Renatus is a real estate education company that provides top-of-the-line training and a collaborative network for aspiring real estate investors. I haven’t yet gone into detail about my decision to be involved with Renatus, but for now just let me say that I am so glad that I am. I’ve never been so excited to work and learn.
If this is your first time hearing about Renatus and you’d like to learn more, go here and send me a message.
Soon I will put up a post that explains it in depth. (Edit: Here is my post about Renatus) In this post I will talk about how I am funding my Renatus education with credit cards and why I chose to do it this way.
Why I Used Credit Cards
If you have seen the “EPIC follow-up meeting” you have likely seen a list of 10+ ways to fund your education. Out of all the possible solutions, I found credit cards to be the best. Here are the benefits:
– You get rewards (cash, free flights, free hotel rooms, etc.)
– You get free money by borrowing with absolutely no interest (best benefit)
– It can increase your credit score (by lowering your credit utilization ratio)
Note: It can also lower it, depending on how many inquires you have had in the past
(For more about credit cards, see my post Why Credit Cards are Good for You)
Finding the Best Cards
After I decided that this was the way to go, I started looking on Creditkarma.com, Nerdwallet.com, and other websites for the best credit cards of 2016. I filtered through them looking for cards with long 0% interest periods. (This means I won’t have to pay back the money I’m given until a pre-specified time). From those cards, I chose the ones with the best rewards.
I was surprised to find two cards with a 21 month introductory 0% interest period: the Citi Simplicity card and Citi Diamond Preferred card.
The next best cards had 0% interest for a period of 15 months: Chase Freedom Unlimited, Amex Everyday, and Chase Slate — to name a few.
Then I found some good cards with a 12 month 0% interest period: Discover It Miles, BankAmericard Cash Rewards, and Captial One VentureOne Rewards.
There are much more, but I didn’t try to find them because I knew 4-6 cards would be enough.
Note: As you look for credit cards, you may find that the minimum credit score required for some of these cards may be above your credit score. In that case, I would do a google search for “credit cards for beginners” or “credit cards for low credit score” and try to find cards that are easy for anyone to qualify for. If your credit score isn’t great, then you probably won’t qualify for cards like the Citi Diamond Preferred card.
Note: Make sure it the card agreement states that the interest rate is 0% (ARP) on purchases. Some cards offer 0% interest on balance transfers, which is different. Also, read the fine print closely; some cards change your 0% interest rate to 15%+ if you make even one late payment!
The Credit Cards I Used
After I found the best cards for my situation, I rated them according to their 0% interest rate periods like this:
1. Citi Simplicity and Citi Diamond Preferred (21 months)
2. Chase Freedom Unlimited (15 months)
3. Chase Slate (15 months)
4. Amex Everyday (15 months)
5. Discover It Miles (12 months)
6. Capital One VentureOne Rewards (12 months)
7. BankAmericard Cash Rewards (12 months)
You may rate these differently depending on how highly you value the rewards that each card offers.
Applying for Cards
I did my best to apply for all of these cards at the same time. I opened each card application in a separate browser tab, filled each one out, and then submitted them all in quick succession.
This didn’t work quite as well as I planned. Some of the websites timed out before I could submit my information. I’m still not quite sure if it even matters how much time elapses between each submission. The only reason I did this is because I didn’t want the credit checking of one company to influence my credit standing with another company.
Another problem I ran into was that Citi Bank didn’t allow me to apply for more than one of their cards at a time. I tried applying for the Citi Simplicity card and Citi Diamond Preferred card at the same time, but it only let one of them go through. I tried it again a few days later and was denied again. The same thing happened with the Chase cards. Maybe you’ll have better luck!
After all my applications were submitted, I ended up getting approved for these cards:
||0% interest period (months)
|Chase Sapphire Preferred
|Discover It Miles
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card doesn’t have a 0% interest period, but I really liked the rewards it offered, so I got it. If the total credit limit of all the other cards didn’t reach $19,000 (95% of the Xtreme Plus Combo price) I probably would have opted for another 0% interest card.
So, after all was said and done, I got $19,700 from 4 cards. I won’t owe anything in return until a year from now — and even then I will only owe $12,500 of it. In my opinion, this is much better than getting a loan with 6% interest or more (which is what I probably could have gotten). And after I pay all of these cards off, I can use them again for real estate purchases.
I haven’t looked at the introductory bonuses in depth for each card yet, but after spending $20,000, I will end up with at least $1500 in rewards. That’s free money!
Just because these cards don’t have to be paid off for awhile doesn’t mean you can forget about them. Getting into debt can be just as dangerous as it can be helpful. Make sure you have some savings to pay off your cards. I probably wouldn’t feel at peace with doing this if I didn’t have enough money saved up to pay off most of my cards. And make sure you keep your credit utilization below 50% at least. The lower the better. Even though I don’t have to pay off 4 of my cards until next year, I’m still going to make payments so that my credit score stays high and my financial safety is in check.
People will think you are crazy for getting 5+ new credit cards. And they will say you’re crazy for joining Renatus. I have been told it’s not good to get lots of credit cards, but since I started hunting for rewards cards last year I have gotten over $600 in rewards and my credit score is still at 720. Be sensible, but also don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t want to trade places with. Credit cards are a tool that can be used wisely or foolishly. Just choose to use them wisely!
It is true, your credit score could dip a little bit if you apply for tons of cards. But it could also rise. Get a free credit report at Annualcreditreport.com and sign up for a credit monitoring service (Creditkarma has one for free — it is what I use). Make sure you understand how new sources of credit can impact your credit score. You will need to weigh the pros and cons of funding your Renatus education this way. For me it was a no brainer.
Please let me know if you have questions! I would love to help!