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Can You Just Cancel It Please?

I made the mistake this morning of doing something that I've never done before.

I tried to cancel my credit card.

It has been over a year since I have begun to phase the credit cards out of my life. It has been about 7 or 8 since I have used them for a variety of purposes.

The first major expense was when I was in second year university and I decided that I would put my 4 day trip to Las Vegas on the card. What a rush. It was like free money.

And although I was never as crazy as the Shopoholic of Sophie Kinsella fame (reading the series right now - so funny), I did tend to rationalize all my purchases.

I ended up have three credit cards, a gas card and a store card. Who knows how it happened but you know they just send you those "You're approved!" and I can't seem to help it.

I even did one of those funky bank debt consolidation loans. Figured I needed credit with the bank and wanted a lower interest rate. You see? More rationalization.

And then the balances would just go up. Clothes here, drinking and dinner there. Next thing you know, I'm owing double.

But, when it came to to actually save for something that really mattered (moving across the pond and travelling for a year), I managed to control the spending, get all the money on one card and began to pay it off.

Things were looking good. I finished my debt loan. I actually paid off two of the cards and had it all put onto one of the cards. One monthly payment. Sweet.

So today, I decided that after having a credit card - which I had already cut up - for over a year with a $19.27 credit on it, I might as well cancel it.

If you've never done this before, you will never believe how tough it is. Of course, perhaps I'm just niave and thought I could just call and say, "I'd like to cancel my card" and that would be the end.

"Why are you cancelling, maam?"

"Because I don't need it."

"You don't use it?"

"No, I cut the card up a year ago. I haven't used it and I already have enough cards"

"Well, you've been with us a long time and have a very good credit rating". Shame on Kevin for stroking my ego. Now, it seems he's sucking me in.

And the next thing I know, not only am I NOT cancelling my card, I am getting a credit increase - at an EXCELLENT low rate - and maxing it out to pay a portion off the other card.

"Have a nice day" I said.

Oh dear. Oh my goodness gracious.

And then I went to talk to D.

"Why did you panic?"

"I don't know!! I just wanted to cancel the card!!" and suddenly, I"m realizing that I AM the girl in the Shopoholic series. Just not with items but with credit.

D looked at me calmly.

"Call them back. Tell them you don't want an increase and you don't want their low interest rates and the only way you will take anything is if they give you the low interest rate for the full amount of the other card so that you can cancel that card. And if they can't give you that, then you just want to cancel it."

I called them back. They were nice and didn't hold me to the deal I made 5 minutes before.

But they convinced me to go through a check to see if I could get the full amount.

And now I sit and wait. They're supposed to call me back.

I just wanted to cancel my card. I should have just left the stupid thing.

Lesson learned - cancelling your credit card is not as easy as it may seem.

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