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Finances & Money

GM is trying to tempt me

I’ve had a GM Rewards Card for a few years now, which gives me 5% rewards points with each purchase that go towards a new GM vehicle purchase or lease. In the short time I actually used the card, I amassed around $650. I didn’t get to use it when we bought our Chevy Malibu in 2005 because I was able to use my employer’s supplier discount, so it’s just been hanging out since then. And I haven’t used the card since August 2006 (just checked my credit report).

But today I got a letter from the kind GM people stating they “Topped Off” my earnings to a full $2000. That means I can use that $2000 plus any other rebates/dealer incentives on most GM vehicles, but only if I buy before Jan 31st.

But you know what? I’m not biting! I get that urge to buy something new around this time every year, but this time, GM just doesn’t have anything that makes me want to trade in the Ridgeline. The Buick Enclave/Saturn Outlook have potential, but Saturn is excluded from this deal.

So what does this mean? Well, it means I’ll probably just cancel the GM card and say bye-bye to those rewards. I really can’t see myself 1) buying a new car in the next couple years or 2) buying a GM car in the next couple years. I’m not an American car basher, I just haven’t had good experiences with our own GM cars or rentals including Chevy, Buick, and Pontiac. I expect GM will be a player again, but not within 3-5 years. The only one with promise is Saturn right now.

Oh, so this also means that 2008 might be only the 3rd year in the last 8 that we haven’t bought a car! Here’s our history:

2000: Saturn L300 (my first car)
2001: Acura TL Type S
2002: Nothing
2003: Nothing
2004: VW Passat GLX
2005: Chevrolet Malibu
2006: Honda Ridgeline
2007: MINI Cooper (first used car I’ve bought!)
2008: Wait and see!

So GM, thank you for your offer, but keep trying a little harder to prove and improve your reliability, build quality, fuel economy, and general styling appeal of your vehicles, and then I’ll reconsider. For now, I’ll stick with my Honda truck.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I used to have a GM card. Maxed out the earnings. I soon found it was worthless. You cannot use it on a pre-owned CTS. You cannot use it on a Saab. I switched to a cash back card. Now I can use my earnings on anything I want. 😉

  • King: Actually, I’ll check into whether I can use it for something else like accessories. Maybe we can pimp out our 97 Grand Am with a giant spoiler or those little 13″ chrome wheels and dropped suspension.

  • That’s *exactly* why I eschew vendor specific rewards cards. I’ll take a card that has less rewards but pays them out in cash anyday.

    I used to have an Alaska Airlines visa. Over the course of a few years I got around 100K miles on Alaska Air. But just try getting a mileage seat on a flight for less than 40K miles! Those same 100K miles would be about $1500 in cash on my American Express card.

  • I will never ever buy a Saturn again. I don’t care how much money GM gave me (I know, Saturn is excluded anyway from your deal).

    I’m just a wee bit bitter. 🙂

  • Well, as an employee of GM I was surprised to hear that nothing in our line-up is too appealing to you. Although you mentioned the Enclave, what about the new Malibu or the new CTS? Maybe they’re not included in this deal.

  • Adam, the new Malibu is a much better upgrade than the old one (we owned a 2005 base model), but I’ve read the reviews and it’s still only a mediocre sedan. Granted those were reviews on the 4 cyl. model, and the V-6 should be better.

    As for the CTS, it also looks nicer than the last model, but I just don’t like all the sharp angles in all the Cadillac vehicles, including the CTS.

  • I noticed the comments that the GM points would not cover a Saturn. I believe GM started including Saturn a few months ago in this program. I am now seriously considering a GM product because I believe the quality is now much improved.

    Perhaps its time for more of us to at least consider a care made in this country even if under a foreign label. I still won’t consider a GM made outside of our borders though..

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