Why I'm firing my credit card company

Visa credit, debit cards

When I am done writing this post, I am going to fire my Visa card.

The card in question is my Amazon.com Visa credit card.

Between work, caring for our son, making dinner and all of life's other sundry jobs, it's not always easy for me to get to any store that doesn't involve groceries. I support my local bookstores when I can, but Amazon.com and its tremendous array of goods is a big help when I just can't fit in one more errand.

And for one-click gifts, wrapped and shipped by someone else? Yes, please.

So, when Amazon.com offered me a Visa credit card that would accumulate points I could trade in for freebies, I was happy to take it. I could buy all the stuff I usually buy, send all the hostess and holiday gifts that I generally send, and it would give me free books besides. No one in this house has ever turned down a free book.

Credit card bills arrived, and I paid them in full, happily noting that my points balance was mounting. Goody! I could get some free books!

There was only one problem. The credit card company thinks I have points. Amazon.com consistently shows my points balance as "not available." Until and unless that changes, I can't redeem my points for free books.

I called the Visa people. I called Amazon.com. I talked with unhelpful customer service representatives in Mumbai and with someone in Wisconsin who swore he would take care of it. I even hosted a three-way conversation between Visa, Amazon.com and me. I probably spent two hours on the phone trying to resolve the issue.

The issue isn't resolved, more than a week after the deadline I set (and disclosed to everyone involved). So I'm calling them and canceling my account. I can do that because every month I paid my balance in full.

When you don't run a balance, you take back some power from the credit card companies. You can fire the ones that don't give you what they said they would give you. Isn't that a satisfying thought?

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