View Full Version : Credit-expert Dopers: What's a "bucket transfer credit/debit"?
06-11-2003, 07:14 PM
I just looked at my online credit card statement and saw a strange thing: a "bucket transfer credit" for the entire balance of my card, followed the next day by a "bucket transfer debit" for the same amount. Also (but I suppose not surprisingly, since the entire balance was technically "gone" for a day) my monthly finance charges and minimum payment are both much smaller than usual. (Yes, I have a large balance. Yes, I know that's bad. Please don't beat me up. I know. I know. I'm working on it as best I can.)
What's up with that? Should I be concerned? I did not initiate or authorize any such thing. Was it just a clerical error that they fixed?
(Yeah, I also know I could call them, and I may still do so. But I'd like to get an objective answer if possible.)
Thanks for any light you can shed!
06-11-2003, 09:10 PM
I can only speak from my experiance working for a credit card company through college. I won't tell you their name but their initials are MBNA :D
A "bucket" is a term that refers to a portion of your balance that has a particualar trait. For instance, assume you have a $50 min payment and you don't pay you bill for 3 months. You would have a $200 minimun due of which $50 would be in the "Now Due bucket, $50 would be in your "5 days late bucket", $50 in your "30 day late bucket", and $50 in your 60 day late bucket. Miss another payment and the balances "transfer" another bucket down (5 to 30, 30 to 60, etc). When you send a payment that is less than the min, it is applied to the oldest bucket first.
But buckets could also be used for other reasons besides how late you are. Consider buying something on an account that has 90 day, no interest on purchases greater than $500. You buy a big screen and now have $1500 in that bucket. You go back and buy a few video tapes. That $100 dollars goes into a different bucket, maybe the 25.99%, 30 day grace revolving bucket. These types of plans are more common with merchant specific cards (Best Buy, Circuit City, etc), but many regular credit card companies do have different buckets for purchases, cash advances, balance transfers, even the interest and late fees you are charged.
In your case, its seems that they moved your balance from a bucket that had one set of traits to another. Why? Dunno. Only they can answer that.
Should you be worried. Probably not since they have seemingly made a change that bendfits you (lower interest, lower min due), but be careful. Remember that since interest is paid first, if you only pay the minimum that means that less is going towards the principal and it will take longer to pay off.
06-11-2003, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by Scarlett67
I just looked at my online credit card statement and saw a strange thing: a "bucket transfer credit" for the entire balance of my card
"Bucket transfer" is sometimes used as a term for the situation where you get a new credit card from a different company, where they offer to pay off the entire balance on your old credit card, and transfer it to your new card (at a lower interest rate, at least for a while). The new credit card company takes care of doing this with the other company for you.
So this could have been done accidentally to your account (when it should have been done to some card number similar to yours), and then they caught that and fixed it. So yes, it could have just been a clerical error.
But since you say it resulted in a lower monthly balance & charges for you, I wouldn't complain too much about that!
06-12-2003, 09:14 AM
Thanks for your replies, guys.
I'm not banking (heh) on the lower payment being a regular thing, as I've noticed that when I do send in extra money, the minimum drops lower for a month or two, and then returns to its usual level. JC, you're right about only paying the minimum. I plan to send in my usual amount, or more, if I can swing it.
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