Last month I wrote about what David Letterman might call “stupid mail tricks” — except they’re not stupid at all from the vendor’s point of view. They work.

So here’s another one, for your amusement, courtesy of my pal Alan Light in Iowa City. Alan writes that he got his Mileage Plus First Card Visa bill in the mail and that it included a “complimentary” offer “thanking” him for being a cardholder.

Imagine that — free phone calls, just as a perk of membership. What a great loyalty builder!

According to the payment envelope:


It’s our way of thanking you for
Being a FirstCard cardholder.

Each Phone Card provides 20 minutes of long
distance calling anywhere in the U. S. A. ….

…For activation, handling and shipping, $3.95
per card will automatically be billed to your First
Card credit card account.

Amazingly, there is no limit to the number of $3.95 complimentary cards you can ask for. So I advised Alan to ask for 100 of them — 2000 minutes of long distance FREE! (and just $395 in handling and shipping). It works out to just 20 cents a minute, or not much more than Alan pays now.


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