credit card woes

I hate credit cards. I'm working as hard as I can right now to pay off the last dregs of our credit card limits, and I CAN'T WAIT until the glorious day that I cancel our last credit card and cut it up for good.

My latest credit card woe is so frustratingly typical of banks!

A few weeks ago I bought some currency on an ANZ Travel Card. I took my cash into the bank and was about to hand it over when the teller noticed my ANZ Qantas Frequent Flier Visa in my open purse (I'm so security-conscious!).

"You know, you can pay the cash straight onto your VISA, and then buy the ANZ Travel Card currency using your credit card," she said. "That way you'll earn frequent flyer points on the transaction."

Beauty! I'm in. I paid the cash onto my card, bought the currency on my visa, and felt super smug about my Qantas points win. They take me forever to accumulate so this transaction was a total bonus.

Then today, I got my statement. That little transaction cost me a $20 over-limit fee. What the? When I called up about it, Penny explained:

"You made a large purchase and a large payment on the same day, but with your credit card, debits will ALWAYS be processed before credits. So even though you paid X to the teller, AND THEN bought your currency, the bank will view the transaction as: large purchase (you'e now overlimit!!!) followed by a payment."

Penny reversed the overlimit fee as a goodwill gesture, but the whole thing smacks of unfairness. Her advice for the future was to make a cash payment and wait a full day for it to be processed, before making any large purchases. Convenient, right? It's just so typical that a bank will process a purchase instantly so they can start charging interest that very second, but somehow their technology won't allow a payment to be processed for 24 hours.

Ugh. Vent over. I'm going to make myself a strawberry milkshake to get over it :)


Agnes said...

I hate banks. I can see that they're a necessity, but I hate banks. Paradoxically I love my debit/credit card and never carry cash...I'm a slave to the institution.

Anonymous said...

Grrr!! That's so typical and so annoying!!! Vent, vent, vent, vent....

Verity said...

Don't even get me started on banks. I once had a recurring charge on my ANZ credit card that was in pounds, and clearly not something I'd ever purchased... where was I venting this recently, I think on Agnes's blog. Anyway, after reporting it as fraudulent to their supposedly superior 'falcon', I was told that it wasn't in fact their problem, but my problem, and to contact the merchant (who they would not give me the details of, by the way) to get them to stop charging me. One cancelled account later and I have to say, I'm pretty happy with St George. To date there have been no nasty bank statement surprises (probably because I elect to not get bank statements) and aside from our own reckless spending, things are in pretty good shape!