By now many of you must have received an unsolicited offer for a Microwave Journal credit card. To MJ, we'd like to say, "thanks a pantload for selling my personal information to MBNA". We're really glad to learn about the many exceptional rewards that are offered, including One Point for every dollar in net retail purchases, Special Cardmember Offers, Retail Assurance, Travel Security, and more. It gives us great peace of mind knowing that these benefits are ours for the taking by filling out the handy Personal Request Form.

What are these guys thinking? Do they think that your date be impressed when you whip out a Microwave Journal credit card to pay for a romantic evening? Oh yeah, we're talking about engineers here, maybe your data will be impressed....

If there is one microwave trade rag that still turns a profit, it's Microwave Journal. Their parent company Horizon House for years has had the keys the kingdom that is the IEEE Microwave Theory and Technique Symposium, which alone must be worth ten million dollars. Then let's not forget the MJ magazine, which has the most advertising of any microwave trade journal. In the February 2006 issue we count 93 out of 190 pages with a full page ad, which costs about $7500 each (check their rate sheet). Yikes! that's about $700,000 in revenue each month, and that's not including the higher-priced smaller ads that appear everywhere. Roll it all up and soon you're looking at a fifty-million dollar per year enterprise. But how greedy can you get? If you guessed "plenty more", you win!

Let's look at the parent company of MBNA, Bank of America. Bank of America bought MBNA for $35,000,000,000, closing on January 1. The combined company's profit target for 2006 is over $20,000,000,000. They'll help achieve this by lovingly turning the screws on consumer credit accounts. Never underestimate the hidden phrase "other significant terms apply" when you apply for an MBNA credit card. They also have outlined a plan to cut 6,000 jobs at the call centers.

The issuer of the MJ card is AMEX, arguably the worst credit card company there is. From personal experience, these bozos have a sneaky habit of placing unknown charges on corporate cards, that can never be removed. When they say they will "look into a contested charge", they mean, "we hope you'll forget about this unknown $270 charge someday, we have no idea what it was for, but your employer forced you to sign up for this card and is not liable for contested charges, because the card is in your name, sucker, bwa-ha-ha-ha!". Hey AXP, you suck! To CEO K.I. Chenault, we congratulate you on your $6,000,000 bonus last year. Now shove it.

Using the AMWAY principle (let's all sell each other some overpriced cleaning products, and we'll make back our losses on commission), the only people who might take the credit card offer are those that are in a position to profit from it. We'll estimate that there are maybe 10 employees of Horizon House that will soon be sporting the Microwave Journal MBNA AMEX credit card. Say, if all four employees of Microwaves101 had a Microwaves101 credit card, we could each pocket $60... just like those MJ Dudes! Here comes the Gravy Train!

We thought maybe this idiocy would be explained in the privacy statement on MJ's web site. But then should have realized they don't have a privacy statement. Then we went to parent company Horizon House web site, where they have a page that prices how much it costs to rent their lists of subscribers. They'll sell both your snailmail and email addresses to anyone, for short money. We'd never do that. Read our privacy statement here.

When you receive the amazing MJ AMEX credit card offer, do what we did. Give the entire handy information packet to that homeless dude that lives behind the Circle K, and give him a free Microwaves101 pen to fill in the blanks. It might be a coincidence, but he told us that he is Cheef Finanshal Ossifer of his own company, and he influences $10,000,000 worth of purchases each year, using the proceeds from his aluminum can collection efforts, which will be sure to impress the subscription department over at MJ. He also assured us he'll happily be liable for any contested charges on his new AMEX card!


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