The latest wrinkle in shutting down my mother’s estate caught me by surprise yesterday. I finally gained access to her credit card accounts, several which had charges since her hospitalization and death. I figured they had to be recurring charges and it turns out, I was right.

The first call went out to Netflix. When I explained why my mom would no longer be needing their services, they were happy to cancel. The only trick was to figure out which account was hers. Turns out that they can’t look up an account by a person’s name. They have to have an e-mail address or a credit card number.

I remember having a conversation with my mom many years ago about why I have so many e-mail addresses. There’s one for junk mail, a couple of different ones for business, there’s my work e-mail address, and I have several personal e-mail addresses so I can keep my high-school cronies separated from friends I communicate with regularly. I guess mom listened to me since none of the e-mail addresses I had for her showed up in the Netflix database. It was time to dig out the plastic.

It only took three tries to find the correct credit card. Mom had enough credit spread across enough plastic to buy a modestly-sized house and a car to go with it. She was keeping all of them active and earning rewards by spreading all of her monthly expenses across the gamut of cards. It all makes sense. She worked in the treasury department of a large oil and gas company until she retired. Gaming the banking system to maximize their returns was her job.


Kudos go out to Netflix. They cancelled the account and credited the last annual charge back to the card. The rep even said to me, “Netflix has got your back.”

Thanks, bro.

Today I find out if Ancestry has my back too.