2017 is off to a great start with investments, credit card and bank bonuses.
From the “Investing Half My Annual Salary” post, I started 2017 with $20k in my Wealth Front managed investment account and as of today the amount is $21,205. I made over $1k in 3 months! Not exactly, this is rather meaningless unless I want to cash the entire amount out right now. It generally goes up or down ~1% ($200) everyday.
Credit Card Signups
Chase Hyatt – 2 Free night for $2k spend and $75 annual fee
Amex SPG – 35k points for $5k spend
Amex SPG Business – 35k points for $8k spend
Amex Blue for Business – 10k points for $0 spend and 10x points on restaurants for 6 months up to 20k
Amex Business Rewards Gold – 75K points for $5k spend
Amex Business Platinum – 75k points for $5k spend and $450 annual fee
2x Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard- $200 for $500 spend so $400 for $1K spend
Total: ~300k points and 2 free Hyatt nights
Cash Value: ~$5k plus 4 Hyatt nights (I have 2 from last year) that are probably going to be used at a category 7 hotel so I’d say they are worth $1k/night (not that I would spend that if I didn’t use rewards stays).
*These are bonuses that posted in 2017 so far. Meaning, I opened some/most of these accounts in 2016:
HSBC – $350 x 2
Wells Fargo – $250 x 2
Santander – $225 x 2
Schwab – $100 x 1
Chase – $500 x 1
Rewards Accumulated from Spend:
My business and personal bank statements say I withdrew $27,860 from January 1, 2017 through March 31, 2017. I also have to make about $7,000 in credit card payments over the next week for spend from quarter 1.
Total spend: ~$35,000 or $11,500/month
Most of this wasn’t real spend – i.e. I didn’t buy $35k worth of products and experiences. I spent about $30k on cash equivalents to meet minimum spend on card bonuses and the other ~$2k/month on actual expenses.
Even with all of the “manufactured spend,” I still ended up getting just under 5% [or 5 points/dollar] using high rewards earning credit cards, cash back portals, and etc. for a total of 166,045 points and miles.
Total cash value: ~$1,300 ($1,666 minus ~ $300 in visa gift card and other fees)
Total Quarter 1 Earnings:
About $10,000 depending on how the Hyatt nights are valued.
It has been a very good year for bank bonuses so far and I’m hoping that trend keeps up.
I am on track to make $40,000 this year from maximizing rewards, credit card and bank accounts but, at least this month, 70% of that is travel rewards that can only be converted to cash at a lower value. Realistically, I can expect to make about $12k in cash and $28k in travel.
The other option is to work a little harder to convert that $28k in travel to cash but I think I’ll stick with the luxury travel for now – posts to come.