Diligent Credit Card Payments Are Abnormal

Chase Bank thinks I am abandoning ship on them. They send me convenience checks and balance transfer offers on my Amazon Visa card all the time with a letter that more or less starts with,

Dear Maggie,

We noticed that you recently made a large payment to your Amazon Visa account. We hope that we are not in danger of losing your patronage…

I receive these checks almost monthly within a week or two of paying my credit card bill in full around the 10th of each month. It doesn’t matter if my balance was $50 or $500–Chase’s computers apparently have me flagged as one of those annoyingly unprofitable customers who persist in paying off their balances each and every month.

It’s a funny thing when NOT carrying a balance and/or hemorrhaging money on 24.99% interest is the exception, not the norm, and credit card companies assume you are on the verge of clearing out your debt to them and closing your account simply because you make more than the minimum payment each month.

While I will admit to playing fast and loose with credit cards in my early 20’s–I think I owed around $11,000 combined on two cards at one point, but I paid the debt off aggressively in under a year–I have been very responsible with my plastic for the past few years. I use two cards these days, an Amazon.com Visa card that rewards me with a $25 Amazon gift certificate for every 2500 points I earn (3 points per dollar for any purchases made on Amazon’s site, and 1 point per dollar on purchases anywhere else), and a Discover Gasoline card that kicks back 5% on all fuel purchases. I use the cards for just about all of my necessary purchases, but I make sure I have a ballpark estimate of how much I have in my real checking account so I don’t overextend myself. Big, out of the ordinary purchases always get plugged into MS Money’s cash flow forecast tool to ensure that they won’t throw my finances off too badly.

By using my cards conservatively for things I’d normally pay for with a debit card or checks and paying them off promptly each month, I get all the cashback and gift certificate perks without paying a single cent of interest to the credit card companies. It actually costs Discover and Chase around $20-$25 every other month in rewards alone to keep me in their stable of patrons.  Even worse, I periodically call them up to ask for lower interest rates because, well, it never hurts to ask.
I’m amazed that they haven’t booted me out of their customer roster. :whistle:

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