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$2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-24-2004, 08:54 AM   #1
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$2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

In 1949 Diner's Club launched the first charge card company.

Fifty-five years later, Americans spend more using credit cards than they spend in cash, according to a study by Dove Consulting.

With more than $2 trillion worth of credit card transactions each year, the creditworthiness of the card users is an increasingly important issue to creditors and consumers alike.

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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-24-2004, 12:07 PM   #2
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

In a bit of a separate twist from credit cards vs. cash, I was shocked about a month ago on a news article that said for the first time in America, credit card (and I think debit card) transactions exceeded check writing for the first time. I was absolutely shocked that Americans were still so stuck into check writing. That milestone was passed years ago in most other industrialized countries.

I am irritated having to still write 2 checks a month (as a Canadian ex-pat in the USA), one to my lawn maintenance provider and one to a landlord on a rental situation. I don't know that I had to write more than 6 checks a year in Canada, mostly in one off situations such as gifting.
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-24-2004, 01:30 PM   #3
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

Quote:
I am irritated having to still write 2 checks a month...*
AltaRed, are you playing the role of Scrooge today?

I'm not irritated at all about having to write a few checks every month. I'm just happy they don't bounce!
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-24-2004, 03:28 PM   #4
 
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

My parents are children of the Great Depression and thus have never owned a credit or debit or ATM card.
They have no debts and pay all bills the same day they
receive them by check, at which point my father takes the
envelope to the post office personally and mails it
inside (doesn't trust the outside dropoff). Back when
the milk man delivered to the house, he would make my mother compute the amount due to the penny, and leave
the cash in the milk box because he did not want to get a bill in the mail. It is a whole different mindset.

JG
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-24-2004, 05:08 PM   #5
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

I suppose.... but my parents were also of the depression era and learned that using a credit card where possible made it more convenient. But they also were disciplined to pay it off each month.

Granted they also wrote a lot more checks than do I to pay off bills. I was only commenting on the fact that Americans still tend to write a lot more checks than do people in other nations.
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-27-2004, 06:43 AM   #6
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

Quote:
... I am irritated having to still write 2 checks a month (as a Canadian ex-pat in the USA), one to my lawn maintenance provider and one to a landlord on a rental situation. I don't know that I had to write more than 6 checks a year in Canada, mostly in one off situations such as gifting. *
Three words: "web bill payment". If your bank offers it, you can typically pay any bill online. There may or may not be a charge, but even if there is a small fee, it may outweigh the costs of stamps, blank checks, and the time spent writing them.
-Scott
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-27-2004, 08:26 AM   #7
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

There was a report on tv recently that 1 out of 5 Christmas shoppers will have a $5k or greater credit card balance & 1 out of 10 will have a greater than $10k balance after the holidays.

I have 10k in credit cards with zero balance One of my goals for the holidays was to not get caught up in the SALES & buy stuff I did not need. When the interest deduction for credit was eliminated in the 80's I began paying off the balance on time. I have 4k at Sears & they offer incentives to use the card. I often pay the balance at the same time as the sale.

I canceled a credit card because I got tired of shredding checks. When I called & asked them to stop sending checks they refused.

I live in NJ & one credit report from each of the 3 agencies is free a year. I get one report every 4 months from a different agency .

It would be great if there was a " Do not mail " list for credit card advertising.
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-27-2004, 09:57 AM   #8
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

I took advantage of a new MBNA credit card to borrow $24k 0% interest which I transfered to a 3% 11 month CD. I will be paying it off a couple of days before it is due sometime in June 2006. Will make a few hundred dollars pre-tax interest.

For me, it is all about discipline.

MJ
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-27-2004, 11:26 AM   #9
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

Quote:
My parents are children of the Great Depression and thus have never owned a credit or debit or ATM card. They have no debts and pay all bills the same day they receive them by check, at which point my father takes the envelope to the post office personally and mails it inside (doesn't trust the outside dropoff). * Back when the milk man delivered to the house, he would make my mother compute the amount due to the penny, and leave the cash in the milk box because he did not want to get a bill in the mail. *It is a whole different mindset.
John, your Dad is a classic! This discussion reminds me of my now deceased father-in-law. He insisted on holding all of his stock certificates. Holding stocks in street name was unthinkable to him; he wouldn't trust someone else with that. Recently Charlie reminded me that I could buy more I-Bonds this year, but I had to buy paper I-Bonds because I already had the max through Treasury Direct. I found the paper process to be annoying. There was a trip to the bank, the bank sends my money in, I wait for the bonds via snail mail (and they should be here by now, but they aren't), I must deal with safekeeping, etc. I don't trust the paper system. I'm the exact opposite of my father-in-law.
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-27-2004, 03:45 PM   #10
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

Echoing Altared, nobody writes cheques in Canada anymore.

Debit at point of purchase is the big thing here.

Online banking for me!

Nothing is more frustrating than standing in line at the bank and finding JG's dad in front of you with a mitful of bills.

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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th
Old 12-27-2004, 03:51 PM   #11
 
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Re: $2,000,000,000,000- Happy 55th

Quote:
John, your Dad is a classic! This discussion reminds me of my now deceased father-in-law. He insisted on holding all of his stock certificates. Holding stocks in street name was unthinkable to him; he wouldn't trust someone else with that. Recently Charlie reminded me that I could buy more I-Bonds this year, but I had to buy paper I-Bonds because I already had the max through Treasury Direct. I found the paper process to be annoying. There was a trip to the bank, the bank sends my money in, I wait for the bonds via snail mail (and they should be here by now, but they aren't), I must deal with safekeeping, etc. I don't trust the paper system. I'm the exact opposite of my father-in-law.
Bob,

I just bought $60K worth of I-Bonds last week, after our discussion off line. I probably won't need to buy any paper I-Bonds, as the $60 per year limit will keep me flush in the coming years.

I like you, would not like to deal with the paper. The on-line purchase is easier than picking up my mail!
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Blocking credit card offers
Old 12-28-2004, 06:01 AM   #12
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Blocking credit card offers

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It would be great if there was a *" Do not mail " list for credit card advertising.
There is. Call 1 (888) 567-8688 and opt out of the credit bureau's address lists for pre-approved promotional mailings. There's more info here: http://www.cardreport.com/overview/pre-approved.html

I've been able to persuade MBNA to stop sending their "free" checks by expressing my concern over mail security. But I couldn't get them to stop mailing paper statements-- I think they make a lot of money from stuffing advertising in their monthly statements.

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Re: Blocking credit card offers
Old 12-28-2004, 09:19 AM   #13
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Re: Blocking credit card offers

Quote:
There is. *Call 1 (888) 567-8688 and opt out of the credit bureau's address lists for pre-approved promotional mailings. *There's more info here: *http://www.cardreport.com/overview/pre-approved.html

I've been able to persuade MBNA to stop sending their "free" checks by expressing my concern over mail security. *But I couldn't get them to stop mailing paper statements-- I think they make a lot of money from stuffing advertising in their monthly statements.
Thanks Nords

I called & opted out of pre-approved promotional mailings.

I could of been more persistent in persuading MNBA to stop sending checks & raising the credit limit. I have a friend who worked a customer service job where they were required to hear " no " at least 3 times. Sometimes I have called to cancel & received a better deal.
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