That's not what the Death card means

You want it to be one way, but it's the other way
written 2014-04-15 12:31:33

Still no joy. This economy is killing me.

I don't use credit cards because I don't like the nebulous nature of fake money. Is my balance zero? It is, except there are fees, and you owe us $0.03 on the $1.00 we charge you for not using the card, and while you paid the $1.00, we did not receive the $0.03 and now you owe $25 in nonpayment fees, for which you also owe us $0.75, which will not appear on your statement.

So, last year, I call up the company and I say, "Cancel it, you people are vultures, why should I pay $100 every year to be allowed to have your credit card, which I do not use?"

They reply, "No sweat. Though, you'll lose all the flyer miles you've built up."

" many miles are we talking about?"

"About 25,000. Enough for a free roundtrip anywhere in the US."

"...dammit. All right, keep it open, here's $100."

Later that year, they said I had forfeited all those miles because I did not use my card. I didn't understand this concept, but I gave them some more money to return my accumulated miles to me. Understand, I didn't get anything in return for that money. It was just $30 or something for them to say, "Okay, yeah, now I see the 25,000 miles."

In a different context, this is called extortion.

So, this year, again having not used my credit card, they told me I had again forfeited my miles. At this point, I'm ready to accept the loss of one roundtrip flight (without Ingrid, unless we pay for it) just to get off this damn treadmill. To wrap it up completely, I called the credit card company and told them to cancel it. I'd read ahead and knew they'd try to convince me to stay, but I wasn't going to agree to pay $100 annually in any circumstance.

I call in, and they're a little short, a little rude. (And why not? Can you imagine if your job was to talk to people about money, in this economy? Everyone's poor, and you have to tell them they owe you an extra $25 this month. Everyone who isn't poor is pissed off about not being richer than they are, and everyone who's rich is pissed off about everyone else hating them. Okay, actually, the rich people have people who handle this sort of crap for them, but still. Not an easy job.) I tell them I'm canceling because I don't want to pay $100 every year to have a credit card I don't use.

"Shall we change your account so that there is no annual fee?"



Okay, fine, great, but look here: what the hell have I been paying $100 a year for for the past eight years? Flyer miles, sure, but then the CS person tells me I will still earn them with the no-annual fee card. So, basically, I was paying them because I agreed to pay them.

I feel like this is just further evidence that no two people perceive money in the same way. It makes me feel like my class-struggle perceptions are needlessly attenuated; a copy of a copy of a handwritten note describing a photograph.

My next step is to stop acknowledging money altogether and begin using a system of moral and ethical economics. Do good, or do well, and be paid in kind.

--12:28 PM, EDT, Philadelphia, PA, my pastor, and my grandfather, who is dead

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