I wanted to let everyone in on what I consider to be some kind of sleazy dealings from Chase bank. My wife has had a particular credit card for 16 years. Don’t remember if it was always Chase, or one of the bank’s it has recently gobbled up. Anyway, the other day we got one of those Terms and Conditions changes. It was a simple tri-fold mailer, and didn’t look like much. Could’ve been a throwaway piece of paper for all we knew.
But, after reading it, we realized that the changes they were putting in place were outrageous. First off, they were changing the interest rate to some ungodly number + prime. So that means that the rate she had (9.9 %) was going to increase to something like 19.9%. If that wasn’t bad enough, it wasn’t just changing for future purchases. It was changing for the ENTIRE BALANCE she carried on the card. So everything that was already at 9.9% (or lower due to balance transfers) was suddenly going to jump to 19.9%.
You may think she did something to deserve this. Well, she’s never had a late payment in 16 years. We downloaded a credit report, and her credit is fine. In fact, she’s never missed a payment on ANYTHING.
Now the directions said you could opt-out. But by that they meant, if you opt-out, they were cancelling your card. Also, they only gave you two weeks to opt-out before they were going to increase your rates. Oh, to add insult to injury, they had added a $29 fee to join their rewards program (which she didn’t authorize.) It was one of those “charge you, and if you call us we’ll remove the charge” type dealings. Also sleazy.
My wife called and spoke with someone trying to figure out why this was happening. They could find nothing indicating WHY this was taking place. The only thing they said that it might be is that she carried a high balance. WHAT?!?!? YOU gave her that limit, and now you’re penalizing her for using it? For a 16 year customer that has never missed a payment?!?!
Needless to say, my wife told them to screw off and that she was “opting-out” of their bullshit. The card has been cancelled, and we can pay off the balance at the previous rates.
Anyway, just be forewarned that this can happen to you too. If you have a Chase credit card (or if Chase just gobbled up one of your banks) then pay really close attention, even to things that seem insignificant. Me, I’m looking to sever as many ties with Chase as I can… Why did they have to buy Bank One? [sigh]
FYI, if you do a search on Google for these types of things, you can see it’s rampant. Banks are screwing us, lets make sure not to take it.