Monday, August 5, 2013

How Discover Card Reward Can Save You Money During Last Minute Emergency

It is July 2012, and our 2002 Jetta broke down for the second time. The first time, was right before 5 P.M., after Spring Break, and my husband did not pick up the kids until 7:30 P.M. Thank goodness the after-school program instructors don't encounter this very often from us, and we were embarrassed to have inconvenienced everyone. On the plus side, this was the first time during this academic year. This time, the kids are at their day camp of a nearby public school, and I just woke up during a 2-3 hour nap during the day because I called in sick and am suffering from one of those chest colds. Despite, inhaling my asthma medication for the second time, I then took an uphill trek about a mile between Century City to their camp near Westwood Village. I told myself that if I returned with the kids before 6 P.M., I was going to make this car emergency situation better. So, here I was at 4:45 P.M., using my home phone to call Enterprise Online and my cellphone to call my local Enterprise. Here is what I did and how much I saved last minute.
As a background, one ought to know that nowadays, it is much better to save money by getting money back from a credit or debit card. I have written a hub on how this works with the Discover Card. One of the cash back deals is to double your $20 reward dollar at Enterprise. I didn't know how much a last minute economy car would cost to rent, but I was told $59. So, the way I did it at 5:00 P.M. (and the Enterprise office closes at 6 P.M.) was to order an instant e-certificate with a code on it, and with one phone with the person at Enterprise online and my cellphone with the local Enterprise office, I managed to book online with the Discover Card e-certificate, have the online representative contact the local representative to work out the inconsistent status on the availability of a less expensive car at the nearby location, and then have the online office confirm a reservation under my husband's name. The only task left was to locate my husband who was somewhere between the car dealership and home, and then call Enterprise for pick up. Meanwhile, I planned to stay with the kids. By 5:15 P.M., we were waiting for a phone call from Enterprise telling us that someone was outside.
Although we do not rent a car very often, we have always relied on Enterprise's model of picking up its customers to facilitate any plans of ours involving a rental car. Without having to dig and call around for discounts, this emergency cost us $20 in reward dollar and $19 in cash plus tax. However, it is nice to know that the emergency took place before the online and local offices closed, and it ends up being a solution with a built-in savings. Typically aren't we all used to paying full price during an emergency? We learned that the problems were a loose starter sensor and a worn fuel pump, the latter of which does not last beyond 100,000 miles. Ours was at 95,000 miles, and the cost to replace it was $628. So, the bottomline is that it is so important to save money during an emergency when you can because you might be paying a lot of money for other expenses.

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