Are Credit Card Companies to Blame?

The other night I was catching up on a little TV when an advertisement came on for a credit card company. It was a beautiful ad that had me dreaming of the possibility of being at the next Olympics and every Olympics thereafter with the possibility of winning a trip to every Olympics for the rest of your life. While this may not appeal to all, I love the Olympics and am already planning a trip in our 10 year plan.

But what if I could win a trip? For life?! All I had to do was use my card. Spend money on anything to gain entries. It is just that easy.

Once I snapped out of my daydream I realized what had just happened. The ad made me want to use a card to gain entries in a contest I’d love to win. This has to be an amazing tactic for them. I would love to see that statistics based on increased credit card sales during this sort of promo compared to what is paid off…

Sometimes it’s not a promo. Sometimes credit card ads just make me want a life like theirs. Credit card ads pick at heart strings. Sometimes they’re sexy, sometimes they’re mushy but they’re always emotional.

Should credit card companies be able to play on emotions to get someone in a weakness to use their product given the current financial crises we face?

Obviously the answer is yes, it’s a free nation and they can do whatever the want but I do think for every credit card ad there should be another ad explaining the consequence of credit card abuse. That using that card won’t actually make you a  sexy model or live like a millionaire.

It is SO easy to pretend that credit cards will just give you a life you want.  It’s much easier than accepting the life you want will require years of hard work.

No one can take blame for unnecessary household debt other than oneself but advertising makes it clear how easy it is to fall into this trap!


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  1. Don’t even get me started on the ridiculous tactics banks employ to lure you into spending more money, it’s ridiculous! No wonder people live beyond their means! Fortunately there isn’t much we can do about it, other than avoid watching TV. 🙂

  2. There certainly are some great marketers out there. I think companies that take risks – like offering Olympic trips for life – are the ones that get the biggest pay-off. I’m sure they got thousands of sign-ups, if not tens of thousands, because of this promotion.

  3. No doubt the banks are a part of the problem.. and many of their tactics are questionable.

    However, when it’s all said and done.. The decision on whether or not to purchase something you can’t afford is the buyer’s. The ultimate blame lies with them.

  4. I don’t blame the credit card companies. They are fully allowed to advertise, along with every other company. Do we blame fast food for making us fat? Some do, but that doesn’t mean it is correct. Everyone knows the pitfalls of using credit cards unwisely, but that shouldn’t stop cc companies from advertising their products.

  5. I wish there were classes required to take in high school about finances. Teach kids how to balance a check book, teach them what the heck interest is, how to properly own a credit card, and essentially everything we all have had to learn on our own with our own mistakes.

    I had no idea what I was getting into when I went to college. It was so relax and just sign here and you will go to your dream school and get a degree in your dream career. That is what I think is the biggest scam of all credit/loan providers. Not the ads or the promotions. The fact that a good majority of their customers don’t even know what they are doing.

    I love my Chase Freedom card. It only has a limit of 200$ and I get points for every dollar and 5% on any of the quarterly categories. I pay it off completely every month and once I year I pay the minimum so they can collect a little interest so my credit stays active. I agree that chase credit cards are great!

    • I agree with Bre 100%. I think colleges are signing naïve 18 year olds up for 100k commitments with zero responsibility for that person actually taking a program that makes sense.

      Ultimately I hold the adults with the debt responsible but I think colleges are far worse than credit card companies.

  6. My husband is obsessed with the Olympics….so I can relate! Yeah, I agree…. don’t use credit just for entries unless you are debt-free and can pay it off right away, right?

  7. Credit cards…they can help make all your dreams come true, right? Pffft. When commercials come on TV, my brain just shuts off. It’s easy to ignore them that way.


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