Get it for the Free Flights, Keep it for the Other Stuff

Okay, like the rest of you, I am a bit creeped out by Samuel L. Jackson always asking me what I have in my wallet, but the Capital One card did something today that I thought was very cool.  It warned me about one of my regular charges going up in cost.

I just got an email alerting me that my charge to MailChimp (my favorite email list service) was higher than normal. My monthly fee with MailChimp went up by $10 a month because I passed a threshold of subscribers that put me into another fee bracket.  I just loved the fact that I got an email from Capital One alerting me to the increase.  I didn’t set up any alerts – it just analyzed by purchases, noticed something different and alerted me.

I started using Capital One last year not because of Mr. Jackson but because I wanted to earn some travel miles on purchases I make anyway.  I have been dead-set against credit cards for more than a decade but decided that I should take advantage of the system – knowing that I had the discipline to not run up debt. The key to not getting into trouble is diligence. If you carry a balance and are hit with interest rates, then the value of the card quickly changes from a positive to a negative.

I didn’t do anything that increased spending but have already earned three free round-trip flights in a very short time. Yes, completely free flights – and I’m not talking about over-inflated tickets costs that eat up a ton of points.  The actual purchase price of the ticket is even lower than I found on places like Travelocity and the like.

It didn’t really add a lot of extra accounting work.  I do have to make sure to keep up with the balance.  It was easy to get behind during the introductory zero interest time but I made sure to pay it off before that runs out.  Now, I just pay the balance every month – no interest and lots of free miles.

by Chris Doelle