Credit Cards, Churning and my Excel Spreadsheet

As I mentioned previously, between Blogger Hubby and myself we have over 20 credit cards.  It is very important to keep track of all the cards.

Some of the cards are churnable – which means if you close them, wait a year then you can reapply for the cards and get the bonus points again.  For that reason it is important to know when you closed them and when you can reapply for a new card

It is difficult to churn credit cards with the Chase products but I have had success with the American Express products.

amex

I opened an American Express Gold card  in January 5th for the 50,000 membership points.  I did my $3000 spend on it and was waiting for my points to be deposited into my account.  They never deposited so I sent a Secure Message to them through my online account.  AmEx had informed me that the Gold card I had last year had only been closed 11 1/2 months so I did not qualify for the bonus again.  I tried appealing their decision but to no avail.

I knew then that I needed to keep better track of my credit cards and came up with my Excel Spreadsheet.  I list all my cards, the account numbers, the date I opened it, the date I closed it, what the bonus points were, what the minimum spend was for those points, where I was to date in regard to the spend, the closing date for each month’s spending, and how many points I have.  I update it each month when I receive my bill.  I know that many of you don’t have many cards and don’t want to take the time to get organized but once it is set up, it doesn’t take much time to keep it updated and to not lose a single point because you didn’t know the date you closed an account.  I wish I had started it when I first began signing up for these credit cards rather than when I had about 20 of them.

Whenever you open a credit card your credit receives a hard pull on your report and your FICO score will go down about 3-5 points per hard pull .  That score will go up again in about 3 months.  Your credit score is extremely important ficoand you need to be diligent about keeping it healthy and understanding what affects it and when it recovers.  I hope you find this information helpful should you decide to churn credit cards.  BTW, I still have excellant credit.  I would not do anything that would hurt me in the long run.  Check your credit with QuizzleCredit Sesame, or Credit Karma to see where you are.

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2 thoughts on “Credit Cards, Churning and my Excel Spreadsheet

  1. Hi Jane,
    You have a great blog with a lot of useful information! Being new to this I understand the value in keeping track of it all. Would you be willing to share your excel sheet so I could have a sample to go by?
    Thank you!

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