Things I Hate About Credit Cards


I generally do not bitch much about credit cards.  I love the rewards and the protection they offer, and I never pay interest, so what’s not to like?

1. May I Please Have Your Account Information?

Yes, it is exactly the same information that I entered three seconds ago in response to your automated system.  It hasn’t changed since then!@#$%$@

2. While I Activate Your Card, Allow Me To Recite Offers For All Sorts Of Scammy Add Ons.

Is scammy a word?  It is now! I get it, outbound telemarketing is now illegal, so you have to wait until I call you to pitch your “payment protection service” under the pretense that your computers are hard at work activating my card. We both know that this process used to be automated, but now I have to listen to this inane spiel (that is a word, it is derived from Yiddish).  The quickest way to end this call is to interrupt them and say, no thank you, I am in a big hurry and just need to activate my card.

3. Vague Rules For Rewards

Yes, I am all excited about the big Capital One promotion where they will match your miles. Sadly, the terms of the program are as clear as mud.  Do you need to prove that the miles were earned from a credit card?  The terms specify that you need to send in a single airline statement showing the miles you earned from your credit card. How can you do that without sending in multiple statements?  Will they accept online statements?  Do the miles have to come from the credit card, or can they just be any miles in your account?  I could go on.  I reached out to their PR contact, and we’ll see what they say.   At the same time, maybe they should have taken a few of the dollars they paid Alec Baldwin, and spend a few minutes working on a focus group with the crowd at FlyerTalk or MilePoint.

4. Unsolicited Checks That Count As Cash Withdraws

If there was ever a mailing that was begging to be intercepted and used fraudulently, it are those stupid checks they send you.  I am sure the bank would love for me to use them all over town incurring the highest interest rate on them, while starting to incur interest on all my other purchases that I intended to pay in full.  Why do they need you to activate your credit card if they are just going to mail this crap to you all the time.  I used to call each credit card company up and demand they don’t send these, but I just don’t have the time anymore.  These days I just shred them and move on.

5. Really Lame Reward Programs

Not everyone reads this blog.  How do I know? Because there are still tons of banks and retailers offering incredibly lame rewards cards. No, I do not want double worthless points when I use my grocery store affiliate card at the grocery store.  The same with the department store, the hardware store, the gas station, and every other retailer who’s management was impressed by the pitch from some bank and decided to offer their own store card.

6. Promotional Mouseprint

0% APR ON BALANCE TRANSFERS! (not counting the 3% balance transfer fee).  COMPLIMENTARY ACCESS TO AIRPORT LOUNGES (not counting the $29 fee for “complimentary” access). EARN 25,000 MILES, ENOUGH FOR A FREE AIRLINE TICKET (award space is limited to red-eye flights to Buffalo, NY in February and subject to our fees that we want you to think of as taxes but are not.)

7. We Provide Security!

I don’t care. The only one you are protecting is yourself, as cardholders are not liable for fraud.

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