How many times have you been offered a Bj's, Costco, or Sam's Club Membership that will give you 2% back? The cashier will show you a total of how much you've spent this year and how much you would have earned if you had opted for that membership last year.
This year, I opted to sign up for Costco's Executive Membership--which costs $50 more than the basic membership. They do guarantee that if you don't earn $50 back in your 2% that you can go in and they will refund you the $50. But, it doesn't exactly work as you might expect... Or maybe you were expecting it. I just wasn't.
I got my 2% refund in the mail for $16.93. So, I went in and they gave me the remainder $33.07 in cash. The refund is really a credit to be used at Costco. I did need to renew my membership, so I opted to drop back to the basic membership, which costs $50. The cashier accepted the refund check and the $33.07 I'd just received to pay for next year's membership.
It was really interesting to me that this is how it worked out. I'm thankful that it did, actually. I won't be tempted again to say yes.
I think the saying is something like "when something seems too good to be true, it is". That's marketing--good marketing makes something appealing. It makes you want to commit and buy into an idea or product.
I'll be much more wary the next time I run into a similar proposition...