Thursday, April 1, 2010

Exciting News

This morning, I received in the mail an exciting description of the new upgrades being placed on the credit card I cancelled a few weeks ago. I thought it was a letter of regret, saying in effect we're sorry you cancelled your card, but we fulfilled your wishes.

But no. They're trying to re-fuel my wildest dreams.

Now, I'm not concerned about the right hand here not knowing what the left has done; I've seen enough big-company tomfoolery to know that marketing doesn't get weekly updates from the failures in the retention department. What makes me laugh about this particular card -- side from its ruinous rate of interest, which is why it got cancelled -- is the breathless way in which the upgrades are being touted.

To avoid confusion, I'll come out and say it's for Up until a few weeks ago, I had two credit lines. Both are now dead. Oh, I've read the arguments against cancelling credit lines like this, the "risks" such a move can pose to credit scores and such. I'm not all that worried about it. If our available credit has dipped by a few thousand dollars, that's good news for me, because that's less interest we're paying down the road. We don't carry excessive consumer debt anyway, but getting rid of the cards just ensures that satus quo remains the status quo.

The big news is that if I used said cancelled card for purchases at gas stations, dining establishments and drugstores, I could earn more Amazon points. Let me pause and say right now: Whoop-dee-doo. I've been earning Amazon points all along the way, friends. But because I made so damn few purchases -- not the average $500 every three months Amazon encourages in this amazing upgrade offer, and that's just for Amazon purchases and does not include the average $1,200 every three months they predict I could spend on gas, food and Band-Aids, nor the $1,100 I could spend "everywhere else [major credit cards] are accepted." I mean, wow, I could earn 5,000 points every three months, 20,000 a year. That's almost enough to earn me one round-trip plane ticket via the valuable Amazon points, nevermind that I can't afford to go anywhere because I'm too busy paying off the $11,200 I put on the card to earn those points.

Who comes up with these averages? Who in their right mind would do this kind of spending every three months? Not us, and certainly not at 19.9 percent interest, which is the fabulous rate I got even when I was a customer in good standing on this card. See why I cancelled? And the points argument -- getting something of value in return for my purchases, even if balances are paid off every month -- doesn't float with me, because it would take us years to rack up the points. And, no, we're not going to use a credit card just to earn points. Funny thing about us, we pay cash for most of the things we buy. Less interest paid that way, you know. So I say "ptoo" to your upgraded rewards points program.

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