This is an update to a post I wrote last year on what I’ve been able to achieve with credit card, bank account, and brokerage account sign-up bonuses. I’ve continued to accumulate bonuses over the past year and finally reached a huge milestone: 1 million total miles/points from credit card bonuses!
If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you should definitely know by now that I am a huge fan of sign-up bonuses. I have written about credit card sign-up bonuses, bank account sign-up bonuses, and also about free vacations that I’ve been able to obtain using the bonuses themselves. If you’re completely unfamiliar with these bonuses, I’d suggest starting with credit card bonuses as they are usually the easiest. I wrote about the basics of credit card bonuses in the past, which should give you some background and information on how it all works.
I have spent the past three years (starting April 2015) aggressively pursuing sign-up bonuses to assist on my path to financial independence and to earn some free vacations and weekend trips. Since beginning, I’ve kept a close record of everything I’ve signed up for including: bonus amount, spending requirement, how long the account has to be open, how to avoid fees on the account, date approved, and date closed. I transposed some of this information into an Excel document in order better visualize the pertinent information and to determine how much I had actually earned from these bonuses. The results were ridiculous (and continue to get more awesome each year) and really surprised me!
Let’s go ahead and look at a couple of screen shots of the spread sheet and then I’ll discuss some of the specifics.
In total this is: 33 new credit cards and 35 new bank accounts opened in the past 3 years!
So from the totals at the bottom, you can see that I earned a total of 1,010,000 miles/points and 4 free hotel nights. You can also see that in cash bonuses I made $10,496 plus a $650 cell phone credit, which I also count as cash, which equals a total of $11,146. This is with fees that I paid already being subtracted out. I also decided to include in this total referral bonuses that I’ve gotten from referring friends and family to cards and accounts. I have received additional referral bonuses from readers of this blog, but I decided not to include those in this total to make it more relatable to my audience. This wouldn’t be something that’s possible for everyone, whereas everyone has friends and family they could help get started with cards and accounts and earn referral bonuses along the way.
If the above totals aren’t awesome enough, I’ve also used some of the airline and hotel miles, as well as the 4 free hotel nights, for some great stays including:
- 1 night in a suite at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston.
- 1 night at the iconic Plaza Hotel in New York City.
- 2 nights at the all-inclusive Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall in Jamaica. (We got an additional 2 nights from Whitney transferring some of her Chase UR points to Hyatt.)
- 2 nights at the all-inclusive Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay in Jamaica.
- 2 Round trip flights from Charlotte, NC to Montego Bay, Jamaica on Southwest.
- 2 Round trip tickets from Charlotte, NC to Aruba on American Airlines.
- Many weekend trips where we spent a night in various (not as memorable) hotels using Hyatt, IHG, or Hilton points.
- 2 flights from Virginia to Edinburgh. (Part of our around the world trip. Upcoming in July 2018)
- 2 flights from Hong Kong to Virginia. (Part of our around the world trip. Upcoming in December 2018)
- 10 hotel nights throughout our around the world trip in various countries July-December 2018.
When all is said and done, it is safe to say that I’ve gotten/will get well over $30,000 in value from all of these sign-up bonuses. That’s over $10,000/year of additional income, with much of that being TAX FREE! How amazing is that??
If you haven’t started pursuing sign-up bonuses, I strongly encourage you do so ASAP. These bonuses can lead to serious value, even if you don’t go as extreme as I have over the past three years. Feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments in the comments section below or send me a message! Thanks for reading!
*I want to give a huge shout out to the Doctor of Credit blog which played a major role for me in finding all of these bonuses. That is the site where I recommend that everyone start!*