Saturday, May 2, 2009

My Credit Card is What?

by Insurance Guru

Basic creditcard / debitcard / smartcard graph...Image via Wikipedia

I've been a credit card holder for longer than some of you, Gentle Readers, have been alive. While sadly, I have more than my share of credit card debt, I am fortunate in that I am able to pay more than the minimum. So why are the evil Credit Card Empires cutting my credit limits and increasing my interest rates?
On the big, corporate, balance sheet you would think that I look like the golden goose... I'm never late, pay a bit more than the minimum required and have been a customer for years. OFF WITH 'ER HEAD! Oops, I mean, credit limit.

Yesterday's mail brought me the latest from a company to remain nameless... Okay, initials only... BoA. Glossy brochures trumpeting my privacy policies and what-not on cheap paper. It's the "what-not" that they hope you toss. Interest rate increases, penalty increases, poke your eye out with a spoon rate increases. Now I can decline all of that and here, the instructions get a little fuzzy. I think it involves a GPS scavenger hunt, plasma donation and sperm count?

Never fear Gentle Readers, I shall foil their evil machinations and return my interest rates to the now arbitrary rate I signed up for. I can't help feeling a little cranky about all of this, though. Following the rules I signed up for just isn't good enough any more. So what should the honest folks do now?
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Gail Rae said...

I am also one of those who reads the turgid policy mailings and, I have to admit, they are so turgid that I NEVER realized part of the prose was indicating that I could decline these things. I'd LOVE it if, as you go through the process of decline, you illuminate what your understanding is of what you have to do to achieve this and how the process goes. Exact, personal reports on status plasma donations, GPS locations and sperm counts not necessary, of course, since those would vary according to the client!
Thanks for this, Insurance Guru. I actually save these things, too. Because of your post I'm going to go back through them and see what I can discover! Up to today, I thought I was stuck!

dethmama said...

Thanks for the share on this, IG...

I too, am scrupulous about paying my bills on time. However,recently, I accidentally missed one on a balance of $191.00. (something I'd normally just pay in full)

I got no less than a dozen phone calls from a collector about this! After I paid the card off, my credit limit of $6000 was decreased to $500!!

Later, I also noticed that a card I have with zero balance on it had its credit limit dropped to $500.

WTF?? These are "teenager" credit limits!!!

Not long ago, the credit card companies wouldn't have blinked at one missed payment... just tack on a late fee and spin it around again.

This is crazy!

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! I hate BOA. I made one late payment (I swear it was the USPS) and they tried to crank my interest rate to a gabillion five (slight exaggeration). I called and calmly explained (lie) that I would simply close my account if they didn't lower it back to at least a gabillion four. They didn't know who they were dealing with!

insuranceguru said...

Hi Gentle Readers - I have had lots of problems with my BoA credit card account and have spent hours on the phone with them over the years. Fortunately I've successfully resolved every issue but what a pain. Like Anon said - they didn't know who they were dealing with!

In order to keep my old interest rate, I had to sign and mail some BS (by some arbitrary date) and no further activity can happen on this card. One little charge on it and I think my interest goes to 98% and they take my birthday away.

On my other card, every few months as the balance decreases, they decrease my credit limit. I have something like a 3 dollar spending window on that one.

I'm not happy carrying credit card debt but I'm playing by their rules, they need to stick to them. As soon as these bad boys are paid off they will get not get another cent from me.