Consumer Payment Card News

Spam Cards

The come-on email is slugged: “No Credit Check!” and “Guaranteed Acceptance”, for a credit card with a $5000+ credit line. The reality is that no VISA or MasterCard issuer can guarantee acceptance or issue a big credit line without a credit check. What’s the skinny on these offers? Usually they are nothing more than a catalog credit card. With a catalog credit card the customer is required to make a down payment on the merchandise selected, with the balance of the order financed through the credit card. In many cases, the down payment more than covers the cost of the item, while the balance due generally represents the profit or sucker premium being paid by the customer. Two of the most popular catalog cards promoted on the Internet today are from Pennsylvania-based USA Credit which issues the “USA Gold” card and the “Maxxim Platinum” card. Both cards carry a whopping enrollment fee of $149.95. USA Credit offers the Gold version with a $5,000 credit line while the Platinum version offers a $7,500 credit limit. If you want a higher credit limit it will cost you an extra $29.95. The type of credit card scheme has been around for nearly 20 years, testament to the fact that suckers continue to be born every day in the USA. The time worn advice: “You Get What You Pay For” and “If It’s Too Good to be True, It Probably Is” still rules.

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