When I read about the new credit card rules, my first thought was, “Huh. I’d better use my safety card once or twice.”
Because the credit card companies now have the right to charge fees on cards that haven’t been used. I still have my college Mastercard from Citibank. It was good to me, but the rewards weren’t there. So I stopped using it actively and kept in in the house for emergencies. I hadn’t gotten to using it yet, and now I won’t have the chance. I received a letter from Citibank today saying they had cancelled the card due to its non-use.
Hm. I guess that’s their prerogative. But if they had asked nicely, or even just charged the fee before closing the account, they would have kept my business. Perhaps even increased it. Because I had a stupid sentimental attachment to that card. Still have the number memorized.
I understand the credit card companies need to shift the paradigm on the business model or whatever, so I don’t have a problem waiting it out while the feds and the banks arm wrestle over the questions of profit and stability and fairness and service. I realize that is a luxury. I realize that I have been milking the rewards program. And Eric Zorn at the Chicago Tribune says in this article that I have been rewarded at the expense of the poor, so I felt bad for about five minutes. Because what am I supposed to do, not work the programs?
My primary need for credit cards is convenience. The rewards are nice, but secondary. I don’t want anyone to go bankrupt over them, though.
So goodbye, Citibank. No hard feelings. Thank you for giving me my very first credit card. I hope you find what you are looking for in the next girl.
(But somehow I doubt it.)