What does your credit card company know about you? A lot! It turns out your credit card company probably knows more about you than you know about you, all based on the way you use your card. A good example is the study done by the retail chain Canadian Tire.

  • They researched the shopping habits of hundreds of thousands of their customers and found that 22,000 people who used their credit cards at bars missed four payments within the next year. But, only 530 of the cardholders who used their credit cards at the dentist missed four payments within the next year.

  • Another interesting finding: People who bought wild bird seed rarely went bad on their debts. The thinking is this, if you’re the type to spend money on something that betters the world, or wild birds, in this case, you're the type of person to pay off a credit card on time, because you feel a sense of moral obligation.

  • Another good credit risk? Card holders who bought felt pads to protect their wood floors. They rarely missed a payment. Why? Because they wanted to protect their belongings, be it their hardwood floors or their credit score.

  • Another big thing they look for is any change in your spending pattern. Say you never used your credit card to buy groceries before, but now you do. That tells the credit card company you're going through a period of financial distress.

  • The credit card companies also look to see when you check your balance. If you start checking your balance, say, at one in the morning - you may have anxiety over how much you owe.

So what’s the take away here? Pay with cash whenever you can. You’ll avoid getting in debt and no one can invade your privacy by looking at your spending habits.