In which #1 carries a lot of cash to Las Vegas*

So, we moved for the sabbatical.  And in moving, Citicard somehow did not get my replacement card to me because one of the addresses they had on file didn’t have an apartment number listed.  (The bills came just fine, but the card got sent back to them.)  Nobody told me this, of course.  I contacted Citi once to find out they hadn’t sent out the card, then a second time to find out they’d just sent the card, then a third time to find out they’d just sent out a second card because the first one had been returned but this customer service person had the bright idea to check the address on file and caught the missing apartment number and thus sent out a third card.  Unfortunately when she asked if I needed it immediately I said no because I figured that I could use my other (Bank of America) card on my business trip the next week.

Fortunately for me then, that after a very stressful weekend full of work, I decided I needed an iced coffee to keep me productive on Monday morning.  Fortunately too I decided to try my second credit card even though I still had a day left on my preferred card.  My second card was declined.

DECLINED!  Even though it said it was not supposed to expire for another few months yet.  Fortunately I still had a day left on the first card or I would have had to leave the coffee.

So I called and they said I hadn’t used it in over a year.  I’m like sure, that may be true (I usually make sure to use it for gas every now and then, but it is entirely possible that I let a year slip), but shouldn’t you send me some kind of notice that you’ve closed the account or that you’re about to close it?  Apparently not.  Or maybe that notice, too, was lost during the move.  I asked them to reinstate my card.  They said they couldn’t.  I asked for a manager, they asked me lots of questions about my credit-worthiness and then told me the terms of the card had changed since I got it so I would have to reapply from scratch.  No thank you, I said, I will use a different company.

That evening I poked around the internet for credit card options and decided on a nice Capital One card with 0 annual fees, 0 international fees (wish I’d gotten it before the last two international trips I took since I’ve been paying exchange fees), unlimited 1.5% cashback, and $100 enticement fee should I charge $500 within the next 3 months.  I was, of course, instantly approved and they gave me a 30K line of credit.  Stupid B of A.

So yeah, I don’t even have an ATM card because I never use cash (DH handles such filthy lucre).  Except for this business trip– gotta get food at the airport.  Gotta get a taxi to and from the airport.  It was awful having to watch how much I spent and to be careful with the money and all that stuff I used to do but haven’t had to do in ages.  I love me plastic so much.  (I did take a check-book too, but not everyplace takes checks, and not everyplace that takes checks takes out of state checks.)

So, yay latte factor (even though I rarely indulge), otherwise I would have been stuck at the airport in Vegas with no way to get to the hotel (after skipping lunch because my card was declined on the plane).  Or worse, starving in front of the hotel with an angry cab driver, praying that he’ll somehow be able to take DH’s credit card over the phone.

Share your credit card (or cardless) experiences, grumpy nation!

*City may have been changed to protect identity.

18 Responses to “In which #1 carries a lot of cash to Las Vegas*”

  1. Engineer Cents (@engineercents) Says:

    At first I thought you were actually in Las Vegas and I thought, “Wow that’s a weird place to take your sabbatical.” With regard to credit cards being declined, when my partner’s mother and I were going shopping for house supplies a few weeks ago, we found that both our credit cards had been flagged for fraudulent activity. Turns out the register we used had been the source of some suspicious transactions so everyone who used it thereafter was starting to get declined.

  2. Norwegian Forest Cat Says:

    I really, really hate BoA. They are the worst about replacement cards and only keep you in the loop about anything related to your accounts if it means they might make money off of you somehow. At one point, my card # was compromised (Target? Home Depot? Local grocery store? Who knows, but my card was replaced 3x in 5 months). They informed me of this using a robocaller with a phone number that was impossible to trace, and my area has been subjected to lots of robocall phone scams for “Bank of America”, so I ignored the phone call and didn’t find anything out until I had called to update them on some upcoming travel plans, since they also conveniently flag my account for suspicious activity sometimes when I travel because my expenditures are so much larger than normal (hotels, etc.).

    I happened to be headed out of town for a long-ish trip for a conference/holiday weekend, in which I really needed my card to track work-related expenses for reimbursement (university throws a fit when you use cash). I sure as hell wasn’t going to take my debit card with me and have that be compromised/stolen too and I only keep 1 credit card to reduce the brainpower required to manage my finances, so I called to see when card would show up. It’s coming next week, they said. I said “I need it sooner, I am headed out of town and need this card before I go.” They couldn’t figure it out, and eventually I had to change my address on file, have them send it to my mom ASAP, and she overnighted it to my hotel via secure mail. What a ridiculous scam.

    That same trip, Enterprise literally lost my rental car (they rented it out again without checking it in) and wanted to charge me for 2 extra WEEKS of rental until they realized it was their mistake. Will be switching banks as soon as I get married, and will never use Enterprise again.

  3. Foscavista Says:

    And I thought this post was going to be about how #1 lost all sense of financial responsibility! :-(

  4. chacha1 Says:

    BofA is pretty stupid. I have one BofA card, which I used to pay the tuition for my paralegal course, and a Capital One card. I use the C1 card by preference since they have never, not once, f***ed me over. Whereas BofA makes customer-service and security errors all.the.time. …. Once this tuition is paid off, the BofA card goes in the safe … until I have achieved a regular cash lifestyle to the point that C1 can be my “emergency fund when cash emergency fund runs out” and not my “oh s**t the car broke again” cash-flow float. And then it gets cut up in a million shiny little pieces.

  5. becca Says:

    This is a fine reason to have at least two cards, and keep one in a drawer after using it to set up auto pay Netflix or the like and auto withdraw from your checking.

    My Chase Freedom is the only card I have I would recommend to anyone. Aside from the solid rewards, they did a good job for me when I was traveling somewhere I never had before (i.e. they texted me a fraud alert and let me text or call in right there, and it all got straightened out in the time I was taking to shop. Very reasonable).
    I am… skeptical re: BoA. Not sure why I have a sense of unease with them, but I do. I have a friend who banks through them who sometimes needs a bit of cash for medicine or the like, and I’d like to be able to seemlessly and freely transfer her money, but it’s not quite enough of a reason to set up an account with them.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      DH’s second card is a chase freedom. We haven’t had any trouble with it.

      • Debbie M Says:

        No trouble with mine, either, except they keep changing the terms on it. By which I mean reducing the rewards in various ways. This December when the extra rewards for having a Chase checking account disappear, I’m closing the checking account and canceling the card. I do have a BoA card I got because of a $500 bonus, but I like how it actually counts all the grocery stores and gas stations I go to as grocery stores and gas stations (unlike American Express). And I also have a Capitol One card for the 1.5% reward on everything else. Thanks for the warning on the BoA evil. I think I’m safe from it not working after a year because I buy gas and groceries quite frequently. But that is a really, really sucky thing to do and I’m sorry it happened to you.

      • Rented life Says:

        Huh I should check our rewards to see if they’ve changed.

  6. Cloud Says:

    I think BofA is stupid. We have a backup card that we almost never use, and not only has Chase not canceled it, they keep sending us things to try to tempt us to use it.

    My main card is a UPromise card that pays a small amount from each transaction into our 529s. My husband’s main card is one that just gives us straight cash back. We’ve been reasonably happy with both, but we haven’t down a thorough evaluation or anything like that. The UPromise card keeps transferring banks. It is currently a Barclaycard.

  7. Rented life Says:

    I had a BofA cars never activated that someone many states away was able to put purchases on even though she had the card number wrong by a few numbers. I raised hell–how can someone use the wrong numbers and it get put on my inactivated card because it was “close enough”. They really didn’t care either.

  8. RBOC | Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured) Says:

    […] of the missing credit card solved– our neighbors have been holding on to our mail that got delivered to them accidentally […]


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