Archive for Credit Cards

Credit Card Offers On Flights!

Have you flown recently and noticed that there are more advertisements than usual. I was recently on a U.S Airways flight from Rome and noticed there was a Verizon ad on the tray in front of me. I have become accustomed to putting down my tray to drink or eat my meal but this time I noticed a Verizon ad starring right at me. The first thought that came to my mind was, great idea on U.S Airways part for jamming every little corner with an ad, and my second thought was, how much did Verizon pay for that spot.

I then started watching a movie, which was constantly interrupted by the flight attendant trying to sell a MasterCard. After she interrupted my movie about 5 times, she then proceeded to walk down the aisle giving out applications for the MasterCard. I personally thought it was a bit much. Maybe she had a quota to reach! I mean it’s one thing if you want to have a kiosk in the airport offering MasterCard’s, but on the flight, come on! I was starting to think that maybe the flight attendants were getting some kind of commission for selling the MasterCard’s.
I don’t think anyone actually applied for one, but boy were they trying to jam those cards down our throats. After walking down the aisle, she actually went back on the mic to say they are offering an additional bonus for signing up on that day. I guess know one really wanted to get a card.
Has anyone ever been offered a credit card on a flight?

When Did You Get Your First Credit Card?

Do you remember when you got your first credit card? Did you think it was free money that you never had to pay back? Or maybe you just didn’t think about having to pay it back.

I mean we’re not exactly taught how to handle money or credit cards in school,  so it shouldn’t ever surprise a bank when a student doesn’t pay their bill on time or at all. Especially when you consider that some students aren’t even working when they’re given a credit card. I know contracts were signed, but there are people in their 40’s that still don’t read before they sign.

It’s so easy to get a credit card nowadays that I once heard of someone who applied for a credit card in his dog’s name. A few weeks later he actually received a credit card for his dog. I wonder what kind of background check they did!

I remember the first day of College when banks were trying to sell their credit cards. Looking back, we were all so innocent as students. Some of us thinking, “yeah free money, let’s go shopping!” While others thought, finally I am getting money from someone else and not my parents. I never got one of those credit cards in College simply because I didn’t need one.

I was a bit of a late bloomer with credit cards. I got my first one when I was around 23 years old because I wanted to establish some credit. I only used it for emergencies. (This was before I knew an emergency fund was not your credit card limit)  I remember the first time my credit limit was increased. I didn’t get a phone call, an email, or a letter in the mail. They just decided to increase it without informing me. I check my accounts daily, so I noticed it the moment it was increased. I contacted my bank and they told me it was increased because my account was in good standing. It didn’t make much of a difference since I rarely ever used it. But imagine if I was dependent on my credit card and often maxed it out. My bank would have made more money off of me by increasing my limit.

Here are some things students should know before they get a credit card:

  • It’s not free money
  • Understand the contract that you sign
  • Don’t use it to go on a shopping spree
  • Consider getting a prepaid credit card (best option for students)
  • Shop around for the best rates
  • Consider getting a student line of credit (rates are lower)
  • Never make a late payment
  • Never go over your limit
  • Always make sure your credit card company has received your monthly payment
  • Frequently check your account online for inaccuracies
  • Review your monthly statements
What was your first credit card? Did you think it was free money?


How Much Plastic Is In Your Wallet?

Yesterday I decided to go through my wallet to see how much plastic I had in there and I was shocked to discover that I had 13 cards. This was a surprise to me considering I only have one credit card. As I went through all of the cards, I realized that I haven’t used some of them in a long time. I actually forgot I had some these cards.

Here’s what I found:

  1. My driver’s license, I knew this was in my wallet. I always keep this in my wallet in case I need ID or get pulled over.
  2. Two debit cards
  3. My one MasterCard that I use for work
  4. Cineplex Scene card. This comes in handy for discounts at the theatre
  5. AMC Movie Watcher discount card
  6. Library Card
  7. Plum Rewards Card. This is my discount card for Chapters, Indigo and Coles bookstore
  8. La Senza discount card. I completely forgot this was in my wallet. I am just thinking of all the times I’ve been in La Senza and didn’t realize I had a discount card. In fact, the activation sticker is still on the card. Maybe I should activate it! Lol!
  9. Suzy Shier discount card
  10.  Petro Canada discount card. I love getting my free car washes with this card.
  11.  Air Miles. I don’t remember the last time I used this card, I forgot it was in my wallet. All those missed air miles.
  12.  Health card

I knew that I’ve always been one to love a good discount, but I really didn’t think I had 7 discount cards. They’re all worth it because they were free and I really only use them when I remember and if I am already shopping in one of those stores.

How much plastic are you carrying around?

Cash Or Plastic

Are you a cash person or a plastic person? I use to be a plastic person until I realized how much more money I was spending when I used my debit card versus when I used cash. Before I started budgeting I use to use my debit card to purchase everything. It was rare that cash would ever be in my wallet. I found it to be very convenient to use my debit card. This all changed when I discovered skimming and when I started researching how much more people spend when they use plastic versus cash.

Dunn and Bradstreet did a study a few years ago where they compared the difference customers spend when using plastic versus cash. Statistically they found that on average you will spend 12-18% more when making a purchase with a credit card as opposed to cash. They also compared McDonald’s transaction and discovered that the average McDonald’s transaction increased from $4.50 to $7.00. Does that surprise you? Just thinking back when I use to use plastic very often, I found that I would purchase more than I normally would with cash. With plastic you don’t actually see the money leaving your hands. You just swipe and go! Spending $100 on your debit card doesn’t feel like a lot, but taking a $100 bill or two $50’s out of your wallet is surely noticeable.

A few other reasons why I use cash

I have never met any one who had their identity stolen because they forgot their cash at a restaurant or bar.

I have always gotten a better deal when I negotiate with cash versus when I use credit or debit.

Easier to stay within budget
With debit or credit cards, it’s easier to spend a little here and there. If you use an envelope system to budget, cash helps you to stick with your budget.

Do you ever wonder why Casino’s and cruise lines don’t use cash? It sure is no coincidence! Casino’s use chips and not cash so gamblers don’t actually feel like they’re spending their own money.

Royal Caribbean has a cashless system on board their ships for their shops, spa’s lounges and shore excursions. A SeaPass is given to each passenger at check-in, the pass is activated with a credit card. Think about how brilliant this system is. No cash transactions means passenger’s will of course spend more money because they charge everything to the SeaPass. Unless you check your balance often, you can literally spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on the pass and not even realize it. It could definitely be a shocker at the end of your cruise wh

This system also minimizes theft from employees on board.

Visa Debit Cards, I am thinking about getting one!

Visa debit cards are becoming more and more popular in the United States as people are trying to transition away from credit cards. The problem that some people have is they want to make purchases online, rent vehicles, book hotels, book vacations etc. But don’t know how to do these things without using a credit card. Enter Visa Debit Cards. They are a combination of a debit card and a visa card.

A Visa credit card is when your purchases are billed at the end of the billing cycle, and you pay interest charges on the balance if it’s not paid in full. Visa debit card purchases are withdrawn directly from your account, by accessing your available funds. It also acts as a credit card with an expiry date and a security code at the back of the card, just like your credit card. This allows you to make purchases online, book hotels, rent vehicles and so on, the same way you would with your credit card.

Here in Canada, most banks haven’t adopted this new card yet. CIBC is the only bank I could find that offers the visa debit cards. I am considering getting one of these visa debit cards, but they are pretty limited. I currently bank with PC and ING, because their banking is free. If I switch to CIBC I am going to have to pay a monthly plan fee, which I do not want to do.

Does anyone have one of these cards, I would love to know what you think?

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