I think it’s one of Murphy’s laws: once you decide you won’t take out any more debt, you’ll get swamped with offers to take out more debt. At least it’s true if you’re a Capital One customer. I almost fell for another credit card offer from Capital One Quicksilver. Learn from my mistakes so you don’t fall for the same tricks!
Regardless of where you are in your debt-free journey, you’ll likely find yourself at a place where you’re offered more and more credit. Sure, it’s easy enough to say no when you’re in the store and understand 29.99% interest on a credit card is not worth the application just to get 30% off of your purchase today. Trust me, it’s not.
But what about an existing card you’ve been trying to upgrade? What about when that shiny, new offer comes in your email offering you a chance to level up your credit card game? Do you think you’ll have the willpower to say no? I thought I would in every circumstance. Read on to find out how I almost fell for another Captial One credit card.
This post is all about the Capital One Quicksilver credit card.
I Almost Fell For It…
How it all began
For some reason, I thought having a widget on my phone to constantly see my Capital One Platinum secured card balance would be reason enough to want to pay it off faster. That’s truly what I was thinking. I’m not saying it was the best idea, but it was an idea.
Every once in a while, you have to refresh the connection for the widget so I logged into my account on my phone last week to reconnect and refresh the information. That’s when I saw there was a notification for me from Capital One. The notice said I was pre-approved for the Capital One Quicksilver credit card.
“Finally,” I thought, “I’ll be able to get an unsecured credit card and make my credit score better.”
For those keeping track at home, a secured credit card (one where you leave a deposit equal to your credit limit) usually reports to the credit bureaus in the same manner as an unsecured card (one where you do not have to give a deposit). So, offering me an unsecured card was really an ego-boosting move at this point. And, boy, did it give me the good feels!
How it went
I decided quickly that I wanted this shiny, new card and felt my chances of approval were pretty good since I had done some repairing to my credit score and had been making on-time payments. Also, I took advantage of the government’s Fresh Start Program and got my student loans out of default. Surely that means I would get approved, right?
I entered my information into the application, including household income and all that. Once I hit submit, the application prompted me to upload documents to prove my income. But something happened before I got to that screen.
Where I had to pause
Before I hit submit, I was taken to the screen which showed me the effective interest rate on the card – the APR, or annual percentage rate. This is the amount of interest I would be charged annually on any unpaid balance. This is an important number. The higher it is, the worse the credit card offer. And in this time of rising interest rates, you don’t want to have to pay more to borrow money.
Well, the APR was 29.99%!
What the what?
You’d think I would have stopped the application right then when I saw that huge piece of info. But I kept on going thinking it would just be nice to have an unsecured card.
So when I got to the screen after clicking ‘submit,’ and it told me I needed to upload documents, I finally stopped to think about what I was doing.
Where I went wrong:
I went wrong in a number of places here. Let’s review them:
1. I didn’t consult my husband
I did not take the time to talk over with my husband about the possibility of adding more debt to our household. He makes decisions a lot more slowly than I do and he would have asked me some questions before I even filled out the application. My husband and I make decisions together, and this should have been one of them because it affects the household and our financial stability.
2. I didn’t think through the offer
I was so busy thinking about gaming the system for travel hacking and points that I didn’t stop to consider the impact on my credit, our budget, and the ability to manage one more card. Add to that the sky-high interest rate, and it was a lose-lose situation for us. If I had stopped to think more, I would have realized I was not on the winning side of this equation, Capital One was.
3. I didn’t consider my current financial situation
I was so excited about this offer that it didn’t occur to me to pause and reflect on my current financial situation. It wasn’t a matter of whether or not we could afford a monthly payment, but I was thinking about it backward. You can ‘afford’ almost anything if the payments are small enough, but is that how I wanted to live my life?
Not only that, but I hadn’t paid off the current card. So, in effect, I would be transferring the balance to a new card and not even saving money on interest. That doesn’t sound very smart or savvy. Since I wasn’t yet in the habit of paying off my credit cards each month, it makes more sense to pay off the debt I have before trying something new.
In the end
At the end of the day, once I hit that upload screen, it finally hit me that this was not a card I needed. Sure, I wanted a Capital One Quicksilver card and cashback on a card would be nice, but it wasn’t the be-all and end-all. And if all it was going to do was wreck my budget, it wasn’t worth it. It would just make more sense to pay off my current debt rather than add more to it.
So, yes, I almost fell for another Captial One credit card offer, but nothing could overcome the bad financial decision it would have been – especially with an interest rate of 29.99%.
While I don’t know right this second when we will be debt-free, I do know that we are a lot closer now than if I had fallen for another Capital One credit card offer.