Commercial Bank Gives Me Another Killer Reason to Avoid Bank Cards

by Bill on January 2, 2014

Commercial Bank launches holiday credit card campaign.

Change banksAs personal debt builds up around the holidays it doesn’t seem surprising that credit cards offer specials anymore. What is surprising is how they front themselves as an alternative to cash in everyday needs.

Here’s the case in point. I came across a website from the Middle East with a page that, at first, looked like a news story; after a second reading I realized it was advertising fronting itself as a press release. The copy concerns Commercial Bank and its holiday credit card offer. Right there I saw a red flag.

Why would a bank card be offering a special during the holidays? Simple, to drive more debt, and stack up more interest charges and fees. But what got me was the wording.

 Here’s the First Reason to Avoid Bank Cards

“Commercial Bank has launched its winter holiday credit card spend campaign under which customers using their CB credit cards for “everyday and holiday shopping” between  December 18 and January 31 will be rewarded with extra reward points.”

Everyday and holiday shopping? So this bank is trying to entice customers to spend money on things that would normally could, or should, be paid for in cash such as food and gas. That’s about as bad as going to McDonald’s and paying for a value meal with a credit card. Wait, that is as bad.

But then the bank ups the ante with a “rewards” program.

“Customers earn double reward points when using their credit cards in Qatar and triple reward points on international spending.”

Even with this idea coming from another country, I can see this promotion happening here in the United States too. And I can see people falling for it. Why? Rewards man, rewards. Wait, here’s a reward for NOT using the card: no interest payments, no bills and you can save money. Seriously, why is it a reward to pay interest charges and monthly fees?

Why Use Credit Card Rewards Instead of Cash

That’s a good question. Some simple answers include the cash back, convenience and the idea of an added bonus. But to me, you can get all of these by simply shopping wisely and using cash too. You get cash back with coupons and interest earned on deposits. You get convenience when you have the cash in hand. The added bonus is the lack of another bill to pay.

I just have this feeling that when a bank is telling customers to spend money its always a good reason to avoid having a bank card. The rewards you get are no where near the amount of money the bank earns; it wouldn’t be a reward.

What’s your opinion on this?

William Swan, writer

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{ 2 comments }

Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter January 6, 2014 at 2:26 pm

I never use my debit card (only credit card), because the bank charges fees. If I go over 10 uses/month (including reoccurring payments) they charge me $1/transaction. This is nuts! They already have my money in their bank! So I am thinking of doing the complete switch to the free bank that I also have an account with.
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Bill January 7, 2014 at 3:16 am

Do you have credit unions in Canada? If so, use those as the alternative to most bank fees.

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