Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Have a break, have a KitKat^WVISA GOLD

On Saturday, Stella and I went to Ireen's because Jennifer was up north for the weekend. We celebrated Jennifer's birthday, which was on the 12th.

When we were about ready to go, my father pulled Ireen, Jennifer, and me aside and said that the estate of my grandmother (who died last summer) had been wrapped up and that he had received part of it.

There were no special provisions for grandchildren; however, he wanted to pass part of the money on to us, so he gave each of us an envelope (and said he'd pay the money into Elaine's account so that she would have it when she gets back from the States this summer).

When I opened it, I was a bit surprised—there was a fair amount of money in it. I think it's only been once in my life that I had so much cash in my hands before. So I brought it to the bank first thing Monday.

The clerk took the notes, held them under an ultra-violet light, and then put them away in a safe and entered the transaction into a computer. Then he gave me the copy of the deposit slip and said, "You have a VISA card from this bank, don't you?" I said, "Yes," and he said he'd like to offer me a VISA Gold card for the same annual fee—that is, replace my card with a "better" one while keeping the fee the same.

I asked him what the difference was and he gave me a little pamphlet; apparently, it's mostly in automatic insurance policies when you pay certain things with your credit card. He then added, "I'd also like to offer you a EuroCard [European equivalent of MasterCard] Gold for no annual fee along with that."

All that rigmarole rather surprised me—after all, it was a fair amount of cash by my standards, but not an inordinate amount of money. It was less than my monthly net income which gets transferred onto that bank account every month, for example. So why were they falling over themselves rolling out a red carpet for me, coincidentally when I had just deposited a bit of cash?

If they decided that my bank account generally has a satisfactory balance or that when the money for my VISA debit card is deducted, there's enough left, then they could have offered me an upgrade earlier, couldn't they? Seems weird.

I asked him whether I could come back to him on that offer or whether I had to decide then; he said the offer would remain open.

I've half a mind to accept it, though I'd like to receive confirmation that the reduced fee (i.e. only the same as I currently pay for my VISA standard) will remain so and not just be a one-year "introductory" type thing, or be contingent on my spending a certain minimum amount.

Still, it felt strange to me to suddenly get VIP treatment. Or are there sinister ulterior motives?
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