Remember when Sears was America's favorite store, and its1980s-era gold and white card was America's most popular store card?
A Sears store credit card has been a rite of passage for many of us: It was my first credit card, and showed the world I was finally a card carrying adult.
Those days are gone, and now the last of those old Sears cards may soon be on their way out too.
It is being replaced by a MasterCard for many customers, but some of them are not happy.
Letter Offers "Upgrade"
Sherry Rahlmann recently received a letter offering her an upgrade to a new Citi Sears MasterCard.
"I got the letter from Sears saying they were changing their things to Citibank.'
She did nothing for a few weeks, then says she called customer service, saying she had too many credit cards and did not need another.
"The person I talked to on my account told me she would make a note that I did not want a MasterCard, and could keep my Sears account," she said.
But it was apparently too late. A few weeks later, she says, a Citi MasterCard arrived in the mail.
"I received a MasterCard saying my Sears account had been closed and all I could do was call a toll free number and activate my MasterCard."
We contacted Sears, which tells us it still offers the original Sears card.
But Creditcardforum.com says card holders with good credit are being pushed a Sears MasterCard, which is now owned by Citi cards.
Rahlmann, though, is refusing to activate the new card, and says the ordeal is likely to make her shop elsewhere in the future.
"I already have a MasterCard I am happy with," she said. "I don't keep a lot of credit cards, I don't need a lot of credit cards."
A Citi spokeswoman tells us that Sears is not discontinuing the old blue card, but is offering the new one to many of its best customers.
What You Can Do
My advice? If you get a letter about this, and don't want a MasterCard, call Sears immediately.
Do not put it aside, do not wait....or your old card could be deactivated.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money is a registered trademark of the EW Scripps Co.
"Like" John Matarese on Facebook
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)