Monday, December 01, 2008

A Warning RE: Emergency Credit Cards

If you're like me, you have an emergency, last-resort, not-for-use credit card reserved in case you really, really need it. Right?

Maybe not.

I just found out that my emergency, last-resort, not-for-use credit card account was closed. For inactivity.

No notification. No warning. Apparently, they're sending me notification as we speak, but I found out when I logged in to my attached bank account.

So, my total credit line is now ~$10,000 shorter than it was before (though, this could explain why my credit score went back up to 800 recently).

Anyway, the point is, if you DO have an emergency, last-resort, not-for-use credit card, you better actually use it every now and again.


I'm going through my credit cards and updating the addresses to my new apartment. I'm discovering even MORE closed accounts.

Credit line is now ~$12,000 shorter.
Credit line is now ~$20,000 shorter.
Credit line is now ~$23,000 shorter.
Credit line is now ~$??? shorter - I found two more closed accounts, but their customer service isn't open 24/7, so I have to wait until morning to find out what their credit limits were. I will also likely close another account (only $500 limit @ 21.19%! For comparison, my daily-use card is @ 6.09%).

On a related note, that previous trick for making free calls has been *VERY* useful. I can't call out from my home phone (not even 800 numbers), but I can receive calls... ^_^ There's no way I could have afforded paying for all these calls with my cell.


  1. I have a single credit card, and I use it on a moderate basis-- I always wondered why people say to not use them unless absolutely necessary, if one were to always immediately pay them off; Care to shed light on this subject?

  2. Apparently I like to wait a month or so before responding. ^_^ (the e-mail address that is notified when someone comments here is NOT my main address)

    If people say to not use credit cards at all unless absolutely necessary, they shouldn't, because that's bad advice.

    You *SHOULD* pay off your credit cards every month without exception. And using your credit card on a regular basis will earn you better credit. You'll definitely want good credit in the future (for buying large-ticket items like a car/house; I heard even some potential employers will look at your credit to help determine if you would be a good employee).

    For me, I had an emergency card because that was one big line of credit that I KNEW would be completely open. That's why I couldn't use it unless absolutely necessary; to ensure the credit availability. It didn't matter what my day-to-day credit card's limit was, because I had that other card as a backup. If I really needed to hop on a plane, I could and damn the cost!

    That was the only reason I even had the emergency card.

    For regular credit cards, yes, use them regularly and pay them off.