Many of you have probably read the guest post over at Budgets Are Sexy, How I made $4,000+ on a cash back credit card offer. (By the way, JMoney, you know I love ya, but I got carpal tunnel just typing that out. Maybe work on your guest posters’ headline length?)
Anyway, it’s an interesting anecdote.
He took a credit card offering a three-month, 10% cash back bonus on gas/grocery/drugstore purchases. He then bought 100 Visa cards worth $500 each.
For unknown reasons, the card company didn’t notice the loophole and so he got $5,000 in cash back. Less the $4.95 activation fee on each card, he made about $4,500.
Sounds great, but… He spent $50,000. Of that, $15,000 was put on the 0% APR (for a year) card and the other $35,000 was from their savings account.
First of all, who has $35,000 sitting in a savings account? Don’t most people have those kind of funds in CDs and money markets and other… interest-bearing stuff?
I guess $4,500 is a pretty compelling reason to do something this drastic. But if you asked me which I’d rather have, I’d take the $35,000 sitting securely in the bank.
Why? Because life happens, and I’d rather have a bunch of money sitting securely than to worry about unexpected expenses, a $1,250 monthly credit card payment and keeping track of various GC balances. Not to mention the general stress of seeing a bank account with $35,000 less in it.
Yes, $4,500 is a lot of “free” money. But the stress of rebuilding everything would make me tired and freaked out and generally make it hard for me to enjoy life. I’d rather go actively chase advertisers and get the $400 a month that way.
Of course, this tale wasn’t intended to urge us on. It was just a “Look, I can’t believe this worked!” kind of post.
Fine. Awesome for him. He had the guts (and savings account) to take the risk and it paid off. It’s definitely impressive.
Me? I’d rather log in every single day to my bank account and stare that the $35,000+ sitting in it. Heck, I’d cut out the balance from my monthly statement and frame it! Or carry it around in my wallet.
In other words, I need the stability and the sense of security that a savings account provides. And more than half an hour after reading his post, I still feel a little queasy at picturing $35,000 going poof.
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