Credit Card Upsell

In anticipation of my trip tomorrow I’ve made my usual round of calls to my credit card companies to let them know I’ll be away in Europe for 10 days. I’m not sure what the “note on my file” they promise to put in place actually does — I’d like to hope that it somehow integrates with the anti-fraud triggers in a positive way — but they all seem so happy that I’m calling that I almost look forward to calling.

A new “feature” I was exposed to from both my VISA and MasterCard issuer today was an attempt to up-sell me services at the end of the travel business. On the VISA side they tried to sell me travel medical insurance, on the MasterCard side it was “a low balance transfer rate of 1%”.

I know that credit cards are a business, and this upsell is no different than the seemingly endless inserts I get in my bill each month. But somehow calling about a “note on my file” seems like it should be removed from the commercial fray — more “editorial” than “advertising.”

Of course it’s always smart business, which is why we can only expect more of it. “Thank you for calling about your medical emergency Mr. Rukavina; while I’ve got you on the line I’d like to take a moment to let you know about our new line of convalescent homes …”