Stupid Credit Tricks

A brief addendum to the Lowe’s Free Delivery post — while trying to figure out my best, most efficient options for using my “Reward” card to pay off already existing bills, I briefly entertained the idea that I could transfer $79 of my Amex balance to this debit card.  I’m still not sure if that would be viable or not — I could make arguments both for and against. 

But in googling the idea, I happened across an entire subculture of balance-transfer junkies who routinely (3 or 4 times a year) open up new credit cards with 0% offers on balance transfers for one year.  What they do is basically find efficient ways to turn an existing card’s entire line of credit into cash, stock it in a MMF, CD, or the like, and then transfer the entire balance onto a new 0% balance card, paying it off over the course of the year.

Which seems like a lot of risk for very little reward.  There was even a blogger who basically admitted that he makes about $700 a year doing this, but that his credit score takes huge hits from all the new accounts and activity.  Not to mention one missed payment on any of those cards could trigger universal default with all sorts of things.  I’m all about finding extra ways to squeeze, but to leave your credit score vulnerable in the process is just reckless.

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