Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Credit Protector Changes?

I love when My Money Blog gets all university on us and spells out what we need to do to put more money in our pockets. Whether it's arbitrage with credit cards or playing chicken with the cable company, his step-by-step instructions are indispensable to a detail oriented control freak like me.

So ever since reading his post on using Credit Protector trial checks for generating free money I have been on the lookout for one of these offers to arrive on my doorstep. Yesterday I thought it had finally happened...and for FORTY dollars. The offer was through our main card, the Citibank Platinum Dividend card so my first thought was that I would have to make sure I cancelled within the trial period or I WOULD end up owing some money.

I went to look closer at this thing today. It's not a check, like they used to do. It's a rebate. Doh. You enroll, then they send you a $40 rebate certificate (I wonder if that takes more than 30 days to arrive?). You return the certificate along with receipts and they send you up to $40 as a rebate on those purchases. After 30 days you will be charged $0.85 per $100 of the new balance.

So it looks as if they are changing the way they incent people to try the service yet still appear to be dangling cash. It's no longer as easy as depositing the check and remembering to cancel before 30 days are up. Counting on people to forget to cancel in time apparently wasn't enough, now they are counting on people to blow the rebate so they don't even have to give out the cash. And clearly you need to use the card to get the rebate, so safely enrolling on a card that you don't use no longer works either.

I am torn about whether to do it. We are pretty good about following through on rebates and I do believe we could easily remember to cancel within 30 days. But I fear there is some sort of "catch" that I might be missing. I guess worst case scenario if I follow the guidelines is that I get nothing, and best case I get $40 worth of everyday purchases paid for.

Other bloggers on Credit Protector:
SavvySaver has also made some money using the trial checks
Nickel couldn't say no to another chunk of free change
MyMoneyBlogU on getting the money without getting screwed


  1. I do these all the time, and I LOVE them! I've also done the rebate thing, and that worked out well too. So, if it helps, it all went smoothly for me. Sure, I had to mail an extra envelope, but in the end it wasn't much more hassle than cashing the checks were before. Plus, 40 bucks in rebates is better than 20 in check form, so there is an upside to it there!

  2. I have wanted to do this for some time as well. If most card companies are moving from the free cash to rebates then i'll probably pass. MoneyDummy is right they do have value, but for me it's just not worth it for a rebate instead of the free money.

  3. The professor is in. ;P

    Rebates, yuck. I guess it was too easy to for people to just cash their check and then call to cancel.

    I bet there's some math geek they employ that runs the numbers on how likely we are to forget given certain rules. Next we'll have to send in rebates postmarked only on Tuesdays.

  4. Well rebate is better than nothing? At this financial meltdown situation it is best not to use credit cards at all.


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