MasterCard inControlPosted on September 2nd, 2010 William No comments
MasterCard and Barclaycard are now offering a nice new feature in Barclays credit cards; a service called inControl that helps customers to better control their spending. Customers with a Barclaycard can go online to the website and set up controls on how much they can spend with their credit cards, and where they can spend it.
Specifically, cardholders can:
Limit how much money can be charged to the card, both overall, in specific areas, and per unit of time
Set up alerts to warn them about overspending
Set up virtual credit card numbers
While the virtual card numbers and spending alerts are hardly new, the various ways you can put limits on your own cards are interesting. Initially, the service (which is already available to Barclaycard holders in Britain) will be rolled out in the US to Citigroup customers. When attempting to break your self-imposed limits, the card will simply be declined...so if you've been eating out too much, for example, a rejected charge can let you know that you need to eat at home for the rest of the month. Worried about not being able to pay off your balance at the end of the month? Set your disposable income as your credit card limit and you don't have to worry about having enough discipline to restrain your spending; the card (provided you only carry one) will do it for you.
Of course, once you hit your limits, you can still call the bank and re-enable your card for the rest of the month, but the extra step (and inconvenience) should slow you down enough to help restrain your spending habits. It's similar to using cash for your purchases, but without giving up the convenience, tracking, and rewards that credit cards provide.
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