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How I saved $1527 this weekend with my Amex charge card


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Hey CB just checking in because it's been a while.Thought I'd share a story on how I *finally* was able to realize the power of rewards after getting out of subprime mode about 3yrs ago (thanks mostly to advice on CB :wave: )

 

Caution - Long read!

 

I got a telemarketing call from the dealer I leased my last car from telling me how they want to buy my current car for bluebook price to get me into a new car. I've been wanting to downsize and simplify since having a new kid over the past year, and the lease payment of my car was $1400/mo with 23 payments left. Yes, that's $32,200 + 1 more registration fee of $800 = $33k left on a LEASE, so I figured why not try and save some $$ and see what they do for me.

Get to the dealership expecting a load of BS and leaving, but they actually came through. Of course, by "bluebook value", I quickly realized they meant "wholesale bluebook / trade-in value". My car appraised for a couple thousand $$ less than payoff, but given the high lease payment it was totally worth it to eat a relatively small negative. And, the new car they discounted $5k which is $1400 less than invoice and about $1000 less than the Edmunds TMV for my area. My new payment for 60mo @ 2.9% APR (went with MBFS dealer captive bank) on a PURCHASE would be $600, which saved me $800/mo off the bat, plus with the low rate most of my payment was going straight to the loan balance, which ultimately would be worth something since it isn't a lease. After all negotiations, we agreed on the vehicle and price and down payment. Then they asked how I was going to pay the down payment ($7500). Post-dated check I guess?

NOPE!

That's when I remembered - I have a Platinum Amex Mercedes Benz charge!

 

HOW I SAVED

So I realized, I can get 5x points for any and all MB purchases. That's 5.8% cash back based on rewards2cash values.

SAVINGS = $435

 

Then, it dawned on me: I have a $1000 certificate that I received a few months ago from Amex towards the lease or purchase of a new MB! I'm glad that I remembered after the whole deal was made, because it was a straight $1k off the top. They took this certificate (had my brother bring it down from home) same as cash, reducing my down payment to $6500, though while also reducing my cashback to $377 due to reduced amount charged to card.

SAVINGS = $1,000 - $58 cashback reduction = $942

 

Then, to top it off, my brother got confused and brought 2 envelopes, 1 of which was the $1k cert and 1 of which was a $100 accessory coupon for MB accessories that Amex also mailed me! I ended up buying about $100 worth of stupid stuff from the parts department (admit - I wouldn't have bought unless it was free, but nonetheless counts as savings!)

SAVINGS = $100

 

Ok, so I wasn't done yet. After making my wife go through all of this at the dealership for 4 hours, I had to take her to dinner. We went to Flemmings, where I had an Amex "My offer" for $50 off $100 that was applied to my Platinum card.

SAVINGS = $50

 

TOTAL SAVED = $1527

 

Even if you don't count the last two items, that's a solid $1,377.00 that I otherwise would not have saved.

And to think, just 2 months ago went through FR with Amex, not to mention the $475 annual fee, was about to close the card. Good thing I didn't!

 

I know it's a tough road out of subprime for all of us, but after my long struggle with it, this weekend really made things all the sweeter.

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Thanks for the kind words!

 

Traded in car was a 2012 CLS550 with MSRP around $90k when I leased it. I paid thru the roof because the new model just came out when I got it, and the moneyfactor was in the 300's as I recall. Bonehead move on my part. Now those cars are on lease special for about $999 everywhere. I guess I can live to buy another day with this move.

 

New car is a GLK350. Definitely toned down my "swag" :blush2: but a wife and kids will do that to the best of us I guess! But, with the total financed amount of about $34k, I figured it was definitely a step in the right direction.

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Thanks for the kind words!

 

Traded in car was a 2012 CLS550 with MSRP around $90k when I leased it. I paid thru the roof because the new model just came out when I got it, and the moneyfactor was in the 300's as I recall. Bonehead move on my part. Now those cars are on lease special for about $999 everywhere. I guess I can live to buy another day with this move.

 

New car is a GLK350. Definitely toned down my "swag" :blush2: but a wife and kids will do that to the best of us I guess! But, with the total financed amount of about $34k, I figured it was definitely a step in the right direction.

The CLS is a nice one but the back seat and baby car seat had to have been annoying as heck!

 

Lol at toning down your swag! Glk is still sporty, at least and is by far no mini can (no offense to mini van drivers)! Definitely the right move! Not too mention all that extra cash you will have towards a college fund or something!

 

Anyway, congrats on the cash back!

Edited by moni08
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S63?

 

 

 

Good job!

That's 120k+ sticker with a somewhat low residual (compared to other Mercedes). Will leave you with a much higher lease payment than $1400 unless you pay it down which is usually not done with a lease. You often have a tax incentive to have a larger lease payment.

 

To offer a data point, I leased a $55k Mercedes SUV a month ago and our lease payment is $700.

Edited by encoder
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