Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

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LH
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Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by LH » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:28 pm

I switched over to the Sallie Mae card on the premise it was 2 percent cash back.

What seems to happen is this:

the money you spend on the card is doubled, yielding "points". 100 dollars spent => 200 points.

However, when one goes to redeem the points for cash, 10,000 points gives you only 85 dollars back.

to generate 10,000 points, it seems one spends 5,000 dollars total. 2 percent of 5,000 is 100 dollars NOT 85 dollars.....

So it is not giving 2 percent cash back.

I called the initial rewards number, he said he didn't handle that question, and I had to call someone else..... Which I will, but wondered if anyone else has gone down this path yet?

Hopefully I am screwing something up here. Its a pain to change credit cards.

thanks for input,

LH

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ryuns
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by ryuns » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:38 pm

25,000 points will give you the full $.01/pt: $250. Save up them points, and then it's a real 2% back.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

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tainted-meat
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by tainted-meat » Wed Dec 21, 2011 7:57 pm

I have the Fidelity Amex and deposit the rewards into my Roth IRA. It is 2% cash back on all purchases, no limit.

http://personal.fidelity.com/products/c ... card.shtml

Mudpuppy
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by Mudpuppy » Wed Dec 21, 2011 8:54 pm

As ryuns said, you have to wait until 25000 points to cash in to get the full 2% cash back. Any point balance below that is a sliding scale depending on the points cashed in. This is hard to find out from their customer service, but well documented on consumer forums.

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by natureexplorer » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:47 pm

Seems like a fairly complicated card. I prefer a card that gives me the cash-back automatically.

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wander
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by wander » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:54 pm

ryuns wrote:25,000 points will give you the full $.01/pt: $250. Save up them points, and then it's a real 2% back.
+1

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Kevin M
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by Kevin M » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:57 pm

Sure, the Fidelity AMEX gives 2% with no strings (and I have one), and I got the Fido Visa (1.5% back) for places that don't take AMEX, but the Sallie Mae card seems like a good Visa as long as you don't mind waiting to earn 25,000 points to get the cash. My girlfriend got the Sallie Mae (I found out about it after I had already gotten the Fido Visa), and the sliding scale for the rewards was a surprise, but no biggie for her.

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by tfb » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:40 am

Kevin M wrote:Sure, the Fidelity AMEX gives 2% with no strings (and I have one), and I got the Fido Visa (1.5% back) for places that don't take AMEX, but the Sallie Mae card seems like a good Visa as long as you don't mind waiting to earn 25,000 points to get the cash.
The question is how long will the 2% last. Fidelity's 2% is AmEx, which gets more revenue from the merchants. Maybe Sallie Mae is counting on its customers being less patient or more likely to carry a balance.
Harry Sit, taking a break from the forums.

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wander
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by wander » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:28 am

tfb wrote:The question is how long will the 2% last. Fidelity's 2% is AmEx, which gets more revenue from the merchants. Maybe Sallie Mae is counting on its customers being less patient or more likely to carry a balance.
You don't have to lose your patient; pay your bill off monthly and forget all about the points until it reaches 25,000.

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LH
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by LH » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:42 am

thanks for the info.

So 25,000 points means you have to charge 12.5K to get the full 2 percent.

Sigh.

Yeah, I would rather have a card that just gives the 2 percent back too.

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by gtaylor » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:03 am

FWIW, the Fido card is the same way, you have to accumulate $250 before they'll pay the rebate at 2%. Unless you have a Fido account hooked up, which I didn't bother to do (I don't feel particularly guilty; Fido does have my 401(k), that's just not a suitable account to connect).

Here's a question: does the Sallie Mae card have a way to sign up for the bill to be paid in full automatically every month via checking account transfer?

AFAICT the Fido card's auto pay feature (which is quasi-outsourced) will only do the minimum balance, which is sort of pointless*. I was hoping to switch to the Sallie Mae Visa, but if it's going to involve irritating bill payment as well, I hate to reward them with my business.



* You want really pointless, I had a Bank of America mortgage last year that would only auto-pay from Bank of America checking accounts. Outrageous!

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by marstaton4 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 11:06 am

I've been very happy with my Priceline Visa. I think there are several out there but you have to redeem your points on specific purchases. I use priceline a lot and it gives my 5% back on name your own price, and when you redeem your points on a priceline purchase I think you get an extra 10% on your credit ie actually yielding about 2.2%

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by guitarguy » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:14 pm

gtaylor wrote:* You want really pointless, I had a Bank of America mortgage last year that would only auto-pay from Bank of America checking accounts. Outrageous!
My mortgage is through BOA and they autopay from my checking account at Chase. I never had that problem.

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ryuns
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by ryuns » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:43 pm

gtaylor wrote:FWIW, the Fido card is the same way, you have to accumulate $250 before they'll pay the rebate at 2%. Unless you have a Fido account hooked up, which I didn't bother to do (I don't feel particularly guilty; Fido does have my 401(k), that's just not a suitable account to connect).

Here's a question: does the Sallie Mae card have a way to sign up for the bill to be paid in full automatically every month via checking account transfer?

AFAICT the Fido card's auto pay feature (which is quasi-outsourced) will only do the minimum balance, which is sort of pointless*. I was hoping to switch to the Sallie Mae Visa, but if it's going to involve irritating bill payment as well, I hate to reward them with my business.
Yes, it's very easy to auto-pay the balance automatically. Their website isn't fantastic, but it lets you do that without any trouble. The Fido is managed by FIA right? I had the same problem with the FIA managed Schwab card, had to do it manually every month.
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

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ryuns
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by ryuns » Thu Dec 22, 2011 12:46 pm

LH wrote:thanks for the info.

So 25,000 points means you have to charge 12.5K to get the full 2 percent.

Sigh.

Yeah, I would rather have a card that just gives the 2 percent back too.
It's not totally ideal, but also not a huge deal to me. I mean, the Schwab card put the 2% in a sweep acct, so if you wanted to actually use it, you'd have to transfer it to your checking acct manually anyway. There are simply not many credit cards that just deposit the cash automatically every month.

If you don't check the website regularly enough to periodically see how many points you have, you can use something like awardwallet.com to give you email updates on how many points you have in different reward programs. (I haven't confirmed that Sallie Mae Visa works with Award Wallet, but their batting average is good enough that I'll mention it.)
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered; an adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered. -- GK Chesterton

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by jeffyscott » Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:39 pm

LH wrote:So 25,000 points means you have to charge 12.5K to get the full 2 percent.
Except aren't they giving out a 10,000 point bonus, so for the first rebate you'd need $7500, rather than $12,500.

While I have credit cards that give me rebates of anywhere from 1.5% to 5% on everything except Costco purchases (for which I get only 1%), I'm looking more for bonuses right now, while this new phase of them lasts. I'm still waiting on one card and have to charge some more to another, but for the year I am expecting to collect $850 in cash and gift cards plus either 2 free (actually will cost about $90 in credit card and ticket fees) round trip tickets or anther $600 or so in gift cards all from bonuses on top of whatever rebates we have collected.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by gtaylor » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:15 pm

ryuns wrote: Yes, it's very easy to auto-pay the balance automatically. Their website isn't fantastic, but it lets you do that without any trouble. The Fido is managed by FIA right? I had the same problem with the FIA managed Schwab card, had to do it manually every month.
Well, that's a relief. I would hate to ditch one manual pay account only to find myself with two new ones...

The Fido is indeed an FIA-managed amex card. It's not a real amex, in some senses, I guess, but the WorldPoints program that goes with it is reasonably feature-ful as these things go. Notably, buried in their "mall" website, they have an extra little rebate (2%? 3%?) for the Apple web store on top of the usual 2% back, which isn't half bad as discounts on Apple stuff go.

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by E-M-H » Thu Dec 22, 2011 2:21 pm

Credit card points are a confusing and often misleading form of reward. Give me a straight percentage cash refund - at least I can evaluate the benefit.

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Kevin M
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by Kevin M » Thu Dec 22, 2011 3:33 pm

gtaylor wrote: AFAICT the Fido card's auto pay feature (which is quasi-outsourced) will only do the minimum balance, which is sort of pointless*. I was hoping to switch to the Sallie Mae Visa, but if it's going to involve irritating bill payment as well, I hate to reward them with my business.
I was able to set up auto-pay of full amount for Fido AMEX and Visa. After logging on and selecting account, there's a graphic link on the right that says "Save Time with Automatic Full Balance Payments". Click that and set it up.

FYI, I also was able to set up full auto-pay with Schwab Visa at FIA, but it was more of a hassle; had to fill out a form and fax it.

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gtaylor
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by gtaylor » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:18 pm

Kevin M wrote: I was able to set up auto-pay of full amount for Fido AMEX and Visa. After logging on and selecting account, there's a graphic link on the right that says "Save Time with Automatic Full Balance Payments". Click that and set it up.
Sweet! I overlooked that completely because it's advertisement-shaped, and of course one doesn't see advertisement-shaped things in web browsers. :)

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by cheapskate » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:42 pm

In the short time I've had the Sallie Mae card, I like it a heck of a lot more than the FIA managed cards I've had the past few years (Schwab, Fidelity).

+ Sallie actually sent me a copy of my credit score when my application was in process.
+ Their website is a lot better than FIAs. In particular, I could set up automatic debits out of my checking account online, instead of having to request a paper form, signing it and mailing it back.
+ Their website and reporting seems a lot cleaner to me than FIA. The site seems to be run by paid IT people :)

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by penumbra » Thu Dec 22, 2011 6:52 pm

I have tried to download my monthly statement, but even when you click on the Quicken format, you get the MS Money format, and it won't work. At least for me. If I can't figure this out, I'm passing on this card.

Anyone have any success with this?

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by wander » Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:43 pm

What bothers me about Sallie Mae is the web site always ask me to enter Expiration Date, zip code and last four of SSN. Then it shows this message: "For identification and access purposes, this website has been enabled to identify the computer you are using to access it. If the computer you are using is going to be the one you use regularly to access this website, we can capture the IP address of the computer and store it with your user identity. This will help prevent unwanted users from using your personal information to gain access to your account." I accepted it, but next time it did the same.

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by Austex1 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:11 pm

I have the Sallie Mae card and have been happy so far. The only thing I'd note, that hasn't already been pointed out here, is that you can set up automatic bill pay to occur on the due date every month from a checking or savings account that you designate. But if you just want to manually pay online each month, rather than setting up automatic payments, there is no way to designate a date in advance for the payment to be effective, it will go through on the day you go online and set up the transaction.

I'm not crazy about the idea of automatic payments, I like to look each month and set up the payment myself manually. It just forces me to look at the bill and make sure everything's kosher. But I don't want to have to remember to do it on the due date or risk being late if I forget. And I don't want to pay earlier than the due date. So I have just set up auto-payments.

Not a big deal and overall a really good card, assuming they maintain the 2% cash back option at or above 25K points for the duration. Just thought I'd mention it.

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by Austex1 » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:12 pm

wander wrote:What bothers me about Sallie Mae is the web site always ask me to enter Expiration Date, zip code and last four of SSN. Then it shows this message: "For identification and access purposes, this website has been enabled to identify the computer you are using to access it. If the computer you are using is going to be the one you use regularly to access this website, we can capture the IP address of the computer and store it with your user identity. This will help prevent unwanted users from using your personal information to gain access to your account." I accepted it, but next time it did the same.
I don't get that message. Have you fully set up your online profile/info? Maybe that would help?

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wander
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by wander » Fri Dec 23, 2011 2:19 am

Austex1 wrote:I don't get that message. Have you fully set up your online profile/info? Maybe that would help?
I have no idea. Vanguard asked me once to make sure that I use my home computer for accessing VG web site, and done. Sallie Mae keeps asking me the same information again and again.

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by gtaylor » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:28 am

Austex1 wrote:I have the Sallie Mae card and have been happy so far. The only thing I'd note, that hasn't already been pointed out here, is that you can set up automatic bill pay to occur on the due date every month from a checking or savings account that you designate. But if you just want to manually pay online each month, rather than setting up automatic payments, there is no way to designate a date in advance for the payment to be effective, it will go through on the day you go online and set up the transaction.
I can't say for sure about Sallie Mae, but every credit card I've had for the past 10+ years ends up transacting as a one-day electronic debit in my own checking account's bill pay. That is, I can manually pay with my checking account's bill pay feature, and it says that it takes one day to arrive, since the financial companies support electronic transactions instead of mailed paper checks.

So if you want to manually pay with a scheduled payment date a week or two out, that would be the ticket. Until such time as one day's float is measurable again, I guess.
I'm not crazy about the idea of automatic payments, I like to look each month and set up the payment myself manually. It just forces me to look at the bill and make sure everything's kosher. But I don't want to have to remember to do it on the due date or risk being late if I forget. And I don't want to pay earlier than the due date. So I have just set up auto-payments.

Not a big deal and overall a really good card, assuming they maintain the 2% cash back option at or above 25K points for the duration. Just thought I'd mention it.
I like to look, too, although I simply look once a week or so at all transactions as snarfed into Yodlee from my checking and card accounts. The stated policy for auto-payments on credit cards is that they DO adjust the amount to avoid paying off contested charges. So I see no reason not to set it and forget it.

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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by wander » Fri Dec 23, 2011 5:27 pm

Kevin M wrote:I was able to set up auto-pay of full amount for Fido AMEX and Visa. After logging on and selecting account, there's a graphic link on the right that says "Save Time with Automatic Full Balance Payments". Click that and set it up.

FYI, I also was able to set up full auto-pay with Schwab Visa at FIA, but it was more of a hassle; had to fill out a form and fax it.

Kevin
I do not like the credit card to withdraw money from my checking account. I prefer electronic bills and use pay bill option, provided by the bank, to monitor the payment. What I am a fraid is if there is a fraud and I have to pay the amount, it will mess up my checking account since I may not have enough money to cover it and all kind of overdraft will kick in and fees. I havn't got my first bill yet and not sure if they are offering electronic bill that works with my bank.

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LH
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by LH » Sat Dec 24, 2011 6:37 am

wander wrote:
Austex1 wrote:I don't get that message. Have you fully set up your online profile/info? Maybe that would help?
I have no idea. Vanguard asked me once to make sure that I use my home computer for accessing VG web site, and done. Sallie Mae keeps asking me the same information again and again.
This is usually done by the site putting a "cookie" on your computer, although there are other ways, LSO or something... anyway, is you computer accepting cookies from the sallie mae site? You can set up your computer to accept cookies from one place, and not another.

Personally, I wipe all cookies/tracking deals/adware, and just everything from my computer about once a week. Just makes it run cleaner. So I always have to resign in on Sallie Mae, but if I do not wipe it ("ccleaner" is the program I clear cookies/adware with), sallie mae does not ask me to validate.

Your computer must be refusing to accept whatever Sallie Mae puts on your computer.

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wander
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Re: Sallie Mae "2 percent" cash back???? False?

Post by wander » Sat Dec 24, 2011 9:39 pm

LH wrote: This is usually done by the site putting a "cookie" on your computer, although there are other ways, LSO or something... anyway, is you computer accepting cookies from the sallie mae site? You can set up your computer to accept cookies from one place, and not another.

Personally, I wipe all cookies/tracking deals/adware, and just everything from my computer about once a week. Just makes it run cleaner. So I always have to resign in on Sallie Mae, but if I do not wipe it ("ccleaner" is the program I clear cookies/adware with), sallie mae does not ask me to validate.

Your computer must be refusing to accept whatever Sallie Mae puts on your computer.
I think it was something to do with the Chrome. I was always having this problem with Google Chrome, but when I did the same with Microsoft IE (to accept using my computer with home IP address), then the annoying message gone away. I went back using Chrome and no longer saw that message (btw, I did not change any settings in Chrome). It seems Chrome wasn't compatible with the command (or whatever) when I accepted it.

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