Brian Jung thinks you're missing out.
“Most people don’t realize how much potential they have sitting in their pockets,” says the 25-year-old YouTuber who makes videos about credit cards and trending money topics.
Jung’s eponymous channel is all about helping viewers make the most of their hard-earned cash. In about four years, he’s grown his channel to 1.2 million subscribers by conceptualizing, producing and starring in clips that address everything from crypto to stimulus checks — and capitalize on the appetite from younger audiences for financial advice in video format. He’s also making millions of dollars a year from ads, sponsorships and affiliate programs with companies like Coinbase… all while doing what he loves.
“My intention from the start was I just wanted to share my experience. I found that I loved helping people out, trying to make people more money, allowing them to learn something new,” he says.
His online success makes sense: Jung is a true product of the internet. Inspired by information he read on Reddit, he says he had opened about a dozen different credit cards by the time he was 22. He was fascinated by articles that broke down various methods for maximizing perks and rewards. Soon he was on a roll, getting approved for more and more cards — and finding new ways to make money from each one.
IRL, Jung earned an associate’s degree from Montgomery College in Maryland. But just before he was set to transfer to pursue a master’s degree, he dropped out to focus on his content business full-time.
One of Jung’s first successful videos was a review of the American Express Gold card, a $250-per-year credit card that’s still one of his favorites because it offers a 4X rewards benefit for dining and groceries. This suits his lifestyle well. In fact, Jung loves dining so much that he co-owns a Japanese barbecue restaurant in Rockville, Maryland, near Washington, D.C.
His success on YouTube and in business has enabled him to buy three cars, build a house and travel the world. (FYI: For a travel credit card, he recommends the Capital One Venture X card, which is attractive for its airline miles rewards, lounge access and other perks.)
But big picture, Jung wants to help his viewers improve their finances by getting the most out of credit cards.
Carving out a niche can be a double-edged sword. During the pandemic, Jung had to pivot because his affiliate revenue plummeted for credit card content due to the economic situation. He thought he might have to quit YouTube and pick up another job, but he ended up finding success again with videos about COVID-19 relief, especially the several rounds of stimulus checks sent out by the federal government.
Lately, Jung has begun focusing on crypto.
In early 2021, he started covering the bull run when the price of bitcoin was on its way up to $60,000. Here, too, his focus was educational: His beginner’s guide for investing in crypto, which has about 5 million views, shows Jung demonstrating the process by making a $5,000 personal investment in bitcoin at $36,162. At the time, he said he expected the price to reach $100,000 by the end of the year. That didn’t pan out — 2022 has been a volatile year for crypto — but he’s still holding onto his investments.
While Jung says he understands that investing in crypto is risky, he has high hopes for the future of cryptocurrencies, namely bitcoin and ether. Recent videos include his takes on the FTX collapse, coverage of crashing crypto markets and analysis of Elon Musk’s “secret plan” with dogecoin.
“Crypto is risky, but that’s where I think a lot of the reward lies,” Jung says.
Crypto, and his YouTube journey, have taught Jung the importance of flexibility. Despite the ups and downs, he says he plans to stick with YouTube. He finds joy from the difference he’s able to make in his viewers’ lives.
While on a trip to New York City in June, he ran into a long-time subscriber who got emotional as they explained Jung’s videos got them through the pandemic.
“Being able to impact and help people in a positive way,” he says, makes everything worth it.