I'm a Clark Howard disciple. He is a consumer advocate that helps people to make smart choices with their money.
I was reading the August edition of Golf Digest last night, in it was a promotional ad that, after doing some number-crunching, isn't such a good deal. Wanting to spread the gospel of Clark, I feel compelled to put a red flag on this promotion.
The ad states: Your Reward. Get it Now. We're giving you a set of X-18 irons or $800 in merchandise.
All I have to do to get either is to transfer $5000 in qualifying balances to the Upfront Rewards Visa. After I do that, in 6 weeks I'm swinging new clubs for nothing!!!!!
Intrigued, I read on:
"Your new card comes with no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, a low variable APR, and many other benefits and perks."
Now, being the kind of guy that squeezes a Buffalo Nickel so hard that it poops, I am immediately wary when I see the mice-type at the bottom of the ad that requires a high-powered magnifying glass to read.
In the mice-type, it states that I must carry a balance of $3500.00 during the first 18 months, if it goes below that amount, I will be assessed a one-time fee of $600.00.
Suddenly, those Callaway's are not a giveaway.
So I called the Upfront Rewards card company to find out how much the variable APR would be for this card (seeing that I would have to carry a balance). She informs me that the APR is based on my credit rating, and would range anywhere from 9.99% to 12.99%.
I politely hang-up, and immediately grab my handy-dandy......calculator.
Let's crunch the numbers to find out how much I would actually be paying for the X-18's:
Assuming the 9.99% APR, the compounded interest on $3500 is $569.00 in fees for 18 months.
If I punch-in the 12.99%APR, I come out paying $747.00 for the same period.
If I were to land in the middle of both those numbers, I would come out at $658.00 in interest.
Just for grins, I wanted to see how much these clubs would cost online, so I entered X-18 Callaway on my EatGolf Shopper site. In no time flat I found a brand new set for $699.00 that comes with a dozen Blue HX balls ($35 value).
I guess it's not really a giveaway. Just wanted you to be aware.
Thanks for reading. Keep it in the short-grass,