Never, never, never use a Bloomingdales credit card, please!

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This past weekend I had a friends bachelorette party in Philly. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately depending on how you look at it) I wasn’t part of the planning committee and had no say on hotel, restaurants, cost of anything, etc. Let me preface this story first. I did not know the girl organizing the whole weekend so she had no idea how crazy I was, thus I could only push so far. They had picked a hotel in Philly and I was so proud of myself by not trying to suggest another hotel. The Westin was right there, but I restrained myself and behaved! I did, however, offer up my corporate rate at the selected hotel as it would have saved $100 on each hotel room. She declined the corporate rate offer because “it was just easier to work with the sales manager to book the four rooms.” So yes, this is what I was dealing with. A sales manager for 4 rooms, are you serious!

While realizing I wasn’t going to earn any points over the weekend sorta killed me, I got over it semi quickly. It is what it is, right?! Or at least I kept on telling myself that. I was spending $25 more than I should have for the night (since 4 people to a room) and earning no points, awesome!

So Saturday night we go to dinner and I pull the typical move. Everyone is putting in cash for dinner and of course I ask if I can take the cash and put it on my credit card. I used the excuse that I didn’t have that much money on me and it was a great ATM opportunity. It actually would have worked, but it was a cash only place. And trust me, none of the other girls would have wanted to put it on their credit card so I was okay. They actually thought it was hysterical of me! Little did they know… After dinner we went to a club (so not my thing!) and I sorta overheard the girl in charge saying there was some issue with her credit card for the super overpriced bottle service we got. I tried to listen to the conversation she was having with the manager and nicely offered up my credit card. I was doing her a huge favor, right?! Instead I think she was embarrassed and her credit card ended up working. Strike two. Oh well.

Now the HUGE issue was the next morning when we were checking out of the hotel. The rooms were about $250/night, with three of them being a two night stay and one of them a one night stay. I almost died when I saw a Bloomingdale’s credit card being used for a $1,750 bill. We had all sent her money ahead of time so I was sorta out of luck putting at least my room on my card. What the heck is this girl thinking! Well I sorta know what she is thinking. After earning 5,000 points on the card she can get a whopping $25 gift check to use to buy that handbag she’s been eying! That $1,750 bill essentially got her $8.75 closer to her gift check, wahhooo!! Not only would that amount have helped my minimum spend it would have gotten me 3,500 points I could have transferred over to Hyatt or British Airways. I’ll value those points at about $70 on the conservative side. Looks like points for traveling can go a lot further than a handbag!

(P.S. I do have a bloomies credit card, but is ONLY used when it is required to get their sale discount!)

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  1. When we buried my Mom, the the funeral director was ready to accept a check from my sister for the funeral. I gasped. They asked what was wrong. 😉
    I gave the funeral director my Starwood card, and my sister wrote that check out to me! Whew. Close call. 11000 close calls.

  2. @aznprzn Even then, a Chase Sapphire earns 2x at hotels, and is actually 2.14x if you keep it until February. While most of us will transfer to Hyatt/United, $1750 at a hotel on the Sapphire will earn 3,745 points, which is $37.45 in cash back, much better than $8.75.

    I would have fainted if it were Q4 and she had a $1750 hotel bill that could take care of all my Chase Freedom 5x spending for the quarter.

  3. Even if the handbag means more to her, you can use UR points as cash at a better rate than that (given 2x for hotels). Well, 2.14 actually. That stuff makes me want to roll over and stab myself slowly with a spoon, too. 😉 Good job going with the flow though!

  4. Thanks for writing this funny article! lol I forwarded it to all my friends so they would understand my suffering every time they pay cash/use a debit card on potentially crazy point earning things! ahhhhh!!! I totally understand the feeling of “rolling over and wanting to stab oneself with a spoon”… haha

  5. This post made me chuckle because I felt your pain as I was reading it. I do have a slight points/deals obsession. I do have girlfriends where at times we are on totally different pages. A cash only restaurant–WOW! Room payment upfront…crazy! hmm..If I were in your shoes I would have said that I would like to pay your portion of the room with a credit card and you would call the manager. But I know how girls trips can go. I proably have been on 20 Vegas girls trips and still counting. Good Luck on your next girls trip!

    I do have a Bloomies card and use that strategically on shopping only at Bloomies.

    Also Bloomingdales is 10 pts per $ with the Sapphire Preferred 🙂

  6. Does it really matter? Seriously, who cares, let her pay on this card, it’s not your party, you didn’t plan it, let her make her rewards that she wants to make.

    • @Larko – I get it. However, my assumption is that she really doesn’t even know or care the rewards she gets by using that card. I actually think she would have loved having someone else put it on their card, but never asked.

  7. To ba fair, comparing it with the cashback credit cards is a bit unkind. In using Bloomingdales card compared with Chase Sapphire for example, she effectively overpaid by about $28 on a $1750 bill – hardly worth writing home about.

    The real bang for buck has to come down to points.

    The good news is, if everyone was as savvy about points as everyone on this blog is, wouldn’t that mean the travel companies could not afford the current incentives and that would drive the rewards much lower?

    So – maybe the woman with the Bloomies card and her millions of friends are actually doing us all a huge favour…

    Hey, just trying to find a positive, there must be something positive in such a shocking story!!

    • @srptraveller – Haha, you are right! I like a “glass is half full” reader! Great comment and you are correct – more for us!

  8. This sounds like EVERY Las Vegas trip I end up on. Someone else planning and then wasting the opportunity for boatloads of points. If I try to explain that I could fill an actual boat with actual points… and they just don’t get me.

  9. I chuckled throughout reading this post. Reminds me of how I am when I go out with my friends. Especially the “I’ll take the cash and put it on my credit card to make it easier for the waiter ;)” line that I use oh-so-frequently. Sometimes I even offer to pay the tip if it’s a big bill. (Hey, you get it back in points, right? And it makes you look generous. Little do they know…) Seriously though. Have you ever thought about how many miles you’d rack up if you were an event planner and planned these bachelorette parties?! New weekend profession?

    • @Mitty – I like where you are going with this idea! However, after having to plan a few bachelorette parties and just be an attendee, not sure I’d want to deal with these girls! And being a girl, I feel like I can say that!

    • @Jamison – Yes and no. While they are useless 99% of the time, I personally keep my bloomingdales (and macys) cards because they are American Express cards and I’ve been getting lots of free money from all my Amex cards during the various Amex sponsored promotions. Also, since this is one of the first cards I had, no reason to cancel, it will only hurt my credit and their is no annual fee.

  10. Yes, it’s very frustrating. My fiancee’s family actively avoids credit cards after ONE incident where someone was skimming card numbers in their small town. Now they carry cash everywhere, or when plastic is necessary, use a local bank debit card that earns no points. I usually let it go to keep the peace. But I insisted that we use credit cards to pay the wedding vendors. I still get hassled by her parents when we take “expensive” vacations, since no amount of convincing has helped them realize the trips are mostly free thanks to points and miles.

  11. I’m thinking that you’re dealing with a personality disorder. I might say you’re a cluster B (obsessive, anxious, avoidant). Also, you need new friends…. rather, your friends need a new friend. Take a Xanax.

  12. Been there, experienced that. It pains me to think of lost points/miles from situations where I have to go with the flow. One of my best friends uses SPG points to get Starbuck gift cards. I have to really force myself to butt out & let her use (waste) her points the way she wants to…

  13. Too real. This is like in high school when you completely take over a group project and do all of the work or you’ll feel anxiety..or maybe I’m just type A

  14. I think I just died a little inside. That just hurts. I had the opposite experience this weekend. A friend asked me why I wasnt using my CSP for dinner. I told her about the Freedom bonus categories and she was outraged that I had yet to tell her about the Freedom card. I was so proud.

  15. this is a bit of a sad post, when too much greed for points is always on your mind so that it blocks you from having a good time.

  16. Mrs deals. I feel your pain! and appreciate the cheeky humor you intended with this post. Sorry that not all readers have a sense of humor.

  17. We need more people like this out there to keep availability open…I encourage people to redeem 81K UA miles for an iPad. Helps keep award availability open!

  18. what’s your take on the Banana Republic card? Essentially, its like a 5% back card, and I’ve used one for years (on Banana Republic, GAP, etc purchases), but having second thoughts now that I’m more credit card saavy (but still naive in so many ways)?

    • @Kathy K – With the Banana Republic or Gap card you get one point for every dollar in net purchases. Once you earn 1,000 points you’ll get a $10 rewards card. So this is 1% back that you have to use at a Banana Republic/Gap store, not great in my opinion. Where did you get 5% back? If that is the case, then that is fine, but not quite sure on that one. If you are going to go with 1% cash back and do not want an annual fee, I’d at the very lease go for the Chase Freedom card so that is 1% cash back in your pocket instead of pigeon-holed to a particular store and you get the 5% cash back rotating categories. Then you can also transfer your Chase UR points to someone else and have them transfer them to one of your loyalty programs if that works for you.

  19. A great entry to the blog, which is why there are so many more comments than usual.
    First, I am a senior citizen so I have little tolerance. I’ve got a trip where everybody says A+A+B. I checked it out, and gave it serious consideration; but what will actually be working for me will be B+B+A, so that’s what I’ll be doing. I’ll still be there, I just won’t be marching in lockstep with everybody else.
    And, I also got a chuckle outta Adam’s comment. But now that I’ve reached old age I realize that when dealing with people it is much more important that I be consistently odd than that I be consistently right. 😉

  20. It also made me wonder how much that handbag would be in another country with VAT back. I can’t be the only one who looks at a Longchamp bag and think “Maybe the next time a friend/I am in France where it is a lot cheaper!”.

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