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This largely British slang term refers to ways of making money from special offers by credit-card companies.

The easiest way is to take advantage of the cashback systems promoted by some issuers in which the company pays you a small sum based on the value of purchases. A riskier method is to exploit the interest-free credit periods offered by some lenders by borrowing money on a card and investing it in a savings account. If the loan is repaid before the end of the interest-free period, whatever has been earned in the savings account is pure profit.

There are now a number of Web sites which provide advice to prospective punters about offers and how to circumvent the risks of damaging their credit history.

The term has been around online since early 2004. Its origin is one of the oddest examples of word formation of recent times. It started in the discussion forums of the Motley Fool financial Web site, where a user with the nickname Stooz advocated the combined borrowing and saving method. Someone else referred to doing a Stooz and the technique became known as stoozing; a person who does it is a stoozer.

Even now there is always someone prepared to offer an introductory deal. Even if it is not 0 per cent it is still possible to make money from stoozing.

Sunday Telegraph, 7 Nov. 2004

Revenge is sweet. And little’s sweeter than hitting back at credit card companies. This is my practical guide to “stoozing” — legally making risk-free cash, running into £100s a year (for some £1000s) out of credit cards.

Guardian, 5 Nov. 2005

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Copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
Page created 26 Nov. 2005

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The English language is forever changing. New words appear; old ones fall out of use or alter their meanings. World Wide Words tries to record at least a part of this shifting wordscape by featuring new words, word histories, words in the news, and the curiosities of native English speech.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–. All rights reserved.
This page URL: http://www.worldwidewords.org/turnsofphrase/tp-sto1.htm
Last modified: 26 November 2005.