How Credit Card SUBs Messed With My Brain

You can earn or lose $$$$ depending on your discipline and self-control.

Irtiza Hafiz


Photo by Paul Felberbauer on Unsplash

Late last year I was introduced to the world of consumer credit cards. It was fascinating!

I learned about different ways to get a 5% discount on almost everything I buy, rack up millions of points for free travel, get free travel insurance, phone insurance, and so much more!

Growing up in Bangladesh, I was always taught about the dark side of credit cards. And don’t get me wrong, there are horrible paths you can go down if you are not careful.

However, if you use credit cards responsibly, you get so much value that the mere thought of using debit cards will make you want to throw up.

With a strategic setup of multiple credit cards, every year you can save thousands of dollars and earn tens of thousands in free flights and hotel stays.

So, to create a multi-card setup, you need to start applying for new credit cards. That’s where SUBs come in.

What Are SUBs?

Most credit card companies give you SUB or “Sign Up Bonus” when you get approved for a new credit card.

These SUBs can take many shapes and forms. To explain it better, here are a few examples:

  • AMEX Platinum: Spend $2,000 in 6 months to earn 25,000 MR Points
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred: Spend $4,000 in 3 months to earn 60,000 UR Points
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited: Spend $500 in 3 months to get $200
  • IHG One Rewards: Spend $3,000 in 3 months to get 140,000 IHG points
  • Hilton Aspire: Spend $4,000 in 3 months to get 150,000 Hilton Honors Points

As you can see, the spending requirements, time limit, and reward points vary from offer to offer.

The end goal, however, is the same: Spend X dollars in Y months to get Z rewards.

The SUB Tactic

Now that you know what SUB is, let’s look at the textbook strategy to quickly rack up credit card rewards by signing up for credit cards with SUBs.



Irtiza Hafiz Engineering manager who writes about software development and productivity.