Credit Card Rewards Income

I never really thought of credit card rewards as passive income but as I’m looking at my $540 in rewards, I’m thinking. I could just use that money to buy another investment. That $500 could be making me about $2 per month in passive income.

How did I get $500? I bought stuff; gas, home improvement materials, etc. And I paid bills; the gas bill, the electric bill, car insurance, etc. I’d estimate that it took about two years to accumulate this. I’ve been saving it in the account for potential future travel but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be used to just buy more assets that make more passive income.

I have the Capital One Quicksilver card which pays me 1.5% back on all purchases. I’m not worried about which card I use for gas and which I use for the restaurants. I can just use the same card for everything and still rake in the credit card rewards.

Actually, just after the last sentence you read (while I’m writing this), I just applied for the Capital One Venture card which pays me 2% back on everything and comes with an introductory bonus of 50,000 points for spending $3,000 in the first three months. This is perfect because our water heater is about 25 years old so we shouldn’t have any trouble at all meeting this requirement. That 50k points? Consider that $500 of passive income.

I just upped my credit card rewards passive income by 0.5%.

Can anyone do this?

Potentially, here’s where good credit comes in handy. My credit is exceptional, I’ve spent the last decade and a half actively managing my credit. I’m never late, I pay off my balance every month, I’ve diversified my account mix, limited my credit inquiries, and my credit age is getting very respectable. If you don’t know where you stand on your credit, go to Credit.com and check. It’s free and it gives you a credit scorecard so you can see where you are in each of the five categories. It also helps you with an action plan over the next few months with what you can do to improve your credit.

What about a card for you?

First, check you credit and make it a priority to improve it. I’m effectively capped at how high I can go based on my credit age; there’s nothing I can do for that except wait for time to pass.

Second, shop around for cards.

Assuming you’ve made a commitment to paying off your credit card each and every month you shouldn’t have to worry about the APR (interest you’ll pay). Look for the annual fee; if you can find a credit card without an annual fee, go for it. If you can get a credit card that gives you rewards, do some math and make sure that the rewards you get back outpace the annual fee. If you have a $100 annual fee, you’d better be getting more than $100 back in rewards annually. But hey, maybe I’m wrong, if you can’t find one without an annual fee then at least the rewards are reducing your annual fee liability.

Rewards/Bonuses

New card bonuses can be tempting but you can’t just go around getting card after card for the bonuses; that would ruin your credit (by both age and inquiries). Choose wisely. With CapOne’s 50k bonus; I’m pretty happy with being accepted. However, before you apply, always be sure you understand the conditions of the bonus and be sure you can get there. If you don’t, you’ve just wasted your potential gain.

There are only about three cards that I would consider for myself and I just got one of them. The Capital One Venture card pays the highest rate back on all purchase (no differences between where and what you buy), the next one on my list is the Chase Saphire Preferred card. I hate that it has a $500 annual fee but if you’re a traveler, this card could easily make it worth it. Another noteworthy card is Alaska Air’s card. It comes with one yearly companion ticket. It’s like a BOGO for airfare so you can take someone on a trip with you.

Bon Voyage



Categories: Credit Card Rewards

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