By now you should have a pretty good amount of money in that 6% Savings account. I don’t need to tell you to not touch that money period(other than to pay your monthly minimum payment). This is guarantee money earning interest. Don’t do anything fancy like putting into a mutual fund. You want guarantee money in a liquid 5% savings account with easy access.
Now come my final installment of App-O-Rama- taking care of all those monthly bills. This is the main reason why people won’t do App-O-Rama. Some of the excuses are “too much hassle”, “I can’t keep this up”, “If I miss one payment, I’m screw..blah blah”, etc. Lets be real. If someone tell me that you gonna give me 5K every year to take care of a few bills..sign me up man!
Here is how I make the arbitrage game less stressful:
- I do all my balance transfer at the same time
- Set a reminder in my cell phone and in my Google Calendar around the 11th month to pay off my balance.
- Add all my credit cards info in my Everbank Account (Everbank.com is where I do my monthly minimum payment..check out my review here)
- Set a recurring minimum monthly payment to all my 0% APR cards once I get my first statement.
What about BT fees? Didn’t you say there are ways to get out of that? It worked a few times, but this required some hustling skills.
- For Bank of America credit cards, I was able to talk to the CSR to do BT with no fees. Even though my cards originally say that there is a 3% BT fees, CSR are willing to work with you. When you first activated your card with the CSR, and I am sure they will mention BT. Now act like you don’t know about BT and to ask about the BT fees. Say something like, “wow..that is great..I want to do BT right now..but I don’t want to pay any BT fees”…or “I hear BOA offers no BT fees..is that true?”…some BS along those lines.
- With Chase credit cards, there is a $75 cap fee on BT. Now they won’t advertise this, but when you do BT with Chase…tell them that “my friend did BT within thirty days..he was offered no BT fee…can you give me the same offer?” You want to play dumb at the beginning and act like you don’t know jack. You want them to hype you up. Stick out carrot lines like “yeah, I would love to do a 15K BT right now..but only if there is no BT fees.” If the CSR says he doesn’t know, ask to speak to the manager. Check out this thread from fatwallet.
- Most Citi cards I listed have no BT fees.
- I did BT with my Capital One card. There was a $50 max BT fee. I called back a week later with lines like “wait a minute..today when I check my online statement, there is a $50 fee…now I was told that there was no BT fee..what is going on?” You get what I am saying. I spoke to the manager and she took the fee off. This might work with Chase too. Again, if these methods are not your style, then don’t do it. Most of these methods are YMMV.
What about Credit Protector from those credit card companies? Tell them no, you are not interested when you first activated your card. However, once you are done with BT, you will have a lot of 0 balance cards with $100 or $500 credit limit that you keep open. Why not take advantage of the bonuses whenever you join credit protector such as this $100 gas card from citi and make money by signing up.
Chase will send you a lot of $20 bonus for their Credit Protector too. Of course you only want to do this on your 0 balance crappy cards. You know the drill: get the bonus, cancel, then recycle the process. For other cards such as AmEx or BOA, call them up and ask if they have similar program. E.G. “hey, what’s credit protector? Can you tell me more? Citi is offering $100 bonus..do you offer the same?” ..etc.
Credit Protector simply means they will pay your monthly payment whenever you lose your job or moving to a new house. If you are moving to a new house or lose a job in the middle of the year during your app-o-rama, you can make serious money by actually signing up for credit protector in advance with your 20K balance card.
An equal important factor during your app-o-rama year is to keep calling them about increasing your credit line with your current cards. Of course you always want them to increase without doing a hard pull. Make sure you stated that clearly every time you call them. Some cards such as AmEx and Citi will let you do it online without doing a hard pull. More info on that here and here. You want to do this every three month on all your cards because you want higher credit limit overall. It’s always a good idea to get your debt/credit limit ratio to be as low as possible.
On a side note, I hope you have enjoy my Guide to HustlerMoneyBlog Part 1 through 5. I want to thank all the true hustlers on Fatwallet. I’m sure there are many different ways to do this, therefore you must continue to read and research with the latest update on App-O-Rama. Feel free to add your 2 cents.