$1,000 Annual Fee For A Credit Card?

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Partial Transcript

[The following is a partial transcript of this episode of The Scott Alan Turner Show. Listen to the full episode to hear this story, listener questions, money hacks, and inspiring stories of people that are changing their financial lives. Subscribe to the free podcast on iTunes or Google Play]

In This Episode / Listener Questions

  • Would you pay $1,000 for a fancy credit card just to be seen? Some people would.
  • Should we look at a bigger house if we aren’t ready to buy (StarLord)
  • Where should I put my IRA (Han Solo, California)
  • When is it too late to contribute to a 401(k) (Star of Mine)
  • Is there better places to put emergency funds to earn more interest (Mike)
  • Should I be worried about the future (George)
  • Do I have too much money in my emergency fund (Andrew, Cincinatti, OH)
  • My CFP says we’re behind on our retirement (Brett)
  • Are there ways to hide money from an ex-spouse (Batman, Gotham City, NY)
  • My bad rental house experience turned out to be a good thing (Ma-ah-K-N-Z)
  • Finding a business idea from an aging grandparent.

Resources/links:

A complete stranger impressed me. He only had to spend $1,000 to do it on today’s rant.

So we’re in Napa Valley this weekend. You know about chili cook offs, BBQ competitions, salad cook offs attended by no-one ever. Katie books an Olive Oil tasting for us at Dariush winery. More coming up later on Olive Oil and how that industry is ripping people off. First, though, to the absolute stranger at Dariush wineries, whom we will never see again, you’ve done it my friend. Or rather, stranger. You’ve done it stranger.

He even got air time on a very popular personal finance show.

He must be just jumping for joy right now. Thinking to himself – I did it! I’ve finally arrived. Someone out there, who doesn’t know my name. Where I’m from. Couldn’t pick me out of a police lineup of alleged donut thieves. That person, he’s thinking, I impressed.

Well no, I’m not impressed. Nobody in my travel group was impressed. But, what do we know? We’re all just a bunch unsophisticated country bumpkins. I kind of liken myself more to the Beverly Hillbillies, but I digress.

Backstory. Katie books us this olive oil tasting, which I highly recommend as an experience if you go to Napa. Our group is in this private room down in the cellars. We’ve got wine, olive oil, cheese. The crazy thing about this olive oil, is we could smell what the guide said we would smell.

Unlike wine where people just make up stuff. It smells like burning tennis balls. It tastes like the moon if the moon were made of cherry pop tarts, drizzled with antique corrugated cardboard. Whatever.

Me and my caveman palette. Mmm, good. Mmmm not good.

We finish our olive oil tasting. There were six of us. At the register in the big entryway to this winery.

Oh, hello, what’s that? Look! Look!

Look at the stars
Look how they shine for you
And everything you do
They were all yellow

Almost. It was a yellow credit card. It was bright. And shiny. So it stood out. And you know me, as soon as we’re outside I’m googling what was that thing.

Lo! It’s a very special credit card by Amex. To get one, a person had to buy a $1,000 ticket to a special Amex event last fall. The yellow card, was designed – designed ok? – by Pharell, the rapper. Whose creative genius was stretched to infinity and beyond to come up with – the color yellow. It’s a credit card. And it’s yellow.

Look out Michelangelo, there is a new Renaissance king in town. What Michelangelo can do with 2 years and a sculptor’s chisel to carve David, Pharell can do with a Bic high lighter.

If you’re a bit like me, you’re thinking the same thing. Why would you spend $1,000 to get a yellow credit card?

For exactly this reason. To impress complete strangers, right?

A lot of people, spend a lot of money, to gain status. Status my friends is a fat wallet. Not a fat wallet full of receipts and 12 different kinds of gas cards. No, not the kind of wallet that can cause someone to sit at odd angles and cause their hips to be out of alignment. Resulting in a visit to the chiropractor.

The virtual fat wallet, loaded with bills. Which means you’re loaded.

Here’s a quote you may be familiar with:

“Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people that they don’t like.”

It’s been incorrectly attributed to Will Smith, the actor, and rapper.

Doesn’t come from King Ramses

It’s not from Will Rogers. It’s not from Fight Club. If it were from Fight Club, I couldn’t talk about it anyway.

Robert Quillen, 1921. He called it Americanism: “Using money you haven’t earned to buy things you don’t need to impress people you don’t like.”

What person would pay $1,000 for a ticket to an event just so they could get a yellow Amex card.

The kind of person that gets their self-esteem from impressing strangers they are never going to see again.

Out of spite, I ordered a white card from Capital One. And I’m going to put Paw Patrol stickers on it. Take that Amex! Complete stranger children are going to be wowed in the Walmart checkout line when I flash Sky and Chase of the Paw Patrol as I buy a loaf of bread. Stranger Danger no more.

According to one website: “Besides the yellow color, there’s nothing special about the credit card. It has the same annual fee, benefits and metal structure that you get from the regular Amex Platinum credit card. You will just feel a bit more special when you take it out of your wallet.”

And you will get celebrity talk show hosts to mention you – not by name – because I have no idea who you are – to mention that a person at the winery this weekend – where you also happened to be – now you can impress all your friends that you were mentioned – but not by name – on the radio.

That’s impressive.

Financial freedom doesn’t show up in a checkout line at the cash register. Unless you have financial freedom and do your grocery shopping in the middle of the day when everyone else is at work.

Financial freedom doesn’t show up in the color of your credit card. Unless you decide to do what my wife Katie did, and put a travel picture from when we went to Germany on our card.

Financial freedom doesn’t show up at a job someone hates. Unless you have the Take This Job and Shove It date circled on the calendar when you have financial freedom.

Ask your friends today if they have heard of the Amex Yellow Card. You can ask them if they know who Pharell is. You can ask them if they like olive oil.

Just don’t ask them about fight club.

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