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Poor Credit Cards Can Make A Bad Impression

09/01/2007

Having a poor credit history and using a credit card designed for those with poor credit may not only cost you more in terms of higher annual fees, higher APRs, other miscellaneous fees, but it may also affect your career earnings. How is that so? Well, here are a couple of incidents that occurred not too long ago.

Financial Advisor with Subprime Credit Card – A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine had an appointment to meet a financial advisor that cold called him. He asked me to come along as he knew I write about finance stuff on my blog and thought that I knew more about money than him! He wanted me to come along (not to say anything), but to size up this person.

This person introduced himself to my friend and went through the routine of asking my friend about his finances, how he invested, what his financial goals were etc etc. The meeting ended after 40 minutes and the financial advisor offered to pay for our coffee. He picked up the tab and took out his credit card to pay. To my horror, I recognized that card as the First Premier Bank credit card! This is card that only people who have poor credit carries. Now, let me be clear about one thing – I have nothing against people who have bad credit and carry subprime credit cards. But when a financial advisor carries such a card, that does not give a good impression at all. After all, how can you trust an advisor with money when he carries a credit card that is for people with poor credit?

Friend upgrades to American Express Business Gold Rewards Card – Another friend of mine is a very successful commercial real estate broker. The credit cards that he has are the Citi PremierPass(SM) Card and the Citi Upromise Card.

One day, he asked me my opinion of which card was best for him. I proceeded to ask him questions about how he used his credit cards, how much he spent on the cards he had and what sort of rewards he was looking for? We discussed the pros and cons of different cards and reward programs. But after a while, he said that he really need to get a card with a certain “status symbol”.

I then mentioned to him I had the American Express Platinum Card. He then asked me about the fees and the benefits. I told him I got the card so that I could review it and talk about it on my blog! On the spot, he decided to the get the Business Gold Rewards Card from American Express. He said he needed to get a “prestigious” card because he is always talking to and dealing with very successful commercial real estate investors. Carry anything other than an American Express Card will not do for him!

Be careful which card you carry – If you have poor credit, then you probably have no choice but have a subprime credit card. But if you are in a sales position or a financial advisor, attorney and other “high profile” careers, carrying the right credit card is very important. My real estate friend even went through the effort of getting an American Express card which charged a higher annua fee. For him, prestige and the card you carry says a lot about you.

If you have a poor credit credit card, hopefully this post will motivate you to improve your credit score quickly so you can get a no annual fee regular credit card. But for some of us in certain professions, perhaps we do have to think about the type of credit card design, prestige and impression that our card carries. Having a poor credit credit card may actually hurt your career (or at least immediate sales opportunities).

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2 Comments
September 1, 2007 @ 10:35 am

In the UK it’s very hard to distinguish a “prestige” card from a run of the mill mass market card as Platinum cards have become the norm.

There are ‘Black’ cards however these say less about your status than your willingness to stump up £200 or so per year for a bundle of benefits woth much less. The most difficult card to obtain that I know is the Barclaycard ‘Simplicity’ card which has a threshold twice that of a standard card. Ultimately credit cards as status symbols is probably a bit silly.

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Kellerman
July 29, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

Hi, Mr Credit Card, I totally agree with your opinion about this impression, I always carry my AMEX platinum with any purchase even a coffee from starbucks? I will still carry it even I don’t travel a lot this year, there is no need for me to switch back to ugly blue cash which is no annual fee, you know what Mr Credit Card, I will pay $5000 initial fee and $2500 annual fee for the “Centurion” if I could get it, unfortunately, I cant reach the spending amount yet, because it can significant indicates the symbol of elite and separate the different from others, :)) Thank you for your blog Mr credit card

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