I consider credit cards a necessary evil. Really, if I didn't need one for traveling, I might not have one at all.
Thus, I make a special point of paying off my entire balance every month. My latest Mastercard provider clearly was not on board with that plan because they recently sent me a letter to tell me that they were raising my interest rate to 29.99%. Say it with me: "Uh, hell no!"
They obviously know that I don't carry a balance, but were evidently hoping I'd forget to make a payment sometime so they could score a nice bonus. I actually timed a payment wrong once last spring and I was forced to pay a ridiculous fee, plus interest, plus some kind of extra charge to make an emergency electronic payment while I was on my way out of town. So we were already at Strike One, and I wasn't intending to take the count up to three.
Naturally I paid off my balance and called to close the account as soon as the payment went through. Their lame attempt to retain me as a customer was to offer to drop the interest rate to 24.99%. Pshaw. Then I did what I should have done in the first place, which was apply for a credit card through my trusty credit union. 8.99%, y'all.
I cannot say enough good things about my credit union. If you have any possible eligibility to join one, you should immediately walk away from all of the nonsense that most banks are putting their customers through these days.
I've belonged to my credit union since they loaned me the money to buy my first car, which I believe was about 20 years ago. They loaned me the money for my first computer (a used Mac SE/30) and laser printer. They even refund the fees if I have to use a non-network ATM a couple of times per month.
I almost never actually set foot in my credit union because my paychecks are transferred electronically and I pay my bills online. However, when I dropped by last week to deposit a check and apply for their Visa card, they were grilling hot dogs and hamburgers to give to their customers. How nice is that?
So that's my recommendation to make your life a little less stressful. Feel free to use the comments to praise or complain about your financial service providers!