Whatchoo talkin’ bout, WaMu?

garyc.jpgHas anyone taken a moment to do the math on the new Washington Mutual promotion, where they promise 3 cents cash back for every debit card purchase?

Let me help… lets say I use my debit card an average of three times every day, that totals to about 90 cents a month, and $11.95 per year. Quite the incentive, huh?

But lets say you want to go debit crazy and milk WaMu for all its worth… unfortunately there are limitations in place:

Washington Mutual will give a reward (currently $0.03) for each Debit MasterCard purchase transaction (pin or signature) during the prior year up to a $250 reward if the account is open and in good standing on the anniversary date.


To meet that $250 limit you’d need to use your ATM card at least 8,333 times in one year, thats an average of 23 times per day… yeah, about once per hour of every day of the year.

Commenters at MousePrint suggest that Washington Mutual may be hoping customers believe they’re getting 3% back on purchases, not just 3 cents. I can’t help but believe them – would anyone even begin to be suckered in by such a weak deal?

And to think I’m bitter at Bank of America for only extending me 1 airmile for every $2 spent on my USAir/BofA debit card.

(photo by Alexia via Flickr… and speaking of Gary Coleman, this series of photos I find very disturbing…)

4 Replies to “Whatchoo talkin’ bout, WaMu?”

  1. There’s a huge building paint on the 10, with some snobby guy saying, “why not just give them a free toaster…” Every time I see it, I’m like… totally, give me a free toaster! It will take me 5+ years to earn enough money to buy a toaster!

  2. I remember when they used to give you toasters and the like for depositing money in your account. I remember being suspicious of banks because of that: They give me a toaster and interest on my money and I can take it out whenever I want? Something’s up with that. Turns out I was right. And the banks have gotten so much more evil since then, where they charge you huge amounts of money at every opportunity.

  3. Reminds me a bit of how I felt when I was reading the fine print on BofA’s “Keep the Change” Program. It’s a slightly better deal, except that they are also running an incentive to get people enrolled that results in them giving you some money for what you put in.

    Which gets you a 1099 at the end of the year – gotta pay taxes on that gift, kids!

    So much fun.

  4. I thought the idea behind the BofA program was that they pulled even more money out of every transaction you made, to even each transaction to the next dollar amount, and then put the difference into your savings… were they charging extra for that?

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