it pays to be dumb sometimes

I had a bit of good luck today, even if it was because of my own stupidity I’m pretty freaking happy about it!

So I’ve been feeling pretty guilty about spending the money to go to BlogHer. Especially the part that costs the most – the plane tickets. Last time I checked it was going to cost me $370 round trip. Ouch. Even though I have my conference ticket and the hotel room booked I just hadn’t been able to bring myself to get the flight taken care of. I don’t know what I was waiting for – but I’m really glad I did.

We do our best here to not use any credit cards. We definitely have debt, but little on our cards. We consolidated all our extraneous debt awhile ago into a home equity loan and resolved not to pay for anything with credit cards. That’s worked pretty well so far, but I knew I couldn’t pay for the plane ticket with cash and I think the idea of putting on credit was what was making me insane bothering me.

Anyway, I digress. So this morning I was upset with myself when I realized that I was late making a payment on the little bit I owe on the one card we use for emergencies. Somehow I missed that they changed the due date from around the 22nd to the 15th. Can I just say WTH? I hate it when they do that! I was unhappy with Bank of America mostly for the attitude they gave me on the phone. I won’t blame them for me not paying attention to my due date, however, I do blame them for being nasty about it.

That awful conversation spurred me to call Citibank, with whom we’ve had a card for 14 years but haven’t used in awhile. I wanted to find out what the interest on purchases was and so I could use that as my emergency card instead of BoA. In the course of the conversation with a very nice woman at Citicards, she not only lowered my rate below BoA’s, (here’s the important part!) she reminded me about my points and that I should use them before they expire.

Wha??

I don’t have points accruing on that card….

Oh. Yes, apparently I do.

Well. When hubby opened that card back in college it didn’t have points, but somewhere along the way they started giving them to us. AND WE DIDN’T FREAKING KNOW IT!!

Yeah, dumb.

But apparently to my advantage.

Because guess what I did with those points?!!

Yep. I was able to buy my tickets to Chicago directly through Citibank’s point redemption network! I had enough points to get non-stop flights at the times I wanted! Woohoo!! (And I even had a few points leftover!)

No more guilt! No more whining! Yay! Almost half my trip is paid for without going into more debt! I seriously could cry I am so happy about it. I could bawl just thinking about it.

I think the moral of the story is – check your credit cards for points programs. Except everyone already knew that but me. Duh.

Comments

13 Responses to “it pays to be dumb sometimes”

  1. Meg on March 18th, 2009 1:46 pm

    can I get a whoot whoot?

    great- so if you win, you can give it to me!
    Haha. Just kiddin’

    Megs last blog post..Changes: Enriched Flour vs. Whole Grain Flour

  2. Meg on March 18th, 2009 1:47 pm

    That’s kind of funny- my last post was actually written by you 🙂

    Megs last blog post..Changes: Enriched Flour vs. Whole Grain Flour

  3. Krista on March 18th, 2009 1:53 pm

    That is awesome. I love it when things like that happen. 🙂

    Kristas last blog post..In Celebration of Pi

  4. catnip on March 18th, 2009 2:04 pm

    Hey all, what Meg is talking about is the Seventh Generation contest to win a trip to BlogHer! Just comment to win: http://www.blogher.com/enter-win-1000-or-trip-blogher-09-seventh-generation.

    Meg, if I win, I’ll buy your plane ticket! 😉

  5. magpie on March 18th, 2009 2:43 pm

    Well done – I plan to do the same!

    magpies last blog post..Wardrobe Wednesday

  6. T with Honey on March 18th, 2009 3:12 pm

    That’s better than finding a $20 bill in your coat pocket the first time you wear it for the winter.

    I had heard that banks were changing the due date on their credit cards in an effort to collect more money but this is the first incident I knew where it actually had happened to someone. How sneaky and low down!! I’ll be sure to pay extra attention to our bills over the next few months. Thanks for the warning.

  7. Velma on March 18th, 2009 3:19 pm

    Awesome! And thanks for reminding me to go buy my plane ticket!

    Velmas last blog post..We’ll Do It Again Next Year, Only Better.

  8. Write From Karen on March 18th, 2009 4:42 pm

    We LOVE Citibank. We have one credit card – Citibank. We use it for everything, so we rack up quite a few flyer points because of this. All four of us flew to Washington D.C. last summer for $40!! And we should have enough points to cash in for all four of us to fly to Hawaii next year!

    Yep, if you’re going to use credit cards, use the ones where you get something back – I mean, you’re going to spend that money anyway, you might as well have a fringe benefit!

    Congrats on your flight to BlogHer!

    Write From Karens last blog post..Give Momma Smooches

  9. Auds at Barking Mad on March 18th, 2009 7:00 pm

    How absolutely serendipitous and Citibank no less! I’m really surprised (but actually not, because our mortgage was just bought by B of A and they have been a royal PITA to deal with!) that B of A considering the negative press they got about taking bailout money, wasn’t more eager to please…NOBS! Their loss.

    Hope you have an awesome time at BlogHer!

  10. Niki on March 19th, 2009 3:29 am

    Yay for points! What a wonderful surprise. My husband gets points for hotel stays through his job. Comes in handy when we go on summer vacation.

    Nikis last blog post..Book Review, DH update

  11. Christy on March 19th, 2009 9:37 am

    How awesome is that?! I love it when there are unexpected gifts like that…you’re going to have a great time at Blogher…Lucky!

  12. kristen on March 19th, 2009 3:26 pm

    I think it was in Real Simple magazine recently where I read fewer than %40 of people (or it might have been even less) actually redeem those “points” and in particular the frequent flyer miles from those programs. That is great news about your trip. I love unexpected surprises of the good variety…

    kristens last blog post..fashion (not so) fast forward

  13. Leighann on March 24th, 2009 8:51 pm

    Wow! That’s awesome! I think my credit card points goe toward a purchase of a new vehicle. But we never buy new! So they are totally lost on us. I wonder if I could switch them to a different reward program.

    Good for you!!

    Leighanns last blog post..I Want a Fiesta!

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