After reading the recent NYT Magazine Article What does your credit card company know about you? and listening to the Planet Money interview with the author, Adam and I were discussing our personal credit experiences a bit. We begun an exchange over email, but I’m going to move it to the blog. Here is the initial email I sent to him, after he asked what the interest rate on my credit cards is.
I have three credit cards, all from Chase Bank (now JP Morgan, originally Chase Manattan).
Limit APR Cash APR
$10,500 9.24% 19.24%
$11,000 7.24% 19.24%
$4,200 13.24% 19.24%
(APR is Annual Percentage Rate
, basically just interest rate. Cash APR is the rate they charge when you take a cash advance by using your credit card as an ATM card.)
All 2 cards are from Chase, I had only applied for one originally, which started with an introductory $500 limit back in like 1999 or so, which has been gradually raised over the years and with them, sending me two extra cards, unsolicited, at some point. The original card was MasterCard, the others include a second Mastercard and a Visa. Of course, I also have an ATM debit card, but I only use that to withdraw cash since I got the credit card, which presumably is how I built enough of a record with Chase for them to give me so much unsolicited credit at apparently reasonably rates. BTW, I’m not entirely sure which card is the original one at this point, but I think it may be the one with the highest APR, with the lowest interest rate card being the most recent, granted to me as an apparently responsible customer.
Obviously I should make sure to only use that one in the middle from now on. In fact, that is the one I’ve been using, which currently has a couple of hundred bucks I haven’t payed off yet, but I will as soon as I get paid next into my Chase account. BTW, I hadn’t even noticed my credit limit had been raised again sometime in the past year. Last time I looked my total credit limit was around $20,000 but now it’s up to $25,700.