Airline Rewards Cards for the Taking

I once wrote about how I thought that buying a house isn't always the right choice for everyone. It also turns out that not worrying about buying a house affords you some great freedom to make the most of your credit rating. By that I mean, if you're not looking to buy a property in the next 5 years, you can aggressively pursue credit card deals (air miles, cash back, etc.) without worrying about the impact of a low credit rating.

At the moment, Citi is offering 30,000 American Airlines air miles when you sign up for one of their cards. Of course, you probably already have at least one credit card and don't really need another one. But why let that stop you!?

I actually just got through applying for and being approved for two credit cards for a total of 60,000 air miles. Will my credit rating take a hit? Probably. Do I care? No. And by looking at the sorts of flights I take, the monetary equivalent of those air miles to me is about $1,000 to $1,500. That's a pretty good return on my investment of 5 minutes of work applying for the credit cards and the 30 minutes or so it'll eventually take me to cancel the cards. I've got a co-worker doing the same thing.

Are we scammers? I don't think so. We provided full and accurate information to Citi during the application process. Citi chose to approve us. We will comply with the terms that Citi has set forth and in return they will deliver what they promised just like any legitimate transaction. If asked why we're canceling, our answer will be the truth — we don't need the cards. If asked if we signed up just for the points we'll say yes. It's just business.

Still not convinced? Think of it this way, have you ever tried a sample at a grocery store knowing full well that there was no chance you'd buy the product? Yeah, I have too :-)

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