Free Money 2005

As many of you know, I get a kick out of finding ways of generating ‘free’ money. Thus, I thought it might be fun to tally up what I’ve been able to come up with over the past year. While I’m not great at keeping records when it comes to some of this stuff, what follows is a rundown of everything that I can recall…

$300 in rewards from the Citi AT&T Universal Card
— This was helped along by a 5% off all purchases special offer
— Cashed in as checks from Citi

$300 in rewards from the Citi Dividend Platinum Card
— As above, this was helped along by a 5% off all purchases special offer
— Cashed in as checks from Citi

$1000 in rewards from the Citi Driver’s Edge Card
— Once again, this was helped along by a 5% off all purchases promotion
— We mostly cashed this in when we bought our new car

$45 in Citi Credit Protector enrollment checks
— 3 checks x $15 each

$90 in Citi Credit Protector retention rebates
— I got duplicate sets of 5 x $10 rebate coupons, and successfully cashed in all but one of them before they discovered their gaffe

$38.99 from Upromise
— We really don’t go out of our way to generate money through Upromise, but it still adds up

$16.88 from FatWallet FatCash
— This corresponds to a variety of smallish transactions initiated through their ‘CashBack Mall’

This brings the grand total to (drumroll please)… $1790.87! Note that we really haven’t gone after account opening bonuses, or those types of things, but we’ve still done pretty well. As I’ve noted previously, those credit card rewards were padded by a variety of things, including some pricey orthodontia, as well as a variety of work-related expenses for which I was later reimbursed. All in all, that’s not a bad take for very little effort.

6 Responses to “Free Money 2005”

  1. Anonymous

    I’m going to send everyone who ever said “oh those credit card reward programs don’t ever amount to anything, it’s such a waste of time” to this post.

    And the IRS of course.

  2. Two of the cards (AT&T and Dividend Platinum) gave me about two or three months (both of them had $300 limits). But then they were still 5% off ‘everyday’ purchases, so I racked up everything I could, then relegated them to groceries and gas while I used the Driver’s Edge for everything else. The latter card (Driver’s Edge) had a 9 month promo, so I had until October to cash it in. On top of that, the reward limit on that one was the highest — initially $500/year, but that was bumped to $1000/year in the spring.

  3. Anonymous

    Not bad. I guess it pays to use Citi. Just curious… How long was the 5% back on everything promotion? Did they give you a long window?

    I recently posted a comparison of cash back credit cards, but perhaps a back up Citi card (up to the $300 rebate limit) would be, well, rewarding.

    Thanks for the info. It just shows what’s possible with a little effort.

  4. I don’t think there’s anyway that I’ll come close to this in 2006. For one thing, the promotional reward card offers this year are nothing like they were fall a year ago.

Leave a Reply