2million - My Journey to Financial Freedom

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

$150 in Gift Cards and $26.5K Balance Transfer for One Year

Last month I realized that the 2 0% Balance Transfers that I was taking advantage of to earn interest in savings accounts were expiring and needed to be paid back in full. However, I was in the middle of purchasing my next property and didn't want to risk problems with obtaining financing by signing up for any new balance transfers until after the deal was complete.

As soon as I closed on my new property I started the process of signing up for a new balance transfer. I had been stock piling credit card mailings to review to see if I could find a good offer - there were plenty to choose from. However, one caught my eye that seemed very lucrative.

I discovered that my existing Citi Diamond Rewards Credit Card (from a previous balance transfer) offered a 5,000 point bonus (5,000pts = $50 gift card) to refer a friend to sign up for the card. The offer was include on the last page of the statement with my referral code.

The Citi Diamond Rewards Credit Card offered 10,000 points with your 1st purchase on the card and a 0% Balance Transfer for 12 months with no balance transfer fees.

So I began to think that I could try and refer myself to take advantage of all the potential bonuses. I used the referral code on my credit card statement to refer my self to the card. I then filled out the credit card application and sat around and waited for several days.

The new credit card showed up with a $10,000 credit limit. Not bad. I immediately activated the card and went to the store and made a small purchase with it. I then added the card account to my online Citi account so I could see the card activity and make payments online.

About 3 days later the transaction showed up on my account and I immediately made a payment to my card to pay off the amount I charged (yes, even without waiting for the bill). I hope this will qualify me for the 10,000 bonus points (10,000pts = $100 gift card) with my 1st purchase.

2 days later my payment cleared. I called up the Citi customer service and requested they move $16,500 of the credit limit from my old card to my new card which put the new credit limit at $26,500.

I then went back online to my Citi account and requested a balance transfer check for $26,500. The check showed up about 1 week later.

Things are looking good, I am still waiting for all the points to show up so I can redeem them for the gift cards. As long as all the points show up this will be my most profitable 0% Balance Transfer deal yet!


  • Let me know if you still get the points. I waited until I got the first bill to pay it off (.75c :P). This was to make sure I got the points, but my wife recently applied and qualified so I would rather pay it off right away. Keep us posted!

    By Blogger Frank, at 10:19 AM  

  • So wait, you filed an application for the exact same card you already had, referred yourself (using different contact information?), got said new card, and didn't have a problem combining your two identical cards back into one?

    That just sounds amazing, and makes me think Citibank really just sin't on top of things. However, that said, awesome! Glad it worked out for ya, and hope the points show up.

    By Blogger ChippingAway, at 10:26 AM  

  • Just to clarify - I used the same contact information and transfered most of the credit limit from the old card to the new card, I didn't combine the 2 accounts (but I guess I could have).

    By Blogger 2million, at 10:40 AM  

  • 2million,

    I looked for this card on the Citi web site. This is what I found: Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® MasterCard®

    Is this it? In the terms and conditions for this one it lists a 3% balance transfer fee with a $5 min and $75 max. Did you have to pay the $75 to get the check? You were able to request a check to yourself on line? It is not a cash advance when you do this?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:00 PM  

  • No I used the Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards Card.
    In the fine print it should say- "
    The transaction fee for balance transfers is 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, $5 minimum, $75 maximum. However, there is no balance transfer transaction fee on balances you transfer in response to this offer."

    By Blogger 2million, at 1:39 PM  

  • I wish I had your guts to do this - I just get so nervous with this kind of thing. I keep listening to all you guys out there doing this and I think I am getting ready!

    By Blogger Denise Mall, at 2:54 PM  

  • I have an existing Discover Cashback Bonus Plan card with a 10k Limit and recently opened a new Discover Miles card with a 5K limit with 0% transfer for 12 months.Does that mean I can tranfer the 10K balance from the old card to the new card and increase my credit limit to 15K in the new card

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:33 PM  

  • You can certainly try - I have only done it with Citi so I don't know if Discover will do it. If you wanted to transfer the entire 10K limit they would probably close you old account. I transferred $16,500 out the $18,500 limit so I could keep my old card/account for normal purchases.

    By Blogger 2million, at 3:57 PM  

  • Thanks 2 Million.I just transfered 7K from the old card to the new card increasing the credit limit to 12K.I am planning to tranfer the 7K to my HSBC direct account.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:22 PM  

  • Just a question on this, how do you get them to issue a check to you to act as a balance transfer, don't they have to send it to a bank? I don't have any outstanding debt....

    By Blogger drewbegga, at 2:25 PM  

  • I received by 10,000 point (=$100 gift card) the other day, but I am still waiting on my 5,000 points for the referral.

    By Blogger 2million, at 8:51 AM  

  • This sounded really good to me as I keep balances on cards to keep my credit rating up but only when I can do it without paying interest. However, in the terms and conditions for this card it states "Please note you cannot transfer balances from other accounts issued by Citibank USA N.A., Citibank (South Dakota) N.A., or their affiliates." and also " Balance transfers, cash advances, convenience checks, . . .do not earn ThankYou Points unless otherwise specified." So I'm wondering how you managed to get points when it violates both of these card member conditions?

    As a side note, I attempted to transfer a balance this week from my AT&T Universal card (a Citi affiliate) to my Citibank card and was refused.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:08 PM  

  • they changed the terms in this card from the link you sent. Now it says "Balance transfer fee applies with this offer"

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:47 PM  

  • Good job! this actually supports my idea that credit cards should be used for making money rather than for borrowing it. When people get credit cards because they don't have the money they fall into a debthole and the situation becomes even worse.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:12 AM  

  • Many credit card holder use balance transfers to move credit card debt around without paying much of it off. After several balance transfers you’ll run out card providers to move the balance to. Your credit may get dinged, or credit card providers may see a pattern in your balance transfer arbitrage and deny you new credit. If you are going play transfer tricks, pay your bills on time and pay requirement min amount each month.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:58 AM  

  • Before transferring a balance, ask if there is a fee. Also, ask how long the low rate lasts. Those low rates on credit card offers are generally only for six months. If you are late on one payment, the low rate is instantly increase. Another note of caution: When you transfer a balance from one card to another, wait to see the balance appear on the new card before closing the old one itis very very important!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:18 AM  

  • Great idea. I'm going to give it a try and will keep you posted on the results.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:40 AM  

  • It's about time we started making money off the credit card companies instead of the other way around.
    consumer debt to your advantage.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:21 PM  

  • These gift cards are really helpful in terms of paying bills. It really do sounds amazing.

    It really helps to keep your cards balanced. Does this gift cards have limits? Hope it hasn't.

    By Anonymous Kurazo @ earn cashback bonus, at 9:42 AM  

  • Very helpful. Keep it up

    By Anonymous Debt Consolidation Help, at 1:16 AM  

  • I agree with Franky. The point concept is usually hard for consumers. I requested something on my points 6 months ago and still I've yet to receive anything...

    By Anonymous credit card debt consolidation, at 4:05 PM  

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    By Blogger Kurt Sarponson, at 2:35 PM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:27 AM  

  • If you wished to move the whole 10K limit they will most likely shut you old account. I moved $1,500 out the $10,000 limit so I might hold my previous credit card/account for regular transactions.

    By Anonymous Bill Consolidation, at 5:46 AM  

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