Credit Cards










AtheistChris Morran writes on the Consumerist:

Consumerist reader Mike has a Capital One credit card. He’d hoped to get one of the bank’s customizable “Image Cards” printed with a big red “A” for atheism. His initial upload was rejected by Capital One, which sent him a long list of possible reasons. And when he called to appeal, things just more bizarre.

The first person Mike spoke with said they had no idea why it was rejected and submitted his appeal.

Then the image was rejected a second time. “I spoke to someone after the second rejection that someone there said that there was a note in my file regarding the fact that they do not allow religious or anti-religious images,” Mike tells Consumerist.

And yes, far down that list of possible reasons for rejecting a card, CapOne does list “Controversial subject matter such as political or religious statements and/or images.”


cofeeUse of paper money is a terrorist trait — if you don’t want to be considered suspect, the government commands you to use corporate-issued debit and credit cards, rather than its own currency. Via Boing Boing:

According to a set of guidelines sent out by the FBI as part of its Communities Against Terror program, ordinary citizens need to be on the lookout for suspicious characters who follow patterns of behavior of a covert operative.

The latest revelation from the FBI files? Paying in cash for coffee. The most recent update asks coffee shop owners, baristas and other customer-service specialists to lookout for the enemy who walks among us…Using cash for small purchases like a cup of coffee, gum and other items is a good indication that a person is trying to pass for normal without leaving the kind of paper trail created using a debit or credit card for small purchases.


Host Adam Savage of Mythbusters tells how Visa, Mastercard, and Discover had the Discovery Channel put the kibosh on an episode that would have revealed just how “trackable and hackable” the RFID chips found in many credit cards are. It’s a telling example of how corporate advertisers serve as the gatekeepers of mainstream media/entertainment:


DwollaAlyson Shontell reports in Business Insider:

There’s a tiny 12-person startup churning out of Des Moines, Iowa. Dwolla was founded by 28-year-old Ben Milne; it’s an innovative online payment system that sidesteps credit cards completely.

Milne has no finance background, yet his little operation is moving between $30 and $50 million per month; it’s on track to move more than $350 million in the next year. Unlike PayPal, Dwolla doesn’t take a percentage of the transaction. It only asks for $0.25 whether it’s moving $1 or $1,000.

We interviewed Milne about how he is building a credit card killer and Square rival from the middle of the nation where VCs and press are scarce.


Presenting a subversive way to strike back at the banking behemoths and credit card junk mailers clogging your physical mailbox, and to generally excise your daily stress and aggression, via a few small stuffed postal packets:




PennyUPI reports:

MIRA MESA — California man upset with his bank for disallowing his requested refinance said he decided to pay off his $6,500 credit card bill entirely with pennies.

Thierry Cahez of San Diego County rolled 650,000 pennies in plastic, loaded them into crates and drove the lot to his Mira Mesa bank, KABC-TV, Los Angeles, reported.

Cahez was turned away by the bank several times but eventually was sent to a branch with a vault large enough to handle the coins.

Cahez said he opted to pay his credit card bill with pennies because he was turned down for a refinance and for the amount of charges and fees on his credit card, KABC-TV said Tuesday.


JJ Sutherland discovers that his precious credit card info isn’t so precious after all, writing for NPR: If you’re like me, you’re slightly paranoid about your credit card data. You’ve taken all…



AT&T and Verizon are testing a new feature designed to “supplant more than 1 billion plastic cards in American wallets” – by letting people make traditional credit card purchases using their cellphones!…



I suppose this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but credit card companies are scrutinizing our purchases to profile us in ways we may not have imagined possible, such as predicting card users’ divorces, as reported in the Daily Beast:

By scrutinizing your purchases, credit companies try to figure out if your life is about to change—so they’ll know what to sell you.

If you ever doubted the power of the credit card companies, consider this: Visa, the world’s largest credit card network, can predict how likely you are to get a divorce. There’s no consumer-protection legislation for that.

Why would Visa care that your marriage is on the rocks? Yale Law School Professor Ian Ayres, who included the Visa example in his book Super Crunchers, says “credit card companies don’t really care about divorce in and of itself—they care whether you’re going to pay your card off.” And because people who are going through a divorce are more likely to miss payments, your domestic troubles are of great interest…


The Dallas Observer reports on a local resident who decided to have fun with his $100,000 debt. Army reservist Craig Cunningham realized that many debt collectors and creditors operate in brazenly illegal…



Kathy Kristof writes on CBS Moneywatch: Consumer reporters were all crowing about a 79.99% rate credit card that was launched in response to credit reform a few months ago–collectively horrified that a…