Sunday, April 17, 2011

Freebies for Pinoys

Raffle draws or freebies are baits to consumers; and these credit card promos are driving everyone nuts.  We thought we had the greatest deals with free movie passes, chicken McDo, gift certificates, starbucks...

But these free international flights from HSBC I would say is talk of the town.  These promos is obviously not for the poor, but for the rich who are suckers of anything for free. Unscrupulous cardholders intentionally split transactions at the merchant's inconvenience, some sells redeemed tickets for profit (yes, this happens), others even swipe on their own business's machine without a valid transaction (yes, unbelievable).  An unscrupulous cardholder even is in the brink of diabetes with daily dose of starbucks.

Here's my take on it...  a trip to USA or Europe only takes fifteen of ten thousand charge slips using a platinum or premier card.  To be a platinum card holder, a million annual proof of income is required (ITR in the Philippines are never real); while a premier card holder, has at least four million placement or investment in HSBC's private banking.  If you compute, P150,000 x 5% merchant discount rate, they only earned P7,500 from this transaction; if you swipe a fictitious sales, that's your cost for that free ticket.  I don't know how they did the math, someone is going to be in big trouble.  If only they limited the redemption to the cardholder's name, then these fraudulent transactions won't be as rampant.  But if dominance is what they're after for the AB market, then kudos to the brains behind this.  At the moment, they can no longer keep up with the demand; they are a month behind in approving credit card applications. A memo has recently been issued, they are now auditing split transactions; so if you are, be prudent. And believe it or not, when you do split sales, the call center agent immediately calls you and accuse you of doing so.

By the way, HSBC cards is no longer owned by HSBC (the bank); it's now just a mere use of name.  What does this tell us?

But don't get me wrong, I'm not against this, I'm eagerly waiting to get my share of this deal.  So how can you accumulate to avail of HSBC's free international trip?  Here are what people are doing:

1.  Pay your globe handyphone and globelines (smart?) at the business center; especially when you have several bills to settle from your business.  Globe accepts creditable withholding tax certificates even with credit card payments.  PLDT, VECO does not accept credit card payments.
2.  Plan your grocery list.
3.  Negotiate with your vehicle gas supplier to accumulate your bill.
4.  It's time to renovate your house.
5.  It's time to get new appliances.
6.  Charge your rent, insurance premiums, amortization, if allowed. The add on rate is just worth it.
7.  In unfortunate circumstance, charge hospital bills; partially pay off by the P10,000 until you're discharged.
8.  To legitimately split credit charge payments; a credit card merchant's advice is to have one invoice per one charge slip;  your next swipe should be at least ten minutes later.
9.  The surest way to avoid charge back, buy only P10,000 a day per store, it only takes 15 days to complete one redemption.  Unbelievably, a lot is willing to go through that inconvenience for a trip to USA.

For more information about the promo, click here.

Reminder:  Take note of the fine prints:

1.  Only HSBC VISA cards are entitled to this promo.
2.  The only Mastercard acceptable is HSBC Premier cards.
3.  Only Platinum VISA and Premier Card are allowed to redeem for tickets outside Asia.
4.  Charge slips must be redeemed within 90 calendar days.
5.  Tickets can be issued to a person other than the cardholder and requires personal appearance.
6.  Tickets are rebookable and is valid for one year.
7.  Reservation is allowed even prior to redemption.
8.  Taxes beyond $100 is on the account of the card holder.

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