Saturday, August 26, 2006

Credit Cards

Honestly, how many do we really need? Do we really need any?

Checking my wallet I have eight, count them, eight freakin' credit cards in my wallet (plus one debit card)! Sadder still, that's just the ones I carry. I also have a debit card and some English credit cards that I only use, you guessed it, when visiting the UK...!

I have a Citi Home Rebate Platinum Select card for cash back towards my mortgage, an American Express Blue Cash card for use at Costco, my low interest Bank of America Platinum Plus for big purchases, Alaska Airlines Platinum for air miles, another Bank of America Platinum (no idea why I have this one), a Capital One Business Platinum card in some effort to build a credit rating for my business, an REI Visa for the once a year I spend a fortune at REI (regular plastic, no metals) and hell, why not carry a United Mileage Plus gold class card for even more air miles...?

Looking at this stack of cards makes me wonder just what the hell it is I plan to purchase - a small island maybe? Two of those cards mentioned I had forgotten I even had! If I lost my wallet I'd just have to call all the credit card companies and ask them if I have an account, and if so, could they please cancel it. At least I don't have a shopaholic card (your choice of colors)...

The other thing I notice is that they've started making up new card classifications just so they can give you more cards. Platinum is different than platinum plus and platinum select how exactly?

I've managed to fix my credit and I suppose this is the down side, but it's sort of shocking. It wasn't that many years ago that I had to pay $60 a year for a card with a $250 credit line and 24% interest. Having put in the effort to fix my credit I'm careful, but I can see how so many people build such massive credit card debt. Give somebody the power to buy an island and they just might!

I need to get rid of some of these. It's time I went for my semi-annual call up and negotiate or cancel session. Try it sometime, it works. It's weird what good credit will do for you. Just call up each card, ask what your limit and interest rate are. Then ask for a better rate and/or higher limit. Some will even offer extra bonuses like 0% on balance transfer for the next year, etc. When your done calling, cancel the worst card.

Anyway, nobody is actually reading this, so I'll end here...

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