Dear Amy, My Husband Is Addicted To Opening Credit Cards In My Name (For The Bonuses)

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Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I hope nobody can read Ford’s credit card number completely. Not smart to hold it up like thst unless it’s slready been cancelled

  2. I wonder if the wife is complaining about the sign up bonus and churning while enjoying or partaking in the benefits.

    If she is benefiting from the bonus, then she shouldn’t complain, or maybe pay her own way on that vacation.

    However, if the husband takes the points and use it for himself, then I’d say it’s fair to be left out of the game.

  3. I take offense to the label “predatory” used in the column. Banks offering individuals and businesses access to credit is not predatory. It’s the life blood of the economy and offers a means to succeed to those who use it responsibly. Those who abuse it have all the blame on them.

  4. The damage is done once the card is opened, so wife should cut off her own nose to spite hubbie’s face by refusing to use the points? She just wants him to stop opening more cards and there can be good reasons for that. Such as the ability to run up bills on said cards in her name and leave her holding the bag.

  5. @Jackson Waterson: it is actually predatory, because the interest rates are so high that it is actually usury. Really, anything above 10-12% or so is usury. It’s insane, the interest rates charged on credit card debt. So, it is predatory — the banks know that a lot of fools will spend beyond their means and then be on the hook for the rest of their lives. The ads for the cards are rather misleading and never mention how crippling credit card debt is. Most people do not receive the necessary education (in school) to be financially responsible. I have friends who make their college loan payments rather than their credit card payments and don’t understand that the interest rates are different. (“why does that matter?” facepalm…)
    Meanwhile, responsible, savvy people who get cards for the bonuses but never ever carry a balance (I count myself among them- I won’t go into debt) might get their accounts closed or audited if they cancel an Amex card within a year, or if Chase decides they’ve opened too many new accounts.
    The reason why rewards in other countries are lower is because credit card companies are generally more limited in what interest they can charge, and are better regulated. It is certainly better for society and for everybody, even if the potential rewards for us mileage grifters are lower.
    I just applied to a new card btw. I love the points hobby. But I do think the banks’ behavior is predatory.

  6. I feel like I’m just now getting over the habit of overspending with the multiple credit cards I own. Thankfully, all of my credit cards are paid off and my new merchandise is paaid in full. One thing I learned is to not be enticed to applying for every credit card that has special offers, such as frequent flyer points, and potential cash back rebates for spen. sometimes, you just have to ignore applying for new credit cards and be content with the credit card or credit cards you currently have.

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