I think I need to take a moment to vent. Those of you that have been reading this blog on a regular basis are well aware that I am in love with credit cards. In my opinion, they are far more convenient to use than cash in most situations and they provide a great deal of added protection when making purchases. Nonetheless, I really cannot stand some of the credit card marketing I see on television.
By now, all of you have most likely seen those commercials that show how fast credit card usage is. One commercial shows dozens of people in line at a cafeteria as they freely flow through line using their no-swipe credit cards. When one man reaches the check-out and pays with cash, the entire line crashes and everyone looks at him as if he has caused a great deal of inconvenience to everyone involved.
While I do think that credit cards are more convenient, I do not see them as being so fast that people can walk through line without missing a beat. I know, I know, this commercial is meant to be an exaggeration. But, it just seems to me that the credit card companies are missing the boat with this one and that they should be using other angles to encourage people to use their cards while not forgetting about the importance of financial literacy.
I realize that these commercials are partially meant to show how great no-swipe credit cards are. But, in my opinion, this point is missed in these commercials. I have actually heard more than one person say on more than one occasion that those commercials were “stupid” because using a credit card doesn’t really work that way.
Come on, credit card companies, you have so much to offer cardholders that you don’t advertise. Let your consumers know more about your purchase protection and extended warranty benefits. Or, if you offer special insurance privileges, tell us more about those services in your commercials. From my experience, most people don’t fully realize all of the benefits many credit cards have or how these benefits are accessed.
Spend more time telling us what you already offer and less time exaggerating those features that many people don’t care about anyway.