GM TOPPING OFF REWARDS ACCOUNTS: Via this FWF thread, GM is apparently topping off the accounts of GM cardholders with a few thousand dollars in bonuses. These bonus dollars are only good for a few weeks, but the great thing is they can be used above and beyond the standard GM card redemption allowances (which can be as low as $700 for a Chevy Cruze). From the GM promotional email, as quoted in the thread:
1) Top-Off Bonus Earnings are available on the purchase or lease of new and unused 2014 or remaining 2013 Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicles. Excludes 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Convertible, 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe and 2014 Chevrolet SS. In order to redeem your Bonus Earnings, you must provide the Bonus Earnings Code to your dealer at time of purchase or lease. Vehicle must be delivered from dealer stock from 1/3/14 through 2/28/14. GM Card Bonus Earnings can be used above applicable GM Card program limits. GM Card Earnings and GM Card Bonus Earnings cannot be combined with other Bonus Earnings offers or with Earnings from any other GM Card product. Bonus Earnings offers are nontransferable to another GM Card Account and are limited to authorized persons as of 1/3/14. Only one Bonus Earnings offer per Account. Bonus Earnings expire 2/28/14.
Posted in the FWF thread reported getting $2,000 and in at least one case $3,000 in bonus earnings, and do note that these rewards can be applied toward a purchase or a lease.
Lesson learned: if you want a GM car, then get this card, accumulate a modest sum of rewards, then wait for GM to throw some bonus cash your way.
Also noted in the thread: Nissan has a rewards program too. I had no idea! I wanted to sign up but apparently you have to do so at the dealer. Has anybody else ever heard of this thing, much less signed up for it? What piqued my interest is that apparently there’s a portal for this program. Here are some of the merchants:
Odds are it’s the same bonuses available anywhere else, but it’s worth looking into anyway.
THANKS SLICKDEALS: All Dominos pizzas are 50% off menu price with coupon code 9413 or 50off.
ALLY OFFERING $250 FOR A $50K ROLLOVER: Here you go. That’s not a bad deal for a $50K account. The downside is that it has to go into an IRA CD or IRA savings account. Before you decide this deal is not for you, take a look at the fine print:
- Just make deposits totaling $50,000 or more from outside Ally Bank between 1/1/14 and 5/31/14. That includes rollovers, trustee-to-trustee transfers and contributions.
- You can make multiple deposits to your Traditional, Roth, and SEP IRA Plans to meet the $50,000 deposit requirement.
Which sounds awesome until they add: “Qualifying funds must remain on deposit until the bonus is paid.” Rats! Ally’s on to that loophole, anyway.
WELLS FARGO CREDIT CARD UNIT IS POORLY MANAGED: Will Run For Miles gave an account of her experience with Wells Fargo’s credit card unit. It is a lengthy account, and necessarily so since Wells Fargo really botched things up. Other commentors, including me, also recounted tales of incompetence. Bottom line: if you’re applying for that sweet card they’re offering, stay on top of them, at least until your first statement hits and the 5% rewards are confirmed. Oh, and beware the sales culture.
POT BANKERS GAMING THE SYSTEM: In a recent WSJ article about the issues involved with getting the entire credit card ecosystem to allow marijuana purchases, there are a few interesting nuggets. For example:
In Colorado, mom-and-pop companies in some cases are circumventing the way traditional transactions are processed to avoid the Visa and MasterCard networks, even though customers are using cards with those brands. The transactions essentially take place as if it were a withdrawal from an automated-teller machine.
“It’s like when salmon can’t swim in one direction, they’ll figure out another way to go up the river,” says Chris Mills, who sells card-processing systems to marijuana merchants through his company called GreenHouse Payment Solutions.
One of his clients is Denver Relief, where about 30% of the customers pay for their medical marijuana with a debit card, said Andy Betts, general manager of the dispensary. The employee swipes the card and the customer enters the card’s regular personal identification number. The customer pays a $2 fee to the merchant for the service.
And then this:
Companies that process marijuana transactions also can circumvent Visa and MasterCard rules by logging a marijuana purchase as a more innocuous-seeming transaction. Tinkering with the so-called merchant category codes is considered a severe violation of card-industry rules.
Are any of you reading this in Colorado or Washington? Sounds like there’s money to be made by anybody who can figure out a legal way to circumvent the rules. Or failing that, you can convince the merchants to sell giftcards and ring you up as a gas/grocery/drugstore purchase as long as they’re messing around with the MCCs.
REAL ESTATE: A strong storm front swept through a nice chunk of the U.S. a few days ago. Check out this video of what happened to some condos under construction in Raleigh.