View Full Version : credit card debate

10-22-11, 3:53pm
Back story that brought this to the forefront of my mind: our credit card number was compromised sometime on Sunday night. Monday, DH gets a call asking if we are in Barcelona, Spain charging a several thousand dollar meal. Um, no. So, card # is canceled and they will send new which will take a week. This is the only card other than debit I normally carry, and I usually only use debit for getting cash or a few select places that only take debit (Costco and the like). While I could have gotten cash, I pretty much wound up not buying anything during the week which was fine. Luckily both cars were full as of Sunday evening so didn't even have to worry about gas.
However, I did wonder whether I should get around to activating another cc that I have but is inactive. I have two reasons to think I should activate the card: one is for situations like compromised card numbers. It was sort of good to have a mental enforced no spend week in this case, but if we were traveling or mid-hotel stay or something it may have been a real issue. Two, everything else I have is joint with DH but it's probably good to have my own separate line of credit. Additionally, if it doesn't count while inactive, it wouldn't hurt to have a better credit to use ratio if I did activate it. However, I hesitate to activate the card for two reasons. First, the card I'm debating whether to activate and use is from BofA; the prior iterations of the card were some other bank that became BofA more recently. To me, BofA is worst of the worst in terms of irritating large banks. Second, I get a little annoyed at having to pay attention to yet another bill/statement/etc and learn yet another online bill pay which will no doubt require some password combo that I will have to remember. Applying for a non BofA card would be OK though not solve the second issue, plus it would be a "new" line of credit rather than the continuing one I have now so be as much of a credit score benefit.
The upshot is I don't see any clear answer on this mental debate. What do you all think?

10-22-11, 6:31pm
I went through the exact same debate with myself. My CC had become joint and they decided to put it under DH's name at some point. Sometime later, I was talking to someone in banking who had faced her DH's sudden death with everything jointly owned. She was stuck for money for serious expenses where a deposit was required for the funeral or something related plus her own expenses out of town.
She stressed with urgency that I have a CC in my name alone with a modest limit for personal emergencies which I use for minimal charges just to keep it active. It has come handy when our regular joint CC was updated by the CC company and the access code was not modified as requested and therefore inaccessible.

10-22-11, 6:37pm
We keep the cc that is used for automatic payments and such at home and never in purse/wallet. Sure dont want to have to worry about these payments. I have Discover for as many charges as they will accept and a VISA for the others. The Visa is associated with Amazon and creates Amazon credit which is great with the DH I have and the Discover creates cash credit or discounted purchases. We have online control of cards and check often to ensure nothing unusual is going on. The customer service is excellent.

10-22-11, 8:08pm
We're just about to put all our monthly expenses on our CC so we can rack up points towards a family trip next May. After a detailed budget assessment, we figured out exactly what that number is, as we'll pay it off at the end of each month. This is a way of prepaying some of the flight expenses for three of us going to my step-daughter's college graduation!!

We also use it so that my husband can rent expensive camera lenses. The rental place requires a $2000 deposit on rentals, so we use the CC for that as well.

10-23-11, 12:19am
we have a CC for emergency or large purchases, with no interest for 30 days, that we always pay off before the 30 days. (usually we have the cash on hand for the large payment, but can't pay cash such as an online purchase). ours is through our credit union. we never go through big banks.

10-23-11, 7:35am
I watched my mother go through the same dilemma - all of their credit cards were in my dad's name, so she had 'no credit' and no card that could be used. We have a credit card that I'm the primary on. I asked a banker about that years ago, he said that now joint credit was indeed joint. But it still would be a good idea.......?

About every 7 years, someone tries to pass himself off as my husband. It's a pain, but we've always gotten the charges taken off without any dispute and a new CC.

iris lily
10-23-11, 9:16am
I've always had a credit card in my name. Same for DH. We share a checking account to pay those credit cards.

10-23-11, 8:29pm
Yeah, I should have the 2nd card but I'm wondering whether to open a new account or just activate the one I already had despite it being Bank of America.

10-23-11, 10:45pm
i wouldn't do a BofA card.

go to your bank or your credit union, and get one there.

10-24-11, 7:01am
Just to add though, if you make online payments, it is nice to have both accounts at the same place. I kind of don't like BofA, either...I think it's choosing the lesser of ...how many evils?

10-24-11, 6:21pm
7,294 evils.