Some days it’s hard to find a topic to write about, but not today. 🙂
During my Nutella based breakfast I was going through the daily mail. Between the typical ads and bills I found a letter from my German Automobil Association called ADAC. Slightly confused I opened the letter just to find two new credit cards.
After I managed the first daze I began to read the letter:
“Dear Matt […] we’re sending these two credit cards to you because you’re a long time member.” Nice, but I didn’t order or want them. The letter went on, “ […] if you like to keep and use these you have to activate them during the next four weeks.” I guess I should be glad that they don’t have to be canceled within the next four weeks. Anyway, here I am with two new credit cards…
A lot of people might be glad about that, but I’m not such a fan of too much credit cards. Sure I have several credit cards, but all with one special purpose:
- One for drawing money worldwide without any fees,
- one for paying (gas station, internet)
- and another one for “call money“.
The most important fact about these cards: I ordered them. I can afford and handle them.
This incident makes me wonder if we (Germans) are going to end up in the same situation like many Americans. Having a dozen credit cards per household and a market penetration up to 75%. Don’t get me wrong, a credit card is a convenient and mostly secure way to pay. But only if you can afford it. It’s way to easy to spend money you don’t have and even worse: you may never earn.
But don’t panic, they have an answer to people who are coming close to the limit that is quite easy: “Who is at the limit, gets the next card”.
If you don’t believe me, here is a great article from the German magazine “Focus” dated 2008.
I don’t think we are going to end up like the americans.
90% of german credit cards are not “real” credit cards, they are “charge cards”
That probably true. I missed that fact.