I opened a Chase credit card a few weeks ago. It had better rewards than Discover, my primary credit card, and my other accounts are with Chase so I decided to consolidate. The card arrived in the mail last week. I had to call a number to activate it so I did and ended up talking to a guy with a heavy Indian/British accent. I could barely understand every 4th sentence but since I was just activating the card I didn't think I had to understand much of what he said. Whenever he paused and said "Ok?", I said, "Ok". All went well until I heard something about having 30 days to cancel. Uh oh, I thought, I just signed up for something. Well, I didn't bother to ask him what he signed me up for because I couldn't understand him anyway and I just wanted to get off the phone.
Yesterday I got a letter in the mail and I found out what I signed up for: the Chase Payment Protector Plan. This helpful sounding plan costs a mere 89 cents per $100 of your monthly statement balance. I'm not sure if I would be charged if I paid the balance off every month (probably) but I don't want to find out! This plan offers to defer your payments for up to 2 years in case any major life events happen such as a layoff, disability, or even a one month payment holiday just because. Thanks but no thanks. That's what my emergency fund is for and it doesn't charge me, in fact, it earns interest. I called them and talked to someone who spoke English much better. She was incredulous that I didn't want to participate in such a fabulous plan but I managed to convince her that I could get along ok without it. Now I am a little afraid to start using my Chase card. I don't really trust them to cancel everything without charging me.
I am still using my Discover card for a little while longer. I used my $40 cash back rewards to buy a $50 Ace Hardware gift card through the Discover web site. A free $10 is never a bad thing. I will keep that handy for the next maintenance emergency. Ace is the closest hardware store to me. I will keep using my Discover card until I get my current cash back as close to $20 as possible so that I don't lose any cash back. It has to be at $20 before I can cash in. I think I have $5 worth of rewards right now. One more month of gas and groceries should do it.