I will always be a consumer advocate. But when it comes to the credit card madness of late, I come at it from two sides.
First, shame on credit card companies for conducting some real funny business for decades: Convincing consumers that a credit card agreement is a contract to be followed by both parties (no, it’s only applied to the borrower it seems) and to offer up the illusion that customer loyalty is something of worth. As my mother would say: ¡Sin vergüenza!
However, we, as consumers have got to get over the idea that we have real relationships with this business that we borrow from. Beyond the cutthroat world of moneymaking, this two-way relationship is an illusion. Credit card companies are businesses and they are bleeding out right now. That makes them ruthless. Ruthless means that they don’t care how long you’ve been ‘together’ and how much you threaten to leave them, they’re gonna do what they’re gonna do. So take the emotion and surprise out of it and look at your REAL plastic-relationship with cold, hard CFO eyes. Make these changes work for you. If you don’t carry a balance, blow off the snub of that interest rate hike to 30 percent--just don’t use the card or ever carry a balance. But leave it open, or you cut off your nose to spite your face by lowering your credit score.
Credit card companies are at the advantage now and we all feel like passengers on their gravy train. However, getting as savvy as possible as to how this all works and accepting that all relationships change over time and in response to changing times, is what puts you in the drivers seat. That, and not carrying a balance…