Credit Card Companies – How to really stick it to them

By glblguy


My disdain for credit card companies and their unethical practices isn’t a secret. I’ve written quite a few articles here on Gather Little by Little about how I dislike them. The unfortunate reality for many of us that previously lived in the land of stupid for too many years (or maybe even still do) is a large amount of credit card debt that we’re stuck with until we can get it paid off.

Unless you can find options for transferring that debt, we have no alternative other than to continue to deal the credit card companies. If you’re in that boat like I am, than I highly suggest you make every effort possible to minimize the amount of profit they get from you while you’re with them. Not sure how? Here are just a few ideas:

Zero Percent Balance Transfers

Credit card companies are highly profitable due to high interest rates and fees. The best and most effective way you can “stick it to them” is to minimize their profits. A few credit card companies still offer zero percent balance transfer options. If you’re currently paying any interest at all on a credit card, you’re crazy to not move that balance to a zero percent balance transfer card. I did this recently and have literally saved myself hundreds in interest alone over the past few months.

In today’s economy, zero percent balance transfer options are becoming very rare, but there are a couple of the one’s still around and that I personally like. Applying for these cards literally takes only a few minutes and depending on your credit card balance, could literally save you hundreds of dollars each month! To be real honest, I am not sure how much longer these types of offers will be around. I’d suggest taking advantage of them while you can.

Personally, I moved my balances to the Discover More Card – Sealife Collection. Thus far, I’ve been very happy with my decision. Don’t wait folks, there is no reason to continue to pay interest to credit card companies.

Make your payments on time

While they don’t act like, credit card companies love it when you pay late. That’s when they get to nail you with a $25 or more late fee. If you have a zero percent balance transfer option, they’ll also immediately bump the 0% rate up to some crazy level of internet like 25% or more.

Make sure you pay your monthly minimums on time. Better yet, pay early and pay more. I recommend starting a debt snowball along with debt snowflaking to optimize the amount of money you are paying on your card, and minimize the amount of time you have to deal with the credit card companies.

Cut up your cards

Credit card companies of course love it when you continue to use your credit card, especially if you fall back into old habits of not paying off your monthly balance. Many personal finance bloggers utilize credit cards as a source of income, and if you are 100% responsible with your credit cards and have some level of trust with the credit card companies, I can see how that would make sense. I don’t trust them though, so I doubt seriously you’ll ever see me go that path. I just don’t like playing with snakes, and that is what credit card companies are in my opinion, venomous snakes.

If you don’t have the plastic in hand to use it, you can’t use it right? So cut up your cards. Yes, I said cut up your cards. Take a pair of scissors and literally dice them up and throw them away. I would suggest writing your account number down in a secure location, so you have it, but you don’t need the plastic. Scissors too boring for you? Here’s a list of 10 creative ways you can cut up your credit cards.

For those of you like me that are anti-credit card, what suggestions do you have for sticking it to those credit card companies? What steps have you taken to reduce that amount of profit they make from you? Add a comment!

Photo by: TheTruthAbout…

17 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Credit Card Companies – How to really stick it to them”

  1. Nicki at Domestic Cents Says:

    I’m in the boat with you (I think it’s a pretty big boat). We stopped using credit cards at least a year and a half ago but we’re still paying on them. Good tips!

  2. DDFD at Says:

    The way we can all stick it to the CC companies is the payoff our balances every month– their profit margins would plummet!

  3. Miranda Says:

    It’s all about paying off each month. I like to stick to ’em by getting the rewards, but not paying the interest. I know this doesn’t work for everyone, though.

  4. Baker @ ManVsDebt Says:

    I really enjoyed the post and thought it shared some great ideas for sticking it to the credit card companies. I’ve recently declared “war” on my debts and as a part of that have swore off any credit cards.

    My only complaint is that if with an anti-credit stance I always hate to see links to credit card offers, even though I understand you are trying to provide a benefit to some who are paying high interest.

    I think sometimes when people do 0% balance transfer in their mind it registers as if they’ve actually solved the problem at least temporarily. Meaning they often time will justify staying in debt longer because they have 0% for another 6 months or whatever. The intentions are to pay it off, but life happens, more excuses come up, or they find another 0% and are happy to pay the balance transfer to buy another 6 months.

    Overall great post though, I enjoyed it greatly!

  5. Diane Says:

    I like to use credit cards to my advantage, while not paying them anything! I don’t need to cut up my cards, because I can discipline myself to use them safely.

    My cards are all paid off – finally! I will use them to charge & get rewards, but only what I can pay off each month. I always pay the full balance at the end of the month – online and in advance so there can be no mistake.

    The only exception is 0% offers from stores like Home Depot or Best Buy, where I can use their money for 6, 12 or 18 months with no interest, provided the balance is paid in full by the expiration date. I only charge things I need (washer/dryer, for example) that I could pay cash for if need be. Then I keep my cash in savings (earning interest) and make monthly payments so that the balance is paid in full 1 month early.

    Using their money for free works for me! I don’t trust the credit card companies, with all their recent tricks & changes to terms, so I’m not taking any chances.

    The irony is that if you really need credit cards because you can’t pay for something in full, that’s when you can’t really afford to use them…

  6. SJ Says:

    Hrm. Don’t credit cards always make money for the company?
    i.e. charging a small fee to the vendor?

    We get convenience, the vendor gets potentially more customers, and there’s slightly more money paid by us regardless of method paid (which we don’t completely recoup via rewards?)

  7. Abigail Says:

    Once we get this debt paid off, we will always be paying our balances in full.

    Until then, we pay with each paycheck. This reduces the effect of the double billing cycle, and it keeps us from ever getting a late fee.

  8. Keith Says:

    Very sound advice. It took me years to pay off debt that developed when I was married and went with me after my divorce. I like any idea that involves “sticking it to the credit card companies” and you have some good ideas in this article.

    Now, could you write an article on how to stick it to the cell phone companies? :-)

  9. micki Says:

    I love the picture. I stopped using credit but this month had to break it out for a couple of things. My dog had some issues in Feb and broke my emergency fund, and then had issues before I could get it back up to speed again (winter is slow for me) so I broke it out for that and her meds. Ugh.

    Amex cut me 2x in less than a month. I’m sure my credit took a hit. I’m a bit peeved because they were the ones who raised the limit without asking. I’m faithful in my payments & I don’t pay just the minimums (I generally pay about 50-100 over the minimum which is already pretty hefty.) This seems like a fairly crummy way to treat a faithful customer but I guess that is the new way of doing business.

    Anyway, I am working on getting my emergency fund back up so I can make all my credit cards go bye-bye. Oh how I hate ’em.

  10. Jamie Says:

    We are sooooo close to getting out of credit card debt. Fully expect to be free and clear sometime in April. Just in time for our car insurance rates to jump as two of our teens will receive their driver’s license.

    I couldn’t get any of the credit cards to lower their rates for me, and I wasn’t getting a lot of great offers through the mail (I noticed the mega jump from 0% to things like 21% after a certain deadline was met, not when I missed a payment. The 0% is sometimes only good through the next 6 months, for example. Most of the low balance transfer limits didn’t truly help us…in fact, we ran into the danger of just missing more due dates because we had so many.

    We ended up going to our credit union for a loan. Instead, they gave us a credit card that was half the % we were paying on our lowest card, and with enough space to transfer almost all our existing credit. I put the automatic withdrawl payment into affect for the minimum amount each month. For “snowballing” I made online payments. Every creditor is “bookmarked” and I edit the bookmark’s title with the next due date so I won’t miss sending a payment. Until we were able to build up a buffer-savings, I didn’t want autopayments on any of the other things (like phone, electricity) in case I needed to juggle a little. Soon, I didn’t have to juggle at all! We rent, so we don’t have a mortgage, so after April we’ll only have a single car payment at a low rate.

  11. fathersez Says:

    I like the heading of the article. You are right as usual. The CC companies are designed to make money the deeper we get into our holes. So naturally they use their vast resources to shoo us into the holes. Once we get educated (by blogs like yours), they move on to the younger more ignorant people. I really would not be surprised if they come up with something for kids soon.

  12. adrianjill Says:

    I have really enjoyed reading your posts about Credit cards. Thanks for all you do and share.They provide great services like open an account, whether it’s a savings account or a share certificate.