Credit Cards: Our Love / Hate Relationship

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Joel over at Credit Card Chaser is offering a $500 AMEX gift card prize for the best credit card love hate post.

In my own home there is definitely a love/hate relationship with credit cards – I love them and my wife hates them.  For some time I’ve been trying to convince her that we should do a “he said/she said” post on credit cards.  So far, she doesn’t want me to air our dirty laundry.  Actually, she doesn’t hate the cards (or the benefits) as much as she hates the fact that I’m always scheming of another way to get another credit card bonus.

Funny, she didn’t complain about the 13 consecutive free hotel nights (in America, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia) we enjoyed as the result of credit card bonuses. 

I’ve chronicled on how we’ve gone through some cash only stages in our marriage and come to learn that using cash is cheaper than credit cards.  However, there are some advantages to credit cards over cash.  The biggest advantage is the sign up bonuses. 

My wife and I agreed not to use credit cards for miscellaneous purchases  -its part of our credit card guidelines.  In fact, these days we don’t charge much of anything on credit cards.  However, I still like to work the system to get credit card rewards.

The Credit Card I Love – Chase Priority Clubs credit card

Subtitle: One Card + One Purchase = $470.00 worth of rewards

Here’s the story on how we signed up for one credit card, made one purchase, and got $470.00 worth of rewards.

My wife applied for the Chase Priority Clubs credit card. 

For signing up for the card we got a bonus – 15,000 priority clubs points + $20.00 credit.

After getting the card we made one purchase for $11.00.

We were then awarded the $20 and 15,000 Priority Clubs points.

A few months later we stayed two nights at the Holiday Inn Avon in Christchurch, NZ and one night at the Crown Plaza in Queenstown.  Each night was a Point Breaker offering so each night only cost us 5,000 points for a total of 15,000 points (same as our bonus).  Savings = $450.00 USD.

After the vacation she called and canceled the card.

Chase then sent us a check for $9.00 (the $20.00 bonus – $11.00 purchase)

If you’re interested in learning more about how to take advantage of travel bonuses, I’ll be posting on How I got 13 consecutive nights free hotels.

The Credit Card I Hate – Ironically … Chase Credit Cards

Subtitle: Seriously, How Hard is it to Cancel an Account?

“I’d like to cancel my account, please.”

“Just a moment.  Mr. Ford, we could offer you a 1,000 point bonus if you kept the card.”

Me: “No, thanks.  I’ll just cancel the card.”

Chase: “Is there anything we can do to keep you as a loyal card member?”

Me: “Sure, wave the annual fee.”

Chase: “Sorry, I don’t think we can do that.”

Me: “That’s fine.  Please cancel the card then.”

Chase: “Did you know that you’ll lose your points you have accrued?”

Me: “That is a big fat lie.  Please cancel the account.”

Chase: “ I could offer you this card, I could offer you this interest rate deduction, I could offer you …”

Me: “No. no. no. no. no. no.”

Chase: “Alright, Mr. Ford, I’m closing your account.”

Repeat the process three times and you might successfully close your account.  I’ve had this type of interaction with two separate Chase brand cards when I’ve tried to cancel an account.

Need I say more about why I hate Chase brand credit cards?


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