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Ask Dave

Snakes bite!

Tyler and his wife have the cash to pay for an entertainment center, but the manager has offered them a 10 percent discount if they get a store credit card. Dave warns them to stay away from this kind of stuff.

QUESTION: Tyler and his wife are building a home. They found an entertainment center they want for the new place, and the dealer will give them 10 percent off if they take out a store credit card. They have the cash to buy the piece outright, but Tyler wonders if they should get the card and use it for the entertainment center and Christmas gifts then immediately pay it off, close the account, and cut up the card. Dave is skeptical about the idea, and he explains why.

ANSWER: Yeah, that only works when it works. The first problem is most people don’t follow through on what you’re talking about. The second problem is a lot of places hit you with a fee when you pay it off, the thing runs over, then you get another fee, and so on.

I’d just call the manager out of the back office and let him know that unless he discounts the entertainment center $600 I’m going to his competitor. No, I’m not taking out your stupid credit card.

Dude, you have got to learn to stop playing with snakes — they bite. You have got to stop screwing around with debt products. Everybody thinks they’re somehow winning or getting rich doing this kind of thing, but it doesn’t work. You have to stop it. They’re trying to hook you, man!