Credit Card Rewards Games Grows Riskier

The Washington Post profiles a couple with over 20 different credit cards. The Chengs keep four in their wallet and a sticky note to tell them which card to use for which purchases. This year, they made $1,093 from spending $47,800. The Chengs are part of a growing breed of people who try to play the rewards programs offered by credit card companies for fun and profit. But the game has gotten harder. Credit card companies give more like 1% back instead of the 5% of yesteryear, points can be voided if payments are late, and there’s those will-o-the wisp airline miles…

Do you play the credit card rewards game? What’s your strategy? Have you ever made a spreadsheet and done a quantitative analysis of whether you’re really coming out ahead? Do you ever find the prospect of “winning” “rewards” rationalizes purchases you wouldn’t otherwise make?

Winning at Cards [Washington Post] (Thanks to David!)