Friday, July 14, 2006

Upfront Rewards gets you from behind

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,



Anonymous said...

Thanks for the 'heads up'.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing about that ad. I did the same thing when I saw it hehe.

mediaguru @ said...

A sucker is born every minute. I was born between two other suckers I guess... Besides, I'm not a Cally iron guy anyway :-)

Anonymous said...

Ofcourse, you can put that $ 5000.00 in a CD for 5.5% and make the difference about $400.00!! Might work, don't they?