I'm relatively responsible with credit card use. My policy has always been to have two, one VISA and one Master Card, and that's it. During my sojourn in the Washington D.C. area I've mainly used my Amazon.com VISA and American Express cards for all my purchases.
Anywhoo, in preparation for leaving the U.S., I've been closing my credit card accounts. It was at this time that it hit me how many credit cards I actually had. Seven. Seven?! Let's see... oh yeah, at Best Buy I wanted their 0% financing when I bought my computer. Circuit City... that's right, 0% financing for my flatscreen television. You get the idea. Credit cards for single purchase use. I wonder if many customers are like me, and if so, how can the stores make any money? Though I guess since they're store credit cards they make their money from the purchase itself, and any profit from credit cards is gravy.
I discovered that many credit cards now have an automated closing option via telephone. Very nice.
I was planning to close all credit cards except the oldest (tip: keep your oldest credit card to better your credit score) until I contacted Amazon.com VISA. With Amazon, run by Chase, owned by Capital One, I spoke to a person, a friendly associate who upon learning I wanted to close the account promptly offered me incentives to stay. Lower interest rates on just about everything, a bonus of 1000 points to put me up for another $25 Amazon.com gift certificate, more ways to earn points.
Hmm, well... I guess I don't have to close now. I'll wait until I get that $25 gift certificate.