|by Jason Steele|
The CARD act becomes effective next Monday! When I started writing for AskMrCreditCard a year and a half ago, George W. Bush was the President, and it was unknown if newcomer Barack Obama would be able to hold off the established candidate John McCain in the upcoming election. Increased credit card regulations had been proposed, but had gotten nowhere. Now, the new regulations are less than a week away and I am getting giddy with anticipation. Ok, not really, but it is exciting for a credit card guru like your’s truly.
Notifications Are Coming
Some of what I find interesting is all of the notifications that I have been receiving. Some are written as technically as possible, just like any other notice that your rates are going up or that they are imposing new fees. Only be actually reading the content of the notification do you find out that all of the changes are in your favor. Other notices that I am seeing are spinning the regulations as a great new feature that the bank is thrilled to be offering you, its valuable customer. Unsaid is how much it spent in lobbying to fight the bill. Also unmentioned is why they are waiting until the last possible moment before required by law to offer these features.
In the end, I suppose I like the sterile, if honest, technical explanation over the highly spun sugar coated notice.
There Actually Are Capitol One Branches
Just after writing that there is no such thing as a Capitol One branch bank to which one could post their inane grievances in the form of graffiti , I happen to visit Austin, Texas for a weekend of food and fun, only to notice several Capitol One branches around town. Nevertheless, I was able to restrain myself from taping a piece of paper to the ATM expressing my outrage that they didn’t print the APR on my Capitol One Visa card.
While in the Austin area, we stopped into the famous Salt Lick restaurant in nearby Driftwood Texas. My wife speculated that no one would visit a barbecue restaurant on Valentine’s day, while I had a hunch that she had misjudged the dating and eating habits of Texans. We knew that we found something special when we saw hundreds of cars parked behind the restaurant, foretelling the hour and a half wait to be seated. Let’s just say that the wait was worth it, as we eventually enjoyed some of the best barbecue we had ever tasted. We even took some to go, vacuum sealed it, and brought it home with us to Denver.
What does any of this have to do with credit cards? It just so happens that the Salt Lick does not take credit cards. No matter, when your product is that good, people will bring cash. Just remember, merchants are not required to have credit cards, they choose to. Other chose to be cash only. To each their own.