“Maybe a whole generation will wake up and realize that collecting points on your Discover card doesn’t make you rich.” – Dave Ramsey. [TIME]


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  1. missdona says:

    Maybe not, but collecting points from Hilton Honors got me a free honeymoon stay in Hawaii.

  2. legwork says:

    You paid for it. You always pay for it.

  3. chiieddy says:

    The cash back on my Discover got me $25 gcs for Bed Bath and Beyond ($20 in Discover cash = 1 $25 gc) and I used them to buy a coffee grinder. Since, I use the card to buy gas anyhow, it’s no skin off my back to get rewards back.

  4. missdona says:

    @legwork: Just my blood, sweat and tears for over a year of business travel. Not having to face the $350/night bill in Hawaii was a true reward.

  5. regjoe says:

    @missdona: HH is a rewards program not tied to a specific method of payment, unlike the CC Discover.

  6. Mr_Human says:

    I didn’t realize that a whole generation thought so. It’s a weak, silly statement.

  7. SOhp101 says:

    There’s no free lunch, but one that’s at a discount is a lot better than nothing.

  8. jurisenpai says:

    I have no debt, and have earned $140 in cash back rewards by using my Chase Freedom card for my daily expenses.

    I certainly enjoy making the credit card company pay me for using their card responsibly, and I also appreciate the protection it provides – something that I didn’t consider when I was using my debit card.

  9. ahwannabe says:

    @Mr_Human: I suspect he’s using a murketing tactic. He’s hoping that millions of people will read that and say, “That’s not me, I’m not like that! I’ll show him!” and then they buy his books.

  10. silver-spork says:

    I use a student United Mileage Plus card (no annual fee) for daily expenses and pay it off every month. FF miles paid for our tickets to Hawaii last summer.

    I even got the 20k mile bonus in 2003 for sending in a copy of my Ph.D. diploma. I wonder how long it will take them to catch on that I’m not a student anymore.

  11. Fist-o™ says:

    I get protection from my (currently) 4-month of expenses emergency Fund.

    I just canceled my last credit card last week.

    I drank the Kool-Aid =)

  12. Gopher bond says:

    I knew a couple of people who had very strange ideas about credit card. Like they would carry a balance because they didn’t want to dip into their savings account?!?!?

    Unlike Dave Ramsey, I don’t think there’s anything inherently evil about credit cards. I run all my mothly bills through a credit card and then pay that off at the end of the month. I don’t expect it to make me rich but with the cash back, it’s like a discount off my bills.

  13. Fist-o™ says:

    From my perspective, the evils of credit cards are: 1, they entice weak people to spend more. 2, they give you a false feeling of security. 3, when an accident does happen, and somebody gets identity-thieved, or the recent deal where they’d raise your rate if you missed a mortgage payment, they are uncaring scum. 4, binding arbitration, which forces you to go to a 3rd party arbiter rather than a court of law, which is reported to side with the lender 90% of the time. 5, the supposed psychological habit of spending more with plastic.

    The advantages:

    1, “Rewards”, up to 2.5% rewards on purchases made with the card. 2, the “charge back” when you are unsatisfied with a purchase.

  14. savvy9999 says:

    I just moved another $1k — begotten and saved SOLELY from Discover Cash back rewards– into my Roth account.

    Hey, earning money on free money does make you rich!

  15. amyschiff says:

    are we looking too far into this quote perhaps? he specifically said collecting points won’t make you RICH. He didn’t say collecting points won’t have short-term benefits.

  16. battra92 says:

    I thought the definition of rich had to do with cash/assets/land that you owned and not about credit cards.

  17. quagmire0 says:

    Free is good. That being said, it only applies to people that can control their spending and use a credit card as an alternative to checks and cash for budgeted and necessary expenses. If you carry a balance, the benefits are obviously lost.

  18. jimconsumer says:

    @Fist-o: They entice nearly everyone to spend more, not just weak people. When McDonalds began accepting credit cards, the average ticket price spiked considerably. The fact is, people, by and large, spend significantly more money when they use credit. That’s not “weak people.” It’s the disassociation from real money that causes this.

    If you use credit cards on a daily basis, chances are high you, too, spend more every month than you would if you used cold, hard cash. The numbers don’t lie. The result is you get “free” money via the rewards programs, but you’re spending an awful lot more than you otherwise would have, completely negating the dubious “reward.”

    Now, I know several people will respond and cry bullshit, scream “That’s not me!”, etc, but I’ll counter that I have counseled many people in financial matters. Every one of them claimed they were the exception. Every one of them was full of shit. Once weaned off their credit cards and put on a strict cash budget, people spend less and save more. That’s damn close to a universal truth for all of us.

  19. emis says:


    Anyone on a strict budget will spend less. The problems are NOT credit cards, it’s the people using them!

    Just like guns don’t keep people, people kill people…
    Credit cards don’t over spend, people over spend…

  20. jimconsumer says:

    @emis: Absolutely true, it’s entirely the fault of the individual. That doesn’t change the fact that individuals usually overspend when they’re using credit cards vs. cash.

  21. RumorsDaily says:

    It gets me free books and movies, though.

  22. RumorsDaily says:

    @jimconsumer: if they need financial counseling, then it’s pretty clear that they weren’t the most likely candidates for financial responsibility. I question the neutrality of the sample you based your opinion on.

  23. synergy says:

    @silver-spork: They never catch on. I have “student” AT&T card I’ve had for over a decade and it’s been 7 years since I’ve been in school and I still have it.

  24. matts8008 says:

    There have been studies showing that you spend about 10% more when you use a credit card over cash. Not in interest, but just in “oh I’ll buy that as well”. If this is really the case, getting 2.5% back is really means that you’re only spending 7.5% more.

  25. Vejadu says:

    I got into credit card trouble in college and finally dug myself out a few years ago. After a year of owning no credit cards, I jumped back onboard to keep my credit score high. I use my Citi card to purchse gas, prescriptions, home remodeling products and large purchases like TVs and computers, but have not paid a penny in interest in over two years. Not only that, I’ve earned over $300 in reward rebates in that time period.

    Not a bad bonus considering it’s money I would have spent regardless.

  26. Gopher bond says:

    Well, I always use cash when I can and I always ask if there’s a discount if I pay in cash. I just run regular bills through the credit card so I don’t see how I can spend more using the credit card, of course very few use cash for regular bills anyway.

  27. smartmuffin says:

    I’ve had my Rewards Master Card for about four years, have received $200 cash back, and never paid a dime of interest. Maybe the extra $200 doesn’t make me “rich” but it’s still something for nothing.