- If you cancel your card, it can still be billed, often for several months afterwards.
- You know how you're always asked to give your expiry date? Well, most banks don't care if it's right or wrong.
- You know how a card is a 16 digit number? The first six digits are a number that your bank gives to everyone (the bank identification number), and one of the digits is a checksum. So really, it's a nine digit number.
- Gift cards aren't like credit cards except in appearance. For example, with some gift cards (such as Westfield) any money on the card "disappears" after 12 months. And on some cards, there's a 3% fee for each transaction. Which? did a report on gift cards.
- You know how people are always telling you that you should change your password each month? Well, when your card expires (after two or three years) the bank issues you with a "new" one. But usually, the number is the same. And since your credit card number is like a password to your money, I do wonder why they don't change it every couple of years. Is there a shortage of 16 digit numbers?
- Everyone wants to issue you with a credit card - Amazon, Tesco, Paypal and Sainsburys for example. Why is this? Could it be that they make a profit out of you using their credit card? I went to the Tesco web site to find out what having one of their cards would cost me. I searched diligently, but no mention was made of an annual fee. I phoned them; the customer service person said that there's no annual or monthly fee. The Sainsbury web site says there's no fee. Paypal says there's no fee. Amazon don't mention a fee.
Does your bank charge you an annual fee? If they do, explain to them that you're thinking of changing to one of the above, maybe they'll forgive you the fee.
- different card offer different interest rates. Barclays web site, if you have "excellent credit history", offer 18.9%. Tesco (and the others) offer 16.9%. As a general rule, the retailers seem to offer better deals than the banks. I think it's obvious why.