Thursday, 20 August 2009

Credit card hmm? Biiiig deaaaal.

This lunchtime I signed up for my first credit card. Big deal, you're thinking, yeah?
Yeah. I'm not happy about it.
I've always steered well clear of the little bastards, including store cards, no matter how many times they've been waved in front of me in banks and shops. It happens everywhere you go. McDonalds is probably the only place that hasn't cashed in on the store card bandwagon. "Would you like to save 10% off your Big Mac, madam? You just need to open a McCount Card and you can get a free portion of chips...TODAY!". No thank you. I know what I've got to spend, and if that amounts to £0, then I'm not buying. Or, scratch that, I'm tapping dad.
In all seriousness, I hate the idea of spending money that isn't mine, whether it's paid off the next day or not. But I need one at the moment and there's no other option. All the small print, the percentages, the banking jargon, the charges, 0% on balance transfers, 17.5% APR, interest rates, blah blah; it's way over my head. It's taken me near on a week to sift through and find the one that's least likely to take the piss, and two days to actually goad myself into signing up. Even as I stood in front of the smug suit assigned to take me through the paperwork, I felt like I might be getting duped. I've read every inch of the terms and conditions on the internet, looking for the catch. The commission gleamed in his beady little eyes and knew I was looking at someone who didn't have my best interests at heart. I had to fill out the form there and then, he wasn't going to forgo the commission and let me send it myself. His 'nicey nicey' sales speak meant he feigned interest in my life as it materialised on the form. Living with parents. Same house my whole life. 24 years old. Temporary employment. His eyes widened in surprise at the small sum next to annual earnings. We were in London's financial district, after all. Some people round here earn that much in a day.
"No, I don't have any other cards. I don't even really want this one" I told him, having made it quite clear I didn't want to spend my entire lunch in a bank listening to a sales pitch. "In fact, I'll cut it up as soon as I'm finished with it"
"Oh! Don't do that. I hope you won't." he replied as the pound signs began to fade.
I stopped writing and looked him in the eyes. "No - I will."
Sensibly, he didn't press the matter further.
I'm told it will arrive next week.


Homer said...

So why are you getting one? You say you "need" one - details, woman, details.

I stick everything on my M&S card and make about £200 a year back in vouchers - I'm very pleased with it.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Because I neeeeeeeeeeeeeed one!

All will become clear!

Anonymous said...

I'm steering clear of credit cards... I wouldn't be able to trust myself.

When I got my student account the lady banker asked if I wanted the credit card version, to which I said no, and she replied "Good girl, good girl, sensible girl!" like I was a puppy being potty trained.

Huw said...

Credit cards, boxing... interesting, interesting.

I once walked out of a meeting with a Bank Nobber when I wheedled out of him that he was trying to swindle me a bit on an ISA he was recommending. He was pretty shocked, and I was pretty triumphant.

I tried to steal his pen, but it was on a chain, so I sort of lost the high ground there.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

It's astounding that you made it this far in London without a credit card. Really! How did you get by all this time?

You need one in order to establish good credit, which is quite important. You have to take on some debt in order to prove that you can handle it.

Anonymous said...

ooo the lure of free money. I went down that road and got myself into loads of debt. Go me!
I've cut them up now, but I'm still paying the debt back 3 years later. Never again!

Make sure you do cut it up when you're done with it.

nuttycow said...

I got my first one last month. Now looking forward to hiding it and paying off what I owe. Slowly, no doubt.


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