Earn $50 by Threatening to Cancel your Credit Card: Not a Joke

-- Download Earn $50 by Threatening to Cancel your Credit Card: Not a Joke as PDF --

Here is a follow-up, of sorts, to an earlier post about the arbitrary and substantial power that random customer service agents have to appease complaining customers.

It goes like this.

Call your credit card company to cancel your card and watch them dance. I did that tonight, calling CIBC to cancel a card I don’t use anymore. Buddy asked why. I said I don’t want to do business with banks anymore. Maybe he thought I prefered under my mattress, but I’m such a credit union guy, but I didn’t elaborate. As if he actually cared.

He asked if I would reconsider. I said no. He offered me a $50 credit, on the spot. So I said yes, I’ll keep the card. Which I never use. And that has no annual fee. And that never had a balance carry over.

After I spend the $50, I’ll call to cancel the card again. I wonder how many times I can do this before they just say fine, go.

I remember a few months ago word going around that if you phone up your friendly neighbourhood [ok, global corporation] credit card usurer and ask to have your interest rate dropped from 19% or 24% or whatever to 11% that they’d almost certainly do it, or almost meet the rate you ask for.

Maybe it’s the global recession, but I’ve NEVER been offered free money to not cancel a credit card.

So that was the easiest $1500/hour I’ve ever earned. Give it a try.

The following two tabs change content below.

Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

Latest posts by Stephen Elliott-Buckley (see all)

7 thoughts on “Earn $50 by Threatening to Cancel your Credit Card: Not a Joke”

  1. Glad to hear that your credit card company responded in a productive way. I’d suggest you consider keeping that card open because it sounds like you’ve got a lengthy, squeaky-clean credit history with that card, and that’s awfully good for your FICO score. Your healthy FICO is a big part of why you can get that lower interest rate on your card and on subsequent loans like mortgages or auto loans.

    PS I work at a credit union, so I’m always happy to hear someone refer to himself as “such a credit union guy”!

  2. the report i saw in the news months ago examined people whose credit rating was even not so squeaky clean. they were able to get rate reductions upon asking.

    i don’t expect to keep the card for long. as credit card spending limits show up as potential debt on my credit rating. i’d like to have that not fact into my debt load if i want to look for a mortgage.

    and in fact i haven’t asked yet for lower interest rates because i don’t carry balances over…at least at this point in my life anyway. 🙂

    banks are toxic. cooperatives rock. yay ghcu!

  3. Yay for informed consumers! It’s great that you’re doing this–the more people know the better decisions they make. One thing: not sure what you meant about “potential debt.” Having a lot of credit available isn’t of itself a bad thing–just as long as you keep your credit debt to less than 1/3 of your available credit at any given time. That means you owe less than 1/3 of the aggregate of all your cards: credit, store cards, gas cards, etc. Going over that margin is when your FICO gets dinged. Check out my blog, Let’s Get Fiscal, at the Seattle PI–I love informed debate and conversation!

  4. the potential debt idea comes from years ago talking to someone about mortgages and they said that the sum total of all the credit card maxes counts against me in terms of my debt load or whatever. so i should cancel unused credit cards a few months before applying for a mortgage.

    the first step in sanity is not having store/gas credit cards. 🙂

    i hate informed debate and conversation. you’ve apparently come to the wrong place. 🙂

  5. Actually that idea of cancelling old credit cards in order to reduce overall credit-debt potential is out of date now. What matters is having a mix of credit, keeping that ratio of actual debt to potential debt low and having a lengthy history of on-time payments. So if those old ones are good ones, keep ’em. Just don’t apply for a bunch of new cards all at one time: that’s a real red flag for the folks at Fair Issacs.

    I think the key here is “years ago.” Credit score-keeping has changed! You can also get your credit score (though you’ll have to pay for it) and see what it is and what’s contributing to it. If you’re over 730, you’re pretty golden, and all this conversation is moot!



  6. Hmmmm. Good question. According to this article http://www.fairisaac.com/fic/en/news/press-releases/Canada-based-CUETS-Implements-Fair-Isaac-Decision-Management-Solutions-to-Improve-Credit-Account-Ori.htm, it does apply to Canadians, but then that article is from 2006. I imagine since the credit card companies are global, their rating strategies are the same. Sorry I don’t have the full information on that, but if you find out, I’d love to know!

    And you’re very welcome, btw. The teacher in me digs passing along information!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.