Label Your Cashback Cards With Offer Terms

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Tommy of Dodoskido left a very good idea in my post ranting against the promotional teaser cashback offers that I thought was worth sharing.

Another tip: I label each card in my wallet with the terms…like:
“0% until 02/14/2008″
“5% back gas, cell, office”

That way everytime you go to yank one out of your wallet, you know what’s up.

Of course, one would argue that if you have so many cards in your wallet that you can’t remember, you might want to pare down your options because you might have to many. While that’s a valid point, why make yourself remember something when you can just write it down? Also, some programs like the Discover Get More cashback program will rotate at what stores your cashback offer is good for, so with it changing every quarter, don’t fill up your brain with information you can otherwise put down on paper.

{ 6 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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6 Responses to “Label Your Cashback Cards With Offer Terms”

  1. Patrick says:

    I do something similar with my debit cards – I have two debit cards that are identical except for the card number. One is from my joint checking, the other from my personal checking. I only use my personal checking card for things that are for me only, or when I buy gifts I for my wife and I don’t want to ruin the surprise. 🙂 I sue my joint debit card for everything else. To differentiate them, I wrote “PERSONAL” amd “JOINT” on the front with a sharpie.

    Labeling rewards cards with specifics is also a good way to maximize returns. Nice post!

  2. Daniel says:

    lol. i do the same thing.

  3. Punny Money says:

    All my credit cards are similarly labeled. I have five in my regular wallet rotation and another half-dozen or so on standby for various purchase categories, so I’d be lost without the labels.

    I do wish I had a better option for the ever-changing Discover rewards since they’re different every three months AND they’re often specific to certain stores (like 5% at Lowes but not at Home Depot). Maybe they could program their cards with little LCD screens that display the current reward.

  4. I label my cards, but not because I have them in my wallet. I like to know of any promotional rates that are in effect and when they end, despite the fact that I don’t make use of those promotions. Most of the cards just sit unused in my safe.

  5. Posco says:

    My credit cards that have “0% until 1/1/2008” are usually 0% for balance transfer or cash advance ONLY, not for purchases. So those cards aren’t even in my wallet!
    Instead, I have the offer expiration date listed in Microsoft Money, where I keep track of all my accounts. There, I have a constant reminder that I need to fully pay the card before 1/1/2008.

  6. Tim says:

    i have the info in my excel spreadsheet that i track my budget. i’ve thought about writing the info on the card, but decided that the extra step of checking before i use is a built in spending alarm. plus, i keep track of points on my budget spreadsheet, so i can see which card i need to use to get the cash back check. In reality, though, it seems that my cards all have the same benefits, so i don’t need to keep track of everything. all the 0% BT cards are never used, b/c they are maxed out. 0% purchase cards are only used for major purchases.

    the 0% purchase cards are a bit dangerous. i realized that i was using them to buy everything rather than paying normal expenses from my debit card. i was a little unsettled by the final payment amount, despite it being 0%. what’s the problem with doing this since it is 0%? the problem is the big fat payout you have to make and how easy it is to get a high balance very quickly.

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