I do not think that there are any tricks

They offer it because they make money on it. Most people with rack up interest charges and that is how it is worth it for them. Most people spend more because they justify it in their head and that is why they can afford to do this. They do follow through with giving you the points. I did it and there were no tricks.

Like I said, I do it. The only negative is the annual rate, but I know that I save more than that with our yearly trip to see family. Since all of our extended family is on the other side of the country, we really feel that this is a must expense for us.

I tried using that site when I was going to visit my sister to help her with a new baby

We did not book ahead of time because we did not know when the baby was going to be born. It turned out that I was not able to beat the Southwest price even if I took a flight in the middle of the night.

That was several years ago so I don’t know if it would be the same. Since then, I have only tried looking for hotels and rental cars and I can do better by just going directly to the website and using a AAA discount.

It will make you spend more

because you will justify the spending in order to get the free ticket. Now, IF you only do utilities, gas, etc and not eating out or that other stuff, do it carefully, also, you can cancel the card if you take the trip before the year is up and not pay the $99. We have done this with several card and it worked. We did it for Southwest and Amex to get 48,000 points we used at a Hyatt. But we have the money in the bank already to pay for the charges. At least Southwest is one of the easiest airlines to get free tickets one.

We did try priceline last year when we were going to go but our bid wasn’t excepted

It was about $75 less per ticket then what the airline was charging. The problem is that since there are only 3 airlines that fly into Midland, we kind of get screwed on prices. I think in orger to get a good deal on priceline it would have to be last minute. Priceline doesn’t deal with Southwest (as at least I think they don’t) so that leaves us with two airlines. It’s just not a competetive market.

I think we have decided to get the card. We KNOW we won’t use it if we can’t pay it off before interest charges apply and we are disiplined enough to use it that way. I know for others they can’t do that, but we aren’t tempted that way.

We most likely can’t use the card for this trip for two of the tickets because as of right now it would cost us 57,360 miles for two tickets. The sign up bonus is 50,000, so that would mean we would need to charge more. And we wonder if the cost would go up more by the time we have the 50,000 points to spend. I am thinking the 50,000 isn’t available to use until after the 3 months. But even if we have one ticket less to buy it’s worth the $99 annual fee. Plus, if we continue to use it to pay bills (and christmas coming up…we have a fund for it so we will replace the money on the card) we will rack up some points from time to time. I am planning to call the card today and ask for any loop holes, gimmicks, and terms today to make sure it’s worth it. If it didn’t have the annual fee I wouldn’t even care to be honest. I know we won’t abuse it. I haven’t canceled any of our other cards but we don’t use them. Outside of our mortgage and our oldest son’s braces (and the braces are paid off) we are debt free and have been for a couple of years.

Now there’s a darned good idea

How far in advance, and/or how near to travel time, can you bid on them? For instance, can you bid months in advance, or the day prior? I’ll have to look into that the next time we travel. Sure like that idea better than paying full price.

IF you only pay bills

and IF you can pay it off every month, and IF the cc company doesn’t screw you over, it might be ok. However, I’ve heard Dave say, “If the only way that is works is if everything WORKS, then don’t do it.” So I’m sure it’s possible(I have a friend who pays off her card every month). But last month she charged $1900 worth of stuff. She paid it off, but now she’s cash-strapped for a couple of weeks. *I* think that having that credit limit tempted her to buy more than she would have if she had to pay CASH for stuff. But I refrained from lecturing her about it.
If you do it, good luck. I may have to make a similar choice next April in order to be able to rent a motorcycle in Reno…my only other choice is to take $1500-$2000 cash to the rental place for the deposit, since they won’t do a debit card.

I will admit that I do this

I have a southwest card and use it for everything to get the credit for traveling to see family. But, I am super disciplined about it. I have not paid one cent in interest in two years. When I charge something to the card, I go on that same day and transfer the amount that I spent from my checking account. The things that I know are coming up, I pay even before they are charged to the card. So, for example, the phone bill and the daycare bill have set amounts and I know what day that they will be charged. So, in other words, I am treating it like a debit card.

But, don’t do it if you can’t do that. And, don’t do it if you think that you’ll spend more to try and get to the 2 thousand dollar limit. Since I’ve had mine a while, I don’t need to reach any limit. I just take advantage of being able to earn the points by using it for day to day purchases. The only thing that really bugs me is that I have a fee, but it is not as much as the one you mention. I think that I pay 49 dollars a year, but maybe my next fee will have gone up. I think that I saved about 600 dollars in ticket fees last summer.

This is NOT DR endorsed. He would say to run the other way because so many of us have these issues because we cannot control spending. We see a credit card as available money to spend. If you would see it that way, then don’t do it.

I would be concerned that discipline might slip

and you’d start tacking on some purchases here and there which went beyond your original plan. Such that you had more to pay down every month. I mean, isn’t that usually how stuff like this gets away from us? Those of us who got into trouble with credit cards, started off thinking it made sense, and that we could keep control of it. And what if the card issuer jacks up the interest rate? I can understand the dilemma of wanting to take advantage of what seems like a good opportunity, but these “opportunities” usually have some pretty nasty strings attached. I’d find another way to do this. One that didn’t use a credit card dangled in front of your nose in such an enticing way. That right there makes me wonder what the “catch” is. They’re not dangling it there for nothing. They’re going to make money on this and they might have a few aces up their sleeves that you don’t know about. The cards I got which made perfect sense at the time, all had tricks like that down the road at some point.

Need some support

I want to do something really stupid. I even have it rationalized in my brain. So I come to you all for support. Here’s the deal:
My hubby is from Texas. We in live Washington state. His mom passed away in June of 2012 and we had to drive there due to airfares. His moms passing was a wake up call for him and he wants to visit more often. He has a twin brother that lives there who before I came along was his best friend. They are still really close and talk several times a week. We were going to go visit this past April but due to finances we changed our minds and promised we would go in April of 2014. There are only three airlines that fly into the airport closes to his dad’s house. The next close airport is Dallas or Albuquerque, which is 6 hours away. For 4 tickets on Southwest (which is the cheapest) the cost is $2100. BUT (here it comes) they have a deal right now that if you apply for their credit card and spend $2000 in the next three months you get enough points for 2 round trip tickets. The annual fee is $99. So what I think is to apply for the card, pay all our monthly bills that can be paid with a credit card untill we hit the $2000 for the 2 tickets. It’s money I would be spending anyway and I know that I would pay it off before interest came due. The bad part is that our biggest bill, which is our mortgage, can’t be paid by credit card. SO we would have to use the credit card for ALL the other bills, including food and gas.

I did have an 81 Chevy Truck

it had a crated gasoline 350 engine in it. A kid had installed 4″ lifters or whatever they are and had swapped the suspension over to an 88 so it was more sturdy – and I needed a step stool to get into it!!

It had straight pipes so it literally roared up and down the road. I drove it from South Dakota to home and bounced all over the place – it still gives me a terrible attack of the giggles every time I think about it.

It got terrible mpg though, compared to the 84 truck with the 6.2L diesel engine so I sold it.

But it was straight, had never been in an accident and I sold it to a kid who was thrilled to bits to get his dream truck – I called it the Big Green Machine.

I’ve been to the Chupps auction a couple of times and to several in Arkansas and it wasn’t worth the time spent – waaaaaaaaaaaaay overpriced. I HAVE noticed that up north the prices are much more reasonable for a LOT of items ranging from vehicles to tractors to livestock etc etc. I have to get my sheep minerals from Minnesota because I can’t source them around here – which is just daft since Oklahoma is the 2nd largest goat producing state next to Texas. I picked up several items in Michigan a few years ago for literally pennies! I was so excited I did a happy little jig on the spot and had the Michiganites thinking I was a loon (perfectly okay with me lol).

Another point of interest, Trailers here in OK are high priced. I’ve looked at trailers with NO floors and rust holding it together and the seller wants $1500 and won’t budge.

Arkansas, on the other hand, I can get a really nice 16 foot bumper stock trailer for around $500 – $1000. (That’s in my business plan to purchase – I try to use just the truck since obviously fuel consumption is much less than pulling a trailer) – if I get a mini hereford I’ll have to have a trailer available though, just in case. So trailer first, then cow and in no rush to get one right now – hopefully my young neighbor will get a cow and it can graze my field and help vacuum up the parasites so my sheep don’t get so hard hit – one reason I HAVE to get my fencing done by the time my pasture is 8 inches high. I need my sheep out there chomping on uninfected pasture (hasn’t been grazed in over 2 years and previous inhabitants were horses).


I was hoping the Ranger was the oldest in our collective circle. Oh well. My FIL drives a 1984 Ford diesel in Alaska , possibly as the original owner, and it’s still going strong. My DH drove it when he was in high school and summers home from college. That was the 2nd oldest vehicle in our collective family circles other than the Ranger. But tell your Dad that he might win the contest. And that if he ever wants to sell that truck, call me…….

Posted in fil

One final idea:

don’t overlook farm auctions as a place to get cars. We recently attended a farm auction where several perfectly roadworthy vehicles were sold in the $500 – $700 range. We scored a $3000-ish tractor for $425. Everyone at that auction went home with some amazing deal. And this is the perfect time of year for such auctions because no one wants to store unnecessary equipment over winter. So, keep an eye out for those – you’re in the perfect part of the country for having a farm or estate auction somewhere within a 2-hr drive of you probably every single weekend.

OK, this is me wanting bragging rights

Does anyone on the list have a daily driver older than my ’83 Ranger? If so, what make/model/mileage?
My husband and I are both convinced that WAY older vehicles (say, older than 1985) are dramatically under-rated as reliable vehicles. Somehow a lot of those older vehicles just keep going and going without much more service required than vehicles 20 years newer. So I’m curious if other folks have truly older vehicles, and if so, if they seem to be less trouble than some of the newer ones. Our next vehicle acquisition, according to the current plan, is going to be a 1970’s era flatbed truck so that we can haul more hay. That thing is going to have to be a work animal because it’ll be strictly for farm use, and it’ll have to pay its way. But we have zero interest in going newer than 1980. So now we’re shopping for same, with the blessings of our mechanic. The closest we’ve come so far was a 1956 1 ton flatbed with hydraulic dump feature so that we could use it as a dump truck too. We may yet buy that thing, but we weren’t quite ready to put the $2500 in it at the time. We got skunked on a 1978 Ford commercial-duty flatbed which an acquaintance sold as part of an estate sale for all of $1200. Ouch, we would have loved to come home with that if we’d acted sooner.

Posted in car

Ds posted this on my facebook wall

but since a lot of you aren’t face book friends I thought I’d share this idea with you. It’s for storing your seeds where you can quickly and easily see what seeds you have on hand. The suggestion was to use a three ring binder and baseball card sleeves to organize and sort your seeds. It’s definitely something I’m going to see how much it would cost me to do. I’ve got so many seeds and need an efficient way to sort them.