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Freezing Credit Cards Can Have Chilling Consequences

Updated on November 2, 2017
Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank wrote humorous bits for her college newspaper many years ago. Her funny observations have continued in print and online.

Cooling Your Spending Habits

Overspending with credit cards has become a serious financial problem for thousands of people.

I recently read of a woman who puts her cards in a container of water and freezes them, so they will only be available for emergencies. Thawing time gives the cardholder a chance to reconsider impulse buys.

This strategy is obviously devised for those who have grown up expecting instant gratification but still have an ancient fear of debtor's prison .

This is cool, but it might not be enough.
This is cool, but it might not be enough. | Source

Credit-Card-in-Ice Theory

The theory is that you will not spontaneously pick up your credit cards, encased in a solid block of ice, and rush out to buy frivolous unneeded things on a whimsical impulse.

Retrieving your frozen card from the freezer is going to be inconvenient and may even result in frostbite.

If you did manage to get the icy block out of the freezer and into your handbag, you would have a purse full of ice water by the time you got to the mall, your tissues and breath mints would be dissolved, your cell phone would be afloat, and you would have left an embarrassing trail of dribbles behind you.

The Ice Pick

You can chip away at credit card expense.
You can chip away at credit card expense. | Source

What About Emergencies?

What would you do if you had a had a real emergency?

Suppose your spouse called with an urgent need to use the frozen credit card for a tow truck, a lawyer, or bail bondsman? Do you think they are going to let you into the police station waiting area while you are holding an an ice pick or a blowtorch?

Even the ice block, would not effectively stop someone from making an impulsive purchase by telephone. It is possible that card numbers could still be read through clear ice. If the person on the other end of the phone can understand you while your teeth are chattering, and you don't mind a little numbness of your fingers, this is not a deterrent.

If you really insist on the freezer method, it might be better to put the cards in something opaque like sirloin tips and gravy, Marinara sauce, or chili and beans.

You then have to devise a little word association trick to remember which freezer container has the cards. It might be the chili, since credit and chili both start with the same letter. Or it could be in the Marinara sauce since it starts with "m" as in money. Perhaps it should be in the sirloin tips since it comes under the category of "tips" for saving money.

Insane ways to destroy your card.

Frozen Credit Card Drawbacks

If this becomes a trend, card companies may have to start printing warnings in teeny-tiny type on the back of cards: "Do not thaw in the oven. Doing so will turn your card into a sculpture resembling a work by Salvador Dali."

"Do not thaw under an electric blanket. Doing so may short out the blanket, and leave an uncomfortable and discommodious wet spot on your mattress."

"Do not thaw in the microwave. Doing so may cause the magnetic strip to interact with electronic waves which will destroy your appliance after electronically debiting your account for an amount up to $100,000."

Card companies should realize that persons who need to freeze their credit cards do not have even a minimum semblance of self-control. Cards are way too easy to get. Even children, pets, and automobiles with human sounding names can get them. The applications only want a name and address.

Keep it frozen.
Keep it frozen. | Source

More Credit Information is Needed

They need to have checkboxes marked: "Yes", "Okay", "Si", "Da!" , "arf" or "honk", following the question "Do you want a credit card?"

They should also have one more question: "Do you intend to freeze this credit card?" (Even dogs and vehicles will not do this.) If the answer is affirmative, the company should withdraw the offer in their own interest.

If you really feel that you must freeze your cards, perhaps it would be best for you not to have them at all.

In freeing yourself of cardholder responsibilities, you will no longer deal with cashiers who distrustfully imply that your card may have been produced in Italy, since it smells suspiciously of Marinara.

It will also save you the embarrassment of someday having one of your cookout guests ask, "Hey, what's this credit card doing in my chili dog?"

My credit cards are safely cemented under a brick wall.


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    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Sorry , I had to remove a recent comment. 1.) The commenter took this hub way to seriously, and 2.) promotional links to a commercial blog are not allowed.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

      Preachy and emotive? First time I got that one. Thanks, I think.

    • profile image

      Billy 6 years ago

      This article is very preachy and emotive. Freeze them - one of the best strategies you can have.

      For blokes its is a bit like having your "porn blocker password" at another location. Normally the 24 hours makes you think and not react to your impulsiveness.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 9 years ago from California Gold Country

      I really never really use my cards for emergencies. (That's what the "emergancy fund is for).

      So far, no emergencies have required it. I always appreciate your comments.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 9 years ago from Wisconsin

      Hope you don't have an emergency either :)

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 9 years ago from California Gold Country

      Actually, cards can be very convenient, especially when traveling. You don't have to carry a lot of cash and it keeps a record of what you have spent when you get the statement. I use mine a lot-- but always pay it promptly to avoid any interest.

    • gss profile image

      gss 9 years ago from Florida

      Very nice hub. One way to look at the credit problems we have.

    • DonnaCSmith profile image

      Donna Campbell Smith 9 years ago from Central North Carolina

      I haven't had one since shortly after my divorce Discover sent me a pre-approved car for several thousand dollars - which I went through quickly as salve to a wounded self image. It toook me years to pay that thing off. Nevermore, nevermore.

    • AC Gaughen profile image

      AC Gaughen 9 years ago from MA

      Excellent Hub Rochelle! A very wry and funny look at the sad state of credit in the country...especially considering that women are the principal offenders! We're much more likely than men to 1. overspend 2. take out loans and mortgages and 3. have considerably higher interest rates.

      No fun at all!