Wednesday, January 31, 2018

A New Number to Learn

When I was nursing Big Cuter, I couldn't concentrate on anything more intense than a catalog.  This was 34 years ago, denizens, before Amazon and Ebay and Etsy.  I had stacks of colorful booklets piled on the floor and the tables and the night stands.  He sucked, I shopped.

The problem was that I never remembered to bring my wallet to the chair before the kid and I settled in for a long afternoon's guzzle.  I was left with dog-eared pages marking items I would never buy because I didn't have a credit card near to hand.  The solution was obvious - I memorized my American Express card number and expiration date.

Years passed.  The number stayed in my head, brought out for purchases as needed.  Everything was fine until the night TBG and I realized we were headed out and had no cash to leave the sitter for the pizza we'd promised the kids. 

"Don't worry, Mommy.  Big Cuter and I know the numbers - 3782, 3909......

They'd heard it so often they'd learned it themselves. 

That card expired, we decided to accumulate Marriott Rewards points, I got a new credit card, and I committed that number to memory.  From Chicago to Marin to Tucson, that was the card I used.  when TBG orders pizza, he hands me the phone to provide the credit card number to the cashier.  I don't have to run for my wallet; the number lives in my brain.  Ordering on-line is easy; I have the number saved in my brain, not on the device (per Brother's admonitions to "STAY SAFE ONLINE- take the extra few seconds and type the damn number yourself"), and I can type it without batting an eyelash.

Life was good, until Monday.  That was the day that Chase Credit Card Fraud Management reached out to me, wondering if I'd ordered from Hello Fresh.  I had not.  Someone had compromised my credit card.  Chase put the disputed charge into its let's look into this file, took it off my bill, and closed my account.

I whined.  I whimpered.  I protested that I loved that number, I knew that number, I used that number, I didn't want to lose that number. 

Too bad.  It's gone.  Chase is UPS express mailing us new cards, which will arrive today.  I decided to switch my allegiance from hotels to airfare; I am trying to memorize my Allegiant Air number.  So far, I've got the first 4 numbers and the expiration date locked down.....

First world problems, I know.  Still, I'm sad.


  1. I am lucky to memorize my phone number and not even my cell. I do have mine out there with trusted companies and have so far had no problems with them leaking it. What has had it go bad is the bank itself. We've had our number changed about twice a year for our main credit card. Only once have we actually had someone charge something on ours (different bank than today), jewelry in Italy. We didn't have to pay for it. The sad part is the bank didn't try hard to find the crooks.

    1. The bank is willing to write off the loss..... they could at least have found and sent you the jewelry :-)

  2. OMG, I have to laugh. I know my AMEX # by heart. And the same thing happened to me. I was out shopping one Sunday morning and AMEX's Fraud Prevention called me and asked me if I had purchased some games in the UK. Of course, I hadn't and they immediately cancelled my card and FedEx'd me a new one. I memorized the new one quickly because the last four digits, expiration and CVV were the only things that were different. It's the only card I use and it's the one I know. I do have my debit card, but rarely use it.

    While it may seem intrusive to have credit cards monitoring one's habits, it is reassuring that they do catch fraud very quickly based off those habits.

    I'm glad Chase caught it.

    Sending massive hugs!

    Stacy xxx


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