Posted by Victoria | Filed under Victoria
Today I phoned the bank to cancel my credit card. Not to cancel the account, mind, but to ask for a new piece of plastic, the first having been lost — as I mentioned last week — somewhere in the wilds of New Brunswick. I put a hold on it almost immediately (and well before anyone else found it, if they have), spent the week making sure it hadn’t just fallen into my purse or down the side of the car somewhere, then decided enough was enough, and phoned about it. No problems, of course, unlike the time I phoned about reducing my limit, where I was given enough of a hard sell to make me back off for a while.
In the mean time, I missed a monthly donation I like to make through Canada Helps; was slightly late paying for my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box, as it had to go by cheque and the long weekend delayed things; and nearly forgot to pay my phone bill, which I eventually did using my other credit card. Only the Canada Helps donation is an automatic payment, as I don’t really like having my information everywhere. Though I do think it was saved on the Air Canada, Porter, and Abebooks websites, the places I use the credit card the most.
Now I have another credit card, my first one, through another bank. Since I payed it down last year (the first of my debts I paid down, its fully unused credit limit a continuing minor source of pleasure), I’ve used it rarely. I don’t get any points through it, which I do with my other credit card, the one I lost. It has a credit limit that is thousands of dollars above what I need or want to need it for.
I have been considering asking for the credit limit to be dropped — and this time being firm about it. With two cards, I don’t need a great amount on both of them. Also, as I found with the length of time it took me to pay down my other credit card, I really don’t want to get back into credit card debt. I have been trying hard to build an emergency fund, so that even if I have to put something (like the flights to my grandfather’s funeral earlier this summer) on the credit card, I can pay it off quickly, without the 19.99% interest accumulating as it so quickly does.
These are just musings, I’m afraid. I keep wondering if I won’t need that high credit limit — but why? That was the argument the Visa person used. At the moment I don’t have any problems keeping the cards paid off, but I do know that once I start paying for regular things with it I add in those extras that, alas, add up. (I buy one book and suddenly that second one doesn’t seem like an extravagance any longer. It’s terrible.) I don’t want to be in the position that I need to use my credit cards as my emergency net — and I’m not right now. But yet . . .
How do you use credit wisely? Is two cards good? Too many? It was surely convenient to be able to pay my phone bill while travelling instead of having to wait until I got home to get my chequebook. But it feels like a dangerous slope to have two, both of them with high limits. Identity theft is sadly very possible, and I’m just lucky that I lost my credit card rather than having it be stolen, and that I noticed before it was too late.