Credit card churning has become increasingly popular over the years. If you’re not familiar with the term, “churning” is when you sign up for a new credit card to take advantage of the welcome bonus and then cancel the card before the annual fee for the second year kicks in.
What makes this strategy so popular is that you can easily get $250+ in value as a signup bonus. That said, churning isn’t for everyone. Every time you apply for a new credit card, your credit score decreases by 10 points. You’ll also have access to more credit, which could be problematic if you’re not responsible with your spending. There’s nothing wrong with churning more than one card at once, but it should only be done if you have a bunch of expenses coming up so you can meet the minimum spend requirements to get the welcome bonus.
However, if you always pay bills on time and in full every month, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of a good credit card deal. For most people, finding a deal that’s worthwhile can be too time-consuming, but that’s where we have you covered. Here are the best credit cards to churn right now.
- $150 annual fee (first year is free)
- Get 35,000 BMO Rewards points as a signup bonus
- For every dollar you spend on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases, you’ll get 3 BMO Rewards points
- For every dollar you spend on all other purchases, you’ll get 2 BMO Rewards points
- Free Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey with 4 annual free passes
You know you’re getting a good deal when there’s a generous amount of points up for grabs and the annual fee is waived for the first year. With the BMO World Elite Mastercard, the 35,000 points welcome bonus you get when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership is worth $250. The annual fee is normally $150, but because it’s waived for the first year, you’re actually getting $400 in value right away. You also get lounge access thanks to your Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey and four annual free passes. That would normally cost you at least $270, so you’re getting $670 in value in the first year for free! One thing to note: since this is a World Elite Mastercard, there’s a minimum individual annual income requirement of $80,000 or a household annual income of $150,000 for you to be eligible for the card.
- $120 annual fee (this won’t be refunded if you churn)
- 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points welcome bonus
- Earn five Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 in eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties
- Earn two Marriott Bonvoy points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
- Annual free night award after your card anniversary each year
- Free Marriott Bonvoy Silver Elite status
- Achieve Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status when you charge $30,000 to your card each year
- 15 Elite Night Credits each calendar year
With more than 7,000 properties in more than 115 countries, Marriott is the largest hotel chain in the world. This is great news for people who sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card since you could get 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $1,500 to your card in the first three months of card membership. That’s enough points for one night at a category six hotel, two nights at a category four hotel, or five nights at a category two hotel when you factor in Marriott’s ongoing promotion where you can get the fifth consecutive night for free when you book the first four nights using your points. The value of those points could easily be worth $300 to $800. Although churners typically cancel their cards before the second year’s annual fee kicks in, it may be worth keeping this card since you get an annual free night award (for a room worth up to 35,000 points) after your card anniversary each year.
- $120 annual fee (first year is free)
- 60,000 TD points welcome bonus
- Earn nine TD points for every $1 spent on Expedia for TD
- Earn three TD points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
If you sign up for the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card online by September 3rd, 2019, you’ll get 20,000 TD points after your first purchase and an additional 40,000 TD points when you charge $2,000 to your card within 90 days of opening your account. You can earn the remaining 20,000 TD points as an anniversary bonus as long as you charge $10,000 to your card within 12 months of opening your account and keep your account in good standing.
That said, if you’re going to churn, then chances are you’re going to cancel before the anniversary arrives, so you’ll probably only be eligible to earn 60,000 points as a welcome bonus. 60,000 TD points are worth $300 when booking travel on Expedia for TD, plus you get the $120 annual fee waived for the first year so you’re getting $420 in value when you sign up. Since 20,000 points are only worth $100, you’re not actually coming out ahead when you factor in the annual fee. That said, TD clients who have an All-Inclusive Banking Plan can get the annual fee waived for this card every year. For those customers, this card could be a keeper. Note that since this is a Visa Infinite card, there’s an income requirement of $60,000 for an individual or a household income of $100,000 to qualify.