Dave Says: Don’t Let Them Hook You

Dave RamseyBy Dave Ramsey2 Minutes

Dear Dave,

My wife and I just bought a new home, and we only need one or two more things to furnish the living room. Over the weekend, we found a couch and love seat set we both like for $3,000. The owner of the store said he would take 15% off the price if we get a store credit card and pay for it that way. We are in pretty good financial shape, and can afford to pay cash for the furniture, but what do you think about the idea of taking advantage of the 15% off offer, then paying off the card immediately and closing the account?

— Jackson

Dear Jackson,

Playing with snakes is always a bad idea. Sooner or later, you’re going to get bitten.

Everyone thinks they’re the exception to the rule, or they’re somehow winning or getting rich by doing stuff like this. It doesn’t work that way. So, stop playing around with debt products. This guy’s just trying to hook you and make more money.

Your idea might sound good on the surface to a lot of folks, but the problem is the vast majority of those same people don’t have the discipline to follow through on a plan like this. Having that store account, even for a short period of time, would be too much of a temptation. Another issue is many places like this hit you with a fee when you pay off the card. They’ll fee you to death on other things, too, if you’re not careful, until you end up wishing you’d never even seen the place.

If it were me, I’d just talk to the owner again and let him know I’m taking my business elsewhere unless he discounts the furniture 15% on a cash purchase. There’s no way I’d take out a stupid credit card for a place like that whether I had the cash on hand or not!

— Dave