I just got a thirty dollar purchase for sixteen cents

Well, plus a credit card I don’t really want. Amazon told me that if I was Instantly Approved! for their Student Visa, I’d get an instant $30 credit. And the order in my cart was $30.16. Nothing too exciting, but I needed a little hand vacuum thing, and I’m a weak woman when it comes to filling up an Amazon order with junk novels to get free shipping.

The interest rate on my only other credit card - which I got for free when I opened a student checking account - is something like 8.9%. The interest rate on the Amazon one I just was Instantly Approved! for is 18.9%. So I’ll be paying off my sixteen cents and then using the “If I couldn’t spend that much in cash right now I’m not spending it in credit, either” method of payment on that card.

If I didn’t get such a bargain by doing this I’d feel slightly dirty, tainted by something I’ve mostly avoided*. As it is, I almost feel like I just outsmarted a major company.

*I’ve figured I’ll have enough debt from student loans to repay once I graduate; I don’t need to risk accumulating any more

Welcome to the World of High Finance, NinjaChick! Believe it or not, it is possible to pull off small scale scammery with the CCs, but ya gotta be quick on your feet. You’ve made a good start.
Rules are simple.

  1. Wait for them to come to you. They’ll offer all manner of nonsense, some of which are such flatout ripoffs you wonder if it’s legal. Never ask them for anything, no matter how trivial.

2)Make sure you pay attention to cancellation dates. These often come in the form of FREE 30 Day Trial Subscription!!! or something. Put it on your calender, call to cancel on time, and write down all membership, cancellation, phone numbers, and names of whatever it was, just in case. Though I’ve never had a problem with this, forewarned is forearmed.

3)Never use the goddam thing. For obvious reasons.

4)Absolutely and EXPLICITLY refuse any offers of add-ons or other “offers”.

By taking advantage of these “offers” (joining then cancelling on time), I make about $60 a year. :smiley: Which is hardly a fortune, but its nice to know that, not only are the CC companies out that money, they’re out even more, from processing fees. Serves 'em right.

Do NOT do this if you cannot keep to the schedule of cancelling things on time. VERY important. I’ve always done it right, but if you read that fine print, they’re just salivating to hammer you.

The Them, I heard a financial type dude on the radio the other night. According to him, it’s possible to do the sort of stuff you say (and also hopping from card to card for their honeymoon rates of six months interest free or whatever), but within a short time, it’ll stop working. The CC companies will start declining your applications: not because you’ve got bad credit, but because they can see a pattern in what you’re doing, and they aren’t obligated to do business with you. This is in Australia, I’m not sure about the situation where you are.

I have enough cc’s but took the bait to open up another card when shopping yesterday. We went to look at outdoor table and chairs, and saw a nice 5 pc set made of eucalyptus on sale from like $399 to $149. We got the last table and 4 chairs and the guy on the floor offered us a cc with 10% off our purchase. We had the time so took their offer and found out our savings would be doubled on our first purchase. Really didn’t need anything else but bought some jeans, some swim noodles and other stuff. Looked at flat screens and cameras too but decided we needed to leave.

So we checked out with our stuff and the total, after this and that discount, was $138! We should have loaded up the cart! :smack: not really though, :smiley: .

TheLoadedDog, that may be an Australian thing; I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ve been doing this for years. Out of spite, really; you don’t get rich off these things.

Now, the interest rate swapping, I do that too. Not that I pay nothing. The kicker is the transfer fee, which is 3-5%, depending on the card. With the help of my trusty calculator, I can work out the actual interest I’ll be paying, combining the fee and the teaser interest rate with how long the teaser rate lasts. This sounds obsessive, but it’s pretty easy math. I’ve never paid more than 10%, and usually a lot less.

I hope this doesn’t make me seem like some credit junkie. I owe a bit now, because of a few large purchases, but those’ll be paid soon enough. Meanwhile, my credit rating goes ever higher! The week does not go by that I don’t recieve new & better teaser rates from my existing cards, and offers for preapproved new ones. Oh - and I never have and never will pay any “annual” or “activation” fees for a card.

This is not a game for everyone. Many people confuse “want” with “need”, and wind up spending enough to cause themselves difficulty. Aside from the big purchases mentioned above, I owe jack-squat. The cards are for large, one-time things, or emergencies. ONLY.

ETA: OK, and sometimes when it’s unavoidable, like plane tickets or some payphones.

Whatever happend to the old rule about not having any finance charges as long as you pay it off at the end of the month. I just now realized that my stupid Visa card has an “Average Daily Balance” on which a finance charge is assessed. To avoid further charges, I have to pay it off at the end of the month.
I’m kinda pissed that i never realized that before. When did CCs start doing this crap?

When people stopped carring a balance on thier cards, the CC started finding other ways to determine a charge. These folks want to make money of of you and will do it anyway they can. They can and will change your rate or maximum balance without any provocation from you.


I generally try to avoid the temptation of things like this. As I said, I’ll be graduating with an ungodly amount of student debt, and the last thing I need is a wallet full of plastic to tempt me. I’m far more of a ‘Google and ebay compulsively for discount/coupon codes and such’ type.

For example, my MP3 player. I found a refurbished model, on sale, on a website. Then I found discount for free shipping. Then I found an offer to open a Google Checkout account and get ten bucks off your first purchase. In the end, I got a $45 player for $10.

Or the external hard drive, which I did something similar with (coupons + sale + mail-in rebate = thirty bucks off).

Or, for that matter, the ‘Free eMusic.com trials!’ offer on the back of Netflix mailers. I haven’t taken advantage of those offers by registering an account, downloading my twenty free songs, then deleting it before the billing cycle counts. Nor have I ever done that more than once (using different email/billing info), because that would be wrong.