Rape and Pillage Trilegiant for Free Gift Cards

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

Yesterday I posted about being shut down by Trilegiant for opening trial memberships for the promotional bonus and then cancelling. Trilegiant is a marketing company that runs several paid shopping club services with names like AutoVantage, CompleteHome, and Great Fun. Their standard MO is they advertise the service with a trial offer that is free or $1 for the first month and offer a free gift (usually a gift card) for trying the service. Your trial is only one month, and after that trial is up you are charged the full amount of an annual membership (usually about $120), unless you call to cancel.

Now, Trilegiant isn’t the most reputable company in the world. If you need proof of that just check out their BBB report, which list hundreds of complaints they just didn’t bother to respond to. This illustrates the need for caution when dealing with these people.

Can you make something off of these folks? Sure, you just have to be very careful. Raping and pillaging Trilegiant for free gift cards is pretty easy. Just remember the following:

  1. They offer multiple services and you can sign up for all of them, although I would recommend only doing one or two at a time to stay below their radar. The fiends over at SlickDeals have posted a good summary of their services and the available bonus offers for each here. If you use Mypoints.com, you can get 200 MyPoints for each service you sign up for through their site. Not all of them are offered, but it is better than nothing.
  2. Use a disposable or one-time use card when signing up for these offers. The disposable card numbers offered on old MBNA accounts now serviced by Bank of America and Charles Schwab Bank are perfect because they let you specify a dollar limit for that card number. If you don’t have a credit card that offers disposable card numbers with limits, Visa gift cards like the ones that some rebate offers pay with or that you can buy at Walgreens or the supermarket are good alternatives. Also, use disposable email addresses (just open a new Yahoo or Hotmail account) and phone numbers (see post on PrivatePhone here) to avoid unwanted telemarketing and spam. These folks have been known to charge your card without authorization, but if the card is one time use and has a limit of $2, the charge won’t go through!
  3. Make sure to write down your membership number and remember the address and phone information you provide on the membership signup, as you will need this for the bonus request forms as well as to cancel the service.
  4. Be sure to fill out the web form link or postcard for your promotional bonus. If you don’t fill it out and send it in, you won’t get the bonus! It isn’t automatic. The SlickDeals folks have linked them so you don’t even have to wait for Trilegiant to send it to you through email, but it is usually still best to wait a couple of days after signup to make sure the fulfillment service can see your membership in their system. Also, you can make your request from any of the open offers by just filling out the correct form, although you can still only do one signup bonus.
  5. Don’t shy away from the ones that offer a cash back rebate as the signup either. I did several of those and got almost all of them back paid, even when they shut down my other signups when I requested the gift cards. If you get the rebate forms offering the cash back once a quarter, be sure to hang onto those as well and use them. Even after cancelling the service, I’ve never had a problem with them paying those.
  6. Make sure you cancel the membership within the trial period or YOU WILL BE CHARGED! Be sure to write down your member number and the phone number for the service, along with the date you have to cancel by to avoid charges. When you call, be insistent on cancelling, and make sure you get a cancellation number. If you don’t have a cancellation number, there is nothing to prove you ever cancelled!
  7. Probably a good rule of thumb is to only signup up for each service every two to three months. Any more than that and you risk getting shut down.

It is worth noting that there is nothing in their terms of service that prohibits this, although they do reserve the right to cancel your memberships at any time, and I am an example that they will do that. However, this is a company that seems to take advantage of consumers, so it seems only fair that a few smart consumers take advantage of them. Have fun!


September 13, 2007 - Posted by | Deals

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