Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Can You Buy A Benz On A Benz?

I once owed a lot of money on my credit cards. I missed some payment deadlines and totally bailed on one card that ripped me off with a bait and switch APR scam that should be illegal but is only usurious.

I paid off the money I owed 7 years ago but knew my credit score was shot. I closed most of the accounts and only kept the essential ones like my ATM, department store and gas cards. When my career went into free fall I spent one entire year eating out of the stores that were attached to the Mobil and Chevron stations. If I'm ever about to expire on a desert island and a chopper drops me a crate of pre-packaged bear claws, Dr. Pepper and coffee mate I'd just as soon walk into the ocean with rocks in my pockets.

Thinking it would require the 7 years they always tell us it takes to restore credit, I was surprised when I started getting offers for more cards an hour after they were all paid off. Mastercards, Visas, and the ubiquitous and highly annoying Capital One. What's in your wallet? I only wish I could say the balls of the guy who came up with their commercials.

I eventually took the AMEX that was tied to my Costco; no annual fee and bonus points all over the place. I started with a $2000 limit but two months later they raised my line of credit to $10,000. Clearly they'd been through my closets.

I continued to shred the other offers but they kept coming in, at least one a month for the last 7 years. I didn't apply for any of them because each time you apply for a card, it's points against your total credit score. Why lower something that may already be in the double digits? And why does that not make sense and why does no one complain about it and why don't I have a butler who brings me lattes every morning?

So I've had no idea what my credit score is. I ordered all the free credit reports but you still have to pay to get the score, which they conveniently leave out of their promos. And why should I pay all three companies to tell me that I'm fucked? My friends tell me that shit for free, thank you very much.
Then yesterday I got an offer for the Mercedes-Benz credit card. I'm guessing my credit score is just fine.

End of chat.


  1. I COMPLETELY can sympathize with you here...after the break up with John I was paying the nannies with credit card withdrawals and lived on boxes of .19 mac and cheese and day old bread. Learned some new recipes though so next time if we're both in the downward spiral together, we can combine your cuisine with mine and at least have some dessert with the mac and cheese! ;)

  2. surcie6:21 AM

    I am not kidding. This: "If I'm ever about to expire on a desert island and a chopper drops me a crate of pre-packaged bear claws, Dr. Pepper and coffee mate I'd just as soon walk into the ocean with rocks in my pockets" brought tears to my eyes.

    I might as well shut down my laptop now because nothing else I could read today will be as funny.

  3. The other day I called to activate my new Old Navy card. After I hung up the phone I looked down at the card in my hand and realized that it was not my Old Navy store card, but an Old Navy VISA! I called right back and cancelled it. Sneaky bastards!

  4. Just Me, I'm all in if such a horror ever happens to us again.

    Surcie, thanks, sometimes you just sit around and think, "Is anyone going to laugh at this?"

    gm, the credit card companies are so obnoxious, out of control and I wish someone would go after them. I don't know who, but you know, "That Magical Someone."

  5. Anonymous11:58 AM

    You perhaps didn't know, but with a platinum card you get free car insurance on a short-term rental (less than a month). If you have your own car insurance, then the card becomes your "secondary" insurance and you still have the damn deductible if you have an accident. HOWEVER, if you don't own a car, then it becomes your primary insurance and you don't have any deductible. The limit is usually $50,000 so don't rent a Ferarri and smash it up. Oh, and despite what they tell you, the rental car companies are required to have insurance in most states. They make more on the insurance than on the rental. Sorry for the long rant, just trying to spread the word about the only decent things the credit card companies seem to have done.
    Martha Jane

  6. Anonymous8:41 PM

    I laugh at most of your posts and never tell you..

    I am sorry

  7. Chase is the Devil.

    I, too, have spent time living off of BP and JCPenneys chargecards. JCPenny did have a "gift baskets" full of snacks like citrus caramel corn and non-refrigerated cheese, so I got by. Perhaps, I, too, will eventually qualify to dig myself another debt grave--some day~

  8. Anonymous, you should post that on!

    Deb, I had Chase. They may have been the ones who did the bait and switch on me.

  9. Anonymous6:51 PM

    or at