Monday, August 3, 2009

Lessons Learned #547 and #548

I should know by now that nothing is exactly how it appears over here. Lesson #547 involves a reward program offered by one of the large supermarket chains out here, Coop. I thought I was doing so good by getting a Supercard and even going one step further by collecting stickers to obtain Swiss airline miles. For every 10 Franken you spend, you earn one sticker. Thirty stickers and you've got yourself 2,000 miles -- or at least that's what it seems.

I went in today to collect on this mileage program, and come to find out, you actually have to have a Coop credit card of some sort. Boo. And, of course you can't apply at this grocery store for the card. You have to go somewhere else and find the secret application booth which I am sure will have some other red tape I have to get through. Wish me luck.

Lesson #548 has a positive and negative side. Can you guess what it has to do with? UBS banking. We just booked a trip to Paris for the weekend and I wanted to go ahead and pay off our credit card. Us Americans only get a 5,000 CHF limit. Pretty different than what I am used to in the States (though that is probably different nowadays). I hadn't received a payment slip in the post just yet, but figured there had to be a way to take care of this online. On the bottom of my bill there is a note saying, "Your invoice will be debited to your bank account automatically". And, sure enough, it had. Not sure if I am happy or upset about this. Good on one hand that it is just taken care of, but bad on the other if you have to dispute any of the charges and you don't have the option to pay only part of the balance. Again, UBS loves to make sure we know they don't trust us financially-irresponsible Americans.

Every day there is something new. What will it be next?


  1. About lesson #547, I think there is still one positive - now that you have a Sammelkarte full of stickers, you can buy one of those fancy sets of wine glasses for cheap! Ok, ok, maybe that's only exciting for me...

  2. True, true. There is an upside that I skipped over. Do you just get a discount on the glasses though? They aren't free, are they?

  3. No, not free, just a major discount. For example, we want the decanter. The retail price is 76 francs and with a full Sammelkarte you can get it for 21.90. We need 5 more stickers, which means 50 francs worth of groceries from Coop - in the next few days! Gotta fill up those cards by August 8!

  4. Two things - you can still get great savings with the Coop points even if you dont use them for the mileage... but I end up using the Migros card more. Use whatever you use most and stick to it to save. Amanda has great tips here actually. :)

    As for the bank - you can pay it off early. Just call the bank (they have long service hours too!) and they will give you the numbers to use to pay it off early, just like you would pay an orange slip. So if you have something you need to book over 5k, you can do it this way if you do not want to or cannot book it on your bank card. Good luck!


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