Secret History of the Credit Card (tonight on PBS)

My recent $39 late fee from Chase has sparkled a small investigation on my part.

Do you have a credit card? Are you a “dead beat” or a “revolver”? Do you know how long it would take to pay your credit card balance if you only made minimum payments? Do you know why your Citibank (and many other) credit card bills come from South Dakota and not any other state?

Tonight PBS is re-airing their super-popular “Secret History of the Credit Card” program and you can find answers to these and many more questions. You can watch the show online at as well. I just did. Here is my favorite quote (about credit card companies):

These guys have figured out, the best way to compete is to put a smiley face on your commercials, a low introductory rate, and hire a team of MBA’s to lay traps in the fine print

About the late fee, I did manage to get rid of it, but it turns out there are millions who pay day in and out.

Just like gambling, credit card industry plays on people’s weaknesses, but unlike gambling you have an unrestricted ability to get your self into as deep a hole as you can dig for your self, and you can do it without even leaving your house!

See also:

1 Response to “Secret History of the Credit Card (tonight on PBS)”

  1. 1 Finance Girl Mar 19th, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks for pointing this out. I think I’ve seen parts of it, but would like to watch the whole thing. I’ll have to set my DVR.

Leave a Reply