I gave my kids a test this morning. They passed but only after asking a few questions. And since they were the right questions, I allowed it.
I received a special invitation in the mail yesterday from American Express. Often, these special invites go directly to the shredding box. But the marketing department at AmEx discovered how to get someone like me to open the extra large envelope.
The front of the envelope offered me a $400 gift card to The Home Depot. Now, ever since I read that the CEO of Home Depot left to spend more time with his family (code for was sent home) and was given a $210 million package (who is worth that much, honestly?!), I’ve had a hard time shopping there. But the clincher was when, shortly after, a full-page Home Depot ad appeared in the paper. Apparently The Home Depot was hoping to raise one million dollars to send to the troops overseas. Granted, they were putting in some of their own money, but, compared to $210 million…well, it doesn’t compare. Just didn’t sit right with me. And, hey, I have choices. So I choose not to shop there.
But I digress. I did open the envelope out of curiosity. And maybe a little interest in the cash. $400 is a lot of money, especially if it’s free. Perhaps it’s time to lighten up a little on The Home Depot.
I discovered that I had been selected to get a special welcome bonus from AmEx. Lucky me! All I had to do was sign up for the Premier Rewards Gold Card and I would get a $400 gift card to The Home Depot…once I spent $200 on the new card before the end of the year. Tempting. Hmmm….so that’s how Adam felt.
But the temptation didn’t last long. I know how these things work.
As the boys were eating breakfast, I told them I could get $400 in free money just by signing up and meeting the $200 requirement. Should I do it?
Nathan was first to ask, “It’s like getting another credit card?”
“Yes, I’d end up with another card.”
Ryan’s turn, “Is it okay to have a lot of cards?”
“It depends. If you keep the balance low and pay them off, then it may not be a bad thing. But every time you open an account it gets reflected on your credit report. It may have a negative impact…initially.”
Nathan again, “Can’t you just close the account after you get the $400?”
“Sure. But that definitely gets reflected negatively on your credit score. For some crazy reason, the credit bureaus don’t like it when you close accounts.”
Both boys in unison, “No, don’t do it.”
And there you have it. I walked my special invitation over to the shredding box and, as I tossed it in, I was glad that neither of the boys flinched at the possibility of $400 in free money. But then, the envelope wasn’t addressed to them.