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Credit Card

An English Conversation

By Sue Gench







Stacy: Look what I've got!

Denis: What's that? Oh! You have a new credit card. Let me take a look at it.

Stacy: Yap. Here it is.

Denis: Easy Credit? What's Easy Credit? I've never heard of it before. How did you get it?

Stacy: I got it at the drop of a hat. Last week I found an application form in the mail the other day. I filled it out and mailed it back. By the end of last week I received the credit card.

Denis: That was quick. But I'm not surprised. I know all about the credit card craze going around everywhere these days. Don't you have American Express already? Why would you need one more credit card?

Stacy: Yes, I have American Express. But it doesn't' hurt to have one more. Does it? Besides, the interest rate on Easy Credit is very low.

Denis: Of course, it does hurt, Stacy. The low interest rate promise is just a deception. Don't you know that?

Stacy: Why is it a deception?

Denis: Let me tell you this: they will change the interest rate without even notifying you. What's the interest rate on it?

Stacy: It's only 12 percent. Much lower than American Express.

Denis: That interest rate will go up immediately if you happen to pay your bills little late. Or, if they find something about your income, or for so many other reasons God knows.

Stacy: I pay my bills in time. What'd you mean by the interest rate changes immediately?

Denis: You're being naive. Did you ever read the fine print in the back of your application?

Stacy: No, I didn't.

Denis: Please do yourself a favor. Take a look at the fine print in the back of your application. Do you have a copy of your application?

Stacy: No, I don't. Why is it so important to read the fine print? After all, I know what the interest rate is.

Denis: Call up the credit company immediately and ask for your credit interest rate contract. I hope they will send it to you soon. I've to go know. I'll talk to you tonight. Before I call you, make sure you will call them to ask for the contract.

Stacy: You're making me nervous. I don't think I'm in trouble.

Denis: I hope you're not. Bye now.

Stacy: Okay Bye now. I'll be home by seven.

Denis: I'll call you around 9 o'clock.

Questions: Answer the questions below. Write your answers down. Make complete sentences. Look at our answers after you answer the questions.

1. What is the topic of this conversation?

2. Why does Denis warn Stacy against her new credit card interest rate?

3. Do you think Stacy is ill-informed on her credit card?

4. Why does Denis find Stacy's behavior naive?

5. Do you see people usually have this problem with their credit cards?


1. The topic of this conversation is credit card. How it is easy to obtain a credit card and get into trouble with its high cost interest. How badly credit card companies lie consumers on high interest cost.

2. Denis warns Stacy against her credit card interest rate because the interest rate will never stay the same. The interest rate will increase suddenly in the near future.

3. Yes, I think Stacy is ill-informed on her credit card. Stacy has no idea about high interest rate charges. The interest rate on her card will increase.

4. Stacy seems to be naive about her credit card because she thinks the interest rate on the card is low.

5. I think this credit card problem is very common. People usually have this problem all over the world.


credit card: a plastic card we use to buy products on credit without paying cash at the point of transaction

take a look: idiom verb. to read, examine, or look at something to get an idea

I've got: the present participle of the verb 'get'', Shortened form of I have got. Americans do not us 'gotten" for the Present Perfect.

at the drop of a hat: idiom. so quickly and easily

application form: compound noun a document we enter information in about our personal background and submit it to get a credit card--in this example.

fill out: v. to enter information in documents, such as in an application

mail it back v. to send an mail back to where we have received it from

I'm: Shortened sound of I am. Shortened sound in spoken English

to be surprised: verbal phrase; passive form of surprise. to feel confused over something the way we didn't expect.

craze: noun an irrational behavior

go around: prepositional verb. to circulate around

American Express: a popular credit card used all over the world by consumers

hurt: verb. to harm physically and emotionally

Why would you need it? The Conditional Tense. This is a hypothetical question. Denis is not exactly sure if Stacy has an American Express card. But Denis wants to know if Stacy has a credit card already, and if she had one credit card, she wouldn't need one more new. So, Denis asks this hypothetical question "Why would you need a new credit card?" The complete question is : "If you had a credit card already, why would you need one more credit card?", which is in the conditional tense.

besides: conjunction. in addition

of course: adverb. certainly

just: adverb. exactly as it is. This adverb stresses the meaning. For example: "It is just a deception" means it is a deception and it is exactly what it is..

deception: a lie, misleading information

change: v. to make something different, alter

notify: v. to let someone know; officially inform

interest rate: compound noun a fee on top of the original amount of money (principal) borrowed

It's: Shortened form of "it is". A shortened sound in spoken English

happen to do something: to do something without intention. For example. if you happen to pay your bill late, you will pay a higher interest.

What'd you mean? What do you mean? A shortened sound in spoken English

income: noun. money we earn from work we do, or receive through other means such as from our investments

naive: adjective. being in a state of not having clear understanding of nature of things; ignorant, not well informed

fine print: explanations given in small print for legally binding obligations in business documents

do yourself a favor: idiomatic phrase. take a right action for your own good

call up: idiomatic verb. to make a telephone call

contract: noun a legal agreement between two parties with business terms written in

ask for: prepositional verb. to request

make sure: idiomatic verb. be certain

make someone nervous: idiomatic verb. to cause someone to feel nervous

continue: transitive and intransitive verb. to go on

leave off: prepositional verb. to leave something unfinished at some point

ill-informed: not well-informed




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