Credit Card Companies Don’t Play Fair

Robin sent me THIS ARTICLE written by Liz Moyer and Tatyana Shumsky of Forbes the other day.

It seems that Bank of America has decided to pull out the 0.5 font and crank the rates on their "valued" customers.

Here are the items that stood out to me:

  • "Bank of America gives card holders the chance to opt out of the higher rate by paying the account off, but such a request must be made in writing."
  • "Millennium card also has no grace period, meaning a 19.5% interest rate on charges kicks in as soon as a charge is made. "That's unheard of," Arnold says. The account is secured with the borrower's own money. "There's no risk for the issuer.""

  • A spokeswoman for Chase says, "We pride ourselves on having an extensive array of products so customers can find one that fits their needs."

You know what the article reminded me of?  The reasons that I do not use credit cards anymore.  I played their game and lost multiple times.  They were NOT my friends.

By the way, in one of my financial counseling appointments today, one of them had a Bank of America card that had more than DOUBLED the rate even though they have always paid their payment on time.   I can't believe that these companies get away with selling these horrible products.

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4 Responses to “Credit Card Companies Don’t Play Fair”

  1. Rhonda Kester February 25, 2008 at 7:28 am #

    Funny you should write about Bank of America doing this.
    Washington Mutual Credit Card just did the same thing. My rate went from 16.9% to 29.99%. I have called on several occasions and wrote a letter but they will not lower my rate. I failed to read the notice closely that they sent out 4 months ago, so there is a lesson learned. Luckily I was able to pay them off 3 days ago with tax money and now they can work for me by helping my credit score.

  2. Moneymonk February 25, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    “one“of them had a Bank of America card that had more than DOUBLED the rate even though they have always paid their payment on time”….What !??

    You cannot do right with these companies!

  3. Michael February 25, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    Although I agree most do not play fair, there are a rare few that do. My wife and I have had excellent experiences with Discover Rewards (transportation related purchases only). This card gives you 5% back on all transportation related purchases. Since my wife and I budget for all purchases, we use this Discover card for all transportation purchases. Once you reach $20.00 in rewards, you can redeem the amount as a gift card or as we choose a direct deposit into our ING. We then use this to pay for known, intermittent vehicle related expenses such as oil changes, maintenance, registration/fees, etc. It works quite well for us since we pay off our budgeted balance every month. One side note on Discover, of all the times I have called customer service their representatives are based within the U.S. They go so far as to tell you which customer care contact center you will be connected to within the U.S. (connecting to Arizona, etc.).

  4. Kari February 26, 2008 at 1:02 pm #

    Fees, especially fluctuating APR finance charges, on credit cards only help you accrue more and more debt. But, there is another way to be able to use plastic and not go into debt or that even have any APR, like the UPside Visa reloadable prepaid card. You are able to fund the card periodically or automatically with allowance schedules, from family, friends and employers. And with multiple plans to choose from (including one that is entirely free to use), you can find a card that fits you and/or your family’s lifestyle, as you can get the card for yourself or one for family members that are either already in need of debt-help or you would like to teach healthy financial living to, like your kids (as young as 13 years of age).

    Check it out at: http://www.upsidecard.com/?sponsorship=ecairn2

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