What should you do when the bank is closed, you need some cash, and there’s no ATM handy that doesn’t charge piles of fees? Sure, you could join a bank with no local branches that refunds ATM fees, like USAA, Schwab, or Ally. Some local banks do this, too, but if the branch isn’t open, you can’t go open a new account. That’s when you open an account at the Bank of Hot Wheels. [More]
From rewards points to airline miles to cash back, there are many, many ways to earn so-called rewards by using a credit card. But rewards programs are often confusing and are sometimes limited by byzantine rules that can make them worthless or cause points to vanish into thin air. [More]
One of the benefits of using a credit card for all of your purchases (and paying it off every moth, naturally) is the extension and sometimes expansion of a product’s original warranty. That’s what Cindy does, making purchases with her Discover card for protection and cash back. What she learned not long ago is that you can have the warranty extension, or use the balance in your cash back account, but you can’t do both. [More]
Citibank Comes Up With Elaborate Cash Back Offer That Reduces Credit Limit And Temporarily Suspends Card
Compared to what some other banks and card companies are doing to reduce their exposure to debt, we guess Citibank’s cash back offer isn’t that bad—it’s sort of a “let us help you help yourself get rid of your debt” scheme. It’s funny, however, if only because it’s such an elaborate way to get customers to self-select for a reduction in credit.
If you transfer a prescription to RiteAid, you’ll receive a $25 gift card. Emily, who tipped us to this, says the cashier told her you could do this for up to four meds, but their website says just two. Also, you can’t use the gift card to pay for prescriptions. Still, hey, free money if you don’t mind where you get your prescription filled. [Rite Aid]
Shaken by a huge drop in sales last month, Toyota has announced cash incentives to help move inventory, including (for the first time) the Prius. [Jalopnik]
Yechial wants to know why his Chase BP Visa card, which offers 5% rebates on gas purchases, costs him more to use at BP stations than if he pays with cash. He asked a BP station owner in Pennsylvania about this and the station owner told him it was because credit transaction fees had gone up—”When I told him that I would report his station to BP and to Chase Bank, he said, ‘Screw you! I don’t care, report me. They are the ones charging us more money for the transactions.’”
Citibank and Bank of America both offer special credit card programs based on health and medical expenses. If you’re disciplined about not carrying revolving debt, and you have recurring medical expenses, they can help reduce your total cost over a year. Bank of America’s cards are point-based programs—if you’ve got Aetna insurance, you can accumulate points that you can turn into “cash direct deposits to a health savings account, or other standard rewards.” Caremark members can redeem points for awards only, although BoA’s standard awards catalogue “includes health and wellness products like fitness equipment and blood pressure monitors.”
Last Thursday, a Texan filed a class-action suit against Systemax Inc. in federal court, alleging the company and its subsidiaries TigerDirect and OnRebate conspire to delay or reject rebates in order to sweeten profits. Systemax says no way, we pay our rebates on time; according to its chief financial officer, “All consumers who properly complete the rebate application and submit the required paperwork have their rebates paid, period.” But that’s not what the Texan says happened to him.
Free Money Finance has a good post on combining the cashback powers of American Express Blue Cash and Chase Freedom Cash Visa Credit Cards for maximum moolah back in your pocket.
Ok, so it’s pretty obvious that when picking a rewards card, you want one that gives you beer money, not free toasters. A toaster is a depreciating asset, which are for rappers, not smart persons like yourself.