I got my first credit card from Girobank as an eighteen year old with hair. A £250 limit and an Olympic logo on the front of the card to make it interesting. And I’ve been hooked ever since.
My first purchase was a Sony stacked hifi system with three free CDs. Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street among the tracks I’d deafen my mother with in the aftermath.
I waited a few weeks, got the bill and paid it in full. And I’ve paid every credit card bill in full ever since, except for the halcyon days of fee free balance transfers when I enjoyed matching my 0% credit card balance with a savings account balance earning 5% interest. £1,500 a year of interest income for me destroyed when that evil 3% fee to transfer balances was invented!
I put the overwhelming majority of my spending on credit cards. The budgeting convenience of one bill a month and the lure of cashback and Avios makes it a no brainer. I’m a cautious spender who isn’t reckless so won’t spend what I can’t afford.
Yesterday I woke up with the intention of cancelling a hotel I’d booked on the East Lancs Road. It’s located awkwardly for those heading east, as I will be. The £59 price includes a continental breakfast and using TopCashback and Hotels.com I’ll get about £9 in value rebated to me.
My preferred alternative became a £55 Premier Inn on the other side of the road. No breakfast included but I have another £5 Toby Carvery all you can eat breakfast voucher for the restaurant next door. No ability to use TopCashback or Hotels.com so I’m effectively planning to give up my £9 in rebate and £1 in up front cash to avoid doing a u turn at 11pm next Tuesday night.
Not to worry, I selected the purchase option of non-refundable for the Premier Inn, checked I’d got the right location, pondered the ridiculous image of Lenny Henry sleeping on a comfortable bed in a field as I headed for the complete purchase page.
£1 booking fee to pay by credit card.
Yes, I have a debit card I could use. Two of them in fact. But I really don’t want to. Yes, I could earn 55 Avios or 55p in cashback to partially offset that extra £1. But at this stage I’m thinking I already have a room booked. It’s paid for with no surcharge and I’m throughly naffed off that you want to screw me over for my choice of plastic when others don’t.
So I closed the browser window down and will be seen performing a handbrake turn across the carriageway of the East Lancs road instead. Premier Inn can shove it. Their extra £1 will leave them with an unnecessary empty room and I’ll be eating croissants instead of bacon for Wednesday breakfast.