New credit card offers dominate the deluge of direct marketing material that lands in our real world mailboxes. Around these parts, the never ending stream of pieces hawking plastic piles up on the counter until I have the chance to sort things into one of the two most appropriate places … The new credit card fluff goes into recycling bin, while the personalized sheets head straight for the crosscut shredder.

There’s no question that new credit card campaigns play a huge part of the economy. While some folks might deride the effort as being harmful to the environment, I’d like to think that it’s not all that bad when folks deal with the paperwork in the proper manner and the credit card companies use recycled paper.

There was a land mine amongst our deluge of new credit card offers yesterday. It was one of those seemingly innocuous flat folded sheets that blends in with the pile. “Important Information About Your Account,” it read (or something of the sort) in 12 point bold caps above the address.

It should have been printed in bright red 72 point ultra bold, “Hey Loser, We’re About to Blast Your Interest Rate into the Stratosphere!”

Once my initial shock and anger passed, a steely resolve and a plan was formed. If all goes well, I’ll have that credit card paid off by January.