The end result of this question just needs to be preserved as a "wonderful AskMe moment." Crushing problem solved in a way neither of us would have considered if it hadn't been for the suggestion in AskMe. Now we know, and the other credit-card-ignorant will know too when they search!
There's a thread in AskMefi that may be a candidate for deletion or at least expunging identifying info. It includes personal info of third parties and asks if a business is a "scam" with no evidence/logic. And after this inflammatory claim there is no follow-up by the OP.