banker’s treasure

I just got an email from my bank; they want me to upgrade my debit card to a “leisure rewards” card. It sounds like an okay idea, I mean, who doesn’t like the idea of getting rewarded for something they do everyday? 

Unfortunately, along with a $25 annual fee, they really don’t tell you what kind of rewards you can get. They give you the conversion rate of dollars spent into “points” but, after that, the email doesn’t say anything further about what those points get you.  

So, I’m thinking, is this a scam? 

Not like a scam as if it was sent from a spammer or a phisher or a Nigerian prince- but a straight-up sanctioned, corporate scam. Because I saw the same offer, and was personally offered the same offer by a banker earlier this year. “You want me to give you $25 a year, so that I can receive points? What the hell kind of deal is that?!” 

The utter transparency of the email, the fact that they don’t need to convince me that the points can be redeemed for anything, shows how stupid they think I really am. Stupid enough to say, “Hey, would you like to trade that pile of pine needles for this wad of cash? I was playing a game with a 6 year old, and she says those are worth 5 points each.” 

With all of the bailout money that these guys received, honestly, are they still asking for money? 

At least with the credit card companies, they at least pretend to say that you’re getting something in the deal. “Cash back eligible on all purchases!’ But the banks? Maybe they need to take a page out of their little sister’s playbook and really learn how to scam people. 

WAIT, WAIT, WAIT…..forget I said that. 

I guess, we already trade valuable things for a symbolic pile of pine needles. I trade my hard work for a slips of paper that can’t even get me anything worthwhile. I suppose if those slips of paper designated ownership of a company in my name instead of slips of paper that could get me a sizzlin’ sausage egg mcmuffin, then I could really get on board with that. 

How about gold? I use my “leisure rewards” card and you give me a gold piece. That is a reward. Even if I can’t really *spend* gold anywhere, it’s nice to look at, and it would make me feel like a pirate or an archaeologist or something. Now THAT’S a reward for frivolous spending.  

In fact, it sounds like the kind of deal that I’d like is the kind of deal that financial institutions got for *their* recklessness with money. After all, they bought a bunch of sh*t and they got money for it. Never mind the economical ramifications of *NOT* giving them a bailout, but just keep in mind the basic concept. If I go out and buy 30 Roy Orbison commemorative plates from QVC at $39.99 each- thinking that they will increase in value over time- in a year’s time, I will receive the value of those plates PLUS some cash to cover my latest hare-brained scheme. Yeah, so the plates aren’t worth anything to anyone, but I can still host 30 people over for Thanksgiving. 

So, until you can offer me the same kind of deal that you got, Mr. Banker, you can keep your points and I will just keep my money…in your bank.

-Springfield, IL

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