Michael on May 26th, 2009
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My wife and I took a “staycation” this weekend.  I’ll admit we didn’t plan it that way.  We had a busy Saturday planned but aside from a brief visit by family Sunday, little else scheduled for the weekend.

But sometimes you really can enjoy the place you live.

The weather in New Hampshire was stunning all weekend and so we were outside for most of it.  We ate most of our meals outside (ranging from in town by the harbor to at a picnic by a lighthouse to our own backyard). We also spent a lot of time at the beach and took many walks with the kiddos to different neighborhood playgrounds.  Each night, everyone (including me) fell asleep with a smile on their face and slept soundly.  This weekend proved, once again, that some of the best things cost very little (or nothing at all).

Now, it’s back to the work week.  Having just read this week’s carnival of personal finance, hosted by Greener Pastures and featuring my post Yet another reason why you shouldn’t even try to time the market, I’d like to point out an enjoyable – if not somewhat disturbing – post by Jeremy at Taking Charge called  Am I a lab rat in the credit card industry’s psychology experiment?

Jeremy reminds us of an interesting and not well-known feature of credit card usage: tracking. A bank can learn a lot about the likelihood you’ll repay your debts based on the types of purchases you make – not just how much you charge and your recent repayment history. With the recent legislation capping fees and rate changes credit card companies can collect and modify, you can bet that the use of models like those Jeremy discusses will only increase as financial services companies quickly move to find ways to minimize their losses.

So, what do you think about being a lab rat?

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2 Comments to “Use credit cards? Are you a lab rat?”

  1. Jeremy says:

    Sounds like a great weekend!

    Thanks for highlighting my blog post — I’m very interested in what other consumers think about this topic.

  2. credit card holders should learn how to manage their finances wisely and try not to carry a balance on their accounts so the interest rate won’t hurt them.

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