Helping my Father-in-Law with Credit
For many of us personal finance bloggers, the idea of debt and credit cards is comparable to living in the 4th circle of hell. However, for many others who are responsible with their credit, we treat credit and debt as opportunities.
My father-in-law is a self-employed carpenter and handyman. He is a master of his craft and has only ever advertised once for his business (15 years ago). He is in high demand by the richest of the rich in the nearby city, and never has an open schedule. However, he’s also one of the most humble of people and clearly undercharges his clients (but that’s for a different story).
Knowing his line of work, I asked him how he purchases his home improvement materials (for his clients). He replied that he just uses his Lowe’s store card, but that he doesn’t get any rewards on this card. A light bulb lit up over my head as I recalled one of the credit cards I highlighted in a recent post about 0% interest rate offers for 6 months.
Knowing that my father-in-law handles his credit responsibly by paying off the balance each month and never overextends himself financially, and since he must buy on credit until his clients reimburse the purchase (he does have overlap between receivables and card payments), I recommended the Chase Home Improvement Rewards Card to him.
The Chase Home Improvement Rewards Card offers 3% cash back on any purchase at qualifying home improvement stores, such as “a home supply warehouse store; a lumber/building supply store; a glass/paint/wallpaper store; or a hardware store”. Plus, he’ll get 1% back for any other purchase. He can receive a $25 gift card or check for every 2,500 points.
Since my “FIL” spends at least $5,000-7,000 per year at home improvement stores, this card can earn him between $150-210 per year (or more if he uses it for all other purchases).
My FIL signed up for the card, knowing it is a good opportunity to earn more money for his business purchases, and should be receiving it in about 2 weeks. The 0% rate on purchases and balance transfers probably isn’t a benefit he’ll utilize, but he knows it’s there. However, he also knows not to let his balance slide simply because the 0% is there; he’ll still be paying off the balance every month.
Now if only I can get them to set up a retirement fund. However, is it too late when you’re in your 60s?