Throwback Blog: I received another credit card?!

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REMEMBER THAT I CLOSED MY GOLD CREDIT CARD LAST MONTH?

This morning I was surprised to receive a packet from the bank. The messenger asked for my ID so I thought “This is legit and not some random letter. But wait, didn’t I close my card last month? What’s this then? I don’t remember applying for anything!!!” So I asked the messenger and he told me that it’s a credit card inside the envelope.

I ran back to my room and opened the packet. TADAAAA! An American Express card! Shopaholics would usually jump for joy if they receive such a thing, but my initial reaction was PUZZLEMENT. I don’t remember applying for anything! And then the letter goes “the card is active…membership fee is waived for the first year.”

So I texted my bank manager and asked him why I received an AMEX when I just closed my gold card last month and I didn’t apply for anything. He says “Oh ma’am that’s a reward for banking with us.” WOW. I do trust my bank manager and I feel like he won’t be doing this just so his branch would rake in sales/points. I don’t know. Maybe I’m too trusting. I do remember them asking me why I chose to close my gold card. Was I not happy with their services? The rewards? To get a recap, click HERE.

I spoke to God this morning after opening the packet and reading through the information. I said I found it funny how temptation can come in the form of plastic–sealed, delivered and presented to you in such a lovely package.

But that’s the nature of temptation! Let me reiterate though, that a credit card isn’t bad in itself but when it causes you to spend more than necessary, if you let it control your life or if it causes you to be lenient with monthly bills, that’s when it becomes bad. It tests your self-control and discipline.

Today’s experience brought to mind Rebecca Bloomwood, the main character in the book series and Hollywood film Confessions of a Shopaholic. In the beginning of the movie she had 7-10 cards which she used to purchase an item in a store. So swipe $10, swipe $20 on the next etc… and then after the warning beep, she found out her next card was DECLINED. Rebecca was drowning in debt, didn’t pay her bills and evaded the debt collector like the plague.

Mike Dolen of Credit Card Forum shared this on www.faithandfinance.org:
“Proverbs 22:26-27 – Do not be a man who strikes hands in pledge or puts up security for debts; if you lack the means to pay, your very bed will be snatched from under you.

This is also a good representation of modern day credit cards, when abused. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with using credit cards for gas rebates, cash back, airline miles, etc. as long as you pay the balance in full each month. However some people apply for a credit card and spend frivolously, with little to no means of paying. In fact, just yesterday my hairdresser was telling me a story of how when she was 18 or 19, she got her first credit card and spent $1,000 at the mall the very first day, despite having no income/resources to repay that debt. When we do things like that, it’s just asking for trouble.”

Is having a credit card wrong? NO. It’s actually very useful but you have to exercise discipline, self-control and fight against the temptation to use it unnecessarily.

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