Sunday, July 13, 2014

Good Credit? Want Some More?

I seem to have hit a jackpot in the credit card applications contest. Although, truth be told, they are really pre-approved. Am I a lucky guy, or what?  I think I’ll go with “or, what” Alex for $100. 
It's not this easy anymore.

I didn’t realize that so few card companies (read - banks) offer up so many different cards for various customer needs.  What’s wrong with offering one card and allowing the consumer to pick their choice of award/reward?  Dunno. 

There are no bargains in these applications and all cards come with a $75. to $150. annual fee. The three cards I use have no fee and offer points, cash, or mileage. There is something wrong with this picture. Years ago, the card companies would target groups for certain cards and services.  Now, it’s  blanket mailings to anyone and everyone, hoping to net a few live ones to boost their sagging numbers.

My card companies run special deals throughout the year. 10% off all dining (breakfast, lunch or dinner)  for a month. 5% cash back for 90 days at certain retailers. Another will offer 5% off all gasoline and grocery purchases for a month or 3-month period.  These programs come in handy. 

I’ve been with American Express since 1974 and I’m a happy camper.  Special incentives aren’t so special if you don’t normally use the product or service, (I have no need of a 15% discount on major appliances, living in an apartment) so it’s easy for me to pick and choose as I wish.  Shopping sprees at high end department stores don’t do it for me anymore. The nearest Nordstrom or Sak’s is 90 miles away.  Hardly enticing having to plan the day around the parking for a few hours of shopping. 

As I may have mentioned before, the nearest low-brow mall is 45 miles from here. (J. C. Penney is the anchor store,so that should tell you all you need to know.) There is nothing in the world I want so badly that I’d drive that distance to get my hands on it.

So, where am I going with this?  Well I’ll tell you. The banks have taken a new tack with “follow-up phone calls” to sell you on their cards. I think it’s illegal, but when has that stopped the banks?  I’ve suddenly been receiving phone calls from 800, 866, and 888 exchanges. I don’t answer all the calls, but let them go to voicemail. Most are recorded messages asking if the application was received and if I have any questions. 

One call I answered was a live person (?) with a very bubbly attitude until I declined the offer. 
She:  We offer 6 different plan options for every card member.
Me: Do you offer one without an annual fee?
She: Oh no.  No card company does that any longer.
Me: Really?  Funny thing, I have three of those in my wallet right now.
She: Well, they must be very new cards, then…
Me: No, I’ve had them since the 1970s and 80s. So, unless you can offer a better option, please stop calling this number and remove it from your call list.
She hung up without even saying goodbye.   No need to be rude.  One less annoyance to contend with. In my experience the worst to deal with for nastiness and outright bullying are Barclay's, Chase, and Bank of America. BoA is really the pits.

And so it goes.



  1. those bastards send me mailings; I toss them in the shred pile. desperate much? fuck them!

  2. My go-to line: "please stop calling this number and remove it from your call list."


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