Capital (One) Punishment - Death by Interest

I've always had a love-hate relationship with credit cards: I love the way they allow me to impulsively buy whatever my heart desires. I hate the way my heart desires forty pairs of shoes and the same shirt in five different colors!

My mother used to loan me her mastercard when I was sixteen years old since we had the same first intial and last name (I had to pay for it - she wasn't that generous). I was using it to charge a pair of jeans when the saleslady asked if I would like my own store credit card - with a driver's license and a master card, I'd have my own name stamped on a Hudson's card. The subsequent power trip was wonderful.

As a newlywed private in the Army four years later, my then husband told me that I'd have to cut ALL my credit cards...we would never get them paid off...then handed me scissors. Oh, sure, I fought and tried to cry my way out of it, but eventually they were cut and stuffed back in my wallet (you can still use the cards for phone orders with the account number - if you're a tad sneaky like that).

My credit has been fantastic for the past ten years or so, but moving three times this year meant sometimes there was a delay getting my mail and I made a few late payments (we're talking a DAY!). I complained about the $35 fee each time, but paid it, thinking I had been duly punished. Au contraire. Capital One recently jacked up my interest rate to 27.9% .

I was livid...furious at this blatant robbery. I transferred the balance to a new credit card at 5.9% and feel like the best bargain shopper ever - I believe I will be buying myself a new digital camera - surprise! Credit card season is upon us - don't go to Capital One, even if they do have really great faux leather credit cards and their commercials are cute.

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