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Credit Card Rewards. Ripoff?

July 24th, 2011 at 04:47 pm

I logged on to one of my credit card accounts today just to make sure there was no balance and no payment due.

This is a card I sometimes use for small purchases and since it has a $48,000 credit limit, I don't keep it with me all the time. I don't want to have that much temptation sitting in my wallet. (At one point, I had 3 credit cards in my wallet with a combined credit line of over $70,000.
I now only carry my debit card, one credit card (with a $20k limit) and my corporate credit card (for work).

This credit card has a rewards program that gives 1 reward point for every dollar spent. In order to redeem your points, you have to have a minimum balance of 2500 which is equivalent to a $25 gift card.

I noted my rewards balance and saw that I only had earned 511 points. The credit card company was nice enough to remind me that I only[b/] needed to spend $1989 more dollars in order to get a $25 gift card.

Are you kidding me? Do people really fall for this crap? Unfortunately, they do. I [b]used
to be guilty of this myself. I HAD to get those rewards points so I HAD to use my card. I'd find an excuse to buy this or buy that just to get to the minimum amount needed to earn rewards.

The problem with this is that I bought things I didn't need and I never paid the card off in full. Even though the credit card company was paying me to use the card, I was paying them much more in the form of interest each month.

Thankfully, those days are behind me now. I've learned my lesson. I only use my credit card if I can afford to pay the balance in full.

What about you? You have any issues with rewards credit cards?

Monthly Debt Reduction Goal

July 21st, 2011 at 04:40 pm

The amount of money I owe is slowly coming down!! At the beginning of the year, I'd set a goal of decreasing my overall debt by AT LEAST $1,000 a month.

The last few months, I've fallen a little bit short of my goal. Checking my spreadsheet for the year, it looks like I've only been reducing my debt by about $925 each month. I've recently bumped up the payments I've been making on my 0% credit card debt in order to get them paid off before the interest free period expired. I can start applying that money towards my car loan and student loan.

As of today, I've paid on all of my debt for July and it looks like I beat my goal.

The grand total of my debt reduction for July is $1,190.54!


July 18th, 2011 at 03:45 pm

I figured I'd start this blog by giving you a detailed breakdown of my debt.

As of today, I owe the following:

Mortgages $314,027.88
Student Loans $21,089.17
Best Buy $700.84 (0% until August 2012)
HHGregg $325.00 (0% until Dec 2011)
Car Loan $11,964.03

Total Debt: $348,107.92

Mortgages. The mortgages are split between my primary home and a rental property. Unfortunately, I am upside down on both of them. I estimate the value of the two properties to be $245,000 which means I am upside down by roughly $69,000.

Student Loans. The student loans are fixed at 5.5%. I've been out of college for over 12 years. I should have had this loan paid off by now but I kept putting the loan in forbearance. I'm currently paying an extra $50 a month to pay down the loan.

I plan to pay off HHGregg and Best Buy by the end of this year. My car loan was just taken out in April of this year. I estimate the car to be worth about $17,000.