“That’s the Beauty of a Credit Card”

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What might that beauty be? According to a New York Times editor, it’s that customers who pay for print subscriptions with credit cards barely notice home-delivery rate increases, and that those who use plastic for subscriptions are “literally not understanding what they’re paying.”

From Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici:

During a panel discussion at the Digital Hollywood New York conference, Gerald Marzorati, the Times’s assistant managing editor for new media and strategic initiatives, explained why the paper’s print business is still robust. “We have north of 800,000 subscribers paying north of $700 a year for home delivery,” Marzorati said. “Of course, they don’t seem to know that.”

As evidence that Times subscribers don’t realize how much a subscription costs, he pointed to what happened when the paper raised its home-delivery price by 5 percent during the recession: Only 0.01 percent of subscribers canceled. “I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that they’re literally not understanding what they’re paying,” he said. “That’s the beauty of the credit card.”

And that’s the reason why you shouldn’t pay for subscriptions with a credit card, or to complacently sit back and do nothing while cable bills, phone bills, insurance premiums, and other charges creep higher and higher. Inertia can cost you big time.