So lets talk about my first sub-par churn.
For anyone not familiar with churning, in the personal finance world, it is the act of signing up for a credit card, just to get the (usually) juicy sign up bonus such as cash back, Air Miles, bonus points..etc…and then cancelling the card your reward has been credited and spent. Is this legal? Certainly. Is this taking advantage of the credit card company? Probably, however, these companies are making an offer, and you are accepting their terms and conditions, following those terms and conditions. Nothing wrong with that. I compare this to the act of accepting a dinner invitation from someone who you don’t intend to become friends with. You go have your nice dinner, say thank you, and do you best to never see the dinner host again in a social situation. Again, is this ethical? I would argue on a personal level no, on a business level yes. These credit card companies know not everyone is going to stick around using this credit card forever.
Back to this particular churn. So there was a sign I noticed in a Tim Hortons advertising their new (this was about 2 years ago)”Tim Hortons Visa” card. This card was special because with this card you could simply redeem your points right at Tim Horton’s for your morning double-double (that’s a coffee with 2 creams and 2 sugars for all you non Canadians). That wasn’t a big appeal to me because I don’t frequent Timmy’s much, but the initial $25 free at Tim’s was ok, and the thing that really caught my eye was the coupon that attached to the sign that offered an EXTRA $50 at Tim Horton’s if you simply took this coupon to a CIBC branch. So $75 of cash at Tim’s would probably cover me for about 2 years, I only get an occasional coffee there, and personally I don’t enjoy much of their food offerings, however a free bagel is a nice option if I happen to forget my lunch or don’t have time to make one for work in the morning. So I went for it. I applied, brought the coupon to the branch as instructed; and here is where things went a bit sideways. The clerk said the coupon was not needed, and she took no action with it. I should have spoken up to get more into but I let it be. A week or two later I get a call to say that I was approved for the card, and I just had to bring ID to a branch. No problem. I bring my ID to the branch, and again show the coupon to the clerk, she says she had never seen one, and asks someone else about it and says she doesn’t need to do anything with it. Fine, I’m doubting this, but I don’t push it. I get my card in the mail a few weeks later, and make a purchase, which I believe was the only requirement to get the bonus money. I wait another month or so for the statement to show up with my purchase, and it has my bonus money as well, $25. hmmmm So I call the credit card and ask about the extra $50. They say they never received the code to give me the extra $50, so the $25 is all I get. Boooourns!!!
So there you have it. I will fully admit that I could have been a bit more aggressive in pursuing the bonus $50, but I wasn’t; and I did do everything that was asked of me in order to get the $50, so that was disappointing. I will also add that this is the first churn where I felt it wasn’t worth my time for the end result. You can read about my other churns here.
Anyone else churing out there? How are your experiences? Great? Bad? I would like to know. Please leave a like if you found this post at least minimally useful or slightly entertaining!