Don't Take Spending Advice From Tina Fey

Tiny Fey is funnier and wealthier than I’ll ever be. According to a quick Google search, she has a net worth of $45 million. Barring extremely massive stupid decisions, she won’t have to worry about money the rest of her life. That being said, I need to call her out. Her American Express commercials give downright bad spending advice. She can do what she wants with her money, but when she starts giving out harmful advice, I have to take a stand. Sorry Tina, I can stay silent no longer.

I was minding my own business, watching a little TV, and the ads came on. I was actually working on another blog post, but I couldn't let the absurdity of the commercials go unnoticed.

In the commercials, Tina Fey gladly busts out her American Express card to pay for things. Nothing wrong with that on the surface. but then she starts paying for other people, simply because she gets cash back. Unless American Express has some new 101% cash back rewards program I don’t know about, she is making terrible spending decisions.

The commercials don’t specify the percentage cash back she gets for each purchase, but let’s assume a relatively high 3%. If she spends $100 on someone else, she would get $3 back. I’m not sure what she gets so excited about, but she ends up with $97 less than she had before swiping her card. Credit card companies do an unbelievable job in convincing people they are making a wise financial decision every time they swipe their card.

Let me be clear on something. I’m all for altruism and spending money on other people, but these ads are not espousing the virtues of charity. American Express is trying to get you to spend more and to feel better about doing so. Credit card rewards are enticing but it is foolish to overspend to get some minuscule reward.

I’m not against credit cards IF they are used responsibly. It’s ads like the ones above that encourage stupid financial decisions. If you want more information on how to use a credit card responsibly, check out my post, “9 Rules For Using a Credit Card.”

I hesitated writing this post because who watches commercials anyway? Then I got to thinking... companies spend a ton of money running these commercials, and these companies aren’t stupid. Clearly, a ton of people are making the commercials a worthwhile investment for the credit card companies.

Please don’t fall for stupid ads. Don’t mindlessly spend money to earn pennies on the dollar in rewards. Trust me, it isn’t a winning formula.

Does anyone else get as frustrated as I do when they see those American Express TV ads? What other commercials feature terrible financial advice?