Sunday, 20 June 2010

7 Credit Cards

Ok I admit. I'm one of those who had more than 2 credit cards. In fact, I had a total of 7!

My first credit card was from Maybank. I got it when I first started working and figured that having a credit card is important in an emergency. So I registered for one, and Maybank happily gave me another card which was a Visa.

(Ever wondered why Mastercard must always come together with Visa? But American Express can stand alone? I don't know the answer either.)

After a couple of years and me being a good paymaster, Maybank upgraded my Gold cards to Platinum without cancelling the Gold cards.

My love affair with Maybank continued when they gave me an American Express (Amex). I didn't use at all after a virgin transaction at a Petronas station did not go through. I just kept the card for fun after that failed transaction.

So I've got 5 cards from Maybank - 2 Gold, 2 Platinum and an Amex.

The remaining 2 cards were from HSBC. I signed up for their Visa and Mastercard during a conference because I wanted to get the free pen they were enticing me with :-) The ink in that pen has long dried up but the cards stayed with me long after that.

I only used my HSBC cards whenever necessary. Most of the time I used my Maybank cards cause it takes less points to exchange for gifts in Maybank compared to HSBC. For example, it takes only 9,400 points to exchange for a RM50 Senheng voucher with Maybank, versus 11,000 points to exchange a similar voucher with HSBC.

After the government made the announcement  that we have to pay some stupid service tax of RM100 for each credit card we own, there was one word that came to mind: consolidation.

So at the beginning of this year I started a consolidation exercise.

First, I exchanged all the points I had with HSBC for an Isetan RM50.00 shopping voucher. The voucher is still sitting in my wallet. I'm waiting  for an opportune time to purchase a super feminine dress during the Isetan sales that they organise frequently for its members.

After receiving the Isetan voucher, I called up HSBC to cancel both my cards. I was surprised the lady who attended my call didn't ask me to reconsider keeping my cards. I guess they must have anticipated the sudden increase in people wanting to cancel their cards, especially after the service tax announcement.

Then I called up Maybank and told them to transfer all my balance and Treatpoints from my Gold cards to my Platinum ones before cancelling my Gold cards, as well as my Amex which does not have any balance or points in the first place.

So now I only have 2 credit cards, and I intend to keep it that way.

4 comments:

juphelia said...

Very good management! The more cards one have, the more one spends. That is how debt comes about. Keeping cards to the minimum is a good way to curb spending and hence more able to manage payment.

Queen of hearts said...

Yeay! Good for you Julie!

Yes, I agree. We (hubby and I) had 2 cards. Standard Chartered and Ikea Friends (Alliance bank). Each year when my hubby pays for the cards, somehow it'll magically maxed out. LOL! *roll eyes*
Last year when he got his bonus he paid both cards back to zero credit (again). And then we decided it's best to close our Standard Chartered credit card account.
So we are only keeping 1 credit card and paying for whatever we spend on the previous month in full.
Hope it stays this way. Hahaha!

Julie Lim said...

Juphelia,

Credit cards are supposed to help us manage our spending, not get us bankrupt. And that is exactly why I cancelled all my unused cards :-)

Julie Lim said...

Sophie a.k.a. Queen of Hearts,

Good that you're paying up in full every month. Unfortunately not many people have such good habits. They prefer to pay the minimum amount every month and soon their bills begin to accumulate more and more each month till it gets out of control and bankruptcy sets in.

I used to be a Standard Chartered card holder a couple of years back. But I terminated the card cause their services were terrible - slow, long and unnecessary processes, etc.

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