CASH IS KING!
We’ve all heard it, right? But is it really? Still?
It seems you really can’t even function in today’s world without a debit card, credit card, department store card, or some other kind of “card”. In fact, I remember my late father getting so ticked because he never had (or believed in) any of those “cards” and would get so hassled for it whenever he traveled.
There was one time he was ranting to me because he’d tried to rent a car. The reservation representative told him he needed a “card” to rent one of their cars. He kept insisting that he had cash! They kept insisting on a “card”. Finally, they explained that the “card” would be authorized for the “incidental” deposit, then credited back if the car was returned with no damage. He told them he had enough cash to give them, and they could just hold that until he returned the car. They disagreed. He found alternate means of transportation.
Think about it, though. Car rentals, hotel reservations, etc., pretty much require a credit card. Department storesoffer “specials” and “discounts” for using their store credit card. And, even when you don’t run into that situation, they’ll incentivize you with a “loyalty” card. (Have you ever really thought about what information is being collected and analyzed about you every time you use that darn thing??) There are even some gas stations that ONLY accept a credit card of some kind as payment. Cash isn’t even an option.
IMAGINE MY SURPRISE…
A few months back, my son and I took a short road trip. Drivable in about five hours or so, I think. Short enough you didn’t mind driving; long enough you still had to fill the car up with gas a few times.
So… we’re on the drive back, watching the gas gauge, figuring out where the best place to stop might be, etc. Then, like an oasis in the middle of the Sahara (I kid you not; it was just like that!) stood a lone gas station and convenience store… just out in the middle of nowhere. (When you drive in the Midwest, though, almost everywhere seems like you’re in the “middle of nowhere”. Lol) It wasn’t even that great of looking establishment – but something caught my eye…
“2% DISCOUNT FOR CASH”
Well, since I’m all about saving money any and everywhere I can, I had to investigate further. We pulled in, and I read the sign more closely. (Life – and my natural inquisitive nature as it relates to all-things legal – has taught me to always look for and read “the fine print”. Are you with me?) There was no fine print! It said, “2% Discount for Cash” and nothing more. So, I had to step inside to confirm with the clerk.
“I saw your sign about a discount for paying in cash. How does that work?”
“Tell me that’s what you’re doing, and I’ll turn the pump on for you. When you’re done getting your gas and come in to pay, we’ll take 2% off the top if you pay in cash.”
Shut the front door!
Look, I know 2% isn’t that much, but it’s 2% more than I got to keep had I not paid in cash. Needless to say, I was stunned by this old-fashioned way of doing business (and my own excitement over saving money on a commodity that I feel is SO over-priced anyway) that I immediately took advantage of this offer. Now, in reality, that merchant is really just saving themselves the expense and inconvenience of dealing with a credit card processor that charges them that 2% for processing every single “card” transaction. Regardless, I was satisfied with the treasure I’d found and money I’d “saved”.
The moral of the story? We may live in a credit-hungry, “card” happy world nowadays, but, if you look (or even ask, which I’ve learned to do now and, surprisingly, you get more similar “discounts” when you ask for the option), you can still find proof…
CASH IS KING!