It has been over five weeks since I have posted, so time for an update:
Things are going very well. Tax-free money being raised here is helping to pay for delivered food, which costs more.
I have abandoned Argyll’s rule. This is no knock on Argyll; not at all. It’s just that strategy has changed with the demise of First Advantage Bank (a terrible loss for this enterprise). I am therefore limited to three month CDs, which is longer than I would prefer. What I do now is to buy CDs just after the various CC statements close. This gives me a bit less than two months of “free money”, meaning no loss of interest. The final month I must cover on my own. This also has the advantage of not working the cards so hard. I only buy a new CD, using a given card, after that card statement has closed on a zero balance. This applies to all my cards with the exception of my Alliant Vise Signature.
Fortunately I still have a goodly number of credit cards up and running from back when this hustle was “big time” in 2018 and 2019. So it all works out. I’m now at only between ten and twenty percent of what my monthly dollar volume was back then. Hence tax free income today is in the hundreds of dollars per month, not the thousands. Still, it helps a lot with the cost of pandemic food.
Other than that, I sadly have not developed a second counter party. If the one I’m using blows up . . well . . I’m flat out of business. Maybe I would go back to GTE. I dunno. Probably not cause who really wants their horrible six month CDs.
Anyway, bottom line, it is nice to have a little something going on the side. It helps, and tax free income always is a delight.
Couple of additional thoughts before I leave this thread alone for another four to six weeks, or whatever:
First, it has always been an advantage of this little CD hustle, as opposed to other forms of manufactured spending (MS), that it can be accomplished entirely from home . . . no need to go into a store.
This was good for me at the start, way back, because my home is distant from stores of any kind. However now, with the pandemic, who wants to be in stores anyway just to do MS! I like being able to make a bit of money on the side without need to leave home.
Second, it takes all kinds of people to make a world. Hence I’m about to present a strategy with which I do NOT agree and which I NEVER have practiced . . . not one time! This is offered without my recommendation and, in fact, I think this is a bad idea. Nevertheless, everyone is different and I’m aware certain individuals engage in the following so here it is:
A variation on the “buy CDs with a CC side hustle” is to buy your CDs with the intent of cashing them in early and paying the EWP (early withdrawal penalty), if any. Obviously you make more money this way because your dough turns over more times per year. Example:
Suppose you do what I do, buying three month CDs with a CC having a 2% reward. I can do that four times each year with the same principal, so my tax-free take is 8%. Not too bad.
But some people might cash in that same three month CD after only two months, paying a very small EWP. They could roll that same principal amount over six times each year, raising their tax-free take to 12%. That’s a lot higher than mine.
Some people are doing that. I don’t like the scheme because I worry that, done too often, such as that could get me thrown out of a credit union or declared persona non grata by a bank and let go as a customer. That’s why I always allow my CDs to run to maturity.