UPDATE: Please see Citibank Interest Rate Increase Solutions for detailed information on the most recent rate increase.
A few weeks ago, I wrote an article about Citibank raising credit card interest rates on a small number of store issued credit cards. At the time, Citi had been generating very few negative comments from readers and it appeared as if Citi was shaping up to be one of the best behaved credit card companies. I was proved very wrong, as CitiBank has substantially raised interest rates on an apparently large base of customers to as much as 29.99%.
Here is a rather colorful comment left by a visitor whose interest rate was substantially raised by Citibank:
“My citi (sic) card, which I have had for probably years and hav (sic) 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…”
Prior to the credit crisis, it generally took a missed payment, bounced check, or over-the-limit transaction to trigger an interest rate increase to 29.99%. According to many people who’ve written in about recent Citibank interest rate increases, they did nothing to trigger the rate increase.
For a person with a $5,000 balance on a Citibank credit card that previously had a 14.99% interest rate, a 29.99% rate will cost them close to $900 more in interest during the course of a year.
Ultimately, if Citi is unwilling to budge on a recent interest rate increase, the best more is to either pay your card off or transfer your balance to a new credit card that offers a 0% rate and a lower long term interest rate.
You can review, compare, and apply online for a new credit card in the 0% credit card section of this website. Many of these card offer 0% rates on balance transfers as well as significantly lower long term interest rates.
Lastly, if you have had any luck dealing with a Citibank credit card interest rate increase, please share with our visitors.