Why Derp Report Is (Now) Private

Thanks for years of your loyal readership! If you have been given a log in, please click on “log in” found in the lower left of the screen under “meta” to see over 700 articles regarding Churning for Military Members. Do not try to get a login by registration with WordPress. It will not work, as I must grant you access via the application link at the end of the post.

There is currently a war on churning! It started with the 5/24 implementation from Chase, and it’s latest attack is in the form of sweeping shutdowns of some of our very own readers. It is only time that any one of us gets shut down as well. Rules change, and it’s not to benefit us super users

The points game was created by the big banks to make sure we continue to consume beyond our means, and become debt slaves to the bank at 20% APR. It is about corporate greed and profit, but we have found an arbatage to screw them in their own game. Never forget this!

What we are doing is not in the best interest of the banking industry. The banks have fucked us for 10 years by dragging their feet to implement the Military Lending act of 2007 (MLA). They could have done the right thing and start compliance early, but every bank waited till they were legally required to comply in 2017, by capping interest and fees at a still whopping 36%.

The Main Stream Churning Media (MSCM) has blacked out mention of anything regarding the AmEx Shutdowns that happened around Veterans Day of 2019. However our own readers and smaller blogs such as Danny Deal Guru, Doctor of Credit, and Reddit have all been diligently reporting on the issue. This disparity in reporting had assured me that the majority of the MSCM blogs are actually run by corporate schils with no interest for the common consumer. They are just vapid mouthpieces for their corporate puppet masters. **Cough** Brian the points guy.

Our mindless consumption for their articles have made them popular “insiders”. Just like an instagram model, these “influencers” couldn’t give two shits about you losing all of your points in an overnight shutdown. The bulk of the articles are to show you what they have and how awesome they live. Their articles are to convince you that this is what you want! They are just pushing whatever product their sponsors want them to. Do not for a second believe that you need any of this bullshit.

The fact of the matter is points earning and spending has gone mainstream. When your grandma tells you about the awesome Visa Black card she has, then you know it’s over. With so many players in the “game”, the points earning is no longer an abartragable situation. You have just become a pawn buying into some bullshit dream though your credit card.

This is not the point of churning for us. By utilizing the MLA you sure as shit better be saving money on necessary travel and leave by using points. You should be then investing money (that you would have spent on travel) for your time after your active duty service. DO NOT LET THESE FUCKERS INFLATE YOUR LIFESTYLE! The minimum spends and rewards of worthless points are their way to get you to consume more.

You need to be strategic in earning these points without lifestyle inflation or manufacture spending to be successful! Otherwise you are falling into their trap.

The other concern I have is the hoarding of points, some of the people that got shut down were in the millions of points! What was the point to amass so many points and not use them for anything? Something has obviously gone wrong with the message. They may have been saving up to fly to Bora Bora in first class. Instead they actually paid for all of the small trips to “save” bullshit points. By doing this all the points ended up becoming worthless, and thousands were spent in cash for trips that would have been free.

Do not be this kind of sucker!

The site has gone private because we want to cater to each other. Mil to Mil is the goal, If you think this site is also run by some asshole shill of the banks, then you have come to the wrong place. I am just a real AD member such as yourself, and I want a community of like minded individuals. To ensure that, I have limited access to those that will contribute to our unique circumstance.

The request for access can be done by filling out form DRF 0001. Be patient with me until your DNA sample, fingerprints, and iris scans verify with DEERS! (j/k).

See you on the other side.

-Derp

Declassified: Churning Road Map For AD Spouses

Currently I am spending two weeks at Bethesda for a course and I ran into my old friend from dental school. He is finishing up some cases, super busy to PCS, and asked if his spouse could reach out to me about credit card advice. I just got a text from her asking:

I have read some military spouse fb fourms would any of these be a good option or do you have another recommendation all together?

Amex Platinum-the annual fee is waived for service members, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Southwest, or another airline?

(sad to see that AmEx plat is the only card on everyone’s mind)

I have know her husband since dental school way back in 2007! He went Army, and I went Navy, but this entire AD time I have been telling him the virtues of churning, especially with the SCRA and MLA waivers. He told me for many years that he was more than happy with his Cabela’s credit card. Now that he has a family, he is starting to see the cost of travel and vacations with kids. His wife says:

We are in the middle of moving to Hawaii and realized we need to make this move work for us – meaning get a credit card or two and put everything on it and earn points, rewards, or whatever for all our purchases.  One goal is to also earn enough points/airline miles to be able to fly family out to help out with the kids so my husband and I can do some solo traveling.

Well I decided to write my solutions here. This plan works for her only because she and her husband did not open any new cards in the last 24 months so they are known as 0/24. You can check credit karma to see how many cards you have gotten at any bank. Most of us are over 5/24 as in we have more than 5 cards at any bank. She is very lucky to have entered the game with a blank slate.

Rules of the game:

After each application you will need to go into the secure chat and request SCRA/MLA waivers, this should automatically apply for each additional card. She will promise me that her spends will not increase, and these spends are all organic in nature. She is smart to see that some big expenses are coming up, and these cards are perfect to capture this organic spend.

Also she pledges to me that these accounts are to be paid off on time, and even early if possible. The cards are to be treated like debit cards. Money will not be spent until matching funds exist in a bank account! If the game goes out of control, they are going to stop this game compley and go full Dave Ramsey plans! Also no gift cards are to be bought to pad the spend on these cards, this practice has cause accounts to be shut down for Both AmEx and U.S. Bank!

I optimized the solution to spread out earning over several hotel programs, and focus on Hilton and Delta since they have a lot of Hilton resorts in Hawaii, as well as the Delta companion pass from Hawaii to Mainland.

Step One: The CSR, INK, Freedom(s),

Keep in mind you can only get 2 cards every 30 days for Chase. Also each new personal card counts against the 5/24 count. However business cards do not, but require you to be under 5 cards at the time of application. I suggested this schedule:

  • Day One: Chase Sapphire Reserve (Public Link)
    • 50K UR Points for $4k spend in 90 days
    • $300 travel credit
    • Primary Rental Car Insurance
    • Priority Pass Lounges at airports (Including Some Restaurants)
  • Day Two: Chase Ink Business Prefered (Please Use My Referral Links Here)
    • 80k UR Points for $5k spend in 90 days
    • $95 annual fee is not waived
  • After 30 days: Chase Freedom (Please Use My Referral Links Here)
    • 20K UR (as a $200 credit) for $500 spend in 90 days
  • After 31 days: Chase Ink Cash (Please Use My Referral Links Here)
    • 5x on cell phone bill
    • Earns “Cash” where $1 is 100 UR
    • 50,000 UR ($500) for $3,000 spend in 90 days
    • No Annual Fee
  • After 60 days: Chase Freedom Unlimited (Please Use My Referral Links Here)
    • $150 (15,000 UR) for $500 spend in 90 days
    • 1.5 UR per $1 on anything

Note that there is a current offer of 60k right now for the Chase Sapphire Preferred (CSP), but don’t get suckered in since 10k UR is only worth $150 in travel. You need the CSR (reserve) because of the 1.5 cents per point on travel as well as the instant $300 travel credit. Also note that the CSR will have the $450 in annual fees waived for both the spouse, dependant, and service members. However the $95 annual fee will NOT be waived for the Chase Ink Preferred, instead the current 80,000 UR is well worth $1,200 in travel. The Chase Freedom has no annual fee and will be upgraded in one year to another CSR to get another $300 travel credit.

When UR points are earned on each card you would then pool them together in the CSR account and use it to book hotels and flights at 1.5 cents each.

In summary, in three months you would need to spend $13,000 to get the following:

  • 225K Ultimate Rewards worth $3,225 in travel
  • $300 Travel credit
  • $95 annual fee on Ink
  • $450 in fee waivers for the CSR (Per MLA)

In one year you would call and upgrade the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited to another CSR, and then downgrade the Ink Preferred to the free Ink cash. This combo can also be kept intact if you want to just keep earning points in this fashion:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve:
    • 3x UR on travel
    • 3x UR on dining
    • Lounge access at every Priority Pass Location
  • Chase Ink Preferred
    • 3x UR Travel
    • 3x UR Shipping purchases
    • 3x UR Internet, cable and phone services
    • 3x UR Advertising purchases
  • Chase Ink Cash
    • 5x UR on Internet, cable and phone services
    • 5x UR on Office Supply Stores
  • Chase Freedom
    • 5x UR on rotating quarterly categories
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited
    • 1.5x UR on everything

Unless you are planning on spending $4,000 a year on the Freedom rotating categories, it is not worth keeping the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited. Upgrading both to a CSR would give you an instant $300 travel credit (worth 20,000 UR). I would argue in keeping the Chase Ink Cash for the 5x for the phone and internet bill, Ink Preferred for 3x in shipping, and have points trickle in. Every year of your active duty status you will get $900 a year in travel credit, double this with your spouse and you will have this to look forward to:

  • First year: 450k UR worth $6,750 in travel
  • First year: $600 in travel credits
  • Every year of AD: $1,800 in travel credits

Travel credits work by charging anything travel related such as:

  • Flights
  • Hotel stays
  • Parking garages
  • Toll booths
  • Pedicab rides
  • Taxi rides (including ride-share services)
  • UberEATS orders
  • Public transportation

When charged to each CSR for up to $300 every card anniversary. You will have to keep good track of which cards have been exhausted. I would recommend putting $300 right on to each person’s Uber, then $300 right into your toll transceiver account, then use the rest on airfare. If you don’t use the credit after one year of opening the card it will be lost and reset!

Step Two: Free Hotel Nights With Chase

Chase has their hands in three hotel groups: Marriott/Ritz Carlton, IHG, and Hyatt. You can certainly get all three, but keep in mind you have only 5 cards you can get before Chase cuts you out forever (over 5/24)! This does not count for the business cards (ink does not add to the 5/24 count). So right now you should have 3 out of 5 cards, leaving two slots. I would recommend these two cards because they are the most lucrative:

  • Day 61: Marriott Bonvoy Boundless(Please Use My Referral Links Here)
    • 3 Free nights with $3k spend in 90 days
    • Free 35k point night per year
    • Upgrade to Ritz Card in one year
      • One free 50k point hotel per year
      • $300 in flight credit (Some airfare too)
  • Day 90: World of Hyatt Card (Please Use My Referral Links Here)
    • 50K Hyatt Points (25K for $3k spend, then 25K for $3k more)
    • Free cat 1 to 4 night every year
    • Points can be used for hotel and spa
    • Discoverist Status for Late Checkout and Resort Fee Waiver
  • Optional Card: IHG Premier Card (Public Link)
    • Free night once a year (40k points)
    • Platinum Elite status
    • 125,000 Points offer for $3k spend in 90 days

Hotel redemptions very greatly depending on time and location of your hotel stay. In the first year you could earn:

  • 3 free nights worth 105k Marriott points
  • 50K Hyatt points
  • 125k IHG points

These groups are huge IHG consists of these brands:

Marriott group:

And then Hyatt:

After the first year you will call Chase and upgrade the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless to a Ritz Carlton card which you will get the $450 annual fee waived. Now every year you would get (assuming you and your spouse are both follow along):

  • Two free 50k Ritz/Marriott Nights
  • $600 in flight credit for seat upgrades, food, lounge access
  • One Free IHG Night (40k points)
  • One Free Hyatt night (Cat 1-4)

Step Three: Finish up Chase With Airlines

EIther way you go, you need to fill up your 5 Chase cards, two good choices come to mind:

  • Day 60: Chase United Club Card (Public Link)
    • 50k United for $3k spend in 90 days
    • United Club Lounge access anytime
  • Day 90: Chase Southwest Premier Card (Public Link)
    • 7,500 annual bonus points
    • $75 annual Southwest credit
    • 40,000 points after you spend $1,000 in 90 days
    • 20,000 points after you spend $12,000 total in 1 yr

Now you are done with Chase because you have 5 personal cards and a single business card. YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO GET ANOTHER CHASE CARD AGAIN. Unless of course you stop getting any new personal cards for 24 long months.

Step Four: The One U.S. Bank Card

Not a lot of people know that U.S. Bank will waive for military, just open a checking account using one of these deals here. Wait a month and then get the U.S. Bank Altitude card. You will get $325 every year to use on travel related expenses. The first year you will get 50k points with $4,500 in the first 90 days of account opening. Each point is worth 1.5 cents on booking airfare.

I keep the card around and link it to my Apple Pay to earn 3x points every time I use my iPhone to pay for anything. You will also get a nice magazine called Andrew Harper wich will give you great ideas on where to vacation to. This card is the most under appreciated card in the military wallet.

Step Five: American Express

Note that some state residents do not get a waiver for military spouses. Florida seems to be the most problematic. Also AmEx watches what you buy and will shut you down if you buy too many gift cards ($5,000 and more).

Finally after after about a year of starting your journey you will get to the one card most military people know, the American Express Personal Platinum card. Note that this is a CHARGE card, and will not count towards the 5 card limit for every AmEx CREDIT card. AmEx has a rule where you can only get 1 card in 5 days, and then only 2 cards in 90 days! Here is the timeline assuming the first card it the Personal Platinum:

Image result for hilton brands

After one year you will have (assuming you spouse plays along):

  • Marriott: 2 Free 50k anytime nights every year
  • $600 in hotel credits at Marriott (Including Ritz)
  • Hilton: 6 Free weekend nights at any Hilton (including Waldorf Astoria)
  • Hilton: $1,500 Hilton Resort Credit
  • Hilton: $1,500 Airline Credit
  • $400 Uber Credit Per Year
  • $200 Saks Fifth Avenue
  • $400 airline incidentals for one airline

I suggest getting the Charles Schwab AmEx Platinum and/or the AmEx Platinum Business to best use your MR points. The Schwab Plat would let you cash out the 70k points at 1.25 cents for $875. The Plat Biz would be worth $1,050 on a single airline.

Step Six: Other Banks

Well the journey ends with Citibank wich has the Citi Prestige, Citi Premier, Citi AAdvantage Executive. All should be waived for military and spouses. I could write an entire article on the CItibank system.

That is my quick summary for this couple, check out www.mlatravelclub.com and www.thepointscommander.com in the future on ideas on how to spend the points and maximize benefits!

-Derp

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.

USE THIS GUIDE AT YOUR OWN RISK!

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

Citibank

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
SCRA Unit
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
SCRA Unit
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!