Video: The Truth About “Churning” Credit Cards

The act of “churning” credit cards refers to earning repeat signup bonuses on the same product by cancelling your card and reapplying sometime in the future. How viable is this strategy?

Well, in the past, it’s something I’ve openly recommended here at Prince of Travel, but it’s no longer something I recommend quite as enthusiastically these days. In this video, let’s talk about why.

In the US, banks have set up strict rules to combat this kind of behaviour, and we’re seeing early signs of these rules here in Canada as well, even though the enforcement of these rules may not be quite as strict just yet.

But in my opinion, we’re headed in the direction of stricter enforcement – and in addition, publicly recommending these strategies would only serve to hasten their demise.

Without further ado, you can watch the video below:


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  1. BG

    I am impressed by Ricky’s mature responses! I haven’t been in the hobby that long, but have seen other Canadian bloggers fall by the wayside (points wise/nerd/canadian kilometre, etc.) Ultimately, it’s not possible to support yourself on just credit card referrals. Ricky is turning this into a business/career. What he could post as a start up is likely unsuitable now.

    1. Ricky YVR

      I appreciate your support BG. It’s been a wild journey over the years and I still feel like we’re just getting started. Alas, I won’t be able to please everyone along the way.

      1. Salem

        “Alas, I won’t be able to please everyone along the way.” especially those who have issues realizing that the the old, golden and outrageous churning days are perhaps history.

  2. Stefan S.

    There’s no mystery – at the end of the day everything Ricky post will be about “growing his fan base” and “lining his pocket”. He’s going to recommend products that’s either going to get him referrals, for which he’s got affiliate links (BMO, HSBC, etc?), or entice noobs to join his subscription service to get info that are already widely available on the forums (if you put in some time to search). From this video, I would not be surprised if Ricky is already (or is about to become) an Amex affiliate and he was asked to clean up his act… hopefully he continues on this sellout path and starts discouraging “other behaviors” that are immensely profitable to others but he is helping kill because he doesn’t use these personally.

    1. Ricky YVR

      Your tone seems unnecessarily adversarial but you aren’t wrong: growing Prince of Travel is absolutely my goal at this time, and recklessly encouraging high-risk strategies makes life more difficult for me; instead, it’s better to let people know that these strategies may work to some extent, but are also done at their own risk.

      The same is true for the immensely profitable behaviours you speak of too – people ought to know about them, but only pursue them if they’re comfortable with the risks in exchange for the potential rewards.

  3. Nomadic_on_Points

    Wow! maybe the “Prince” is finally maturing and growing up (or he got some threatening emails from some lawyers. lol). Whatever the reason is, Ive been saying for years that your peddling of scamming credit cards was sad and pathetic. You always reminded me of the sketchy cell phone repair guys at Pacific Mall especially with your lame social media ads. “My name is Ricky and here I am sitting in my Emirates suite. If you want the same thing, signup for a credit card using my link, cancel it after 3 months and keep on doing it. Its that easy!” Just think about how sad and scummy that sounds. And you’re proud of yourself?

    Maybe one day you will get a real job so you can afford hotels like Aman, Explor, Como or Relais that already give you all the perks you try to earn through lame mattress runs at big chain hooker hotels near the airport.

    Many of your Minion followers will probably defend you but I dont understand why. The irony is that it looks like your efforts and blog are going to eventually destroy the hobby in Canada that they desperately cling on to. Congratulations!

    1. MB

      The only thing that’s sad and pathetic is that comment. You sure sound like a piece of work…

    2. Ricky YVR

      I have to admit I’ve never thought of the Hyatt Place Toronto/Mississauga in that way before.

  4. Joey

    So, if you no longer recommend churning, then what will this site turn into? Another “pointsguy” (TPG), where he used to encourage churning, and now just turned into some travel blog?

    1. Ricky YVR

      The reality is that “churning” will always be a part of the strategy for the most dedicated points collectors (like I said in the video, myself included). And so it’ll always be there in the subtext, if not openly encouraged for the reasons I mentioned.

  5. Max

    Ricky, I was told by a source that several of your “insider Plat members” actually are aliases for marketing employees at several banks, including Amex. They have direct access to all your private posts at the highest level at this point running the PT blog may be counter productive to the community if all your tips and tricks directly get reported to the issuers.

    1. Ricky YVR

      As you can imagine that’s the kind of claim for which I’d need to see incontrovertible proof before doing The Purge. In the meantime, I hope they enjoy their Dubai postcards

  6. Eric in NL

    I would add a comment on my type of CC strategy. But I won’t….They are watching lol

  7. Al

    Yup we should all be scared and more careful! They’re coming for us. I read that TD 12 month bonus thing last year in the application. I now don’t cancel my cards until the fee is due, thus going past the 12 months by a week or two to be safe. I wonder if banks and credit cards can after you after the fact? Post Covid I believe they will come down hard. Anyways hello USA credit cards 🙂

    1. Ricky YVR

      I actually think the immediate post-COVID world may be kinder to us than the early COVID days when banks were hemorrhaging money and going into ultra-conservative mode, but like I mentioned the long-term direction is probably in the direction of stricter rules, not less strict.

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