Friday, July 13, 2007

Citibank Driver's Edge - Worthless

So much for my 6% for a year rebates! The "cash back" on the Citibank Driver's Edge card can only be used towards new car purchases and vehicle maintenance. I could never spend on maintenance items for what I spend on 6% of my gas purchase (or 3% for that matter). I read the entire terms and agreements - twice, and somehow I missed it. What they sent me in the mail, with my initial cards and my first statement, give no information about "redeeming" the cash back. I also got in the mail a pamphlet about "Thank You" points, but all it talked about was converting my "cash back" into "points". I had no intention of doing that.

How confusing! The sad part is that my mistake has caused me to open up a worthless credit line. So, I've just cut them up and paid it off and will call in the morning to get the address. I'll send a certified letter and cancel the card after it reflects paid in full.

Fortunately I can take the hit on my credit score since I don't plan on financing anything else for...ever. Debt repayment and being debt free is the goal! But you know, I really would like to earn some cash back by using a credit card. I need to do more research it seems, and see if I can find a card that...actually gifts cash back (if anyone can recommend one let me know). A waste of a month, but lesson learned. It cost me nothing, but I earned...nothing.



Jim said...

I have a Citi Dividend which gives me a 3% cash return on gas. At the same time though I am staying away from using a credit card for any reason. I wish banks could tie some sort of reward or cash back program to debit cards. The problem I ran into with buying gas on this card was I still pay interest on the balance so that 3% return isn't worth it. I'll stick to just trying to avoid the credit cards and only use my debit card.

I don't worry about my credit score so much anymore. It probably gets beat up a few times a year with the activities I do. Keeping up on my credit report is more important anyway since most people rarely check their financial history and are more concerned with their FICO score for a rate.

Anonymous said...

Re "I could never spend on maintenance items for what I spend on 6% of my gas purchase", that's hard to believe unless you do all of your own maintenance. If you drive 5000 miles and get 25 mpg, that's 200 gallons of gas. At $3 per gallon, you've spent $600 which gives you a $36 rebate (only $18 after the rebate drops to 3%). Even a perfect car needs oil changes, tires, and brakes, and those are likely going to cost more than $36 every 5000 miles. But to be fair, I should point out that the rebate is on groceries too, which could add up to more than car maintenance.

The "Thank you points" can be turned into cash (at a reduced rate) or gift certificates at lots of vendors, so even someone that doesn't buy a car or pay a lot in car maintenance can still get their full rebate value. They just have to jump through a few hoops.

This card also pays you $1 for every 100 miles you drive your car, which is a pretty nice bonus.

I agree the rebates are a bit of a pain because of the forms to claim them, but I think the value of the rebates are hard to beat.