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How to File a Credit Card Complaint with the Government

We receive a lot of complaints about credit card companies and although the number of complaints about most large banks has decreased significantly since the passage of the CARD Act, this is a page where consumers have been posting complaints for over two years.

Fortunately, the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has launched a website where consumers can easily input details of their complaints and get assistance dealing with credit card companies. This website is by far the most comprehensive resource available to consumers and replaces the old, fragmented system that essentially did nothing to help individuals resolve credit card complaints.

You can learn more about CFPB in the article Filing Credit Card Complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

To submit a credit card complaint, please visit their website at

And if you want to share your stories with other readers, feel free to leave a comment below.

Editor's Note: This content is not provided by Citi. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the Citi or any of the other companies whose products are featured in this content.

About the author

Jeff Weber

Jeffrey Weber has been following and blogging about the credit card industry since 2004. He has also written for Forbes and been cited in a wide range of major media outlets including USA Today, Time, MSN Money, The Christian Science Monitor, The Detroit Free Press and numerous other prestigious online and print publications.

Jeffrey resides in Easton, Connecticut and enjoys spending his free time chasing after his two year old son, watching films with his wife and occasionally taking a holiday to go snorkeling.

– has written 338 posts.

{ 389 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessica December 5, 2011 at 9:14 am

I have a Citi World Dividend card. I have never been late, always made payments higher than the minimum and have carried a balance of less than 30% of my credit limit. Recently, my husband’s CC company offered a balance transfer with no fees and a significantly lower APR using the checks that come with your monthly statement. We filled out one of the checks for the full balance on my Citi card and sent it in.

We noticed on his account that the balance had transfered successfully but my Citi account was still showing the same balance. So, now it seems we are carrying the same balance and paying interest twice!

I called Citi and after a month of correspondence back and forth, they tell me they don’t know where they applied the money (I have a copy of the cashed check with Citi’s deposit info on the back) and will not credit me the balance of my account.


Jeff Weber Jeff Weber December 5, 2011 at 9:53 am


This is a thorny one. I recently had to verify a check clearing with my credit card company and accomplished this by calling the credit card company and then doing a three way call with my bank. I would attempt to do the same with a supervisor.

Also, just in case there was an error, contact the company you did the transfer with and verify that the account information is correct and that the transfer has completed. The fine print often states that it can take 30 days for a transfer to clear.


Sridhar Rangaswamy August 21, 2011 at 11:07 am

Would like to create a complaint to GOVT about
SEARS CREDIT CARD and today i spoke to Lanita
She is extremely rude and she does not provide the information
Please advise how to get and escalate to the highest managemet please

This is pretty critical for me
they have jeoparadized credit score and giving lot of hassle

Thanks & Regards


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper August 24, 2011 at 11:24 am


I strongly recommend visiting the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau at They have a comprehensive tool for handling disputes such as yours.


B Ray August 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm

CITIBANK GETS A $300 BILLION DOLLAR BAILOUT THEN SLAPS EXHORBITANT APR’S ON THEIR CUSTOMERS….NICE! I too have been a citibank cardholder for over 4 years, never a late payment, account always been in good standing. Recieved a notice the APR was being raised to 29.99% with no explanation whatsoever. I call the customer service reps who mimic “I’m sorry” repeatedly. Is the government aware of this? They will be as I am contacting every regulatory government agency on this scam and I urge everyone who has been swindled by CItibank to do the same.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper August 16, 2011 at 10:16 am

B Ray,

I understand your anger, but hopefully this will make you feel a bit better. The higher rate will only be applied to new purchases. Any existing balances you have at this point will not increase to the new level. Thus, if you have $1,000 of debt at a 14% rate, that debt will only increase if the Prime Rate increases, which likely won’t happen for a year or more.

Simply stop using the card and use a different card and you won’t be impacted by the 29.99% rate. Unfortunately, this increase is completely legal per the CARD Act. My wife had a similar issue with American Express recently. She made a single late payment and they raised her rate to 29.99% on future purchases, even though she had never been late before and had been a cardmember for 6 years. This is simply the new normal.


Gary Clough July 27, 2011 at 9:21 pm

I had a do it center card. The reason I cancelled it was every time I mailed a payment it turned up late. I told them I am not playing there games. That was I think in March or April. May billing said payoff was $831 and some change. I paid it of over the phone and I paid $833 and change. (over paid). Well in June I got a bill for $8.42 . So I called them was told so we have records.I gave her a piece of my mind and hung up. In July I got a bill for $10.42. So I called again , I got what sounded like an Indian speaking lady, I tried talking to her but could barley understand her, I then asked for a supervisor and was told no. I gave her a piece of my mind. I then faxed a complaint letter to them and nothing. August bill shows up it is now up to $22.42. No response from them. Looked up BBB they have an f rating. I want them to go away. They are thieves.


john taylor July 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm

Had my chase card for well over 5 years, was over limit a few times, but never missed a payment, they closed my account and raised my interest to 29.99%. Talked to the manager he states the company can raise interest anytime for any reason, they ask me to reapply i refused.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 20, 2011 at 10:53 am


Are you sure this rate raise applies to your earlier balances? Credit card companies absolutely cannot raise rates on previous balances at any time for any reason. They can only do this on future purchases and only after 45 days notice has been given.


john husar July 13, 2011 at 10:48 pm

i have an sears soultions hsbc mastercard, it was stolen, because i an disabled and cant walk the balance was a -$30.00
in one week it was $700.00 i was pick pocketed in the walmart,
i filed a police report, and hsbc does not what to take the charges off, i am on disablitiy, what can i do?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 14, 2011 at 9:03 am


There should be no issue with this. Your card was stolen and you have ZERO liability. Call HSBC again, get a supervisor on the line, tell them your card was stolen, you have a police report, and that you want to dispute all of the charges. HSBC MUST reverse these charges. I think the person you spoke with was trying to stonewall you. But that person was wrong and you should not have had any problem with this issue.


Ryan July 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm

Thanks for the email. I sent them here is the inital response I received from First National:

“Dear Ryan:

Thank you for contacting First National Bank. Our records indicate it was agreed upon to refund two months of the billed SecureCredit Program fee, not three months.

If you wish to discuss this matter further, please contact Central States Insurance directly, Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. CST, at 1-800-554-0091.


Laura P.
Customer Care Representative”

Then my response:

” No Laura this was not the agreement. I never signed up for these services and they are fraudulent. They said they would remove all of the charges. These charges need to be removed immediately or I will be closing my account and contacting the FTC regarding this matter. I never signed or verbally agreed to this service.

Again I spoke with Shawn at First National (extension 1054460) and Lorenzo (extension 6489) who told me all the charges would be removed.

Please tell me when the third charge will be removed.

Kind regards,

Ryan Smith


Thanks for the advice… I’ll let you know how it unfolds.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 10, 2011 at 11:27 am

Thanks for the update Ryan. Hope to hear some good news. This is a complete joke and ripoff.


Ryan July 2, 2011 at 12:53 pm

I have a First National of Omaha credit card. I was signed up – without my permission – for a program called “securecredit” for $22 a month. I just noticed it on my bill after 3 billing cycles.

After doing some legwork I found out that securecredit is an affiliate of First National. I called and told them I wanted a reversal because I never signed up for this program. Which they agreed to but the reversal never happened.

I called my CC company to get a charge back issued and was told sometimes these can take 2 months to process (which is bs). Anyway the reason for my post is this: The $20 a month could have easily slipped through the cracks, so check your balance carefully every month.

Second my question: If they don’t issue a refund what is the process I should take? send them a certified letter requesting the funds? contacting the FTC? I know this is all over a small amount but it really is the principle of the matter.

I realize honest mistakes happen but since they have been dragging their feet telling me it will be 2 months till they can credit the account for their mistake it really irks me.



Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 5, 2011 at 1:52 pm


These aren’t honest mistakes. Credit card companies are doing this to, as you suspected, slip these charges through the cracks. I’m not at all familiar with First National bank of Omaha’s online system, but if you can send emails from your online management area, I would send them an email stating:

“I spoke with a representative about X charges for securecredit and was told they would be refunded, as I never signed up for this service. Please confirm that these transactions will be refunded as I was promised and, if possible, provide an estimated date.

Thank you very much for your help in this matter”

Hopefully, you’ll get a response and have written confirmation to dispute these charges. Lots of times, customer service reps lie and say they will be removed, so getting whatever you can in writing is essential.


Duane June 29, 2011 at 12:23 am

I’m very suprised that some smart lawyer hasn’t tried to force a class action lawsuit against Kroger financial yet! I was offered a credit card with Kroger financial with a limit of $5000 and 10.74% interest. They actually encouraged me to go “paperless” and sign up for online statements. Then they offered me a balance transfer with an interest rate of 2.9% for the life of the loan! I took it and paid off my Lowes credit card and transferred a balance of over $3000 to the card, then with no warning, they raised my interest rate to 16.74% and the balance transfer of 2.9% dissapeared!!! I was never late and I have been fighting this one out with them now for years. I have requested many times for a balance transfer statement proving my loan amount and have been denied one way or another with exscuses like “we need you to transfer your balance first” or “you will have it shortly” “it’s being mailed to you” “you will have to call such and such dept” and etc………… on and on. Now I’m in collections and still fighting this one out and US Bank who bought out Kroger financial has completely fabricated an entire report of my account history!
How can they get away with this? I’m going to send certified letters to all 3 credit reporing agencies as well as the Arizona attorney general and the FTC! Has anyone else had these experiences with Kroger Financial? I would like to hear from all of you. How can we get in touch?


Richard June 24, 2011 at 10:09 am

I paid off my credit card with Farm Bureau Bank Visa and requested they close the card back in February of this year. A few weeks ago I received a bill with 2 $6.95 charges for some weird subscriptions that I did not authorize and haven’t used the card or given the number out (cut the card up when I paid it off). I call the credit card company and they agreed to reverse the charges after a long & exhausting discussion with them about my closing the card. Now I get a bill with the charges reversed but a late fee for the $13.90 (funny how it’s the 2 charges amount, huh?). So now what do I do? Call them, AGAIN? I hate credit cards! Am trying to pay them all off.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 24, 2011 at 11:58 am


Hate to say this, but yes, you’ll have to get on the phone again and it is best to do it sooner rather than later to make sure the charges are removed before your due date. If it is close, and I know this is a huge pain, you might want to send the $13.95 or pay online just to make sure they do not report you as being 60 days late on charges and fees that you are not responsible for.

In my opinion, it is better to be safe than sorry in these situations, even when you are in no way responsible for the charges or the late fee slapped on you because of the bank’s mistake.


melissa knauer June 20, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I recieved a letter from Chase that they were closing my best buy credit card because of low credit lines on my other credit cards and, not enough payment history. The truth is that they are no longer doing business with best buy and,because they are not making any money off of me because i pay my balances off, i believe this to be the reason why. I have no credit cards under a $1000 limit and, that is on something i just opened. I established credit well over 3 years ago and, have worked very hard to do so. This was completely unbelievable to me and i intend to file complaints if this effects any of my other credit cards or, my history. I have never made one payment late to anyone and, generally pay my balances off.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 22, 2011 at 10:41 am


The reasons banks give for closing account and cutting credit limits are almost a joke. I have heard from so many people who had similar experiences. Some are told they’re accounts were closed because their credit score wasn’t good and they’d check it and see that it was in the mid 700′s.

Thus, I totally understand your frustration, but ultimately don’t think there is much you can do to remedy the situation. Chase has every right to close accounts or reduce credit limits. Most of the time it is all done by computers and this is why people like you get trapped by these inexplicable mistakes.


Dan June 20, 2011 at 1:16 pm

For the most part my wife handles the bills, I just have my direct deposit go into our checking weekly and if I need something I inquire to the available funds and either get it or don’t. I live pretty conservatively, and I guess I could be categorized as a “tightwad”. But from time to time, especially when I need or want something, and have to do without due to frugality, I get fired up and do some calling to lenders. I have been getting increasingly sick of having this HSBC loan hanging over my head for some guitars I bought 4 years ago at Guitar Center with 0% financing for 12 months. The initial credit limit was $1,000 and I charged just under that pretty immediately. We have payed the minimum steady and on time, and at times a little more sometimes $20 or $40 more when we have a little extra money. I know that for the longest time the balance didn’t move at all. For like three years, the balance was about the initial limit and I want to say that even there for a while it was actually higher than the initial limit amount. I’m sure over the course of the four years we have had a couple late pays on the account but it happens, I am certain nothing that involved collections. At any rate, I spoke to a rep, then a supervisor today and asked if there was anyway they could lower the 21.9% interest to no avail. The balance is down to $550 now which shows progess but the bank closed the account and there is no available credit and I’m sure it negatively affected my credit in the past. Should I just end this worthless relationship by account transfer? Considering I haven’t used the card for purchases in four years, I have no credit available on it, the interest is high, and I no longer want HSBC to be a part of my life. If so, should I close the card out, and go to one of the 0% account transfer cards and if so what are some of the ones that are recommended? Also, we would like to consolidate all of our bills just to simplify our life and hopefully save a little. I’m by no means versed in finance, so for all I know, this could wreck my good credit and retard the progress we’ve made in getting debt free.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm


Thanks for going into such detail. Most people don’t provide enough insight for me to make a proper recommendation. Here are my thoughts:

Since the HSBC/Guitar Center card is closed already and you have a balance on it, zeroing the balance and moving it to another card with more credit will likely improve your credit score. Plus, with $500 of debt at a 21.9% rate, you’re paying about $100 a year in interest.

If you transfer your balance to the Citi Platinum Card, which offers a 0% APR for 21 months, you’ll have to pay a $15 balance transfer fee and then if you continue to pay $30 a month, you’ll be rid of this debt in just over a year and save about $80 interest.

The other benefit will be to your credit score. With the HSBC account showing no balance and a new card with available credit, you will improve your credit utilization ratio, which accounts for 30% of your credit score.

Hope this helps.


Jeff June 19, 2011 at 10:07 pm

HSBC? more like HSBCUMBAGS..
Check this out.. Wife Divorces, kids total i ask HSBC for a hardship progam on my loan. They give me a short-term 6 month reduction on my intrest to like 6%.. $40 minmum payment. Then, near end of the 6 months i ask for extension.They say NO. Next bill I get has the old, low intrest, minimum payment of $40, BUT has the original intrest rate of 22% , comes to $70 in intrest. So, if i pay the minimum payment, my balance goes UP $30…What? isn’t that illegal?.

Anyway, divorce drags on, I apply for hadrship program again to help pay it off . They deny me. They tell me that beause i’m current on the loan, and i havn’t gone to the default intrest rate of 29%, I don’t qualify for the program. They then infer that if i dont pay it for 60 days, and apply again, I will probably get the hardship program… Yeah i know what your thinking… He’s dumb enough to do it.. I am..It felt dumb at the time.. But the numbers worked in my favor. what? $80 in lates fees to get it down to 6%. Deal all day. And maybe they will waive the late fees. You know they wanna help you out man!

So , I miss 2 payments and I apply again. They say NO to rate reduction. I’m like WHAT! now I’m stuck at %29! But.. they do offer me a sweet %50 off the total balance Pay-off. Nice!! Half off the total balance if I pay in full?? Money is tight, I have 3 kids, but ill get the rest of the money somewhere… And I do. so I call them back to accept the offer.

somewhere in the sales pitch they offer to take half the payoff now, and the rest in 30 days. I had gotten all the money, but somehow I ended up doing 2 payments. I know she pitched it like 3,4 times. and I found a reason to agree to it.

Anyway, First pay-off payment clears. Done electronically with my banks routing numbers. 30 days later, im watching for the other to clear. It doesn’t clear on the 16th like it should. I figure no big deal, the first pay-off took a couple of days to clear my bank. I had even called HSBC when I noticed the FIRST pay-off payment didnt clear by the next day. I was concerned because one thing they did tell me was if i fail to make either payment, the loan would be written off as bad debt. So tonight, the 20th, im heading home from work to check my bank again, i,m calling HSBC tonight if it hasn’t cleared. BUT THEY CALL ME while im still driving home. Guess what!! i’ve DEFAULTED on the loan!! OF course I did!!!!They didn’t take the other payment out! They Tell me they were never authorized to take the second payment out! WHAT?? They Try telling me i was suppposed to snail mail it or something .. NEVER was any of that mentioned in the agreement on the phone. They never told me i had to authorize the second payment for 30 days later.In fact , nothing was ever mentioned about arranging for the second payment. As i gave her my bank account information, so she could do the first transaction, I assumed she had everthing she needed to complete this transaction And take out the second payment 30 days later…And she never said ANYTHING to the contrary. … so now a guys on the phone telling me im screwed. trying to convince me to give him the second payment so he dosn’t have to write off as much..” it’ll be better for you” hes tell me..


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

Wow Jeff. I’m really sorry to hear about all the difficulties you have been having. I’ve been hearing a lot of negative things about HSBC. One regular poster was charged the wrong interest rate for almost half a year and he had to call every month. HSBC kept telling him it was a computer problem.

I hope this eventually gets worked out. I would recommend only talking to Supervisors and using the online management area to send emails so you get as much as possible in writing so you have a stronger case when they re-neg on agreements.


gloria June 17, 2011 at 9:34 am

I will not charge anything more on this card so that I am not charged interest. And actually I will not stop doing business with them if they want to offer me 0% interest for more than a year. I’m just annoyed that there is no understandable disclosure on their offer letter. Thanks for your response.


gloria June 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I recently took advantage of a 0% balance transfer after I called Chase and questioned them about interest on any other charges I might make on this same account. I was told that as long as I make the minimum payments required there would be no interest charge. I made the payment required on the balance transfer and paid in full all I had charged during the month. I was still charged interest. When I called Chase today, they told me that that is correct; once you take advantage of a 0% balance transfer, you will pay interest on any other charges from the date of purchase, even if you pay them in full when you get the bill. The letter offering the balance transfer states the following: “We will begin charging interest on these transactions on the transaction date.” It doesn’t state what “these” transactions are and doesn’t explain it any more than this sentence. This is so deceptive. I would like to complain to someone at Chase, but who? And is there someone in the government I could also complain to?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 16, 2011 at 10:43 am


I think there are basically two problems here. I believe the person you spoke to on the phone simply didn’t know what they were talking about and provided misinformation. Legally, I am fairly confident that Chase can charge you interest on new purchases, because you have a pre-existing balance on the card. I do not thing this is fair, but I think you got trapped in fine print issues regarding how interest is calculated.

Consequently, I don’t think you have much recourse. My best advice is to stop using the card entirely and pay as much as you can above the minimum until your high rate purchase balance is paid down.

Sorry for the not so great news – and I absolutely think this is very unfair – but at this point, I think the best strategy is to get rid of the high rate balance and stop doing business with them.


NORMAN SHAPIRO June 12, 2011 at 6:52 pm

My HSBC credit card had been fraudulently tampered with to the tune of $226+. In trying to reinstate there were questions asked of me. They stated that I “failed” to answer the questions accurately so I was denied issuance and have to send identification I do not have i.e,
utility bill, bank statement 6 mos. old to authenticate myself as being me. The issue is the people are of foreign countries asking the questions and I, as an English(USA), speaking individual could not understand the questions for the dialect of the person asking. Therefore I was denied.
I’ve been denied until my new Bank account is 6mos. old.
I’d strongly advise staying away from HSBC.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 13, 2011 at 11:07 am


I recently heard from a visitor who had a similar issue with Capital One. They had fraud issues and were asked to submit a license, utility bill, etc. The visitor didn’t mention issues with customer service, but I very much agree with you that overseas reps make things much more difficult. You may want to look into Chase credit cards, as they have been moving customer service back to the U.S., something I personally love, not only because it creates jobs, but because credit cards are important financial instruments and having a native English speaker based in the U.S. makes a big difference when you need to discuss something important.

Because of this, you may want to take a look at the Chase Sapphire card. When you call, a U.S. based rep answers the phone.


J R June 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I have been a Chase customer for more than 10 years. We always pay in full and sometimes don’t charge anything and thus don’t owe anything. Recently they changed our account to a “Chase Freedom” account with electronic statements. I haven’t received a thing in the last 60 days. I went online and found that I was assessed a late fee for not paying my May statement that I never received.

They started by admitting they didn’t have my email address (but they did for the previous 10 years…) and then tranferred me to the “internet” department who then was sure my statements had been sent. After many arguements, they agreed to remove the late fee, but no apology for THEIR ERROR.
It must be nice to exist on government money. To Hell with the customers.



Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 5, 2011 at 10:57 am


Wow! That’s a new one. Thanks for sharing this experience. I’ll be on the lookout for related complaints.

I’m glad you were able to get the fees refunded, but I would strongly recommend waiting a few weeks and checking your credit report to make sure they did not report you as delinquent. If they did, it will be a big pain, but you’ll have to contact the credit bureaus and Chase to get it fixed, but its better to deal with this now then sometime down the road.

Sorry to hear you got caught up in this annoying time wasting trap. I would not be surprised if this happened to many others who were not as proactive as you. I hope this is a somewhat isolated incident, since this could wreak havoc on the credit scores of those effected.


Cecilia Carter May 31, 2011 at 9:22 am

Can someone help me please. I am very frustrated. I paid off the balance on my sears credit card (issused by citi cards) and was unaware of additional incurred fees by master card services. Because of these fees, which they’ve adjusted off, Citi card closed my account. I requested that they reopen the account, but they refuse saying that I have to reapply for a new cared. I know that if I reapply for a new card I will be denied, because my credit is not that great and I’m trying to resolve that issue right now. Is there a way to fight this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm


Unfortunately, once an account is closed it is typically closed for good. I don’t think the company was fair, but they did nothing wrong legally.

Moving forward, I think you are likely best with a different card, as the sears card has horrible rates. If you email me or post a little extra info about your situation I can make a recommendation.

Sorry I don’t have better news, but hopefully you can get a better card somewhere else.


Sherri May 27, 2011 at 8:34 pm

After reading about many people with the same situation below with a new credit card by CAPITAL ONE, I am now thinking that an inside job of identity theft is going on with Capital One. I would close the account now if you have one of these cards.

Here is what happened to me:

Never had a capitalone card until this week. Did traveling in S. Georgia yesterday & bought gas in 2 different locations then got lunch in a third town. Went to get dinner and card was shut down with fraud alert. Called CAPITALONE and they wanted copy of driver’s license, utlility bill & copy of paystub/1099/tax return. All this to supposedly prove I am who I am. Did they bother to call me? No….I was almost stranded. Capitalone requires an awful lot of personal info. just to take off their unjust fraud altert. No one should have to go to that level. They shouldn’t be privy to all of that personal info.They claim they lose a lot of money to fraudulent purchases….maybe they lose even more to honest law abiding customers. I closed the account today when they would not accept a copy of my driver’s license and utility bill only. Capitalone is a dangerous co. to work for when they use any excuse for personal info.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm


That is insane. I had a lost card/fraud charge issue with Capital One last year and I thought they were great. I’ve never heard of such crazy loopholes. It sounds like they were using this opportunity to re-evaluate your credit line, as the pay stub/1099 request is highly unusual.


Shirley Isbill May 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Chase recently closed my wife’s TJMax credit card account and reported to Transunion & others that a balance of $325 was due and no payment had been made for 129 days. Chase never sent us a bill or called about the balance due. We found the negative credit report entry ourselves; called Chase and paid the balance due. Chase said they called us about the balance due but they either did not call or leave a message. Chase has not yet notified Transunion that the account balance has been paid in full. They simply do not care that we called them and the balance was paid. They have their money and do not seem interested in updating the credit report. I have filed a dispute with Transunion telling them that Chase needs to update the credit report.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm


In these situations, I always advise visitors to take action and repeat as necessary until the issue is resolved. You are dead right in thinking the bank has your money and could care less. Unfortunately, this is a huge hassle, and one I’ve dealt with personally. However, if you call the credit bureaus and go out of your way to be polite and friendly, they will get this issue resolved.

I also strongly recommend that you have a note added to your credit file about this account. The note should say that X reason (i.e. a change of address) caused the late payment and that it was paid in full immediately upon discovery. A note like this won’t improve your credit score, but it could be looked at by a potential lender and help convince them to overlook this particular mistake.


ginger May 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm

I had a Chase visa card with a $1500 available credit line. I used the card and had a 1200 amount of charges. I received a 0% for 12 months offer from Discover allowing for a balance transfer. So I transfered my Chase visa $1200 to Discover with the intention of paying it off within a year at 0%. all was well, until I received a letter from Chase Visa saying that due to my credit history, they were lowering my available credit line to $300!. They punished me for transfering my open balance at their high interest rate to the Discover 0% interest rate. They clainm it was due to my credit report and debt to credit ratio. However, when I opened their account with a $1,500 line of creditk, my fica was 648 with only 35% open credit ratio. It is now 720 with a 65% open credit ratio. They are lying about the reason for lowering my credit line. My credit is better now than when I first opened their card. And now that they have lowered my available credit, it will hurt my scrore. I plan on filing a formal complete with FTC. What else can I do?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm


While the reason provided to you by Chase is extremely vague and odd given your vastly improved credit score, credit limit decreases such as the one you experienced are relatively common these days. Essentially, credit card companies use these to manage risk. In the past, they would simply raise rates. While a phone call to customer service and a conversation with a representative may help you get some of that credit line back, there is unfortunately no one who can assist or take action on your complaint, as what Chase has done here is perfectly legal. Unfair? Definitely. But perfectly legal. Sorry I don’t have better news.


Ruth May 9, 2011 at 11:17 am

The Sears website only allows me to get a copy of my credit card agreement. I have been looking for another email to send a complaint to but havent found anything. Apparently the main CitiCard divisions do not have an email address associated with them. I just spoke to the Sears division of CitiCards and they informed me they are trying to help all of the other people that have this same situation but CitiBank refuses to reset any of the programs no matter what the reason it broke, including all mistakes by Citi and their representatives.

Nice of them, considering when they needed help it was our tax money that bailed them out.

Where do I go from here? This is just so unfair to me and all of the others who this happened to.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 9, 2011 at 2:30 pm


The next time you speak to someone on the phone, I would request that they send you an email confirming the problem and stay on the line until you receive it.


Ruth May 9, 2011 at 10:45 am

It seems their online email to customer service will not allow me to send a message, only get a copy of my agreement.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 9, 2011 at 10:54 am


I just logged in to my account and checked. You should see a link to service center. Click that and there should be an option to Send Message.


Ruth May 9, 2011 at 8:42 am

And when I get the proof, what steps should I take after that?

I think it is unacceptable that they make mistakes like this and then drop in my lap as if I had done something wrong. The manager on the phone admitted that it wasnt fair and yet they would do nothing to rectify their mistakes.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 9, 2011 at 9:14 am


Once you have written proof/confirmation, you won’t have to stress as much as you can use this if it is not remedied correctly. The word of customer service is useless, so if you get it in writing, you know you can eventually get things fixed as they can’t deny or play dumb if you have real proof.


Ruth May 7, 2011 at 8:13 am

I have been on a payment program with CitiBank (Sears Credit) for the past 2.5 years after losing my job and contacting them about working out payments. They offered me a $49 a month payment plan for 5 years, which I accepted. They automatically draft the payments from my account. The beginning of March they contacted me that my Feb payment had been missed. I told them that it had been drafted from my checking account so I wasnt sure why they said it was missed. She checked and said that yes, I had made my payment and that Citi had made an error in scheduling the payment on the cut-off date due to February being a short month. She was told that my plan was fine and that everything would continue as it had. In April I received my statement which showed a Feb and March payment posted to my account however there was also a late fee. I contacted them and was told that I broke my arrangement, my payment was late, etc and she was very nasty to me. After checking with a manager, she apologized and said that this had happened to many people and that my payment program would be reinstated and that I would be refunded the late fee. I just received my April statement and there was no payment posted to the account and there was another late fee, none refunded. I contacted them again and was told by a Manager that eventhough this was a scheduling error on their part, my payment plan was cancelled and I would continue to receive late fees on the account until it was brought current. I was also told that they were buried in complaints similar to mine and freely admitted the mistake was Citi’s fault, however my account would be into a que until there might be another program available, however late fees would continue. How can they penalize me for a mistake on their end for a late payment when I scheduled my automatic payments thru the end of the program with them? They receive a bail-out from OUR tax money and then they treat people this way?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 9, 2011 at 8:37 am


I strongly encourage you to use your online account center to write an email about the issue and end it with the question, “when will this error be collected, the fee removed and the rate corrected?”

Hopefully, this will get you written confirmation of the issue so you have proof that it is not your fault.


leslie shear May 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Just wondering if anyone has any tips on getting Chase to lower my APR on my closed credit card account with them? They are absolutely horrible to deal with. Should I file a complaint regarding their practices and if so with whom?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 5, 2011 at 10:17 am


Try calling customer service and asking for the hardship department. If your situation dictates, they will work with you to create a payment plan with a reduced interest rate.

If that is unsuccessful, I would recommend getting a credit card that offers a 0% APR on balance transfers. You can find offers for these cards with 0% rates for up to 21 months in the main section of Smart Balance Transfers.


Diana Wells May 3, 2011 at 9:58 am

Thank you for having the link to the FTC. I know I will not get my money back from HSBC. They enrolled me without my permission in their personal protection plan. I told this young man 3 x on the phone that I didnt want it. They probably found someway to enroll me. I have called 5 times, asked for my money back. We are unemployed and I just was making the minimum payments. I was in error not to look at the statement. Just to nervous about keeping our home. Anyway, I got a letter in the mail about changes in the plan and I said WHAT??? They are saying they will look into it, but I doubt it. Wish I could pay the balance off and get out, but anyway, last month it put me over 1.82 and if they raise my rate from 14.99 to 32 percent I will fight them somehow. I did file the report with the FTC. It may not be politcally correct, but God bless you for this site.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 4, 2011 at 1:35 pm

Thank you for your kind words Diana.

I am very sympathetic to your problem, as I have heard a number of similar complaints.

My advice is to first login to your HSBC account and send an email stating you want these charges stopped immediately. This will provide written proof that you do not want to be enrolled.

Second, contact HSBC, ask for a supervisor, explain your situation. If you are denied any refund, tell him you are contacting your State’s Attorney General and will protest these fees. If that doesn’t help, take a moment and contact your Attorney General.

These protection scams prey on people and take advantage of people by using complicated language to trick them into enrolling. I’m sorry you were snared in this and hope it turns out okay.


Lisa April 23, 2011 at 10:32 am

It is insane but I think that with the lack of oversight and auditing and the entire system is corrupt. Banks do this as well. They hold onto your deposit for one day before depositing it into your account. Cumulative interest from scores of people creates a large sum of money for the banks. Money that doesn’t have to be accounted for…at least to consumers. I don’t think that my issue was isolated. I think it happens quite often, but people don’t realize the implications of such bureaucracy. Dirty swindling. This is something that needs addressed. I don’t think we need another agency or more laws…I think we need a reduction of loopholes and straightforward procedures. Citibank justified it by saying it had to go through each department to clear security issues. Bologna. Anyways, thanks for the feedback, and please pass the word on that people should be looking for schemes like this…it could turn lives upside down. Could you imagine if I didn’t have enough money to cover for that week…the overdraft fees would be alarming. And who is going to enforce the credit card company liability? It’s up to their own goodwill and moral integrity…but since it’s a company–it has none…and there’s no one to call for help either.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 25, 2011 at 9:08 am


You are so right about everything you mention. One thing that really, really irks me are deposit holds. I had to stop using one of the big banks because I would write a check from a business account and deposit it into my account at the SAME BANK and get hit with up to 7 day holds. They would release the holds if I called and argued, but I got tired of spending 20 minutes on the phone every time I made a deposit.


Greg April 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm


There are a couple ways to file a complaint. This is very important that you contact and write a letter to your Attorney State General office and The Comptroller of Currency in Houston Texas, so they will have a report from consumers about these problem to get them fixed! They reply and stay on top of theses complaints, to address theses issue that you and many others are going thought. I know personally they will get you problem resolved, I had to write a letter against Chase Bank!
I’m sorry to hear you are going thought this, let me know how things turn out for you.


Lisa April 22, 2011 at 2:15 pm

They withdrew both the interest and the balance I had already paid off. I finally see the transfer pending to be put back into my account, but it probably won’t happen until Monday or Tuesday. It’s crazy that they can get away with this. It’s interesting to note that they probably are doing this to other people too. Collectively, the amount they could potentially make in interest is quite substantial. It’s like legalized money laundering. They “borrow it” and collect interest and then return it when they feel like it.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm

Wow. That is insane. I’ve never heard anything like this before. I’m really glad you had enough money to cover everything and didn’t end up getting slapped with bounced checks fees or left cash poor because of it. But I just can’t figure out why this happened. I’ve talked to hundreds of people on the blog and in emails and I’ve never heard of an issue like this. I hope it was isolated, as this could really turn people’s financial lives upside down.


Lisa April 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm

I rarely carry a balance on any credit card, but did so this past Christmas. I transfered my balance from Citi to another card so I wouldn’t have to pay interest. The other company sent payment in full to Citi. Citi then charged me interest on the balance that was paid in full….AND THEN…automatically withdrew that same amount from my bank. When I called to inform them of their mistake, they told me the amount would be returned to my bank account within two business days. I waiting three and called. The told me it would be posted by the end of the following business day. That would be today. NOTHING! Thieves!!! They took my money out of my bank account and won’t return it. And what recourse do I have? Nothing. I keep calling, speaking to managers, and still can’t get them to give me my money back. It’s disgusting! I have other bills to pay, and that money is needed…and now they are telling me it won’t be refunded until Monday…They’ve kept my money for over a week. They can do whatever the heck they want and consumers can’t enforce anything. What is this world coming to? I’m canceling that card, and trying to find out where to file a complaint. Who is John Galt??? Where is John Galt?…because I want out.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 22, 2011 at 1:23 pm


I’m a little confused. Did they withdraw the interest amount or the balance you paid off with your transfer? Not sure how that could happen automatically, but I hope it was the smaller interest amount.


ShannonC April 13, 2011 at 8:38 pm

I remodeled my kitchen 2 years ago with a promotion through the contractor for 4 years no interest. The credit card was held by GE Shaw but I made the payments to Citi Retail Financial (which I honestly never understood). I have made payments without fail for the last 2 years, never late. The due date is the 6th of every month but since I get paid on the 10th of every month the payment was always sent out around the 10th on the month prior to the next due date. On March 12th, my account was transferred to GE Shaw and I am supposed to start making payments to them. However, I had already paid Citi on March 11th for the April payment. The payment registered with GE but didn’t change the next due date to May. I called on the 23rd and was told they would fix it and apply the March payment to the April due date, but was advised that with GE I can’t make the payments that early as it won’t ever catch the payment cycle. I understood and made note to not make the next payment early. On April 4th I double checked GE’s website and it still said I had a payment due on the 6th. I called and was assured it would get fixed this time and I didn’t have to make another payment for the April payment cycle. I checked on the 9th and I now had a late fee charged to the account because they still hadn’t applied the March payment to the April due date. I called and was told it would be fixed. I received my May statement on the 13th and I’m now being charged 32% interest because, according to them, I never made the April payment. I have called and have been told it will be fixed. Do I have any way of making sure this does get fixed?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 14, 2011 at 9:43 am


The best way to resolve these matters is to get answers in writing. If you can send am email from your online account management area, use this to explain what has happened thus far. Hopefully, you’ll get a written confirmation that the fee will be waived. I would also try calling again and requesting a supervisor, as the people who answer the phones are often rewarded for getting people off the phone quickly, rather than for providing good service. This leads to many simply lying or promising to do something they don’t have the authority to do.


Deborah Allen April 6, 2011 at 2:15 am

12/09 my husband lost his job and shortly after that he contacted Citi to cancel our credit card. When I made the final payment I wrote on the payment receipt “final payment on cancelled account” A few months later we cancelled our Direct TV account and agreed to make payments on the early cancellation fee. We received a letter from Direct TV that we owed $0 because the early cancellation fee had been charged to the credit card. With in 2 weeks we received a bill from Citi that the cancellation fee had been billed to the cancelled card. My husband and I both called to find out why this charge had been made to a cancelled card. Citi has given us several excuses and the run around. After several phone calls from both my husband and myself Citi agreed to send us a letter stating that the credit card had been cancelled and no charges would be made. At no time did Citi send us statements or any other communications between the time we originally called to cancel the card and the billing statement for this charge. Citi did not call us to make us aware that they were re-activating this account without our authorization. Since they have written verification in the form of the final payment statement showing that it was the last payment on a cancelled account they have no valid excuse for re-activating this account with out either mine of my husbands authorization. At this point we can not resolve this situation because Citi refuses to remove the charge. They claim that they did not require either my husband or my consent to authorize this charge on a cancelled account. According to Citi they are not legally obligated to notify us of a company billing them on a cancelled card.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 6, 2011 at 8:21 am


This sounds like the run around, but no matter what you should not have to pay any late fees. I would go ahead and pay it so the balance is zero and then report the card lost. If the card is lost, they shouldn’t accept any new charges. No matter what, though, fight hard if they try to charge you any fees.


William Duran April 2, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Capitol One has been keeping me in a catch 22 style cyclical argument for some time. This has resulted in hundreds of dollars of un-authorized charges being put on my card and of course exorbitant interest charges (their cut). In short I have tried to pay off and close my account. Capitol One refused numerous times to close the account, or to refuse further charges from companies that I have informed them have no permission or right to charge the account. Since they will not stop accepting fraudulent charges the account can never be paid off and their cut, the interest is assured to continue as well. Capitol One is using this to keep me in perpetual debt that can never be paid off.


TJ March 30, 2011 at 9:52 pm

I have had my Amazon store card for just over 10 months. I have always paid on time and have kept around 60% balance on this card. Due to problems with my job and some other things (mother passing away) I lost my car and was unable to pay some of my credit cards that were closed that I was just paying down the balances. My amazon card stayed open though always paying 3-4x the monthly payment and even paying it off (427.00) in february. My credit score has tanked due to the repo and the lack of payments on the other cards (due to cuts in hours at work) I have been able to pay and maintain that single card no problems. I went to make a purchase and my card was declined. I logged into their site and they have cut my credit limit from 600 down to 230, HOWEVER my balance is 334!!! I understand my limit can be changed at any time. They state it is due to the market and my credit, blah blah blah, but where can I find LEGAL information nut just advise that allows them to drop it below my balance? Not only does this make me over my limit (no charges for that thankfully) but it kills my score even worse because the balance is now over the limit by more than 50% instead of having under 50% available. What should I do, talking to them has not helped and they provided a general address for complaints. What legal recourse is there for dropping it below the balance?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 31, 2011 at 10:24 am


First off, I am very sorry to hear about your loss. My deepest sympathies.

I’m not sure there is any legal course you can take. Credit card companies have the right to set credit limits however they see fit. As long as they don’t charge you over the limit fees, they are doing nothing wrong. Hopefully, you can pay the card down and they will keep it open, which should do a little to improve your credit score.


angrywouldbecreditcardcustomer March 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm

I have had a Chase Visa for years. I pay way more than the minimum. Last December somebody I don’t know put airline charges on my credit card without my knowledge or consent. You’d think that TSA would be interested in how someone can fly using someone else’s credit card without their knowledge or consent, but they don’t care. They say they’re only concerned with the packaged items people want to bring on the plane. Doesn’t that make you flyers feel safe? Chase keeps sending me letters saying talk to the Fraud Dept. If you call the Fraud dept you go round and round on their automated voicemail. After many calls if you reach a person, they tell you you have to cancel your account and get a new card. I need my credit card. I shouldn’t have a disruption in my service (at a critical time for me when I can’t be without my card) because of fraudulent charges. We go round and round and I’m worried about my credit. I will never pay for someone else’s airline trip, but it’s a catch 22. I can’t close out my business with them without paying it, and it’s fraudulent. I’ve asked them to open an investigation to find out who put the charges on there but they don’t seem to be doing that. So months later the amount is still on my account. You can complain to the FTC but they say right on their website that they don’t get involved in consumer complaints. I’ve complained to the state atty gen. office about another matter. They concluded that they had no problem with Best buy selling computers as new that have been previously sold to others, closed my complaint and refused to discuss it further. No one cares. My advice: If you don’t absolutely need a credit card, don’t get one.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 24, 2011 at 4:32 pm


Unfortunately, you will have to close the card in order to get the situation fixed. This is standard procedure, as I have had to do this on two different occasions with two different companies after my accounts were compromised. The sooner you act, the better your chances of getting the fraud charge reversed.

Also, you can request to have your new card by express mail, which would only leave you card less for a day or two.


Elkaye March 16, 2011 at 6:42 pm

I made two zero percent balance transfers onto my citi bank credit card. The first transfer has a balance of $8,900 which expires Nov 2011. The second transfer has a balance of $2,300 which expires April 2012.

I understand that the balance of the minimum payments (after all fees, interest, etc) are being applied to the balance transfer that expires April 2012. I don’t have a problem with this practice and understand the credit card company has discretion over where to apply the difference between its fees and the minimum payment.

My issue is that any payment in excess of the minimum is ALSO being applied to the balance transfer expiring April 2012, leaving the larger amount due to roll over into a 29.99 percent interest rate on Nov 1, 2011.

After receiving my second statement and calling the company for clarification, I discovered I have no way to pay down the first balance transfer before paying off the second. The credit card company claims they did not have any responsibility to disclose this practice when they offered me multiple promotions on balance transfers.

When I asked for a specific section in their loan agreements describing this practice, the rep admitted it was not published in their literature nor EVER explained to customers as a normal course of dealing.

The only solution to this issue as explained by the credit card agent is to STOP paying any excess now, save it, and wait until the first transfer expires on Nov 1, 2011. One day after the transfer rolls over into the 29.99 interest rate, the agent suggested I call the credit card company and make one very large balloon payment to pay it all off at the higher interest rate.

I of course will be penalized interest at a daily rate of 29.99 percent for the time between when the transfer expires and the balloon payment posts. I find this extremely fraudulent, especially since I repeatedly asked how the extra payments were to be applied and was told anything over the minimum is applied to the lowest interest rate, but was NOT told I would have to incur a penalty to pay off the first transfer prior to paying off the second.

I am lucky that the loan balance on the later transfer is low enough that I can pay it off in time, however I feel this is a VERY fraudulent practice and that Citi Bank (and others) should be forced to disclose this practice if it can’t be stopped all together.

The agent reported that the Credit Card Act of Feb 2010 dictates how the bank can collect, but could not site the specific ordinance regarding two balances transferred at the same interest rate but different expiration dates. I could not find it in the published literature and am therefore filing a complaint with the FTC. I believe this is a loophole in the regulations and that Citi is again taking advantage of consumers in a punative manner. Please advise your users to beware of this practice as they go about refinancing via zero percent balance transfer offers. Thank you.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 22, 2011 at 10:15 am


I very much sympathize with you, but this practice is not a Citi specific issue. I am quite sure every company is doing this, as the law permits it and it makes economic sense for the the credit card companies.

I am surprised and actually impressed at the good advice you were given by the Citibank representative. I would pay only the minimum until the 0% rate expires and then make a lump payment as she directed. This is the same advice I would have given in this situation and I actually applaud Citi for letting you in on this strategy.

Another option you could always consider is doing another transfer when the first 0% rate expires. That way Citi won’t get to charge you 29.99%. However, though I rarely side with credit card companies and I do think this method of handling payments is unfair, I have to commend Citi for being straightforward about why this would happen and also, for advising you on how to mitigate the expense.


Marianne March 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Well BofA is at it again. Another fee. If you don’t bank with them, but they have your mortgage they will now charge you a FEE if you pay within the grace period. Mind you, not LATE, but within part of the grace period. Of course if they have all your money, then no fee. This really irritates me, not because we have our accounts with them, but it’s just simply a scam just to get more money in fees. So for example, if you pay between the 1st and the 8th of the month, no fee, but if you pay during the 2nd half of the grace period they charge you $6.00. Now you tell me how does it cost them MORE money one day and less the day before. That is pure BS. I will be so glad when our mortgage is paid off.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 4, 2011 at 12:15 pm


I am really confused by this pricing. Bank of America is charging you a fee on your mortgage even if you pay on time? That sounds absurd.


Rick March 3, 2011 at 12:13 am

This is about Citi Credit Card. Bottom line is that I am getting divorced. My balance was about $14,000 with a limit of $15,600 on a card that I have had for over 5 years. My wife had missed 2 payments (30days) which took my interest rate from 8.99% to 29.99%. Ok, so we messed up. So when I got the card back in my name I paid about 1/2 of it off. This actually got my credit score back above 720. Today I found out that now they have reduced my limit from $15,600 to $7,500 giving me an available balance of $125. This will make my credit score go down so they will then have more ammo to do what ever they want with this account. I can’t stand these companies who take advantage of the system (not to mention about $300 billion of tax payer money) to squeeze everything they can out of whomever they can. God, I can’t wait to get them paid off. They will never see another cent of mine after June when they get my last check.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 4, 2011 at 1:05 pm


First off, am sorry to hear about your problems. If you can definitely get that balance down to zero by June, don’t close the card in anger. Keep it open so your credit score doesn’t get dinged and open a new account with a different company.

However, if you think you might not be able to get the card down by then, you may want to look into doing a balance transfer. At a 29.99% rate, you’re paying over 2% a month. If you do a balance transfer to a card with a 0% rate that charges a 3% balance transfer fee, you’ll give yourself some breathing room and still come out ahead since your rate is so high.


Donna Smith February 16, 2011 at 1:55 am

Hi, I rec’d a letter from Wells Fargo recently telling me they cut my credit limit to basically the amount that I owe on the card, which is roughly half. I have an interest rate on that card of 5.9% for the life of the amount. I put the card away and treat it like a loan. I even set up automatic payments so I could never be late paying it. The minimum due on the amount is $51, but I automatically pay them $130 every month.

Wells Fargo is saying that my debt to income ratio is too high now, and that’s the reason for the credit limit cut. I recently bought a car (financed through Honda), so that I could continue to work and pay my bills. I am figuring that is the reason for the recent good news from WF. I have also never ever missed a payment, or even paid a creditor late. Is it legal for them to randomly check the credit of customers whom are in excellent standing with them?

And after reading some of the other posts here it seems like there is little I can do, but pay them off. I have a lot of bills right now and cannot pay them in full at this time. So, I was thinking of paying them the MINIMUM every month, until I could pay them in full. That way they couldn’t lower the amount any further and I could pay off other creditors that have treated me decently. Is that a good idea? And if not, why? Thanks!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 18, 2011 at 11:22 am


The main reason I would advise against that is the cost of interest. If you have a large balance, you’re much better off paying your card down as quickly as possible. Once your debt is lower, other banks will be willing to lend to you, so its better to save money and worry about your credit line later.


Dayna Keil February 13, 2011 at 1:28 pm

We received a letter from Cardmember Service PO Box 6337 Fargo, ND 58125-6337 regarding our credit card. We make our payments on time, increased our usage of the card and started paying off our balance at the end of each month. After six months of increased usage and paying off the balance at the end of each month we received a letter from this credit card company stating they had increased our interest rate. When I called they said it was a decision made due to Net Profitibly. They said it meant they weren’t making enough money off us and they we needed to increase our usage. So, I knew that wasn’t true because we had increased our usage…alot because it’s a rewards card. Bottom line is they increased our interest rate because we were paying off our balance at the end of each month. So, while doing this helps credit ratings the card companies claim they don’t make enough money. She said they would review our card again in six months. I told her that as a result we would use this card very little and continue to pay it off at the end of each month. We have other cards that are much better. However, I told them if they want to increase our limit and decrease our interest rate we would start using the card again. I would like to cancel but it’s not beneficial to us to cancel the card but we’re still considering doing so when we review the card ourselves in six months to see if they’ve had a change in policy.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm


While I can see why this is annoying, I am glad to be hearing this from someone who pays their card in full every month. I hope I don’t start to hear stories from people who are carrying balances and encounter this.


Lois February 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Best Buy(HSBC) just raised my minimum payment. Thank Gosh I saw it before I mailed my bill. I always payed twice the amount due, however the new minimum payment was more than that. Had I mailed that bill I would have fell short of the new payment. I called and raised heck and asked why they raised it and they said it was because of the economy. I have excellent credit and this sneaky move could have ruined it.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 11, 2011 at 10:04 am

It seems like a lot of companies are starting to raise minimum payments to increase potential late fee revenue. $25 seems to be the magic number.


Cynthia Godbey February 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm

Debt Collection charge on a HSBC credit card ??
I have a credit card for Best Buy, the bank that issued the card is HSBC, there has been recurring charges on my statements as a “debt collection” charge. I called last month and asked what the charge actually was, they informed me it is “in the case I lose my job,cant pay the bill this “insurance” will kick in and pay the debt”. They also told me it was optional, and I had agreed to this charge whenever I signed the application/ contract. I asked for a copy of the contract they said they would mail it to me, which of course they have not. They have cancelled any future charges, but I feel like I have the right to be reimbursed for the 15 months of being billed (total of $ 108.00). For a credit card company to sneak in charges like that is just BS. If it is optional as they claim then why wouldnt it be clearly brought up ? Does some of this responsibility fall back on Best Buy for them not bringing this to my attention ? The last time I was in Best Buy I asked them for a copy of the application/ contract, which they said that they send everything to their bank, and they had no knowledge of any “debt collection charge”.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 11, 2011 at 10:06 am

This is a sneaky trick. Credit card companies sell “protection” and charge a percent of your monthly balance. In all likelihood, they probably tricked you into automatically enrolling, a very unfair tactic. I would try to get a supervisor or two on the line and see if they will refund the charges. I would threaten to bring the matter up with your attorney general, which you may want to consider. That may not get your money back, but it may help prevent them from taking these actions in the future.


Bridgett February 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Hello Again!

Credit seems to be a necessary evil somewhat, so we must be smarter than the issuers. I will lump sum them as a always do after 4 or 5 months of steady payment.

Hey, I do have another question though, and I will post this on the website also, in case others may want to know.

They raised my so called “guide” credit limit. Do you know what they are talking about when they say “guide” that fluctuates? Just like I did no tknow when my credit limit went up from $200 to $260, I was not informed about the so-called $1500 dollar hike that I mentioned previously. Can I demand that they lower that? They took the decision making out of my hands basically, like it ever was in my hands, and hiked up my limit. I do not want, a $1500 dollar limit right now. I want to cultivate those amounts slowly. Is this a big deal or should I leave it alone just in case.

I will never charge anything near that amount right now because of my plan to rebuild credit; however, shall I tell them to take at least their $1000 back and shove it? This will not change the minimum and that is fine. I will find the money again that I was spending monthly anyway somewhere.

What is my best bet here. I do not wish to cut off my nose to spite my face.

Thanks again.



Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 8, 2011 at 10:27 am

I answered this question in an email to Bridgett last week, but wanted to post a response to her question regarding the increased credit limit for others to see.

Basically, it is vital to keep that new credit limit, as it will have positive impact on her credit score. When you are just getting started with credit, having available but unused credit gives the impression of responsible credit card use.


steve c February 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

my union plus cc(hsbc)had been putting so call interest from my balance into their highest rate even tho i paid my min. payment. i thought they can’t do that under the new cc reformed act.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm


Unfortunately, credit card companies can allocate your minimum payment to whatever balance they choose. This generally means if you have one balance at a low rate and another at a higher rate, they will use your entire minimum payment to reduce your low rate balance so they can collect more interest on your high interest balance.

This is an actually an improvement via the CARD Act, since in the past, credit card companies could put your entire payment to the balance with the lowest interest rate.


Bridgett January 31, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Dear Balance Transfers Helper,

Thank you so much for your quick and informative response. Of course, I kind of figured all of this from the start, but just needed confirmation and to know I was not jumping to the wrong conclusions, but thanks for the explanation of their underhanded deed. Why is the government allowing them to do this? Was this part of the deal? Is it the governments fault? The reason I ask is that these two entities were not connected before, why now?

Well thanks to you, sir or ma’m, we know the answer! We are just never going to win and be treated fairly are we? Why is that so hard. We should have let the banks rot, take it on the cheek, and put our money in our mattresses. Those generations gone by may have been on to something.

Unfortunately, this credit thing is a “racket” and as you say, this is just another way for these companies to take your money. Now, they are guaranteed at least $25 dollars eh? Well, they won’t be getting it from me. They have not made money off me for three years and there is no reason for me to allow them to start now.

Believe me I am not closing my card because that would be futile if all the credit card service organizations are doing the same thing. That would be redundant, plus it would hurt my credit, and I would have to start all over building credit. Uh….I doesn’t think so! Beyond all that, I would not even give them the satisfaction.

I have written to the FTC and the OCC and voiced my concerns. The only thing I have not done is actually take a look at the new statutes of the CARD Act. I will look myself, but if you know of the website that has it in it’s entirety, please let me know. I suppose I can find it on the White House website also right?

Anyway, thank you so much and if anything comes of this I will keep the website posted even though you would probably know of any changes before me anyway.



Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 1, 2011 at 9:57 am


Basically, the new law (you can read the details from the Federal Reserve here) set a cap on late fees: on a first time offense, the maximum fee is $25, but it can’t be more than the minimum due. So some companies, like the one that issues your Macy’s card, raised the minimum to make sure they get that $25 if you are late. It’s unfair, but in the long run, I think it will help you out. I know that card has a high interest rate, so paying $25 a month will get you out of debt with them in a year and prevent them from getting more of your money. I think that’s the bright side, so hopefully you can take comfort in that.


Bridgett January 31, 2011 at 10:46 am

Simply, my problem is the amount of the minimum payment that, I assume, all companies are doing to make sure that people pay more than just the bare minimum. I get that; however, in these economic times, to raise the minimum payment, in my case, from $5-$7 dollars to 25.00 dollars is scandalous! Yes, it helps me in the end and normally I do pay much more than the minimum; however, on those months that I could not pay over the $5-$7, I was able to pay the lower amount and thus keep guard over my credit rating. Now my credit rating may be damaged because I am now forced to pay an amount that I may or may not have on any given month. I have recently graduated from college and am looking for a job with very few real prospects in my field of expertise. Therefore, with no income now (Federal Aid & Grants previous income) and very little in the way of jobs, trying to meet the $25 minimum will be much harder until I find a job.

Macy’s solution is to lower your minimum payment; however, you will have to close your account to get that minimum. How is that helping me? I have had the card for over three years now and have paid excellently with most payments being way over the minimum, which hopefully helps strengthen my credit rating. That was the whole point of getting the credit card.

Here is the problem:

My total credit amount with Macy’s started at $200.00 and went up to $260.00 within the three years, because of my request for a credit increase, again to strengthen my credit rating. At these amounts, the $5-$7 minimum was reasonable. Even if it was raised to $12 or the most $15.00 could even live with that, but $25.00 dollars, a twenty dollar hike basically…really?

My current balance is $190 dollars and I am expected to pay 25.00 next month. That is more than 10% of the total balance. Not a lot I understand, but when you start basically with nothing, it is a river of difference.

If you could tell me who I need to contact about this please let me know. I do not care if nothing gets done about it, the corresponding agency should know that these companies have went from 2% of your balance to evidently over 10% in one fell swoop. How does this help the consumer if they can no longer pay their bills in a timely manner and build their credit for the future? That is my question that I would really love the answer to. This seems very counterproductive to force a person to pay what the company knew they could not pay in the first place. That is why the credit amount was so low in the first place.

Please advise.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 31, 2011 at 11:29 am


Unfortunately, what Macy’s has done is entirely legal. The reason this likely happened is to increase late fee revenue. The CARD Act sets the maximum late payment as no more than the minimum due. By raising your payment, they can collect a $25 late fee, as opposed to $6 or $7. I understand your frustration, but if this is one of your first and only credit cards, you will likely do some damage to your credit score if you close the account. I would take a look at your budget and do what you can to find an extra $20 a month – its not a lot, so cutting out something small, like buying coffee in the morning or not eating out once a month can make the difference and put you in a position to get better rates in the future.


Dave January 29, 2011 at 4:14 pm

When I was younger I had my two first Visa cards. I had run up the balance when I was in school thinking I could pay it off with the construction job I had lined up. Then with the economic downturn everybody I knew got canned from their companies. I defaulted on a few payments from my cards as I had money put into my dads account for savings, but he was out of town. I recieved a letter from visa telling me they were going to shut down my cards and send me to collections. I called the number on the letter and informned them that I did not know it was this serious to default as these were my first credit cards. I also informned them next week I intended to pay off my balance on both cards in full … roughly $7500 of my own savings. The agent for visa said that was fine and that I could do that. The next week I went in and paid both cards off in full. The next day they shut off my cards. Since then this has effected my credit grately and I could no longer get a credit card. I called visa multiple times to speak to many customer service managers. They informned me that nothing could be done. Two years had passed… i have a great job now making triple what I would have in construction. And I applied for a secured card and set the money aside. My aplication was denied. This really made me mad so I called and spoke to a customer service manager. I am now older and have a stronger bussiness sense, and I also work in software so I know the agent advised me incorrectly of what would happen if I paid the cards off because he could not see my cards were flagged to be shut down. I put the full court press on them and basically said this is a system thing and I should not have had my cards cut off as you gave me incorrect advise. This is bait and switch and a breach or trust. Finally they escalated it to a bank ombudsman. I will be speaking to them next week. Do I have a strong case against them as they did not advise me to speak to an ombudsman sooner??? Can I claim this caused me mental anguish? And under canadian law if they provided me with incorrect advise how much could they be liable for??? I would really appreciate some advise before I go at it with these guys. I think I could have gone to a different bank and taken that money to get a mastercard or other credit card to build my credit sooner? Can I argue that I was robbed of that oppertunity by Visa?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 31, 2011 at 11:32 am


While what they did may have been unethical, I do not think any laws were broken. If you are dealing with the same Visa issuers, perhaps you will have better luck if you try to open a card at your local bank. I find it very surprising that your were denied for a secured card as this is not even a loan, so I think you should be fine if you deal with a different company that issues secured Visa cards.


James Martin January 24, 2011 at 11:05 am

According to HSBC this is a big problem with lots of customers affected that have the GM Card.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 24, 2011 at 11:07 am

Wow. I would wager that the vast majority are not going to get compensated for the extra interest charges. This is really despicable. I can’t imagine a good reason why this issue couldn’t be fixed immediately, let alone in half a year.


James Martin January 23, 2011 at 7:48 pm

Well here we are in month 5 and still not fixed!!!! Another phone call got my interest fully refunded for the month and theexcuse is they are still working on it. My next step is a letter to the Attorney General.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 24, 2011 at 10:19 am


I was really hoping I wouldn’t hear back from you. This is truly absurd. You have to waste time on the phone every month for almost half a year and they still claim that they have a computer program. Hopefully the dog won’t eat your low rate next month. I really hope that there aren’t hundreds of people in the same situation who just weren’t as smart as you and have yet to notice HSBC’s mistake.


Greg Ray-Capogreco January 22, 2011 at 9:15 am

About three year ago I had two Washington Mutual Credit with the same social security # and two different first name on the cards but the same last, which I hardly used until we open our company up to buy equipment for the business with a 9.99% interest rate. Shortly thereafter I receive a notice that Chase was taken over the credit division I believe in Dec or Jan sometime. In Oct or Nov I received a notice that my interest rate was changing on both accounts, now keep in mind same person and ss#! Account (1) the rate 9.99% to 19.99% and account (2) the rate 9.99% 29.99%. In the letter stated based on my credit file for the reason of the change of the interest rate! I called and spoke with Chase at the 800 #, I said to the rep how is this impossible because this is the same person and ss # but on the credit cards have two different first names only! Based on your letter make no sense, this show how inconsistent the bank and credit reports agency’s are! I tell the rep I will file a complaint about this issue.
So, I sent a letter to the Indiana Attorney General Office and the Federal Trade Currency (FTC) in Houston how the bank and credit bureau are inconsistent in their process on determination. I sent all copies of e-mail’s and letters with my complaint, within two weeks I was getting a call from Chase Executive office about my complaint. The bottom line to Chase resolving this, they lowered my interest rate back to 9.99% for two years on both accounts until 4/2011… I did receive follow-up from the FTC and the Indiana Attorney General Office to see if Chase reply and resolved the issue. If we ran my business like Banks,Mortgage Companies, Credit Reporting Agency’s and Government our country will be in very bad shape!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm

You are right. If other companies treated customers this way, they’d be out of business. Unfortunately, the banks have the money and so they can get away with doing whatever they want, though now that the CARD Act is in place, they won’t be able to raise rates on your consumer cards, though they still can with business cards.


Steve January 20, 2011 at 3:12 pm

I have the had a Citi diamond preferred rewards card for several years now. I did not opt out of the rate increase, though should have, for I had a low interest 3.99% rate on a balance transfer offer. Apparently that offer was not a lifetime offer like it was suppose to be. My interest rate shot up to 19.99%. Reading some of the other post, I consider myself lucky that it’s not the 29.99% rate they could be charging me.

I pay my credit bills weekly online via my bank account. I pay $75.00 weekly toward this card which was paying the minimum plus another $100.00 or so. Well since they raised the rates, my December statement showed five payments of $75.00 ea. and today I recieve a late notice in the mail for this account. I look up my payments and notice that I have paid $350.00 by Jan.14th, but, my minimum was $300.41 due Jan. 8th 2011, and I had only paid $300.00 by that date. I am now being charged a late fee of $35.00 and most likely my rate will jump to 29.99%. So…paying 41 cents late will cost me $35.00 plus thousands of dollars more if I continue to hold a balance on this account.

I don’t have to do the math to know that this slime ball of a company, looked at my account and figured out a way to make my account late. They even showed five payments on the last statement, one being on the statement date. Now, you and I both know that they never post a payment the same day they recieve it. What they did was post that payment to the last statement so that it would be impossible for me to realize that I woud not be sending enough in to cover the minimum payment. My call to them was to no avail, they could have cared less that payments have been recieved by them every week for several years now. Well guess what Citi…next month will be the last time you will ever get a dime from me as long as I am alive. I am paying them off, canceling the card immediately to avoid being charged again, and washing my hands of that corrupt no good garbage of a company!!!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm


I’m glad you’re in a position where you can pay off the cards. Just about every credit card company is doing everything they can to nickel and dime customers. I realize how frustrating this must be, but there doesn’t seem to be any reward to being a good customer anymore.


Ron January 3, 2011 at 9:20 am

Today, a Credit card insurance representative sought to offer an non-obligated insurance policy quote; after I answered 3 basic questions regarding basic health in order to be eligible for $5ooo policy. After explaining that I had had open heart surgery in 2005, I suddenly told I was not eligible for such policy. Just beware when dealing with such orders. It would seem health reform does not exist as of yet. However discrimination toward pre-existing conditions exist when credit card companies are concerned.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 3, 2011 at 11:29 am


While it is outrageous that a pre-existing condition disqualified you, you may end up better off, as credit card insurance is almost universally a bad deal.


Lucille December 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm

I recently opened a business checking account at Chase and was told at the time the only way to get “check protection” was to open and activate a Chase business credit card. I protested that I did not want nor would I use the Chase credit card as I have an AMEX business card which offers superior benefits. None the less they insisted I apply, so I complied. I was then barraged by phone calls (3 or 4 times a week) urging me to activate and use my card…again I complied. I continued to get calls on the same subject and was threatened with “consequences” if I don’t use the card. When I asked what the consequences would be the rep had nothing to say. I requested I be removed from the outbound marketing list and the calls stopped. I now am advised that I must pay $18 per month for check protection unless I maintain a Ledger balance of $7,500…which I have done consistently since day one…yet they continue to charge the fee. When I ask for an explanation I never get the same answer twice.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper December 20, 2010 at 9:38 am


If you can, I would switch banks. I’m not familiar with check protection, but this type of harrassment is uncalled for. I would first request a supervisor and demand a refund. This can usually be done almost instantly. Then I would move my money somewhere else.


James Martin December 15, 2010 at 10:28 am

Well 4th billing cycle and still no change fixing my interest rate. Well to say the least I am reallllllllllllly livid now. I had sent a letter requesting they respond in writing to why they increased my interest rate and all I got back was a form letter telling to call Customer service. So when I recieved my monthly statement and still no change I called AGAIN. I got a person that could hardly speak English and he said it was a promotion rate that was only good for a year. I hit the roof. The rate was for the balance of the transfer. I told him, in not so many nice words, that he didn’t have a clue what he was talking about and asked for his supervisor, he said no need for that and I replied, get your supervisor on the phone NOW. Well that worked and when the supervisor got on the phone, he was quite polite and appoligized for the other representative and that I was right about being a life of the transfer rate. However, there was not anything he could do about it because it was a system error that they (whoever they are) were working on it and that I was not the only customer with this problem. Well, needless to say I told him I was sick of hearing that excuse and that right now I was only concerned about my account. Something needed to be done today or my next step was a lawyer and refusal to pay anymore till it was fixed. That got his attention, not sure if it was the statement of a lawyer or not. What he did was to refund the extra interest rate that had been charged to my account for the last 4 months, but insisted that the system had to be fixed before my interest rate would return to what it was. AT least something was done this time, but I am still not happy.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper December 15, 2010 at 11:37 am

Wow James, this is getting out of control. I am happy to hear you got your interest refunded, but I doubt they refunded the interest you paid on that interest, a point you should bring up with them.

I can’t believe this is still going on. I would strongly recommend contacting your attorney general to complain. There is no way a company like this could function with 4 month long computer errors of this nature. I somehow think they are using this to take advantage of people who are less attentive than you.


Marcia December 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Wright Express fuel Fleet cards is a Scam. I had a late payment by a few days. They charge 2% for a lated fee. My late fee was $203.00. The late fee included balances for the next upcoming statement that was not even in my hands yet and not yet due. They said, “that is the way we do it”. Charging late fees is suppose to be government mandated but I am not sure where to file a formal complaint. Can anyone help?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper December 15, 2010 at 10:10 am


My apologies for the delayed response. Based on the absurd size of your late fee, I believe you have a business card. Late and penalty fees for business credit cards are not covered under the CARD Act, and thus they can get away with these fees. This means you unfortunately have little recourse other than to take your business elsewhere. Sorry I didn’t have better news.


Carole Smith December 12, 2010 at 3:35 pm

My adult daughter has been disabled since 2003. She worked for Target before that and has their credit card. Due to her medical condition she had to use the card for medical and other supplies. A few years ago, she had a 13% rate. But because she was a few minutes late on a payment (EST vs CSTime), they raised her rate to over 24%. I tried several times to get a credit department supervisor to lower the rate (because our daughter has been on time since the rate was increased. They gave her a 9.9% for 6 months which ended last month. They told us to call back to extend another 6 months, which we did way before the special offer ended.

However, they raised the rate back to 23.9% (for the month of November…$135 in interest) because they say it “takes one month for the paper work to get in place”! They never ever mentioned that before!!

Our daugher owes about $7K and with the interest rate so high she can not get ahead of their game. They now say that in June 2011 the rate will return to 23.9% and she will be given 48 months to pay the balance and they will then close the account!! We are beside ourselves trying to make this work on her small diasbility income…she can not work.

We tried to apply for one of the many 0% offers that she constantly gets, but she was denied because they say “not enough income” and “too much available credit”….which she doesn’t use. Her only outstanding is this Target bill. Can you offer any advice or is she forever between a rock and a hard place? Mom and Dad are retired on a very fixed income with no way to help. Thanks so much!!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper December 15, 2010 at 10:13 am


My apologies for the delayed response. I think, given your situation, the best and perhaps only option is to use a non-profit credit counseling service. I would recommend visiting to locate one. These companies will work with creditors on your behalf to get rates reduced and set up reasonable payment plans.


Danny November 17, 2010 at 6:07 pm

I recently received a letter from HSBC stating that effective November 3, 2010 my late payment fees went up to $35.00 and returned payment fees up to $25.00. In addition, my minimum payment would now be no less than $25.00. I have had this account for one year, never had a late or returned payment, and my minimum payment was always $11.00. This was a special promotional purchase for three years and I calculated and am making the payments to pay off the purchase in three years with no interest. I thought recent legislation prohibited credit card companies from doing this sort of thing to customers that had not violated their purchase agreements. I called HSBC and the customer service representative was very rude stating that it was an across the board change for all their customers. Can they do this?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper November 18, 2010 at 1:16 pm


The letter you received stems from the second phase of the CARD Act. Under the laws, late payment fees cannot exceed the minimum due or $25 for first offenders. This is why HSBC increased your minimum payment to $25, since that insures they can get the highest possible fee if you pay late.

Late fees can increase to $35 if you pay late more than once in a six month period. That is the only way a fee above $25 can be charged. So, unfortunately, the answer to your question is yes, they can do it.


Betsy Mordecai November 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I held an HSBC card for a number of years and had occasion to complain, but we were able to resolve it. In an efort to consolidate my bills, I had a finance company call and ask for a payoff amount. I also called as well. We received three different amounts; the one on my credit report jumped up almost $80 in two days without any chanrges being made since the account had been closed at my request.
We took the last quoted amount (good for ten days, they said) and overnighted a check to the company.
I received a bill for $69 the following month and was told that I had not called since December and since it was now February, interest had accrued on the amount. Since then fees have been added and the amount is now over $300. I have the finance company representative as witness to her own call and mine; the phone company could be asked fora record of the calls.
HSBC will not remove the amount despite their receiving the amount requested and a request in writing from me to do so as well asmy having talked to them about the matter via the phone.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper November 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm


I would try to have the finance company contact them. Perhaps having a third party involved will make HSBC more willing to resolve your matter. On your own, I imagine they would either lie to get you off the phone or harass you for the payment.


James Martin November 12, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Well now we are into the 3rd billing cycle and my APR problem still has not been fixed!!!!!!!! Now I am being told it will be the end of the year. This keeps sounding more fishy as we go along. I am at a total loss and feel helpless because I keep getting the run around and there doesn’t seem to be a way I can doing anything about this, short of not paying and take a hit on my credit report.



Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper November 12, 2010 at 2:03 pm


Have you been able to get anything from them in writing regarding the error? This is clearly being ignored and I don’t think the problem is going to be fixed unless you get someone to admit to the problem in writing. If this isn’t fixed, it may be worth your while to contact a lawyer about the matter. This is absolutely ridiculous.


Steve Butler November 4, 2010 at 1:07 am

What are the Chase secret numbers you talked about.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper November 4, 2010 at 9:01 am
Steve Butler November 4, 2010 at 12:47 am

Chase sent me a promotional offer 10/09. The offer was 0% for 6 months with an upfront fee of 3%. I borrowed $30,900. I made 5 payments & then paid the balance on the 6th month. I went to use my card today, 11/2 & found the account closed. I called to find out why. They said on my 5/10 statement I owed them $4. I had no idea & was not checking the account.
I went back & checked the statements & what they were doing was 0% on the $30,000 but charging me interest on the $900 advance fee. What a scam. They got an extra $200 out of me this way & closed my account.
I think this was deceptive advertising. They should have only gave me $29,100 in the beginning.
If banks had any ethics we would not be in the mess we are now.


Diane Owings October 29, 2010 at 8:51 am

Today is Oct 29, 2010. I just got 2 letters from Sears, one on my reg Sears card and one on my husbands Sears mastercard, stating my interest rate was increasing as of Oct 1.2010. I called to complain and was told they always send notices out 6 weeks in advance and must be a problem with the mail. I told her I would like to cancil my card, then I changed my mind because the balance on both cards is 0 and I was thinking closing them may impact my credit score. I asked for a number to complain to, just because this just is not right to notify someone after the fact. I then asked if my Sears mastercard, which does have a balance, had also been increased although I did not receive a letter on that acc and I was told no that acc has not changed. So how are they getting away with this?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 29, 2010 at 9:18 am


Without a doubt you should have gotten a letter. Credit card companies are required by law to send one at least 45 days in advance of any rate increase. Also, I would not worry about the balance you have on your current card. Unless you are 60 days late on a payment, credit card companies cannot increase the rate on your existing balances. I imagine the increase you received was on future purchases.

Hope this helps.


James Martin October 18, 2010 at 11:18 am

Adding to this, I tried to access my account online to leave a email, however, since I forgot my user name and password, the system asks for the 3 digit code on the back of the card and the expiration date. My card was close by me when they tried to increase my rates before and I had distroyed the card. So much for voicing my opinion on line.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

That makes the situation a little trickier. I would call in and request an email address for a supervisor. Write in and reference only the last four digits of you account and see if you can get a written response this way. I’m sorry this is proving such a hassle and I too am getting livid. They really seem to be giving you the run around.


James Martin October 18, 2010 at 11:15 am

Well I tried your number and kept getting disconnected. I have called the primary number 3 more times on 3 different dates and the story keeps changing as to when the problem will be fixed. Today a “manager ” told me that this problem is affecting many GM card holders with special balance transfers, the system is not reading the data correctly and at this time there is no projected date for it to be resolved, which of course contradicts what I was told about being fixed within 2 billing cycles. I elected to complete their automated survey and my responses indicated I was not at all pleased. I even had an oppurtunity to give a 60 second voice message. I am LIVID!

I am wondering if this would be considered a breach of contract? If so what I can do about it?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 18, 2010 at 11:18 am

James, while this sounds like a breach of contract, I’m not a lawyer so can’t really give a proper response.

However, I would definitely attempt to get this information in writing, so do send them an email from your online account management area and get a written record of this debacle. I don’t buy these excuses you are getting and it should not take 2 billing cycles to correct this type of mistake.


James Martin October 12, 2010 at 9:49 am

I am livid and not happy either. I have a GM Card, opened
May 1997, that was transferred/sold to HSBC. The only two items on this card are 2 balance transfers at 6.99% and 4.99% for life. Shortly after HSBC bought my account, they wanted to increase my interest rates on purchase, I declinded and they close the account. Right after that they raised my minimum payment from 2% to 5%, I called and complained by my complaint fell on deaf ears. So I sucked it up and lived with it. I received my Sept statement and my 6.99% balance transfer jumped to 16.90%. Needless to say I called their customer service immeadiately on Spet. 16th. The first person I spoke to I could hardly understand so I asked to speak with a supervisor, again I got a person with a very thick “Indian” accent but was able to understand them better. So I explained my situation, I have never been late and paid more than the minimum. I was informed that it was a “Computer Error” and would be fixed within 2 billing cycles. I told the representaive that this was unacceptable and I wanted it fixed right away. He informed me that my interest rate was returned to where it was but would still take 2 billing cycles to credit my account and that I needed to pay the increase in minimum payment or be in default. I still protested and he said he would call back on Tues the 21st. Well needless to say, the 21st came and went. So on Oct 6th, I called again, nothing had been done to my account and the interest rate was still 16.90%. I was livid again and asked to speak to a supervisor again. This person said there was no record of a return call requested on there computer. I went through the whole thing again, again I was informed that the “computer” problem was being worked and I was not the only one with a GM Card that was affected by this. I asked the representative what would happen if I was late and called them and told them it was a “computer” problem. He said I would be in breace of contract and all my rates would increase and late fees would be applied. I asked why didn’t these rules apply to them and he laughed and said they aren’t. As of today my rate is still at 16.90% and nothinghas been done to my account. What do I do next?????


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 12, 2010 at 10:36 am


This is completely unacceptable and shame on HSBC. Unfortunately, you can never trust a customer service rep, especially ones based overseas. I have heard so many people complain that they are told one thing and then nothing is done and no record exists.

I found an HSBC customer service number that should connect you to a competent rep. It is 866-719-3897. While this is a number for a credit analyst, it should get you past the lying customer service reps that put you in this position.

Also, I strongly recommend sending an email in the account service area of your online card management. This will provide a paper trail, so you may be able to get them to admit their mistake in writing, which is a big plus.

Hope this helps and let us know how things work out.


susan October 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I have 2 chase visa accounts. They raised the interest to 27.99% and told me I could close the accounts and the interest rate would be reduced to 12%. So I did this and have made payments consistently on both accounts. I opened a statement this month and found that one account had raised the interest back to 27.99% and they have been tacking on $39.00 a month late fee for the last 6 months. The other account was current and the balance was going down. Both are paid on the same day, from the same checking account, and the same amount was being sent to each account (which was $15.00 more than the minimum due). I contacted chase and they let me know that the billing cycle on the second account was 20th of each month while on the 1st account it was the 15th. So even though I was sending money each month some months it arrived before the billing cycle reset. So I evidently made 2 payments in one month then the next month was recorded as missing. There after all the money was applied to the late amount so each month was “late”. I request that they remove the late fees, reduce the interest rate back to 12% and quit calling me 9 times a day they have removed 3 late fees but will not budge on any others. They continue to say I’m behind and need to send extra money this month to get back on track. I have read the fine print and no where do I see any explanation of this sneaky trick. Do I have any recourse?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm


Chase may have you trapped on these late fees. While I am very sympathetic to your situation, they will likely hold their ground and insist that you have been paying late. I would try to call a few times and see if you can get a sympathetic customer service rep who will help you, but if not, you may want to consider a 0% balance transfer offer so you aren’t paying 27% interest. At that rate, and by only paying a little over the minimum, that debt could take years to pay off.


sean gerych October 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm

my wife had two credit cards with GEMB, a JCP and a Lowes. she died 1-12-10. i notified them of her death and asked them to close the accounts. they told me they were joint accounts and that i was responsible for the balances. i requested copies of the credit applications as proof of this. JCP retracted their claim and closed the account, but Lowes continues to insist that it is a joint account, even though they sent me a letter stating “that a copy of the document i requested is not available.” they are threatening to sue me for the balance. i”ve attempted an on line dispute through equifax with no results. they call 3 to 4 times daily. is it legal to give incorrect information indicating financial liablity? what would you suggest my next step be?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 6, 2010 at 9:20 am

Due to the sensitive nature of this comment, I sent a personal email to the poster. However, anyone having trouble with the Lowe’s card, which is issued by Ge Money Bank, may have luck contacting 877-294-7541 which is their escalated help desk.


Jane Hammond October 4, 2010 at 10:18 am

Oh yeah, they said “we sent your a letter on Friday, but you probably haven’t received it yet” hahaha, of course I haven’t, it’s only Monday! The way I discovered was loggin into my Chase account online.


Jane Hammond October 4, 2010 at 10:16 am

I’m so angry my head might explode! Chase just closed one of my credit cards without warning. With Chase, I have my checking and savings accounts and 3 credit cards. Only one card has a balance. The other 2 have $0 balance and they just closed one of them for no reason. They closed the one with the smallest credit limit, $1000. I called and was told that, although I’ve banked with them for years, and have never been late or missed any payment of any kind, EVER, (with any creditor, I might add) that they looked at my credit report and feel that, all of a sudden, I am a risk so they close one of my cards! I’m not upset that I can’t use the card, I hadn’t used in in a few months anyway. I’m angry because, after three years of aggresively paying down my debt from over $20,000 to $12,000, working so hard to get my credit rating up to buy a house, they have just screwed my credit report!!! I am not delinquent with any creditor! I have brought my credit rating up from the depths of “poor” to a high “good” and now it’s gonna have a big, fat ding on it!!! The guy I spoke with at Chase, the one with absolutely no compassion simply as a human being, says that everyone else will tell me the same thing and that’s just the way it is! Is there anything I can do to get that ding off my credit report? I’m going to sit in the cormer of my rental home and sob. Thank you.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 4, 2010 at 11:29 am


I am so sorry to hear about this and the timing couldn’t be any worse. Normally, I would suggest that you get a 0% APR balance transfer to move the high interest debt you have to another card with a 0% rate for 18 months, but right before you buy a house is not a good time to apply for credit cards. However, you can try calling the “secret” Chase credit card customer service numbers for account analysts to see if someone with actual authority can help you.


Fritz September 29, 2010 at 6:48 pm

I have had an Elite Rewards card since 1996. I have been accumulating points all these years. I called Bank of America about an issue unrelated to the rewards and resolved that matter. While I was on the phone I asked why the rewards points were not on the monthly statement anymore. They explained that there is an online site for that and that it didn’t really matter since the program was being discontinued on Oct 29 and I had to use my points before Nov 15 or I would forfeit them. Additionally I was told that I was sent a letter on Aug 16 explaining all this and that also the rewards were reduced by 25% effective that date. I never received the letter. My bills go to a secure lockbox. The billpay service never received the letter. I protested and eventually compained to the Comptroller of the Currency which has jurisdiction over national banks. I received a call from someone at B of A and they informed me that it was all correct and that I DID receive the letter and that I must redeam my points by Oct 30(note, an earlier date now). I checked again with the rewards customer service. They informed me that I did not ever receive a letter since my rewards program was not being terminated, but that my points were reduced by 25% without notice. I informed the B of A rep and she eventually apologized for having given me wrong information about the termination date. I then pointed out that my plan was not terminated. She returned my call and informed me that I was correct that my plan was not terminated and she was wrong again. As for the reduction in rewards by 25%, yes, I did not receive any notice, but they are not required to give me any notice. If they do not publish the rules, then it is their word as to what the rewards are when. Why can’t they always make the rewards anything they want? They do. They offered me a token gift card to go away. I have again complained to the OCC about these flim flam tactics on the part of B of A.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 30, 2010 at 9:35 am


Thanks for sharing this. I find this very disturbing, as I have yet to hear anything about this. Usually, I hear from people when letters go out, so I am concerned that this was either not clearly disclosed or these letters never went out. I applaud your proactive actions and hope someone actually listens. This could cost many people a lot of money in rewards if they follow through with this.


Thomas September 21, 2010 at 1:43 pm

Chase has not only raised my rates on both of my WAMU CC but they have consistantly reduced my available credit. I have not been late with a payment and pay more than the minimum payment each month. Their customer no service is horrible. They have continually screwed up my credit score. So much for a government bail-out.


Dorothy September 20, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I have had a Capital One account for 6 years. Always paid on time and over the limit. Only use it for emergencies. Today I got a letter saying they were going to charge me a service fee of $5.00 per month ($60 a year). Their reasoning was because I had other revolving credit. I haven’t had anything new added to my credit for over 3 years, so what is the deal?? Money hungry thieves is what I’m thinking!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 21, 2010 at 8:50 am

This is an interesting development. I think they may be testing these fees and you were unfortunately a part of these tests. I hope this doesn’t continue.


Dena September 20, 2010 at 11:54 am

I have been a customer of Citi Bank for a few years now. I have always paid on time, but my credit limit was decreased from the original amount. I was told it was because I had new debt since I originally applied for the credit card. I could not understand what difference it makes since I always paid my credit card on time, and was rewarded with money from Citi for paying a substantial amount over the minimum. I continued to use the card even though I wasn’t happy with the decrease, and then I was one day late on a payment….honestly just one day. My interest rate went from 6.99% to 29.99% just because of the one day. I spoke to several customer service reps. with no luck in changing this, so I closed the account.

I also had a problem with Bank of America credit card. I owed $30,000 so I sold my classic car so that I could get my debt down on the card. Again I am never late on payments and always pay at least double the minimum, and in this case 2/3 of the amount that I owe. Bank of America lowered my credit limit down to the amount I owe, so I have no credit now. I also am having trouble getting any other cards because I am told that I have too much debt even though I always pay my cards on time (with the exception of the 1 day late with Citi), and always pay at least double the minimum amount. The credit card companies have no clue to how much income I have coming in, or what assets I have. Why would I have all these problems when I never did anything “really” wrong???


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 20, 2010 at 12:19 pm


I really sympathize with your situation and I think I know what the problem is. Essentially, when your credit limits were reduced, your credit utilization ratio increased. Known as CUR, this is the amount of credit you are using divided by what you have. The lower the better, so every time your limits were reduced your CUR increased. As this accounts for 30% of your credit score, it is very likely that your credit score has been hurt very bad.

A lowered credit score and possibly a high level of debt relative to your income is the reason you are having trouble getting approved for 0% balance transfer credit cards. However, based on the information you provided, a 0 balance transfer may not be your best option. Instead, I think you should look at, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. There, you can find credit counseling companies that will work with your credit card companies to get your interest rates and payments reduced to manageable levels.

This will not only help you get out debt faster and with less expense, but it may help you improve your credit score as you shed debt.

I hope this helps and do let me know if you have more questions, and also, if you have success with credit counseling should you choose to go that route.


Mark Bany September 13, 2010 at 8:39 am

I know there is a list of names and addresses of the corporate loansharks that are gouging the American public’s finances. Can you help me find who the CEO’S are and where can I write to them ? I’m unemployed and having a hard enough time keeping my head above water. I would like to start a class-action lawsuit. Any body with me ???
Mark E. Bany


Marty September 8, 2010 at 11:00 am

I have had a credit card and mortgage with US Bank for many years. I have excellent credit. I recently received an offer for a balance transfer from US Bank. I went online to transfer a balance from another credit card to US Bank. This went smoothly until I saw my statement. The balance transfer was processed as a cash advance at 23.99% So I was charged the 3% fee as well as 23.99% interest charge. I called US Bank to see what could be done about fixing this. They told me I needed to have the transaction reversed from the other bank and the fees would be dropped. I contacted the other credit card company and eventually was told that they received a physical check from US Bank that they wouldn’t be able to reverse. They said that US Bank should be able to fix the interest rate on their end. I called US Bank again and this time I was transferred to a supervisor. She told me that there was nothing that could be done because I did not enter a special code when I did the online balance transfer. I don’t recall receiving the special code and assumed that when you are transferring a balance from one credit card to another it would never be considered a cash advance. I told her that this was not acceptable and I will be transferring this balance asap. I will close this account when the balance is gone. Be aware when using their online system. It is not user friendly and it will take advantage of you in any way possible. Unfortunately I still have a mortgage account with them so I still have to deal with them. I am planning on contacting the FTC.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 9, 2010 at 9:44 am


This is a travesty and I am sorry you got trapped in this. I would recommend calling a few more times, getting supervisors on the phone, and being as nice as possible. You may get a good one who is willing to give you a break. If that approach doesn’t work, threaten to (and follow through on) not only filing a complaint with the FTC, but also with your state’s Attorney General.

I know it is too late in your case, but balance transfer checks should go straight to the shredder. They not only come with nasty hidden tricks, but many people have reported that these checks have bounced on them, causing even more problems. Here is a recent example of Citibank balance transfer checks bouncing.


Lynne September 4, 2010 at 3:28 pm

I’m wondering if anyone else has had this happen to them. I closed my Advanta Business Account almost two years ago and paid my balance in full. I had some trouble with the payoff amount that was given and had to pay additional interest charges which I was not happy about but I paid them and closed the account. Recently the FDIC took over all Advanta accounts in one of the bank closures. I received a letter last week from Advanta stating that they had made an error in crediting a payment to the account in February 2008 and that they were debiting my account $2350 to correct the error (30% interest). I was able to get into my former online account to take a look at the previous statements since I made all payments from my business checking account online. When I called they could not tell me how they found the error or when but said I would have to produce proof of the payment for them to open up an investigation and that I would have to do it all by snail mail. Today I received an email notice that I had $5.88 in Advanta Rewards which would be sent in the mail soon–as if the account is now open again though the credit card portion of the company was forcibly closed by the government in May 2009. Has anyone else had this happen? Do I really have to go back into my business records (my S corporation is closed) to try to find this payment? I believe that the FDIC is trying to collect on the bad debts they have been saddled with (they could not get a buyer for the debts) but I’m not sure that I have to prove anything to them since I paid off and closed the account. It seems to me that they have to prove it to me by showing me where this error occurred instead of just sending me a letter and expecting payment. Comments please by anyone who knows what is going on. Many thanks.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 7, 2010 at 9:10 am


I would fight this as soon as possible and provide data they request. Otherwise, this will end up on your credit report and will grow into an even bigger nightmare.


Susie August 27, 2010 at 5:13 pm

HSBC……due to pay cuts & furloughs, having a rough time as are many others. I have other cards; Juniper, Chase, but they have been manageable because my payments are smaller. When this credit crisis hit last year, HSBC immediatley raised my interest rate AND the minimum monthly payment. At first is was manageable but then when the furloughs & pay cuts hit and several emergencies happened, I had trouble making the $150 on the HSBC. I immediately called them and explained the situation and that I could only make a payment of $75.00. This was to be temporary as once things settled down I would be able to go back to my standard payment. Once I reached a person, everytime I said 75.00, he said 150.00, and late fees and over limit fees, etc. it was pretty clear that this was going to be a struggle. I asked for a supervsior and was told “no” and they would gladly take a check over the phone for my 150.oo payment. I now refuse to talk to any of them and I do everything strictly by mail. convenient that they have not cashed my $75 I mailed on AUGUST 4. I’ve already filed my complaint with the FTC and I am in the
process of writing to my Congressman. Any of you having same problem with HSBC and if so how are you dealing with it???

God Bless & Good luck all!


Lucia August 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I just got done speaking to a manager at Citicards and debating with her the balance transfer I accepted with them last month. They sent me four checks with the balance offer, saying I could have a 0% rate until July 1, 2011. I am remodeling the kitchen and bath so decided to do the 0% interest instead of a home equity loan at 5.5% and pay off most of it by next summer.

Well, imagine my shock when I got my statement and the amount was under an “Advance” at 25.99%!!!!! I called and was told that somewhere on the offer in small print, there was a statement saying if the checks were made out for personal use (cash, your name, etc)……then it was 25.99%. The 0% offer only applied to checks made out to CONTRACTORS. Has anyone ever heard of this??? I was NOT amused. The only thing I saw on this offer was the 0% until July 2011. Nowhere was there 25.99% printed on the checks.

She finally put me through to a manager and they gave me the 0% for this instance only, and then lectured me to read more carefully. ARGH! It seems criminal that they can get away with that wording and put it in tiny letters somewhere without making it clear. I asked to see a copy of the offer, and she claimed they didn’t have it…..that my copy of the offer was gone once they mailed it to me. I shredded it after using the check.

Thanks for letting me vent!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper August 18, 2010 at 10:31 am


Thanks for sharing. I have been advising people not to use balance transfer checks or cash advance checks for quite some time for this very reason. The terms are often unclear and it is possible for these checks to bounce (See Consumer Advisory on Balance Transfer Checks for similar stories.)

Fortunately in your case, Citibank appeared to the right thing. Unfortunately, people who do not speak up or pay attention will likely not get the same treatment.


shelly August 4, 2010 at 8:45 am

Oh by the way I dont wont my last comment to be taken out of context. I was blogging about my experience and doing my research it was determined that many minorities have higher APR’s. But after going on blogs and reading other people issues, maybe it’s not so black and white after all. All the lending institutions see is GREEN


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper August 4, 2010 at 9:35 am


Problems with huge credit limit cuts after large payments have been impacting everyone. And you are right, the only important color is green. However, while it is illegal to discriminate based on color, I too have read many anecdotal reports as well as some studies that show a bias against minorities. In your situation, however, I think you got caught up in the same tactics that are being applied without bias to millions of Americans.


shelly August 4, 2010 at 7:28 am

Then a week after I pay off the interest charges (remember the card has been paid off) Chase decided to drop my line of credit by 80%. I promptly called the credit card company and was told by a very RUDE “portfolio manager” that because I filed bankruptcy 4 years ago that I did not fit the standard set by Chase. She stated that Experian was showing a negative account on my bureau and between that and my bankruptcy I did not qualify to have such a high credit limit. I nicely explained to her that I got the card after I filed bankruptcy; she said we have different criteria than WaMu. I then told her that I have been faithfully paying this account on time for three years and have proven that I can handle having a substantial credit line. She nastily told me that the decision was final and I could accept the line of credit or close the account. I then said how the hell JP Morgan Chase get a bail out for 25 BILLION dollars from my tax dollars and say that I am not worth a line of credit. Not to mention the bail out was not used to make new loans….but to purchase more companies! I asked her who I could complain to because this was not acceptable to me. She smugly said, “ the decision in final.” I then said what could be done to increase my credit line, she told me to send in a copy of my pay check stub and proceeded to give me a PO Box in Delaware. Really…. Have you ever heard of anyone sending in a copy of a check stub to a credit card company? I then told her that I did not like the way she was speaking to me. She said I am not speaking to you any kind of way. I told her to close my account because I did not have to be mistreated by the person I pay to give me a line of credit and if I was not deserving of a substantial credit line, they were not deserving of my business. She closed the account and ended the call with a “you have a great day”. You know she said it in way like, I hope I ruined your day and this is my way of giving you the final jab before I let you off the phone.

I was more pissed when I hung up the phone. But I decided to calm down and call back. I called back and I reached a person that sounded delightful as soon as she answer the phone. I told her that I had just been treated rudely by one of her co-workers and I wanted the person’s name so I could include it in my complaint to the company. She said she could not give the person name out but would like to hear what happened so she could elevate to a supervisor. I explained the situation and she was apologetic and asked me some questions about my credit and took my gross pay over the PHONE…. in under 15 minutes my line of credit was restored!

It seems that credit can be given and taken at the discretion of company workers……….NOT your FICO score….NOT your payment history. It makes me really wonder what the underlying reasons could be. Yes I know the country is in a credit crunch but then again Black people have always been in a credit crunch.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper August 4, 2010 at 8:34 am


I am happy to hear that everything worked out in the end. Oftentimes, if you get the wrong person on the phone things can work out poorly. Your diligence clearly paid off and I hope this story inspires others to aggressively pursue fair treatment from their credit card companies.


shelly August 4, 2010 at 7:27 am

Washington Mutual ( WaMu) was nice enough to give me an unsecured credit card with a decent line of credit. . A few years later Chase purchased WaMu and they sent me a bunch of literature promising nothing would change. In May I decided to pay the card off.

Then I find out that I was 31 days late paying off the interest… who charges you interest after you pay a card off. This notice came via email so I ignored it because I figured they were wrong I paid the account off according to what the website said I owed. I called and and they removed the late fee. Who does this?


Carol July 31, 2010 at 6:38 pm

How is this legal? In the early afternoon, I made a payment on the due date (July 15) at, and received a confirmation email that evening specifically stating the payment was posted on July 15. I got the newest statement today, charging me a $39 late fees and showing they posted the payment on July 16. They intentionally waited a day in order to charge that fee. How can they legally do this?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper August 1, 2010 at 10:12 am


This is definitely not legal or fair. I would contact them and demand the fee be refunded. You have the email as proof-they should have no option but to drop the charges.


Dave July 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm

About a month ago, I paid in full the balance on my Chase United Visa of $1400 via online payment deducting from a bank account. I recorded tghe authorization/confirmation number I was given at the time.

Today, when verifying that the payment had been made, I noticed that an additional $230 over and above the amount I had authorized had been deducted from my account without my permission. There are no fees or penalties on this card, and I have paid my balance in full each month since obtaining the card.

The customer service rep had no explanation for this additional and unauthorized withdrawl from my account. He said they would look into it and contact me tomorrow.

The way I look at this- this is plain and simple THEFT. What can I do?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 15, 2010 at 11:36 am


You should be able to request a check for the amount overdrawn. I don’t quite know why this would happen, but they should be able to immediately credit the funds or issue a check. You could have a case if it led to other issues, but it might be hard to get anything out of them other than the money you are owed.


bob July 8, 2010 at 6:55 pm

There’s a new wrinkle! I should clarify first — I didn’t use that card for purchasing. I just rotated a balance there. As I said, the interest rate on that amount jumped from 0% to 17%. But I just spoke to another rep there (passed from one person to another) who finally informed me that my rate rose simply because my 0% percent period expired!. But wait, I said, I had the exact day the interest was to shift — October 23, 2010! And what’s more, I was told this by a Capital One representative on March 27th! (I have a habit of taking notes on this thing). He said I must be mistaken. Wait a second, you must have on record that I spoke (at length, because it was outsourced) to a customer rep on March 27th? Yes, he said, we have such records. But there is no record that you spoke to any customer rep in the last two years. I mean, what can one say to that? By the way, how hard would it be for the credit card company to list on one’s statement when the interest rate is going to change? Anyhow, I feel like I’ve just been beaten up by local racketeers. There’s really no recourse is there?


bob July 8, 2010 at 11:39 am

Capital One just socked me with a high interest charge out of the blue. Told them I was at 0% (btw, I have excellent credit, etc.). They said that with poor economy, they had no choice but to raise rates and didn’t I get a letter in February? No, I didn’t. Now, I ask you: The company has my phone number, sends me statements each month and email offers all the time, and they’re relying on a single letter (uncertified) to transmit really important info? Is this really considered a good faith attempt to reach customers? Talk about an area that needs regulating. If, as some estimate, two percent of letters get lost, that can easily translate into hundreds of millions of ill-got revenue.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I never thought the sending of uncertified rate increases was fair. Letters do get lost in the mail and I think your 2% estimate left tens of thousands of people in similar situations. The one thing you can do to combat the high rate is to do a balance transfer to a new card that charges a 0% rate. A lot of these deals have been extended to 18 months, so you can save money on interest and stop sending your money to the company that treated you poorly.


Wright July 8, 2010 at 9:50 am

I used to rave about AMX, but now I’m telling all that they suck! I just found out today that they decreased my credit limit from $4000 to $1000 because of what they think of what might happen. They said because of the info they got from Experian today. Well I checked my updated credit report 2 days ago and my score was 761. Today, when I verified that the call was being recorded I gave my opinion as to what I thought. Their poor customer service has happened 5x’s before with me.

I have 3 cards with them. Just based on a “hunch” they have raised my interest rates on all cards by 4% without even an option to opt out and said that if I close the card and still have a balance they are still going to charge me the increased rate. Then they decreased my credit limits on all 2 of them and now on the 3rd one. Two of the cards didn’t even have a balance. I’ve been with them for almost 6 years and never paid late, always paid more than the minimum or even never went over the credit limit (even though with one card I am allowed this once a year).

I would use my clear amx card for minor purchases and keep a balance but when I saw how they treated me, I transfered my balancesn to citi and my credit union. I would close the card but that will affect my credit report. So I keep all cards open and use only one card to accumulate reward points. I pay it off within 20 days to avoid any interest but it shows some activity on my credit report.

I depise unfairness! I’m going to write some letters but I don’t know if that’ll do any good. I am also a financial advisor for my church and community so of course I am informing all against AMX.

They’ll be looking for customers like me in the next 5 years when this economy turns, but I will not be there. It only takes one time to do me wrong.


Lynn Hess July 6, 2010 at 3:27 pm

since coming out of a credit counseling plan, Discover raised my rate from 15.99% to 21.99%. When I contacted them to lower it, they said they had no program available to do this. Funny how it can go up but never down.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 6, 2010 at 5:45 pm


I’m sorry to hear about this and surprised to learn that Discover raised the rate. If your credit has been hurt by the credit counseling, this may be the reason, though in most cases credit scores improve. Did they provide a specific reason for the rate increase?


LORIBERT July 2, 2010 at 11:54 am

The Applied Bank Credit Card charges ridiculous fees any chance they get. I don’t even use the card, but have set up monthly payments with my bank of $15 a month to cover the “monthly service fee” of $12. I also did it in case I ever used the card it would cover the minimum payment. haha jokes on me. There was an $18.89 balance, I paid $15.00, leaving a 3.89 balance. They then charged me a $35.00 late fee. I upped my minimum payment to $30, thinking I had covered everything. This has been going on for 3 months now. My balance is now $116, but I had to pay $131 to close the account. I have used the card twice this year for less than $50 total, and I have paid over $150 in fees. What’s more, they do not have a “due date” on their statements, so how do I know when to have it in by? I make a monthly payment every month on the same date. In one instance the closing date was 5/11, my payment was made on 5/11 and they still charged me a late fee. They are crooks and should be stopped from these practices.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm

This is absolutely absurd. If you can get this account closed, do so immediately. This is apprehensible behavior and I don’t think its entirely legal.


KATRINA June 10, 2010 at 11:14 am

I have a credit card with HSBC!

My problem is that for months at a time they dont send me bills.

I had automatic payment then it stopped because I changed banks. So over that time it was paid. But Since I moved in february I have gotten 2 bills. the months. Then I go through my bills. Pay what is required. A few months later I get another bill with tons of late charges.!!!! This should not be allowed. Not only is it hurting my credit but they want extra money in fees.

I have talked to them twice about this. Said its resolved and then hang up on me !!!!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 14, 2010 at 9:00 am


If they continue to bill you for fees, then tell you the issue is resolved, use the online interface to get an answer in writing. Customer service reps tend to lie to get people off the phones. And they generally can’t be held accountable for anything they say. I hope this helps.


Kurt May 27, 2010 at 9:58 am

I understand the application to the lowest and highest interest rate balances under the new laws. My confusion comes with the payment application to the “in-between” interest rate balances and if the new laws specify how payments will, or can be applied to these amounts.

What I’m trying to find out is if the new laws actually address these “in between” rates or not. While I am sure that, given the option, Chase will apply the payments in whatever manner benefits them the most (after all, they are in business to make money), I, too, though am wondering if they are making “mistakes” and nobody is catching it.

Under the “old” laws, when you made at least your minimum payment due, you were paying the finance charges on all your various loans and your principle balance(s) at least stayed the same. It appears under the Credit Card Act of 2009 (as interpreted by Chase), finance charges are charged and collected but NOT credited to your loans with the exception of the lowest rate loan. On the rest, interest keeps compounding and accruing and your principle keeps going up. This is what I am trying to research.

Thanks for your help


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 31, 2010 at 3:46 pm


From what I understand, the companies can basically do whatever they want, and therefore, whatever is in their best interests. If, for example, you had two 0% balance transfers on your card and one had six months left and the other 12 months left, they would use the money to reduce the one that last longer, so they can make more in interest.

I doubt any credit card company is going to allocate the extra money in a way that benefits customers.


Shanice Hsieh May 27, 2010 at 6:21 am

I already paid for the full amount that I owed to Bank Of America. The customer service waived my interest and also the late fee. He told me I owed nothing because I paid off on that day. I received a check from Bank Of America recently and it is the interest charge refund. The interest is still accumulating. I called customer service again, they told me it’s valid charge and I still have to pay for the balance.
I don’t think I should pay for it because I double make sure with the prior customer service that I owed nothing. What should I do?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 27, 2010 at 8:32 am


First off, I think you should pay the amount before it incurs a late fee. This will only make matters worse, especially if the interest charges are low.

Once you’ve paid it off, I would continue to fight for the money they owe you. Call and get supervisors on the phone, explain your situation, the check they sent you, etc. until you get it.

I get the impression this is a matter of principle, so if that is the case, do fight back. But if it is a small amount of money, you might want to save yourself the hassle of fighting it and just take your business to another company that won’t make these mistakes.


Kurt May 26, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I have done 5 balance transfers to my Chase Visa over the last few years, at 4 different promotional interest rates. Since the Credit Card act went into effect (Feb 2010), the second and third highest interest loan balances have been increasing each month even though I am paying well over the minimum payment due. The explanation from Chase is that the Credit Card Act of 2009 forces them to apply the amount of my minimum payment to the lowest interest amount first, then any extra to the highest interest amount, which I understand. However, they state that NONE of my payment goes to the other remaining amounts, not even to cover the finance charges. The result is that the principle balance of those other 2 amounts (which just happen to be the largest 2 balances)has increased each month in the amount of the finance charge, as if I wasn’t making a payment.
I have found where the new laws specify that minimum payments are applied to lower interest amounts first, then anything extra to the highest interest amounts. However, I have not been able to find anything addressing the “in between” interest rate amounts. I find it difficult to believe that the law allows (or mandates) that NONE of the payment be applied to these other amounts, not even to the finance charges.
While I’d like to trust the Chase Bank is doing things correctly, it just doesn’t seem right to me.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 26, 2010 at 2:07 pm


I believe, though will look further into this, that minimum payment can be allocated to any balance the company chooses. This would likely be the balance with the lowest interest rate, so they can keep collecting on the high rate balance.

I’m also pretty sure that anything above the minimum must go to the highest rate balance, so you should see whatever has the highest rate decline by the amount you pay above the minimum.

This is not the first time I’ve heard from people about payment allocation lately. I’m wondering if the bank are making “mistakes” and only a few people are catching them.


Venus May 10, 2010 at 8:59 am

Thanks for the advice Jeff. I will definitely look into doing that. I will also call Citi to see if there are any reports of this happening and also if they tell me no, see if there is something I can get in writing or something incase it does happen. They are done yanking me around. It’s my turn.


Venus May 10, 2010 at 8:20 am

Well, I have done it. Moved some things around, freed up some funds, finally have the mean to pay off my Citi Card. About 12k worth. I am wondering if I am going to end up seeing my available credit limit take a hit just because Citi can and they are probably going to try to screw me somehow. And I am happy to get rid of this balance cause it would be a nice boost to my Credit/Debt ratio. But not if they lower it for some lame brain excuse. Any thoughts or ideas? Has this happened and is there anything that can be done to either avoid this (minus not paying the balance) or take action if it does happen?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 10, 2010 at 8:30 am


Gonna send you an email just in case you don’t stop by.

One visitor recently wrote on this subject. She said she spoke to Bank of America because they kept cutting her credit limit every time she made a large payment. According to her report, she spoke to an analyst who told her that by paying it down all at once, she triggered a computer setting that lowers credit limits. She was told to scatter her payments in amounts of less than $2000 every few days. You may want to try this approach to see if this prevents a limit decrease. If you have online pay, schedule $1,900 today, then another $1,900 in a few days. Hopefully this will work.

And also, CONGRATULATIONS! Welcome to a credit card debt free life.



Diane Houle May 9, 2010 at 10:59 am

I wholeheartedly agree with both Bruce and Allen about American Express. I have been a loyal customer for the past 6 years, never late. This past month I mailed in my payment 5 days before the due date. Mailed it on April 17th, and they claim it was not received until April 28th!

When I called them to ask if they would waive the late payment fee of $37, they said no. I kept going up the chain of command and the higher I went, the nastier the “Customer Service” reps got! I was appalled at the things they said to me. When I said that it could have been the Post Office’s fault, but it has never taken more than 2-3 days in the past 6 years to arrive at AMEX. When I ventured that AMEX was not perfect and someone there could have misplaced my payment, it could have sat out on the loading dock, I was told that I was the one who had made the mistake by not allowing 7-10 days for payment to reach them.

I was out on hold by all of the reps I spoke with, and disconnected three times, right after they had given me their horrible attitudes. I have reported the case to my local post office, who shared with me that they have had many similar complaints about American Express. As I said to the Postmaster at my local PO, what’s to keep AMEX (or any other credit card company) from pretending that they didn’t receive customers’ payments when in fact they did indeed. Multiply all of those late fees and they could make a tidy profit at their loyal and trusting customers’ expense.

Anyway, I am livid with this company and their so-called Customer Service. If AMEX is the best of the credit card companies, I’d hate to see the worst!! This has certainly not been my experience.

I have reported this to my state attorney general’s office, 2 Boston area TV stations, and now here. I will also be sending letters of complaint to two different AmEx locations, the Ft. Lauderdale office and the corporate headqurters in NYC.

They have certainly chosen the wrong consumer to lock horms with. I’m glad to be playing David to their Goliath. We each have to stand up and ROAR when the credit card companies try to exert their power over us. Even after the Credit Card Act passed, they are finding creative new ways to wring money out of us.

The CSRs seemed to revel in their petty authority, telling me that I had no recourse. Let’s see how it plays out. Just beware of American Express. And be sure I’ll be leaving home without them!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 10, 2010 at 7:24 am


I will have to re-evaluate my position on Amex. The recent complaints are among the first posted here since last summer. I’ve always had great experiences with Amex, and I am honestly surprised to hear that they might be using these tactics.

I am putting American Express on my watch list; not getting payments is a very old, very dirty trick made popular by Providian, which was successfully sued. They would literally leave envelopes unopened to collect late fees. I find it hard to believe Amex would sink so low, but it can’t be ruled out.

As to you situation, and anyone else who mails in payments, I strongly recommend using online payment. American Express has a very good online account management interface and when you pay online, you avoid “lost in the mail” issues.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I hope this is an isolated situation. We all need a few decent credit card companies.


Larry May 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

I had a corporate AMEX account that had an outstanding balance when I left my former employer. The former employer did not pay the bill for my last business trip prior to me leaving the company. The amount was small, under $250. The account has been cancelled but now AMEX is cahrging me late fees and calling me to pay the bill. I have explained the situation to them without any luck. What should I do next?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 6, 2010 at 11:51 am

I’m not sure of the rules on this, especially if your social security number was used, but I am pretty sure you should have zero liability. If your employer was shady, he may have opened the account in your name, separate from the company. This would put the liability on you. I would contact the employer and tell them about the issue. It should not be your debt unless they used you as the primary cardholder to open the account. Hope this helps. Amex is a good company, so you should be able to get this resolved.


Diane May 1, 2010 at 8:18 pm

I realize I’m not the moderator here, but –
Has anyone thought of filing a complaint with the Comptroller of the Currency? Forms are online. The FTC does not solve individual problems, but enters them into a database (per their website).
Also — use your search engine for Move Your Money, do your homework, and do it! Move your money — out of the conglomerates and into a small, safe local bank or credit union. Get back! Get even!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 2, 2010 at 8:09 am


The OCC complaint form is at and is another good place to file complaints.

I am not, however, a huge fan of the Move Your Money site. If we all moved are money, we’d be bailing these banks out again in no time. If one bank mistreats you, by all means use another. But if everyone started moving their money, we’d be in a pretty dire situation.


Marianne April 28, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I have a complaint against Macy’s/Citibank credit card. I am well aware of the new law, that applies payments to high interest balances before zero interest promotional items. BUT, when you do NOT have a balance and ONLY have the interest deferred item (6 months in this case) they do NOT apply the payment to that item. It appears on your statement as a negative balance. In speaking to Macy’s I was told it won’t come off until the 6 months is up. This is pure BS. They are holding my money against something I ‘might’ buy on my charge account vs. paying off what is already there. I have nothing on my card, just the deferred item. It doesn’t take genius to figure out what they are doing. Apply all your money to what you ‘might’ buy between now and the end of the 6 month period, and then whack you with interest on the ‘interest deferred’ item because there won’t be enough there to cover it. This should be ILLEGAL. I refuse to use my Macy’s card until they apply my payment to my oustanding balance, which it looks like they won’t do until August. Then, it’s their loss. I won’t spend a dime in that store or else I’ll pay cash. They won’t make a penny on me.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 29, 2010 at 8:20 am


This is a new trick. First I have heard of it and I definitely don’t like it. I would report it to the FTC and your state’s attorney general. I imagine Macy’s/Citibank has found a legal loophole, but it clearly seems unethical.


Leo April 27, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Thanks again for your perspective – most helpful.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 27, 2010 at 7:05 pm

No problem Leo. I hope you can get Amex to give you a fair shot at getting some of that credit line back.

All the best



Leo April 27, 2010 at 9:48 am

Thanks for the advice – much appreciated. Would filing a complaint with the FTC help the overall cause? It would be good to let American Express know the collective feelings of consumers and business owners who are affected by their practices.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 27, 2010 at 9:56 am


I’m positive American Express didn’t do anything wrong. While its definitely a hassle for you (and I do sympathize), what they did was completely in their rights. It would likely be a waste of time to contact the FTC or another agency regarding this. Also, do let us all know if you are able to get your account reviewed for a limit increase. I realize you’re not very happy with Amex right now, but compared to most other credit card companies, they treat their customers very well.


Leo April 25, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I have been an American Express customer for 22+ years. Despite having a perfect payment record over that time period, American Express reduced the limit on my small business blue card to less than half of what it was. I’m sure that my credit score will be significantly reduced by this action. It just shows how much all those years of customer loyalty mean to American Express.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 26, 2010 at 7:52 am


If you have strong financials, you can likely get Amex to review your account. They are very good about these things and they might reconsider their action. Also, because this is a business card, it shouldn’t hurt your personal credit.

I would definitely try to talk to them about this, though.


Bruce Gigstad April 25, 2010 at 10:44 am

I like your helpful advice and seeing what others have had trouble with too. the site is easy to navigate and find answers to most of my questions.


Bruce Gigstad April 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

In Fall of 2009 Everyone of my cards used to be a fixed rate of between 6.77 and 12.99%. Then little by little all of my cards from Bank of America, HSBC, Citibank, and yes even Discover and American express changed my normal and lifetime agreements to Variable rates at twice the interest plus Prime. Some of these I closed, or locked in my old rate till I can pay them off, but I had to keep some open for emergencies. I don’t like Variable rates (look at the trouble the home loans have had in the last year)but I can’t find fixed rates anymore.
What can you suggest for customer friendly company, fixed, low or zero balance transfer? I have always paid on time and had my cards for years. My credit rating is as high as it can go.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 26, 2010 at 7:48 am

Thanks for the compliments Bruce. I’m at a loss here: no major banks are offering fixed rates anymore. Everyone shifted to variable rates that, should the economy improve, will increase. That said, if you want a customer friendly company for the long haul, I would definitely go with Discover. Discover and American Express are really the only great credit card companies. All the rest are merely good or worse.

Also, since it sounds like you closed a few accounts to preserve your lower rates, you might want to look at this article I wrote last week about keeping small balances on closed credit card accounts.

Sorry I couldn’t find you a fixed card, but I don’t think we’ll be seeing those for at least a few years.


Dorothy April 20, 2010 at 9:19 pm

I have been in a credit card repayment plan for a year with US Bank. It ended in Dec. 09. After I completed the 1st year I received a letter stating I was in the program for another year at a reduced interest rate of 7.4%. I received my bill and saw that I was being charged an interest rate of 20%! I called and they told me I “misinterpreted the letter” and I was not on the program for another year. They said it was just a letter about the plan I had been in, even though it clearly states the terms and says it is in effect for 12 months. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told “you don’t need to speak to a supervisor”. I then insisted and was put on hold for several minutes. When someone came on the line it was the same person I had spoken with earlier laughing with someone else as she told her what an idiot I was. Then I was disconnected. Now, all I get is a voice mail asking me to leave a message but no one ever returns my call. The letter I received is one that any prudent and rational person would interpret as an extension on my lower interest rate. What can I do?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 21, 2010 at 8:09 am


I would continue trying to contact US Bank, perhaps using a different number, such as the one on your credit card. I would then threaten (and follow through) on filing complaints with your state’s attorney general and their state’s attorney general.

Depending on how much you owe and how much the new interest rate will cost you, it may even be worthwhile to hire a lawyer, especially given the written proof you have.


Rachel April 19, 2010 at 11:42 am

Is there really no legal recourse? Is there not a lawyer out there that would help you sue a company in civil court? I have been subject to credit card companies either lowering or canceling my credit accounts with them due to: proportion of balances to credit limits too high on revolving accounts, too many revoling accounts, too high of amounts owed. I had never paid late and continue to make all of my payments on time. Our credit score is like our identity. If someone defames us we can sue them. When a credit card company lowers our credit limit or cancels a card it reflects directly on our credit score. Either the process of the credit score needs to be changed, or we should be able to sue credit card companies for ruining our credit score. I want names and phone numbers of agencies that I can turn to that will voice my complaint so that legislation is changed. I have already sent complaints to the attorney general’s office and BBB. Where can I find more information about the federal legislative changes that have already taken place?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 20, 2010 at 10:47 am


The damage credit limit cuts are doing to people’s credit scores is incredible. People who had excellent credit a few months ago are getting knocked down to average and below average. It really is outrageous, but there’s nothing remotely illegal about it. The real problem is the credit scoring process. However, this is unlikely to improve anytime soon.


Richard April 18, 2010 at 10:17 am

Hello: In February I paid off a HSBC card with a cheque from another credit card company to receive 0% interest. The first credit card company charged me $24.95 as a “credit fee” for doing this. I called and told them I refused to pay a fee for paying off the account, and that using a cheque from another company was no different than using a personal cheque. They agreed to take off the fee essentially if I agreed to keep the card (I wanted to cancel). Now I received a statement in which there is a $24.95 “debit fee” for taking off the “credit fee.” In other words, a fee for taking off a fee. I only figured this out after much rumination as the customer service folks were unable to articulate what the fee was for, eventually claiming it was “interest” on something (what I don’t know as I have paid off the account in each of the two ensuing two months). Is this legal, and if not, what should I do? I have already told them I wish to cancel the account (it took about twelve attempts before they would hear this). ????


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 18, 2010 at 10:24 am


Wish I could make a better call on this, but the confusting rearrangement of fees is hard to decipher. In all likelihood, this is legal. It just sounds unethical and I think they have given you a bit of the runaround, which makes the matter worse.


Allen Sutphin April 18, 2010 at 6:40 am

I just wanted to throw out something that I caught before things got ugly. I have an AMERICAN EXPRESS account that I used for a balance transfer a couple of years ago. I got a really good rate and never use the card for purchases. Apparently they aren’t happy with that. My statement for this month didn’t show up like it usually does. I receive both paper and email statements, so it is unlikely that both would have failed to arrive. I called the automated line and got my current payment and the due date this morning. The payment due date is less than three weeks away and inside the time frame when I was supposed to have received my statement. Call me suspicious, but it looks like AMEX failed to send me a statement in the hopes that I would let it go, get into a late-payment situation and incur a $39.00 late fee along with a monster rate increase. WATCH THIS BUNCH!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 18, 2010 at 10:08 am


I’ll actually give American Express the benefit of the doubt hear. I really hope this was an honest mistake, as American Express has treated its customers very well compared to most of its competitors. I think if you contacted American Express, they would likely provide a good explanation.


ELIZABETH TENEBRUSO April 16, 2010 at 12:56 pm

I am glad to tell you about Citi Bank scam. I had one balance transfer that came due 7/10 and I took another one due 1/11. Both were for 0% interest.When I made myt payment the full amount if being applied to the balance which is to come due 1/11 therefore there balce due in 7/10 will not be paid off and high interest will be applied. CitiBank is not helping people they are hurting them. Before I applied for the second transfer I asked the person on the phone how eill the payment will be applied I was told they will be applied to the one that ends first since both were 0% transfers.So please beware of CitiBank.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 16, 2010 at 2:16 pm


Until your rate increases in July, I would only make the minimum payment. Once one of the rates goes up, any payment above the minimum has to be applied to the balance with the highest interest rate.

As to relying on customer service, I think anything that isn’t in writing is worthless. Hope this helps and sorry they trapped you like this.


RayRaySunshine April 14, 2010 at 12:15 am

In regard to the Continental Finance Card: The FDIC issued a Cease and Desist and Notice of Restitution Order against First Bank of Delaware/Cont. Finance for their “unlawful and deceptive” marketing practices. If you were issued that card between March 2006 and Oct. 9th 2008, then from what I have been told it was illegal. I am confused as to the restitution as I can’t seem to find documentation as to whether this has been sent out.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 14, 2010 at 8:16 am

I am happy to hear this. Some of the worst complaints I have heard centered around this company. I will look into this to see what I can find. Thanks for letting us all know about this.


Venus April 6, 2010 at 10:08 am

I just don’t understand how the act of the credit card companies are not basically criminal. I understand the whole variable interest rate “excuse”. But for me, I hold a Citi Platinum Select. That for YEARS I had paid everything with, then paid off each month. Never late, missed a payment or went over my limit. It wasn’t until this past year I got married, decided to use the card for the wedding, honeymoon (3 weeks in Australia), etc. Not thinking it was a big deal becuase my interest rate was a measly 9%. Not a problem. 15K balance paid off in a year tops. I was ok with that. Then that letter came. The letter that has cause me more stress then anything has ever before. My new interest rate…29.99% This next month, my minimum payment…$480

So the long and short…

I am 24. Bought my house when I was 21 right out of college, decent paying job, married my highschool sweet heart of 9 years, and have worked hard for everything I have. In my opinion, the classic “American dream” scenario.

How can this be happening. My wife has lost her job and are currently on my income alone. Like many others, this is my only revolving credit, so I really don’t want to cancel the card, or go to a debt consolidation due to the negative impact on my credit.

I just am at witts end, money is tighter than ever and I just want to know if there is a way out. I have made numerous attempts to get my interest rate reduced by asking for a supervisor’s supervisor’s supervisor, and all they say is nothing can be done and transfer me to debt management department who says that if I either put $700/month on the card and/or pay double the minimum (mind you that would $800+/month) there really is nothing that can be done other than cancel the card and be put on a plan. Help…please.

Thank you.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 6, 2010 at 10:49 am


I really feel for you man. With a 29.99% interest rate, its nearly impossible to get out of debt. If you pay the minimum, you actually will never get out of debt. Hopefully, your credit is good. If that is the case, apply for a new balance transfer credit card that offers a 0% APR for 12 months. Move as much of the Citi balance over and pay down that card with all the extra money you have. You have to get out from that 29.99% rate. It will kill you financially.


Keith April 6, 2010 at 4:53 am

I, too, used to have a WAMU card until it was bought out by Chase. In January, 2010 my APR doubled for no apparent reason. I called Chase and they told me they sent me a change of terms in November, 2009 which I didn’t remember seeing. They sent me a new copy of these term changes. I appear to be in the same boat as everyone else. I’d like to transfer my balance but with a bankruptcy still looming, I keep getting turned down.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 6, 2010 at 8:23 am


I’m sorry to hear about your predicament. I would recommond calling customer service and asking for their loss mitigation department. Let them know bankruptcy is in the cards and that you are trying to make good on your debts. Given your situation, applying for new cards will likely not help, as it will just hurt your credit score even more. Hope things turn out okay. Am rooting for you.



Jim March 30, 2010 at 11:29 am

You’ve given me some good thoughts. Well done knowing about the conditions of the annual fee since I didn’t mention that.

In order to decline the terms I am almost out of time. My balance is low on the 1.9 %. My plan now is to pay it all off if needed when the other loan runs out. I’ll then take your advice and use that card alone spend enough to credit the fee. In the meantime, I won’t be surprised if a legal action arises and they are forced to refund the fee anyway.

This will buy me a little more time to look into any other options. I’ll keep you posted if anything else happens. Thanks for the help.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 30, 2010 at 11:32 am

No problem Jim. I think people may try to sue over the fee, but I think its legally within their bounds. Completely unfair, but legal.


Jim March 29, 2010 at 11:07 am

I think Citi has violated “truth in lending” on this one, but wanted to check.

I have a 1.99 % life of the loan as well as another low rate loan which expires around October of 2010. I have a platinum card and have held the account in good standing for 14 years.

They recently announced an annual fee of $60. That seems to me to clearly violate the terms of the “life of the loan” agreement. Only way to lose the rate was to miss a payment or make a late payment. I believe I can cancel the card and keep the rate. However, again, there is no condition whereby they say I must cancel in the original agreement. This would certainly cause a hit to my credit score. I know they have a right to lower your limits without reason, but this is different.

I saw last year that Chase added surcharges to their transfers and later refunded them after a class action lawsuit. This seems to me like just another watered down version of them testing what they can get away with. Do I cancel and take the hit on my credit or keep the card and fight the $60 ?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 29, 2010 at 11:22 am

This is a tricky one Jim. The easiest thing to do would be to use your credit card to make $2400 in purchases to avoid the annual fee. I would use it like a debit card and pay it in full every month.

I don’t know how cancelling would impact your promotional rate or your credit score. I would request something in writing from Citi, perhaps by using the online account area, to get a written record that closing your account would not end the 1.9% rate. I would actually do this twice, with two separate inquiries, so you have sufficient evidence if they try to pull something fishy.

As to your credit score, the hit could be big or not. It depends on how closing the account will impact your credit utilization ratio and if you are closing one of your oldest accounts. I use ID Guard to estimate credit score changes for myself and when I write on the subject, so you might want to try a free trial and use their credit estimator. Just be sure to cancel before the trial ends. You can learn more about the ID Guard service here.

Also, please let me know how things work out. A 1.9% rate is something you don’t want to lose, so no matter what, do everything you can to insure you keep that rate.


Jayla March 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

Just wanted to let you know, I e-mailed Chase and made them aware that they were not following the rules stated in the new credit card law and that I would take action. To my complete suprise, this is the e-mail I just recieved:

I apologize for the previous respond as the information provided to you was incorrect.

After 02/22/10, when the minimum payment is received, it will be applied to your account in the following manner:

1. Deferred interest promotion (if expiring within 2
2. Lowest to Highest Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

Any payment amount received that is over your minimum
payment will be applied to your account in the following manner:
1. Deferred interest promotion (if expiring within 2
2. Highest to Lowest APR
If you have two promotions at the same rate, the one with the longest duration will be paid first. If you have two promotions at the same rate and the same duration, then the highest amount will be paid first.

I wish to confirm that the recent payment of $5,946.83 was posted to your account on 03/18/10. This payment was applied in the following manner. An amount of $5,847.33 was posted towards your access check balance at 18.24% APR
and $209.00 was posted towards the balance transfer at 2.99% APR.

As a banking institution, various regulators routinely scrutinize our credit card activities. Accordingly, we are confident that we have operated your account in compliance with all applicable laws.

Finally, I feel like I am being treated fairly.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 29, 2010 at 9:35 am


Thanks for coming back to share this. I was going mad trying to figure out how they could have legally done what they originally told you they were going to do. Nevertheless, this mistake should not have been made, and I am not entirely sure that it would have been corrected if you did not contact them again. Every large bank should have their computers automatically allocating payments to the highest rate balance. This isn’t rocket science and I am annoyed you had to spend time trying to get this bank to follow the law. Yes, mistakes happen. But I have to wonder if this is happening to other people who are less savvy than you and, if so, if the banks are fixing these problems on their own or “making mistakes”.

By the way, congrats on getting your high interest balance paid down!


Jayla March 27, 2010 at 9:20 pm

I am holding two balances on a Chase card. One balance of 6,000 at 8% and a balance transfer of 5,000 at 2.9% for the “life on the loan”. Right before the new credit card law went into effect, Chase raised the 8% rate on my card to 18%. My statement still said that the 5k was at 2.9%. I sent them 6,000 to pay off the higher loan on March 22, 2010. Today I recieved this e-mail…

In most instances, payments are applied to balances with lower Annual Percentage Rates (APR’s) before balances with higher APR’s. Unpaid interest charges and fees associated with each balance type are generally paid first. We then allocate any remaining payment amount to the principal balances beginning with lower-APR balances and ending with higher-APR balances.

I thought that with the new laws, they were suppose to apply the payment to the higher intrest rate first. Do I have any recourse? I really distrust Chase and can’t wait to wash my hands of their shady practices.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 28, 2010 at 10:10 am

I did too Jayla. I found this on the Federal Reserve’s website, which I think may be the loophole they are exploiting:

Payments directed to highest interest balances first. If you make more than the minimum payment on your credit card bill, your credit card company must apply the excess amount to the balance with the highest interest rate. There is an exception:
* If you made a purchase under a deferred interest plan (for example, “no interest if paid in full by March, 2012″), the credit card company may let you choose to apply extra amounts to the deferred interest balance before other balances. Otherwise, for two billing cycles prior to the end of the deferred interest period, the credit card company must apply your entire payment to the deferred interest-rate balance first.

I’m not sure if your 2.9% deal falls into this category, but I think you should call and speak to a supervisor and see if you can get the payment shifted or some statement in writing as to why your payment was allocated the way it was. I hope it was just a clerical error.


Emma March 24, 2010 at 10:54 pm

I had a chase disney card for 3 yrs. my husband and i did a consolidation and i decided to keep my chase disney card open because it had the lowest rate at 5.24%. the rest of our credit cards were closed. 5 days after my chase disney card got paid off they decreased my credit limit from $3000.00 to $800.00. never did pay late always on time. Never got a notice saying my credit has been reduced. Tried to go to the bank to withdraw money and was embarassed because it got declined. This sucks. in these hard economic times they should be helping us but there just screwing us every chance they get. its so depressing where people like me uses the credit cards to live on when we need them. worst comes to worst they will never get paid and who gives a shit. i hate this. everytime you think your ahead these credit card companies screws you over big time.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 25, 2010 at 9:08 am


Credit card companies look to be really pulling in credit limits right after people repay their cards. In a way, its a huge insult, and doesn’t make a ton of sense. However, because the rate was so low, I bet you might have a shot at getting your limit increased if you called and requested a higher rate on the new line. I know that sounds crazy, but it could help your credit score and give you enough available credit in the event you need to make a large purchase.


Ken Parker March 23, 2010 at 9:06 am

Chase raised my interest rate from 10.24 to 17.24 without notice. Sure they said they sent a letter back in November. You know the one. The one that makes you send a letter declining the new terms. I told them I did not get it. They said they have raised everyones interest rates. I have never had a late payment and have a 650 + credit score. They refused to lower the interest. I ask them if this was in response to the new credit card rules that are going into effect and they did say yes. Chase is not a consumer friendly company. Avoid them at all cost. I have found that Credit Union credit cards to be the most consumer friendly. The credit Union card that I use has not raised my interest rate and unlike Chase they actually raised my credit limit. Chase continues to lower my limit as I pay the balance down. They are hoping consumer don’t notice so they can charge fees for going over the limit. Chase is the Devil.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 23, 2010 at 11:12 am


I think a lot of people share your opinion about not only Chase, but most of the large banks that issue credit cards. Fortunately, Chase wasn’t as cruel as Citi with rate increases. Although a jump to 17% is pretty steep, a lot of Citi customers saw their rates go to 29.99%. I’m not apologizing for Chase, but it could have been worse.

You are right about credit unions. They offer members much more reasonable terms. I would back the move your money movement, but if everyone moved their money, these banks would need to be bailed out again. You should consider seeing if your credit union will let you transfer balances from your Chase card to theirs. You’ll likely get a much better rate than 17%.


Chris March 22, 2010 at 1:11 pm

I Think I pissed them off. I have been trying to contact someone at Chase to lower my interest rate down from 29.99. I told them I wanted to go on a payment plan and close my account, This was there offer by the way. Each time I would be transferred several times to a CS person and then disconnected. My last call I notified them that I too was recording the call “for quality assurance” They did not like this at all and i was transferred to a supervisor that told me that this was not accepted she then hung up on me.

You mention transferring to another company. Is there one you would suggest? I think my account is now flagged.



Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 22, 2010 at 1:15 pm


I would defintiely go with Discover. Out of all the comments on this page, not one is about Discover. That says a lot. You can compare Discover Cards here.

P.S. Nice touch on the quality recording!


anthony caserta March 17, 2010 at 9:09 am

On october 31st of last year I took a us airways flight to aruba I was approached by the flight attendant about a us airways credit card sounded good would give you 25,000 bonus miles for signing which they did however the form barclays which was part of the app stated 20,000 miles neede for domestic treavel 25,000 needed for carribean or mexico and so on however when you contact us airways suddenly the 25,000 thousand need for carribean and mexico travel becomes 35,000 miles when you complain the say there sorry but they no nothing of what the credit card company is saying.I would say that through this mis-representation they are leading people to sign up for cards that they wouldnt normally do also us airways just refers you to there wbsite which tells what they tell you on the phone.They want there payment by the rules they should conduct themselves in the same manor and stop being disengenious.


tracey March 16, 2010 at 10:19 am

I had a credit card with Imagine credit card. They were brought out by Tribute credit card in Sept. I was NOT contacted with any of the new account information. I contacted Imagine in October and was told that my account closed and I needed to contact Tribute card. I contacted them and was told that I do have a new credit card number but that is only for payment purposes that the account is not active. Then I was told that they will continue to charge me a monthly maintenance fee even though they closed the account. I explained to him that it was unethical that they continue to charge me this fee and interest on the account when they closed the account. According to the customer service representative it was their standard practice. The monthly maintenance fee is charged for statements ( which I have NOT received since being converted over), the use of online payments (I have never made an online payment since they converted over) and according to the representative for them to handling my account. I then asked to be transferred to a mgr and was told the same thing. He told me that Imagine also charged the same fee I said sure they did but I was able to access my statement via online, make payments (w/no fees), whereas now they charge you not only the monthly maintenance fee to make a payment online they also charge you 4.95 for making a payment. This is unfair to customer who maintained good standing with Imagine just to be thrown to another company that charges fees and they don’t send out statements, nothing is available online, you don’t have a credit card to reference you account number and I am still being charged for services they are not providing.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 16, 2010 at 2:47 pm


Both of these companies are, in my opinion, predatory lenders. Perhaps having these cards has helped improve your credit score to the point where you can get a real credit card without all the absurd fees. You should definitely look into that.


Lydia March 5, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I have a Continental Finance credit card with Firts Bank of Delware. I notice this year they are charging me a monthly fee of $18.00 each month that totals 216.00 a year, plus I am charged an anual fee. I called to ask why I am being charge this amount and was told by a supervisor,that the 18.00 a month fee was for them to report my credit status and for sending me a statement each month. I have never heard such nonsense. I have a $300.00 credit limit and I am being charged 265.00 a year with fees just to have a credit card. I am not understanding how banks can still from people like this.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 8, 2010 at 10:13 am


Sub-prime lenders used to be able to charge just about anything. The new laws limit the amount of annual fees, but don’t cap such absurd charges like membership fees, card activation fees, and any number of unfair charges levied on people working to rebuild their credit. Unfortunately, this theivery is legal. Hopefully, paying on time with the card will help your credit score and you can drop this credit card asap.


Lorraine March 5, 2010 at 10:00 am

I have a citi card for 23 years, never late never missed a payment, and always been able to get a good interest rate,last year it jumped from 7.99 to 14.99 when I called them they said there was nothing they could do Jan it went to 18.99, I told them to take my balance out of their bailout money.


Grace February 26, 2010 at 11:27 am

I have had a CITI card for over 15 years now and had no complaints with them. HOWEVER, what they did, starting this Feburary really seems to be criminal let alone an unfair practice. First leave me explain my situation:

1 0% balance transfer $2500 offer expires 06/01/2010)
made on 07/15/2009

1 0% balance transfer $5000 (offer expires 11/01/2010)
made on 11/01/2009


I have 2 tranfers, both 0%, different expiration dates.

For years, payments made to CITI were always applied toward the transaction (transfer) that would expire first as long as they were the lowest interest accruing transactions on the account(i was given verbal agreement of this AND my statement confirm this).

However, they have reversed this payment structure WITHOUT any notification and are blaming the new FED rules as the cause (which is NOT true). It is a way for them to charge the unknowning customer intrest on the first transfer (after it’s expiration date) while the costumer thought the first transfer was paid off.

It sure seems to me that this change was due to the new fed rules but not for the reason the card company want you to believe. It seems to be a devious way for this company to recoupe some of the funds that the new FED rules will eliminate.

I have also filed a complaint with the FTC.


Bernadette February 24, 2010 at 8:46 am

I have dealt with Chase for at least 15 years. I have a credit card (balance $1900) and a line of credit (balance $9100). Last week I wrote a check for $1000 from my line of credit (my credit limit was $11,000). Yesterday I received a notice in the mail that my credit line was “reduced” to $9500 and they could not process my check. I called, and of course was told there was nothing that could be done. If they want to reduce my limit, that’s within their rights, but to bounce a check which, when written, was well within my limit to me is terrible. I was terribly embarrassed by this – all they had to do was pay the check and then reduce my limit if they wanted to. I cut up my card and shred my remaining checks.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 24, 2010 at 11:05 am


This is not the first time I’ve heard of credit card checks not being honored. This is an extremely unfair practice and I will be writing about this in detail to bring attention to the matter.


Matt February 22, 2010 at 7:26 pm

I noticed my US Bank interest rate went from 5.99% to 10.99% to include my prior balance. When I contacted US Bank, I was told they sent out a notice in October giving customers an option to “opt out” – close their accounts and pay off the remaining balance at their current rate. I never received this notice. The opt out deadline was January 23rd. My statement went through Jan 25, so I didn’t see the change until I received my bill in February – too late to opt out. They said there was nothing they could do – no exceptions were being made. Although their customer service reps were all very nice (I made it up to the manager), there were no options for me. I’ve been a customer of US Bank for years and have excellent credit. I was quite frankly completely taken off guard.


Carlo Morelli February 22, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Our interest rate jumped from about 17% to over 23%. My wife called months ago to complain but they said there is nothing they could do. I called today and now they tell me they sent us a letter last year with an option to opt out of the interest hike! When I told Chase my wife asked for help lase year they said you have to ask for a supervisor. How would my wife know that unless they told us first? Chase is the only CC Company giving us a problem. We have been a perfect customer over the years. Please help what are our options as far as fighting back and getting our rate lowered…


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 22, 2010 at 12:17 pm


Unfortunately, trying to reason with credit card companies is no longer particularly effective. From what other visitors have been telling me, most credit card companies are unwilling to bend to consumers who unwittingly got hit with rate increases. If you have good credit, doing a 0% balance transfer to a card from another company may be the best (and only) way to get a lower credit card rate without using a credit counseling service.


Amber February 19, 2010 at 8:54 pm

I opened a WaMu credit card almost 10 years ago and have never had a late payment or a problem. Last year the card was transfered over to Chase. I was traveling over the holidays, and, as a result, my January payment was one day late. This resulted in over $60 of fees and finance charges on my Februrary statement. I paid the bill in full well before the next due date. Now, my March bill has another $10 in finance charges and the representative at Chase says it is because I was late paying that January bill even though I had already paid finance charges for that late bill in full. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told there are no supervisors available to speak with customers. Ever. This lack of customer service and random application of additional finance charges for seemingly no reason have convinced me to cancel this account and never deal with Chase again.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 20, 2010 at 11:54 am


What the reps are doing to you is shameful. There are always supervisors. If you are dealing with foreign reps, ask for US customer service and be sure to get an operator number. The people who are handling America’s credit card accounts could care less about us. They’re just happy to be getting so much business. I just wish those jobs went to Americans who would understand your situation and be more open to helping.


Ed February 18, 2010 at 11:38 am

I was just notified that Capital One is increasing my interest rate to almost double. My understanidng of the new law is that with pre-existing balance that they just can’t increase it whenever they feel like it. I contacted them and I just got the run around. I have been an outstanding client always paying my bill on time for over ten years. When I called they said they sent it out in the mail a year ago advising me of the increase. A year ago, WOW! which I never received. I am very disappointed with all this


Sandie February 18, 2010 at 11:12 am

I’ve worked hard over the past 2 years to pay off my Care Credit balance.
I paid $200 on 01.21.2010, an additional $50 on 02/04/2010.
I received my income tax refund earlier this month so I called Care Credit to get my account balance so I could pay it off. The account balance as of 02/07/2010 was $1,076.96. I logged onto my online bill payment account with my bank and made the payment. I was so relived! My bill was paid, so I thought. The total amount I paid in Jan and Feb was $1,326.96.

Yesterday, 02/17/09 I received a bill from Care Credit stating that my New Balance was $546.13. I looked over the statement and it shows that my “Previous Balance” was $1,326.96. It also shows the payments made (listed above) with the last payment made on 02/12/2010.

The description given for this $546.13 was “Finance Charge”. I called Care Credit immediately. I waited 45 minutes before being transferred to a representative. I asked why I was receiving this bill when the account balance was paid off earlier this month and the account had been closed this past November. The first representative said that this was the balance because of my “account payment history” which made NO SENSE at ALL. I then asked to speak with his manager. He then transferred me to Kyle (Employee number 74222) and he rudely asked if the previous rep had explained the charges. I told him that the rep mentioned “payment history” and the rep said that was correct yet he was unable to explain to me what that meant. I then once again asked him why I was receiving this bill for the account balance had been paid earlier this month, he said it has to do with a letter Care Credit claims they sent me back in November stating my payment history. What does that mean? He not once gave me a response to what that meant. I then told him that when I call and asked for my balance I was told that my balance was $1,076.96.

Balance to me means my obligation. This is the amount due on my account as of that day. (My balance as of 02/07/2010 was the remaining $1.076.96 which was paid immediately) Once this amount is paid on my balance my balance then should be $0. Am I wrong for thinking this? SO, because I paid that balance off, I should no longer have a balance. Correct? This is exactly what I told Kyle, the Care Credit Rep.

Kyle then rudely said “so if they would have told you that your balance earlier this month was an additional $546.13, you would have paid it?” and I responded with “Yes, that is correct because that would have been my Balance, and yes I would have paid it” The rep said that that was my balance and that there was nothing he could do about it. When I requested to speak with his supervisor he said that he could not transfer me to anyone and that the next step was for me to write a letter to Care Credit.

I believe this is an unethical practice should be addressed. I would like somebody to explain to me how this can be considered fair and legal.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 19, 2010 at 9:21 am


This is the most absurd thing I have ever heard. I am not familiar with care credit, but they must be required to explain any finance charge. I would continue to make minimum payments only to prevent damage to your credit score while you fight to get these charges removed. Care credit should be ashamed at this tactic.


Benito Feliciano February 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm

My name is Benito Feliciano,

On 12/08/09, North Carolina Federal Credit Union contacted your call center and was give a
12/9/2009 12/9/2009 ACH Debit
Payoff of my loan, I received a call on January 10, 2010 stating that I need to contact your company because I was over 30 days delinquent.

I contacted your office on 02/11/10 and was advised that my credit was going to be corrected and that all fees and past due interest was going to be taken off my account within 48 hours.

I called back every day after the 48 hours had passed and all your reps stated that they see were the corrections were going to get made but the other department was still working on it. Not feeling comfortable listening to your auto recorder stating that I was 39 days past due.

On 02/16/10 I talked to Ricky credit department manager who stated that your office will not be correcting my credit report. He stated that you company found that it was not an error on their part; but they had taken off $42.00 in fees and he would get the interest taken care of today in the amount of $79.00. I told Rich I no longer trust anything out of your company’s mouth. I told him that even though I will be further loosing credit point, (now) I am closing my account out.

Still not trusting your company I also sent out the funds to pay what was showing as of today. I am also filing a complaint with the Better Business and I will also be contacting Home Depot Customer Complain line.

This letter is also going to all three credit reporting agencies.

Your company did indeed make an error and you time to find some way to get more cash out of me because I paid this card off. It is very evident by all the fee waiving and interest waiving you has already done. This is exactly why congress has started passing law to keep your company for making up charges to keep people owing your company, even after the balance is paid off. Taking all the fees and interest off the account is admitting fault.

Thanks Benito Feliciano

C: Equifax, Transunion, Experian, BBB


Mike February 15, 2010 at 8:07 pm

I can’t believe the audacity of the new CITI product, the CITI Forward card. “The card that rewards you for good behavior”….their marketing materials state. They’ve doubled the APR on my card; I’ve been with them for 12 years and never missed a payment. I phoned up when I discovered the rate increase. The customer service rep said he was crediting my last finance charge back to my account and submitting a ‘review’ of my APR. I got the review quick enough (unchanged) but CITI has refused to credit my account stating that there’s been a misunderstanding.
But I suppose CITI knows how the rest of us are to behave. I’m lucky enough to be able to pay off the CITI balance in a couple of weeks and I’ll never go anywhere near Citibank again. I’m looking at my merchant cards to identify any that are Citi cards.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 16, 2010 at 8:44 am

I am glad to hear you can repay the balance. A lot of people are finding that their rates have doubled from Citi-it seems they pushed a rate increase in at the very last moment before the new credit card laws took effect. Its truly unfair, and as your experience shows, the people on their phones don’t always tell the truth.


Martha February 13, 2010 at 8:49 am

Old Navy Decides how much to charge for a late fee depending on whether or not you call and complain. The first 2 late fees I got were for 45.00 on a balance of around 75.00!!! The third time I called and threatened to close my account, they removed the fee. The next time, it went down to 25.00 on a balance of less than 75.00. This is the only card I’m late on because they don’t have an auto payment set up and because my balance is so small, I always forget to pay it!! So, I’ve closed the account because of a 25.00 late fee on 54.00. The amount for late fees is robbery!!!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 13, 2010 at 4:03 pm


This is an unusual tactic. And a $45 fee. The Old Navy credit card people are very low, especially since a lot of people with these cards are college students. Shame on them and am glad to hear you were sucessful getting at least some of the late fee removed. It’s very important to fight these absurd late fees.


Nelson February 12, 2010 at 9:08 pm

I have perfect credit with a middle credit score of 755 as of 02/10/2010. In January the prior month I went over the due date on a payment by several days. About 7 days after the due date I logged into my account to make my payment and to my surprise they had changed my interest rate to 32.99% from 7.99%. I was furious as I had never been late or missed a payment. I called Advanta no less than a half dozen times and they also called me constantly. I explained to their calll center in India that the interest rate was abusive and that I was willing to continue making my payments if they lowered my interest back to the original rate. After many calls back and forth in January they called me to tell me that they would be willing to offer me a 17.00% interest rate instead if I made a payment, I elected not to make the payment because I felt the rate was still abusive considering my credit is perfect and no late payments had been made in the past after numerous years of payment history with Advanta. Finally in February I receive a call from their call center in India which asked me some personal information to confirm my identity, then transferred me to a local office in Pennsylvania where I spoke with Dan Carr. He called me to find out why I had not made my payment and explained as above. I also mentioned I had to close one of my businesses due to our economic situation. He asked me if I could make a payment of $ 517.00 dollars and offered me three solutions, one was to send them 50% of the balance and they would offer me 0% interest on the remaining balance for the life of the credit line, the other was 30% of the balance and they would offer me a 7.99% as was originally, then they offered me a hardship option which did not require me to make a payment until march where I would pay them $780.00 dollars and they would match my payment, credit my account for the total of $1560 and the interest rate would be 9.99% so I agreed and made the $ 517.00 payment on Tuesday 2/9/2010. He then proceeded to tell me before the conversation finished that we would speak again in March. Concerned about my perfect credit I called all day Wendesday and could not reach Dan Carr left 2 voice mails. I called Thursday and left another voice mail stating I wanted to make another payment on my account to please return my call ASAP. Finally Friday morning 2/12/2010 I called and reached Dan Carr who I spoke to for over 45 minutes pleading with him and even offerring to send them a few thousand dollars to show them good faith and not report me as a 30 day late to the bureaus because my credit report pulled on 2/10/2010 was spotless and I wanted to protect my credit and have it remain the same way. He proceeded to tell me that since I made the payment he had reset my “delinquency clock” and that now none of the options he had originally offered me were not available. I then called him back about an hour later and asked him once more about making another payment on my account, his response was that he could no longer help me I was to contact his Manager Tom Cush. I left a voice mail and then received a call back from Tom Cush regarding my message, I asked him the same question about making another payment to show good faith and elect one of the original options and that I would send them a few thousand dollars, he proceeded to tell me that because I made the recent payment I no longer qualified for the original options offered to me and that my interest rate would remain at 32.99%. A WARNING to all those out there they used a bait and switch technique to collect the $ 517.00 and then went back on their word. This becomes a downward spiral because now unless I do not make the February payment and make my account past due they will not offer me any assistance as they had originally offered and deceived me incredibly. So now I am forced to withold payment take another late payment on my credit report before they will potentially offer me any other help if any at all. It is impossible to make payments at 32.99% when almost every dollar is going to finance charges that are pratcially as large as and your minimum payment and is impossible to keep up with. I am looking for every possible place to file complaints against this ruthless, callous organization that operates like a MAFIA. Sadly enough my perfect credit is going to take a dive in the near future and they could care less about any of us as individuals. These kind of credit card tactics from these companies must be illegal for them to offer you programs and then retract their offers. They are deceitful and I was betrayed unbelievably!!!!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 13, 2010 at 4:17 pm


I posted a separate article with your complaint. Know this won’t change things, but I hope sharing your story with others will help other people when dealing with Advanta. Here’s the link:


Phil Grove January 30, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I just recieved a letter from RBS Bank Visa Card Jan 29 2010 saying they were decreasing my credit limit because of negative credit report. This is the second tme they’ve done this. Funny thing is my credit couldn’t be to bad as I just purchased a new home Jan 9th 2010.
The American people in mass needs to complain to the Feds about this continued abuse by Credit Card Companies.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 31, 2010 at 1:10 pm


I almost wonder if buying a house is what led to the credit limit decrease. Perhaps that change to your credit profile could have caused the bank to cut down your limit, even though you did nothing wrong in the least. You may want to check your credit scores to see if there has been any negative change, but I have a feeling the change that led them to drop your limit was simply becoming a homeowner. Go figure.


lilian ralph January 29, 2010 at 10:53 pm

Dear Readers,

CITIMASTERCARD sucks. We have been making payments on a monthly basis. Last year we paid 3 times a few days late b/c I lost my job. We always paid the bill. We received from then on very nasty calls from citi-reps.
In oct 2009 we were finally advised by a rep after almost a year complaining to them that our salaries would not come in before our due date that we had an option to change the date, So we did. Ever since the change Citimastercard has made our lives miserable. They send us a letter acknowledging the changed due date but they convienently in their letter don’t state the date. We agreed on the 29th of each month over the phone. Now they keep changing our due date without any notice and or permission and cgarge us late fees for not paying on time. In this same letter they mentioned that we could make a payment at any given time.So we did, we paid earlier than the due date. Now CITIMASTERCARD said you missed a payment and up the monthly amount went. WE can prove we paid but citi refuses to acknowledge and now we have to pay an additional $451,-We have been asking for a written reply however we never received any!!!We have been on the phone for ours at the time and everyone of them passess the buck on to the next or they are simply rude and when you asked their name and id number they simply hang up!!Why is it allowed for them to keep raising the interest rate?Why are they allowed with changing the due date without permission. It is affecting our credit score and i am fed up with their practices. Are there class action law suites against this credit card company?Is there anybody who can give me advise to how to deal with them. I want to call the newspaper to show the ridiculousness of it all. Do you think that would help. Any other people with similar citimastercard experiences? We never had an issue with them before utill the recession hit. We receive their statements late or not at all. We make payments online and if we pay a day early or late we be punished. On the back of their statements it mentions that they have a 19-23 day grace period for payments. So why are they not obligated to follow their own rules?How can I get a reply back from citi in writing? I want mij questions answered. Is there a government agency in canada that I can complain to?
Please any help would be great.



Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 31, 2010 at 1:15 pm


I’m not too familiar with the operations of credit card companies up north, but I believe this is the Canadian agency you may way to contact to make a complaint. Its the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, and their complaint page is

Additionally, if you are dealing with rude overseas reps, try asking for a North American rep to help you. Be as nice as possible. Even though you are rightfully mad, its the company that is truly to blame. Phone reps are yelled at and cussed out all day long. Being nice can go a long way.

Best of luck and sorry for all the troubles you have had with your credit card company. Its really a shame that credit card companies aren’t willing to work with good, honest people who want to pay their bills. I applaud your integrity and wish people like you could get fair and honest help.


Smart Balance Transfers January 13, 2010 at 4:45 pm


First off, I hope you have regained your health. As to your Capital One problem, getting credit report errors fixed can be a nightmare. At this point, I would encourage you to continue harrassing customer service, always asking for a US rep and then a supervisor. Get anything you can in writing.

The other way to pursue this is to contact the credit bureaus and contest the incorrect information. Provide any documentation that helps and, if you don't succeed the first time, keep trying.

This is the best course of action I am aware of, though hopefully another visitor may have some more ideas that will help.


KATHY SMITH January 13, 2010 at 3:36 am

I had an Capital One credit card for years, in 2007 I had Breast Cancer and went on Social Security Disability. I fell a few months behind in my payment and called to be told that they had an hardship program which I was eligible for.Under this program after 3 months of on time payments(which I had set up for automatice payment through my checking account) my account would be reported in a postive status to the three credit bureaus. Each month that I got my statement it indicated that I was not current, when I would call to ask why the statement showed me not current I was always told it was something internal that come with the statements. But not to worry I was current. In December 2009, I had my credit report pulled and Capital One has reported that I was late in February 2009 and five times in 2008. I have made countless phone call and spoke to many mangers. The last call to the company in December stated they saw the problem and indicated my dispute and that I would be getting a letter in about 10 days with an update. Today I did get the letter only to state once again that I was late in February 2009. Can someone give me any suggestion on how to handle this PROBLEM


Smart Balance Transfers January 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm


This is a number from their website you can call collect from overseas. Let me know if this helps: 1-605-335-2222


don January 12, 2010 at 12:05 pm

I applied for a citibank credit card in August-September, 2008 and received a letter of approval together with my PIN but there was no credit card inside. I tried to call and sent some messages to my agent (Melona Nemenzo) and e-mailed the citibank online but did not receive any answers. I thought that the citibank was cancelled my approved application or the atm credit card will follow next. Until the last week of September, 2008 I had to leave the country as an OFW. Now, this January, 2010 I received news from my officemate to my previous employer that I had a letter from citibank stated my debts with one month penalty. I was shocked because I did not have a transaction from any citibank services and until now I did not received my atm credit card. The said letter was addressed to the name of ADONES DINOY BETULAN (I am Bentulan).

please give me some advice guys..i am out of my country now as an overseas worker and they advice my family representative to call them personally but i attemted many times but i cannot enter and wasnt able to talk to any operator and i spent my phone load of nothing..thank you..


Smart Balance Transfers January 11, 2010 at 3:29 pm

My best guess is that you had accrued finance charges from your Novemeber balance that posted in December stemming from the days you had a balance prior to the payments. I would call and seek a U.S. based customer service rep, request their supervisor, and explain the situation. You may not get far, but be polite and you may get them to drop the fees.

More importantly, make a payment as soon as possible. Chase may report you as delinquent if your payment is more than 30-60 days late, which will really hurt your credit score and make it difficult to get a new card or low priced loan for some time, despite how small this issue is.


salgarofalo January 11, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I am being charged late fees and interest on a zero balance. I paid my account with Chase Credit in November. In fact, I made two payments in the month of November before receiving a statement for December. Both payments were posted on my December statement, but they added an interest charge even though I had a zero balance. Now they continue to add interest and late fees on a zero balance.


Mike January 6, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I paid my balance on the Chase website on the due date at 11:00 pm PST. They posted the payment next day since they operate according to EST.
Then they charged me $39 late fee and finance charges. I closed the account. Chase put the account in revolving status charging further finance charges which already posted but no statement generated so I could not pay.
Chase is a SNEAKY company that preys on the Consumer. Their customer service reps were so arrogant,that I felt like Chase is her own private business and she doesnt care about any ill reputation.
Chase sucks. Period.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper January 7, 2010 at 10:53 am

This is a nasty story Mike. I imagined you’ve called customer service plenty of times, but if you haven’t had your problem escalated to the supervisor of the supervisor (and always request a US one) getting on the phone with them may help you reach some kind of deal. If not, and you balance is high, you should consider a balance transfer. If they put your account in default, you are likely paying 29.99% interest on your balance. Double check your online statement to see if your finance charges increased. If so, and you owe more than a couple hundred dollars, definitely look into a 0% balance transfer credit card.


SteveP December 17, 2009 at 6:48 am

I have a shared Chase card with my wife. The longest running line we have together, and 19k imit, 14k used on 2.99 long term promo. We owed on a Sat 14th of month and our bank transfered on that day, recored show it. Although the seemingly had my money, Chase did not “accept it” until Monday. I called and they said they did not want to appear abusive so the dropped the charges totaly. Two months later they ‘reviewed’ my account and say that I have until March 2010 to pay it, close it (and lck the rate as 2.99 until March 2011, then standard rates after that) or take the hit. I can almst always talk my way out, and NEVER had a late fee (as they ack) and always pay mre. I have not used it in months. The person on the other end said no manager was needed, she was as highas I would get. So I’m perfect in payments, paid on the day it was due, have a large balance and promo rate, and they would not transfer mymoney from one department to the other in their own house, and I’,m being deliberatly and fraudulently punished. I’m looking for options because I’ve never seen a more clear cut case, and it’s happening to me. Could you suggest?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper December 17, 2009 at 2:24 pm


I would keep calling and get a supervisor on the line. If they won’t budge on the rate, you should be able to opt out at your current rate, unless they are accusing you of defaulting on the account. However, I would not take the word of one rep, especially with such a large balance involved.


Karen December 13, 2009 at 12:05 pm

WOW!!! What happened to Michelle is so similar to what happened to me! I had to double check it wasn’t a duplicate of a chat I had with BofA! Was it a female named Jess?

[#130 Michelle Says:
December 11th, 2009 at 9:36 am]

Also, BofA doen’t give an option to *pay extra over the minimum* using their “automatic payments” option through their “billpay”, so it’s really not fair for them to use that against their customers as if they are having financial difficulties. Their Customers may be traveling often on business or have a lot of accounts with them. – We want to set it and forget it.


Michelle December 11, 2009 at 9:36 am

BofA…they are raping me on finance charges, 20%. Then they cut my limit when I only had less then half charged on the card. I had an 18k limit with only 6k charged. I pay a few grand a month on my balance and would be finished paying this card 2-3 months. Aren’t these companies supposed to work with consumers! How do they get away with these finance charges!? Not to mention they pushed me to look at debt management when I KNOW its not right for me. Yes I have debt but I launched a business on the side of my regular job…I have good consistant income and know I can pay off what I have in a year. These people were nasty and totally crossed the line. They went out of there way to call me to get personal information on me and then cut my credit line AFTER I called asking them to work out something with their finance charges! They need to be investigated!!!!!


Matt December 8, 2009 at 7:31 am

Att kept raising my limit and I used it. At 6% I thought this was a very good deal. Well, when my total amount got quite large, they did, what I think is criminal…they raised it to 25%!!! How is that legal? Would really like to know. Only reason given thus far is, none. “It was just time for a change in your rate….”


Edwina Green December 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm

I have had an account with AT&T Universal for many years with a credit limit of $25,000 and a rate of 13.7%.
I paid the card off in full each month. In October $335.90 was owed on the card with a $20 minimum payment. Unfortunately when I made my online payment I inadvertently sent it to Citi card ( I also have a Citi card and on the AT&T bill the Citi logo is prominently displayed by the purchases. AT&T and Citi are related companies. When I got the November bill it had a notice stating that, as I had missed a payment, my interest rate was being increased to 29.9% for 12 months. I immediately sent payment in full for that bill and called customer service, who generously agreed to stop the interest hike. Last night I had an automated call from Citi Bank stating that there was a problem with my account (I had my purse stolen 10 days ago so took the call), to press a number the enter the billing zip for the card. The automatic attendant told me that the zip was incorrect (!!!!!) and that I was being transferred to a rep. The live person informed me that my account had been reviewed in November and because I had missed a $20 payment in October the company had no choice but to lower my credit limit from $25,000 to $500 – that’s right $500! Just what the hell does that do for my credit rating?! I was, and still am, spitting blood, especially when the rep and her supervisor glibly told me that I have no recourse as I breached the terms of my contract. Needless to say I will no longer be using AT&T Universal, Citi, or any other finance company associated with them, and, hopefully, anyone else reading this will take a poor view of their practices and give their business to other companies. The way they treat consumers is absolutely disgusting and unethical and the saddest, and biggest wrong, is that they can get away with it unscathed.


Fed up with Banking November 23, 2009 at 10:43 am

I think it’s about time Everyone should be calling, emailing, and mailing letters to their congressmen about the unregulated and disreguard of Credit Card customers. My credit card company, Captial One, raised my interest rate from 12.15% to 17.90% for no reason on May 17, 2009. I have never been late on my payments. The Prime Interest rate has remained the same all year(2009) at 3.25 and is not expected to go up at the next meeting of the FOMC meeting Dec. 14-15, 2009.
A greater than 5% increase…because they can do it with NO oversite? Just because they have been greedy and have made the wrong business decisions? Why do Boards of Directors leave CEO’s and CFO’s in their positions when they have made very bad business decisions…mistakes…? If you or I had been working for them and had made such bad mistakes…we would have been fired.
I think its about time the PUBLIC stood up for themselves and started becoming very proactive…!!!!
Write your Congressmen-to look up their email addresses go to this: Write your Newspapers, Write your Television Stations….contact anyone that may help!!!!


Attorney for Soldier November 17, 2009 at 9:27 pm

I have a client in CA who is a soldier. When he was serving his country in Iraq last Dec Citi reduced his credit limit which caused all kinds of additional fees and interest rate increases. After he came home, it took months to get all the issues resolved and they did give him credits. Now he is serving our country in Afghanistan. Prior to leaving, he made a $7,000 payment on his account in good faith. Also, they have a copy of his deployment papers. I just received a letter that they reduced his credit limit by $7,000 due to his credit report. I pulled his credit report and there have been no changes except paying down his card. I believe that this is a violation of the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act and will be fighting for his rights. I am writing this because I want you and your readers to be informed about how our service men and women who are fighting in a war are being treated. I will keep you updated re the progress.


Lisa Rose November 13, 2009 at 1:35 pm

I owed Chase ToysrUs MC $3151.66. I paid them $3148.66,($3.00 short) due to an error on my part. This payment was not late, it was 7 days early. I was charged $80.30 in interest charges the following month!
I paid the following bill in full, including the $80.30 fincance charge. Not only did I pay that bill in full, I had returned over $1400.00 (10-16 to 10-20)of merchandise.
I was still charged another $53.47 in interest charges that month!
I spoke with a csr, who informed me there was nothing she could do.
I then spoke with a female supervisor on 10-13-09.
She told me that was how it was. I didn’t make my whole payment, nothing could be done, and thanks for being a loyal customer for over 14 years.
This is just not right!
My interest had jumped to 18.99%!
I also have never been late, and have always paid my bill in full every month.
I was only short $3.00! I have had to pay $133.77 so far for my “mistake”, and just found out I still have a balance. ANOTHER $30.51 in finance charges!
This is just wrong. The tax payers have no choice but to bail out the banking industry, only to be treated like this. We all need a little help at times!
Changes should be made so that this does not happen to ANYBODY again.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper November 13, 2009 at 2:07 pm


I really feel bad about your situation. This is really absurd, and if this had happened a year ago, I guarantee you the bank would have waived the charges. Now, it seems banks just want money anyway they can get, even if that means fleecing and losing a good customer. I would keep trying to call and get some fees dropped. You’ve really been abused here.


mary m post November 13, 2009 at 9:47 am

as of july 30,2008 per american express confirmation letter regarding a balance transfer (ref#20082119100529usd) locked in at 8.99% per american express rep “mitch” via telephone on 7/28/8 for the life of loan and now is charging a different percentage of interest rate– after a few calls ending with supervisor “aileen” today via telephone 11/13/9 this is considered a PUUCHASE and not a transfer–even though i have the letter to confirm it. as of today i have now filed with aileens help a dispute. i plan to follow up with the FTC


Ru October 29, 2009 at 4:20 am

I received, out of the blue, a notice from Chase (which bought my WAMU account) that they feel my interest should be 27% and not 7%! They’re going to change it Jan 1! Of course the government laws to make this act illegal won’t go into affect until April. Too late for me.
Chase is the worst CC to have in your possession! They stated, in their friendly memo, that if I didnt like the new amount my ONLY option was to immediately pay off the entire total. I’m working OT like mad!! I will NEVER use Chase again in my lifetime!! I suggest a credit union.


Becky October 28, 2009 at 5:22 pm

Has anyboby complained about not recieving a statement then realized it was missing from the monthly bills. This happened to me I called the company they said you should have known it was to be paid on the 15th (now the 20th). So there is a late fee. Talking to the rep I discovered I was missing the next months statement. Why did I get the statement all along and now the last two month no statement. Are they doing this to charge late fee? I haven’t charged in a year and am trying to pay off all credit cards. Some have high interest rates and it looks like the princpal never goes down. I pay twice the minimum. A card I called on to get the interest rate lowered said it was a 90 day credit card (I didn’t know that) I have been paying on it for a year. I have it down to $500. Should I consulidate all the cards to one card and pay it off that way? I have 4 cards I’m trying to pay off.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 29, 2009 at 9:33 am


If your credit is good, you can get a balance transfer credit card that offers a 0% rate for up to 12 months. This may make paying down your debt easier and help you pay off your cards quicker.


martha October 26, 2009 at 12:42 pm

my citibank aa rewards card went from 13% interest to 29.99% … I have no late payments and always pay more than the minimum balance… OMG…


Lana October 23, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Perhaps you can tell me what is going on with Bank and Store credit cards.They are asking consumers to pay off the cards.They ask if you make a purchase to pay it off when the bill comes.I did just that.My store accounts were closed.They stated I had too many over the credit limit fees and late payements.The banks said it was based on my credit report from Experian.One company said I had not used the card in a month so they decided to close the account.They told me to re-apply and the would gladly open the account.They denied me saying that I had too many negative reports.They closed the accounts without worning.They claimed it would not affect my credit score.In a matter of four days my score dropped by 100points.My score was at 671.Then I went to purchase a car and they got a score of 571.I wrote to Experian and they said they gave no such report to close my accounts.Can you please clarify what they are doing.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 26, 2009 at 2:14 pm


I honestly cannot tell you why this happened to you, but generally store cards tend to get paid last, as consumers who fall behind care more about credit cards they can use everywhere instead of just Macy’s or Sunoco. It is a shame you were hit all at once. This has pushed from the excellent credit category to average credit.

You may want to consider paying down balances on credit cards you currently have open, as this will reduce your credit utilization ratio, a factor that plays a huge (30%) role in determining your credit score. You may also benefit from using a free credit monitoring service (most have free 30 day trials). One of these services can help you uncover ways to increase your score.


Shirley October 20, 2009 at 8:48 am

Help! My parents have a MasterCard through Kroger Personal Finance (grocery store). My mother pays the balance every month in full. She paid the March statement in full on time and the check cleared her bank but Kroger refuses to acknowledge receipt of the payment. She even had her bank attempt contact them and fax them a copy of the cancelled check to no avail. Ever since March they have been tacking on late fees and interest and calling them constantly, sending letters, etc. My parents try to talk to them and ask for a supervisor and all they get is someone telling them they need to pay. What can we do? This has ruined their otherwise flawless credit. I think they should be able to sue Kroger Personal Finance, but they’d probably just be happy if this was resolved and their credit rating fixed.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 20, 2009 at 10:59 am


If there is proof of payment, you should be able to use that as proof. I would get that cancelled check and force your way to a supervisor that can get something accomplished. This is truly absurd.


DR October 19, 2009 at 3:23 pm

I had this Providian credit card for the past 10 years, then Wamu bought the company and then the EVIL CHASE BANK. I always paid on time,always more then the minimum amount, never late for my payment. Then I received a letter saying that they closed my account, then today I got my statement with a higher APR 27.24% that is just ridiculous and jus plain STUPID. We realy need help to stop this nonsense. I’am very very upset. This just unfair!


Kris Carpenter October 19, 2009 at 10:53 am

I have a Citi card which I opened more than a year ago because of a 0% promotion they were offering for balance transfers and also allowed for the customer to pick their billing date, which I chose the 15th. Everything was going well until this year when I was late with a payment. I should have made payment by Friday but because of a very busy weekend, I ended up paying it the following Wednesday. The next month, they charged me a 29% rate! So I called them and because they had said it was first time being late they would give me their regular rate of 9.99% (will not give me back the 0%). A couple of months go buy at this rate when I noticed the rate was back to 29% so I called them and said what the heck??? They told me that my payments had been late again for the last two months. I had told them that that was not true as I was paying before (or on) the 15th. I had always paid more than amount due also. They refused to lower the rate because they were adament that I was late. So I went back to check the dates (my billing is online) and noticed that one month the due date was on the 13th and the next month the due date was the 12th. Well, wasn’t this a nice little trick? As most people have budgets, it would be impossible for me to pay this any earlier than the day that I had chosen. I spoke to them again and they did not deny the dates changing and even had said that it was only by a couple of days – well that’s funny because according to them, I had only been a COUPLE OF DAYS late. I have closed the account, which I didn’t even know lowers your credit score and can’t understand why it would, and have applied for a loan from my bank to pay the credit card off. Discover Card had offered a balance transfer of 19% and not even for the full amount. What was I supposed to do with that? (not only that but I was hearing of lousy practices with them too)

I will stay with my credit union visa which I have had for more than 12 years with only a 1% increase during this time. These credit card companies are pulling SCAMS and are actually getting away with it. In this economy, no one can afford 29% interest rate and these banks end up losing money in the long run along with money they have to spend for collections. They can’t see this?


Amex can stuff it October 12, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Anyone else have Amex hassling them for payment two weeks BEFORE it’s due? This is the second time they’ve cut me off and started calling me wanting me to pay NOW because my spending this month has been more than usual. Well, it may be more than usual but they got their money on time, and in full. Last time I went ahead and paid the bill two weeks early like they wanted. This time they can suck it until it’s due. Could I take it out of the bank and pay early? Yeah, but I’m not. They can cut me off until they get their payment- so what. Like they’re the ONLY credit card in my wallet. What’s up with this?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 13, 2009 at 11:49 am

This is a new one. Haven’t heard of Amex cutting off credit and calling for their money before. Clearly they want you to keep spending. They just don’t want you borrow their money.


Gail October 9, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I pay my Citibank card online. They used to give you until 5 CST but now it’s 5 EST. I started paying it before 5 but by the time the computer finished it was 5:03 PM, so late! I immediately sent an email telling them what happened and they said nothing we can do until your statement comes out. So when my statement arrived it had a late fee and a 5 percentage point increase of my rate!! and after having the card for 25+ years!!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper October 12, 2009 at 11:01 am


I would pester Citi with more phone calls. Always ask for a US customer service rep and then a supervisor. And keep calling until someone can actually help.


skip adams October 3, 2009 at 9:38 am

i have a card with chase and have had it for around 3 years! i have never been late with a payment and have always until recently paid at least 11/2 times to double the payment!! they raised my interest from 9.24%to 13.24%!!i think this should be illegal and feel like not paying them!!!
skip adams


Returned Service Fees September 25, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Chase has recently charged me two consecutive RSF fees of $39.00 EACH. I recently paid off my large balance on my chase account the month prior and had a small balance of finance charges which I guess accrued sometime during the month, since i paid my balance off 1 week before the due date…I paid the finance charges with my other bank account online and received a RSF fee as the access to the accoutn was denied. I verified the acct info online and attempted the payment again, less the RSF fee which I intended to dispute. A second RSF fee was charged. I contacted Chase and was informed that the bank account was off by 1 duplicate number, but they could not inform me which number and online it only shows the last four which read correctly. I asked to have the fees removed and the balance to be paid by my primary bank acct. I was informed that RSF fees are not able to be refunded by ANYONE in the company as Chase’s system does NOT allow any credits to there online systems. When asking for a supervisor I was informed that the supervisor had no more power to credit the account than did she or the CEO of the company. “It just isn’t possible”. Maintaining my composure I requested a supervisor again and was informed they were gone for the day and i would receive a call from them in two days, have a nice day! This is a MAJOR service break and I find it very difficult to believe a large corporations “systems” leave them with no avenue to correct a service issue with a consumer. They can not credit my account!? They are a ‘credit’ card company!
Unbelievably poor service. The RSF fees are solely to generate profit and are of no cost to the credit company to have a payment request denied by the bank source, yet they charge consumers $39.00 a pop!


MaryK September 21, 2009 at 11:35 am

So tell me how it will help to transfer a balance to a new card with 0% interest–won’t they just change the rules on you, also? I transferred to Chase several years ago to a 3.99% fixed for the life of the loan. They haven’t changed the rate yet, but upped my mininum payment from 2% to 5%. If I can’t pay, which I probably won’t be able to continue, they will up the rate. I can’t see that the same won’t happen once you get sucked into the new card with the 0% rate. It’s all madness, and once I get this paid off, I intend to get rid of all my cards regardless of how it affects my credit rating–I would rather live on the street than allow them to treat me this way.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 22, 2009 at 12:50 pm

Credit card companies are much less likely to break a short term contract than they are to alter a long term contract. Fixed rate APRs were too risky and the rates were to low to be profitable, which is why many banks have found ways to punish people with higher monthly payments.


Ricardo Gomez September 15, 2009 at 7:49 am

I had made a balance transfer with CHASE over 2 years ago because I was able to afford the minimum monthly payments. My balance transfer had a fix APR of 4.99% until it’s paid in full. Recently I received my statement with a late fee and when I call the credit card company they informed me that the minimum payment has been raise from 2% to 5% of the balance, so instead of making minimum payments of $360 now they are $920, which is more than double.

I have never been late and my payments have always been more than the minimum but I am NOT able to afford the new minimum payment. When I called them and asked what are my choices they told me I either 1. Make the new minimum payments (which I can’t, they are too high) 2. Renegotiate my promotional APR to a higher APR to keep my old minimum payment for 2 years – OR – 3. Default the minimum payment and lose my promotional APR and pay 18% on the balance.

I can’t believe this credit card is doing this, this is a way to force people to give up their promotional APR, they don’t give them an option, this should be against the law and action should be taken immediately.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 15, 2009 at 8:55 am


Many people have had reasonable success negotiating the rate. I’ve heard from a handfull of people who have been able to get a 6 or 7 rate and reduced payments. Sure, it is entirely unfair to raise monthly payments by 250%. However, it is legal and the best option is to work with them. It may cost you a few more points, but it beats the hell out of the limited options otherwise available.


Mike September 11, 2009 at 2:51 pm

Juniper Bank (Barclays) credit cards immediately raised interest rates when they learned of Congress’ new laws even if you were an excellent customer. Now, on August 28th, they changed rates again, this time to “varible”! Fortunately for me, I only owe them around 300.00 and will tell them where to go pretty quickly. Don’t bother trying to talk to these idiots as they are rude, don’t care about their customers and use the same rhetoric (we are only doing this to help our customers)when challenged by customers. Juniper doesn’t care about customers, providing customer service or who they hurt by their questionable practices. I am filing a complaint with the FTC and my Congesswoman. I suggest to anyone receiving offers from Juniper to trash them. They are not worth doing business with.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 14, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Haven’t heard a positive word about them from anyone. Definitely seems to be a company to avoid.


Michelle P August 31, 2009 at 1:20 pm

Chase has just increased my minimum payment by well over twice as much as it was previously. I have always made payments on time and for more than the minimum amount. When I called to complain they said it was because I wasn’t making more purchases on the card, just paying down the outstanding amount. They want me to use a loan transfer to pay off my low rate loans so they can get me off the books! They offered to reduce this increased minimum but at the same time would adjust the loan rate up from 2.99% to 7% for a limited time and then it would go up again! This was not a choice, it’s robbery! This is so wrong on so many levels. I am recently single and am doing really well paying down all of my debts and this increase was NOT in my budget. This may be the straw that puts me into bankruptcy – then they’ll get nothing instead of my monthly payments!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper September 1, 2009 at 12:15 pm

I’m sorry to hear about this. Some visitors have had some luck aquiring better deals than the one offered to you. You can read more about this here:


Paul Burley August 28, 2009 at 9:02 am

About 4 months ago, I was notified that the fixed rate
of 6.5% that I have enjoyed since being with Regions, was going to change,and I had the option to “OPT OUT” which I did. I had an unauthorized charge on the account that automatically cancelled out the “OPT OUT” agreement,
and the interest rate went to active card levels.

I immediately contacted Regions, informed them there was an unauthorized transaction, I was informed that when the account is re-credited with the unauthorized amount the additional interest and the interest rate would go
back to the “OPT OUT” agreement of 6.5%

Last month, it was not changed so I called again and was informed that it would change, and again I can see looking at my statement on line I am being charged yet again at the higher interest rate, and I have not been
credited back the incremental amount of interest I have been over charged.

This is going on now for 3 months, I have called the Credit Card Company many times and nothing happens. This is equivalent to highway robbery, as the customer appears to be at the mercy of the Credit Card Company, who can do whatever they want regardless if it not my fault.

As a customer of AmSouth/Regions for 14 years now it’s very disappointing that I’m being treated this way I’m sure after calling again I will call get the same run around as I have done for that past 3 months.

Why do Credit card Companied have so much power…..?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper August 31, 2009 at 9:38 am

Q: Why do Credit card Companied have so much power…..?
A: Because they have all the money

But as to your situation, you should really push hard with the reps and get supervisors on the phone. You should not have to waste your time battling with this company over a transaction they should not have allowed in the first place.


STEVE MINASSIAN August 23, 2009 at 3:16 am



Gale August 20, 2009 at 8:19 pm

Thank you. I will try again but I think I am fighting a loosing battle :( I will let you know the outcome.


Gale August 19, 2009 at 7:19 pm

I have a Bank of America card. I have payed my payments on time and have never gone over my limit. My apr was 7.9% for years. They just recently they decided to raise my apr to 23.9% it has doubled my payments. I have called them to ask that they lower it. They said they could but then I have to stop using it or my new purchases would go to the apr of 23.9% I said well I dont use my card much because the balance is high and I am trying to pay it down. But however I do have my gym membership and my ez-pass coming out of it and I need it for that. So not using is not possible because I need it for automatic payments. I figured well I dont have much new purchases so it wont be that big of a deal. Little did I know that with my next purchase they were not only going to charge my new purchase 23.9% but the whole amount on my card. I called them again and told them that this was not made clear to me by their representative. So I again asked them to please lower my apr. They told me no and there is nothing they can do. I have spent hours on the phone trying to find someone in the company to help me. No one is willing to help. also now my card is over the limit and I cant seem to catch up with the interest rate so high. So now it is hard to get credit any where else at least I should say with out it being a scam. Which leads me to my next complaint. I figured fine. I will do the balance transfer thing. I get approved for a Household Bank credit card. I needed a $12,000.00 transfer they only give me a $300.00 credit line and only transfered $150.00 of the $12,000.00 balance. I called them and asked them if this was some cruel joke. I said if you can not transfer the whole amount that I requested then why would you transfer any at all with out contacting me? They could care less and told me there was nothing they could do. So needless to say I have another card that I do not need and my great credit is be ruined. I think the goverment has let the credit card companies run rampant and we are all paying for it literally. I am stuck I cant get another card or a loan right now. Thank God I have a job that I can work a ton of overtime. So needless to say I have to make my life all work for the next three months or so. I can only rely on me to get my self out of this mess. The goverment is off helping all these big corporations and leaving us with no help. Its sad and I feel completely taken advantage of. Bank Of America raised my rate right after the bill was passed that your apr can not be raised on existing balances. That bill does not go in effect until 2010. So I guess the credit card companies are making as much as they can. I think it is sad and I also think the goverment needs to regulate the credit card industry. They are ripping people off and there is nothing any of us can do about it.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper August 20, 2009 at 10:37 am


I am really sorry to hear about this. I would plug away at Bank of America to get the APR reduced-if you try enough, you may be able to find a sympathetic rep.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper August 17, 2009 at 9:36 am


There seems to be no rhyme or reason to recent rate increases. Some people have written in that rates were raised after they used their accounts. Other saw rate increases when they didn’t use the accounts. I personally got an interest rate increase on a card I don’t use, though my wife got the same notice, the same day and she does use her card. Go figure!


Victoria August 16, 2009 at 9:45 pm

I pay all the bills, and just noticed that my husbands citicard interest rate jacked up to 19.99 from 4.99. I have always paid this bill on time and don’t know why this is happening. Oh yeh, we don’t charge stuff on this card anymore and are just trying to pay it off. Is that why they jacked up the interest rate? I’m so mad that I’m seeing red!


Ethan August 16, 2009 at 10:53 am

I have 4 credit cards with Chase. Last week I received a letter (on a Saturday. Incidentally, customer support is available Mon-Fri) stating that the credit limit on one of my cards was being reduced by $3,000. Reducing to this amount left me with $300 of available credit on that card. The following Saturday I received 3 more letters of similar content. One letter reduced the credit limit on another card by $1,100, another was reduced $900, and then the ultimate insult, a card with a $5,000 limit that currently had no balance at all was being canceled altogether. I have 10 years of stellar credit, no late payments, and I routinely pay well above my minimum payments. I also have a credit score above 700. The reasoning given in each of the letters was that the balance owed on revolving accounts was too high, and the balance was too high compared to my credit limit. In one week, they lowered my credit line by $10,000 removing all of my financial cushion.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones, in light of the widespread reports of people having their credit limits reduced below their balance amount, giving these companies ample reason to raise their APR and in certain cases attaching their wages. However, this leaves me financially paralyzed, unable to finance a wedding. I feel that my only recourse here is to tell as many people as I can to avoid Chase bank entirely.


Joyce August 12, 2009 at 3:47 pm

On June 28th I received a credit increase from At&T Universal Card (CITIBANK) thanking me for being a LOYAL customer. Then on July 2nd (which happened to be the due date) I went to make my payment onine at 4:45 p.m. after gettig home from work. Online it said my payment would not post until July 3rd making me late. I immediately called customer service and she said there was nothing she could do about posting my payment ontime as it was due by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time and I was in the Central Time Zone making me a lousy 45 minutes late. Customer Service on the phone and online have been very rude. They then raised my interest rate 20.05% for 45 minutes. This company has become a nightmare to try to deal with, and to think that they already got my tax payer $$ in a bailout and this is how they treat LOYAL customers.


Shari Buchholz August 12, 2009 at 7:12 am

I have had a chase Disney Rewards card for about 6 years now,excellent credit, never late, paid over the min. amt due every month and yesterday I was told my interest rate was being doubled. This is absurb. When I questioned the reasoning behind it with a Chase rep, the told me because Chase has the right to increase the interest rate. When I asked if Chase had any other cards available with a lower rate the rep told me to go online and apply that she would not help me over the phone. So now my min. due payment doubles, if for any reason I would be late the rate would default to 29 percent, and all because ‘Chase can do that”. Guess what Chase, I will take my business somewhere else.


Michaela August 11, 2009 at 5:58 pm

I used to think that complaints about credit card commpanies were by people who had problems paying their bills, until it happened to me. In July I checked my credit score because my husband needed his for a job, mine is 787, his is 784. Later that month I made some travel arrangements and joined that hotels’ rewards program. At the completion of the information input, there was a request to apply for a visa card and get double points if I use that visa card to pay for the hotel when I check in. Great! So I apply. Fast forward 3 weeks, I am at Lowes making a purchase of mulch, for $24. I used the Bank of America card I’ve been using for well over a year, that gets paid in full each month, no balance carryover. The clerk tells me my card is no good, closed account. I call Bank of America and they said that they determined my debt was too high compared to my income, but would not elaborate on what figures they used to determine that! I make a very good income, as does my husband. They said they sent me a letter, but I had not received it. I received the letter finally the other day. They denied my application for the new card that I applied for, AND they closed the card I had been carrying in my wallet, as well as another card that I had not used in years. The same day, I received a solicitation from Bank of America saying I have been preapproved for a credit card, and I received a promotional offer requesting that I consider using that unused card and they would give me 0% interest for 6 months. That offer was for the same card they had just cancelled. So now I am concerned about my credit score and the effect all of this may have on it. I don’t care about BA and will never do business with them again. But, my husband and I have good jobs, good pay, and are considering refinancing our house in order to take out some money to make some home improvements. We have plenty of equity and live in a great area that hasn’t been hit too bad by the housing crunch. Can I fight the effect this will have on my score? If so, how? Thanks for listening, I’m a bit frustrated!


Ken August 11, 2009 at 8:17 am

Terrible this is occurring to so many good standing citizens. I’m a recent victim of American Express increasing my penalty fees even though I have never missed a payment since I had the card.

Its a shame that these credit card companies, getting our bailout, decide to find their way out by penalizing customers who have done nothing wrong. This has gone too far and these credit card companies should be ashamed. Contact your congressmen, state attorney and the federal reserve. These aggressive tactics need to be addressed.


Gary August 5, 2009 at 8:02 pm

I just returned from a 2 week vacation and during my travels CHASE reduced my credit limit $2,300.00. I charged my entire vacation on the card with the intent of paying the full amount back on my return. When I got home I found that my card was maxed out and there were still pending charges. I went straight to the bank to pay down the card by $1000.00 so that there would be no over-limit fees, only to be told that my deposit would be held for several days and then my card payment would take a minimum of 5 business days to be applied to the card. So, while the gas and motel charges continue to pile up (over my NEW card limit), I am unable to make a payment. I called CHASE to see if there was some way to work around the problem and the customer service person on the phone told me that “I was one of the lucky ones to even have a credit line available.” apparently they just flat our closed a lot of credit card accounts on people. I was also told that it was my responsibility to check my balance before EVERY transaction to see if they have lowered my available credit… Seems like a lot to ask before each and every transaction. So, I am sitting here helpless while my credit card balance goes up as additional charges clear and over limit fees compound – while my deposit and payments are held by the bank waiting to clear. Even though I had the money to pay the card down $1000.00 BEFORE I was over limit, it will be at least next week before any of my payment is applied to the balance owed. They will pocket the fees and because of the new and improved terms of service jack my rate up well above 20% (it was under 9%) for charging my account over the available credit limit.

I feel so helpless.


Suzanne August 5, 2009 at 7:08 pm

My Juniper Bank credit card account was assessed a finance charge that put me two cents over the limit. Juniper Bank charged me $39 for this two cents. I called to work with them, they refused and let me know they could charge me even if I went one cent over the limit. I closed my account, doubled my payment and attempted to get back on track. They raised my interest rate, assessed finance charges that put me two dollars over the limit and charged me another $39. I attempted to once again work with them, they refused. I doubled my payment and scheduled it online on 7/18/2009 for my due date of 7/31/2009. They started calling me on 7/27/2009 to remind me my payment was due on 7/31. This happened three days in a row, each time I pointed out the pending payment and they promised to remove me from their list to call. (My payment wasn’t even due yet and they were starting collection attempts?) On 7/31/2009 my balance showed $1291.64. My payment was received by them on my due date in the amount of $80. This, with the finance charges of $22.77 would have brought me to a balance of $1233.41, which is under my limit of $1250. However, on 7/27, they assessed me another overlimit fee, which put me back over the limit before my bill was even due. They didn’t post this charge until 8/4/2009 after my statement printed, so not only didn’t they wait until after my payment was due to assess this new fee, they also made sure I wouldn’t know about it until after the fact. They had promised me after the second over limit fee that I would not be assessed another overlimit fee as long as I brought my account back under the limit by 7/31, my due date, which I did. This third overlimit fee has put me back over my limit by $23. They are refusing to remove any of the fees. The fees now total $117 for $2.02.


Vero Parz August 4, 2009 at 11:32 am

I have been a good customer of city for 21 years, with no late payments or other negative issues on my account. Unfortunately do to a very stressful life stile I have made a mistake and overdrew my back account by $30.00 and my payment to city was returned, Yes it was my mistake and I am willing to lose my promotional rate of 4.05% but City is now charging me 26% and regardless of numerous efforts of pliding with them to lower the rate and not put me in such a distress situation. All I get is sorry we can’t help you.
This feels almost illegal, and the fact that my tax dollars are use to bail out some of these company’s is almost unfair. I wish I had the option to tell them “I’m sorry I can’t help you” How do I fight back?


Carmen August 1, 2009 at 9:38 am

I just got screwed my my credit card company HSBC. I was fighting a fraudulent charge, which they knew about and the dumb @*% let this same charge come up again. And then again. Then, they threw in an over the limit fee, twice. I wrote them again, fighting this charge, and the over the limit fee. They wrote back saying their was nothing they could do….oh, except was my interest rate to 29.9% Thanks HSBC. So I will be going else where to get this resovled. Plus, I think everyone who had WaMu/Chase is getting dropped. I did, and I’ve never been late, or missed a payment.

I feel for each and everyone of you. It’s not fair when you do nothing wrong and the credit card companies screw you.



Chad July 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I’ve had a Citibank credit card since 1991 and never made a late payment, I just received a letter in the mail that the interest rate is going to 29.99% from 3.99%, I have to high a balance to move it to another card. It is now going to be a struggle to make the minimum payment and I will never be able to pay down the balance.


Laurie July 20, 2009 at 1:42 pm

I have been a customer of WaMU since 2001 which in turned became Chase. On July 17, 2009, I received my statement and the monthly payment amount had changed. I telephoned Chase just to verify this change was due to the notification of the percentage increase I had previously received. When I spoke with Chase customer service, she indicated that my account had been closed. I couln’t believe it. I have NEVER, EVER been late on my payments and she indicated the account being closed did not have anything to do with whether I had been late or not, it had to do with my credit report. I am furious. This WILL affect my credit score. I then obtained a copy of my credit report from Experian and my credit score is EXCELLANT! What in the world is this all about. Why would they close an account of someone whose been a faithful, dependable client since 2001 with an excellant credit rating???? I will be filing a complaint with the government and once my account is paid in full, never place my credit with Chase.


Lindsay July 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I just wanted to add to the above something else that I just realized.

In May, they sent me notice that they were raising my APR 3% more than what it already was. I had until the end of June to close the account if I wanted to keep the original APR on the balance. I didn’t want to damage my credit, so I just let it be and accepted the APR hike.

2 weeks after the hike went into effect, they closed my account anyways! Of course leaving me with the higher APR on my balance AND the damage to my credit score!!!! Had I known that they intended to close my account, I would have done it myself (AT MY REQUEST)!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 20, 2009 at 9:29 am

ok, that’s just disgusting


Lindsay July 18, 2009 at 11:50 am

Chase is pathetic, and the way they are responding to the new consumer protection laws is disgusting.

I opened up a Credit Card with Wamu several years ago. My credit wasn’t the best, I was working to improve it, and the WAMU credit card offered the option to see your Trans Union credit score every month.

Since then, my credit has slowly been improving, and I have not had a late payment on any of my accounts in more than 5 years.

Fast forward to now, Chase takes over Wamu.

First, they do away with the free monthly credit score. Then, they raise the APR. Most recently, they closed my account without notice.

When I called, I was told that they had closed my account due to information found in my credit report. The funny part is, that there have been absolutely no changes to my credit report. I pay for a service to check my credit reports each month, and there have only been improvements to my report and score. (which this is going to damage). I am beyond mad. Not only is this decrease in credit going to damage my score, but there was absolutely no notification of the closure. I had to call myself to be told by some rude overseas rep that my account was closed.

It’s clear that they are trying to get away with all this unethical behavior before the new consumer protection laws are put into effect.

So, since there’s really nothing I can do about this, I am going to complain about them on every website I can find, and file a complaint with the FTC to make them aware of how Chase is responding to the new consumer protection laws. I’ve already convinced my grandma, who has significant accounts held with Chase, to transfer her accounts. I will also tell everyone I know.



Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 20, 2009 at 9:28 am

I would also try to open a new account with a different company before the closed account hits your credit score. This will help balance out the damage from the account closure.


Barb July 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm

If I opt out of Chase Bank’s generous offer to increase my rate from 7.99% to 12.24 %, what is the likelihood they would demand the entire balance due in as short a time frame … say 30 days or as long as 1 year? Not sure if I am better off transferring the balance to my new card which I scored at 0% for 12 months but will not be able to pay off in 1 yr – at which time the rate will go to probably 8.99%… sheesh this is just a nightmare. I have really bad feelings towards banks… now I understand the feelings people had towards banks after the great depression.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 20, 2009 at 9:25 am

If you opt out, its unlikely they’ll demand immediate payment. But if you have a balance transfer lined up, you may want to transfer some of it over to cut down on interest expense.


Yolanda July 17, 2009 at 4:52 pm

My citi card, which I have had for probably years and hav never made a late payment, decided they wanted to raise my APR fro 14.99% (which is still high ) to 29.99%. I could understand if I late on my payments or not making payments at all. Then to top it off when I called the “customer service” witch was very rude and I felt like I was being told ____ off by her! I am so angry that this is happening and I can see that I’m not the only one and to top it off, I cant get the damn complaint form to work on my computer so I can file a complaint! PERFECT!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 20, 2009 at 9:24 am

I would go after Citi to find out why your rate was increaed. Get a supervisor and ask for a US representative. Overseas reps are horrible and could care less about anything. They just don’t want problems and are the least helpful of all credit card company minions.


Meg July 17, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Someone took 2 cash advances out on my HSBC card. HSBC called me immediately to ask if I’ve been out of the country (which I have not) and identified it as fraud. They removed the charges from my account BUT have failed to remove the finance charges for the cash advance. I have been calling and speaking to different people in the fraud department for over 6 months now and it still isn’t fixed. Every month they keep charging my the finance charge on the money I didn’t take out. Now on my new statement they have totally messed up my account. I called today and was told they would fix it. At what point do I have a lawsuit against them? Isn’t it illegal to keep charging me interest on a cash advance they confirmed was fraud?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 20, 2009 at 9:21 am

This is really absurd. it should have been taken care of immediately. I would ask to speak to a supervisor and perhaps mention that you are considering speaking with an attorney. That may get things moving.


Tressa July 16, 2009 at 8:49 pm

I have had my chase credit card for 6 years never late and pay off completely every year. i just found out my apr went from 6.99% to 15%. I called and asked why and he said the government has issued new laws in effect by 2010 that they are requeired to raise my rates and every credit card company has to do this per the government. Is this TRUE?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

The government is causing credit card companies to do this, but they are in no way forcing credit card companies to do this. Whomever you spoke to was clearly lying.


B MOrgan July 15, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Chase sent me a blank balance transfer check with my July statement, offering .99% for 6 months. My available credit on the same statement shows $10,484.

I made out the check for $1500 and deposited into my Chase (formerly Washington Mutual) checking account.

I tried to use my Chase credit card the next day and was declined. I called Chase and was told that they lowered my available limit by $8000 with no notice whatsoever. They said they would send me a letter in about a week. In the mean time Chase Credit bounced THEIR check to Chase Bank, causing 5 of my personal checks to bounce, and leaving me with a negative balance.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 16, 2009 at 12:04 pm

B Morgan,

I am very sorry to hear about this and was afraid this would be happening. I wrote recently about Chase and other banks using fine print to state that they reserve the right to decline all cash advance and balance transfer checks, even though they send them to you. This practice is not only unfair, but utterly absurd, and it will cost consumers dearly.


T Khan July 15, 2009 at 1:46 pm

Appreciate your response #63 – I did pay down the entire balance. Although, they immediately reduced the credit by 50% and stated that in August they may lower it even more (they sent in a change of terms letter).

This screws up my credit rating – since my credit line was reduced. The whole purpose of paying them down was to improve my balance to credit line ratio.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 15, 2009 at 4:13 pm

These credit line decreases are becoming a bigger problem for people who pay off their balances. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would say the banks are doing this to lower credit scores so that they can a.) charge more money to lend to you or b.) pretend they are lending to qualified borrowers, and that there aren’t that many qualified borrows.

But conspiracy or no conspiracy, these tactics are hurting responsible people who have the integrity to pay their debts.


T Khan July 14, 2009 at 10:08 pm

I have had a WaMu card since 1999, which recently migrated to Chase. The highest interest rate that Chase charges on their Credit Card (per their associates and contract) is 29.99%. My card has 30.24% on purchases and 14% on cash advances. I have contacted them on numerous occasions that I am paying $500 every month in payments and requested that my interest rate be reduced or matched to my cash advance rate.
I also contacted them that I would like to clear my balance to improve my credit rating and also push towards an interest rate reduction based on good payment and loyalty (this request was rejected as well).
Now that I paid the balance and started withdrawing cash and paying it off every month (versus making purchases; since interest rate is better on cash advances) – I received a letter today stating effective August 1st 2009; my contract will be changing on cash advances to either 1) No Cash advances or 2) 5% additional charge on cash advance and a reduced limit on Cash Advance 3) They now also have the right to reduce my credit limit.
I had paid this off to improve my credit score and rating – by showing large credit lines w/ little or no balance and also show length of credit history.
I am now cornered – since I can’t be hot headed and shut the account as 1) It will show that I do not have credit and 2) I will not be able to show the length of time of my oldest account

With Chase getting a government bailout – isn’t there a way to get the customers “might” and “right” back? It seems they can bully and dictate terms and also jeopardize ones ability to earn more credit i.e. business credit or home purchase. You do the right thing and even then they control not just their product terms but also jeopardize your rating and any future development (business investment and return). What happened to the US being the land of opportunity????
How can people start businesses and get loans to support the investment if everything hinges on your credit rating? I have not done anything wrong; in fact I am using cash to pay of my debt to show ability and improve my credit rating. Yet because of CHASE I will now NOT be able to improve my living by going into a business venture. I hope there is a way to reprimand CHASE for this injustice.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 15, 2009 at 11:20 am

Mr. Khan,

While I sympathize with you position, I just wanted to give you a heads up on cash advances. While it is absurd your interest rate was lower on those transactions, they were still charging you at least a 3% fee upfront. However, you should just pay the card down, keep it open for the sake of your credit score, and open a new account to use. As long as you have not been late on a payment during the past 12 months, someone will give you a better interest rate.


Theresa July 10, 2009 at 1:31 pm

We have a Chase Credit Card for well over 15 years and both of us just lost our jobs. I called to see if they had a hardship program and was told that the only thing they have is to close the account and set up a payment plan. I told them that I would rather not close the account and I would continue to make the minimum payments due to keep the account current. Then he told me to hold on while he checks one other thing and came back and said that they have no choice but to close the account because of our situation. I believe that this is discrimination against us and they had no right to close the account (but credit card companies can do whatever they want, right?) Well without hesitation within the next few days we got a letter stating that they closed our account, which shows very negative on our credit score and if I don’t pay that will even lower our score further. What are people supposed to do in the land of opportunity!!! Do we have any rights at all from credit card companies???


Susan July 7, 2009 at 6:45 pm

I have been a Discover card holder for thirteen years and recently was shocked by their fraudulent offer to decrease my APR. In January of 2009 I receive a call asking why I had not been using my card. When I explained that the APR was too high the representative offered to lower the APR to 11%. She also signed me up for a “Credit Tracker” program for $7.99 a month. I gladly began using my card and was shocked when I noticed the APR at 22.24%! I called and was told that my account APR had only been lowered to 19% (not the 11% as promised). It was also explained to me that my APR rose from the 19% to the 22.24% as a result of company policy.

Firstly, I am POSITIVE that the APR offered in January was 11%. I am truly amazed that a Discover representative would lie about my APR in order to get me to use my card!!! When I complained to customer service they were unwilling to even investigate the situation. Secondly, I don’t understand the justification in increasing my APR when I paid on time for years. Customer service said they the APR increase was not a reflection of my payment history or credit rating – they merely increased EVERYONES RATES due to a “company policy.”

I closed the “Credit Tracker” program, closed my Discover account, and made a formal complaint with the FTC.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 8, 2009 at 9:42 am

This is only the second complaint this website has received about Discover this year, which leads me to believe a customer service rep looking for commissions may have been behind this situation. As a whole, Discover has proven to be far and away the most consumer friendly credit card company during the past year.


Robert July 7, 2009 at 12:13 pm

In April Emerge sent me a notice of changes for my account with instructions on what to do if I didn’t want the changes. Since they were changing my interest rate from 10.6 to 29.9 percent I called and cancelled the card thus (according to their own printed material) keeping the terms of account from changing. I noticed on a subsequent statement that the account was not closed. I have been calling repeatedly ever since and just get sent back and forth between departments. They have now closed my account but too late to keep my old terms in effect and nobody seems to be responsible for taking care of this consumer complaint. On a side note some reps will give me their employee number and some won’t.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 7, 2009 at 12:22 pm


I’ve never heard of Emerge, so I don’t know a particular remedy. Have you asked to speak with supervisors? If the reps won’t put you through, I would threaten (and if no action is taken) follow through by contacting your state’s attorney general as well as the attorney general in the state they are located.

I’m of the opinon that large Federal agencies are overwhelmed with complaints and you may have more success with a local agency.

Also, if you called them with a cell phone to cancel your account, you should have a record of the date you called. You might be able to challenge their assertion that you did not opt out, especially if they are denying that you ever called.


Trevor July 1, 2009 at 12:45 pm

We moved and didn’t receive my Disney Chase Bill for the month of May. I called on the 1st of June about it. The payment was due the 1st of June so I paid it over the phone that day. The customer service representative told me there would be no late fee. When I got June’s statement however, there was a late fee. I called customer service about it and they said they could not remove the late fee. I talked to a supervisor and they refused to remove the late fee as well. The payment went through on June 4th only a couple day late and yet they will not remove the late fee. I made the payment on time June 1st the day it was due but because the payment didn’t go through until the 4th of June they refused to remove the late fee. It is rediculous. Who do I talk to in order to get this problem fixed??


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper July 1, 2009 at 3:28 pm

Unfortunately, you’ve talked to just about everyone who could help. A strategy that used to work is the wash, rinse, repeat-if the first set of people you talk to can’t help, call again. Lately, however, most banks have no interest in keeping their customers happy.

Also, be sure to check your interest rate. Chase may have used your late payment as a reason to put your account in default, which could lead to an interest rate of 29.99% or more.


Screwed by Chase June 25, 2009 at 12:26 pm

We received a notice from Chase that our minimum payment was going to increase from 2% to 5% of the new balance due. This doubles the payment. Have excellent credit, have no late pays, no missed payments, pay extra when we can. They tell us that it is due to the economic downturn. How can demanding more help consumers? We were told that we have a month to figure it out, pay it or suffer the consequences. They have no offers or options for us, we should call consumer counseling or transfer to another credit card. Needless to say we are closing all Chase accounts.


James June 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm

I’ve been receiving some 0% balance transfer offers from Discover Card in the mail. I’ve never been a Discover customer. My credit score is 730.

I’ve got a balance of $15,000 on the card you aren’t supposed to leave home with. They recently cut my limit and are charging me 27.99% interest! Based on reading your website, it seems that I should take Discover up on their offer, and perhaps apply for the Citi offer, then wait to see what kind of a credit limit I get before transferring the balance. Any chance that Amex will lower the rate if I contact them and tell them of my intention to transfer balance, or is that a waste of time in your opinion? Any suggestions appreciated.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 25, 2009 at 9:18 am


In the past, calling up might have worked. And its still worth a shot. But from what I’ve heard lately, Amex will probably be very happy to give your balance to someone else and take their cash.

However, if you cannot get a balance transfer for the full amount, you should harass them about lowering your rate. 28% is loan shark territory.


Jamie June 23, 2009 at 8:11 pm

I loathe Chase Bank. I keep reading over and over and over that they have done nothing “legally wrong.” It is disgusting that the people who continue to pay their bills on time are being punished by this company and others. I have a balance on my Chase credit card account at the promotional fixed rate transfer balances that CHASE offered to me for life. I pay my bill on time. They sent me a notice stating that my minimum monthly payment would increase from 2% to 5% which more than doubles my minimum monthly amount. When I called Chase, a representative stated the reason for this change, which they can do at any time according to the agreement, is my account is “not profitable.” UNBELIEVABLE. THESE COMPANIES ARE NOT SATISFIED IF YOU PAY YOUR BILLS ON TIME. THEY WANT YOU TO PAY 30% interest and remain in debt for the rest of your life. CHASE knows that anyone who has a high balance on their card with a high monthly minimum that consumers cannot pay their new amount owed and thus forcing customers to lose their promotional rates and jacking them up to who knows what at their discretion. This is why people in this country who are trying to do the right thing are being screwed. These companies have got to be stopped. I bet my minimum monthly payment would be less than 1% owed on a 30% interest rate initiated by Chase. I WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH THEM. Talk about taking advantage of people. They should not have received a dime of the bailout money. Additionally, they wanted to say that our new President doesn’t want Americans to charge anything frivolous and live on credit. Apparently these very people have never gone through a nasty divorce and had to pay legal fees, etc. Not everyone abuses credit cards but some people do have mishaps in their lives causing them to incur credit card debt.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 25, 2009 at 9:16 am


I’m sorry to hear about your situation. It really seems like good customers are the new cash cows for credit card companies. And while the banks are surely to blame, the new credit card laws aren’t helping either. Because they don’t take effect until next February, more and more credit card companies will be throwing good customers under the bus. Its really shameful.


Beverly K Harrigan June 18, 2009 at 11:05 am

I am asking other people who have been ripped off to come forth and lodge a complaint with the government and put these creeps out of business.


Beverly K Harrigan June 18, 2009 at 11:04 am

I took out a loan for $1100 two yrs ago from HSBC to purchase a computer from HP. I have paid faithfully with the exception of being late one or two months. However, I just found out that HSBC has been charging me late payments for more than a year. My payment is $28.00 per mo. and they charge 39.00 for the late fee plus another 15.00 for finance charges. After paying on this account for two years and making payments in excess of $100 at times including $200 just last month, I am still owing them more than 1100.00. This company is a class A predatory company with an outrageous record of deception and fraudulent manipulation in ripping poor, defenseless people and they need to be put out of business.

B. Harrigan


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 20, 2009 at 6:23 pm


This is a really disgusting story. I can’t imagine what loophole they are using to charge these fees. Perhaps you can call them, or your state’s attorney general!, and see if you can get some assistance. This ranks as one of the most disgusting credit card stories I have ever heard.


Chase Check June 14, 2009 at 5:26 am

Chase Credit Card customer since ’06.
Fixed APR of 8.99%
NEVER, EVER late on any payments.
NEVER, EVER over-drafted my bank account.
In Feb. 09 Refinanced home mortgage @ 4.275%. GOOD CREDIT score, it has actually gotten better since the home refinance.

Here is the damaging unethical new practice of Chase.
Promotional “Rate Reduction for our most Valued Card members” (BEWARE!!!)
0.00% fixed APR until Feb. 2010 when you use the enclosed “Special Rate Checks.”
-Access extra cash
-Transfer high APR balances
-Pay unexpected expenses
-Use for large purchases

My card info
Credit Limit: $5,500
Previous Balance: $2,700.11 (NEVER over 50% of Limit)
Last payment: $1,350.11
Current Balance: $1,350.00 (Less than 25% of Limit)

I all but exhausted my bank account to pay (cash) to my Chase balance and cut it in half.
After checking on line to make sure that the payment had posted to my Chase balance, I deposited $1,350.00 in my bank using one of the promotional 0.00% checks from chase.
After checking on line with my bank, make sure that the Chase check had been posted, I proceeded to pay off two “high APR balances” (on line) in the amount of $1,200. I also paid my Gas, Electric, and two other credit card payments. Leaving only $124 in my bank.

A few days later I received a letter from Chase stating that the check of $1,350 was declined and that they had made the decision to change my credit limit to $1,800 due to late payments or not paid as agreed on accounts. (THIS IS FALSE!!! I have NEVER been late!! on any credit card accounts, never!!!)

My bank now has me over-drafted on every payment that I have made. Chase has my CASH, with which I could have paid all payments with absolutely no problems.

After HOURS of phone conversations with multiple Chase reps, I was transferred to (Keith) high level management in Delaware. After his thorough examination of my account history and current credit report, he admitted that there was no reason to change my credit limit or available funds and that he would correct it.
Sounds like problem solved? Read on.
My bank still has me seriously over-drafted. After talking with my bank, a possible solution was recommended. The bank suggested that I call Chase and have them reverse my $1350.11 CASH payment back into my bank account to cover my over-drafts. Sounds do-able? Read on.

I checked my Chase account to make sure the Delaware Manager had repaired and put my limit back at $5,500. Bingo!! Looks like he had kept his word.
I called Chase back to verify that their check would now be honored and solve the problem. After riding the phone merry-go-round I finally got a manager,(Helen) in Orlando, FL. I asked to have my $1,350.11 payment reversed back to my account to avoid the train wreck that Chase was about to cause and to call my bank and correct their mistake. Helen said that the payment COULD be reversed but would take up to 15 DAYS!!! (not an option). Helen said that I should have the bank just run the check through again and that the funds ARE available and your bank can call us to verify. Solved?
Looking at my Chase account online today, Saturday the 13th of June 2009,
Account status as follows:
Credit limit: $1,700
Balance: $1,350.00
Pending Charges: $2,700
Available Credit: $0

On Monday, I will most likely be in a financial train wreck. My damages will likely be in the hundreds of dollars.
And….No funds available to satisfy the over-drafts and penalties
My hard earned good credit is headed toward ruin.
All because I was told, in writing, that I would receive “Special Savings as a Most Valued Customer.”

If I issued a check from my Bank and then later stopped payment, I could be prosecuted for check fraud.

I need legal help.
I have been set up and torpedoed!
Chase is aware of their error(s) and could fix this travesty but they have not.

Is this legal what they have done to me?

Consequences and damage:

The potential for my financial destruction is in the works and Chase has not made their check good.
They have admitted that they had no legitimate cause for denial of payment.
Do I have any legal protection or recourse for what Chase has done to me?


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 15, 2009 at 10:06 am

I am really sorry to hear about this–and I wish there was a solution readily available. In my opinion, it looks like one department of Chase sent you checks while a separate department decided to cut your limit. If this were done intentionally, it would be one of the most abhorrent credit card tactics I have ever read about. In an ideal world, Chase would have recognized the check. The run around they have given you really shows how useless and unreliable credit card companies have become.

The sad thing is the fact that they have probably done nothing legally incorrect and yet managed to throw you into financial disarray–I’m sure all the t’s were crossed and i’s dotted before this was done. Nevertheless, they are showing blatant disregard for the consequences of their actions.

The only positive I can take from this is that others will read it and hopefully avoid getting into such a situation. But this should not be the case. You should have never been put in this situation, let alone penalized hundreds of dollars in fees. I am really sorry and hope you can somehow get Chase to provide something you can use at your bank to get some of your fees reduced. This is really a sickening story–it really seems like good, honest people like yourself are the new “revenue sources” credit card companies are using to make up for the money not being paid to them by deadbeats.


Ritesh Vagal June 8, 2009 at 4:05 am

hi this is ritesh would like to complain against ABN AMBRO bank for mis leading people throught there collection agents in the month of august i had done a settelement with one kavita choudhry who claimed to be working with the bank i payed her the settlement amount after that for the next 6 months i didnt recieve any statement form the bank then suddenly in the month of january another personn bu the name of jeet asked me to pay 5000 more as the seetlement amount was short of 5000 then again i didnt recieve any statement then again in the month of may i am getting a call that i still have to apy the bank 40000 and the best part is after a few days all the contact numbers are not available i guess the bank is really minting money for a long of people like me


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper June 8, 2009 at 9:35 am


Sorry to hear about your problems. It looks like credit card companies around the world are attacking customers, not just in the U.S.


Pat May 27, 2009 at 5:32 pm

I have had a business credit card account with ADVANTA for several years now. Recently I have had a zero balance on the card yet I discovered a random $35.00 charge to my account. I called and asked about this and insisted the charge be removed. I was told that the $35.00 was a rewards charge that had always been on the card. I know this is not true because I kept my original agreement and I asked that they mail me the document that stated there would be an annual fee on the card for a rewards program. The documents they sent me were totally different than anything I had ever seen. I would and have never signed up for a REWARDS program on any card. Especially one that I would have to pay for. Anyway today I get a letter in the mail stating that “Your Advanta Business Card Account is funded by an independent trust which owns the balances you may owe on your account and provides funding for new transactions. We expect the trust to stop funding activity on our accounts. The trust also restricts our flexibility to fund activity on your account (remember I have a zero balance on this account). Unfortunately, as a result, effective May 30th all Advanta Business Credit Card accounts, including your account will be closed.”

Nice huh? Great way to do business and what was that bill that recently passed? Anything in there about closing 0 balance cards? This totally blows. I tried to call customer service but of course got a message saying they weren’t available to take my call even though I called at 6:00 pm and they supposedly stay open until 8:00pm.

Great way to do business ADVANTA. Let’s see how many people I can let know about this strategy.


Eddie K May 21, 2009 at 10:36 am

I just received a letter from Capital One stating my CC interest rate is increasing from 14.5% to 22.9%!!!
I have never been late on a payment and usually pay off the balance before interest is due. I have had a $0.00
balance for the last 5 months on interest due. This is ridiculous, the Mafia loan sharks give better rates than this!
If I was to loan money at these rates I would go to jail for loan sharking!! Something has to be done to control these banks from doing whatever they please.


Sanjeev Dubey May 20, 2009 at 8:27 am

I applied for Old Navy credit card at Old Navy store in Houston in Nov 07. I was given paper card and told I will receive permanent card and statement in mail. I never received the card or statement for card amount $ 129. In Feb I went to same Old Navy store and inquired. They said it seems card is lost we will send new card and statment also they assured me there will be no late paymenet. I received statement and card promptly in Feb 08 and paid off amount immediateley.
I have noticed the account has been reported as 30 day late payment to credit reporting agencies. I reported to Old Navy and they said they are writing to three credit reporting agencies to correct the record and remove this negative account because it was their fault. I also lodged complaint with these credit reporting agencies. So far inspite of Old Navy telling me they have tp remove late payment from record. Reporting agencies keep telling me they have inquired and are told by Old Navy late payment stays on record.

Please avdise what I can do further to get this corrected. It is affecting my credit score.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 20, 2009 at 9:51 am


In these type of situations, you are going to have to make a lot of phone calls. In order to get ths fixed, you’ll have to call Old Navy to get them to contact the credit report agency. If you can get them to put something in writing, that would help. You may get customer service reps who simply say what you want to hear to get you off the phone, but do nothing to help you.

You should also keep calling the credit agencies that show this delinquency. You can add a customer statement to your report while you wait for this to get fixed, though this won’t really help your score much. In the customer statment, you can explain your situation.

Also, if you have paid your account for the charges you made (not the late charges) that should get reported to the credit agency.

Unfornately, getting credit mistakes removed can be a huge hassle. You really have to be persistent with both the company and the credit agencies.


Mary May 14, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I just got a letter yesterday from HSBC notifying me that my credit limit had been reduced from $3000 to $605 due to a serious delinquency or change in credit score. I was well under the credit limit to start with, have never been late on a payment, and my credit score is good and has not changed. I recently made a sizeable payment on that card just to get close to paying it off. When I called to find out the reason for the reduction, no one could tell me. They referred me to equifax, even though their letter says that they, and not equifax, made the decision.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 15, 2009 at 9:57 am


I would use a free credit report trial and check all three of your credit scores. Perhaps something random, like an old bill or forgetten store credit card bill got sold to a collection agency that reported you as delinquent. Also, you may want to apply for a new credit card to get access to more credit. Perhaps another company won’t be as harsh as HSBC.


LOUIS May 13, 2009 at 3:28 pm

I am a longtime card holder of a chase credit card with a rate of 9.99% I had heard horror stories about Banks raising the interest rate and fees on customers that have good credit and have never been late on payments. I was awaiting the little notice that this was going to happen to me, but I never receive this then this month’s bill show the new interest rate at 17.24%. I called and ask for a supervisor. I talked with John and he said he would see what he could do. He then stated that they had sent out a notice in Feb.09 that as of March 09 the rate would increase. I told him that this notice had never been delivered to me. I asked why my rate was increasing since I had never been late and have always paid more than the amount due(sometimes as much as three times). He said that they we doing it across the board. I told him that they had sent out the April bill at 9.99% and then the may bill had a charge shown as April fin chrg adj.This was on a bill that I had already paid. I then ask what he would do on the rate and he said that if I had contacted him before March09 he would have closed the account at the old rate and I could have paid it off at the old rate. I told him it was pretty damn obvious that March had already past. He then said he did not have to listen to cussing. So I then told him to close the account and place it somewhere else. This is ridiculous how these insitutions abuse consumers. The best thing is to close your accounts with the various banks and let them die on the vine. Let them starve with the uncredit worthy people that they issue cards to that do ever intend on paying them back.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 14, 2009 at 10:14 am


I am sorry to hear about your predicament and I fear I will hear from a lot more customers who are about to get bad surprises like this in the mail. As I’ve told many others, if you have good credit, take advantage of a 0% balance transfer and move your debt to a different credit card.

Unfortunately, if they will not give you back the old rate, closing your account can negatively impact your credit score, which will make it tougher to get a new card with a 0% introductory rate. Thus, if you haven’t closed the account yet, you may want to consider keeping it open to protect your credit score.

Lastly, I know how angry you must be. However, you may want to try to contain your anger and try calling again. In the past, being nice could help you get somewhere with credit card companies. And with so many angry customers calling, a representative may be more receptive to your situation if you are extra nice. At the least, its worth a shot.

Again, I’m sorry this happened and hope you can find a better credit card company to do business with that will provide you a lower interest rate or a 0% rate on balance transfers.


George May 11, 2009 at 12:20 pm

Citibank is one of the most underhanded companies I have ever dealt with. I had signed up for one of their Drivers edge rewards points credit cards at 7% within two months the rate jumped to 12% no reason given. Next thing you know I have charges for their credit card protection being added which I never signed up for!! I never even knew they added this. After I attemtpted to collect on my points rewards I was told all these stipulations applied I could never get any of their worthless points. Further fraud occured when the rate jumped to 28%. I did have a late payment but was current a majority of the time. Come on in these economic times everybody forgets something. After closing the account I continued to get billed for this Protection Service to the point of being billed interest and late payments AFTER I closed the acccount. I spoke to their worthless representative and was told to file a fraud report for those charges. I received a letter stating I had forfeited those charges because I closed the account.And that was that!!!How rotten can you get!!! Citibank sucks I hope they rott in hell


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 12, 2009 at 8:31 am


Unfortunately, you got a strong taste of the old Citibank. Prior to being government owned, they were notorious for these issues. Lately, though, I really think they are doing what the government tells them to do, and that includes treating customers like human beings.

Nevertheless, Citi may never recover from its old escapades. You were clearly abused by every loophole they could find and I’m sorry you’ve had to waste so much money because of this.


Marc May 10, 2009 at 5:34 pm

I am trying to make a payment over the phone with Sears and CitiCard, because, I changed my bank info on the Sears site and it won’t let me place a payment for 6 business days and CitiCard because they said they felt there was fraudalent activity and replaced my card (which I activated). So I called both companies to make a payment over the phone and they wanted $14.95 for me to PAY THEM. Please Obama do something with these Credit Card companies, they are ripping off the American public and getting away with it.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 12, 2009 at 8:35 am


Gonna send you an email with this info in case you don’t check back. I strongly suggest calling back again and doing the following. It may be difficult, as I understand you are mad, but it should work.

1.) Call customer service. If you don’t get a US based rep, ask for one.
2.) Be really, really polite. Explain that an issue with the website is the reason you need to pay by phone.
3.) If your Rep can’t help, ask for a supervisor.
4.) Do the polite explanation. If this doesn’t work;
5.) Repeat the process. If it doesn’t work, and you risk paying late, your best option is to pay the fee. I know its a total ripoff, but if they raise your rate, 14.95 will seem like a free lunch.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper May 12, 2009 at 9:20 am

I heard back from Marc and he managed to avoid the payment fee–but only by paying his balance in full!

He wrote, “More or less the steps I followed. I finally threw a fit for charging me a service charge for me making a payment to them. That worked with CitiCard and they said they wave the fee. Sears is now managed by CitiCard as well, but they wouldn’t budge for reasons that made no sense, so I paid the entire credit card off and they told me since I was paying it completely off they would not charge a fee (which makes even less sense – but not going to complain). ”

Is this what its come too? Pay us everything you got or we’ll nickle and dime you to death. I can’t imagine how any of these companies expect to keep good customers such as Marc who want to pay their bills. If they get everyone who can pay close accounts, they’ll be left with deadbeats. Perhaps that’s what they deserve.


Angela April 23, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I had an account with Compass Bank and had used them before for a balance transfer that I paid off. I got an offer from them for 6.99% fixed for life on a balance transfer, with a 4% fee. I mistakenly used another check they had sent which had expired when I did the transfer, and I got my statement to find a $380 fee for using their check, 21.99% interest rate, and of course all this had put me over the limit on the card, so they added a $39 overlimit fee. I called them immediately and discovered my error, and with my excellent credit and good history with them, asked them about backing out some of the over $500 in fees they had charged me. Meanwhile they offerered me a six-month at 6.99% rate, and charged me twice for a “rate reduction fee” of $75! In the interim I made an online payment of $555.66 to pay all the fees while I was waiting to see if they would work with me on this. The supervisor was never available, and no one could ever help me. I moved the balance to another card and have sent them their card in the mail telling them to close my account. Personally, I don’t care if they report it, but I’m not paying another dime. I will add my side of the story to any report they make and let the other creditors decide. I am 46 years old and have built my credit up over a 20 year period, only to have these clowns take advantage of an honest mistake I made. They will not get another dime out of me. Watch out for Compass Bank.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 24, 2009 at 7:54 pm

Because this is such an extreme case, I am currently investigating this situation. I have attempted to contact Compass bank, but my call has yet to be returned. I am hoping to bring this issue to light and hoping we can get you some kind of renumeration from this bank.


Fran April 20, 2009 at 7:50 pm

At least by reading the comments, I know I am not alone in my fury. I had a Chase credit card, and was never late on a payment. My last statement arrived two weeks late, several days past the due date. I called to explain, but they refused to waive my fee. I asked to speak to a Supervisor, who offered to waive the increase in my interest rate that was triggered by the late payment, but refused to waive the late fee. I got really angry, and told him I was canceling my account, and paying off the balance. I knew this would hurt my credit score, but I was so angry, I just wanted to reject them. I just received my last statement, and there is an ADDITIONAL $37 fee for the interest charged during the two weeks I DID NOT EVEN KNOW I WAS LATE FOR! I called again, and of course, they could care less, and refused to do anything about it. I told them I was reporting them to the FTC. He didn’t care.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 21, 2009 at 9:04 am


It is hard to keep from getting mad in these situations, but you are one of the few people I’ve heard from that was able to get their rate increase pulled. I understand your frustration, especially with the additional fees. Hopefully, if this happened very recently, you may be able to get a new credit card and do a balance transfer. This might help prevent some of the damage to your credit score, because it will increase your available credit. On top of that, you’ll also benefit from having a 0% APR.

These are tough times for all of us and our banks are not making it any easier. We’re all getting robbed by our banks, but your post should give hope to others that it is possible to get rate increases stopped.

Thanks for sharing and all the best.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 20, 2009 at 8:08 am


Three companies, and each seems worse than the others. I haven’t heard much about Juniper before, but I’m not surprised they raised your rate to nearly 30%. These companies are looking for any reason to put customers into default, so they can charge loan shark rates.

Chase and Capital One have had a lot of complaints lately, although it seems Capital One has just started playing the rate increase gain. Consumers with any Capital One debt should be wary.

I’m really sorry to hear how poorly you’ve been treated and hope you can get a 0% balance transfer to help get you out from under the finger of these extortionist interest rates.


Agnes April 17, 2009 at 1:45 pm

And by the way my son was a victim of the credit reduction trick – suddenly several thousand dollars in open credit disappearing, with his limits coming down to just above his balance. And unused cards being closed. He has never been late, never over limit, alwyas paying more than minimum. They find a way to mess with just about everyone who uses credit.


Agnes April 17, 2009 at 1:35 pm

PS: Don’t even get me started on the foreign customer service reps. After taking all our money, they won’t even provide U.S. jobs with it. And you can hardly even understand those people and they don’t seemt to understand you, all they do is read their dumb script “I would be very happy to help you with that” but they do not help at all.


Agnes April 17, 2009 at 1:28 pm

I am furious that while banks are getting huge bailouts and the prime rate is lower than ever, they turn around and blackmail us for even more money in all kinds of unfair and underhanded ways. Why can’t they bring some laws that does not allow this? The credit card banks are starting to use predatory, practically Mafia lending practices – the only thing missing is someone breaking your leg for not paying enough… the interst rates are already easily comparable to Mafia rates!
I have several credit card company complaints.

One: Capital One – I have 2 cards with them, had both for several years, never late, always pay more than minimum. I got rate increase notices on both, doubling and trippling the rates and going from fixed to variable. I can “opt out” only by closing them, which I did becasue i just can not see doubling and trippling my interst payment to them. But now I will basically be paying cards I can no longer use and wil have no open credit on.

TWO: Chase, upon takign over WaMu raised the interest on that card. Not a lot, but it’s still annoying that just becasue they took over, I have to pay more. Again, never late, never overlimit, always pay more than minimum.

THREE: Juniper. These peole are the worst. I had an 11.99% rate. One month last year I went over the limit by like $3.00 for 2 days (before I noticed and paid extra) becasue I forgot about the timing of an automatic charge. Next month I paid more, but because they added in additonal fees and charges, that pushed me slightly over the limit again – and then they raised my interest to 28% because I was over limit “twice”. But the second time it was all their extra charges that pushed me over!!!! Then even after several months of being on time and under the limit, they would not budge to lower it. I transfered most of it off to my other cards (as much as I could, but I did not have a lot of credit open and I can’t seem to get another card). Now that my balance is down to a grand or so with them, they finally lowered it by 2%. TWO percent!!!! After they suddenly raised it by 25%, now that I paid 75% of teh balance off they “reward me” by going down by 2%!!!

These credit card banks ENRAGE me. My blood pressure goes up dealing with them. You get to the point that you really just want to do a bankruptcy because they make it impossible to pay off your debt by being so greedy and unfair. They push us into a corner, they don’t care what they do to us, so why should we care? And no one helps us, because they are free to do anything they want, legally. We need legislation to put limits on what they can do. There should be limits to how much over the Prime Rate they can charge – like maybe 5% over the Prime Rate max. It’s ridiculous that the Prime Rate is near 3% and they charge upper teens and twenties % interes, 6 or more times the Priem Rate!!! There should be limits to fees, limits to how often interest rates can be rasied, and by how much, etc. As it is, the consumer gets really nailed by them. And our only option seems to be to bend over.


Michele April 12, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Hi I am having difficulty with what began as a providain-bought out by Wamu-now bought out by Chast credit account. We have had this card this since ‘o5 at least. Always making above the minimums and paid off balances a number of times.

On March 10 we logged on to our account and selected the option to “pay off balance”, paying 1470.60$ to pay it off. In the next few days we recieved a payment confirmation email, a thanks for swithching to paperless statements email(wich we never did) but just disregarded thinking oh well its paid off, whatever. I just happened to be checking our accounts online and found a balance on this account-31 days after I thought it had been paid in full. The balance was 26.70 in interest added three days AFTER we “paid the balance in full” unbeknownst to us(Mind you I never recieved a paper statement OR the paperless statement they had thanked me for signing up for!!) that a fee was added, and NOT included in the payoff. Then this balance of 26.70 sat on the account for less that 30 days and we didnt know it was there, and then they charged us a 15.00$ LATE FEE!!

I was furuious always trying to maintain good credit and paying off the balance and now they report me late on a balance they unbeknownst to me had charged my account. I called them and wanted them to reverse the fees, wanting to know why they would offer a “payoff” option if it doesnt really pay off the account? they refused to reverse either charges and said our account was to YOUNG to recieve customer service! WHAT?? that statement doesnt even make sense they sent me emails as a “customer service” for payment confirmation, and for thanking me for switching to paperless statements.

Chase refused to be of any assistance in the matter at all. We did ask for, and speak to a supervisor telling them that even if lets say we “pay-off” this supposed balance of ours whose to say the whole thing wouldnt happen again-implementing fees on a account we think we are paying off. They refused to be of help, not reversing any of the charges and only giving us a address we could write our complaint to. We told them we would be writting the FTC also.

In this day and age when it is all over the news that credit card companies are in big trouble for fraudulent charges how do we fight charges that we feel is innaccurate? this is a small balance on our account and I hate to have it dammage our credit but I feel like they try to blackmale you into just paying it to save them negative reporting on your credit, but this could just go on and on and seems very underhanded. I am FURIOUS!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 13, 2009 at 8:08 am


This is one of the most absurd rip-offs I have heard of. And over such a small amount of money. It really shows how desperate the banks are for fees.

Basically, there are a couple of things you can try here, some of which should work.

First, make a payment, if only just the minimum, so your account is not past due. This can really hurt your credit score.

Second, apply for a new credit card from a different company, but don’t close this account, as that can also hurt your credit score. If there is no annual fee, simply leave it open.

Third, call customer service and do the following:
1.) If you get a foreign representative, ask for a U.S. based customer service rep.
2.) Be really nice to the U.S. rep, as its not their fault. Its unfair company policy. You want that rep to help you, so it helps if you get along with him or her.
3.) If the representative can’t do anything, ask for a supervisor. Again, be as nice as possible.
4.) If the supervisor can’t help you, ask for their supervisor. If you get the runaround, hang up and try the process one or two more times. If you’re lucky, you might get someone willing to help.

If this fails (or if it succeeds), take your business elsewhere. In the end, the only way to hurt the companies that hurt you is to take your business to one of their competitors.

I hope this helps and would love to hear from you if you have any luck.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 9, 2009 at 9:16 am


I sympathize with you and completely share your outrage. In all likelihood, Citi sent you a letter that probably looked like junk mail and you ended up tossing it the garbage. We’ve all become accustomed to tossing junk credit card mail offers in the garbage, so these rate increase notices often go unread.

Even if you do open them, you’ll need an attorney and an accountant to understand the fine print, as the true details are often hard to uncover.

The only course of action I can recommend is doing a balance transfer. This will secure you a 0% rate for a year and stop the flow of your money into Citi’s wallet. If they’re mistreating you, you might as well stop giving them your money to pay interest. That is truly the only revenge available.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 9, 2009 at 9:10 am


Based on changes in available credit card offers and tons of complaints from consumers, its becoming pretty clear that banks are using every trick in the book (all of which appear to be legal) to cancel fixed rate deals.

Trying to deal with banks has become futile. I’ve yet to hear from a consumer who has been able to get a rate increase reversed. The only real option is to transfer your balance (which will actually save you money in the long run) and pay down debt. The banks in our country our cash hungry, and your credit card debt is essentially an open invitation for them to eat from your wallet.

Hopefully, you can transfer your balance to a new card and pay it down at a 0% interest rate.


Charles April 8, 2009 at 7:56 pm

My APR, on my CITI MASTERCARD Account was increased without me being notified. When talking to CITI Bank, I was first told that notifications were in last months statements, and I had 24 days, from receiving the statement, or until March 31, to refuse the new APR. I found my statement and called back, all of a sudden, when I told them that I had my statements, they had sent seperate letters out in January. I had asked, right from the first, why they had nor sent out seperate letters. That was not their policy, I was informed. In less that fifteen minutes, that policy had changed, letters had been sent, and my APR could not be lowered to the orginal rate by anyone. I was also asked if I thought that the supervisor, that I was talking to, was responsible for delivery of the mail and that if I paid my account balance down, they may be able to lower my APR. Does anyone belive anything that CITI Bank says?


Rubi April 8, 2009 at 11:16 am

I have aCHASE credit card, when I applied the offer stated a fixed 7.99 rate which I’ve had for 3 years. I have never been late on a payment; however, when I received my last statement they changed my fixed rate to a variable rate which is in the 11.99% range. When I called to complain they said they said they had sent me a letter stating the change where they were pretty much telling me take it or leave it meaning I had to pay the entire balance if I didn’t agree. I never received such letter but even if I had, I would not be able to pay off the entire balance. They were not willing to lower the interest or change to a fixed rate although I’ve NEVER been late with my payments nor do I carry any other credit card balances.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper April 7, 2009 at 10:47 am


Unfortunately, it is unlikely Chase will lower your interest rate anytime soon. When credit card companies hit consumers with interest rate increases, they tend to be unwilling to change their minds in the short term.

Ultimately, the best way to deal with the situation may be to do a 0% balance transfer to a new credit card, which will save you money on interest for a year. For example, with a 14% interest rate, you will save about $140 for every $1000 transferred.

Also, if you can get a new balance transfer credit card, you should keep your old Chase account open, as closing that account can lower your credit score.

Hopefully, you can turn this negative event into a positive. Chase has given you a reason to think about your interest rate and consider better options such as 0% balance transfers. Why continue to give them your business when another company will treat you better?

For more information on available balance transfer offers, please see the balance transfer offers section of Smart Balance Transfers.


Anne April 2, 2009 at 9:00 pm

I have had a Chase Disney card for several years and yes I do carry a balance. I recieved a notice in January or February that the rate was going to change. I called Chase and asked. I was told that the letter was just fyi in case the rate changed. So I was given incorrect information becase when my statement came today I did see that the interest rate went up 5%. I called and was told I could either close the account or live with the higher rate.
I do believe that Chase recieved “bail out” money and this is how the company rewards it custiomers? Is there anything that can be done to gets the rates back to what they were?


Pamela March 10, 2009 at 9:12 am

Even though I have had a Capital One credit card for over ten years, paid on time, and paid more than the minimum payment at all times, I received notice from them that my interest rate would be tripling in May. I could accept this or close the account. In selecting to close the account, my attorney tells me that my credit score will be hurt. Is there any action I can take to mitigate the damage soon to be done? Apparently there is no regulation of this industry.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 13, 2009 at 12:59 pm


The best way to mitigate the damage is to open a new credit card account, which will increase your available credit. This, of course, is easier said than done. However, having available credit that you are not using is just about the only way to make up some of the damage done by having an account closed. ( You can view cards from other companies in the credit card comparison section of Smart Balance Transfers and apply online)

As to regulation, the consumer Credit Card Bill of Rights was passed, but does not go into effect for close to a year. In the interim, credit card companies are taking advantage of the lack of regulation to jack up rates and cut credit. Unfortunately, we essentially sign our rights away when we accept and activate a credit card. The credit card companies cover all the bases in the terms and conditions, and expressly reserve the right to raise rates at their own discretion.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 10, 2009 at 7:31 am


The sad truth is that the credit card companies can essentially do whatever they please to manage risk, and they appear to have the freedom to truly damage people’s credit scores with impunity. It is really upsetting to hear stories such as yours; the things these companies are doing are really unfair.


Sandra Smith March 8, 2009 at 9:43 am

Why has there been no class action lawsuits against credit card companies who are decreasing customer’s credit scores by arbitrarily decreasing card limits and increasing interest? This is me. I have made payments on time, always paid more than the minimum (by at least 50%) and never gone past my limit.


Chris March 3, 2009 at 11:14 am

I have had a Direct Merchants Bank MC for over 7 years and currently carry a balance of less than $1000. Effective in January the interest rate doubled to 29%. The card limit was $4400 but I just rcvd a letter from HSBC who took over the account 2 yrs ago and it states they are reducing my credit limit to $1110. The letter reads “We recently completed a loss mitigation review on our Direct Merchants Bank MC accounts. As a result of the class of accounts into which your account fell, the credit limit has been reduced to $1110.” I have never made a late payment and pay more than the minimum. This is unfair and a credit reduction of over $3000 will certainly affect my credit score! What rights do I have?? None!


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper March 3, 2009 at 5:04 pm


This is yet another example of credit card companies punishing honest people for their less than honest mistakes. If this happened recently, I would try to get a new credit card as soon as possible, before the credit limit reduction has an effect on your credit score.

Its really unfortunate, but you are dead on about having no rights. When you accept the terms and conditions of a credit card, you are basically signing your life away. The only way to get back at them is to take your business elsewhere. (and with a 29% interest rate, you definitely should!)

Thanks for posting and I hope you can get your business away from those thieves.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 24, 2009 at 11:47 am


I really hope everything works out okay. If you have good credit, you may be able to get a balance transfer to a credit card with a lower rate. Hopefully, you were not penalized with a higher rate by Chase when they closed your account.

It doesn’t seem like Chase is doing anything illegal. Within the fine print of your credit card agreement, the credit card company essentially states that they can close accounts at will. Its just a shame that the credit card companies are doing this to people who do their best to pay their bills.


Cinthia LeClair February 23, 2009 at 11:45 am

My Wamu credit card is being moved to Chase on March 1, 2009. I first began this acct with PayPal, then WaMu bought PayPal. I have been with this company since 2005. This last year has been rough and I am struggling to pay down my balance. I have never been late with a payment. I have been over the limit for awhile now and could not make the extra payments to correct this. I was making the min. payments every month. This month, on Feb. 9th, 2009, I made a payment to get this acct UNDER the limit. As of this day, Feb. 23rd, 2009, it is under the limit. I get a letter in the mail telling me that they CLOSED my acct on Feb, 13th, 2009, because I was OVER THE LIMIT. Just because WaMu is changing to Chase, it shouldnt matter!!! I have successfully got the amount under the limit and they close my acct!! I dont understand this!! I am so mad at these companies. They both screwed me. I have emailed them, asking them about this and all they said was that their records show that the acct was closed on Feb. 13th, 2009. It just doesn’t make any sense to me and I am very angry. I fall into the catagory of being poor and have a very hard time trying to keep afloat.


Jeff Weber Balance Transfers Helper February 19, 2009 at 12:13 pm


This is one of the most disgusting credit card tactic I have ever head of. I hope you are able to transfer the balance immediately. If you can provide a little more detail, I’d like to write a full blog report on this.

Thanks for sharing. Hopefully, this will keep others from using HSBC credit cards for cash advances, if not altogether.


cheryl February 17, 2009 at 2:00 pm

My HSBC direct rewards card advertised a 16% interest on cash advances. I had the card three years, and never used this. Finally, last month I took a cash advance, my first, and they raised my cash advance interest rate to 58%! When I sent an e-mail asking if this was an error, I was told that my agreement stated, (in so many words), that they could raise my interest any amount at any time for any reason, and that was that. I have never been late, never missed a payment, and almost always paid more than the amount owed. Needless to say, I will be transferring my balance to another card, and destroying this one.


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