Want Free Stuff thats actually free? I Do it With Credit Cards.

Over the past two years, I have racked up a ridiculous amount of free stuff including a fifty inch smart tv, an xbox one(yes, I’m a nerd), some raybans, headphones, and plenty of gift cards for the wife including over thirty movie tickets. All totaling around $1,500 in free swag. How did I do it? I just signed up for some credit cards.

Step 1. Find a Promo

You know those letters you get in the mail from credit cards telling you that you’ll get thousands of points for free just by signing up. The ones you so casually discard and forget about almost as quickly as you decided to throw them away. Yeah, those are the money makers. You can also usually seek those out online. Credit Karma has a good feature for letting you know which ones you qualify for and which one’s currently have promos.

Step 2. Do Some Research

The key is to maximize the amount of free stuff you’re going to get so you need to take a little initiative and do some research. First of all, points don’t always equate to cash. I almost exclusively convert them to amazon points except in the case of my AmEx card. The reason here is that Chase (2 of my 3 credit cards) has a 1:1 trade ratio with amazon. Meaning that every point you earn equals 1 cent on amazon. So every 100 points = 1 dollar. Where as other CC provider’s don’t trade quite as well.

I got what was seemingly a fantastic offer from AmEx in the mail one day. 35000 bonus points for signing up and spending $1,500 in 3 months. No problem, I did it and got my points and to my surprise they did not even come close to trading 1:1 on amazon. Don’t get me wrong, AmEx has pretty solid travel rewards and has some really great gift card options which is mostly what I used, but I am a loyal amazon user and love being able to use points on anything from dog food to a tv.

Research is key here. Some of these cards have yearly fee’s that are usually waived for the first year when you sign up. Make sure the points you’re getting offset this cost, otherwise it just doesn’t make sense, plus you can always cancel the card later.

There is plenty of information out there about each companies rewards system that is available to you before signing up. Always do the research before signing up and make sure you have a sweet offer.

Step 3. Use Those Points

This is the easy part and by far the most fun. Just so everyone has an idea here. My last chase card offer was 50,000 points for signing up and spending 3k in a three months. That’s $500 dollars on amazon. You also still get points on top of the bonus offer for the 3k you spent to get there, so you should be at $530 to spend on Amazon if you get an offer like that in the mail. See, free stuff really isn’t that hard to get.

A special side note: Don’t EVER get caught holding a balance, most of the CC companies are praying and hoping that you will forget to pay your balance. Pay off what you spend at the end of every month, otherwise those 19.99% interest rates will take any hope you had of getting free stuff.

Linked up at alifeinbalance

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