Paying for your Coaster habit

Thursday, June 11, 2009 4:32 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

I have actually done this. It works, is zero risk and completely legal way to get free money.

First you will need a rewards type of credit card. I use Chase Rewards which gives me 1.25% return when I save up $20,000 worth of points. Next go to usmint.gov , this is the US Mints official site. Click on shop online, then go to "$1 coin direct ship". Here you can purchase $1 coins for $1. You can purchase 20 boxes of the Native American coin and 2 boxes of each of the 5 presidents that they have listed. That's a total of $7500 worth of coins. Here is the best part, you pay for this with your rewards card and the US Mint pays the shipping.

When the coins arrive, take them to the bank and deposit them and pay off your credit card bill.

Rince and Repeat.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:01 PM

it's rinse, but why dont you get 20000 in money instead of just 7500?


Kyle Says: Diamondback was a lot of fun! Made his first time at Kings Island worth it all!

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:01 PM

I like my method. Charge alot, then take infinity to pay them off. I'm sure that I, personally, have funded the vacations of several families of credit card companies.


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Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:03 PM

My credit card is essentially a debit card, paid in full every month. I would get a debit card, but they do not have nearly the same protection from fraud as credit cards do, not to mention my credit card is not attached to my checking account.

Last edited by Touchdown, Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:04 PM
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Thursday, June 11, 2009 9:23 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Kyle, they limit the amount per order.

I have always been a big fan of rewards cards. Not to the level of some of my friends though. When they told me about this one, I couldn't see a down side other then lugging 150 lbs of coins to the bank.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 10:14 PM

You also need to consider your card's credit limit along with whatever other charges you already have on the card.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 10:54 PM
Jeff's avatar

Touchdown said:
My credit card is essentially a debit card, paid in full every month. I would get a debit card, but they do not have nearly the same protection from fraud as credit cards do, not to mention my credit card is not attached to my checking account.

If that's true, you need a different bank. Visa/MC rules, along with federal law, protect you just as much with a debit card. The only short-term danger is that you use your checking account for actual day to day cash, which could go empty for a day or two as they reverse a fraudulent charge.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, June 11, 2009 11:08 PM

There are all kinds of tricks you can use. I'm a huge fan of "free money", to the extent that most of my major purchases are made that way. The bad news is that I have about $1k of "free money" purchases that I now have to pay for, but to be able to spread those payments out over twelve or even eighteen months without any interest is really nice. By free money I mean people are willing to loan me money without making me pay for it (interest or fees).

The way I mostly pay for my coaster habit, though, is to economize where I can, and to budget for the expenses I know about. One trick is that my car gets about 50% better gas mileage in the summer when I drive long trips than it does in the winter when I just go to work, so the gas bill doesn't really go up *that much*. I know about what the season passes cost me (and thanks to Cedar Fair that total cost has dropped significantly in the past couple of years!) and so I budget that, along with my club memberships, over twelve months. Consider this:


120.00 Cedar Fair Platinum Pass
60.00 Six Flags pass
60.00 ACE membership
40.00 NAPHA membership
20.00 CoasterBuzz Club membership
50.00 Amusement Today subscription
------
350.00 / 12 months = $29.17/month

You can add in other stuff the same way; I use the same method for handling all of my annual and semi-annual (and less-than-annual) expenses, such as auto insurance, NAARSO certification, ASTM membership, drivers license, water bill, and anything else that I know I want to have cash for. The result is that I end up having everything paid for by the time it comes up, and on a monthly basis (I get paid monthly...) it doesn't cost that much.

Of course, another trick is that riding roller coasters actually substitutes for other, more expensive activities like going to concerts, sporting events, movies, etc.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 10:46 AM
KnoebelsGrandCarousel's avatar

I get asked all the time how I have so much money to go on vacation so frequently. When I tell them that I don't buy any extra 'stuff' that I don't need and live on a budget, most seem ok with that until I go through the list of what I don't buy and apparently most people can't do this.
Stuff I don't buy:
new furniture or any "house" stuff (knickknacks, blankets, picture frames, curtains, etc)
alcohol/cigarettes
lunch at work every day, I bring my lunch (this is a big one, I can't believe how much money people waste on this)
CDs/DVDs/video games/computer stuff
clothes/shoes/purses/jewelry
convenience store stuff, I buy my soda in bulk at the grocery store for a lot less than one 20 oz. bottle is at Turkey Hill
stuff on sale just because it's on sale (you don't need another jacket just because it's on sale if you already have a nice jacket)
rarely go to movies (most of them suck these days anyway)
rarely go to concerts
I eat out once a week at most

My only weekly expenses are gas and groceries. Even the gas could be less if I didn't have to commute 40 minutes each way to work. Other than parks the other summer love that I have is baseball and I take trips to the stadiums within driving distance, specifically the old Yankee Stadium, haven't made it to the new one yet. I'm a die hard Yankee fan, but I know more in general about MLB than most guys lol.

The money that would go to this other stuff gets put towards vacations. The biggest of those vacations being Hawaii and British Isles less than a year apart. If you are steadfast enough and STICK TO YOUR BUDGET the way I do, you can have a lot of extra vacation time/coaster trips. And if you have debt, you will probably be able to get yourself out a lot faster. :)

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 11:15 AM
Jeff's avatar

I have total disregard for any kind of budget, and it's worse when I'm on vacation. I'm also unwilling to give up on movies, eating out and buying toys. I suppose it was more of a problem in my early 20's, when I made a lot less, but I still don't exercise the restraint I should (especially now that I'm not working full-time).

Now I'm off to go see a movie... :)


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 11:36 AM
DaveStroem's avatar

I feel your pain Jeff. But it is worse when you have kids. Instead of paying or just yourself, I have to shell out for all 4 of us. 4x the admission, food & souvenirs.

This is why I posted this. So far I have made $200 from this deal. This took about 5 minutes to place the orders and 1/2 hour to make the deposit. If you do this, call the bank first to make sure that they can except the deposit. My local branch does not have a walk in vault so I had to take it to a branch that did. Also see how they want them prepped. My bank wanted all the boxes open, but the coins wrapped.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 2:50 PM

KnoebelsGC, if you rarely go to movies, how do you know that most of them suck?


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 3:53 PM
KnoebelsGrandCarousel's avatar

The previews on TV and reviews on IMDB make most of them look pretty undesirable. I'm not really a movie person in general.

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Saturday, June 13, 2009 7:10 PM

Other suggestions for keeping your expenditures for coaster trips down:

1. As someone already mentioned, buy season passes. Sure, the Platinum Passes at Cedar Fair parks are 160.00 now, but admission to the parks are usually around 50 dollars per visit. Go to ANY Cedar Fair park or variety of parks and you've paid for your visit in three uses. Plus, you no longer pay for parking, so you save 8 or more bucks on parking per trip. Also, in the case of Six Flags, you get special coupons for admissions for 15 dollars, so if you're taking a family, these really limit the decimation of your wallet. Often there will be discounts on renewals for previous pass members as well, so the savings tend to carry over into the next year.

2. If you have family or friends on the way to or close to the parks, stay with them. Seems like a no-brainer, but I would have shelled out over 400 dollars had I stayed at the hotel in Sandusky instead of staying with my grandmother for a few days before making the rest of the trip. I spent 120 instead. Stayed with Dad in Florida. Would have stayed with Dad in Ocean City to go to Six Flags America had he still lived there. Plus, you get to spend quality time with people you don't get to see very much. When I attempt to get out to Magic Mountain and Knott's, I'll stay with my uncle in Cali, and obviously I don't get to see him very often.

3. Ask around for special discounts. Giant sells the cheapest tickets for Hersheypark around. Plus, you can go after a certain time to Hershey and they'll give you another discount on a twilight admission and the next day's admission as a package deal.

4. Name your own price websites for hotels and rental cars. I saved over 250 dollars on a rental car for Florida. Had I booked on Travelocity, I don't think I could have afforded it.

5. AT the parks, look for discount clothing/souveneirs, or be creative about what you get for souveneirs. If you absolutely must buy that stuff (and I must), you'll likely find some decent deals for ridiculously cheap. I got a Cedar Point T-shirt for 8 dollars when most of the shirts were 20 or over. And avoid the energy drinks at Universal Studios. LOL They are over five dollars a can. However, if you really can't afford souveneirs, keep your maps. Keep your park ticket. Take lots of photos. Buy one or two souveneir cups with the free refills for the family. You can share the drinks and then you're getting cheaper soda and cheaper souveneirs, and you can really use those sipper cups for water at work or whatever.

I know this seems kind of like "duh", but as I spent so much money last year on travel because I didn't really know how to do it (I always travelled with family or school before), I think there are probably other people out there that are just as clueless.

Now I'm off to Dorney for free. :)


"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

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Friday, June 26, 2009 10:34 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

I'm am absolutely a budget person. Right now we're DINKs (soon to be DIOKs) but we've never had a problem with paying for vacations when we want to. We just make sure we set aside some money every month so that, come summer time, we can travel without having to eat Mac N Cheese every night. We also stay clear of debt at all costs, especially credit card debt. If I can't pay for it now, I don't need it now.

And we're not loaded, although we live in Texas so the cost of living is surprisingly low.


Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

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Friday, June 26, 2009 12:44 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

Andy, Congratulations on the upcoming arrival. You thought that roller coasters were a trip. Get ready for the ride of your life :)

One more thought. Think of all those coaster credits that you can now get. Things like Jr. Gemini, Little Bill's Giggle Coaster etc.......

Last edited by DaveStroem, Friday, June 26, 2009 12:46 PM
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Friday, June 26, 2009 3:07 PM

LOL, I love your idea Dave...I bet the bank and your UPS guy LOVE you. ;)

Last edited by redman822, Friday, June 26, 2009 3:09 PM

--George H

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 11:28 AM
DaveStroem's avatar

My UPS guy is fine with it. He laughs every time he brings them in. The bank on the other hand is not so thrilled. I have to bring them in rolled (the way they come) but then they have to move them to their vault and someone has to unroll them and put them in bags to go back to the federal reserve bank.

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 12:25 PM

How do you explain it to the bank, do they ask why you're doing it?


--George H

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Tuesday, June 30, 2009 1:06 PM
DaveStroem's avatar

I tell them the truth. They want people to use their credit cards to collect fees from the merchants. That is what pays for the rewards that banks offer.

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