My "Stoozing" Success!

Hello All,

So, over the past two years, I have been "Stoozing". I had a few reasons for doing this.

1) I had never had a credit card, and had heard that having one would improve my credit rating.

2) I fancied seeing if I could make a bit of extra cash.

3) I've always enjoyed having cards in my purse - loyalty cards, bank cards, etc. That's just me being a little odd, though.

4) Money and saving has always been a bit of a hobby of mine, so although my methods may seem "fiddly and unnecessary" it is a much better hobby than say drinking or gambling ;).

I had no debt when I started, and planned to use my credit card for all spending, and put the equivalent amount into a savings account so that I could get some interest.

After thinking about this, I settled on Zopa.com as I found that I could get a 5% interest rate there (although later I also made the most of the Nationwide offer of 5% on balances of up to £2,500 which I am currently running the past few months of, and any extra still goes into Zopa). From this, at the moment I make enough in interest to cover ALL monthly bills apart from the service charge on our flat which is only £25 a month anyway. But I have hopes that soon I will be able to cover that, too, when the new tax year starts and I can feed my ISA again!

I first got a Halifax card, with a credit limit of £1,200. I had used this limit in the space of about two months, and had put the amount I would have spent into Zopa. It was interest free for 12 months.

I realised soon after that my Halifax card was actually earning me nothing - and there were ample others available with loyalty schemes/bonus points etc, so I started looking for those. The Halifax card is now paid off and my account closed, as the 0% offer ended, so not a penny of interest was paid there :). I chose to pay it in one lump sum from another savings account (I have several but that's another story) rather than taking it out of Zopa.

Tesco Clubcard Credit Card was the obvious next choice, so I applied for that and got 16 months interest free and £2,000. Plus 1 point for every £4 spent in addition to the 1 point per £1 I get in Tesco anyway. I like Clubcard points as you can exchange them for lots of things, my favourite being vouchers for our local pub where you can turn £5 into £20 - absolutely excellent as we went in there a lot anyway, and since I got this credit card all meals in there have been free!

I put the £2,000 in Zopa, and, to date, I have also received almost £200 in Clubcard vouchers. I recently increased my credit limit to £2,600 and now do ALL day to day spending on it, and will continue to do so when the 0% offer runs out - although I will of course pay the balance off in full each month to avoid interest.

I also dabbled with an M&S card and managed to add a little to my savings and get £14 in vouchers, but this wasn't as great as the other offers. Yes, you get 1 point per £2 rather than Tesco's 1 point per £4, however I don't tend to shop in M&S so it's useless to me.

Almost 8 months after I closed my M&S account (now I only have my Tesco card that I pay off in full each month) I can see that it has had a great effect on my credit score. I am hoping that this goes in my favour as I currently require a small mortgage to try and upgrade from a flat to a house. But, again, that is another story!

To all those who are wondering whether it's a good idea - yes, it is. But ONLY if you're happy that you trust yourself enough not to spend money that you don't have. If you end up spending without saving you WILL end up paying more in interest than you have gained elsewhere.

Replies

  • That's how it's done, although I guess when you wrote

    "and will continue to do so when the 0% offer runs out - although I will of course pay the balance off in full each month to avoid interest."

    I guess you meant either pay the balance off in full when the 0% ends, or make at least the mininum payment (+£1) every month ;)

    My first stooze CC was a Natwest your points, 1 year later as well as getting the interest form the stooze, I exchanged the points for £50 Sainburys vouchers, I must confess it was spent on beer rather than food, however my attitude was that I've got a nice routene going at ASDA with the timing of the yellow stickered food, so rarely spent more than £5 a week, plus it was the summer and I like drinking beer in the sun:rotfl:

    I've only got a few hundered in the stooz pot atm (left over from the yourpoints stooze) as interest rates are pants and I've been using the Aqua 3% C/B card instead, however since that will be withdrawn in about a month I'm planning to go for a long 0% card, along with the luma 4% C/B on food and fuel
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