On Saturday I received my new Bank of America credit cards. These replace the ones that they sent me some time ago that replaced the ones that were from MBNA, which they swallowed up three years ago. I had originally applied for a credit card through the University of Colorado Alumni Association because I thought it might be nice to kick back a few dollars to my alma mater when I was buying things from Amazon.com. And it had a cool running buffalo logo on it.
That card sparked a number of different conversations. With it, I was able to make a number of interesting connections with strangers across a counter. Even when B of A engulfed MBNA, I got to keep my buffalo. Then they started playing games with our interest rates and our credit limits and making things difficult to manage our account, so I paid off the card and filed it away.
No longer was I able to strike up a casual conversation about the campus in Boulder as I waited for my purchases to be tallied, bagged and passed over to me. I take all the "convenience checks" Bank of America sends me to consolidate my debts and shred them because the word "convenience" and Bank or America have been mutually exclusive in my dealings with them.
I've kept the card "just in case." I have been told that it is good to have an open line of credit "just in case." The new card they sent me is sleek and black and would look cool if it were a cell phone, but it has no running buffalo. They didn't even send along a little note of apology, or a call to ask if I would mind. Nope. Nothin'.
Today Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch owns our mortgage. I wonder if the guys at Merrill Lynch get to keep their big black bull.