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MammothMC tips for financial thrift

posted Jul 23, 2012, 12:43 PM by Tony Burgess   [ updated Jul 23, 2012, 12:44 PM ]
Prologue: 5-24-2012
Checking out at Vons the MammothMC president, your narrator, was minutes away from the posted MammothMC garage party.  Among numerous other items, two packages of nitrate free hot dogs were run through the checker - both packs were marked 75% off effectively giving the net price of $1.25/pack, not bad.
After making payment and walking away a quick scan showed that the two packages of irish tube steaks were billed at a total of $19.96 - what a sick joke!  The wait at customer service slightly elevated the blood pressure but when called upon the following calm statement was made,
"These hotdog packs were originally $4.99 each and with the 75% off they should have rung in for about $1.25 each, and this is what I want to happen next.  I want my $20 back, then I want both hotdog packs for free."
Cordially the service rep said, "OK". 
Then I walked with the dogs and an extra $1.20 to my name.  Woah.  Where did the $1.20 come from?
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Credit Card Games.
With plastic, some like it, others don't or are apathetic, and some can milk it for all it is worth.  Spend within your means, pay off the monthly balance in full, and only then do the 'perks' become evident.  Perks can include mileage, various rewards, statement credits, or just the tried and true cash back.
Card #1
This writer gets an unlimited 6% cash back on all purchases made at Vons.  You can too.  High time to put some of your own money back into your own pocket.  Mammoth Vons will love you for it.
AMEX (american express) BLUE CASH PREFERRED
Cons: $75 annual fee
Pros: $150 cash bonus for spending $1000 in the first three months.
Card #2
How about 5% back on gas all the time and at any station provided you pay at the pump?  Plus, you get to infiltrate uncle sam's prized defenses - the Pentagon.  Pentagon Federal Credit Union offers this perk provided you are a member.  With the internet age membership is a snap.
Cons: one time outlay of $15 or $20 for membership.
Pros: 5% statement credits on gas are applied automatically every month.
About becoming a member: at the PenFed website click on JOIN PENFED (top of page)
Then click, "none of the above".
You'll be prompted with two choices, National Military Family Association for $20, or Voices For America's Troops for $15 - one time only for either.
I happened to choose the "Voices" because hopefully one day the voice of reason will prevail and we can bring all the troops home and live in peace.  Too much war, death, corporate profit, and you name it is rolled up into our military machine.
Anyhow, one statement credit with the 5% gas card paid for the membership.
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The combination of these two cards saves our family $35-$50 per month!  Monthly gasoline is virtually free for  dual sporting around the eastern sierra.  Your results may vary.