Affinity Credit Card Offers
The second time I received multiple affinity credit card offers on the same day, I started paying attention.
At first glance, with the exception of the nonprofit logos on the corner card of each outer envelope, they seem identical. All shout the 0 percent fixed introductory APR until 2009 — but smaller, thinner type qualifies what month the offer ends and that it’s only for cash advance checks and balance transfers. All but one have a personalized teaser letting me specifically know that this particular card is “The most rewarding card of all®.”
But like that “What’s different in this picture?” game, there are important distinctions in the various offers.
The first National Wildlife Federation affinity card also promised “A FREE NWF Membership offered inside! after qualifying transaction(s).” Two months later, the free membership offer was gone and instead of “The most rewarding card of all®,” it was “More Choices. More Flexibility.” It took me forever to find the mousetype to learn what I’d have to do to get the free membership — as a member already, I was curious.
The DISCLOSURE SUMMARY insert with the details of the rate, fee and other cost information indicates, “To qualify for the free NWF membership ($15 value), make any combination of purchase, balance transfer, or cash advance transactions totaling at least $25 (exclusive of transaction fees which may apply). All transactions must occur by 1/30/08. After qualifying, Bank of America will send you a NWF membership renewal application to complete and forward to NWF for the free 12-month membership.”
Ah-ha, so it’s a renewal offer in the small print — so why not on the carrier teaser, too?
The chilling effect
The Second Amendment Foundation offered me a free American Flag Windshirt on the same day NWF offered the free membership (renewal). To get it, I’d have to make $75 worth of transactions by Jan. 31, 2008. Size XL only, supply is limited, and Bank of America may substitute an item of equal or greater value. Ten to 12 weeks for delivery after qualifying, and “we are not responsible for lost, stolen or undelivered merchandise.”