Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Funky Credit Card Action

Last week Wednesday, I received a recorded voice message advising that I call Capital One because fraud had been detected on my account. When I checked the message, I was getting ready to take a nap, but nothing makes your mind wander -and interrupt your ability to rest peacefully- more than a financial woe. So I postponed nap time and called back. It's still not clear to me how and why my account was flagged, but as a precaution, I was asked to verify several recent purchases and to agree to a new account number and card. Fine. What wasn't so fine was that Thanksgiving was a day away, I was at the very end of a pay period and I was asked to make some unexpected purchases (bundt cake pan, anyone?)

Ordinarily, I would have made such purchases using my credit card, but that sucker was out of business. With just over nine bucks in my checking account, I transferred $50 from my savings account so I could go shopping. Luckily, the total of the items I purchased came under $50, so I transferred the remainder back to my savings account (after my direct deposit cleared, of course).

These events made me wonder....should I keep a buffer of $100 in my checking account (or some other amount; frankly, $100 is an arbitrary amount). In doing so, I wouldn't have to use my credit card to make purchases [and dip into funds set aside in subsequent pay periods/spending plans].

Do you have a cushion or buffer amount in your checking account? Or do you access funds from your savings account as needed? Have you ever experienced fraud on a credit card account?

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