Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Those Credit Cards Are Sneaky

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.

11 comments:

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

That is pretty sneaky. Lucky they didn't lull you completely to sleep, and that you caught it.

I am actually thinking about getting a credit card so that I don't have to keep as much money in my checking account for emergencies. I'd rather have it somewhere else earning a little better rate.

Daizy said...

I don't like carrying cash because I always want to have exact change and I never do! There are some blogs discussing the best credit card. I think it was #1 AmEx and then #2 Chase depending on how much you planned to charge.

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

My biggest thing against a credit card is that it is one more bill to pay. If I use cash or debit, I don't have to worry about forgetting about it when it comes due.

Daizy said...

Yes, paying the bill is annoying. I like the cash back though. When I start using the Chase card I can just transfer funds online from Chase checking to Chase credit card...assuming I always have internet access every month. If I was traveling then debit would probably be better so that I didn't have a bill.

Daizy said...

Except that hotels like credit cards better...so confusing.

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

Yep. Confusing. I am leaning towards getting one, but mostly just using my debit or cash. Credit for hotels, rental cars, and that sort of thing. Confusing.

Anonymous said...

FYI, starting with the May statements, Discover is raising the redeemable amounts to $50 multiples for most accounts. Call to see if this is happening with yours. I have decide to stop using Discover this April based on that policy change.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-good spot by you, they are so sneaky these credit card companies!

TightFistedMiser said...

Chase used to send me checks for signing up for the Payment Protector Plan. I would have a 30 day free trial before I would be charged. I always called up and canceled during the free trial. I haven't gotten any checks from them for awhile so maybe they've figured out that I won't forget to cancel or maybe it is just credit card companies tightening their budget.

Saver Queen said...

Hearing things like this just burn me up. CC agencies try to get money out from you from every angle. They are so unethical. Glad you got out of it. I guess you'll just have to watch your statements verrrry carefully to make sure there are no little hidden fees hiding in there!

Daizy said...

Hello Anonymous, thanks for the reminder. I got that notice but didn't remember what month it was starting. Bummer, getting my reward is going to be a little trickier.

Hi Sharon Rose, they are quite sneaky!

TightFistedMiser, maybe they are saving money on paper and ink or maybe they finally gave up on you :)

SaverQueen, I'll definitely be watching them. Bad customer service isn't worth the card rewards no matter how good they sound.