New To Military Churning Best Practices 2020

Disclaimer: Credit card churning is not without risks. You may be banned for future relationships with banks if your activity is deemed to be too excessive. Manufacturing Spending is closely monitored, and may result in the cancelation of all credit cards with certain banks. Proceed with caution! Proceed with the idea of growth and not EXPLOITATION!

This guide is ment of entertainment purposes only and does not constitute any financial or tax advice. Please do not get any financial advice from internet strangers, you alone are responsible for you own actions!

The games and terms change over time, this information can be outdated. For example, Chase may one day eliminate the annual fee waivers on their products. Or AmEx could shut all your cards down overnight. These things have happened before, and may happen again.


Step One: Chase (Pick up to 5 cards)

Chase will check a rolling 24 month period in the past where no more than 5 new cards can be opened at ANY BANK, this is known as the 5/24 rule. Chase will only allow 5 personal cards to be opened before auto denial of all applications. Therefore Chase must be utilized first before any other bank.

The 2/30 rule says that you can only have two applications every 30 days or else you’ll automatically be rejected. Chase will only give one bonus every 24 months, or 48 months for Sapphire Product.

Refer to your credit karma report and keep track of when cards fall off the 24 month rolling period. This includes being added as an authorized user to someone’s account. It is not a good idea to add authorized users or be an authorized user for an account because it will show up on the AU credit report. Annual fees waived per MLA only for personal cards. Seq # will refer to articles to be written in the future.

The Chase business cards do not count toward your 5/24 count, but you can’t be over 5/24 to get them. Ideally you would be able to get 7 cards from Chase by interspersing the business applications while applying for consumer cards. You would report as a sole proprietor as well as use your SSN as the tax ID number.

Name Of CardSeq #LinkDisposition/Use
Sapphire Reserve (CSR)C1Public LinkAnnual $300 Credit
Chase Ink PreferredC1.1My LinkBiz Card: Must Pay $95
United Club CardC2Public LinkUnited Club Access
Chase Ink CashC2.1(Link Pending)No Annual Fee
Bonvoy BoundlessC3Referral LinkUpgrade to Ritz
Freedom (Vanilla)C4Referral LinkUpgrade to CSR
Freedom UnlimitedC5Referral LinkUpgrade to CSR
World of HyattC6Referral LinkAnnual Free Night 15k
Southwest PriorityC7Public Link$75 Credit, 7.5k Miles
IHG PremierC8Public LinkFree Night

Submit a request for SCRA/MLA benefits on the secure messages when you get the card. Annual Fees are waived on the personal cards only for service members, their spouses, and dependants. All subsequent new applications will be automatically considered once approved. Most often the waiver of fee letters come before the actual card!

After one year of ownership of the Marriott, Freedom, Freedom Unlimited or Slate you will call in and upgrade the cards via “product change”. The Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Slate can become yet another CSR that offer a $300 credit travel credit. The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant can be turned into a Ritz-Carlton Card that offers $300 in travel benefit as well as a free 50k night per year. I would wait till the free 35k night hits for the Bonvoy Brilliant.

U.S. Bank

After you get 5 cards from Chase (and two business cards) time to move to US Bank which only has two good cards (for what we do):

You need to have a US Bank relationship to get the altitude. I looked for an offer here and got $400 just to direct deposit $4,000 over three months. They waived my monthly checking fee due to military status.

You need to contact the U.S. Bank military line to get the annual fee waiver on all of their products.

American Express Charge

AmEx has a 5 card limit on personal cards, and no limit on charge cards. You can upgrade a personal card after one year. Business cards have no minimum time limit on when they can be upgraded. Often I have upgraded to a Platinum days after getting the bonus. You can have 2 new cards every 90 days, but people who hit this like clockwork have been shut down after having over 20 cards in less than 2 years! Be patient with AmEx or you will be ruined!

Product NameDispositionSeq #Link
Platinum Charge5x Airlines, Global EntryAH1Referral
Gold Charge4x Groceries, 4x DiningAH2Referral
Green Charge3x Travel, $100 ClearAH3Referral
MS Platinum ChargeDirect Airline BookingAH1.1Public
CS Platinum ChargeDirect Airline BookingAH1.2Public
AP Platinum ChargeDirect Airline BookingAH1.3Public
Business Platinum$5,000+ Buys, 35% RefundAB1Referral
Business Gold$5,000+ Buys, 35% RefundAB2Referral

American Express Credit Cards

These have a 5 card limit (personal and business included)

Product NameDispositionReturnLink:
Hilton Honors AspireAll Hilton$500, 1 nightYes
Hilton Honors SurpassUpgrade to Aspire$500, 1 nightYes
Hilton HonorsUpgrade to Aspire$500, 1 nightYes
Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantAll Marriott$300, 1 nightYes
Marriott Bonvoy BusinessReplace W Brilliant35k NightYes
Delta ReserveAll DeltaComp PassYes
Delta Reserve BizAll DeltaComp PassYes

The following are AmEx credit cards, both business and personal count towards the 5 card limit. You can apply for the same card twice, but will not receive the bonus the second time around. There was one time that “super links” were allowed to be generated. These special links would give you the bonus the second time around. No word if this system will return.

To apply for Service Members benefit, click the link at the bottom of the AmEx


The only worthwhile cards from Citibank are as follows:

  • Citi Prestige:
    • 4th night free on any hotel
    • 5x Thankyou Points on dining
  • American Airlines AAdvantage Executive
    • American Airlines Lounge Access for you and 10 AUs

Contact the Citibank SCRA unit. They are often confused and will take multiple tries to get the MLA coverage:

Citi Customer Service
No matter where in the world you find yourself, you need to know your bank, credit card or mortgage is working for you – and your family. Our customer service representatives are ready – 24/7 – to answer your questions and solve your problems. You can even call us collect. Check the link below to make sure that when you have to go at a moment’s notice, you have the right product behind you.

For credit cards, mortgage and other banking products from Citi:Customer Service
Contact us at 1-877-804-1082
Outside the U.S. (call collect) 1-605-335-2222

I have had the annual fees charged, then months later, get credited. Citibank is weird and often hit or miss, you just have to never give up! Here is another SCRA contact for Citi:

To request Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) status
The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides various protections to our US servicemembers around certain financial obligations, like credit card debt, mortgage payments and more. If you’re entering the military or going on active duty, let us know.

Call us at 1-877-804-1082 or if outside the U.S. (call collect) 1-605-335-2222.

You may also fax, mail or overnight/express delivery to the fax number and address listed below. Please make sure you also send us the proper documentation – this could include a copy of your written Department of Defense (DoD) orders, a letter from your commanding officer, or any other document that the DoD deems a substitute for official orders.For credit cards, mortgage and other banking products from Citi:

Citi Customer Service
P.O. Box 790398
St. Louis, MO 63179
Fax: 1-866-533-0503

How To Meet Spends

The website called plastiq is the best way to pay rent, childcare, tuition, and domestic workers such as landscapers for their work. Use this link or my code 674873 to sign up.

Organic spending is the best way to meet spend. If you do a lot of online shopping it may be worth using a portal site like top cash back or ebates (rakuten) to earn cash back when doing your normal shopping. I use cashback monitor to see which one offers the best deals.

The act of buying gift cards is a red flag for fraud. Many consumers that have excessive (Over $5,000) in gift card purchases have had all of their accounts shut down. Merchants report to the credit card companies what goods are bought as part of an anti fraud measure that gives them processing discounts. DO NOT BUY GIFT CARDS!