Jay MacDonald

Jay MacDonald is a professional writer and frequent contributor to CreditCards.com. His off-the-beaten-path feature stories explore the religious, astrological, psychological, aromatic and hygienic aspects of credit cards as well as their cultural significance in film, fashion and popular song. His one-on-one interviews include TV personalities, bestselling authors, a championship boxer, a hip-hop mogul, an etiquette expert, a secret agent and a meteor hunter. Of course he lives in Florida.

Posts by Jay MacDonald

Protecting yourself, Research, regulation, industry reports

I remember the old WaMu, do you?

I’m feeling all George Bailey this morning as I ponder my interview yesterday with Kirsten Grist, author of “The Lost Bank,” her chronicle of the rise and YouTube-worthy face-fall of my once and favorite bank, Washington Mutual.

But despite missing WaMu, I’ve adapted, if not quite warmed, to Chase. They’re trying to be more like George and less like Mr. Potter. They’re trying to please me, and trying counts for something.

Here’s the best heartwarming ending I can muster: Now every time the drive-through bell rings, my golden retriever gets his treat.
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Fine print, Living with credit

TV’s ‘Downton Abbey’ mirrors today’s financial turmoil

Full disclosure: I have never read a Jane Austen novel, my forebears were murderous mountain Scots, not British dandies in ascots, and my Old Vic was an uncle who drank.

Nevertheless, I’m hooked on the BBC period drama “Downton Abbey” and I think I know why: Downton mirrors the financial and cultural turmoil of our times. Just with better hats.

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Protecting yourself

Foiled AmEx gift card scam lands man behind bars

Remember that classic opening scene from “The Grifters” where John Cusack tries to con a busy bartender out of $10 by presenting a $20 bill for change and then substituting a $10 in its place?

There’s a grifter here in the Tampa Bay area where I live who figured out a way to pull a similar stunt with a $25 American Express gift card. St. Petersburg Police say he scammed Bay Area bars and restaurants out of more than $20,000 over seven months before they nabbed him.

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