What happens in Vegas…Comes home on our joint credit card bill

by Kristina on December 8, 2010 · 7 comments

This past week I had an “interesting” experience with my clients, and I felt the need to share with everyone (minus the names for confidentiality reasons of course).  They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

But what happens when your Vegas activities follow you home on your joint credit card bill?

This past week one of my clients left me four urgent messages on my voice mail before 9 am.  With my Starbucks still in my hand and my coat still on, I called her back as soon as I arrived at the office.  It turns out that she had some very large transactions on her joint credit card with her husband. Her credit card was now over her limit.

She had no idea what transactions had been charged to her credit card. She was made aware of the over limit status on her credit card last night because she tried to buy groceries and her transaction was declined.  In the 4 years that she and her husband have been my client, they have never come close to their $35,000 credit card limit.

When she contacted our customer service call center to verify all of the transactions the representative was unable to confirm her identity; therefore the representative could not provide any information over the phone regarding these transactions.  The next morning I was able to confirm the recent transactions that caused her joint credit card to be over the limit.

Along with other various transactions at restaurants and stores, there was a $7500 charge from a popular hotel in Las Vegas and an additional $4500 at a “nightclub” in that hotel.  I can’t tell you which hotel and nightclub it was but I can tell you that the slogan is “Las Vegas’ most seductive experience.” Needless to say my client was furious “$4500? Kristina I’ll call you back!” she yelled into the phone as she hung up. She did confirm that her husband was currently in Las Vegas for the weekend on a business trip.  I made sure to make a note of this on my clients account so that he could not try and report these transactions as fraudulent at a later date.

Of course I visited the “nightclub” website and there is a daily photo album posted with pictures of all “employees” and guests.  The services included by this “nightclub” are body painting, private photo booths, as well as models, dancers, and showgirls.

Less than 10 minutes later I received a call from the husband, who was still in Vegas.  “Why did you call my wife about charges on my MasterCard?” he asked.  I explained to him that he didn’t pay with his sole owner MasterCard; he paid with his joint VISA card. Our fraud department called his wife to verify the transactions for security purposes.

We know from a previous post that DINKS would not leave their spouse if they were unemployed.  But, would you leave your spouse if they spent $4500 on hookers in Las Vegas?

There are pros to having a joint credit card, such as we have 2 people spending on the card and therefore we can earn points faster. We also have someone to share the monthly bill payment, and with 2 incomes on the application we are more likely to be approved for a higher limit.  However, joint credit cards can also be a downfall. When something is joint there are no secrets.  Once I bought Nick basketball tickets for his birthday and the credit card bill arrived before the tickets did, so it completely ruined the surprise.

(Photo By Conor)

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