Citibank’s drumming up business

Previously, I posted about CitiGroup’s financial troubles, saying that it was a hallmark of misguided government oversight. After posting, I checked my e-mail and CitiCards had sent me an e-mail with the subject line: “A Great Reason to Use Your Citi Card this Holiday Season.”

It seems the more I use my card, the more likely I am to win “The Chance of a Lifetime” sweepstakes. Wow. So, as I dig myself more and more into high-interest, unsecured debt, I can have a chance to win it all? Well, sign me up!

Look, I, like most Americans, carry a balance on my credit cards. It’s the result of poor budgeting and satisfying wants. It is also, lately anyway, partly the result of $4 per gallon gasoline that ate into my cash-on-hand for things like groceries and utilities. So, now I’m paying interest on food or gasoline I consumed weeks or months ago.

The thing I like about credit cards is that they give me a cushion to fall back on in case my cash runs short. I’ve long held the belief that such a cushion is a necessary evil. However, I’ve moderated that opinion in recent years, and now realize that only a small cushion is necessary. I’m beginning to think that a $1,000 limit on any card is more than enough for me.

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