Pancake Gift Cards
Ah, gift cards. The perfect present when you want to say, “I was too busy to go to the mall and buy you a gift.”
And if you want to say, “In fact, you’re so unimportant, I bought your gift card while I was eating breakfast,” then head to a pancake house.
That’s right. Our local pancake shop is now offering gift cards — and, boy, do they have a great sale! Check this out…
You smell it coming, don’t you? No, not a stack of pancakes! I’m referring to the math question on the other side of that image.
Which is the best deal?
One way to attack this problem is to compare the free amount to the original price. That is, which fraction is greatest: 2/15, 4/25, 7/50, 11/75, or 15/100?
Ack. Too much work.
A better way is to do a piece-wise comparison:
- Which is better, $15 or $25? Clearly the $25. You get twice as much free for only $10 more.
- Which is better, $25 or $50? Well, two $25’s will get you $8 free, but for the same price, you’ll get one $50 card and only $7 free. So, the $25 card wins again.
- Which is better, $25 or $75? Well, three $25’s will get you $12 free, but for the same price, you get one $75 card and only $11 free. Don’t look now, but $25 is on a roll.
- Which is better, $25 or $100? Well, four $25’s will get you $16 free, but for the same price, you get one $100 card and only $15 free. There you have it, $25 is the champ.
Now that that’s out of the way, you can probably anticipate my next question.
Who the hell came up with this pricing scheme?
It’s not typical to get a smaller reward when you spend more money. Usually, the more you spend, the more you get free. Then again, it’s a pancake shop. Maybe they did some significant market analysis, recognized that no one could actually spend $100 on pancakes, and since $25 is a more common breakfast total, that’s the one that gets the biggest reward.
Or, maybe they just goofed up the math.
Sorry, I know no jokes about gift cards. But here are a couple about finance.
Why didn’t the mathematician report his stolen credit card?
The thief was spending less then his wife.
We didn’t exceed the budget. The allocation simply fell short of expenses.
I’m flat broke, so my financial advisor recommended plastic surgery: cut up all my credit cards.
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