I was never one for carrying a balance on my credit cards. Everytime the bill came in, I would pay it off immediately. The problem with me was I had way too many cards; From store brands to your standard Visa and Mastercard. I had about 6 in total all with different due dates. This just made my finances more complex. With the complexity came more stress, “Did I pay that credit card off?” So I decided that enough is enough and I closed out all three store cards about three weeks ago. Let me tell you, it was very liberating!
Just yesterday I decided to cancel two more credit cards: my Visa and Mastercard. These by far were the most fun to cancel because of the representatives’ responses.
The first representative at Bank of America told me, “What? You can’t cancel your card now! It’s springtime!” That was pretty comical trying to keep me on as a customer. Being that it’s springtime has nothing to do with closing my credit card, but okay. The account was closed and we had a nice chat about the weather between Maine (where she was located) and New Jersey.
The next representative at Wells Fargo was very boring. He brought up the fact that my “score with them would be lowered”. One can only imagine that would be my credit score; I told him that was fine. Once the account was closed, he told me to “feed the card to my dog” and that it was as good as “feeding him chocolate.” With his monotone voice I could not tell if he was joking or not. However, you can clearly tell he doesn’t enjoy his job.
Right now I am left with one credit card that I have open for “just in case”. I do not plan on using it, but there could always be a time between now and when my emergency fund exceeds that credit limit. I’ll feel more comfortable about getting rid of it once I have my student loan paid off and my emergency fund built up. Overall, I have not used any credit since December; everything’s been on a cash basis. It really has kept my spending under control. When I would charge things with the credit card, I would find that I would purchase more goods. Which, in return, didn’t give me the leverage needed to pay down my student loan debt as quickly as possible.
More Reasons to Close the Cards
Canceling the cards was not only for personal relief, but to relieve some future financial burdens. Once I heard about what these big banks are planning, I decided it was for the better to closet down the cards.
According to this WalletBlog.com article, “…Bank of America recently announced plans to apply $59 annual membership fees to about 5% of its credit card customer base.” The worst of the news came from my grandma. Bank of America is currently charging her $4 for each check image printed on a statement! She incurred $12 in fees last month for doing something your normally do with a checking account: writing checks! This weekend I will be taking her to a local community bank and patronize their business. At least they still have a soul!
Have you been used by the mega banks? If so, do you still do business with them?