Credit Cards and Ambiguous Adjectives: Bring ‘em On!

Ever since establishing a credit history in Canada, I’ve been up to my eyeballs in new credit card offers. Just today, I received three in the mail. At least once a month MBNA calls, begging me to sign up for a credit card with them. Five days after I decline, I find an MBNA card in the mail box. But the most unpredictable thing happens after I apply for a job at a financial institution…

It may be coincidental, but usually two weeks after submitting an application for employment, I receive either a credit card or an offer to open a line of credit with them – and this is a step up from standard junk mail, it is addressed to me. Is this good business practice? Offering credit to the unemployed? Without a job, how would I be able to repay? I’m looking for employment, not debt, thank you very much!

As much as I disapprove of how they are marketed, having a credit card in Canada is important. Without one, it is almost impossible to make hotel reservations, ferry bookings, or to secure flights to Florida before the snow hits. Plus, there are all those sales!

Canadian Tire Sign: "Gigantic Tool Sale"

I was confused by this particular sale. In South Africa, it is often said that everything is bigger and better in America, and by extension Canada, but how big do tools need to be?

Lyrics from MC Hammer's "You can't touch this" - Break it down, Stop, Hammer Time

Or, by “Gigantic Tool”, is Canadian Tire referring to their Prime Minister, scolding him for selling his soul to China for the loan of a couple of Pandas? (From my research, it appears that fewer institutions are offering the loan of pandas than those offering lines of credit.)

Even with eighteen months of Canadian living under my belt, I still have much to learn. I may never understand their credit card marketing policy or Canadian politics, but at least there is a small chance of seeing not one but two pandas without leaving the country. As Canadian Tire puts it: “Life in Canada – Bring it on!”

But enough about me. How do you feel about telemarketers and those credit card offers that fill your mailbox?



  1. I don’t think you need to worry. They have no problem sending you the credit applications, but they don’t approve them as easily (I used to work in a bank). One of the reasons Canada didn’t fall into recession like the U.S. did!

    • Kash

      The sheer number of them is a little overwhelming. In South Africa, the New Credit Act of 2007 prohibits this kind of credit card promotion. Even telemarketers are less of a problem. But then again, the cost and unreliability of home phone service there might be the cause of that 🙂

  2. I started returning all their garbage in their self-addressed stamped envelopes with the request to “stop sending me unsolicited junk mail”. That seems to have stemmed the tide somewhat… 🙂

    • Kash

      I need to to the same. One of the letters I received from MBNA had – in very small print – a message indicating that I can opt out of future mailings and phone calls. I followed the instructions, filling out an online form to be added to the company’s “Do Not Contact” list. Here’s hoping it works 🙂

      • Well, they have to pay postage on the returned self-addressed envelopes. My hope is that since they have to PAY, that will encourage them to quit. It seems to have worked. For awhile anyway. Then they seem to start up another round after a year or more. If nothing else, I figure we’re helping to keep the postal service going with the additional mail. I gather you’re in Canada. Here in the USA, it seems the politicians are trying to eliminate gov’t mail service.

        • Kash

          Yes, I’m here in Canada – the land of ice and snow 🙂
          It’s annoying how persistent some companies are with their snail-mail spam.
          I’d read some time ago that in the States, the government was looking into closing some Post Offices and cutting operating hours. I hope it’s not eliminated completely. As slow as it is, government mail service does have a purpose – if only to keep snail-mail affordable.

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