Deceptive Credit Card Marketing Ploys: Don’t Be a Victim
In today’s credit card society, the average consumer is exposed to so many offers from various companies hoping to snag as many clients as possible. Indeed, the competition has gotten so stiff that almost all means are exhausted and all kinds of marketing tactics employed just to attain the honor (or benefit) of issuing someone’s plastic cash card.
Money back offers and signing bonuses
Free money, anyone?
Few things make a credit card offer as tempting as the promise of getting cash back for using it. Sure, the incentive rates may not be a ton of money—but even if you have as much money as Trump, you’ll probably find it enticing. Earning money just from making purchases (that you’ll actually make anyway)? Sweet!
Sorry, but it’s not that easy.
As a responsible consumer, you ought to ask yourself: why would credit card companies offer things like this to begin with? While it’s nice to believe that we live in a world where all credit card companies always act in our best interest by giving us free cash, it’s hardly beneficial to rely on issuers to be so kind.
Gifts and exclusive discounts
Another marketing ploy used by some credit card companies is giving away presents as a welcome gift. Umbrellas, jackets, gift certificates, food vouchers… you name it. There are companies that have undeniably mastered the art of subtle bribery to attract potential clients.
Also, another tactic is playing up the feel of exclusivity of their product by offering cardholder-only discounts that can be used at different establishments.
The real deal
Anyone of these marketing ploys may sound like a great deal at first, but if you look closely and examine everything down to the fine print, you’ll see it for what it is—a ploy.
For instance, cash back programs typically come with a bunch of conditions. One of the most popular is the requirement to spend at least a specific amount to qualify. This usually encourages consumers to spend more to meet the minimum. They end up shelling out more cash just to earn money that they would have saved in the first place. Plus, added spending means a higher risk to incur higher interest rates later on.
The same goes with offering exclusive discounts. Naturally, a consumer would like to take advantage of discounts resulting in more additional expenses. In the end, items that weren’t supposed to be bought were purchased.
Translation for all of these: Less money for you, more money for the credit card company.
Choose a credit card based on what REALLY matters
Ultimately, what makes a credit card great isn’t what free hullabaloo and whatnot it will give you. Examine what really matters—that is, reasonable interest and acceptable payment terms, among others. Choose a company for its fair practices and not for its expertise in deceit and bribery. Remember: if a company is ready to offer things that sound too good to be true, it’s probably doing so hoping that all the glitz will hide the ugly things underneath.
Everybody likes something for nothing. And yes, there are things that will reward you and give you real benefit in the long run. Unfortunately, a deceptive credit card offer isn’t one of them.
Using a payment card is safe in many ways. You always know how much you spend. The card is prepaid, hence completely safe. The fees are low and easy to understand. You only pay when you use the card