Friday, August 11, 2006

August Credit Card Offers

Well, it's been two weeks and I still have a mountain of credit card offers. I've got the whole stack in my hand and will pull 5 randomly. Let's see...

#1: American Express Platinum Business Card offers "up to" 5% cash back on eligible purchases, which just screams for a small print investigation... I only get 5% with American Express' OPEN Savings participants, and I only get that when my yearly spend is $7500-$15,000. The best I can do outside their partners is 2.5%. I hate all these tiers--it's good for the credit card company but it confuses the issue. Give me a straight 1% on everything with some opportunities for bonuses & I'm set. Otherwise, it's too hard to keep track of what I'm earning and when.

#2. This one's from my college alma mater's alumni association. It's from Bank of America. Has their WorldPoints program, which actually became theirs with the acquisition of MBNA. Sorry, I don't mean to bore you. Truth--I don't care much about my alma mater. I paid to get an education and it was OK, but I've never been a true to your school kind of guy.

#3. Chase is offering me a free companion travel ticket if I spend $900 on my Flexible Rewards card. Do I still have a Flexible Rewards card? I have to spend the $900 in August and September to get the deal. Maybe those are slow months for the credit card companies.

#4. Got some 0% balance transfer checks from the CitiBusiness card which I recently acquired to float a balance. No fee on the BT! No fee on the BT! I'm doin' it! Oh, shoot, I have to use the checks by August 9th. That was two days ago. Rats!

#5. Same deal from my Blue from American Express, wanting me to transfer balances. No fees to do so, but I'm only getting the transfers at my regular interest rate--they market it as "consolidating" my debt. I'm guessing they don't get a huge number of takers on this. My rate on this card is good, but it's not so crazy good that I'm going to transfer balances without any special offer.

The card companies, like many industries with lots of competition, are in something of a bind, because they keep having to one-up each other, but then when they pull back from the hot deal, you're inclined to yawn because you know there's another one around the corner.


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