No miles and a big hassle. Two big thumbs down.
I used my Capital One card twice today: once at the gas station, and then again at the dry cleaners. I enjoy using it to rack up miles I can use toward travel, and I save my receipts so that I can pay off the charges right away when I get home. It’s like using cash, but with the added perk of getting something in return. Score, right?
When I arrived at the grocery store this afternoon, I had to stock up on baking supplies and I knew I’d be getting a bunch of gift cards, too. Two birds, one stone — right down to my plan of using my Capital One card for mega miles yet again. Who loves free flights? This girl.
Imagine my shock when I swiped my card at the checkout and it came up declined. I knew there wasn’t a reason for it to be turned down, so I figured I didn’t swipe it quickly enough. Another try, another decline.
Grr. I wanted my reward miles, dang it.
Long story short, I used a non-points-accruing card, got home and made a beeline to my computer.
Capital One’s site said my card was locked due to “suspicious activity.” I excitedly checked my transactions, expecting to see things purchased in Alaska, Iowa — maybe even something from The Bunny Ranch in Nevada. Nope, not so much. Just a gas station charge followed by my dry cleaners. I called the customer service number.
Turns out the suspicious charge was the gas station.
Really? Needing gas raises eyebrows? My recent and sky-high dermatology bill was a non-issue, but Chevron is? Sheesh.
The guy told me that they put a hold on my account and then “someone tried to use it at a Vons store, too.”
Yes. That was me! It’s the holidays! Can’t a girl shop?
I wasn’t pleased.
While I appreciate a credit card company looking out for its cardholders, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that allowing transactions to occur while simultaneously alerting them of so-called suspicious activity might be helpful in the future. Especially during the holidays. Or while one is at a grocery store. If I hadn’t been able to use another card, like, a dozen eggs would’ve been stranded and homeless — because you know that they wouldn’t have been returned to their refrigerated haven anytime soon. Poor little dudes.
I made my list, checked it twice, but wound up outta luck when swiping my card thrice.
On my way home, I was waiting at a stoplight when I saw an old homeless man shuffling along the sidewalk. He was very thin, and if I’d purchased any food that I could’ve given him to eat, I would’ve…but flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder and chocolate chips wouldn’t have made sense. It was then I realized — really realized — that miles or reward points aren’t what’s important in life.
Tonight I am thankful for those bumps on the road of life that, when we look back, are clearly not the debilitating potholes we thought they were as we passed over them. Perspective can be granted in the most interesting and humbling of ways.
During this holiday season, and everyday, may we remember all that we have, and all we’re able to pursue…for so many others can not.