Credit Cards, Credit Cards Everywhere

10. January 2018.

You cannot get away from credit card offers these days. Here’s a quick read that talks about flight attendants soliciting passengers for new credit cards. If you fly American Airlines, Delta, United, Spirit Airlines, Southwest and many others, you probably heard the pitch.

  • Apply for a new airline credit card on the flight, and you’ll earn an extra sign-up bonus. That kind of incentive can add pressure to travelers who are already stressed out, causing them to make poor decisions, warns consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow.

  • “Anything where you have a limited period of time to make a decision is putting you at risk,” says Yarrow, author of “Decoding the New Consumer Mind.”

Business travel is not what it used to be. Unlikely upgrades, limited legroom, dreaded middle seats, fees for everything, and TSA watchfulness are the norm, not the Pan Am Clipper Ships of old.

  • People also are likely to be tired and stressed out while traveling, Yarrow says, factors that can further contribute to poor financial decision making. “

  • Disgruntled passengers aside, the bottom line is that most financial decisions are best made when you have two feet on solid ground, your computer and WiFi are at your fingertips to conduct the necessary comparisons, and you aren’t worried about missing your next connection. While in the air, stick with simpler choices, like which movie to watch.

Credit card pricing is relatively transparent and logical. Conversely, airlines often charge for everything from checked bags to face-to-face check-in. Just hope airline pricing strategies do not bleed over to credit card issuers or we might soon be paying for customer service calls and replacement credit cards. Meanwhile, on the plane, perhaps stick to coffee and Diet Coke!

Overview by Brain Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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