Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spending Diet - I TRIED!

Well, doing so well on the spending diet.  I got my credit card statement today and was jumping up and down (not literally, but in my head) because I was expecting to open it up and see a big, fat $0 balance.  Not so, Chelle, not so!

Those jerks at HSBC charged me a $59 annual fee.  Are they serious????  I've never paid an annual fee before on this card.  So, one of two things has happened and I am not happy about whichever one it is.

One, because I paid off my balance, the credit card company wanted a little more revenue from me in the form of an annual fee.  Hence, $59.

Two, because of whatever those screwed up laws are that Congress recently passed and our darling president signed into law, the bank/credit card company lost some kind of funding or fees or some such.  It was the program designed to "help" us poor slobs who are paying their bills on time.  Guess what, Congress and Mr. Obama?  The banks are just passing those hits right on to us CONSUMERS!!!!  You know, the people you were supposed to be helping?

How am I supposed to get debt free when I am charged arbitrary fees that I can't control?  So, here's the question  Do I pay the fee and cancel the card?  I don't want the privilege of having a card that is going to charge me to have it.  Is the fee for last year or the year coming up?  If it's for the year coming up, can I cancel the card without paying their freaking fee?

Oh, yes, I am very unhappy.  I was so excited to have paid off that $1,577 balance last month.  I wanted to snap a picture of a credit card statement (with my phone camera) with a $0 balance and put it up as an inspiration and incentive to myself to keep on going with this spending diet thing.  Which is starting to feel an awful lot like walking in the desert without any ice water.  Where's the incentive if they're going to just add fees on anyway?  Is this supposed to make me cut my credit cards up and not have any?

Okay, there's a thought and not a bad idea.  But...the problem with that is that they are getting ready to impose a $50 or $100 limit on debit card transactions.  So, say I go to Wal-Mart again and really have decided that I have saved enough money in cash to buy that digital camera or iPad that I've been wanting so badly and there's a limit.  I can (a) go to the bank like I used to do way back in the Dark Ages when dinosaurs roamed the earth and take cash out; (b) write a check (Seriously, a check?  Who does that?); or (c) use a credit card and pay the balance off at the end of the month. 

I don't like these new fees and restrictions one bit.  I've been saying (which is probably just regurgitation of what Justin has been saying) that I think the government is way too involved in my life.  Because of some stupid law that was passed, now I have to pay an annual fee. 

I don't bill myself a Republican or a Democrat.  I like to vote for whoever I believe is the best man or woman for the job.  But I think this stinks.  I think neither side is really paying attention to what is best for their constituents right now.  I don't know enough politics to actually argue this point very well, so I'm going to leave it at this:

I don't think I should have to pay an annual fee on a credit card I just paid off.  Who do I talk to?  Do I write my congressman?  Do I call the company and try to grovel my way out of the fee by explaining what an awesome customer I've been?  Do I write them a letter and tell them I'm not paying it and they can kiss my ever-loving ass?  Any thoughts?

3 comments:

  1. Chelle,

    Annual fees are forward looking, you are paying to use the card in the future, if you don't want to use the card, call and cancel it, hopefully they will not charge you the fee. Additionally you could try to call and complain and see if they will waive the fee for you, but assuming you get them to do it this year, don't expect it every year going forward.

    Another option, switch cards. Jump over to bankrate.com and click on the credit card tab, look for lowest interest rate cards that have no annual fee. The site is pretty easy to navigate and you have plenty of options to choose from.

    Mark

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  2. Thanks for the suggestion and the info Mark. Justin tried to cancel his earlier this year when they did that to him and they wouldn't waive the fee. I will check out the one you've suggested because we've talked about switching cards. I'd rather not have any, but in this day and age, apparently that's not a good idea. I hate it that we need credit because I'm so bad at controlling my spending!

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  3. Cancel the card! There's too many other options that don't require an annual fee.

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