do not consider it "such small amounts of money".

It can be worth 5 digits per year, with nothing other than occasional bonus points and regular spending (trying to charge *almost everything* when possible, although "everything" is never actually possible).
I agree completely. For international biz class travel, CC bonus points are huge. And they also allow (or used to anyway) bypassing silly airline pricing wherein one way fares can be more expensive than 2 way fares -- just take 2 award tickets on different airlines both ways.

Really, I would have to be in the top 0.1% before I stopped playing the game.

I think for some people, playing the credit card game is not a chore, it's almost fun.

For others, concern about identity theft, missing payments etc. outweighs any financial benefits.

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