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Amazon has a promotion where they say they will give you 50$ off of your purchase if you sign up for one of their Amazon Visa Cards.

Upon approval, your new Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card and $50 Gift Card are available to use for your purchase today.

They also say there are no annual fees.

I have never had a credit card, and am not interested in getting this one. Would it make sense to get the card, use the 50$ gift card on my purchase, and then never use the credit card? I can't find any downside to doing this. Would it negatively impact my credit score? Are there any hidden fees?

  • What do the terms and conditions say? – curiousdannii Jul 10 '16 at 6:20
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It will impact your credit score, but typically very minor - paying one bill late is much worse. It reduces your average credit card age, which is a minor contributor to credit score.

The disadvantages are:

  • you are giving them your address and name, and implicit permission to spam you with mail, email, etc. for the next years;
  • you can only do it once (it's typically in the fine print - new customers only)
  • it's a lot of form filling and hassle

Yes, you make 50 $, and it's not a bad hourly rate. But except if you really need that money, it's not worth the effort.

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First, I'd recommend you go to Credit Karma, or similar and get an idea what your credit report looks like.

Getting a few accounts is good, but each credit pull actually dings you score a bit for 2 years. There are those who wouldn't do this for $50. They value that score hit at a much higher price.

In my case, I accepted a card offering $30,000 at no interest and maximum $50 transfer fee. I used it to pay down a 5% mortgage ahead of a refinance, saving $1500 over a years time.

My last card offered a 10% cash back rebate for first 90 days. I turned that into $4500 profit by buying 100 gift cards, and used them over the next 2 years.

TL;DR for $50 I wouldn't bother.

  • So you pumped $45,000 through the last card? Impressive! – Peter K. Jul 10 '16 at 16:42
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    The cards had a 1% fee, so $50K cost $50,500. Card had $20,000 limit at 0% for a year, so I drew down savings for the time it took us to burn through the cards. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jul 10 '16 at 17:18
  • Gee, I was relatively kind to my credit union when they made the mistake of offering us a 10% rebate to introduce "credit card checks" (an awful idea, by the way). I prepaid into the card to avoid the immediate interest charges, then used these to pay my largest regular check (rent, at the time) and pocketed the rebate as profit. I didn't bother trying to do things like paying multiple months in advance or scheduling large purchases to maximize the windfall; I really didn't want to let them change my spending habits (which is part of the goal of such offers). – keshlam Jul 11 '16 at 13:02
  • Some would say too kind. $20,000 into this, the offer was pulled off their web site, but they were stuck with me for the 90 days. On day 91, my wife asked why I didn't do $100K. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Jul 11 '16 at 14:55
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In every version of this I've seen, the "free money" becomes available to you only after you have performed some minimum total amount of transactions on the new card, to prevent exactly the "cheat" being asked about here. The free card may be activated immediately, but they reserve the right to consider that a 0% loan and charge you for it later if you don't hit the required usage.

Read the fine print explaining your offer.

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