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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Preface- GM’s lackluster treatment of the awesome Volt has done me in.

In 1992, while still an active duty naval officer stationed in Charleston, SC, I received a credit card offer for the best deal some of you probably don’t even remember. GM’s initial card offering was 5% UNLIMITED rebate toward the purchase of any new GM vehicle. I could actually buy an entire car on rebate! Wow! Had times changed.

When I graduated college several years earlier, banks were stingy with credit. I couldn’t even get a Visa card from AAA after joining. I had to borrow a friend’s card to purchase a washer/dryer after I was commissioned. Indeed, it turned out to be USAA who gave me my first real credit card. But somewhere along the way, things changed. They started throwing credit at people- and giving us money BACK!!!

For those of us who bought new GM cars, there was no sweeter deal. My GM card became my everything card. I was able to build up the rebate fast and got over a thousand bucks back just a year and a half later when I bought a 1993 Buick Roadmaster. That was the first of 7 vehicles I received rebates on totaling over $15,000 (resulting from over $300,000 in purchases). However, the sweet deal was not to last. After a handful of years, GM sent me a letter that, henceforth, my rebate limit would be capped at $500 per year and those rebates had a 7 year shelf life. The math shows that the card becomes pointless after you spend $10,000. My ‘everything’ card was relegated to the back of my wallet for most of the year, and I had to watch how much I spent before I reached that limit. It actually grew quite cumbersome to manage.

But I did keep playing the game, because I knew I would keep buying GM cars. My second highest rebate was (and still is, but I had to be grandfathered) 2% unlimited cash back from my Sam’s Club MC. GM has altered the card details multiple times in the intervening years. First, they restored unlimited rebate accumulation, but limited the amount applied to a vehicle. Last year, I believe, they sort of returned it to my condition, but now the 5% only works up until $250, with a smaller percentage after that. But the key is REBATE…if you don’t buy a new GM vehicle, you get NOTHING. And my certainty of buying new GM vehicles has fallen off a cliff.

I bought two 2012 Volts (which are now in the hands of offspring) and now have a 2017 Volt, which is outstanding. GM’s ability to build an exceptional electric vehicle cannot be questioned. However, commitment by management to actually sell the car is pathetic. They have mechanisms they could use to give the dealers incentives to keep them on the lot. I find it a challenge to see any 2017 Volts on lots- even though my dealer told me they could have sold mine three times over before I picked it up. GM won’t show the Volt in pictures of the Chevy family. I could go on, but other forum members here make nearly daily complaints about the same issues.

I pick up my Tesla Model X on 6/15. We are on the Model 3 reservation list. Bob Lutz cited Tesla as motivation to build the Volt. We can assume that the same sentiment exists for the upcoming Bolt. GM’s lukewarm embracement of electric propulsion is perhaps best exemplified by its failure to do ANYTHING toward a national charging network, very much unlike Tesla.

Early on, I noticed some members using the phrase, ‘No Plug, No Sale’ and that is something I have embraced. For dozens of reasons, the future of transport must be electrification. Yet, even after proving what it could do with the Volt, GM would be happy to sell all the Silverados (etc) and show that its profit model is very much wrapped up in an automotive dead end.

I am not sure, and probably doubtful, that all my future cars will be Teslas. However, in my eyes, GM has gone from being the car maker of choice to the ‘also rans’ category. It certainly is NOT the car maker that I should lock up cash-back dollars with, especially with an expiration date. I do believe that the current program has no annual fee, but that let down after $250 really becomes anemic when you realize that I signed up for a card when you could conceivably buy the whole car with rebate. Between business and home Sam’s Club (grandfathered) cards, I accumulate nearly $3000 of REAL CASH every year. The amount available from GM is paltry in comparison. And my view of the future of electrified automobiles is apparently very different than that of GM management. Bob Lutz made it clear that GM was NOT blazing this trail and subsequent lack of marketing and lack of dealer availability shows that nothing has changed. Heck, GM puts the icing on the cake when intervening in state legislature’s decisions over Tesla’s direct sales model. If they can’t win honestly, they’ll sabotage the guy who is leading. Disgusting.

So, after 24 years, my account has been closed. The reason I type this up is in the hope that somehow it can make it back to GM that a loyal customer like me can part ways because they treat electrification as a compliance measure- instead of the FUTURE of the business. My future is NOT brand specific, as it was in 1992. It is now ALL about getting us off these blasted fossil fuels, which foul our environment, rack our economy and condemn our grandchildren to a future that I don’t want to think about.

Edit: I probably should have written this straightaway, but because of a follow on comment, I am adding this-
This is NOT to say that I will never buy another GM product. This IS to say that I won't lock up cash money to do so. This GM card is akin to, but worse than, those 'points' cards. At least with points cards, they give you a variety of things to choose. Every other card I have is CASH back. I can still use 2% CASH on a GM car if they ever come around to fully embracing EVs. The $500 I was able to accumulate from GM has come at the expense of $200 I would have earned on my other card. The $300 difference was 'money in my pocket' as long as I bought a new GM car. Since the certainty is now gone, better to have $200 of REAL money than $500 of 'maybe' money. Also note that this rebate money from GM is subtracted from the BOTTOM line- AFTER sales tax is calculated, so there was no inherent advantage from that concept, either.

Another edit (another thought). It really ticks me off that the current wave of credit card rewards continues to foster the fossil fuel addiction. They shout their highest cash back percentage...on gasoline...argh
 

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I can see dropping the GM card if you don't like it, but why stop buying the Volt or never buy the Bolt, or w/e else GM comes out with, just because of the rewards changes? You can switch to Tesla, sure, but there is no Tesla Mastercard that you earn rewards with towards a new Tesla. I guess I don't get your point.
 

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I can see dropping the GM card if you don't like it, but why stop buying the Volt or never buy the Bolt, or w/e else GM comes out with, just because of the rewards changes? You can switch to Tesla, sure, but there is no Tesla Mastercard that you earn rewards with towards a new Tesla. I guess I don't get your point.
You missed the point of his post... the straw that broke his back was the "no plug no sale" due to GM refusing to invest a nickle into charging infrastructure. He is not going to tie up "rebate" money on the hopes that GM pulls their head out of their Butt and starts investing in charging infrastructure. If GM does get smart, he still can earn plenty of cash back on his other cards and use that money towards purchasing a GM vehicle... but the GM rebate can not be applied to a new Tesla if GM does NOT invest in charging infrastructure.

Keith
 

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I'm not a GM fanboy, but the Volt is a fantastic car.

Pure BEVs are not a good fit for our lifestyle, so Tesla is off the table for us.

The Volt is our primary car, but our family also needs a second larger vehicle. For that, we're looking at the Outlander PHEV and the Pacifica PHEV.
 

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Even if they're a restatement the OP's post is useful for keeping this matter squarely up front. Having freshly arrived at a Volt a couple of months ago I was both delighted and appalled with what GM is accomplishing with the Volt. Here's a genuine mass-production technical marvel, a manufacturable engineering home run. One would think that the stodgy folks at GM would be the engineers while marketing and sales would be sprightly and eager to have a good story to tell, but it's quite the reverse. The resonance of the customer side of GM with this product is at the Sorbothane level.

And at least a passing nod to charging infrastructure is a key marketing matter (as Tesla demonstrates, routinely gravitating straight to good buzz as usual), completely ignored in this case. Proprietary charging networks make about as much sense as car-brand-specific gas stations but hood ornaments made no rational sense either. If folks are attracted to hood ornaments, bolt one on and get to selling.

This is sort of a generational matter, surely. Surely there are people at GM who are champing at the bit to do the other half right, to complement stellar practical engineering with both-feet-in marketing and sales. But first a lot of people must retire from the company.
 

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You missed the point of his post... the straw that broke his back was the "no plug no sale" due to GM refusing to invest a nickle into charging infrastructure. He is not going to tie up "rebate" money on the hopes that GM pulls their head out of their Butt and starts investing in charging infrastructure. If GM does get smart, he still can earn plenty of cash back on his other cards and use that money towards purchasing a GM vehicle... but the GM rebate can not be applied to a new Tesla if GM does NOT invest in charging infrastructure.

Keith
funny that you should mention charging infrastructure... i've had my 2013 volt for over a month now and in my area the only fast charge stations in the area at the several FORD and NISSAN dealerships (free and available 24hr). So while the Volt outsells the Fusion Energi and Nissan Leaf by wide margins; they still see the value of making the charging station available... But Chevy doesn't.
 

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I have $11,000 in GM card points now.

I just bought two Honda vehicles. :(

My family just isn't on board.
 

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I had one of the original cards with unlimited earnings. At the time, I was in grad school and didn't have the money to take full advantage. However, I did buy a couple of cars over the years in the early years including a 2003 Pontiac Vibe when I was able to use $3,000 of earnings. But then I put the card aside for a while in favor of one that earned US Savings Bonds (seemed novel at the time, and a good way to build up a rainy day fund). Eventually I got back to using the GM card, and I can still earn $500 a year at the 5% rebate rate since I never fell for any of the offers to trade in my card for the various alternatives. I've been playing the game to build up the $500, then I switch to an airline card. Overall, I've redeemed $11,500 which included a $1,000 bonus earnings this spring. I've always gotten an exemption to the redemption limits. The only annoyance is they cut the credit limit to $5,005 during the 2008 credit crunch and won't raise it even though i've never missed a payment and have other cards with limits many multiples of that. Overall the card has been good for us and we'll continue to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I just paid cash
Well, I paid cash too, for the 2017 Volt I bought in March. I just paid $2000 less cash because of the 4 years worth of rebate I accumulated since I bought my last Volt in 2012 (again, $500 per year, maxed out)...if I had used my 2% cash back Sam's Card over the last 4 years for those same GM card purchases, I would have been short $1200 in the bottom line out of my pocket. Like I said, if you KNOW you are going to be buying GM vehicles, it was a deal...but that deal is gone now for anyone signing up for the current GM card.

However, if you meant you paid cash instead of using a credit card, the well disciplined credit card user comes out ahead- that means paying off the balance each month. Credit card interest will quickly wipe out rebate savings. I use my credit card for virtually everything, keeping the same cash in my pockets for months at a time. Cell phone bills can be paid by credit card, but most other utilities want funds from a bank.
 

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I am a happy GM cardholder. I used card $$'s and the $2500. Volt cash last fall to make a sweet deal on a new Silverado. I'm not too wrapped up in how GM market's their vehicles, but am pretty impressed with the way they build them. The Silverado is my fourth new GM vehicle in the past 6 years and each one (including the Volt) have been zero defect vehicles. That's more than I can say for the last new Honda and Toyota I had.

Good luck with the Model-X. I doubt that it will be a zero defect vehicle.
 

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I have $11,000 in GM card points now.

I just bought two Honda vehicles. :(

My family just isn't on board.
I bought $5000 GM card points from a friend for $4000 and applied the points to my Volt purchase with GM approval, for a net $1000 "discount" on the purchase.
 

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...
This is sort of a generational matter, surely. Surely there are people at GM who are champing at the bit to do the other half right, to complement stellar practical engineering with both-feet-in marketing and sales. But first a lot of people must retire from the company.
The problem with that is the people who get promoted to leadership positions do so because they maintain the tradition and status quo i.e., the corporate MO.
 

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I suspect it is the credit card companies that have killed the program and not necessarily GM. Visa and MC and the others are ruthless and also, the points are largely funded by merchant fees and merchants are getting tired of funding point programs as it really subtracts from their bottom line. In Canada, the GM card was phased out after an agreement could not be reached between TD and GM.

Everything changed too after 2008 and with low interest rates persisting it was hard to offset via investing. I would not blame GM totally for this. At least you got to take advantage of it while it lasted. No one else in the auto industry offered such a great program.
 

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Seems a little histrionic for a credit card. Credit cards are fungible. Don't like one card's gasoline discount, get one with another benefit.


Good luck with your Model X, I fear that you'll have a lot of money locked up in that and that the the reliability of many of the features is going to be problematic.
 

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You missed the point of his post... the straw that broke his back was the "no plug no sale" due to GM refusing to invest a nickle into charging infrastructure. He is not going to tie up "rebate" money on the hopes that GM pulls their head out of their Butt and starts investing in charging infrastructure. If GM does get smart, he still can earn plenty of cash back on his other cards and use that money towards purchasing a GM vehicle... but the GM rebate can not be applied to a new Tesla if GM does NOT invest in charging infrastructure.

Keith
I love how the assumption is that GM isn't coordinating with existing public charging providers. Just because GM isn't funding it doesn't mean that GM isn't influencing and supporting it.

And I, for one, do not support the idea of public chargers at dealerships. Why do I want to go out of my way to hang out at a dealership for 30 minutes to an hour? You literally have the highest concentration of vehicles in one spot, and as EV become more popular, you will be competing with all of the EVs on the lot as well as customers coming in for servicing.
 

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You missed the point of his post... the straw that broke his back was the "no plug no sale" due to GM refusing to invest a nickle into charging infrastructure. ...
Right, and there are no GM only gas stations.
Why should one EV/EREV manufacturer get into the charging infrastructure business? There are so many EV's now.

Would it be a GM EV only charging system? Does that make sense?
That is Tesla's model of Free for Life electricity at their Superchargers. Let's see how that model holds up long term.
 

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As already pointed out rebate programs are funded by the 2 to 3 percent added on the price at the merchant level. People without a card still pay the 2 to 3 percent. Our free rides on the credit cards are also funded by the folks paying 28 percent interest on carrying a balance. We are having a great time and they will probably never get out from the crushing debt.

Those of us with the money should be funding charging stations.
 

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I don't buy into the concept that GM has some sort of responsibility for developing charging infrastructure. Tesla's infrastructure works great but only if you're a Tesla owner. It's akin to driving your Ford into a gas station and finding signs on the pumps that say "Chevrolets Only." And wouldn't it be fun if the car manufacturers owned all the refineries? In the real world GM makes cars, Clipper Creek makes chargers, and Charge Point sells charging services. What's the problem?
 

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I don't buy into the concept that GM has some sort of responsibility for developing charging infrastructure. Tesla's infrastructure works great but only if you're a Tesla owner. It's akin to driving your Ford into a gas station and finding signs on the pumps that say "Chevrolets Only." And wouldn't it be fun if the car manufacturers owned all the refineries? In the real world GM makes cars, Clipper Creek makes chargers, and Charge Point sells charging services. What's the problem?
One of the problems I have experienced with my LEAF is there are too many LEAFs and i3 that have the "no-charge-to-charge" cards. Because its free for them (for a limited time), they take up the charge stations to "top off". In this situation I think Nissan and BMW should promote charge stations to accommodate those of us who will pay but can't access the chargers in a convenient manner. Around here the DCFCs at Nissan dealers are not free, but I have not used them even when I would pay. I would rather pay at the DCFCs near Trader Joes or Whole Foods. At least I can get something to eat or drink.
 
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