I was among the first people to start using credit cards, several decades ago when the credit card was introduced to the masses as a way of paying for things. My enthusiasm for the cards has, however, waned over the years. And today, I can actually assert that over the years, I have actually come to dislike credit cards. So huge is my dislike for the cards that nowadays, I only maintain one credit card for emergency purposes. One may be left wondering why I have come to dislike credit cards so much, in spite of my initial enthusiasm for this form of payment. That is the question I will be answering in today’s blog post.
It emerges that the main reason as to why I have come to dislike credit cards actually has nothing to do with the interest rates charged on credit card debt. The rates are high, of course, but that is understandable, given the huge risk that issuers of credit cards take by opting to essentially lend money for consumption (as opposed to productive) purposes. I have the feeling that when all factors are taken into consideration, the high interest rates charged on credit card debt are understandable, possibly even justifiable.
If my dislike for credit cards has nothing to do with the interest charged on credit card debt, then what is it based on? Well, the answer is in the records attached to credit card accounts. I have come to realize that everything you pay for using your credit card is recorded somewhere. Over time, this amounts to a lot of information. And as we all now, information is power. Thus, to the extent that the credit card issuers have all this information about you, they have proportionate power over you. By inference, they can figure out what you earn. They can figure out what you like. They can figure out what you dislike. They can figure out where you have been in the last so many days. They can figure out when you wake up and when you go to sleep… this is surely too much information.
You may, of course, come up with the argument that ‘as long as you have nothing to hide’, the information is harmless. But when you think about it more deeply, you start seeing the potential for this information to be misused. And don’t even bring up the argument that ‘I am just one of the millions of credit card users’, and that the information generated from the credit cards is too much to be sifted through. We all know that nowadays, there is big data analytics software, which can narrow down the data in a matter of milliseconds.
Or perhaps, the main (real) reason as to why I dislike credit cards is simply because I am paranoid…