The Beginner's Guide to Churning: Earning Rewards with Ease

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The Beginner's Guide to Churning: Earning Rewards with Ease


If you’re ready to embark on a rewarding journey of churning, this beginner’s guide will provide you with a step-by-step roadmap to get started. Churning, the practice of maximizing credit card rewards and introductory offers, may initially seem complex, but with the right resources and knowledge, it becomes a remarkably easy process. In this guide, we will explore valuable resources, essential concepts, and practical examples to help you begin your churning journey.

Step 1: Educate Yourself

Before diving into the world of churning, it’s crucial to gather the necessary knowledge. A valuable resource that serves as the foundation for churning enthusiasts is the subreddit r/churning. This online community is a treasure trove of information, discussions, and success stories. Spend time exploring the subreddit’s wiki, guides, and daily threads to familiarize yourself with churning terminology, strategies, and credit card recommendations.

Step 2: Understand the Basics

To make informed decisions, it’s essential to grasp key concepts in churning. One crucial concept is the Chase 5/24 rule. This rule states that Chase typically denies credit card applications if you have opened five or more credit card accounts across all banks in the last 24 months. Understanding this rule is important because Chase offers some of the most lucrative credit card sign-up bonuses. By prioritizing Chase cards before reaching the 5/24 limit, you can maximize your rewards potential.

Step 3: Choose Your Starter Cards

As a beginner, it’s advisable to start with a few cards that align with your spending habits and offer attractive sign-up bonuses. Here are some examples of popular starter cards:

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: This card offers a straightforward cashback structure, making it a versatile option for everyday purchases. Plus, it can serve as a stepping stone to other valuable Chase cards in the future.

  • American Express Gold Card: If you’re interested in travel rewards, this card offers generous points on dining and supermarkets, along with various travel perks.

  • Capital One Venture Rewards: This card is an excellent choice for those seeking flexible travel rewards, with a straightforward earning structure and the option to transfer points to airline and hotel partners.

Step 4: Compare and Contrast

When choosing between different credit cards, consider various factors to find the best fit for your needs. Some key considerations include:

  • Sign-up Bonus: Evaluate the value of the sign-up bonus and ensure it aligns with your spending patterns and redemption goals.

  • Annual Fee: Consider the annual fee and determine if the benefits outweigh the cost. Some cards may offer waived fees for the first year or additional perks that justify the fee.

  • Rewards Structure: Examine the rewards structure and see if it aligns with your spending habits. For example, if you frequently dine out, a card with bonus points on dining may be more beneficial for you.

Step 5: Manage Your Churning Journey

As you begin your churning journey, it’s important to stay organized and manage your credit cards effectively. Here are some tips:

  • Track Your Applications: Keep a record of the credit cards you’ve applied for, the approval status, and important dates, such as the minimum spend requirement deadline.

  • Meet Minimum Spend: To qualify for the sign-up bonus, ensure you meet the minimum spend requirement within the specified timeframe. Consider strategies like paying rent or bills through your credit card to reach the minimum spend faster.

  • Pay Off Balances: Churning requires responsible credit card usage. Pay off your balances in full and on time to avoid interest charges and negative impacts on your credit score.

Step 6: Reap the Rewards

Churning offers exciting rewards and outcomes that can enhance your lifestyle. Here are some key rewards to look forward to:

  • Sign-up Bonuses: Earn a substantial amount of points, miles, or cashback as a reward for meeting the minimum spend requirement. These bonuses can often be redeemed for travel, hotel stays, statement credits, or gift cards.

  • Travel Benefits: Some credit cards offer travel perks like airport lounge access, travel credits, travel insurance, and complimentary elite status with hotel or airline loyalty programs.

  • Points and Miles: Accumulate points and miles through everyday spending, bonus categories, and additional promotions. These rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and more.


Getting started with churning is an exciting endeavor, and by following this step-by-step guide, you can unlock a world of rewards and benefits. The subreddit r/churning serves as a valuable resource for information and guidance throughout your journey. By understanding key concepts, choosing suitable starter cards, comparing their features, and managing your churning activities responsibly, you’ll be well on your way to reaping the rewards and maximizing your credit card experience. Start your churning journey today and embrace the financial opportunities that await you!

Remember not to forget about your previously churned cards! Ensure those credit accounts stay open so that you can maximize your average account age and available credit limit. Retainur takes care of this automatically while you enjoy free travel and perks. Just sign up here and never worry about them again.