May 27, 2024
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May 27, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

As children we occasionally played cards. War, Old Maid and as we got older, canasta came into the picture. Nina remembers when relatives who were greatly affected by the Nazi atrocities would come to her parents’ home to play cards on Nittel Nacht (Christmas Eve) and there is evidence that many years ago in Europe boys were encouraged not to be in the beis medrash on that night because there was a fear of pogroms and unfathomable behavior directed to Jews.

Today we find the world is playing with a different type of cards. Upon our move from Canada to the United States one of the most frustrating experiences that we had was that we could not get a credit card. Despite the fact that we had perfect credit in Canada and that we did have some American cards such as Macy’s for at least 30 years prior to moving here no matter what we did we were denied a card.

Finally we were able to convince the powers above to grant us a credit card and we laugh now when in our mailbox everyday are at least three different companies offering the stars, the sun and the moon to open up an account with them. As we walked by the Columbia University campus a few months ago during orientation week, we laughed at all of the credit card companies that were lined up with individual tables on the sidewalk literally begging students to sign up with them. We guess that their credit rating was better than ours. (Perhaps they were convinced that mommy and daddy would be paying anyway). We think that is only a Jewish phenomena–where parents give children credit cards and they spend as they like and their parents pay the bill.

Over the past year we have learned that the idea is not just to get a card but to get one that will offer the most benefits. We never really thought about it before. All that is necessary is to read Dan’s Deals and figure out which card will give you the most rewards. However, forgive us for saying this–who can read Dan’s Deals and understand it? For gas use one card and then switch it over to the Avion card which will then help with the Starwoods Preferred Guest Card and then don’t forget to use the Jetblue Amex because you can get so many free trips and then when you have checked be sure to go to Chase Freedom because they are giving back dollars for every dollar spent and on and on and on. The piece de resistance (French for the most astounding) is that you call a certain telephone number to reach a group of Yeshiva bochurim who will assure you that you can get thousands of dollars back if you give them permission to open Amex business cards in your name. They open the cards – use the cards for spending on transportation and then send you a check for the points which you have accrued (we think). We did try it and it did work. It was done without one partner of this couple’s knowledge. All of this is supposedly legal with full page ads in the holiest of newspapers and magazines–such as Ami and Hamodia etc.

The expertise of the credit card seems to be a shiur which is given in many yeshivas. Ask any young man learning in a black hat yeshiva and he will be able to tell you which credit card is best for your needs.

We are not sure if this expertise would also be in existence in the YU Beis Medrash it may very well be. Too bad that most of these business whizzes are not thinking of getting an MBA from Wharton or Columbia. Their individual innovations could go a long way.

We know is that we are not able to keep up with this modern day accomplishment. We use our Amex and in stores where they do not accept it we use our Visa. Life is becoming too complicated for us and we can’t stand the extra weight in our wallets.

By Rabbi Mordechai And Nina Glick

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