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Don't You Just Love the Billing Statements?
September 29, 2009

I received my monthly credit card statement in the mail yesterday. In these tough economic times, I am sure others are doing what I do in scrutinizing each bill carefully for personal budgetary reasons but also for the possibility of fraud.

While I do not expect to see any fraudulent entries, you never know. Just among the members of the numismatic group that sit in my little office area, there are interesting stories to tell.

One staffer this month had been notified that strange charges were appearing on one account and steps were taken to cancel it and get a new one to a spouse who happened to be on the road at the time.

I was looking at my bill to make sure a final charge was on it from the Los Angeles American Numismatic Association convention that I had incurred Aug. 8.

Imagine that. Nobody is in a hurry to pay bills ahead of time when enjoying a free float, and I certainly got the advantage of more than six weeks of it, and since the bill is not yet due, I will have some days more.

However, in this case, I would rather get it taken care of because I have to file an expense report with corporate headquarters. That office wants staff to get expense reports in five days after the return to the office. I imagine this is pretty routine in corporate America.

I met that goal for the most part, but this bill was still hanging over my head because I did not know the precise amount.

Another colleague here in the office had a charge on a card that the corporate office had already reimbursed for, but the amount had not yet appeared on this personal account.

All well and good, but with recent changes in the laws governing credit card issuance, the firm involved changed its rules, too.

In this case, the change was the fact that the interest clock started when the charge was incurred. This amount now becomes another request to corporate headquarters for reimbursement.

All of this I know is fairly routine in any American's life nowadays, but sometimes I yearn for the simpler times when what I could spend was the cash in my wallet and when that ran out I had to stop.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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