Tag Archives: credit-card

How to Get a Capital One Platinum Card

I bet you’re convinced that in order to obtain a platinum credit card, you need to have great credit. You may also believe you have to hold a job and be… oh… I don’t know… an adult, perhaps? Unfortunately, the latter isn’t necessarily true. 5-year-old Hunter was recently the unwitting recipient of a Capital One Platinum card, much to his mother’s confusion. His favorite pastimes include playing with cars, watching cartoons and trying to get junk food for breakfast. He isn’t quite yet ready to worry about his credit score or trying to untangle the crazy webs some companies can weave.

Hunter’s mom was a bit confused when her son kept receiving applications for this card in the mail. Concerned that maybe someone was trying to use his identity, she called up the oh-so-helpful customer service division of Capital One. She was advised that the best way to stop the advertisements was to actually fill one of them out. The rep she spoke wish assured her that the app would absolutely be denied, due to the child’s age. So… she fills the application out online. Imagine her surprise when it was approved in under sixty seconds!

Stunned, the woman called the customer service department back again. This time, she was told that the card would not show up in the mail and that everything would be taken care of. Oh… you know where this is going, do you? Yup, you’re right: the card showed up in the mail less than a week later! The by now very upset mom called yet again and began to navigate her way through the automated system. Before a live person picked up the call, the card was automatically activated!

Finally ticked off enough to chew lead, this Connecticut mother demanded that the card be immediately canceled and all further mailings stop. The representative wasn’t so accommodating, though: they refused to go through her, and said that they would need to speak with the account holder. Even after she explained Hunter is only five years old, she was again told that they could not speak with her to resolve the issues.

It was only after she contacted a local television station that the company finally got a clue and canceled the account.

How in the heck could this even happen? Where did all of those so-called security measures go that we are supposed to have in place to protect us? The company claims that this happened because the card is designed for people with no credit or less-than-great credit. That’s all fine, well and good, but don’t you think they should perhaps have at least made sure that the cardholder would be someone who is old enough to actually pay the bill?

Swipely Turns Your Purchases into Conversations

Swipely from Swipely on Vimeo.

Swipely has launched as a invitation-only beta service right now and, according to Venture Beat, is “more than just a Blippy clone.” The primary difference from Blippy is that Swipely does not share the precise amounts of each purchase, likely soothing some of the privacy concerns that some would have over this service.

Many people aren’t sure they understand the logic behind the service. The goal is to turn your purchases into conversations by pulling in information about all of your purchases. The amount you spend may not show up… but the place you shopped definitely will.

This can be a good way to let your small circle of intimate friends and family members know what you’re up to, where you’re shopping and what you’re buying. But why would the World at large need to know these things? Are we so starved for interesting conversation that we all need to share everything we spend money on? Isn’t that what location-based services already do for us?

Services such as Foursquare already let us tell everyone where we are at any given moment of the day. Is it necessary, then, to let them know we spent money while we were there? If I were to check in from a restaurant, it’s likely a given I’m going to swipe my credit card when I’m finished.

I guess I’m with the majority of bloggers whose stories I’ve read this evening… I just don’t get the importance of this. However, you can watch the video for yourself and then let us know what you think. Is this something you would find useful?

What is the Square?


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Dom was gracious enough to take the time to introduce me to what could be the hottest new item soon to hit the marketplace. The Square is a little device which is bound to change the World.

You can start accepting payment cards immediately with Square, right from your mobile phone. There are no contracts, monthly fees, and no hidden costs. You can read the credit card payments not only from your phone, but from ALL devices that have an audio input jack. Just plug the Square into the jack, load up the simple-to-use interface, and swipe the card in question.

You can use The Square to pay for things, as well. You can have receipts sent to you immediately via text message or email, or you can access them securely on the website. You can even use a text message to authorize every payment in real-time!

Best of all, Square will donate a penny of every transaction you take in to a charity or cause that you choose. Their motto is “Working together to better the World, one small step at a time”.

Dom has also written an excellent book about the history and practical use of Twitter – 140 Characters: A Style Guide for the Short Form.

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This Device Will Change the World

The Square

It’s not square… it’s THE square! From the Square Web site:

Start accepting payment cards immediately with Square. No contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs. Effortlessly manage all the money you take with an easy and intuitive interface.

Oh, and it’s good news for people who just want to use credit cards, too:

As a payer, get your receipts sent to your email or mobile phone instantly and access them securely online. You can also use a text message to authorize every payment in real-time.

Maybe one day we won’t have to deal with plastic cards at all – but until then, at least the process could be brought into the 21st century. Thanks to @Dom for the opportunity to share! Video demonstrations coming soon.

Credit Card Transactions on the Go for Only a Buck!

It was reported last night on iPhone Alley that Square will have THE hottest iPhone App of the summer! For only a dollar, you can download their new App, and receive the iPhone dongle accessory. That’s right… it only will cost you a dollar! What is this great new App, you ask? It’s only the hottest thing to hit the App Store in ages, and can turn your small business into a large one quite quickly!

The dongle plugs in to your iPhone headphone jack, and allows you to take credit card payments instantly, while you’re on the go. Even better news is the way they connect with bank accounts. In the past, most credit card processing applications required that you open a separate merchant bank account. With Square’s offering, you can tie in your transactions with an already-established bank account of your choosing!

Square can easily afford to give away the App – and the dongle – for only a dollar. After all, they’re going to get a whopping 2.9% fee off of each transaction made using the service. They are charitable, though. You can specify a charity that is near and dear to your heart, and Square will donate a penny of their profits from each transaction to that charity.

Don’t waste time looking for a way to get payments on the go. Grab this App as soon as you can, and be ready anytime – anywhere!

Mobile Credit Card Processing for the iPhone


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It seems like every business out there takes credit cards. I know many of you out there own a business, and you need to be able to process credit cards. I have a way for you to be able to do this right on your iPhone. You can use Credit Card Terminal to enable you to take credit card payments no matter where you may be.

Turn your iPhone into a mobile virtual terminal for charging customers’ credit cards. Deal with declined cards on-site as services are rendered. You will need to sign up for the Authorize service in order to be able to use this App.

Credit Card Terminal transmits credit card information directly to Authorize. The credit card information is not communicated to our servers. All transactions are protected with SSL encryption. Credit Card Terminal does not store credit card numbers after the transmission is complete.

If you use our link, you can get this $50 App for FREE right now! That’s a great savings! Once you have the App, you will simply need to pay for the $25.00 monthly fee for Authorize.

The developers for this App are local, and I met them the other day. They’re very cool guys, and I had no idea this even existed! I tried the App out myself, and gave them some feedback on things I’d like to see. They are dedicated to incorporating what you – the users – want and need from an App like this.

You can enter a lot of additional information with this App, not just a credit card number. Add in: card security code, email, phone number, first name, last name, address, city, state, country, invoice number, description. You can save these if need be for repeat customers who give their permission for you to save their information for future payments.

If you’re a business owner who has an iPhone – you seriously need this App!

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Buying Gas with a Credit Card Could Cost More

Many credit card companies, such as Visa, charge gas stations a fee every time you use your credit card at the pump. Many of these stations are passing that charge along to you in the form of higher-than-advertised gas prices. Let’s say the price per gallon of gas is $3.85 when you pay inside with cash. That same exact purchase using your credit card could cost you $3.95 instead. Some companies are admitting to this extra fee, and offering discounts for paying with cash. Other companies are not even bothering to tell the consumer, hoping you’ll never notice. What did my friends at FriendFeed have to say about this?

WHOA!!! That is outrageous! I’m glad I just started following you! – Justin Korn

I’ve heard of this happening from time to time lately, but this was standard in like 1983… Back to the future? – Jay Wiegmann

the WaWA stations around the Philly,NJ, DE region take 10c or more off for paying cash. – clarke thomas via twhirl

Debit card too? Anyone know? – zoblue

There’s a gas station down the road from me. I think it’s Giant. They list the price on the sign and then in dark letters on a dark background it says "cash." At night, you can’t read it till it’s too late. – Jason Shultz via twhirl

None of this is new folks. We went thru this in the late 70s/early 80s. – Steve Gillette via twhirl

LOL Marc. None. I made it up to express my emotions. Just fill in the blanks. đŸ˜‰ – AJ Batac

I have yet to see a gas station in Southern California that does this but then again I only get my gas at Costco. – Michael Narciso

Yes, this was common in the 1980s. It was widely outlawed, no? – James Joyner

it does make some sense, the retailer will lose money on the credit card purchase b/c of having to pay the fee to the CC company for use of their product. – clarke thomas

@Michael: Almost every AM/PM I’ve seen in California and Arizona does it. They don’t charge per gallon, but they do charge a one time fee. Usually at least .35. and you have to know your cards pin #. – Jason Shultz via twhirl

Still happening here in New Jersey – the difference is typically 8-10 cents, and that’s why I use cash. – Scott Kitchen

Blogged about this here: http://www.outsidethebeltway.c…. Credited you. – James Joyner

This is an on-going issue on a lot of fronts not just gasoline. We have discussed offering rebates to clients that pay by check vs cc as the s/c’s that we get hit with by the cc companies are outrageous compared to our bank’s fee structure. The flip side is that a lot of folks use their cc for the points or other gimmes. As well as from a corporate accounting perspective, it is quite easy to track expenditures as they relate to profit and loss when cc is the method of payment. – Mathew A. Koeneker

Steve: I wasn’t buying gas in the 70/80’s, so I was shocked to here this, particularly now when prices are so high. – Justin Korn

Clarke: If you are a retailer and you accept Credit Card, you adjust your prices accordingly or set a minimum purchase so that the credit card fee is worth your while. – Justin Korn

Jason: AM/PM puts this charge up front and does not at any time sneak it in while you are at the gas tank. They have always done that and people (i think) are generally aware of it. – Justin Korn

Justin, l0ckergn0me (Chris Pirillo) is a great guy to follow, even before FriendFeed. His site is all about making technology understandable. Plus, he has a sweet PC setup in his office. – J. Phil

@Justin They make you aware of it when you pull up to the tank and then try to pay by card only to have to walk to the center of the island and then read the little sticker saying they are charging you a convenience fee. It’s not a convenience when I have to leave my car and walk over to an atm and do it all there and then have to go back later to get my receipt. – Jason Shultz via twhirl

J.Phil – Thanks for the tip…I’ll need to get acquainted with Chris and maybe someday check out this sweet PC setup – Justin Korn

@Jason – True, but my point is this video that was shared is a shock and totally absurd. For a gas company to slip the surcharge in at the tank with no warning, notice, nothing…that is wrong and possibly illegal. AM/PM has been charging a credit card fee for years, that’s their policy, always has been (and their gas is typically cheaper too). – Justin Korn

One last thing….AM/PM calls it a "convenience fee" to make it sound nice and sweet. really it’s a, "we are being charged, so we are passing that fee on to you" fee and being nice about it. – Justin Korn

Merchants are allowed to DISCOUNT for cash. However, Visa and MasterCard DO NOT allow merchants to charge a fee for using a credit card. If you see them doing this, report it to your credit card company. You can report to MasterCard here: http://www.mastercard.com/us/p…Jeremy Brooks

@Justin: I agree with you on both points. The video was definitely a shock fest and what some of those companies are doing probably is illegal. Second, AM/PM does eventually disclose what it’s doing. A couple of years ago, that .35 meant something. they weren’t always cheaper. now, your right, it doesn’t really mean much at all. – Jason Shultz via twhirl

@Jason: AM/PM does not charge for credit card transactions (in fact, last time I checked, they don’t accept credit cards). They charge for DEBIT transactions, which is allowed by bank’s terms of service. – Jeremy Brooks

In my area Chevron, Shell, and Mobile have empty gas pumps throughout the day. Arco and 76 are filled to the brim with cars. I really do hope Chevron and Shell feel the pain. – Michael Narciso

@Jeremy: you can use your credit card at am/pm if you know the pin number for it. – Jason Shultz via twhirl

As much as I agree with the dislike of the practice, I am more burned by the rates merchant account companies charge for the ability to take credit cards. With gas especially, a percentage is just not feasible when rates climb. The percentage cuts into the already extremely narrow profit (pennies) the gas station makes. There should be a different rate structure for gas stations if Visa/MC want to keep this business. – Jeremy Hall

@Jason: Maybe they have changed; the last time I was at an AM/PM, they didn’t accept any type of credit card, PIN or not. They only accepted debit cards. – Jeremy Brooks

Jeremy, it is entirely possible/probable that it is I that was wrong. I was under the impression that you could. Your probably right. – Jason Shultz via twhirl

I’ve been using CC’s issued by the gas companies Union 76 & Chevron here in California for over 20 years and have never seen a fee or cash discount imposed for their use. – Jeff P. Henderson

I can tell you how I feel, I’m not happy. The price of gas is outrageous enough these days without gas stations passing along their merchant’s fees to me as well. What do you think? Are you ticked off? Are you going to ask the station attendant what you’re actually paying before you fill that tank? Or… will you just start paying in cash now?

Vacation Credit Card Tips

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Ponzi and I just returned from a vacation in Hawaii. Credit cards can be a blessing… or a curse. Here are some tips we came up with when going on vacation, and using your credit card.

  • Check with your Credit Card company for any discounts for travel and accomodations during your planning stages. Many CC companies offer discounts and help with the planning.
  • Bring as few cards as possible. Only bring what you need and know you’ll have to use. We usually bring both MasterCard and American Express… in case one or the other isn’t taken somewhere.
  • Designate a single place for all paperwork and receipts you might have. Everything that you sign or buy, put in that place. At the end of the trip, you have all the paperwork in one place, and it’s easier to reconcile.
  • If you’re traveling out of the country, it’s best to notify your card company ahead of time. They may automatically assume your card is stolen or lost.
  • Write down important numbers, or make copies of the front and back of your credit card… along with your ID and passport. It will have numbers and important information on the copies, in case you lose your credit card.

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