Photo by InSapphoWeTrust
First Steps ...
I’ve learned a lot doing the Hobby, and if I were to start again, I would do things somewhat differently, and in advising friends, I can put together the perfect strategy.
We start with Chase. This is because of a rule Chase put into effect midway this year that kind of screwed me up, though not too badly. The rule is this - if you apply for five credit cards within 24 months, from any issuer and whether you are approved or not, Chase will automatically deny any subsequent applications. It’s colloquially called the 5/24 rule.
Have you applied for a credit card in the last 24 months? I suggest that you always mark the date you apply for these cards on a searchable calendar, like Apple Calendar or Google Calendar.
So let’s say you haven’t applied for a card in the last 24 months. Your first step will be to apply for five Chase credit cards. You can only get five credit cards every 24 months according to Chase - they might as well be Chase cards. (Not everyone has this 5/24 restriction, as you’ll see - if AMEX and Citi get wind of all the love you’re giving Chase, they’ll want a piece of your action!)
IMPORTANT PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: I'm going to suggest that you get a bunch of credit cards, and spend on them assiduously in the first few months of holding each of them, and probably spend on them regularly thereafter in targeted ways. If you want to do this Hobby, ALWAYS PAY THE STATEMENT BALANCE IN FULL, EVERY MONTH! Do not pay a dime of interest. Sign-up bonuses are lucrative, but the most value you can expect to earn on any dollar spent is 7-10 cents. If you are paying 15-25% interest, those gains will be wiped out, and you'll be LOSING money, not saving. Don't fall into this trap - pay in full every month!