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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308239  
Subject: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/21/2013 5:29 PM
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Bought some Crest Whitestrips, noticed a $10 rebate coupon enclosed. So I sent in the coupon, with receipt & SKU, as usual.

Guess what arrived in today's mail. A $10 check? Nope, a "P&G Rewards Card," which is a prepaid Visa debit card with an initial value of $10, and an account maintenance fee of $3/month.

YG
(not accepting this card, thankyouverymuch)
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Author: Patzer Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307251 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/21/2013 8:41 PM
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Guess what arrived in today's mail. A $10 check? Nope, a "P&G Rewards Card," which is a prepaid Visa debit card with an initial value of $10, and an account maintenance fee of $3/month.

Can't you use it for the first $10 of some bigger purchase, and be done with it? I've used that strategy for gift cards with maintenance fees. Spend as quickly as possible on something I'd buy anyway, and move on.

Patzer

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307252 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/21/2013 9:12 PM
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Guess what arrived in today's mail. A $10 check? Nope, a "P&G Rewards Card," which is a prepaid Visa debit card with an initial value of $10, and an account maintenance fee of $3/month

I had the exact same thing a month or 3 ago. If you use it once to a zero balance then it eventually expires -- no maintenance fees.

What I did was go on Amazon, buy a $10 gift card, send it to myself, and then I could use the credit some time in the future. The card went in the shredder. I've done this several times -- each time for a pre-paid Visa card that I had as a rebate/gift.

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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307253 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/21/2013 9:24 PM
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Can't you use it for the first $10 of some bigger purchase, and be done with it?

I don't know. The maintenance fee doesn't appear to be waived if there's a zero balance, so I can foresee spending $10, then in 6 months getting a bill for $18 (they do "postpone" - not waive - the maintenance fee the 1st 6 months).

It just seems too complicated, and for $10 I'd rather not accept the card in the first place than have to spend hours wading through all the fine print. I did, however, complain to P&G (using the link on their web site), so we'll see if anything comes of that. (I'm not hopeful.)

YG
likes to keep things simple

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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307254 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/21/2013 9:27 PM
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If you use it once to a zero balance then it eventually expires -- no maintenance fees.

That makes sense, and if it were clear in the paperwork they sent, I'd totally do that.

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Author: 401kinvestor Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307255 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/21/2013 10:16 PM
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Go go the gas station. Go inside fill up for $10 worth of gas. Leave.

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307256 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/22/2013 2:28 AM
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If you use it once to a zero balance then it eventually expires -- no maintenance fees.

That makes sense, and if it were clear in the paperwork they sent, I'd totally do that.


Well, I got the exact same thing that you did: $10 rebate from Crest/PGE. I looked at the card agreement and on the website. There was language about zero balance cards eventually expiring. If you have a card sitting with a small balance then it will eventually be whittled away to zero over time.

My experience with previous cards is that you should use the full balance all at once instead of multiple purchases (and don't ever use it at a restaurant, since they sometimes add an automatic 15% tip buffer on the charge that could hang up the transaction). If there is no transaction fee, then you can use the whole balance; if there is then get a, say, $99 item to accomodate the $1 fee. For me getting an Amazon gift card means I can dial in the specific amount: for one $100 card I had a $1.50 fee, so I got a $98.50 gift card for myself.

This isn't a credit card. Are you worried that somehow you will end up owing money on it?

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307257 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/22/2013 7:46 AM
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I don't know. The maintenance fee doesn't appear to be waived if there's a zero balance, so I can foresee spending $10, then in 6 months getting a bill for $18 (they do "postpone" - not waive - the maintenance fee the 1st 6 months).

The maintenance fee cannot be billed to you. It is just taken from the card's balance. Just like if you went to the store and purchased a pre-paid Visa gift card. So what's the problem?

Acme

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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307258 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/22/2013 9:22 AM
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The maintenance fee cannot be billed to you. It is just taken from the card's balance.

My concern was that the maintenance fee could be billed. But their paperwork says the fee will be "applied" and "collected," and they can only do that through the card?

YG
(uses credit cards constantly, but has no experience with debit cards or gift cards)

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Author: Retrograde Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307259 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/22/2013 3:13 PM
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My concern was that the maintenance fee could be billed. But their paperwork says the fee will be "applied" and "collected," and they can only do that through the card?

Correct, they can only take away from the balance on the card.

Some people reuse these cards and add money to them periodically, but if you drain it all at once then there won't be any money to deduct for fees.

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Author: YewGuise Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307260 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/22/2013 7:52 PM
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Thanks, all!

YG
not good with surprises

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Author: bill343 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307261 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/22/2013 11:09 PM
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even Pentgon federal a CU usually highly regrded on this board, issues its rewqrds wigh one of those , 'gift " cards now. I gather Citi isnow the administqtor for the PEN fed Credit card, whidh does not thrill me. Sorry for the tyyping.. I had a small TIA while traveling recently, and i am apparantely not all better yet. Fie...

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Author: bill343 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307262 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/22/2013 11:23 PM
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i would write to those fine people and tell them how mqny people you have already told qbout this sleazy cheap trick. you may now consideryour self a pro bono PR REP FOR THEM???

bill

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Author: AcmeFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307263 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/23/2013 8:57 PM
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even Pentgon federal a CU usually highly regrded on this board, issues its rewqrds wigh one of those , 'gift " cards now.

That credit card used to be one of the best cards in the country. Ever since they changed the terms -- 1% instead of 1.25% and reward by card instead of monthly payment against your balance -- the card has moved down my list dramatically.

Acme

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307264 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/23/2013 9:39 PM
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Go go the gas station. Go inside fill up for $10 worth of gas. Leave.

They can't be used at gas stations or restaurants.

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Author: PaintItBlue Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307265 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/24/2013 1:44 AM
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You could use it all towards a larger purchase at some big box store, and be done with it. I've seen people use cards for part of the amount of a purchase at Target. They can handle it OK.

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307266 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/24/2013 11:09 AM
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I hate those rebate debit cards, but my sure-fire solution to using them is to just use them to buy groceries. The ones I've gotten from AT&T have been for something like $50, and I find it pretty easy to spend at least that the grocery store, so that's a good way to spend the whole thing in one shot.

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Author: 401kinvestor Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307267 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/24/2013 11:34 PM
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Go to Walmart but $10 Walmart gift card.

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Author: 401kinvestor Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307268 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/24/2013 11:35 PM
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Buy six pack of soda at Kroger.

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Author: bmillz Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307269 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/25/2013 12:02 AM
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About a year ago I noticed my name was on my states unclaimed property website for $5. Turns out it was a rebate check from Energizer that I hadn't cashed a few years before that. I was able to contact the company and get them to reissue the check.

I wonder if the gift card with the maintenance fee might be a way from companies to get around the problem of dealing with people like me who might lose a check. Instead of having to keep the unclaimed check on their books this way allows them to get it off their balance sheet one way or another.

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307270 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/25/2013 12:37 AM
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About a year ago I noticed my name was on my states unclaimed property website for $5. Turns out it was a rebate check from Energizer that I hadn't cashed a few years before that. I was able to contact the company and get them to reissue the check.

I wonder if the gift card with the maintenance fee might be a way from companies to get around the problem of dealing with people like me who might lose a check. Instead of having to keep the unclaimed check on their books this way allows them to get it off their balance sheet one way or another.


A long while back my mother gave me six shares of Avon. (The broker was trying to think of a 'feminine' stock. I've pointed out since then that for the exact same price she could have given me six shares of GE). So Avon would send me dividend checks for $0.30 every three months, and I'd lose them, so they would send me checks for accumulated dividends, and eventually they sent me a letter asking me if I wanted to reinvest the dividends, and I said fine.

I now own 120 shares of Avon. (They've had some splits as well, but those reinvested dividends have really added a lot of value).

So clearly the little checks are a regular problem for large companies, and yes, they're probably trying to figure out how to stop wasting money tracking them.

Nancy

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307271 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/25/2013 7:36 PM
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I like stocks that have dividend reinvestment plans, and often participate in them.

BP (British Petroleum) ADRs just started a dividen reinvestment program which I received notice of a few days ago. I've requested the form I can use to sign up for that.


In 1988 I bought 400 shares of Cabot Oil and Gas at $16 a share or something like that. A couple of weeks ago I got a notice of a stock split that was giving me a total of about 3500 shares @ $39/share.

I hadn't been paying much attention to repeated splits in the stock the last few years because of the boom in gas exploration*.

Anyway, the current market value is nearly $140,000.


Seattle Pioneer







* Probably not a good idea to talk about a "boom" in a natural gas company, I suppose.

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 307272 of 308239
Subject: Re: Thanks but no thanks Date: 9/26/2013 9:42 PM
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Probably not a good idea to talk about a "boom" in a natural gas company, I suppose.

Ahhh... I see what you did there.

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