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The Frugal RVer: A shrewd way you may be eligible for “free” tires

A while ago we began this “Frugal RVer” column with hopes of teaching you some tricks to saving money while RVing. In the first part of this series we focused on saving money on food, fuel and firewood. Today, we’ll look at a way to get “free” tires for your RV.

Even the most trouble-free RV requires some big-ticket spending at times that even the most frugal RVer cannot avoid. One of those costly items is tires. I buy quality tires and never wear them out, but they “time out” at five to seven years. I note the date on my tires in the coach maintenance log and then replace them five to seven years later.

Tires for my coach, as an example, have jumped about 20 percent in price this year. Although I am several years away from replacing them, I am already planning the purchase.

By careful planning, you can take the sting out of the $4,000 – $5,000 tire bill by a tactic that I refer to as “free” tires.

“Free” tires? How?

Some years ago, I was always too busy to read my credit card statements. At the same time, my business was booming and involved almost continuous airline travel, rental cars, Uber and Lyft rides, hotel stays, restaurant meals, etc. I was paying those credit card balances every month without realizing that I was accumulating cashback and rewards points. One day, I awoke to my oversight when ordering an item from Amazon.com and discovered thousands of dollars in credit card member rewards from American Express and Bank of America. It happened that I also had arrived at that date on the calendar when I needed to replace six large, expensive coach tires at nearly $600 each. I used the accumulated rewards. It was like getting the tires for free.

While it can (and probably will) be argued that I was spending money earned through incentives, to me, not having to write that $3,600 check to the tire shop made it seem painless and, well, like free.

It’s easy and painless to build a slush fund for planned and unplanned expenses by the simple expedient of allowing your credit card cash and rewards funds to accumulate. I checked with both American Express and Bank of America, and both companies said that the rewards funds do not expire for the life of the credit card account, and there are few restrictions on where you may spend them.

If you missed the first part of this Frugal RVer series, with tips to save on food, fuel and firewood, you can read it here.

##RVT1033

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McTroy
1 year ago

Our cashback rewards pay for our camping trips. Just watch the fine print and don’t let rewards expire. And no need for an expensive annual fee to get good rewards either.

Fred
1 year ago

I would be ashamed to admit that I was using a credit card for years & not realizing I was building a huge rebate fund. It would give others the impression I was a brick shy of a pillar. I have several cards, one with 5% targeted rebate on gas, groceries, restaurants, etc.; another with 4% unlimited rebate on fuel; and a couple of other catchall cards with 2% rebate on everything. We also use a couple of diesel fuel cards that offer instant savings of $.30-$.50 per gallon, typically at truck stops. And I cash my rebates at least twice a year, some on Amazon purchases, & others directly to my bank account.

Mary Masters
20 hours ago
Reply to  Fred

I have found that typically, fuel prices at truckstops are higher, so what you think you were saving you might not really be saving at all

Tom
1 year ago

I can’t believe I really read this.While I do earn cash back I’m retired and not a business owner and live on a fixed annual income this won’t work for me a so many others.I agree create a fund for these big ticket items.

Bill H.
1 year ago

When I need new tires for my Class A I call my daughter’s Sister-in-Law who owns a truck tire dealership. She takes care of me.

Dave Telenko
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill H.

Awesome, how about posting her phone number LOL!!! Happy new Year
Snoopy

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