If you’re friends with silicon valley twenty somethings on facebook like me, you probably know what the Zerocard is since people are posting referral links all over the place. For those of you out of the loop, here’s a quick rundown of what it does:
- A credit card that you have to pre-load money to. You don’t pay bills, since it uses the money you put in it. In other words, a debit card
- Zerocard gives you different amount of cashback depending on how much your annual spend is. You start at 1%, then if you spend $25k in a year you get bumped to 1.5%, $50k for 2%, and $100k for 3%
- You can get a higher tier of cashback if you refer friends, hence all the referrals you see on your newsfeed
- Manage the zerocard via a mobile app, check balance and transaction history etc
- You can use it to withdraw money at ATMs for free if it’s in your network
Sounds pretty decent right? Well, no, not really. I have one bone to pick with it, and one bone only, the Cashback.
Simply put, the amount of hoops you have to jump through to get a decent amount of cashback is INSANE like an enemy of Batman. $50k annual spend to get 2% cashback? Are you fucking kidding me? Here’s a credit card with 2% cashback on everything, no min annual spend required. Now was that so hard?
But Bargain Hunta, If I refer a ton of people, I get $100 per referral!
Ok, good for you, what do they get? Nothing? So they will be driven to refer more people, who will in term refer more people. Smart business model I gotta say. But I swear if you spam my newsfeed with this shit I will block you until Kingdom come.
But but Bargain Hunta, I want that 3% cashback!
No you don’t. There are plenty of other cards that give 3% on categories that you most likely spent tons of money on, like restaurant/travel. They don’t need you to spend $100k every year to get 3% cashback. Do you know how much $100k a year is? Jesus Christ kid, take a look at your paycheck. After Uncle Sam takes his cut, you most likely don’t make $100k a year. You know how the signup bonus of CSR requires $4000 spend in three months, and most people think that’s hard? Multiply that by 4, and you get $16,000 credit card spend a year. If $16k a year is hard to hit for most people, what makes you think you can hit $100k?
But but but but Bargain Hunta, If I refer three people, I will automatically get to the 3% cashback tier!
Yeah congrats, you have 3% for a year. So? What are you gonna do next year? Drop down to 1% because you can’t hit the $100k min spend? Oh right, that’s EXACTLY what’s gonna happen.
Also, did you read the T&C?
Zero reserves the right to adjust the minimum annual spending requirements at any time. Zero also may choose, but is not committing to, specifying alternative criteria for customers to maintain higher level Zerocard status, such as the continuance of a social referral program following the product’s launch to the general public.
If that doesn’t smell like a barrel of fermented Anchovies on the island of Phu Quoc in Vietnam, I don’t know what to tell you.
So yeah, lesson of the day is to not fall for dumb shit. Stay in school.