We Made Over $1,600 In Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses This Year

We love travel tips, especially when it involves free travel. This one might blow your mind. We made over $1,600 in credit card rewards in just one year. See how we did it and how to find the best credit card bonuses on MoneyManifesto.com.2014 was the first year we were constantly working on earning a credit card bonus throughout the whole year. Now that we’re not planning on taking out any big loans, like a new mortgage or car loan, we figure we can deal with the small dings on our credit that earning credit card rewards can cause.

We’ve earned quite a few bonuses this year that resulted in a ton of extra money we wouldn’t have had otherwise and it was free. Here’s a recap of the rewards we earned in 2014. Because offers change all of the time, I’ve just listed the general type of each credit card so I don’t accidentally share an offer that has changed or expired.

If you’re looking for a current sign up bonus credit card, make sure to check out my list here.

Credit Card 1 (Travel Credit Card)

The first sign up bonus we earned in 2014 ended up making us around $450 in travel statement credits. We had to spend $3,000 in 3 months, which wasn’t a huge deal. We used this money to pay for half of our first cruise of 2014.

Credit Card 2 (General Rewards Credit Card)

The second sign up bonus we earned was a targeted offer we received in the mail. We earned $250 in cash back for spending just $1,000 in the first 3 months. We used this money for some home improvements that we were looking forward to. Since we treat our bonuses as spending money, this was a great way to use this bonus.

Credit Card 3 (General Rewards Credit Card)

This bonus was a huge one and was also a targeted offer we received in the mail. This card ended up rewarding us with a $500 Home Depot gift card which we used to update all of our door hardware in our house. When we bought the house, we knew we wanted to replace all of the brass with brushed nickel and this mostly got the job done!

Credit Card 4 (Hotel Credit Card)

We decided to earn hotel points for the first time ever this year. We earned 30,000 points for spending $5,000 within the first 6 months of signing up for this card.

These points are very valuable and I can get a free night for as little as 2,000 points, but more normal options take anywhere from 5,000-20,000 points per night. We’ll probably get quite a few free nights from this card and it will be nice to have options for future vacations and road trips.

Credit Card 5 (Travel Rewards Credit Card)

The final credit card sign up bonus we earned in 2014 was 40,000 points for spending $3,000 in less than 3 months. These points can be converted to $400 cash or we can transfer them to a bunch of different travel partners like airlines or hotels.

We JUST earned these points so we don’t have a plan for them yet. We may use them on a flight for a vacation in 2015 or we might just take the cash and use it for home improvements. My bet is toward a vacation because the rewards are more valuable when transferred.

Our 2014 Total Value Of Rewards

In 2014, we earned a total value of $1,600 in measurable cash type sign up bonuses and quite a few free nights at hotels from the hotel credit card. Overall, I’d say we did pretty awesome considering we didn’t do any fancy credit card strategies like manufactured spending.

What credit card sign up bonuses did you earn in 2014? Do you use tricks like manufactured spending to earn the bonuses? I’d love to hear about your strategy in the comments!

Photo by: 401(k) 2012 Text added by: Lance Cothern

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About Lance Cothern

Lance Cothern, a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia, is the founder of Money Manifesto. You can read more about him here or connect with him on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Pinterest.


  1. That’s amazing! We made $400 from the Chase Freedom bonuses, plus 60,000 IHG points (equivalent to 6 nights where my husband has his National Guard drill weekends at), that I value at $498.00. Not a bad year for us, but an amazing year for you!

  2. We did some Marriott cards, both business and personal, yielding us over 100,000 hotel points. We used some of them to take an almost totally free 2 day get away to a lakeside resort. One of my best memories of 2014!

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