Tuesday, May 12, 2009

They GIVE You Money, Why Would You NOT Do This?

We joined Costco a while back, and signed up for their American Express credit card. There is a reason I have been using the AMEX for buying pretty much everything:

They are GIVING US FREE MONEY!!!!!1!!!

Sure, there is an interest rate in effect. . . if you don't pay within the grace period. We're "deadbeats" - we pay the bill in full monthly - so we're not paying finance charges.

Okay Mr. Wizard, how much money are we talking here?

3% on gas at non-grocery-store gas stations. 3% eating out. 2% traveling, and 1% on everything else.

Year-to-date, on $2200 of qualified purchases that we were making anyway, that has netted us $24. For the privilege of keeping our money in our checking account for a longer period, earning whatever meager interest rate Chase is paying on checkings these days.


federalist said...

Additionally, paying on a credit card gives you fraud and consumer protections that exceed those of checks and debit cards. When you dispute a charge on your credit card the presumption is you are correct; you keep the money until the creditor proves the charge is valid. For debit cards you have to prove the charge was fraudulent, and even then you're typically on the hook for the first $50.

For those who aren't Costco members the best credit card for big spenders is the AmEx Blue Cash Rewards card: After the first $6500 of annual spending you accumulate 5% credits on gas, groceries, and drugstores; 1.5% on everything else.

Of course you never, ever want to carry a balance on a credit card!

Vote For David said...

One other nice thing about AMEX (the reason my company doesn't take AMEX payments) is that customers can file a chargeback and sellers are pretty close to out of luck.

Of course, before our Great Awakening, we managed to rack up a pretty ugly credit card debt :-( but we're paying it down as quickly as we can. . .

. . . "don't carry too much debt" is a hard lesson our country is about to have to learn at the Federal level, I'm afraid.

David said...

When was your "Great Awakening" and what prompted it?

Vote For David said...

That's a whole article unto itself. I think I'll write it up.