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3 stupid things you do with your credit card

Everyone makes mistakes, but nobody should be making these doozies -- and yet some people do. Do you?

By Feb 17, 2014 2:39PM

This post comes from Christine DiGangi at partner site on MSN MoneyEveryone makes poor financial decisions from time to time, but there are some money decisions that reach a whole new level of bad.

Recently, Evan Cutler, a resident of northern New Jersey, was on a commuter train and overheard a fellow passenger, sitting three rows back, give his credit card number  to whomever was on the other end of the phone call. This wasn't a case of incidental eavesdropping — apparently the passenger was talking very loudly. In that conversation, he read his full credit card number, expiration date and three-digit security code. He also spelled his name out twice.

Man paying with credit card © UpperCut Images/UpperCut Images/Getty ImagesCutler, a television producer, joked about the episode on Facebook, ending the comment with, "So ... what should I buy for him?"

We get it — you're trying to make your commute more productive. But this is not the thing to do on a crowded train. Actually, we wouldn't recommend making such a phone call within earshot of anyone, ever.

Think about how much you would worry if you lost your wallet — you'd  call your credit card companies and cancel the cards immediately, because if someone maxes out your credit card, you're looking at potential credit problems. Why would you give away information you'd never want stolen?

1. Writing it down

Minimize the number of ways a thief could access your credit card number. Don't send it in an email or a text message (this includes emailing forms that include your credit card number). Once you press send, you relinquish your control. You may trust the recipient, but you won't know if their email account is compromised in the future, if their phone is stolen, or anything else they may do with the info.

2. Taking photos of your credit card

Everyone has an opinion on social media oversharing, but your stance on selfies and hashtags is superficial compared to the fools who post pictures of their credit or debit card numbers. There's the supremely dumb choice of posting a credit card photo on purpose, no matter how cute the design or custom photo is. Then there's the accidental pictures, like someone Instagramming a picture of a meal without realizing there's a form of payment in the frame.

While your credit card may not display all of the information hackers need to get access to your account, you brought them one step closer. Once a photo like that goes up, there's no getting it back. Best of luck to you, friend.

3. Not using a secure site

Perhaps you have your email account open in a browser tab right now. If you look at the address bar, you'll most likely see the https:// before whatever domain you use. (If you don't, you might want to consider a better email provider.)

If you're going to enter your credit card number on a site, make sure it says https. The "s" stands for secure (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), and indicates there's an added layer of encryption to the data entered on the site. On a related note: Don't store your credit cards in your browser. Yes, it's convenient. We all like convenient things. However, fraud can be decidedly inconvenient.

If you have done something stupid with your credit card (and let's face it, many of us have), you may be at risk for identity theft. You can use free tools like the Credit Report Card to monitor your credit monthly. The Report Card updates two of your credit scores every month, and any unexpected change in your scores could signal identity theft.

More from

Feb 17, 2014 3:42PM
Thank you MSN for putting up an article on common sense things.  I am sure thier is 10-12 people on here who didn't think of that stuff.
Feb 17, 2014 3:43PM
#4- don't lend out that card to a shady stranger on the corner of MLK BLV.
Feb 17, 2014 7:42PM
Cut all of them up,and have a party.Best advise Good cutting,Happy Party.
Feb 18, 2014 2:06AM
Credit cards make great glue spreaders for woodworking projects
Feb 22, 2014 4:57AM

Rerun, please tell us something we do not know. The #1 mistake people make with Credit Cards is that they are not fully educated on personal financing. Coravette

Feb 18, 2014 5:55PM
I did the one smart thing with mine ten years ago - cut it up.
Feb 18, 2014 2:12PM
Generally speaking; if you want to show "credit worthiness", you have to have and use a credit card. No question that banks should and could increase security, but that increase is balanced by cost and profits. 
Feb 27, 2014 1:30PM
Instead of doing stupid things with your real credit card, if you need a number for fiction or fun, you can rather use a fake generated number, for example using the ones created by Discard:

So you'll not put your money at risk!
Feb 22, 2014 10:16AM
Folks, work in a bank. Ten percent of customers take up 95 percent of their time. You would think it to be pretty simple. Additions and subtractions, credit limits, overdrafts, Fees charged and why. It is simple however it is the same accounts that have the same issues over and over. Debit card acts as cash, immediate withdrawal of funds from your account. Charge account, a short term interest free loan if paid in full when due and interest added for amount unpaid when due. If any banking customer needs help in understanding their banking needs, speak with an officer of the bank. It is no charge for a wealth of information.
Feb 22, 2014 12:46PM
Number one stupid credit card move is to have one.
Feb 22, 2014 9:46PM
4. Having a credit card. 

Save your money and pay cash. Don't use the "In case of an Emergency" excuse. Save enough for an emergency.
Feb 22, 2014 9:22PM
flush twice its a long way to msn....what a waste of ink
Feb 17, 2014 5:22PM
Jesus H. Christ, this is the crap you write about for credit card protection?
Feb 18, 2014 12:44PM

Wow. Thanks MSN! Just to think, I may have been doing all these things all these years against your advise. I don't know what I would do without this seemingly mindless babble.


Feb 18, 2014 12:20PM

Stupid things you do with your credit cards. Owning one!

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