I awoke to a message from my credit card company on Christmas Eve. It was 6:24am in Central Illinois.
“Did you just spend $1324.01 at APPLE STORE?”
Umm, no, I did not. It was early in the morning, and the closest Apple Store was about 150 miles away in Chicago.
It only took a few minutes on the Capital One app to report the charge as fraudulent. They killed my card and sent me a new one that was waiting for me when I returned home to Denver the following week.
The best part was a few days after the fraudulent charge when the credit card company emailed me to make sure I updated my gym with my new credit card number.
Seriously? They want me to stay in shape?
How sweet of them! It couldn’t POSSIBLY be because they want me to keep using their card for recurring charges. It must be because they care about my health. (wink)
This isn’t the first time Capital One has saved me from a fraudulent charge.
A few years ago, I met a buddy of mine for happy hour. I arrived about twenty minutes early and ordered a drink while I waited. When it came time to settle the bill, I told my buddy to let me cover the tip because I had one more drink than he did. We’re both good at math, so this solution worked well for us.
Several days later, Capital One emailed me because they noticed what looked like a very generous tip. They were correct! It was a generous tip, but that’s not all. The restaurant took the liberty of DOUBLING the (already generous) tip on the bill. Naughty, naughty.
The crazy part is that I never would have caught that. I check my credit card statements every month, but I don’t comb through my receipts to compare amounts because even thinking about that level of detail gives me a headache. If I saw a $29 charge or a $39 charge from the restaurant, it would have looked about right and I wouldn’t have given it any thought. Capital One was all over it, though. It was rather impressive.
On the flip side, I have a credit card with a different company that was compromised last year. They contacted me to ask if I just tried to spend $40,000 at a gas station in India. Haha…what?
When I told them I was not trying to spend $40,000 at a gas station while I was sitting in Colorado (and that sounded like a lot of snacks), they turned off my card and sent me a new one.
The funny part with that credit card company was the follow-up questioning. Have you ever been to India? (No) Do you know anyone in India? (No) Do you have any suspects for us? (No) Their line of questioning was fair, but I felt a little like they were accusing me of some wrongdoing throughout the process. They never said it, but I got the feeling.
It was like when you’re in trouble with your significant other. You don’t need specific words to know you’re in trouble. You can read between the lines. My Capital One friends never made me feel like that, though.
In both cases, it was no big deal and only a minor inconvenience to wait a few days for a new card. I guess that’s why it’s wise to carry more than one credit card with you, right?
Capital One has several great credit card options right now. Everyone has different priorities when it comes to credit cards, and Capital One seems to have something for everyone.
I am not getting paid to recommend any of these. I’m just a Capital One fanboy right now because they take good care of me.
- 0% APR for 15 months (which shouldn’t matter because you pay your balance every month, right? RIGHT?!)
- One-time cash bonus of $150 after you spend $500 in the first three months of owning the card.
- 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. Amazing!
- 50,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $3000 in the first three months.
- You earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase.
- Jon’s note: This sounds like a great alternative to the Chase Sapphire, if you’d prefer not to do business with Chase.
- 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
- One-time cash bonus of $150 after you spend at least $500 in the first three months.
Do you detect a theme here? The Capital One cards reward you when you USE THEM in the first three months. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why–they want you to make their cards a regular part of your spending program and the best way to do that is to incentivize you to use the new cards as soon as you get them.
UPDATE: One more compliment for the Capital One family. As I was writing this post, I contacted Capital One to see if I could switch to another card with better (for me) rewards. Within ten minutes, they responded to my Tweet and gave me a link to request the upgrade. The upgrade took about 30 seconds.
I don’t know about your banking experience, but a tech-savvy team that answers your questions without a trip to a branch or requiring a phone call is A+ in my world.
Do you have a great experience with Capital One that you’d like to share? Please add it to the comments below. As always, I will send you a chocolate chip cookie if we end up using your comment in a future post.