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Credit card games
Old 12-16-2003, 07:45 AM   #1
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Credit card games

One of my perverse joys has been to fund investments via credit card just to get that little kicker from the credit card reward programs (generally an extra 1% cash).

There are only a few more days before the plug is pulled on the savings bonds direct program that lets you do this:

I also funded some very competitive CDs this way at PenFed:

Any others out there?

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Re: Credit card games
Old 12-16-2003, 09:26 AM   #2
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Re: Credit card games

I like to legally "launder" my investment money through my credit card too. I've used my card to purchase I-bonds for years and will miss being able to do that -- although the current I-bond rates are miserable. It's hard to find a transaction that is closer to a "free lunch" than being able to make your regular investment transactions using a benefit paying credit card. You are spending your money on yourself in exactly the way you want to, and the credit card company pays you a benefit for it.

I have started asking if I can use my credit card for almost everything. Two months ago, I paid for a new car with my VISA. In the past I would have written a check, but adding the step of charging it on the VISA first and then paying off the VISA bill has big benefits. Of course, I always pay the bill off immediately so I don't pay interest, and the laundered payments win me airline miles for my next trip.

I have one card (AAA VISA) that gives me a 5% discount on any gasoline purchase I make. In addition, it pays you a $50 gift certificate on each $5000 you charge through them. The gift certificate is limited to AAA stores, but last year I needed to upgrade my luggage (which was being held together with duct tape in some cases) and I was able to get what I needed using the benefit certificates. Around here (Phoenix) the cheapest gas by 2 or 3 cents/gallon is usually Arco stations. But they won't take credit cards. I end up saving more than 7 cents per gallon by finding a gas station that offers the convenience of credit card pumps. Since I drive about 50,000 miles per year, this really adds up.


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Re: Credit card games
Old 12-17-2003, 06:04 AM   #3
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Re: Credit card games

Even better is taking that promo APR money they offer and finding
a home for it for as long as the promo rate lasts, thus pocketing the interest rate
spread. If your credit limits are high enough, there is
real money to be made with very little effort.

John Galt
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