Lending Club Blog

Putting Your Credit Card on Ice

There are many ways to avoid using your credit card. One that you may have heard of is to freeze your card in a block of ice. Understanding the value of this method will allow you to apply it without the mess of actually freezing your card.

What do people who freeze their credit cards hope to accomplish? They are trying to make something easy, using a credit card, more difficult. By placing a barrier between the desire to use the card and the ability to use it, they have to consider a purchase more carefully. They’ll be forced to ask themselves: “Is this really worth the hassle of thawing the card”?

On some levels, I think people also know that the humiliation of being found desperately thawing the card in the kitchen sink late at night would help them to refrain from using it.

Despite the apparent ease of using credit cards, they are actually very difficult for some people to use. When you look at the total process of using credit cards, including the interest and fees that you incur and the difficulties they add to your financial lives, you realize that credit cards aren’t as easy to use as they first appear. The block of ice presents a less abstract difficulty of using the card. Through its use, we remind ourselves of the difficulties that we know exist with credit cards, even if we can’t see them as easily.

For a mess-free way to apply the block of ice method, consider storing your credit card in a safe deposit box or with a family member that you trust. The hassle of going to the bank, or asking for the card, presents the same hurdles the block of ice intends to present. While you’re taking positive steps to combat your use of credit cards, the time may also be right for consolidating your debt at a better rate through a P2P loan from Lending Club. Reducing your debt should also reduce the need to consider freezing your card in the first place. Having better control of your finances may be all the motivation you need to stay in control.

If you’re considering such drastic action as freezing your credit card, then you may have a serious credit card problem. More importantly, though, you have recognized this problem and understand that action must be taken. Congratulations on the latter point. Many people never get there. Whether you apply the principles of the block of ice method, or the method itself, you’ll be reducing the control that credit cards have over your life.

Saturday, January 5th, 2008 at 6:36 am

Comments (5)

  1. Actually the much simpler thing to do is to cut them up. The credit
    card company will send you a replacement in a heartbeat if you
    desperately must use it (that’s inconvenient, although not very).
    DivaDebt

    January 6th, 2008 at 9:26 am

  2. Very nice tips on how not to use your credit card, I like really
    that. I also enjoyed the lucid flow of language. Moreover, I have
    to agree that credit cards invite unwanted spending that lowers our
    savings. Michael http://www.thinkcash.com/dontfollow

    January 9th, 2008 at 3:51 am

  3. Great article, i’d agree a barrier is a useful way to stop the
    temptation, but learning to manage your finances properly would be
    much better.

    January 16th, 2008 at 4:01 am

  4. [...] with your spouse for any non-essential item over a certain
    dollar amount, or (in extreme cases) freezing the credit card in a
    glass of water so you have to wait for it to thaw — and therefore,
    give yourself time to think between the [...]

    November 27th, 2008 at 7:56 am

  5. Karen:

    I found that instead of putting my credit cards on ice, I made a
    pact with my husband that we wouldn’t use them anymore and it
    worked pretty well. I also did some things to make it less of a
    pain to pay them off, like lowering the interest rates so that we
    weren’t paying as much every month. I used "http://www.brighthub.com/money/personal-finance/articles/17952.aspx/dontfollow">
    this article
    to help me lower the interest rate on half my
    cards (some companies will lower the APR, some won’t).

    December 9th, 2008 at 6:35 pm

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