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Today's Two Minutes Hate (Shop at Wal-Mart, and your credit limit gets lowered)
Mother Jones ^ | 01/31/09 | Keven Drum

Posted on 02/01/2009 10:35:27 PM PST by Lorianne

Here's the latest reason to hate credit card companies: Shop at Wal-Mart, obviously a sign of financial distress, and your credit limit gets lowered. Hallelujah!

This is from American Express, which has now decided to hunker down and simply lie about their habit of doing this. Compare and contrast the following news accounts. When Kevin Johnson returned from his honeymoon last year he got a letter from Amex saying, “Other customers who have used their card at establishments where you recently shopped have a poor repayment history with American Express.” Here's what they told the Atlanta Journal Constitution about this in December:

“We’re just doing this to manage risk,” said Lisa A. Gonzalez, an American Express spokeswoman. She declined to say which retailers or mortgage companies are associated with consumers with higher default rates. She said it makes sense to examine these factors because “customers who have loans outstanding with certain lenders or customers who make transactions with certain merchants tend to have a higher proportion of credit issues or a higher probability of default.”

And here's what they told the New York Times this week:

“The letters were wrong to imply we were looking at specific merchants,” said Susan Korchak, a company spokeswoman....Now, the company says that there never was such a list. So what about the language in its letters to cardholders, which calls out particular “establishments” where cardholders had shopped, I asked. Well, apparently that was all just a big misunderstanding, despite the number of people who must have been in on drafting the notes in the first place.

So: a month ago monitoring your transactions with "certain merchants" was a legitimate way of managing risk. This month the story is that they were never doing it in the first place. You betcha.

Bastards. I really hate these guys and their entire sleazy industry. More here. Kevin Johnson's website is here.


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: amex; credit; motherjones; retail; walmart

1 posted on 02/01/2009 10:35:27 PM PST by Lorianne
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To: Lorianne

Mother Jones is a highly questionable publication, IMO, and I would not necessarily trust this storyline as far as I could throw a ‘59 Cadillac by the tailfin.

Granted, I have a distaste for credit card companies, but I view this one with caution..

A.A.C.


2 posted on 02/01/2009 10:43:45 PM PST by AmericanArchConservative (Armour on, Lances high, Swords out, Bows drawn, Shields front ... Eagles UP!)
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To: AmericanArchConservative

IF the word “exclusively” was omitted from the Wal-Mart reference, the story is BOGUS!


3 posted on 02/01/2009 10:48:53 PM PST by PizzaDriver (an heinleinian/libertarian)
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To: Lorianne
I don't think cardholders who default on their payments have any effect on the cardholders who pay their bills on time.

I shop at Walmart. My credit is excellent according to the 3 reporting agencies: Trans Union, Experion, and Equifax.

Credit scores are individual and another cardholder's behavior would never effect my credit score.

Mother Jones = hogwash!!! And, I suspect the purported Amex letter is an excuse for the liberals bad credit behavior.

4 posted on 02/01/2009 10:52:31 PM PST by xtinct ("There's a sucker born every minute." P.T. Barnum)
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To: AmericanArchConservative

The Am-ex story is real but I believe the Walmart inclusion is speculation and silly because so many shop there.

The real establishments that resulted in lower credit limits included marriage counselors and pawn shops.


5 posted on 02/01/2009 10:59:39 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Lorianne

No longer have credit cards and no longer worry about it.


6 posted on 02/01/2009 11:05:34 PM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: Arkinsaw
No longer have credit cards and no longer worry about it.

Occasionally it is quite convenient to have one. For example, I just saved $100 by being able to purchase a Walmart "web-only" tire special. Not to mention deposits for various things. Could have used a debit card for the Walmart thing but I worry more about giving out that number.

7 posted on 02/01/2009 11:10:22 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Lorianne

Used to carry a work-issued American Express card. Kept getting bills for $000.00 in the mail. Asked ‘em to stop sending such retardation; they said they couldn’t help it. I told ‘em I couldn’t help cancelling the account & chucking the green plastic in the woodstove.


8 posted on 02/01/2009 11:23:05 PM PST by flowerplough (Liberalism undermined: Certain permanent moral and political truths are accessible to human reason.)
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To: Lorianne
Bastards. I really hate these guys and their entire sleazy industry.

If the discriminant function says that people who engage in activity X, Y or Z are bad risks, then that's that. End of story. Businesses that want to remain in business had better pay attention to what the mathematics says. I swear, libs are just dumb petulant children -- too dumb to understand the science, so they throw their temper tantrums and major in some BS subject, which is undoubtedly taught by another dumb lib. When they do dare to venture into science, they come up with crap like global warming and throw another temper tantrum if you dare to question them about it.

9 posted on 02/02/2009 12:01:18 AM PST by LibWhacker
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To: steve86
Agreed....I use my CCard quite often for stuff I find on the Net. Towns as large as Raleigh, NC do not seem to have available certain models, colors, sizes that I want when I want. For me to go out and shop, waste gas, fight the crowds, get cut off in traffic has been on a serious decline the last 20 years.

Spending all day hunting down a $40-$80 item is a joke especially coming up with a blank.

Point in case...not one computer place in Raleigh carries an Intel E7300 (2.66 GHz dual core) CPU for my current computer build...they can get it, however.

They have the newer more expensive high end CPU's and a lot of slower older stuffer. One is out of luck finding middle of the road performers off the shelf locally. That CPU has to be ordered...then I have to go back to the store to get it. HEll, I can sleep through that 4 hrs of aggravation..... PS I knew better too as 2 phone calls proved my intuition to be correct.

10 posted on 02/02/2009 1:19:21 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: Arkinsaw

Me neither. I have a Visa debit which comes with all the same protections as a Visa credit card. I don’t miss CC’s, not one bit.


11 posted on 02/02/2009 2:03:27 AM PST by SoDak (Molon Labe)
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To: SoDak

You actually have more liability if you debit card number is lost or stolen (i.e. even if you use it at a restaurant, you’re vulnerable.)

http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/deals/credit-cards-offer-better-protections-than-debit-cards-21007/

We use a designated CC for all purchases (groceries, gas, etc.) and then reap the benefits of reward points...we don’t carry a balance.


12 posted on 02/02/2009 3:47:42 AM PST by dawn53
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To: RSmithOpt

The thing is get a fee-free card, pay off the balance and collect the points — you can not just be “convenienced”, but ahead. I completely agree with buying from reputable dealers. We wait until we have enough books on our wish list so we can get free shipping from Amazon for example. You can save, time, money and frustration. Plus institutions like Amex and PayPal double your insurance on purchases.

Oh, and call them and have the preposterous limits reduced from $20K+ to say $1000 (they hate this - tee hee). If you pay it off monthly, you never need it, and if it gets lost your liability is immediately limited.


13 posted on 02/02/2009 4:21:11 AM PST by timsbella (Mark Steyn for Prime Minister of Canada! (Steve's won my vote in the meantime))
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To: steve86

you have to use your credit cards to your financial advantage....use their own system against them. we rarely pay cash, always use our credit cards, have cash back cards ( that gives us an automatic 2% discount on everything we buy ) and pay our balances in full every month..this means you have to monitor your spending, because to us the card is our cash...our credit rating is stellar, and we save cash on everything we buy..


14 posted on 02/02/2009 4:25:14 AM PST by joe fonebone (The libtard votes in every election, regardless of the candidate.)
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To: joe fonebone

We do the same thing with our amex account. I’m sure amex doesn’t like giving bonuses to folks that never carry a balance, but I’m OK with it.
Our local Walmart, to my knowledge, has never accepted amex. Menards doesn’t either. I asked why not and they said amex charges them more per transaction than other companies.


15 posted on 02/02/2009 4:35:48 AM PST by Straight8 (Don't begin it if you're not in it to win it.)
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To: AmericanArchConservative

Attacking WalMart is a national pasttime for the dims.


16 posted on 02/02/2009 5:03:52 AM PST by Carley (Remember when we had a real President)
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To: Straight8

I carry both a discover and a visa, set up for cash back rewards....each has an advantage for certain types of purchases.....gotta check out each card and read the fine print..we also will take advantage of those 6 months same as cash type deals, if it is something we really need....nothing feels quite as good as using someone elses money for free ( but if you are 1 day late paying off the balance at the end of 6 months, you will get hit with tons of fees, so send in your last payment real early )...


17 posted on 02/02/2009 5:18:39 AM PST by joe fonebone (The libtard votes in every election, regardless of the candidate.)
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To: Lorianne
Shop at Wal-Mart, obviously a sign of financial distress, and your credit limit gets lowered.

My AmEx card has no limit; never has so far as I know. Is this just more disinfo?

18 posted on 02/02/2009 6:27:34 AM PST by JimRed ("Hey, hey, Teddy K., how many girls did you drown today?" TERM LIMITS, NOW AND FOREVER!)
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To: dawn53

re #12.....smart, many people do the same thing. Debit cards are convenient, but, like you say....much more liability if lost or stolen. No reason for a bank not to issue a picture with on the debit cards....that would stop a lot of fraud attempts. Some banks issue credit cards with picture id’s which is very smart. I will say AMEX nowadays will not let large purchases take place if out of state at stores unless one notifies them 1st.....they did it 2 me twice here in NC from cities 100+ miles away that I go to on occasion.


19 posted on 02/02/2009 6:44:03 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: JimRed

AmEx has both charge (yours) and credit (the story’s) cards.


20 posted on 02/02/2009 6:51:52 AM PST by ConservativeMind (Who is now in charge of the "Office of the President-Elect"?)
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To: RSmithOpt

I wouldn’t even know if we have a dedicated computer shop locally these days. All purchases off the net. Coincidentally, the e7300 is roughly what I am targeting as well.


21 posted on 02/02/2009 7:19:19 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: RSmithOpt

We use Chase for our CC and we’ve had them put a hold on our card if they think the activity is suspicious (which we appreciate.) Once we bought a computer at the Apple Stores, and they charged out the computer, the software, and the accessories as three different charges, and Chase wouldn’t put the transactions through until they checked with us.


22 posted on 02/02/2009 7:37:00 AM PST by dawn53
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To: steve86
I just built another box using a Q6700....that's a tough CPU to locate these days for under $160, then add S/H. That first box was built primarily for my homemade DVR and OTA (Raid 10) in the living room. Haven't upgraded mombos , CPU etc., at home since buying new my Dell XPS T600R in 1998...it is still running strong and will be demoted to a (blind to hackers) front line firewall / AV running Ubuntu 8.0.4 (LINUX) in front of the wireless router running WPA2, MAC filtering, etc. I'm catching a bunch of attempts since last June to hack in with tracecerts showing eastern Europe, Asia and the ME as the main culprits.

So, after looking around at the overpriced packaged systems being offered to fill my needs, the ol CCard and hrs of shopping in my recliner ensued. I'm doing these 2 for the price of 1 store bought frozen.

btw, that Q6700 is a great video processor if running a 8500 GT / 512 MB equivalent or higher.

My job also entails me to keep up with such though I work primarily with optical communications.

Anyway, still doesn't prevent downloading / uploading a trojan, virus etc.

Well, I can say one thing, glad I've managed my credit well as to have a CCard for the above....otherwise, I'd been stuck with shopping for less than I want for more money.

23 posted on 02/02/2009 7:37:34 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: dawn53
Yup, hopefully soon, the banks will realize good credit is a plus for their survival.....when BOA came out a while back saying it would offer cards to illegals, I knew the banking crisis was very close. It's good to have Chase paying attention....now, where was that banking philosophy for all those toxic liar loans?

BTW, I'm waiting to hear the banks pi$$ & moan soon (w/in 8 months) over all the credit card defaults that come after a while from those struggling and haven't been able to find work. Remember 2003 recession and the soon afterward bankruptcy laws were changed?

24 posted on 02/02/2009 7:43:07 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: AmericanArchConservative
"highly questionable publication"

Follow the link above to the blog entry and you'll find the "in December" embedded link which leads you to the long and comprehensive NYT article, which has numerous embedded links

25 posted on 02/02/2009 8:10:18 AM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: timsbella; steve86

Absolutely. I get a 30 day + float on anything I buy, a 2.5% cash back on anything - provided of course that I pay it all off at the end of the month. It’s free money if you manage it.

Plus I don’t have to carry much cash on me and if the card is lost/stolen I call within a few hours and it’s disabled and a new one is on the way.

I had a card up to a few years ago that had points for a book store. Our family reads A LOT - I didn’t pay for a book during the entire 9 years I held it. Filled 3 bookshelves+. Now that’s an investment. (then they decided to charge a fee - sigh)


26 posted on 02/02/2009 8:24:44 AM PST by reed13 (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.")
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To: RSmithOpt

I normally run a MB for about 5 years, although the laptops are a little older. Don’t think I’ve ever had a MB actually fail on me. I do use MAC filtering on the router also.

Right now have a bizarre problem on the desktop where accelerated video for HD playback with Xine is suddenly not working. This was one of the most reliable things. Needless to say I didn’t watch any HD content over the weekend. Xine will play audio for a couple of seconds, then hang. But once in a hundred tries or so it will play A&V just fine even with acceleration for a couple minutes until it crashes. Now the strange thing is it’s happening with every kernel I have (newest is 2.6.27.10) and different Nvidia drivers. Without the vxmc motion compensation it works, although the old Sempron and mx400 can’t begin to keep up. I’m going to build a special kaffeine with xvmc later today to try. Haven’t got mplayer to show HD video yet and haven’t yet tried mythtv with the HD card (although it does work with the ntsc card).


27 posted on 02/02/2009 8:54:01 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: reed13

I used many balance transfer offers which were a Godsend after I had to quit working. Have been reliably paying off at low rates for years. Next year, though, some will expire and I will be in deep doodoo unless I can refinance. Could take the money out of an IRA and pay off but that is truly a last resort. However, at this rate there may not be any banks left with operating A/R departments to accept the payments — only half joking. If the government is “the bank” by then I will BK.


28 posted on 02/02/2009 9:00:39 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: Arkinsaw

But....you can’t function in society if you don’t have a credit card!!!!!! </s>

I have had more than one ‘discussion’ here on FR about how I couldn’t possibly live a decent life without a credit card. (And then these same people complain about their CC fees—if you want to borrow money, you gotta play by the lender’s rules). We live on a cash only basis, and pretty much all we use our debit cards for is to buy gas.

To make us even more weird, we don’t have a car payment either. Haven’t gone hungry, have clothes on my back, a roof over my head, a tank of gas, and am able to put my kids through Catholic school without relying on credit. Once we finish paying off the dh’s student loan (about another $4k to go), we only have a mortgage left. We have emergency savings and another account for stuff like house repairs, vet bills, car maintenance, and Christmas.

Even with the economy the way it is, I sleep pretty well at night.


29 posted on 02/02/2009 9:08:16 AM PST by Hoosier Catholic Momma (Arkansas resident of Hoosier upbringing--Yankee with a southern twang)
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To: dawn53

I’m a consultant in banking, and any bank not adhering to the zero-liability contracts in place with Visa, on cards carrying the Visa logo, are in breach of their contracts. Max liability is $50, period. I’m not certain what the particulars are for the author of the link you posted, but I have personally had my debit number stolen twice, and Visa caught it both times and I endured no liability either time, with funds replaced the very next day.


30 posted on 02/02/2009 9:11:02 AM PST by SoDak (Molon Labe)
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To: dawn53

That kind of stuff can backfire on you, too. I charged a purchase on the internet in Oregon and two hours later tried to make a purchase in my home town at a gun shop. My CC company declined the second charge requiring me to use another card.

When I called Chase, the person on the phone (who spoke broken English) explained that it was impossible for me to charge something in Oregon and Indiana that close together. It was a fraud trigger. The next day I called the Fraud department at Chase and calmly explained that if they ever declined another charge without checking with me first, I would cancel the card on the spot.

They did and I did.


31 posted on 02/02/2009 9:20:52 AM PST by CholeraJoe (You think I'm crazy? I got your crazy right here!)
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To: CholeraJoe

I work for an online retailer. We use AVS and a couple other means of checking the invoices that come in. Sometimes our customer’s are annoyed, but mostly they’re relieved when we ask for a call or try to contact them because their bill to/ship to is different, or because they’ve placed multiple orders in a short space of time.

We’ve had fraud, in the past, when the AVS pasted muster, but the ship to was to a different address. In fact, one time, it was to a vacant house, and the perp was using a stolen card number (and they knew the CCV code), so there were no flags on our end. But they had it shipped to a vacant house, and used the tracking number we send to know when the package was to arrive. Local police in that city helped us and I believe they were able to arrest the guy and our company wasn’t the only one he was ripping off.

So certain items, over a specific dollar amount, using a different bill to/ship to will get extra scrutiny from us. If we can’t connect the ship to to the customer (using databases and other tools), we attempt to contact the legitimate phone number at the bill to, or verify a cell is listed to that person and call them to make sure they want their order shipped to a different address.


32 posted on 02/02/2009 9:33:57 AM PST by dawn53
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To: steve86
Everyone of the IT guys at work who promote Ubuntu & other versions of Linux, love MythTV....just gotta find the Linux driver that is vid board specific. There's not many out there except for the most common older video cards (I don't know that much about video card innards and Linux yet to write and compile my own drivers).

I've read that ATI drivers do not support XvMC. I assume you are running XP/Vista??

Sounds like a recent possible MS OS security update (browser plug-in related) that conflicts with your DRM?

Geeze, the stuff I've had to bone up on the last 4 years since the push for 'the need for speed' has come about.

If you are running a MS OS, maybe you should try going back to a past restore point before the problem showed up.

As far as running the old Dell for my purposes front-end purposes. seems as though it shouldn't be an issue with Linux.

Even with all that said, still a monthly bill for TiVo is BS.....I like HD, but, I've lived long enough to know the old VCR worked well for years. It's just nice tying in new PC's into the HT and using it to record for free.

That new Q6700 system plays regular DVD's much better than my Toshiba (2003) DVD player using the same monitor and that's using component out to the 28" LCD monitor from both sources. The OTA tuner box uses HSMI to the monitor - only one on the LCD.

Good luck with your 'hobby' headache...you'll get it working.

33 posted on 02/02/2009 9:52:57 AM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: Lorianne

If true, may be sleazy. But then, no one has a “right” to a line of credit in any specific amount.


34 posted on 02/02/2009 9:57:39 AM PST by Larry Lucido
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To: Lorianne

I thought American Express cards had no pre-set spending limit? I use my Amex green card at the local warehouse store, a couple of carry-out restaurants, and that’s it. So I guess Costco, Scarpatti’s Pizza, and the Chinese Palace count as up-scale retailers.


35 posted on 02/02/2009 10:02:49 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Lorianne

I understand the issue as it is being reported. But I don’t make purchases that even approach my credit limit, much less exceed it, mainly because my beginning balance each month is $0.

However, for those people that love paying banks tohusands of $$$ a year in credit card interest I can see how this could be a problem. If they had a higher credit limit, they could transfer even more of their wealth to the banks in monthly interest payments.


36 posted on 02/02/2009 10:13:31 AM PST by citizen (Fascism: All persons, capital & activities exist to support the will & best interests of the State.)
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To: RSmithOpt

No, it is Mandriva Linux 2009. The kernel version and Linux app names should have clued you into that!


37 posted on 02/02/2009 11:56:15 AM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: steve86
OK, thanks...I'm in process of learning learning more about LINUX (just started poking around with it the last 3 months) and the different versions (lot's of reading, reviews, tinkering....I'm basically a test systems designer, worker, technician, not a heavy programmer in PC operating platforms. Spec out PC interface boards, sources, switches, detectors, install software, troubleshoot, training techs to use, etc.

So far, what I've seen about Linux, I like. Most of my programming experience has been in FORTRAN, PL1/PLC and HP Basic, DOS in years past. Windows has been an ongoing learning process with its headaches / stability / changes upgrades, writing macros for Excel, debugging other's Viz Basic routines, etc. We're strictly Windoze here at work other than the UNIX mainframes (2) which I have no interaction with.

38 posted on 02/02/2009 12:08:29 PM PST by RSmithOpt (Liberalism: Highway to Hell)
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To: Lorianne
I shop at Walmart all time, and have a great credit score.

If I had never shopped there, and all of a sudden started shopping at discount stores, I can see why AMEX would get worried.

39 posted on 02/02/2009 3:29:51 PM PST by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Ben Ficklin

H-hah-hah-hah!

Thank you for that point...which almost singlehandedly validates my contention about the questionable source.

“If it’s in ‘The Times’ - it ain’t fit for newsprint!”

A.A.C.


40 posted on 02/04/2009 1:54:22 PM PST by AmericanArchConservative (Armour on, Lances high, Swords out, Bows drawn, Shields front ... Eagles UP!)
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To: AmericanArchConservative

Mother Jones is a communist propaganda rag,
and they hate Walmart,
and I wouldn’t doubt if they have a chip on their shoulder about Amex.


41 posted on 02/04/2009 1:56:16 PM PST by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: flowerplough

Asked ‘em to stop sending such retardation; they said they couldn’t help it.

Sounds like Blue States and their Congressmen.


42 posted on 02/04/2009 1:57:27 PM PST by MrB (The 0bamanation: Marxism, Infanticide, Appeasement, Depression, Thuggery, and Censorship)
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To: steve86

My Debit Card is Master Card and it is insured the same as a Credit Card.

I would never use a credit card I like my money and if I want it I save for it.

Raised on Dave Ramsey I am.


43 posted on 02/04/2009 2:06:00 PM PST by Rightly Biased (Gentlemen, please. Rest your sphincters.)
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To: Rightly Biased
My Debit Card is Master Card and it is insured the same as a Credit Card.

It might be "insured" but I never want to write a check or try to withdraw from an ATM and find there is no money there...insured or not.

44 posted on 02/04/2009 2:34:26 PM PST by steve86 (Acerbic by nature, not nurture)
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To: AmericanArchConservative

Some people are proud of the fact that they only thing they know about a particular subject is limited to what they read about it at Free Republic.


45 posted on 02/04/2009 2:39:20 PM PST by Ben Ficklin
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To: MrB

Yes, exactly so.


46 posted on 02/04/2009 10:33:56 PM PST by AmericanArchConservative (Armour on, Lances high, Swords out, Bows drawn, Shields front ... Eagles UP!)
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