A Little Gift
Last weekend I was speaking to someone about credit cards and this hobby. This person didn’t have a Discover card and said they wanted to get one, because “everyone loves theirs”. His statement got me thinking about Discover and perhaps why a lot of people I know love them so much. (I’m sure there are a lot of people out there who don’t like them.)
Then two days ago I opened my email and saw that Discover had sent me something. At first I thought it was probably just a statement reminder and then I noticed the subject said, “Enjoy a $5 Starbucks gift from Discover.” Cha-ching!
Why Discover Tries So Hard
Discover really is in an uphill battle in the credit card world. They have their own payment processing network and limited acceptance outside of the United States, so they simply have to try harder. I don’t care why they do it, but I like that they do.
But why do people like Discover? Since I am not trying to sell you on a credit card, I have decided not to mention their cards specifically in this post. For me it is about their customer service and even more importantly Discover Deals their shopping portal. (See: Shopping Portal Strategy) Oh and Six Flags! You can’t forget about Six Flags.
Why It’s Appreciated
Because of this hobby I am constantly having to deal with a variety of companies and most of them suck. From Staples to Walmart, I constantly deal with mediocrity. When I walk into a Costco or receive a small gift from Discover, it makes me appreciate those companies even more.
If I chose which companies I do business with strictly on their customer service, then I wouldn’t go anywhere near Staples, Walmart or so many other places. Unfortunately I am a travel hacker and deal hunter so I take the abuse. On the flip side, it just makes me appreciate that $5 Starbucks card even more.
Should It Matter
In my opinion the issues of credit and money are more important compared to deciding where to purchase groceries or office supplies. Since the stakes are high, it becomes a question of whether a “good feeling” or good customer service means you should stick with a bank.
In the real world I talk to people all of the time who tell me about their favorite 1% earning card that has its own nicely worn wallet slot. They almost humanize their card with the way they speak about it. While I sort of get why that feeling exists, make no mistake it is a costly one.
What if that person got a 2% cash back card with a mediocre bank and what if they spend $24,000 per year on their credit card? Instead of earning $240, they would earn $480! Their attachment to that piece of plastic costs them $240 every year. That is a lot of money and some people are paying much more for their loyalty.
So now we know why Discover send me $5 Starbucks eGift cards. It gives me that good feeling inside and makes me grow attached to them and their plastic. Or at least it has that effect on most people. I choose not to fall into those traps, even though I love to receive $5 gift cards in the mail. I really love it!
But seriously, don’t pay a company $240 a year (or much more) because they make you feel good. Do it because their products are the right choice for you. If they make you feel good at the same time, then that is just icing on the cake! Your thoughts?