Saturday, May 01, 2010

If I Sent Only The Minimum Payment

My VISA card has added information to its bill. In one case, it tells me how long I would be paying it off if I choose to make the minimum payment each month.

Thirty-six years, it says. My current balance would take six-and-thirty years to settle should I decide to send $22 every thirty days. That assumes I never use the card again for what, in reality, would be the rest of my life. The chances of my living to 104 are slim; slimmer than my desire to actually be there.

Fortunately, I don’t spend more in any given month than I can pay off when the Bank of America sends me a note. This time, it’s a big hit, as I am making the final payment on my upcoming cruise. Normally, it’s just a two- or three-figure amount that I can cover by collecting deposit bottles.

This time, it’s more than shaking down grammar-school kids’ lunch money. I’ve had to keep this in mind for months ahead, put it on my desk calendar and keep in touch with my travel agent. No surprises, no gasps of horror, no asking friends for short-term loans. I’m all set, I’m happy and tomorrow (when I write the check), VISA will be.

Speaking of which, I just booked for next year and my deposit will be showing up on next month’s statement, if not that of the following. Holland America Line should be knowing me on a first-name basis at this point. VISA and Bank of America just consider me nothing more than another 16-digit number.


Anonymous ruthc said...

Silly cruiser. Had you waited to book next year's cruise while sailing on this year's, there would have been on-board credit issued to you. Not much, for sure, but a little something is always better than a lot of nothing.

May 17, 2010 7:13 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

The last time I tried that, the onboard booking gal was so bad, I sent an e-mail to my TA from the ship saying, "Some village is missing its idiot." She sent it on to the cruise line.

May 17, 2010 11:48 PM  

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