Right now, credit cards, chip or no chip, do feel pretty unsafe. But banks don’t want us to think so.
MIT economists Hong Ru and Antoinette Schoar analyzed more than a million credit card mailings from 1999 to 2011 and made note of the income and education levels of recipients.
The first year I had the card, I never even activated it; I kept that little white sticker that read “To activate this card, call 555-whatever” on the card and never called the number. If I didn’t use the credit card, it couldn’t hurt me.
When I was in school, working part time for very little money and thus totally unable to afford payments on a credit card, I was pre-approved, but now that I’d gotten a well-paying (by 1990 standards) full-time job in my degree field, I was a bad credit risk because I’d been smart about not getting in debt when I was in school?