Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Good Credit- Bad Credit

One of the things instilled in me as a child was to live within your means. My parents were both self-employed and provided a decent lifestyle for our family. While we were by no means wealthy, we certainly didn't lack for anything. One of the ways they were able to do this, I believe, was by staying out of debt. To this day I would be surprised if my dad still doesn't have a credit card. My mom only got one in the last two or three years, I believe- and that, only after her husband passed away. Even so, I don't think she uses it much at all.

My wife and I, on the other hand, do take advantage of credit cards. In fact, I just had to cancel one about two weeks ago after discovering a pretty large transaction that we did not make. Anyway, we don't use them unless we have the cash in the bank to pay for the purchase the next month. So it's more a matter of convenience for us. We also started to use one as our primary card and build points off of purchases that we can then either cash out or use on Though we've used them for years, I can't remember the last time I didn't pay off a credit card bill in full.

Another credit line I have taken advantage of the past couple of years is PayPal Credit. I can probably count on my hands the number of times I've used this, as it's been more of a "Crap, I forgot to transfer money into my Paypal account"-type of thing. The only exception to that safety net came late this summer, when I deposited birthday money into our savings account and then used PayPal credit to purchase about $170 worth of Dale Murphy items. I'd just transfer the birthday money to our checking account when the bill came due and then pay it off. Easy enough, right? Well, I paid the bill, alright- but apparently it arrived one day after the due date. And PayPal Credit charged me a $25 late fee. Shoot, I guess I should have gone to Alpine Loan Center (see above video) for a loan. It would have cost me only seven bucks.

About 20 minutes after discovering that kick to the crotch, I asked my daughter if she would like to scratch off the COMC redemption card that came with my recent purchase. She enjoys scratch offs (Lord, please don't let her be one of those lottery ticket junkies!) and so she was thrilled to give me a hand. The $5 store credit that was revealed helped ease the pain just a little, but what came next was an even better surprise. I had to log in, obviously, to redeem the card and after redeeming it, I discovered I now had a little over $50 credit. Huh? Well, it turns out I had forgotten that the online card seller had deposited $50 into my account almost two years ago. I never log into my account- even when making purchases- I usually just log into PayPal or Amazon at checkout. Good thing I had that $5 redemption card!

So what did I get with my newly discovered funds? Nine cards and... another scratch off. I still have about $25, so there will be more to come. But for this first purchase, it looks like this:

 First up- a Rookie Card of Russell. He's been running for his life thus far, so I hope he doesn't get seriously injured this season.

Dale Rookie!! I already have one of these for my team set, so this baby will go in the Dale binder.

Another card of Wilson- this one a box bottom from Archives. Would prefer the borders to be black, but hey, it's still a pretty sweet card.

Another RC- and I actually prefer this design over the regular flagship product. Anyone know where/how these 'Kickoff' cards were distributed?

Cross off one of the Fourteen Fugitive's off the list. Paid a little more than I would have liked to- but it is a freebie...

Like Dale's '77, I already have this in the team binder, so this one goes into the PC binder.

2013 Topps Football. The bad news: the ugly-ass design along the bottom (looks more like the Bowman line). The good news: It's got a white border. And, this is a Russell Wilson card.

Absolutely beautiful design. It looks so much better with more current photos than the original '76 photos.

Box bottom from 1989 Topps. I love these things- what a concept! And it's got the highly underrated Jacob Green, to boot.

Well, crap. No winning any store credit this time.

But COMC isn't the only source for cards that has given me money to spend. Remember those Dale Murphy purchases I spoke of earlier? Well, they earned me some eBay bucks- $7.60, to be exact. And so I've also had some fun using those funds...

One of the all-time best Food-Issues. Nothing could get your mouth watering for Dominos like these babies.

Another Player of the Week box bottom. A little wrinkled, but glorious nonetheless. Have I told you how much I love these things?

After purchasing these three cards, I still have about $2.60 in eBay bucks. What will be my next purchase? Remains to be seen.


  1. You only get to use one of those cards per lifetime. :-(

    1. Do you know if there are varying denominations, or is it just $5 or nothing? I have a couple that I haven't scratched off, and I haven't used one yet.
      I have sent cards to COMC to sell, however, so $5 isn't going to do much for me at this point except get a tiny bit closer to breaking even...

  2. An unexpected $50 credit is quite the Cardboard Windfall!

  3. Ahhhh... credit cards. One of my greatest life lessons was burying myself in debt back in the 90's. Dug myself out and these days I never leave a balance. I still use them though, because they offer the 1% bonuses and so it's like getting free money. I just bank it for a year or so until there's enough saved up to cash out. I consider it my reward for living off of microwave popcorn and Top Ramen for a few years while slowly paying off my debt.

    P.S. Great Russell Wilsons! I hope the Hawks' offense start pulling their weight.