Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Playing with Fire

Well today I got a call from Promerica. It's the bank with which I arranged to turn in my credit card and start a debt repayment schedule. I'm about halfway with them of the 36 months's term.
I thought it would be one of those calls reminding me that I was a few days behind my payment. I've been getting my morning job payments a bit late and so I get called on it and even threatened to be taken to legal department if I miss two payments. I really don't want to but sometimes the money is not there when it's due. Lately i've been mostly on time in keeping only 30 days late.
My surprise was even bigger when I hear someone talking to me in a happy voice from the "credits" deparment instead of the "collections" department. That was strange.
Right away they told me that due to my "good customer record with them"...I almost laughed out loud but I managed to keep it a a grin...they were offering me a credit card that would give me 5% back on fuel purchases and 10% back on restaurant purchases.
My first instinct as has been with the previous 5 or 10 calls from other companies offering me credit cards, insurance, lines of credit, etc was to say no.  However I thought about it and considered that lately i've been able to carry one or two credit cards in my wallet and actually NOT use them even when I was very short on money.
Here the two sides of my mind started playing with me. One side says "just say no, stay the course". The other side says "you spend at least 4000lps on fuel alone each month, that's 200lps back each month"..then it added "On weekends you spend between 200 and 800lps, you could get back 20 to 80 lps back".
So after asking about interest rates and other fees, of which I was told there are none, I told them to go ahead and mail the card to me.
I'm going to play it slow and request it to have a credit limit of $500 even if they give me $5500 like on the one i'm paying back now. I'm going to use an actual can I have here and put the gas money there or go to their office to deposit the money after every couple of purchases. If I find myself not paying the full amount I will stop using it and put it on my office drawer until I get the balance back to zero.
I know I'm playing with fire but I think i'm taking enough steps to make sure I don't get third degree burns today, maybe I might get something like a sunburn but I hope that it will actually help me save.
Let me hear what you think.


La Gringa said...

5% and 10% back sound too good to be true! Is it really true? We might want to get one of those.

Please make yourself pay it off every month! Don't get further into debt. No exceptions.

Cindy in California said...

My first instinct:


But it's too late for that. :-(

My recommendation is ONLY use it for gas and PLANNED eating out. ONLY use it when you have the cash to pay for the gas or planned eating out. Take the cash out of your wallet and put it in an envelope so all the money is there to pay it at the end of the month.

No cash on hand, no using the card. PERIOD. The first time this doesn't happen, shred the card. As LG said: NO EXCEPTIONS!