Dealings with credit card companies are never pleasant. But dealing with anyone who is doing their best to gouge every penny they can from their customer is never pleasant. That’s why I love my American express card. I know they are a business and they are making money but I appreciate the fact that they treat me like an adult not a moron.
What is really interesting is that when we (baby boomers) were young, we couldn’t get an American Express card because we couldn’t qualify. At least I couldn’t until an executive at American Express had the hots for my business partner and made sure we all got gold cards. VISA didn’t care about qualifying. They sent cards to everyone. Sometimes two or three cards. Sometimes 10 would arrive in one day. They even found me when I was living in my car and using the women’s room at the Hyatt on Capital Hill. Yes, someone from VISA came banging on my stall one morning to get me to fill out the form.
But I didn’t because I didn’t trust anyone who so wanted me that badly. They seemed desperate to corner the market or at least to establish some kind of customer loyalty. Like we were there for you when you had nothing so we want to reap the benefits now that you have something. Over the years I enjoyed my American Express but I couldn’t use it everywhere. They charged the vendors too much so they started to accept only VISA and MasterCard. So I got a VISA. From US Bank for no good reason except it came on a day when I decided I needed a card. And for fifteen years they seemed OK. Credit cards are horrible. We use them because they are easy but they come with a price. Take US BANK, for example. Please take them…. No. Well I don’t blame you. And I’m sure I am not alone and they are not the only gonifs (that’s a real thief in Yiddish) , in the credit card business. But they are right up there. I think they may be the single only credit card company (VISA) that offers absolutely nothing in return for their business. No mileage, no gas, no nothing. For about the last six months I have been getting my statement about two days before it’s due. Sometimes I am away. People go away. If you have two weeks to respond to something then you might be able to act in a timely manner but two days is usually impossible. So I ask myself, why after 15 years have I received my bill so late. For fifteen years I never paid a late charge or finance fee. I always pay my bills on time and in full. They were not making any money on me. I am not the customer they want. They want to charge late fees and finance charges because that’s what makes them rich.
Do I think they conspired against me specifically. Well no. Even though, as I have said before, it’s all about me, even I don’t think they’ve singled me out. I think they do it to large numbers of people. I think they will do anything to make a buck. That’s the unfortunate news about the convenience of a credit card. The good news is that there are so many credit card companies, a person will never be at a loss to find one. I had hoped, that if I was forced to look beyond American Express, that Trader Joes would have their own card, but they may be the single only corporation that doesn’t. Disappointed as I am I will find another card, which I will use only occasionally and only when I can’t use my American Express. Oh, and by the way. I cancelled my US Bank card for two reasons. 1). I am exhausted from trying to get the payment out in such haste and 2). because Ellise (she was the supervisor) talked to me like I was six years old… That’s probably the age of their new targeted customer because the kid won’t use the card until they’re teenagers and then why should they worry about costs incurred—their parents will receive the bills two days before they’re due and not know about it until the penalties are worth more than their homes. We’re just sayin….