JFK Airport Has the TWA Hotel. LAX Says ‘Hold My Beer’

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About Gary Leff

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Bernie is complaining about the interest rate, hes not complaining about anything else. This is a very odd political post…there shouldn’t be 28% interest, unless you believe taking advantage of those who can’t afford it is honorable?

  2. @Joelfreak
    These are highly risky consumers. If you tell banks they can’t charge interest in line with customer risk, then you are telling banks not to serve those customers at all, or they will structure the products to be even more unappealing, such as through charging massive fees instead of interest…fees that can’t be avoided (while interest can very easily be avoided).

    But if you are really just trying to protect people from themselves, then why stop at the underbanked? We should make all credit cards illegal, since nobody should ever be so stupid as to pay credit card interest, right?

  3. Pretty blah 5% categories for Chase Freedom. I don’t buy a ton of gas, and I’m not going through the effort of changing my subscription services payment plan for 3 months just to get an extra $3 cash back…

  4. @Joelfreak

    “there shouldn’t be 28% interest”

    Ok, on what basis? Show your work.

    Nobody is forcing poorer people to sign up. If you’re so concerned, start your own bank and lend them money at whatever arbitrary number you’ve decided is morally OK.

  5. If people have a poor credit score they should pay higher rates as they are higher risks. Pretty simple economic principle that both banks and insurance companies have been using for years.

  6. Then why not allow for 400% interest? Why not beating them with lead pipes when they can’t pay? There should be a limit to interest rates, and that should be 15% or so. If you don’t want to loan to someone, then don’t loan to them, but don’t make it next to impossible for them to pay it back.

  7. The Chase Categories don’t help me much. I don’t buy gas and Netflix seems hardly worth it.

    Didn’t we argue about the Bernie credit card proposals several weeks ago. Capping interest rates would cause financial institutions to reduce credit card offerings to a lot of people, otherwise the financial institutions would lose their shirts. Bernie and AOC wanted to set up a USA government credit card to serve certain populations. I am thinking a USA government credit card would be a multi-trillion credit loss to the tax payers.

    Personally, if these fiscally irresponsible people get in charge (I know the current bunch are a joke in terms of responsibility, they might crash the government without being socialist), maybe there would be “400%” inflation. Then the Government would send the police in to collect the money for the treasury. Government guns are worse than “lead pipes”.

  8. In the early 90s, I had a former AA financial executive working for me and asked why AA in-flight service seemed superior to it’s domestic competition. He gave full credit to Crandall for holding people responsible down the organization chart.

  9. @Joelfreak – eliminating the ability to charge ‘28% interest’ doesn’t eliminate the need to borrow money. People choose the most advantageous option available to them, eliminate that and they’re faced with a choice that’s even worse. Credit cards are better than payday loans which are better than loan sharks who break your legs.

  10. @gary this is why you regulate. 15 percent is more than enough return on loans for banks. If you let them, lenders will keep ratcheting up rates and fees until they are compounding to levels impossible to maintain. Banks are able to borrow money from the federal government at almost 0 interest… Why is it so hard to think that the citizens should be able to not underwrite that?

  11. I earn 2% in my savings. I would not lend Joelfreak money, even at 50% interest, even if he had a good credit rating. Why, because lending people money is a good way to lose money, unless you are really really really really careful.

    To be honest, I am getting very impatient with these yahoos that pretend not to know what credit risk is. It is the number 1, 2, and 3 risk when you lend money. Credit risk is high with an open line of credit that people carry in a plastic or metal card in their pockets.

    WTh. Wimpy in Popeye said “I’d gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.” You will never get the hamburger back ever. 100% loss. DUH.

  12. @Joelfreak that simply isn’t true. If it were there would be a card issuer offering 15% interest to lesser credit customers in order to capture business. 15% may be sufficient for a bank to lend to you, but it’s the marginal consumers that are hurt most.

    Totally different issue is government subsidies for banks, where we’re likely to agree.

  13. @Gary, I agree with you. Banking is in the world of hard knocks. There have been banks, such as Advanta, that did have a business model of offering credit cards to lesser quality customers to capture business and they lost their shirts. When Walter Wriston was CEO, Citibank lost is shirt on early credit card offerings with the same strategy. Anybody can do some google searches and come up with multiple examples.

    “Totally different issue is government subsidies for banks, where we’re likely to agree.” I am neutral on this statement. Having the USA Government as a backstop reduces liquidity costs and risks. However, the Government also creates some massive costs. Smaller banks have been going out of business (that is, folded into larger banks) since the financial crisis due to increased regulatory and compliance costs.

  14. @Steve S — If you don’t actually buy gas, you probably would be able to find a convenience store, particularly a 7-11, that codes as a gas station where you could buy $500 gift cards. There’s plenty of guidance on the web about this.
    You’d pay about $5 for the gift card and net $25, and you could either use the gift card to make ordinary purchases or try to convert it into a money order. Is that worth the trouble? Personal preference, but doable.

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