I am a senior citizen living on a fixed income. As part of my less-than-taxable lifestyle, I have learned about and written at length concerning the responsible and profitable use of credit cards. Different Types of Credit Cards And Their Best Uses, Part One – July 2019 was one of my first blog posts on this topic. The following is my latest blog post about credit cards.
BONUS CREDIT CARDS
Six credit card bonus offers for $200 each last month became available all around the same time. Much to my surprise, the only requirement was that a recipient charge a given amount of purchases within three months. I thought this would be a quick approval for me since I have an 800+ credit card score. So, I applied.
One by one, I was accepted for all of them. It took me about a week to do this. Even though I suspected that it might be less than prudent to sign up for all six so quickly, I did not want to miss out on any one of the six credit card bonus offers.
To date, I have fulfilled the charged purchase requirements for four credit card bonus offers. In fact, I also know how I will fulfill the last two. In all, I have taken an amazingly short time to implement these credit card bonus offers. I concluded that the whole procedure would go quickly and continue without a hitch.
PROS AND CONS OF THE PROMOTIONAL BONUS PROGRAM
Given my history of a perfect payment record, I thought this would work like a charm. Eventually this exercise will become profitable. But so much has happened along the way towards reaching my goal that at times I question my investment savvy. To start, at times I have felt very confused and sleep deprived by some of the transactions that occurred. Numerous ‘unk unks’ (unknown unknowns) have taken place. In other words, I had nothing to do with certain things have happened to complicate the process.
A PROMOTIONAL BONUS IS NOT NECESSARILY A CASH REWARD
Promotional bonus program redemptions are not necessarily made as cash rewards. In other words, a $200 promotional bonus for six credit cards does not net $1200 cash rewards. In some cases, other forms of redemption are the only options. For example, the funds may be held over towards the payment of the next month’s bill. Another scenario is ‘the check in the mail.’ We all know ‘the check is in the mail’ solution. In that case, it can take up to three weeks to deliver.
Let’s not forget the gift card option. But that’s not a gift to me. I don’t know who it goes to. In conclusion, none of these alternate options is optimal. Given my preference, I like my promotional bonus to be deposited right into my checking account as a cash reward. But that is not always possible. In fact, if the only option is a statement credit, the promotional bonus tool is a guarantee to the credit card company that you will continue to charge in the future to apply the bonus.
As an example, while I was accumulating bonuses, one card got hacked. I had to replace it. In addition, I tried to cancel items that were not refunded but turned into ‘honey points’. Other charges were also counted twice. Even though I did not cause these issues, their occuring caused me to have a lack of focus. It became very difficult for me to concentrate on the credit card bonus offers.
MAKE ONE CHANGE AT A TIME
In addition to signing up for this credit card bonus offers, I signed up for autopay. Making two major program changes at one time was a mistake. As a result, some bills got paid twice. It was impossible to keep track of what I was doing. Ultimately I realized what was wrong. It was that I had embarked on a new system that was going outside the box. The regular program template became twice as hard to maneuver since I was exploring new territory. Therefore I advise readers to make one change at a time when adding a new element to an existing template.
Using credit cards responsibly and profitably is not a strictly linear concept. As I discover with each new profit making tool, their value becomes exponential. Although the original templates are the foundation of this program, with each new component the program goes further outside the original box.
Along these lines, credit card companies continue to make themselves increasingly worthwhile to individuals who stay on top of the latest innovations. I suggest that individuals stay sharp and continue to search new and existing credit cards. They can improve as investment tools, not just a means of delaying payments on purchases.