Not long after Blippy.com released several users’ credit card numbers on its purchase tracking website, I feared the worst. I wondered if users who post their spending habits are naïve and reveal too much about their purchases. Then, it came to me–investigate how Blippy.com postings compared to the five most-extravagant plastic purchases of all time:
#5: Famous $50 Steak Dinner
Wonder when the first dining charge was left on a credit card? Frank McNamara, a credit executive, sat down for dinner in 1949 with Alfred Bloomingdale (yes, that Bloomingdale). When McNamara discovered he forgot his wallet, he made sure that no other executives would be embarrassed: he invented the Diners’ Club Card. Today, you can charge inexpensive dinners, too. At Blippy, more than 700 consumers posted they had recently used plastic to buy Chipotle burritos.
#4: The $5,515 Nip and Tuck
Records show a woman in England used plastic for…plastic surgery. Hollie Henderson chalked up a $130,000 balance for post-partum corrective surgery. Meanwhile, at Blippy.com, Eric Ryan Harrison posted his $5,515, charge for his wife’s procedure at Augusta Plastic Surgery. Nice to tell everyone, Eric!
#3: $25,000 for a Car and Rebate
Today, most people don’t have the credit line to buy a new car outright. But, a few years ago, thanks to low interest rates and cash back rewards, Blippy posters Marc and Angel grabbed a 2007 Honda and a nifty $500 cash back reward.
#2: $98 to Get Hitched
Couples in America typically spend about $27,800 on their wedding, according to a survey by The Knot. Some enjoy a simple ceremony: Blippy member Nils Johnsonposted a $98 credit card purchase for a city hall wedding ceremony in San Francisco. But, not long after, the penny pinching ended. His online reports suddenly showed pricey spending at Sephora and Gilt Groupe. Ain’t marriage grand?
#1: $2.5 million for Original Art
Love Roy Lichtenstein? Not as much as art collector Eli Broad. In 1995, he earned 2.5 million frequent flyer miles by bidding on and buying Lichtenstein’s, “I…I’m Sorry” at Sotheby’s. Broad donated the miles to his favorite charities, but he probably ruined reward card programs for all of us!