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  1. #1
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Important Amendment to Your Credit Card Agreement
    Most of the time when you see letters saying "Important" anything related to credit card accounts they're really just trying to pitch some credit protection program, but I opened one yesterday and was pretty stunned by what I found.

    I've had a card fixed at 5.9% since 2005 (maybe longer). Now in my mind "fixed" means fixed, and as per the agreement, so long as I don't make a late payment or anything like that, it's supposed to remain fixed. The letter I opened yesterday however, proposed amending our agreement to change the interest rate to 19.99%!!! Even better, all I have to do to accept the proposed amendment is to NOT write them a letter rejecting the offer, or use the card after the end of February!

    So the card will remain fixed at 5.9%, but if I ever use it again I'm accepting their proposal to jack it up by nearly 300%. I have a hard time believing the audacity, let alone the legality. I mean, how can it be legal to change interest rates on an account with a balance by simply sending out an opt-out only amendment proposal?

    Anyway, just a heads up to read those "Important" letters, especially those from B of A...
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  2. #2
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    B of A After A Little T and A ?...
    Hi !

    I think the best thing is a debit card that also rings on credit. This is the best way.

    As long as you operate on your own cash no interest is incurred.

    Most americans seem to not really understand just exactly how much 20 % interest is or care. The banks know it too. People keep blowing more money than they make so the banks have a captive audience. To them their customers are not customers at all. They are share cropping slaves of sorts.

    These guys know americans have an addiction and so therefore the banks can dictate terms.

    Thats why. The bigger these corperations get, the more they treat us like they own us. That cuz to a large extent, they do.

    Sad but true...

    Steve

    BTW: I'll bet roughly 30% of the people who get that notice will sign it. Many will rather sign it than lose the use of the card {threats seem to work well}. Many more will read that and believe that they are REQUIRED to sign it. Which of course that is exactly what that is saying now ain't it ?
    Last edited by Steve Williams; January 29th, 2008 at 04:52 PM. Reason: 2 spelling errors...

  3. #3
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    it's legal, they just have to tell you about it.

    However any balance on it prior to Febuary should only be charged interest of 5.9%

    I would write a letter rejecting the offer and in your letter request a 4.9% interest rate. Also notify them to reject your request for 4.9% that they will need to reply to you by march 1st 2007. If no replied is recieve you will assume the new interest rate is 4.9%.

    Send 2 copies, One Certified mail one regular mail, and keep a copy for your self.

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador John Kruger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    I would write a letter rejecting the offer and in your letter request a 4.9% interest rate. Also notify them to reject your request for 4.9% that they will need to reply to you by march 1st 2007. If no replied is recieve you will assume the new interest rate is 4.9%.
    Now that is funny....

    It is a shame how credit card companies easily manipulate their customers, me included. No More Credit!

    I use a debit card that rings through as a credit card, and I love it.

    John
    Respectfully,

    John

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    work = Initiate Demand
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  5. #5
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    Accept AND reject 4.9 % in the same letter ?..
    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    it's legal, they just have to tell you about it.

    However any balance on it prior to Febuary should only be charged interest of 5.9%

    I would write a letter rejecting the offer and in your letter request a 4.9% interest rate. Also notify them to reject your request for 4.9% that they will need to reply to you by march 1st 2007. If no replied is recieve you will assume the new interest rate is 4.9%.

    Send 2 copies, One Certified mail one regular mail, and keep a copy for your self.
    Hey there HG

    What would be the strategical advantage of both accepting AND rejecting the same 4.9 % interest rate in the same letter ?



    Steve

  6. #6
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I meant to reject their offer of 19.99% not the 4.9% request

  7. #7
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    Accept= Reject ?...
    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    I meant to reject their offer of 19.99% not the 4.9% request
    HG

    OK. Small typo.

    Steve

  8. #8
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    I would write a letter rejecting the offer and in your letter request a 4.9% interest rate. Also notify them to reject your request for 4.9% that they will need to reply to you by march 1st 2007. If no replied is recieve you will assume the new interest rate is 4.9%.

    Send 2 copies, One Certified mail one regular mail, and keep a copy for your self.
    Not a bad idea.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  9. #9
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    For those who can do it, an American Express card solves the interest manipulation issue. It's the only card I've used since 1987 and as the months charges are payable in full each month, you are actually at 0% interest on that 30 days.

    If you cannot pay in full each month, I'd sincerely advise re-thinking purchases and spending habits. Other than a house and a car, if you cannot pay it all off each month, don't buy it on credit.
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  10. #10
    The affiliate formerly known as ojmoo
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    You have to careful with these things. A while back, I receieved a similar letter that said they was changing thew default rate of my credit card to something obscene.

    Default, means to me, where something is set to begin with. We all have seen the button reset to dafault positions. BUt default to the bank is what happens when you don't pay.

    Make sure of the rate that is changing.

    Mike
    Expert who says Moo

    a.k.a. OJMOO

    Cow Dance


  11. #11
    ABW Ambassador 2busy's Avatar
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    ABW offers a card at 7.99% fixed that might interest those who are paying high interest. I'm with Alan on the 'pay balance each month' thing. I don't do American Express though because they charge you to be a member.

  12. #12
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Last year I think it was Sears that took m e to a default credit of 34% I didn't even have a balance. Needless to say they were dropped.

    I call the credit card company from time to time and tell them what rate I am gonna pay or I am gonna switch.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Daniel M. Clark's Avatar
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    B of A did the same thing to me, but since I only use it as a backup card (for places that don't take Discover) and I pay it off every month, the interest rate doesn't really matter. Still, the principle of the thing matters - and it's disgusting that they can do this to people and get away with it. Words have meaning or they don't - and "fixed" means that it's not supposed to change
    Daniel M. Clark
    Tech Manager
    Greg Hoffman Consulting

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kruger
    I use a debit card that rings through as a credit card, and I love it.
    I had a problem with a store where I used my debit card for a purchase, so I notified the bank asking to dispute the charge. Unfortunatley with the debit card, you don't have the same rights to dispute charges as with a credit card (at least at my bank). Ever since then, I use my credit card for everything and just pay it off every month.

  15. #15
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2busy
    ABW offers a card at 7.99% fixed that might interest those who are paying high interest. I'm with Alan on the 'pay balance each month' thing. I don't do American Express though because they charge you to be a member.
    To each his own 2B but American Express offers several member services / protections / and other conveniences that make it more than well worth it. Additionally, depending on how much you charge each month, you can get the yearly fee waived. ;- )

    If you ever have reason to dispute a charged through Am Ex you will get an immediate feel for the member service they provide. :-)
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  16. #16
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    American Express just screwed all of their members in their points program.

    Their points are now worth less than a penny now.

    before you could get a round trip flight with 50,000 points, now you need over 800,000.

    And don't get me started on the catalog

    And their policy on disputes isn't as friendly as it use to be.

  17. #17
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    Default Interest Rate...
    Quote Originally Posted by TheFashionista
    I had a problem with a store where I used my debit card for a purchase, so I notified the bank asking to dispute the charge. Unfortunatley with the debit card, you don't have the same rights to dispute charges as with a credit card (at least at my bank). Ever since then, I use my credit card for everything and just pay it off every month.
    TF

    It is often best to bank with a small town bank or credit union where you can simply walk in to the managers office and he knows your account # by heart.

    Often these small banks offer cards that are both credit and debit and are far more willing to reverse a charge with a simple phone call to that managers office at the bank.

    Big banks treat you like crap just as much as the other big corperations do anyway. Though not every person feels like driving to a small town to open a bank account.

    It is something to certainly consider though.

    Steve

  18. #18
    Kung Fu Master Eathan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HecticDMC
    Still, the principle of the thing matters - and it's disgusting that they can do this to people and get away with it.
    Exactly! Business doesn't always have to be sleazy to make a buck.
    Eathan Mertz

    Black Cat Mining - Gold Prospecting & Rockhounding Equipment

  19. #19
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    In a few short months, I will be credit card debt free. I will never carry a balance on a credit card ever again. If I don't have the money in my checking or savings, I will go without it.

  20. #20
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    American Express just screwed all of their members in their points program.

    Their points are now worth less than a penny now.

    before you could get a round trip flight with 50,000 points, now you need over 800,000.

    And don't get me started on the catalog

    And their policy on disputes isn't as friendly as it use to be.

    Huh?????????????????

    I think you are misinformed HG. Ellen and I always have 13 to 15 roundtrip airfares earned on our Am Ex cards and the mileage / point breakdown as of this morning was.

    Domestic rountrip flights

    Frontier Airlines 15,000 points
    All others 20,000 points

    buck a point - and we just booked this evening two roundtrips to Colorado on Frontier - total 30,000 points. Don't know where you got the info but our account is 21 years running without a problem on air miles. But no matter, to each his/her own.
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  21. #21
    Affiliate Manager Alan Hamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    In a few short months, I will be credit card debt free. I will never carry a balance on a credit card ever again. If I don't have the money in my checking or savings, I will go without it.
    THAT - is the smartest decision you will ever make on use of credit cards Seymour. If you can't pay the whole thing off monthly, don't charge it.

    Congratulation & I hope you exercise the discipline to carry out your new plan. After a couple years it will become a habit - and a great one at that!
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  22. #22
    Grandma broke her coccyx! Uncle Rico's Avatar
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    I have learned my lesson with CC debt. I added up just the interest I was paying on all cards for 1 year and almost had a heart attack.

    By March, the only bills I will have is my home mortgage, 1 car pmt (with 2 yrs to go) and household utilities.

  23. #23
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    Way To Go Seymour On Your Debt !....
    Quote Originally Posted by SeymourButts
    I have learned my lesson with CC debt. I added up just the interest I was paying on all cards for 1 year and almost had a heart attack.

    By March, the only bills I will have is my home mortgage, 1 car pmt (with 2 yrs to go) and household utilities.
    Seymour

    Woooo Hoooo !! Way to go seymour !

    Steve

  24. #24
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    I just checked my account again, 2 months ago I could litterally get a round trip flight on just my points for 50,000 points.

    Now I need atleast 800,000. This on my Amex Business card.

    I even called them 3 weeks ago and they were like I should consider using their catalog instead, which is robbery if you ask me. So I am switching to money back.

    2 Months ago for me anyway the worth of 1 point was 10 dollars, now its about 1 point for 100 dollars.

    I remember when it was 1 for 1.

  25. #25
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Arrow Survey of Credit Card Plans
    http://www.federalreserve.gov/Pubs/shop/survey.htm

    Every six months the Federal Reserve System surveys the terms of credit card plans offered by financial institutions and publishes a report of the findings...
    Here's a chart of a handy list [subject to change] from the Federal Reserve Board indicating and explaining credit card features such as the: Annual Percentage Rate, Type of pricing (i.e. fixed or variable), and more. There are many toll-free telephone numbers included in the list.

    This [government] list might help people to compare and shop around for credit cards.
    ~Rhia7 -- Remember the 7
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